Womanica

Womanica

Thinking back to our history classes growing up, we had one question: Where the ladies at? Enter, Womanica. In just 5 minutes a day, learn about different incredible women from throughout history. On Wonder Media Network’s award-winning podcast, we’re telling the stories of women you may or may not know — but definitely should.

Episodes

June 14, 2024 4 mins

Laudomia (1515-unknown) is thought to be Italy's earliest lesbian writer and may have been one of the first women who had their poetry discussed in an open setting at a lecture. She wrote sonnets dedicated to other high society women. She also helped in the construction of  fortifications during the Siege of Siena.

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Sophia Parnok (1885-1933) was one of Russia's first openly lesbian poets. While she's not as known outside of Russia, she's an important figure in the queer community, and is often called “Russia's Sappho.”

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June 12, 2024 5 mins

Evelyn Irons (1900-2000) was a Scottish lesbian journalist. Known for her reporting on the frontlines throughout World War II, she became the first female war correspondent to be decorated with the French Croix de Guerre. 

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June 11, 2024 4 mins

Tove Jansson (1914-2001) was a Swedish-speaking Finnish author who wrote novels, children’s books, comics, magazine covers, political cartoons, and even greeting cards. She is most known for creating The Moomins universe.

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June 10, 2024 6 mins

Qiu Miaojin (1969-1995) made waves in Taiwan when she published her groundbreaking novel “Notes of a Crocodile” — becoming the first ever “out” lesbian author in the country’s history. Though her career was cut short, her stories exploring queer identity and relationships have made a long-lasting impact around the world. 

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June 7, 2024 5 mins

Silvina Ocampo (1903-1993) was an Argentinian short story writer, poet, and artist. She has published poetry books, novels, and short story collections. Never having found a wide readership, she is considered “the best-kept secret of Argentine letters.” 

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June 6, 2024 6 mins

Anita Cornwell (1923-2023) made history as the first Black woman writer to openly identify as a lesbian in her published essays. From the 1950s to the 1980s, she wrote passionately about Black power and Black lesbian identity in magazines like Negro Digest, The Ladder, and Feminist Review

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June 5, 2024 5 mins

Barbara May Cameron (1954-2002) was an indigenous Two-Spirit activist who spent her life organizing and advocating for LGBTQIA+ Native Americans, both locally and internationally. She was the co-founder of Gay American Indians, and she wrote a number of searing essays, critiquing the racism and homophobia she saw and experienced.

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June 4, 2024 5 mins

Rachel Pollack (1945-2023) was a transgender activist and writer who pioneered a modern, feminist understanding of tarot cards and created the first transgender superhero for DC comics.

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June 3, 2024 5 mins

Mary Renault (1905-1983) was a British writer best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece. She wrote both contemporary and historical fiction, which often featured either explicitly or implicitly queer characters. 

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May 31, 2024 7 mins

Addie L. Wyatt (1924-2012) was a civil rights activist, women’s rights activist, and one of the country’s foremost labor union leaders. As vice president of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union — the first Black woman to be elected to the position — she pushed for intersectionality in the labor movement.

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May 30, 2024 5 mins

Laudelina de Campos Melo (1904-1991) was a labor organizer in Brazil. She fought for the dignity of Black domestic workers during a time when they were seen as second-class citizens and afforded little to no rights. She created the first domestic workers organization in Brazil, which is still active today. 

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May 29, 2024 5 mins

Lusia Capetillo (1879-1922) was a Puerto Rican union organizer, reporter, and author who saw feminism and workers' rights as inseparable from one another. She fought for the intellectual and financial independence of women and encouraged education for the working class. She helped unionize workers in Puerto Rico, New York, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic and wrote three books on anarchism, feminism, and human rights. 

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Františka Plamínková (1875-1942) was a Czech teacher, organizer, and politician who dedicated her life to advancing women’s rights. She played a key role in winning women’s suffrage and served as a senator. She then opposed the Nazis, and ultimately was executed for her role in the underground resistance.

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May 27, 2024 7 mins

Hiratsuka Raichō (1886-1971) was a Japanese feminist and social reformer, who founded a literary magazine by and for women. After becoming a mother, she became an advocate for working women in Japan, fighting for suffrage and better working conditions. 

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May 24, 2024 5 mins

Rebecca Lukens (1794-1854) is known as the first female CEO in the United States. She ran Brandywine Iron Works and Nail Factory, successfully guiding it through a difficult economic recession and a rapidly industrializing workplace. 

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May 23, 2024 6 mins

Lucy Parsons (c.1851-1942) was an anti-capitalist labor organizer.. She founded the Wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World) and The International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), and advocated for the 8-hour workday.    

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May 22, 2024 6 mins

Clara Zetkin (1857-1933) was a prominent German Marxist theorist, activist, and advocate for women's rights. She played a pivotal role in the early socialist and communist movements, particularly in championing women's suffrage and equality. Zetkin also initiated International Women's Day, which is still celebrated globally today as a day of advocacy and solidarity for women's rights.

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May 21, 2024 6 mins

Florence Knoll Bassett (1917-2019) ushered in a new modern and sleek aesthetic for the American office during the postwar era. The pioneering architect and interior designer believed the design process should incorporate every element — from furniture textiles to artwork to doorknobs. Her work at Knoll Furniture brought us some of the most recognizable  furniture silhouettes from the modernist era — including the iconic “womb chair...

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May 20, 2024 4 mins

Mary Macarthur (1880-1921) was a trade unionist who fought for women workers. She founded the National Federation of Women’s Workers, helped pass the 1909 Trade Boards Act, which guaranteed a minimum wage for women workers, and led multiple strikes against employers who refused to pay their workers fairly. 

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