It must take nerves of steel to do a podcast. I’m not just talking about content and production, but just having a half decent voice that doesn’t make your listeners’ ears bleed or all the dogs in the road start barking. The first time you listen to a podcast there’s a bit of a Marmite moment isn’t there? It’s make or break time. The first time I listened to mass murder podcast All Killa No Filla I had an in between moment actually, where I’d had the speed set to x1.5 faster than it should have been (damn those post pregnancy sausage fingers) and wondered how long I’d be able keep listening. Turns out the answer was 7 episodes. That’s how long.
I stumbled across the Femcyclopedia Podcast on Twitter, and giving it a listen while I was doing awful drudgery (aka ironing) I immediately knew that I’d be able to give it a go. Its hosts Jo and Olivia are a couple of totally listenable, well-spoken English presenters and, as it turns out, sisters (hence their great rapport). It took me a couple of episodes to work that out but at least I was listening to them on the right speed.
What’s it about?
Women’s history – or rather women from history. Their timelines, their achievements, their victories and tragedies. And not just your Florence Nightingales and Catherine the Greats either (although top Russian horse-shagger is featured in one of the episodes). I’m talking women I’ve never heard of before – Queen Arawelo and Maggie Dickson for starters. As well as some of my favourite who might be lesser known in the general scheme of things like take-no-shit heroines Nanny of the Maroons and Violette Szabo. Expect tales of wartime heroics, working class history, royalty, spies, and plentiful Black history which makes a nice change.
Ja oder Nein
every episode has a little aside in the game Ja oder Nein – basically a little true or false game. I love this because my own sister and I very much like speaking in German accents (I mean, who doesn’t?) and this is exactly the kind of thing we’d do if we did a podcast and weren’t such idiots. Unfortunately though, my sister has a very busy and important job, is really competitive and bossy, and wouldn’t want to do a podcast with me. She is also the bigger idiot of the two of us. So I will leave Ja oder Nein to the Femcyclopedia sisters.
What you can expect
45 minutes, usually packing in two stories of women from history – including a toast to the memory of each – and a quick blast of Ja oder Nein. Well produced, funny at the right moments, informative, and well researched.