Every year on International Women's Day, social news feeds burst into angry discussions on how unfair it is to celebrate such a day when there is not an equivalent one for men. The fact is that there is one for men (19 November) but that’s beside the point. The date, 8 March, is associated with a historical anniversary: it marks the suffragettes’ victory in Soviet Russia. On the other hand, a ‘day’ for women also sounds like a terrible consolation prize in a world in which the rules are made by men. Is that unpleasant to hear? Would you like to respond by pointing out the myriad ways in which I am failing as a feminist? Good news, I found a podcast that does that already.
The Guilty Feminist is, and has to be, one of the most enlightening and must-listen podcasts out there. Hosted by female comedians (no, they are not mythical creatures), the podcast allows us to take a step back and embrace the numerous ways in which all of us are bound to the unforgiving wheel of patriarchy that dictates our behaviours.
This show breaks every single stereotype thrown at marching women
I feel that it is important to explicitly mention here that the podcast is incredibly funny. Feminists are often branded as hysterical, angry women without the capacity to be quirky, feminine or non-polemic (not that any of the latter qualities are particularly goal-worthy). Yet, this show breaks every single stereotype thrown at marching women (figurative and literal) with a finesse so honest that it is almost overwhelming.
Many of the episodes explore controversial topics such as nudity, anger, porn etc. with other feminist guest comedians that are involved in these fields. These are much needed discussions since they explore the hypocrisies perpetuated by the media, hashtag trends, and even by themselves.
Every episode begins with a set of confessions by the hosts, "I‘m a feminist BUT ...", that elicits laughter, cringing or sometimes both. It's an excellent way to have one’s perspective put in place. For perhaps the first step in becoming a good feminist is to recognise that you may currently be a bad one. They then proceed to share their experiences after adopting a feminist challenge for the week that attempts to overcome one of their insecurities. These challenges include having entire conversations without unnecessarily apologising, making the internet a kinder place by reasoning with anti-feminist trolls, or experimenting with hyper-feminine or hyper-masculine clothes etc.
Overall, the show provides us with what many of us are looking for: a cornerstone from where we can become aware of the self-effacing habits we have unfortunately imbibed growing up. It allows us to take stock of how we speak, how we silently accept daily injustices and perhaps, as women, how blind we are to our own double-standards. If the ‘F' word has always embarrassed you, here’s a narrative that will change your perception. 10/10.
Pooja Ramakrishnan, Master of Environmental Engineering student, is a science student during the day and a poet by night. She balances the two with her curiosity and fascination for the world we live in.