6 Podcasting Ladies You Need in Your Life
Podcasts are one of my favourite things. They are like lazy learning, the ultimate way to switch off and still feel productive, especially if I am learning things whilst being dazzled by brilliant women. I am constantly on the hunt for female power teams on the podcast app, and these six shows are the fruits of my labour, please enjoy:
Okay, okay I can’t claim this one! Serial was the podcast that flung podcasts into the mainstream, and it was also the reason I was flung into podcasts. It is the ultimate podcast gateway drug. The first season especially is exciting, gripping and engaging as Sarah Koenig looks into the 15 year old case of Adnan Syed, a 19 year old convicted of murdering his girlfriend at the time, Hae Min Lee. I’ll leave the story for you to explore, all I want to say is Sarah Koenig is what I consider the pinnacle of podcasters, fiercely intelligent, perceptive and empathetic; she gets to the heart of the issue and guides you through the world the Serial team create.
Recommended to me by one of my favourite Melbourne feminists in my early podcast days this show explores the forces that shape human behaviour and is co-hosted by Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller. These two, although you often can’t tell their voices apart, investigate a number of topics, my favourite of which include fear, expectation and the history of thoughts. If you haven’t heard this podcast you are in for a treat, it upsets me deeply that they have only created one season, but the quality is very high. Lovers of this American Life will appreciate their weekly focusses and format, and vivid storytelling.
3. Women of the Hour
Lena Dunham has created a 5 part show (with bonuses) that has brilliant women at the heart of the topics she covers: friendship, body, love, sex, work and the big picture. Highlights for me were the chat she had with Zadie Smith in episode 4, the conversations about death in episode 5 and the friendship bonus between her and Jemima Kirke (but maybe that’s just because I adore Jemima). Often criticised for lack of intersectionality in her feminism Dunham has worked hard to give space for a diverse range of perspectives, some I had never considered. She does so with an enormous amount of love and respect for all her guests.
4. How to be a girl
This podcast features two brilliant ladies, although one is only a little lady, being six-years- old. Marlo Mack is the creator of this incredibly personal and touching podcast about her transgender daughter. This little girl was featured in a photo that circulated the internet, accompanied by a story about her meeting Laverne Cox, this is what brought me to ‘How to be a girl’ in the first place. The episodes are released somewhat unpredictably, but as to be expected when the story being told as it's unfolding in real time. The highlight for me are the snippets of interviews with Marlo’s funky and strong-willed daughter and episodes 4 and 5 that document the move to a new school.
5. On Being
This is a beautiful podcast which I discovered whilst in Paris and consumed hour in and out. The brilliant woman behind this one is called Krista Tippett and she is so unbearably insightful and switched on you’ll feel as if she’s known each of her guests since childhood. In one hour episodes she conducts interviews with scientists, theologians, artists and teachers, asking big questions and getting big answers. There are so many episodes to forage through but to get you started I’d recommend ‘The Poetry of Ordinary Time’ with Marie Howe, which gave me a brand new perspective on writing and poetry and ‘The Body After Cancer’ with Eve Ensler, author of the Vagina Monologues and immensely interesting woman.
6. 2 Dope Queens
When I found this podcast a few weeks ago I felt equal parts ecstatic to have had all 10 episodes to binge through and shamed that I hadn’t found this absolute gem earlier. Pheobe Robinson and Jessica Williams (YAS) are such a power couple when they team up for this hour-long comedy show. Between amazing comedy guests, their banter is personal, poignant and so on point. This one is a smiling-at-strangers and laughing-aloud-on-trains podcast. I have been actively harassing all the podcast listeners in my life to sink their ears into this.
Also highly recommended are: The Misandry Hour with Melbourne-based feminist and Daily Life Journalist Clementine Ford, The Allusionist with English linguist Helen Zaltzman and Stuff Mom Never Told You with the utterly easy to relate to Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin.