Some days, as you wake up and wince at yet another high profile sexual harassment story breaking on Twitter, it can feel hard to believe that feminism has progressed much in the last 20 years. Endless scandals in Hollywood and Washington have galvanized support for a brand new women's movement, and large, visible demonstrations like the global Women’s Marches have made it clear that the desire for equality is here to stay.
While a podcast probably won't change the world, it can certainly make your morning commute brighter with humorous, sad, thought‐provoking, and diverse personal experiences and social commentaries. You came, you marched, now hit subscribe on these podcasts to help educate, inspire, and expand your idea of what it means to be a feminist today.
Divided States of Women
Presenting feminism with a bipartisan outlook, Divided States of Women aims to shatter the notion that the female perspective is one‐dimensional. Hosted by progressive Liz Plank and her conservative counterpart, Hitha Herzog, this all‐female produced podcast tackles news and issues from Trump’s first year in office, from the NRA to the relationship between feminism and conservative beliefs. The accompanying video series features interviews with women across the country about the pressures of motherhood, the media’s obsession with aging, and unconscious bias.
Start with: "The Women Who Get Left Out of #BlackGirlMagic" --
A great exploration of why one label never fits all when it comes to defining women.
Yes, fashion entrepreneur and #GIRLBOSS author Sophia Amoruso has had a rough couple of years, with the bankruptcy of Nasty Gal, the fashion brand she founded, and a Netflix show based on her life canceled after just one season -- but the caliber of her guests on Girlboss Radio is undeniably top notch. Amoruso interviews inspiring women of all stripes --CEOs, co‐founders, journalists, actors, you name it. Previous guests include Man Repeller founder, Leandra Medine; ex-VICE Media Executive Creative Director, Amel Monsur; and lawyer/ political scientist, Anne‐Marie Slaughter.
Start with: "Dr Lauren Hazzouri – Clinical Psychologist and Founder of HeyLauren.com" -- A guide to skirting gendered societal norms, and why prioritizing the emotional and mental health of girls and women is key to a brighter future.
The History Chicks
You can’t be what you can’t see, and, for centuries, females have been pushed to the fringes of significant cultural, scientific, and political achievements. The History Chicks aims to correct that imbalance and ensure that the legacies of badass women are remembered today and in the future. Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider have covered everyone from Hypatia of Alexandria to Josephine Baker, and they seriously know their stuff. Clocking in at around 60‐90 minutes, each episode is packed with references to books, interviews, and biographies, making it easy to learn more about important women from history.
Start with: "Episode 84: Ida B. Wells" -- This lesson about the woman who campaigned tirelessly for civil rights causes will give you faith that one person can make a difference.
Call Your Girlfriend
You’re probably familiar with bi‐coastal besties, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, who call each other each week from their respective homes in Brooklyn and Los Angeles -- and for good reason. Since launching in 2014, Call Your Girlfriend has become synonymous with female friendship and unapologetic feminism. No topic is too highbrow or lowbrow, from reproductive rights and the healthcare system, to the merits of John Wick 2. A personal, political, and pop culture feast for the ears.
Start with: "Episode 119: "She Won" -- These interviews with women rising in politics will make you feel a little brighter about the future, and reveal how women can shape this year’s mid‐terms.
Also check out Aminatou and Ann's guest episodes of KQED's The Cooler:
Stuff Mom Never Told You
From the HowStuffWorks podcast family, this is a well-established, but nevertheless brilliant, podcast that looks at the challenges of being a woman today -- from the commercialization of feminism to the toll of emotional labor. Hosts Emilie Aries and Bridget Todd release two podcasts per week, which means that their topics are always of the moment. If you’ve ever wondered if watching trashy TV shows or dropping next month’s rent on skincare at Sephora makes you less of a feminist, Aries and Todd are here for you.
Start with: "What does it mean to be ‘Unladylike’ in 2018?" -- A friendly reminder than it’s time to drop the idea that successful women have to be likable and well‐behaved.
She’s All Fat
Hosts April K. Quioh and Sophie Carter‐Kahn believe that body positivity has been co‐opted for commercial purposes, so they’re bringing back self‐love by examining the intersection between fatness and feminism. Since launching in September 2017, She’s All Fat has provided a space to share personal experiences and increase fat visibility, while discussing fatness within pop culture and society. While this podcast identifies as “chill vibes only,” it doesn’t shy away from examining how etymology has a lot to answer for, from questioning why a plus-size woman looking fabulous is considered “brave,” to reclaiming fat as a descriptor, not an insult.
Start with: "Episode 9: Roxanne Gay’s Hunger" -- Quioh and Carter‐Khan delve into the complexities of how to separate critical thought from personal disappointment in a cultural hero.
The Guilty Feminist
Despite what much of the world may want us to believe, identifying as a feminist doesn’t automatically make you a perfect, flawless human being. This list, then, wouldn't be complete without The Guilty Feminist, a stalwart feminist podcast that assures all of us that you can be a feminist and insecure/ a hypocrite / a hot mess. Host and comedian Deborah Francis‐White invites fellow comedians to tackle subjects like the perils and pitfalls of being a 21st century feminist, period poverty, female friendship, and smashing the patriarchy, one gag at a time.
Start with: "Episode 80. What’s the Deal with Men? with Tiff Stevenson" -- The breakdown of micro differences between the ways women and men are treated in the workplace will have you both laughing out loud and cringing in agreement.