I got into listening to podcasts three or four years ago, and it was life changing. By which I basically mean that I say “Oh, in this podcast I was listening to …” at least once a week.
So, look. The podcast world is full of the voices of white men (because, honestly, what isn’t?). That’s not to say that Ira Glass isn’t great, but if you were looking for some non-white-man podcasts, here are some badass womyn-led ones you should be listening to (plus some episodes I just really enjoyed).
“Another Round” is basically listening in on the conversation of two brilliant, hilarious women you wish you were friends with. BuzzFeed writers Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton down drinks (hence the name “Another Round”) while tackling issues like gender, mental health, race, and squirrels (yes, squirrels!). They feature guests ranging from HRC to Margaret Cho, with segments like “White Women Gotta Do Better” (with Lena Dunham) and fantastic advice like, “Have the confidence of a mediocre white man.” Entertaining and insightful, I look forward to it every Tuesday.
Another conversational podcast between two kickass women, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, in which they talk pop culture, periods, and shine theory (aka, why women shine brighter when they support one another). There has been some extensive talk on the pros and cons of menstrual cups on this podcast, and I especially enjoyed Episode 37’s discussion with Rebecca Traister on how gender plays into the public perception of Hillary and her candidacy.
Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin educate the public on topics from lube to pinup girls to female urinary devices and create a thoughtful overview on every topic under the sun through a feminist lens. Surprise: the patriarchy is everywhere!
It’s in the vein of shows like “Serial”, but rather than dealing with mysteries like ambiguous deaths and maybe-treason, Starlee Kine tries to figure out how tall Jake Gyllenhaal really is and the meaning behind an ambiguous license plate. Like a feel-good indie movie, it’s rather twee and a bit self-indulgent, and I love it for that. (My favorites: “Belt Buckle” is magical and “Source Code” is pure joy.)
Okay, maybe this is a little niche. But if you’re into film and scriptwriting, “Chicks Who Script” brings in a new guest every week (mostly women, some not) to discuss topics from ageism in Hollywood to promoting your own work and above all the experiences of women in the industry.
There is literally one episode you can listen to of this podcast, and I’m guessing there won’t be more, but the one episode that does exist is simply amazing. Ayesha Siddiqi talks to Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend about cultural appropriation in music, the prep aesthetic and class, and more in one incredibly interesting, insightful conversation on American culture. Kanye is, of course, mentioned several times.
I’ve seen this episode on every single “Best Podcasts of 2015” list (and no list is accurate without it), and even though TAL is the most podcast-y of all podcasts, whatever, it bears repeating. Nikole Hannah-Jones does some investigative reporting on America’s education system and racial segregation. It’s moving, thought-provoking, and a must-listen, and it just might make you cry (I did). Already listened to it? You might enjoy “PostBourgie” episode #34, where Hannah-Jones further discusses racial segregation, or “Another Round” episode #24, where she discusses the process of reporting this story as well as being a Black woman in journalism.
Also known as, another reason why I’m scared of the internet/men/the world. Stephanie Foo tells the story of several Asian women’s experiences on dating sites like OKCupid and the very real threat of “yellow fever”.
- “Planet Money” episodes #576 When Women Stopped Coding + #615 A 12-Year-Old Girl Takes On The Video Game Industry
I’m a huge fan of “Planet Money” – they’re great at framing and discussing economic problems in a way that is relevant, accessible, and engaging – and these are some especially gender-focused episodes. In these episodes you’ll find an interesting and engaging look into the history of how and why women stopped coding and an adorable story of powerful activism.
Art Director, What the F Magazine
B.A. Political Science, Minor in German and Law, Justice & Social Change
University of Michigan 2017, LSA Honors Program