10 Podcasts Every Feminist Should Listen To

Posted on September 18, 2018

by Rebecca S

If you have ever tried to browse Apple Podcast or Stitcher, you know that there are TONS of podcasts out there. Some are good and some are bad, but it is hard to tell which is which when they are all using the “right” buzzwords and have fun graphics. This is especially true when it comes to feminist podcasts. But worry not, the library is here to help you shuffle through the noise to find fun, entertaining, yet serious podcasts that speak to modern feminist concerns.

Podcasts that make you go “hmmm.”

What Would a Feminist Do?” by Jessica Valenti

I have written about Jessica Valenti and how important her books were to the start of my feminist journey in earlier blogs. “What Would a Feminist Do?” is her podcast series for “The Guardian” and coves all things intersectional feminist. Valenti invites a huge array of interesting, powerfully passionate women to talk about how they’re changing the world.

It hasn’t been updated since March, but the back catalogs are free and fascinating listening. My fingers are crossed for a new episode soon!

Still Processing” by Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham

“Still Processing” is a podcast I have recently come upon. Although not focused on feminism, feminist ideology often creeps in to most episodes. Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham are culture writers at the New York Times (who sponsors the podcast) and their insights in to all things art, culture, literature, and politics will have you nodding your head in appreciation. Or if you are like me, almost falling off the treadmill.

Their topics can at times be heavy but we are currently living in a harsh and violent reality, especially for people of color. So the fact that they don’t shy away from the hard topics, and are in fact so bold and frank about how they are navigating the world as two Black individuals, is a major bonus for this podcast.

How to be a Girl” by Marlo Mack

“How to be a Girl” is a podcast about the challenges a single mother faces as she raises her transgender daughter, “M.” Through stories on everything from what it was like when other moms at school found out a girl in class had a penis to how she told her child she may not ever be able to be a biological mother, Marlo (not her real name) gives listeners a glimpse into their world. The good and the bad.

This is a thought-provoking, emotional, and moving podcast that stars both mother and daughter. You may need tissues for this one.

2 Dope Queens” by Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams

If you don’t have “2 Dope Queens” in your subscription queue, you’re so missing out. BFFs Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams are comedic magic and their podcast is a hilarious discussion of everything from romance and race to natural hair journeys and life in New York. Their podcast was so popular that HBO picked it up a couple summers ago for a TV adaptation. The pair also host live comedy shows in Brooklyn.

However, don’t let the comedy and silly antics fool you – the subjects they take on are serious and their point of view is always enlightening.

Divided States of Women” by Liz Plant and Hitha Herzog

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 the Domestic Violence to Prison Pipeline, the NRA, and the relationship between feminism and conservative beliefs. The accompanying video series features interviews with women (and 1 or 2 men) across the country about what it means to be a woman navigating the world.

The History Chicks” by Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider

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 women are remembered today and in the future. Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider have covered everyone from Hypatia of Alexandria to Josephine Baker, and Ida B. Wells. They seriously know their stuff. Each episode is packed with references to books, interviews, and biographies, making it easy for listeners to learn more about important women from history.

The Guilty Feminist” by Deborah Frances-White

This list would not be complete without “The Guilty Feminist,” a stalwart feminist podcast that assures all of us that you can be a feminist and 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 joke at a time.

The Witch Wave” by Pam Grossman

This might seem like an odd choice for a feminist podcast list. While Pam Grossman does identify as a witch and the podcast centers around witchcraft and spellcraft, the historical and feminist context the Grossman and her guests share is a modern take on reclaiming a female divine lineage that has been lost to centuries of male dominated religion and history. It is well documented and researched that the systemic oppression and murder to women deemed to be witches has functioned as a tool of patriarchal violence against women. While the unpacking of this historical narrative is a theme of the podcast, Grossman focuses more on the empowerment of women in all functions of life through a reclaiming of the powerful archetype of “the witch.” Proficiency in witchcraft is not required.

The Nerdette” by Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen

Billed as a “safe space for nerding out about all the things you’re watching, reading, listening to and encountering IRL (In Real Life);” the Nerdette is the place to go to hear eloquent people nerding out, Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen invite some amazing guests to explain why they’re a nerd about something — particularly highly qualified, super-cool women, from astronauts to poet laureates.

Call Your Girlfriend” by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman

A personal, political, and pop culture feast for the ears, bi-coastal best friends Aminatou Sow and Anne Friedman have weekly catch-ups via their podcast from their homes in LA and Brooklyn. 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” (which might be my favorite episode).

Related Toledo Library Blog Posts

The Steinem Sisters Collection: Feminism at TLCPL

For the Feminist Curious: A Steinem Sisters Collection Book List

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