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Playlist: Women's Issues

Compiled By: KUNM

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Women, Vengeance, and Justice: Elizabeth Flock, THE FURIES. Plus, Stephen Robert Miller, OVER THE SEAWALL

From Francesca Rheannon | 59:20

We talk with Elizabeth Flock about her book, The Furies. It follows three remarkable women — in the US, in India and in Syria — who took justice into their own hands to defend themselves, other women and their communities against abuse.

Then, environmental journalist Stephen Robert Miller tells us about his book, Over The Seawall: Tsunamis, Cyclones, Drought, And The Delusion Of Controlling Nature. He dives into the deep end of disaster mitigation gone wrong. From Arizona’s drought dilemmas to Japan’s daunting seawalls, we hear how “solutions” can turn into bigger problems.


The Furies: Women, Vengeance & Justice

In Ancient Greek mythology, the Furies were Goddesses who came out of the ground to exact vengeance on men. In the plays of Sophocles, they were the daughters of Darkness and of Gaea (The Earth). According to Euripides. They were three in number. 

And that’s the number of the modern day Furies in Elizabeth Flock’s book, The Furies. They include a young mother from Alabama who shot and killed her rapist after an assault where he threatened to kill her; a Dalit (what used to be called “Untouchable”) woman in India who organized a band of women to fight back against gender-based violence; and finally, a Kurdish Syrian warrior in a thousands-strong all-female militia that battled ISIS in Syria.

The Furies explores these women’s lives with nuance and compassion, not shrinking from the moral issue of responding to violence with violence, but also showing that these ultimately ordinary women did what they felt they had to do to fight back against oppression.

About the Author

Elizabeth Flock is an Emmy Award–winning journalist whose work has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Atlantic, among other outlets. She is the host of the podcast Blind Plea, about criminalized survival. Her first book, The Heart Is a Shifting Sea, won a Nautilus Book Award.

Unintended Consequences of Climate & Disaster Mitigation

Stephen Robert Miller’s compelling narrative Over the Sea Wall takes us on a journey through the misguided attempts at mitigating natural and climate disasters, emphasizing how our best-intended efforts can backfire and lead to greater problems. In this conversation with the author, we explore the themes of maladaptation, technological interventions, and the pressing need for sustainable solutions in the face of climate change.

Two of the examples in Over The Seawall feature responses to climate disruption: one is a cautionary tale about Arizona’s flawed attempts to save its water supplies as climate change causes mega droughts in the Southwest. The other is a positive example of how communities in Bangla Desh are countering the impact of increased floods. The third example is the source of the book’s title: it’s about Japan’s ham-fisted response to the tsunami of 2011, which killed nearly 20,000 people. 

About the Author

Stephen Robert Miller is an award-winning science journalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic, The Guardian, Discover Magazine, Audubon, and many others. He was a Ted Scripps Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism.

Retrieved [A Women's History Month Special]: Egg Donors Share Their Stories

From Embodied | Part of the Embodied - Specials series | 58:23

Egg donation in the U.S. is a multibillion dollar industry designed to provide infertile folks with the eggs they need to conceive. But how do we decide what human eggs are worth — and how do the characteristics of the donor factor into the equation?


When Julie Ventura’s best friends sat her down and asked her if she would be interested in being their egg donor, she was shocked. Out of all the people they could have asked, why would they want her eggs? Although she knew little about the process, she wanted to help her friends, to give them the opportunity to build the family they’d dreamed of. She said yes.

After a weeks-long process of daily shots that left her bloated and uncomfortable — and a less-than-smooth egg retrieval surgery that gave her a six-week stint of internal bleeding — Julie is now Aunt Julie to a pair of young twin girls. While she doesn’t regret her decision in the slightest, there was a lot she didn’t know about the process before she chose to donate. Host Anita Rao talks with Julie about the physical and emotional experience of donation, her unique position as a known donor and questions about potential long-term health risks. Julie is the founder of a nail artist training program called Nail KnowHow

Egg donor Claire Burns also joins Anita to talk about her own donation experience and her broader concerns with the industry as a whole, specifically around compensation for donors and a lack of medical studies on how donation affects the body. Claire is the co-founder of We Are Egg Donors, an online community and support group. She’s also a Canadian playwright, actor and advocate.

Plus, Anita meets Daisy Deomampo, associate professor of anthropology at Fordham University. Daisy has interviewed many donors about their experience, with a particular focus on the Asian American community and questions of race and value in egg donation.

Special thanks to Emily Arocha and Emily Derrick, members of We Are Egg Donors, for their contributions to this episode!

The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women - HERO Training Africa’s New Female Leaders

From Rob Sachs | 59:02

In this episode, we learn about two efforts to increase the number of women politicians in Africa. We begin with a surprising reality TV show in Kenya called “Ms President,” where millions of weekly viewers watched dozens of women compete to be the country’s next “head of state,” so to speak. Then, we hear about Nigerian efforts to get more women on the ballot in last year’s election and why they largely failed. Host Reena Ninan - founder of Good Trouble Productions. She is a television journalist who has worked as a White House correspondent, foreign reporter, and news anchor for CBS, ABC, and Fox News.



  • Reporting from Nairobi, Kenya, journalist Eunice Maina interviews Nereah Amondi Oketch, a contestant on a first-of-its-kind reality TV program called, “Ms President,” which tried to train women to be politicians. The nonprofit Media Focus in Africa produced the show, with funding from the European Union and UN Women, among others. The goal was to increase the number of women politicians in Kenya. 

  • Then, host Reena Ninan speaks with Nichole Grossman from American University. Grossman conducted dozens of interviews with women candidates who ran for office in Nigeria last year. These women ran with the main political party there, which had a big initiative to increase its female representation. And yet, they failed to deliver this promise. What Grossman learned from female candidates is eye opening – and gives a much fuller picture of what Nigerian politics is like for women. 

  • Finally, reporter Yecenu Sasetu talks to Honourable Kate Raymond Mamuno, who shares how she got elected as an assembly member in Nigeria, against the odds. This included help from a non-profit focused on influencing male voters, called Connected Development. 

027: Tapping your way to serenity: your brain and heart on ASMR, 3/15/2024

From Embodied | Part of the Embodied series | 58:23

If you’ve spent some time on TikTok or YouTube recently, you might have stumbled across ASMR content without even knowing it. From long acrylic nails tapping away on everyday objects to slow, soft whispers, ASMR content is a multifaceted and rapidly growing source of relaxation for millions. But what’s the science behind this brain-tingly phenomenon, and why do so many people love it?


If you ask Craig Harris Richard about his first experiences with ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, he’ll tell you about Bob Ross. As a kid, he’d turn on the legendary public television painter and fall into a deep state of relaxation with the help of Bob’s calming voice and the sound of his paintbrush moving across the canvas. With each stroke, Craig remembers experiencing a sparkly sensation in his brain, what he now knows to be the ASMR-induced “brain tingles.” 

Craig is one of the premiere researchers exploring the science behind ASMR. He is a professor of biopharmaceutical sciences at Shenandoah University and the host of two ASMR podcasts: “Sleep Whispers” and “Calm History.” Host Anita Rao talks with Craig about his research on what ASMR content does to our brains and his theories on why.

ASMR artist Semide also joins the conversation, sharing her love story with ASMR and more about what it is like to craft tingly-worthy content for her 300,000-plus subscribers. Semide is the creator of the popular ASMR YouTube channel Semide ASMR, where she does real person ASMR and medical roleplay. 

Anita rounds out the conversation talking with Laura Nagy about her experience turning to ASMR for comfort during a season of heartbreak. Laura is an Australian filmmaker, writer and producer, and she tells her ASMR story in full detail in the 2021 Audible Original podcast “Pillow Talk” that she created and hosted.

Special thanks to ASMR Em and XO Katie ASMR for contributing your tingle-worthy voices to this week's episode!

2024-01-07 Simone de Beauvoir

From Philosophy Talk | Part of the Philosophy Talk series | 53:59

The life and thought of the French feminist philosopher (born January 9, 1908).


Simone de Beauvoir is often cast as only a novelist or a mere echo of Jean-Paul Sartre. But she authored many philosophical texts beyond The Second Sex, and the letters between her and Sartre reveal that both were equally concerned with existentialist questions of radical ontological freedom, the issue of self-deception, and the dynamics of desire. This episode explores the evolution of de Beauvoir's existential-ethical thinking. In what sense did she find that we are all radically free? Are we always to blame for our self-deception or can social institutions be at fault? John and Ken sit down at the café with Shannon Mussett from Utah Valley University, co-editor of Beauvoir and Western Thought from Plato to Butler.

House/Full of Black Women

From The Kitchen Sisters | 53:27

For some eight years now, 34 Black women from the Bay Area — artists, scholars, midwives, nurses, an architect, an ice cream maker, a donut maker, a theater director, a choreographer, musicians, educators, sex trafficking abolitionists and survivors have gathered monthly around a big dining room table in Oakland, California. Meeting, cooking, dancing, strategizing — grappling with the issues of eviction, gentrification, well-being and sex trafficking that are staring down their community, staring down Black women in America.

Housefull-radiospecial_small Welcome to House/Full of Black Women, a new hour-long special from The Kitchen Sisters, Ellen Sebastian Chang, Sital Muktari & PRX.

For some eight years now, 34 Black women from the Bay Area — artists, scholars, midwives, nurses, an architect, an ice cream maker, a donut maker, a theater director, a choreographer, musicians, educators, sex trafficking abolitionists and survivors have gathered monthly around a big dining room table in Oakland, California. Meeting, cooking, dancing, strategizing — grappling with the issues of eviction, gentrification, well-being and sex trafficking that are staring down their community, staring down Black women in America.

Across these years House/Full has created a series of performances and activations — street processions, street interventions, all-night song circles, historical narratives, parking lot ceremonies, rituals of resting and dreaming.

This House/Full Radio Special was inspired by the House/Full of BlackWomen project conceived and choreographed by Amara Tabor-Smith and co-directed by Ellen Sebastian Chang and an evolving collective of Black women artists and features interviews with sex trafficking abolitionists, personal stories of growing up in the Bay Area, music, Black women dreaming, resisting, insisting.

With Support From: The Creative Work Fund, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Kaleta Doolin Foundation, The Texas Women’s Foundation, Susan Sillins, listener contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions & PRX.

House/Full of Black Women is part of The Keepers series produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) in collaboration with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton and mixed by Jim McKee.

House/Full of Black Women. Pull up a chair. Take a listen.