Maybe you love them, maybe you hate them – or maybe you’ve never listened to one. But if you are a fan, you know how hard it can be to find good ones – especially good ones about feminism and the fight for equality.
You know what? We hear you. Here are our picks for five kickass feminist podcasts that are well worth your time.
Stuff Mom Never Told You
Ever wondered why yoghurt is marketed so heavily to women? Or why cabin crew on flights are usually depicted in media as female? Or why villainesses often wear dark colours? This kickass podcast series tackles these topics, and more – and especially excels at tackling topics we don’t always think about. Hosted by Bridget Todd and Emilie Aries (who took over from previous hosts Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin), Stuff Mom Never Told You (or SMNTY as some fans call it) has been going strong since 2009 – meaning there are literally hundreds of episodes to listen to. The tone is easy-to-understand, inclusive and engaging. It’s one of the best feminist podcasts around.
Bonus: there’s also a kickass SMNTY YouTube channel, which is not only hilarious, but discusses things like why “sexy” Halloween costumes are marketed to women, “resting bitch face,” introversion, how men and women sleep differently, height preferences in heterosexual dating, witchcraft, spooning, thongs, and other fascinating topics.
Bitch Media is just an awesome media organisation, and its podcasts are similarly awesome. “Popaganda” and “Backtalk” absolutely slay, as they discuss things like NFL protests, where the #MeToo movement might lead, why women of colour can be the target of even worse trolling than their white sisters, and other similarly hard-hitting topics. Even better, they deal with intersectionality – something not every podcast does. New episodes are usually posted every Friday.
Latin for “the invisible things,” this podcast explores “the invisible forces that shape human behaviour — things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions.” Co-hosted by two of NPR’s amazing award-winning journos (Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin, who cut their teeth at the award-winning This American Life and The Atlantic), the most recent season has dealt with the nature of reality and how two people can experience the exact same thing and interpret it completely differently. Is it deep? Yes. But is it mentally stimulating, and does it make you feel different about the world? A-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y.
Black Girls Talking
In this rad podcast, four African-American women who live in different parts of the US discuss anything and everything – Beyoncé, women and #BlackLivesMatter, you name it. Their talks about representation of women and people of colour in media are especially thought-provoking.
Guys We Fucked
Focused especially on anti-slut shaming, hosts Corrine Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson talk openly and graphically about sex – and the importance of positive sex and consent. They also frequently interview kickass guests like Amber Rose, who help hammer home the point that sex is… sex. Totally normal – and nothing to be ashamed of.
Bonus: Another Round
Yes, Buzzfeed is the media company behind it. But Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton pull no punches in critiquing how society treats women, people of colour, LGBT+ people, people who are differently abled, and basically anyone not an able-bodied, cisgender white man. Interesting topics include how going outside can be a form of self-care, wisdom from Roxane Gay, the othering of queer women of colour, and more (or, as the podcast’s own description says: “everything from race, gender and pop culture to squirrels, mangoes, and bad jokes”). It may just be the best damn thing on Buzzfeed, full stop.
Second bonus: Call Your Girlfriend
Ever wished there was a way you could stay in touch with your long-distance best friend aside from instant messaging, Snapchat or Skype? What if the two of you hosted a podcast together? That’s the basic premise of Call Your Girlfriend. Long-distance friends Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow co-host this podcast as a way to keep in touch, and unsurprisingly they often cover a pretty wide range of topics. But it’s one of those podcasts where you walk away feeling better about the world – and that maybe it’d be worth starting a podcast with your own long-distance best friend.
If there are other feminist podcasts that you think are totally kickass, we’d love to hear about them. Feel free to sing out in the comments below.Support Villainesse