The Femtastic Podcast

The Femtastic Podcast

Katie Breen interviews feminist activists, researchers, and advocates working to make "women's issues"...well, non-issues. Femtastic explores issues of reproductive rights and health, progressive politics, gender equality, sexual violence, LGBTQ+ perspectives, racism, social justice, and more - examining topics through the lens of intersectional feminism and reproductive justice. We also laugh.... Show More

Episodes

March 2, 2021

In Femtastic's first-ever Spotlight Series, we focus this and the previous episode on bringing awareness to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) or Domestic Violence (DV).  

The months of COVID-associated isolation, fear, and economic anxiety have exacerbated IPV. In today's episode, we focus on emotional abuse, an equally (and as our guest argues, more) damaging type of abuse that can occur in all types of relationships, from...

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[TW: domestic violence, sexual assault, physical violence, emotional abuse]

A sad but true fact: more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the US will experience intimate partner violence (IPV). Half of all female homicides are from a current or past male intimate partner. And these are just the estimates we have among cisgender people and those who report their abuse. But with the compounded stress and isolation of COVID-19, IPV ...

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Although the country has justifiably turned its attention to the COVID-19 crisis, maternal mortality remains a public health crisis.The maternal mortality rate in the United States is higher than any other high-income nation. Approximately 60% of maternal deaths are preventable. Inexcusably, women of color are disproportionately impacted by this crisis. Black women experience mortality as a result of complications of pregnancy ...
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Lord knows people have LOTS of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. So it's time to get them answered! 

On the podcast today is Stanford MD/PhD candidate Maria Filsinger Interrante, an expert in vaccine research and development! Femtastic host Katie Breen (who herself has a Master of Public Health from Harvard) asks Maria all of the most frequently asked questions and concerns about the vaccine. Is it safe? Was it "rushed?...

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Ever feel like you have no idea what to make of the media's coverage of China? How do we separate truth from xenophobia?  What does it mean to be "tough on China?" And how do we look beyond news reports and politics to see the nuance inherent in a nation of 1.4 billion? 

This episode of Femtastic features Dori Jones Yang, an expert who has spent her entire career helping Americans better understand China.

Dori helps us ...

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After the execution of George Floyd earlier this year, Black entrepreneur, mother, and activist Lydia Elle found herself answering lots of questions from the white women in her social circles. They wanted to know how to teach their kids about racism, how to understand the world of parenting through the eyes of a Black mother, how to raise anti-racist kids, and how to talk about racism to their friends and family. Eventually, these...

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Imagine if you could easily get your birth control over-the-counter, just as you do with other safe, effective medicines like Tylenol and cough drops. Today's guest is Aisha Chaudhri, a reproductive justice advocate and leader of the Contraceptive Justice Project at EverThrive Illinois, who is working to increase access to comprehensive contraceptive care - including by making oral contraceptives available without a prescripti...

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Robyn Gigl is a transgender attorney and activist focused on protecting and expanding the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. In this interview with Katie Breen, Robyn describes the impact the Trump administration and recent Supreme Court rulings had on LGBTQ+ rights and discrimination protections, and what she sees as the legal (and political) challenges and opportunities ahead as we head into the Biden administration. Robyn d...

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In the wake of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death and Trump's nomination of judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the resulting vacancy...we have a lot to discuss.

Lawyer Kimya Forouzan revisits Femtastic to talk to host Katie Breen about the significance of Amy Coney Barrett's nomination. What are her potential paths to appointment? Is there anything we can do about it? Why is her role on the court so concern...

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How do we change not only the stereotypes of who is a scientist, but the systems themselves that have created and perpetuated these stereotypes? Katie discusses with the hosts of the Webby-nominated Dope Labs podcast, Drs. Titi Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley. 

Dope Labs isn't your typical science podcast because Titi and Zakiya are not your "typical" scientists. In fact, these two black women scientists are on a mission to ...

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The Supreme Court of the United States just released long-awaited decisions on two highly consequential reproductive rights cases. In June Medical Services v. Russo, the court weighed in on whether states can enact a specific type of sham law to limit access to abortion care (TLDR; they said not *that* type of law but others might be cool). In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, the court decided whether your (yes, your) pr...

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Amidst all of the COVID-19 news, one thing you may have missed: anti-choice lawmakers have been seizing upon the opportunity to use coronavirus as an excuse to enact abortion restrictions. Femtastic host Katie Breen speaks with Ravina Daphtary of abortion rights organization All* Above All about the methods lawmakers have been using to use COVID-19 policies to restrict abortion access. They also discuss how the issues of racial inj...

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In the wake of #MeToo and several high-profile sexual harassment cases in the news, many of us are left wondering...what can we do if we think we're the victim of sexual harassment or gender discrimination at work? What options do we have? How do we protect ourselves AND our careers? Attorney Vince White joins Femtastic Podcast to help guide us through these questions. White is a partner at a NYC law firm specializing in sexual...

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Sometimes, your kids get on your nerves. But how parents respond in those situations is incredibly important to their children's development and their own mental health as parents. Hunter Clarke-Fields is a mindfulness mentor, host of the Mindful Mama podcast, and author of the new book "Raising Good Humans." In an interview with Femtastic host Katie Breen, Hunter shares how parents can teach themselves practical mindf...

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Caitlin Blunnie started publishing her art as @liberaljane on Instagram in 2016. She has since gained a huge following by creating art that serves as (literally) colorful social commentary on issues of bodily autonomy such as abortion rights, queer liberation, and justice for survivors of sexual trauma.

Katie Breen interviews Caitlin on Femtastic to discuss how she got involved in "art as activism," what inspires her, h...

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Katie Breen interviews Farah Melendes, the first-ever Political Director for the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA). As the head of campaign services for the organization in 2018, Farah supported DAGA’s success flipping four AG seats blue, keeping eight open seats blue, and reelecting six incumbents. On the podcast, she discusses how DAGA succeeded in electing the most diverse group of Democratic AGs in history, their ...

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Hendrika de Vries lived in Amsterdam during five years of Nazi occupation during World War II. On the podcast, she tells the story of how her idyllic childhood changed overnight when the Nazis began their occupation in 1940. Her strong, determined mother risked their lives by hiding a Jewish girl in their home - until Nazis kicked down their door and dragged the girl out from her hiding place at gun-point, sending her off to a conc...

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October 21, 2019 36 min

Meika Hollender is the co-founder and president of Sustain, a brand of all-natural, vagina-friendly period and sexual wellness products.  Meika chats with Femtastic's Katie Breen about what made her want to start what was initially a condom company, how she is motivated by "the orgasm gap" in male vs. female sexual pleasure, and why it's so important that the products we put into the most absorbent parts of our bodi...

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In honor of Mental Health Awareness Week, Femtastic discusses how trauma can impact lives in the long term.

PTSD used to be thought of as a "soldier's disease," but in 2019 it's finally getting recognition as an ailment that can affect anyone who has been through an extremely stressful life event.

Katie speaks with Karen Stefano, author of the memoir What a Body Remembers: Sexual Assault and its Aftermath. Karen tel...

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September 23, 2019 30 min

Marika Lindholm is one of the editors of a new anthology “We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor." The book chronicles the journeys of more than 75 solo moms from a variety of diverse backgrounds: some are single parents by choice, some by circumstance, some gay, some widowed...you get the picture. It even includes a story from Amy Poehler! Katie interviews Marika about the ways that it's both easier AND ju...

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