Over the past few years, we've brought you several lists of podcasts hosted, at least in part, by women, and podcasts with a feminist bent. Our latest installment features favs like Embedded, Who? Weekly, and Stuff Mom Never Told You. Check it out below, and catch previous podcast recommendation lists here: 1, 2, 3, 4. And don't forget to subscribe to BUST's own podcast, POPTARTS, and our recent profile of the women behind the podcast My Favorite Murder.
Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin hosted Stuff Mom Never Told You, which is no longer producing new episodes, but has enough back-episodes to keep you entertained for a while. Cristen and Caroline do their research and have found an effective balance of history lesson and current trends. They are essentially providing a guide through adulthood as a woman, by giving the history of the issues that women have faced in the past and still face today.
One notable episode is titled “A Skeptic’s Guide to Women & Islam,” in which they interview Muslim-turned-atheist Heina Dadabhoy. To put to rest the idea that a woman wearing a head cover must be oppressed, Heina says clearly that she found liberation from covering her head and being judged by her intellect rather than her body, and moving away from Islam and having to comply with western beauty standards made Heina feel more pressure than she ever felt wearing a head scarf.
Other episode topics are abortion, women in science, social justice warriors, body shaming, birth control, adoption, villainesses, and much more. While Cristen and Caroline cover a vast array of topics, I am confident that they always speak the truth. It is obvious with each episode that they have done extensive research and are only bringing facts to the table.
I recommend this podcast to anyone interested in learning. The topics circulate around women’s issues, but I don’t think that women are the only ones that can benefit from listening to this podcast.
Dear Sugar Radio is an advice column in podcast form, hosted by writers Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. Before becoming a podcast, Dear Sugar was a column for the online magazine The Rumpus. “Sugar” was Steve Almond dressed up as an anonymous advice giver. While dolling advice, Steve would try to see the world through the lens of a 30-40-something woman. One day, Cheryl Strayed wrote in to the Dear Sugar column, serendipitously at the time when Steve was ready to forfeit the column; and there it was. Cheryl Strayed was exactly woman that Steve had envisioned “Sugar” to be, and he handed off the reins to her. Eventually, the two joined forces to create Dear Sugar Radio, the podcast.
I was hooked after the first episode and have listened to every back-episode since the show’s conception. People giving advice publicly makes me skeptical, but these two do one hell of a job. I can’t say that I’ve ever disagreed with any advice they have given, even on the rare occasion that Cheryl and Steve completely disagree; I can always see both sides. Cheryl has had tremendous life experience that puts her in a place capable of providing quality experience-based advice, while Steve comes from a family of psychologists and often references Sigmund Freud’s theories.
Overall, I highly recommend this podcast to anyone — scroll through the episodes and find a topic that sticks out to you. They cover everything relationships; family, friends, lovers, coworkers, and everything in between. I believe anyone can find an episode of Dear Sugar they can relate to.
A Few Things with Claire and Erica
Claire and Erica have been trying to nail down their opening line from day one, and endearingly stumble at times when trying to explain the nature of their show. They are the owners of Of a Kind, a company showcasing new designers in America, by selling their pieces and sharing their stories. Claire and Erica are self-proclaimed “Professional Enthusiasts,” which I’d agree is a perfect description of what they do.
Their podcast was an idea created by their weekly newsletter, in which they send out 10 things they are currently loving — anything from products, to clothing, to books, to food, and just about everything in between. The podcast is basically an amplified version of their newsletter. They go deep into items they care “possibly too much about.”
The passion that these women have for the things that they talk about is obvious. Listening to exactly why they love the things that they talk about is magnetizing because of the strong dynamic between the two of them. They are funny, and easy to listen to. They also have a book club, and while I’ve never read the books that they have recommended, I always listen to the book club episodes and find them interesting.
I would recommend this podcast for someone who loves to shop and is always looking for the next best beauty product or secret; or if you’re just looking for something light and entertaining.
The hosts of this show are Ingrid Nilsen and Cat Valdes, both 20-something YouTube vloggers. They begin every show with the sounds of food being opened — usually the sound of plastic being ruffled around — and explain what they’re eating that day. Although the name of the podcast and beginning of the episode indicate that the show may have something to do with lunch, it doesn’t. Their episodes cover their views on feminism, sexuality, mental illness, relationships, racism, and other heavy topics. They often read listener questions, and give out advice on such topics.
I would recommend this podcast to a very select audience of women around the ages of 18-25, who may be struggling with their sexuality or having difficulty in their friendships. I can’t say that I agree with all the advice that is given on the show, but I do think that young women can find comfort in knowing they aren’t alone in their struggles when they listen to Ingrid and Cat share difficult personal experiences and how they were able to overcome them.
Bobby Finger and Lindsey Weber are both writers, and the hilarious hosts of Who? Weekly. The concept of the show is that the celebrity world is divided up into two categories: are they a “who” or a “them”? You can find out who the “whos” are, because if you bring up their name in conversation, someone may ask, “who?”
Lindsey and Bobby have also defined “who” behaviors, such as throwing La La Land-themed birthday parties, posting an unnecessary amount of bachelorette party pictures on Instagram, and generally going out of their way to get attention — usually in very tacky ways.
There are favorite “who’s” you will hear about often: Julianne Hough, Nina Dobrev, and most notoriously: Rita Ora (also, I just figured out another good indicator of whether they are a “who” or a “them”: do you need to use google to find out the correct spelling of their name? If so, they’re probably a “who”; read: Julianne Hough.)
Who? Weekly is a silly podcast, and the content alone isn’t exceptionally noteworthy, but the hosts have made an entertaining show. I always love listening to new episodes, and often find myself laughing out loud during my rides on the metro. I wouldn’t say this podcast is for everyone, but if you’re looking for light entertainment rather than gaining knowledge, I’d recommend giving it a shot.
Host Kelly McEvers takes current news stories and goes deep. Kelly travels to places like Waco, Texas to cover a shootout between biker gangs in a restaurant parking lot; to Los Angeles to report on what it’s like to live on skid row; to El Salvador, the murder capital of the world, to find out just how dangerous living there actually is; and to Indiana to cover an HIV outbreak, going inside the homes of heroin addicts infected with the disease.
Kelly spends time in dangerous places, interviewing the people that have shown up in the news, as well as other locals she comes across. If she is afraid, she does a good job hiding it. Her reporting is informative and well-articulated, even while her safety is at risk.
This is a good podcast if you are a person that reads the news, always wanting more. If you are satisfied with news stories told in quick blurbs, this may not be the podcast for you.
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Shauna Dinsart is a writer from Seattle, USA, currently living in Paris, France. Follow her on Instagram @shaunadinsart.