Podcasts are a beautiful thing, but there is only so much of Ira Glass’ nasal story-telling out there. Expand your podcast horizons with five kick-ass podcasts that also happen to be led by some equally kick-ass women.
Call Your Girlfriend with Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, produced by the equally lovely Gina Delvac
SO GOOD. This is probably the best podcast in the known universe, and I might be underselling it here. There is no way to describe this podcast other than to urge you to please go listen. To all of them. Ann and Aminatou are two “long distance besties” who turn on their mics and catch up every other week. They discuss current events, Beyonce, and feature a This Week in Menstruation segment that is exactly as wonderful as it sounds.
Favorite Episodes: All of them. Start from the beginning and go through the whole archive. Like right now. Throw some Goldfish at your children and call in sick to work. Seriously. It’s that good.
Professor Blastoff with Tig Notaro (also Kyle Dunnigan and David Huntsberger, but Tig is in the middle of all the promotional pictures, so we know what’s up)
Unless you’re okay with side-eye at the gym, don’t listen to this one in public. This podcast doesn’t make me laugh, it makes me cackle. The ugly witch-like laughter that eventually devolves into a soundless wheeze and probably a stroke if I’m not careful. Tig is one of my favorite stand-up comics, and this podcast of hers is just as great. The guests are always incredible, and although they tend to talk about anything but the topic in the title, you’ll never regret listening.
Favorite Episode: Episode 200 is titled “Advice with Molly Ringwald." I don’t think I need to tell you anything else.
This one has a variety of episodes and contributors, and all of the content is engaging and thoughtful. I love their Popaganda series, which takes elements of pop culture and gives them a feminist spin. This is definitely the smartest of the podcasts on this list, but it isn’t stuffy or intimidating at all. Just awesome ladies sharing awesome ideas.
Favorite Episodes: The “Sci-Fi” and “Liberal Problems” episodes are both fantastic and really great representations of what the rest of the episodes are like.
Stuff You Missed In History Class with Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey
Everything the How Stuff Works folks put out is great, but this one is definitely my favorite. Tracy and Holly delve into the parts of history left unexamined, which obviously includes a lot of women.
Favorite Episodes: Jane Austen in all of her glorious sass and contented singledom. That, and “The Dark Legacy of Sea Monkeys”— there are Nazis involved. Anti-Semitic brine shrimp: the more you know.
Box Social Podcast with Catherine McCormick
This rambly little podcast is hilarious. By little I mean tiny — not enough people know about this lady. Catherine invites friends over to her apartment and chats with them for a while. Then she puts it online. That’s really all this is, and that’s all it needs to be.
Favorite episode: “Teacher’s Pet” with Danz Altvater is so adorably sweet and funny. Danz and Catherine are engaged, and their banter is too cute to handle.
There is also this great bonus interview Catherine did with RookieMag. A long read very worth your while.
That’s my top 5. What’s yours?