In the middle of the night in a sleep deprived stupor, I stumbled upon a gem of a podcast called the History Chicks. The hosts Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider release podcasts twice a month featuring a woman in history and all the facts, rumors, and context of her life. They thoroughly present information in episodes that last about 40 minutes to an hour. Just like the history we all learned in primary school, we learn about time periods, significant events, and intriguing stories, but now, women are not only present in the conversation, they are in the spotlight. Craziness!
I’ve learned a lot and been inspired by not only some of the women in the stories, but also by the realization that women have never shrunk quietly into the background no matter how much history text may suggest their inconsequentiality. Ida B. Wells, Marie Curie, Abigail Adams, and Queen Elizabeth? Strong, determined women who stretched their limits and the limits of their time. Lizzie Borden and Mrs. Astor? A little bit disconcerting, but still fascinating. I am addicted, and you would be hard pressed to find a story that is easy to forget.
Beckett and Susan dish out the facts like they are the juicy details of a story they just heard. They get really into whichever woman they are talking about, sometimes to the point of sticking up for her and becoming outraged at the hardships she had to overcome or the people who wronged her. If you like Drunk History, you will probably like this podcast too. The show is a great cross of education and entertainment. Also, it is part of the vital feminist effort that shines light on those that powerful figures and common culture of the time overshadowed and left behind.
Click here to check it out or find it on your podcast phone app.