Five Feminist Podcasts To Help You Deal With This Hot Mess Of A World
Looking for a new favourite?
Does your podcast universe resemble an infinite field of average white dudes forcibly laughing at each other’s tedious and derivative observations?
It doesn’t have to be this way! Here are some of our top picks if you’re up for a change:
Made of Human
Who? Sofie Hagan is a Danish comedian currently living in London. Her current tour, Dead Baby Frog, is hosted solely in venues with disabled access and gender-neutral toilets. They’re also deliberately “reduced-anxiety”. Not surprisingly, Sofie is awesome.
What? Sofie talks to her guests about growing up, becoming (or neglecting to become) an ‘adult’ and finding one’s place in this big scary world. She rounds up each episode by requesting that her visitor imagine they are swaddling their new-born selves, and asking them what reassurances they would whisper into their tiny naïve baby ears. ADORABLE (and less creepy than it sounds).
Listen if… You need reminding that no one has any idea what they are doing.
Where do I start? ‘Josie Long – Momma’s Got Her Groove Back’
Josie: “No one ever says, ‘Guess who I’m bringing along on the expedition! It’s this bitter shrivelled up old husk.’… You have to try and just not be bitter – be joyful and excited about living and learning and experiencing because: you will have a better life from that.”
Pretty for an Aboriginal
Who? Having shot to fame following the release of the critically acclaimed Sapphires in 2012, Larrakia actor Miranda Tapsell has continued to score a series of great acting roles across film and TV. Nakkiah Lui is an award-winning playwright, writer, performer and radio host — she’s also a proud Gamilaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman. I don’t actually know if they’re buddies in real life, but if this podcast were the only piece of evidence I had to go by, I’d say Miranda and Nakkiah are pretty much BFF goals.
What? These two talented women and a star-studded series of guests use the podcast to chat about race and Aboriginality in Australia. As Junkee put it just a few months ago, Pretty For An Aboriginal feels “inextricably momentous”. The conversation moves so far beyond how we are used to talking about race in the media — it moves to a place of ambition, unapologetic honesty and fun.
Listen if… You’re all about building a real Team Australia.
Where do I start? There are only eight episodes so you might as well start at the beginning – that brings you to ‘Hustle Baby, Hustle (with Briggs)’.
Briggs: “(White Australia has) an adverse reaction with anything Aboriginal that isn’t reminiscent and mournful.”
The Guilty Feminist
Who? Australian born and Jehovah’s Witness-raised comedian and screenwriter Deborah Frances-White is an all-round feminist powerhouse. You’d be right in thinking the kind of woman who leaves a patriarchal religious sect at the age of 18 is also just the kind of woman to host a victoriously powerful and hilarious podcast (packed with similarly awesome women).
What? The Guilty Feminist is a podcast that explores “our noble goals as 21st century feminists, and the hypocrisies and insecurities which undermine them”. It’s recorded live in front of a very enthusiastic studio audience, and each episode welcomes a new guest and theme. The pod-crew shuffle between anecdotes, stand-up and weekly challenges.
Listen if… You’re a feminist, but you’re still trying to figure out what that means.
Where do I start? ‘Weinstein Culture with Jo Brand’. This episode was recorded just after the clip of Jo Brand, explaining to a bunch of panel show bros why sexual harassment isn’t funny, went viral. It’s just so bleddy triumphant.
Ladies, We Need To Talk
Who? Television and radio presenter Yumi Stynes is your bubbly, straight-talking and refreshingly honest guide on this podcast-tour of lady-taboos. Throughout the series, we get to know Yumi a little better and we’re all the better for it. She’s a perfect fit for the show, with a great balance of humour, curiosity and vulnerability. Yumi leaves listeners with no choice but to feel right at home despite the sensitive nature of some the podcast’s content.
What? “What taboos? What is there left to talk about?!” I hear ye cry. I approached the podcast with a little caution too, but it delivered big with honest talks about period sex, accidental body-shaming, regretting having kids, alcoholism and (yaaaas) masturbation. There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to being a lady, and this lively ABC gem is a great place to start.
Listen if… You identify as a lady, or you’re just curious about other people who identify as ladies. Honestly, just listen if you’re a person.
Where do I start? There’s only eight episodes (and a few sneaky treat snippets) so you might as well start at the start (‘You Say Vulva, I Say Vagina’). I felt like getting to know Yumi was a big part of the series, so while you probably don’t need to listen in order, I’d recommend it.
Who? In Episode 31: Out at Work, co-hosts Tobin Low and Kathy Tu report back on their Out at Work survey project findings, and discover that ‘being out’ isn’t quite as straightforward as it seems. They hypothesise that there are actually six grades of ‘out at work-ness’ — and Tobin and Kathy proudly occupy in the Professionally Queer category. In my humble, non-survey validated opinion, they are also Professionally Cute AF.
What? Join best pals Tobin and Kathy on their podcast expedition to explore all things LGBTQI+. To quote the intro episode, Nancy is, “a podcast, not a person.” But if Nancy were a person, they would be stunning. This podcast is so seamlessly and beautifully produced, I’d probably listen to it even if the actual content was bad. But guess what — the content is awesome! From porn to politics, The L-Word to Harry Potter, homophobia to the AIDS crisis, Nancy has got you covered. The hosts welcome you in with their cute, funny and genuine vibe only true BFFs are capable of cultivating.
Listen if… If you prefer your podcasts super queer and super fun.
Where do I start? Dammit I knew you would ask that. Do I have to choose?! Ok. Episode 25: ‘Will and Grace Are Back! (But Should They Be?)’ While this episode made me feel super old, Will and Grace is an ideal cultural touchstone — it highlights how far we have come in terms or queer acceptance and representation. Or, as Tobin puts it, it’s “a big gay time-capsule.”
Chloe Warren blogged her way through several sharehouses, questionable relationships, terrible day jobs and a genetics PhD. It was only recently she realised she was probably a writer. She tweets at @sciencechloe.