You’re reading In Her Words, where women rule the headlines.
Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox.
“The stories I want to tell are when we’re our own heroes and our own enemies, and I don’t think that’s a rude thing to ask for.”
— Jessica Williams, the comedian who hosted the popular podcast “2 Dope Queens” with her best friend Phoebe Robinson
It’s that time of year when many of us are spending hours and hours road tripping, sitting in airports and on planes, or hoofing it through city streets around the world to get a glimpse of, well, something, anything, different. On these long hot days of travel, podcasts are my salve. And to think, I used to roll my eyes at my parents for listening to talk radio.
Here are some recommendations for podcasts for women, by women or about women (or all three!) based on your mood. They should help you make the most of your time and give you plenty to discuss at those backyard barbecues.
Did I miss your favorite? Please let me know at email@example.com.
Mood: I want to laugh
Part standup, part storytelling and part guest interviews, “2 Dope Queens” is basically like hanging out with your funniest, coolest, most interesting best friends — the comedians Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, who created and host the podcast — as they chat about sex, romance, race, life in New York and everything else.
It’s so good, in fact, that the duo landed a deal with HBO for a series of specials based the podcast that aired for two seasons.
My favorite episode, Season 4, Episode 49: “Karaoke With Michelle Obama”
This interview with the former first lady in late 2018 was also their final podcast. And while it might have been the end, it’s a great place to start. Obama talks about her book “Becoming,” her struggle with the “angry black female” stereotype and how to raise bold women.
Mood: I want to learn about pretty much everything
Jonathan Van Ness has skyrocketed to fame over the past couple of years as the Fab Five’s effervescent grooming pro on the Netflix reboot of “Queer Eye.” But long before the makeover show premiered, Van Ness, who came out as nonbinary last month, has been hosting “Getting Curious.”
In each episode, Van Ness interviews an expert on a topic the host is curious about. I once spent six straight hours bingeing these on the road.
My favorite episode, No. 57: “Gender Bias in Film Scoring, What’s Her Story?”
Jessica Rae Huber, a film and television composer, talks to Van Ness about her evolution in the industry and what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated field.
Mood: Give me some herstory
Those who read this newsletter regularly know that I don’t need an excuse to go off about the gross exclusion of women’s stories from history. I’m cranky about it, but “The History Chicks,” Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider, help ease my simmering rage.
In each episode, they explore the stories of women in history, real (like Harriet Tubman and Audrey Hepburn) or fictional (like the Statue of Liberty and Barbie).
This is the herstory class you wish your college offered.
My favorite episode, No. 84: “Ida B. Wells”
Wells was an investigative journalist who developed techniques that remain central to journalism. She was a former slave who took on racism in the Deep South and campaigned for anti-lynching legislation. I can’t ever learn enough about her.
Mood: Unapologetic feminism or bust
All these podcasts offer plenty of food for thought for feminists, but there’s just something about the dialogue between the long-distance besties, Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow, who host the show from their homes in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.
“We’re highbrow and lowbrow, fiercely opinionated, and not afraid to real-talk each other about everything,” they say on their website. It’s true. “Call Your Girlfriend” is about politics, pop culture and, as Friedman and Sow put it, “every facet of women’s humanity.”
My favorite episode, No. 189: “Real Queer America”
“Call Your Girlfriend” is often topical, so I didn’t want to dig too far back, even though there are plenty of gems. Of the more recent entries, this episode shares the stories of L.G.B.T.Q. folks who love their towns even though they live in red states where oppressive measures have been enacted by their legislatures.
Sign up here to get future installments of In Her Words delivered to your inbox.
What else is happening
Here are five articles from The Times you might have missed.
Until then, the bikini had only really been adopted among the “international set,” the article said, but average American beachgoers were starting to come around to the idea.
“I’ve been afraid of them, but my fiancé wants me to try one,” said a woman interviewed for the article while bikini shopping for the first time. “He thinks I have a real figure.”
Joana Franklin, who designed and sold two-pieces, agreed that women of different sizes should embrace the bikini. “All this business about it being only for skinny figures is silly,” she told The Times. “The bikini looks best on a woman with curves.”
Sign up here to get In Her Words delivered to your inbox!