These Podcast Episodes Are Must-Listens For Women's History Month

We are saturated with quality media, ready for listening, reading, and viewing. We know it's the Golden Age of Television, and that recent movies and books have been astoundingly amazing. But there’s no art form more intimate than a podcast. As the outside world zooms by, you, with your headphones on, are insulated in a world of your own. When it comes to commemorating Women’s History Month, there’s no better way to engage with women’s stories than with podcasts.
In each of these episodes, you will hear directly from women who have accomplished remarkable things; women who have endured the unthinkable; women whose experiences will help you unpack your own. Women who will make you laugh. Women whose lives will inspire your own.
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There may not be TV shows, movies, or books that tell these women's stories – but there are podcasts. After listening to these episodes, you'll feel connected, informed, and empowered. So get listening.
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"Peg Entwistle (Dead Blondes, Part 1)"
You Must Remember This

Peg Entwhistle is better known in death than she was in life. At 24, Entwhistle took her own life by plunging off the Hollywood sign. But what of her life before? The life of a theater actor and dreamer turned movie actress? You'll get that part in You Must Remember This. Each episode of Karina Longworth's astoundingly research podcast, You Must Remember This, delves into a vivid chapter in Hollywood's history. "Peg Entwhistle" is the start of her series called "Dead Blondes," which is about — you guessed it – a string of 11 blonde actresses who died young. The heartbreaking, poignant series explores the causes that pushed these women toward premature deaths. Many of the dynamics Longworth uncovers are still present in Hollywood today.
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"Always Tomorrow"
This Is Love

Brenda Jackson, now a prolific romance novelist, started writing novels while working her office job in the '90s. She infused each book with a bit of her own relationship; Jackson married her high-school sweetheart right after graduation. But it took a while before a publisher was willing to publish Jackson's books, which all featured Black characters. After that — well, it was history. Jackson became a star, and her husband, just as crucial a fixture in the Brenda Jackson fandom. This episode of "This Is Love" looks into Jackson and her husband's enduring love.
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"How Girls Are Changing The World: Paola Gianturco and Alex Sangster"
Inflection Point With Lauren Schiller

The power that young people have to enact change has never been so obvious. Last week at the March For Our Lives, 11-year-old Naomi Wadler of Alexandria, Virginia delivered a rousing speech calling attention to the fact that Black women are disproportionately affected by gun violence. Given the current cavalcade of activism by students like Wadler and Emma Gonzalez, now's the perfect time to listen to this interview with Paola Gianturco and Alex Sangster, authors of Wonder Girls: Changing Our World — a collection of 102 profiles of girls whose careers as activists have already begun.
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"Of Ms. and Men"
The Thread

The Thread is a genius podcast, making sense of the mess of history by finding a thread that connects one event to another. "Of Ms. and Men" is the first episode of the second season, and tells the story of Gloria Steinem's early career, before she became a pivotal figure in the women's movement. Listen on to see how Steinem's life plays into the podcast's larger "thread."
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"Five Women"
This American Life

"Five Women" is This American Life's tour-de-force response to the #MeToo movement. Producer Chana Joffe-Walt interviews five women who all worked for the same man: Don Hazen, the executive editor of Alternet. The women describe Hazen's charm, and the way they responded when his charm gave way to something darker and more coercive. Some accepting his harassment, and others sought to change the company culture. A few removed themselves from the situation entirely. This incredible hour of radio looks at the repercussions of misconduct in the workplace, both in creating a toxic work environment and in damaging people's senses of selves.
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"Carry A. Nation"
Criminal

Imagine if you, like Carry A. Nation, were known primarily as "America's foremost lady hellraiser." Nation — born Carrie Amelia Moore — was a crusader for Temperance, and she literally embodied the Crusades' violent streak. She marched into many an alcohol-serving tavern, wielding a hatchet. Nation described herself as “a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what He doesn’t like.” This episode of Criminal, the acclaimed true crime podcast hosted by Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer, is not to be missed.
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"Chicken Pills: A Hidden World of Jamaican Girls"
The Kitchen Sisters Present

At some point, you've probably felt the pressure to model yourself against a certain standard of beauty surreptitiously emphasized in songs, ads, and pop culture. In Jamaica in the '90s, some women took an extreme route to plumping their body, and achieving the ideal proportions. They ingested chicken pills, hormones used to fatten chicken breasts and thighs. This fascinating episode looks into the lengths women will go to achieve mandated standards of beauty.
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"Black Women Are For Grown Ups"
Two Dope Queens

It's Jessica Williams' birthday on this episode of Two Dope Queens, and it's a party. "Black Women Are For Grown Ups" encapsulates all that makes Two Dope Queens so great. It's a celebration of friendship between two funny women who, miraculously, invite all of us to join in on their friendship. The episode features the usual three standup-comic format, but peppers in a special warmth because of William's birthday festivities.
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"Miss Manhattan"
99% Invisible

If you've been to Manhattan, you've seen her. Audrey Munson is all over the city: On a stone bed on 107th and Broadway, atop a fountain on 59th Street, or in 30 statues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Munson was the most popular artist's model in the United States for some time, and her likeness has been rendered eternal. But her identity, and her life? These details haven't persisted. "Miss Manhattan" introduces you to Munson as she was – an anonymous girl scouted on the streets, a collaborative model who worked closely with artists, a struggling actress, a woman embroiled in a murder scandal, and finally a mental patient in a small town in upstate New York.
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"Women in the World"
The Moth

Each episode of The Moth is like a round-table of voices around a certain fixed topic. The podcast is comprised of stories culled from the Moth's live story slams around the world. There are episodes that revolve entirely around hair, and others about the idea of progress. But this very special episode gathers stories of women from all countries, and all ages.
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"Majd’s Diary: Two Years in the Life of a Saudi Girl"
Radio Diaries

When Majd is 19, she begins recording snippets of her thoughts, and interviews with her friends and family. She wants to become a scientist, specializing in genetics. But Majd lives in Saudi Arabia, one of the most restrictive countries in the world for women. So in addition to pursuing her dreams (and practicing karate), she also fends off marriage proposals and mandates from her family to be a certain way. Majd is honest and endearing, and is a fascinating lens into the culture of Saudi Arabia, as well as the universality of the hunger and ambition of the late teens, early 20s.
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"No"
The Heart

Since October 2017, we've been collectively seized by a discussion of the word "no." Can "no" be expressed with the body, or must it be uttered? And what does it mean if "no" is cajoled into "maybe?" The Heart, a podcast that typically features vignettes about love and sex, delved boldly into this discussion with its series called – appropriately — "No." The podcast's creative director, Kaitlin Prest, volunteered to examine her own sexual history, and the transgressions that haunt her, over a four-part series.
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"Roxane Gay"
Pop Culture Happy Hour

The author and cultural critic Roxane Gay is a welcome voice of truth and reason in her books, and of course on Twitter. Interviews with Gay abound, but the one she had with Linda Holmes of Pop Culture Happy Hour at the National Book Festival stands out as being being particularly illuminating. Gay admits how exhausting the publicity tour for her memoir, Hunger, has been, and opens up about the strange experience of being a public figure.
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"I, I, I, Him"
Invisibilia

Each episode of Invisibilia is a fascinating deep dive into emotions, frames of mind, thought patterns — essentially, the structure of our minds. But "I, I, I, Him," the first episode of Season 3, is particularly riveting because of how personal it becomes. Host Hanna Rosin interviews her mother, a 74-year-old widow with a dream of jumping out of an airplane for a reason that will break your heart, and give you respect for the generousness of the heart.
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"Spanx: Sara Blakely"
How I Built This

When Sara Blakely was 27, aimless, and selling fax machines, she came up with the idea that revolutionized shapewear: Undergarments that weren't meant to be seen, but rather meant to affect the way clothing hung. But she wasn't an entrepreneur, and she didn't know how to sew. In this fascinating episode, Blakely tells the story of how she actualized this idea with $5,000 in savings, during a time when women entrepreneurs weren't taken seriously. Eventually, Blakely became a billionaire. Perhaps her story will inspire you follow your own wild ideas, and see where they lead.
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