show episodes
 
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.
 
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show series
 
We've heard a lot about the hypothetical harm of Texas' incredibly restrictive abortion bill, SB8, and how it is a glimpse into a post-Roe future. But we wanted to talk to someone on the ground in Texas who is seeing firsthand the impact this bill is having on Texans seeking abortions. We're joined on the podcast today by Zaena Zamora, Executive Di…
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven up unemployment among women, and the situation is even worse for women of color. Between a lack of affordable childcare, women's caregiving roles in the home, and the fact that women disproportionately work in sectors negatively impacted by the pandemic, the short-term and long-term implications of the pandemic's ef…
 
As the topic of abortion rights is in the courts and in the press lately, one thing that we often miss is the question of what it actually means to have the choice of whether to obtain an abortion. Aside from whether abortion is actually legal where you live, what other barriers may exist that may prevent someone from being able to choose abortion …
 
In the midst of nationwide abortion restrictions, one topic receiving a lot of attention is the idea of “mail-order” or telemedicine abortion. Previous Femtastic episodes have covered what medication abortion is and how you can access it in all 50 states through various channels. Today, we are talking to Hey Jane, one company providing telemedicine…
 
medical research gap: a disparity that exists because the vast majority of biological literature is based on single sex studies of males of European ancestry. Did you know that it wasn't until 1993 that it was required for women to be included in clinical trials? Or that as of 2018, 78% of people included in key genomic research were of European an…
 
Enid Zentellis thought she knew everything about her Holocaust-surviving, Olympic swimming-qualifying, nudist Hungarian grandmother. But when she discovered that she might have also been a spy for the Allies, it not only caused her to reconsider WWII history, it helped lift her out of her personal grief and helped to understand the power of individ…
 
Today on the podcast is Kacie Willis, creator of the podcast “You Heard Me Write," a Spotify Studios production. Kacie is an arts advocate who brings together Atlanta-based creatives from different disciplines and backgrounds through art. The series has amassed wide popularity, recently trending on Spotify because of its wildly creative, immersive …
 
This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the American Birth Control League, and while we've come a long way since then, fierce battles for reproductive rights are still being waged today. Today’s interview is with Planned Parenthood's North Central States CEO Sarah Stoesz, a fierce advocate of over 20 years who has been fighting …
 
After decades of pursuing public health policies to reduce unintended pregnancies in South Carolina, New Morning President & CEO Bonnie Kapp had a bold idea. What if we made birth control available at little to no cost in every community, in every county, for every person with a uterus in South Carolina, regardless of health insurance coverage? Wha…
 
Did you know that childcare is now more expensive than college in 33 states? While parenthood is beautiful, there's no need to go into it blind. If you're planning to start a family, now is the time to start planning for the financial costs of child-rearing, both from the perspective of short-term, monthly cash-flow and the long-term implications t…
 
On September 1, Texas enacted S.B. 8, an outrageous abortion ban that not only amounts to an effective total ban on abortions, but creates a bizarre bounty hunter situation where anyone can sue another person for assisting someone who has an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy - and be rewarded with $10,000 plus attorney fees if they succeed. In …
 
While women make up half the population, you may have noticed that women's health is treated like a niche category. Today on the podcast to talk about innovation (or the historical lackthereof) in women's health is Amanda French, co-founder and CEO of Emme, a healthcare technology company that wants to bring birth control out of the 1950s. Emme rec…
 
While accepting her Academy Award for Best Actress in 2018, Frances McDormand shouted out a word that set the internet aflutter: Inclusion Rider. In a 2019 Femtastic Oscars Edition podcast, Katie interviewed one of the co-authors of the inclusion rider, law partner in civil rights and employment, Kalpana Kotagal, to introduce us to the concept. An …
 
As the cannabis industry is booming and on the precipice of federal legalization, it must figure out how it will traverse and address racial and gender equity in its workforce. While folks who have been incarcerated for non-violent cannabis offenses are overwhelmingly people of color, those getting funding and attention in the legalized cannabis in…
 
Medication abortion, or "the abortion pill," is an incredibly safe method of abortion that can be used up to about the first 11 weeks of pregnancy. Many people prefer this method to an in-clinic abortion due to the lower cost and the ability to manage the pregnancy termination to a large extent at home, on their own terms - but there's plenty of st…
 
On March 22, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that prohibited procedures that were not "medically necessary," claiming that this would preserve personal protective equipment and reduce demands on hospital-based care. Despite the fact that abortion rarely occurs in hospitals, Att…
 
Today on the podcast is Jo Tolley, an advocate for disability, equity, and diversity. As someone who uses a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, Jo spent most of her life running from the label of “disabled.” In the past few years, she has decided to embrace her disability to become an advocate to change our perceptions around disability from being a …
 
On May 17, 2021, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case out of Mississippi that would that ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Depending on how the court rules on this case (and given the conservative make-up, it's not looking good), Roe v. Wade could either be entirely overturned or…
 
We all know the term "work-life balance," but where do relationships and intimacy fit in? And what about during a global pandemic when stress - especially for working parents - is at an all-time high? Today on the podcast is Naketa Ren Thigpen, psychotherapist, founder of ThigPro Balance and Relationship Management Institute, and fabulous host of t…
 
CONTENT WARNING: Sexual assault, suicide, suicidal ideation, depression, institutional silencing What happens when the trauma of sexual assault extends beyond the event itself? What happens when an academic institution that is meant to protect its students ends up perpetuating further harm? On today’s episode, Katie interviews an anonymous guest wh…
 
What we see in movies and TV impacts our cultural understanding and normalization of topics - and abortion is no different. That's why every year a team of researchers at UCSF's Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) analyzes and reports on film and TV portrayals of abortion. Today on the podcast is Steph Herold, a researcher with …
 
You may have heard that poorer countries across the globe are not going to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine for a loooong time. If you live in a rich country, why should that matter to you? The short answer: because the pandemic can't truly end in one place if it doesn't end in all places. Oh, and also because it's the right thing to do. Today o…
 
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) …
 
[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…
 
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 cr…
 
Have you wondered what sorts of legal protections you have in the face of life's new COVID complexities? COVID-19 has impacted all facets of life where some legal know-how would be useful: in housing and leasing, student loans, travel and weddings, workplace accommodations, and more. Renowned celebrity attorney, comedian, host of the podcast "Girl …
 
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…
 
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 …
 
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-raci…
 
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 contracepti…
 
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) challen…
 
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 th…
 
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" sc…
 
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 Litt…
 
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…
 
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 thr…
 
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 Kat…
 
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 t…
 
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 D…
 
The Student Coalition for Reproductive Justice (SCRJ) exists to advocate for the reproductive needs of students at Catholic colleges and universities. Katie interviews SCRJ co-founders Lauren Morrissey and Christina Frasik about the ways in which Catholic colleges limit students' reproductive health and freedoms. Learn how SCRJ mobilizes students o…
 
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 a…
 
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 importan…
 
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 memo…
 
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…
 
Katie interviews Maddy Sands about the struggles that new parents encounter with breastfeeding—and how the solution to the problem is a community one. Breastfeeding is described as the “most natural thing in the world,” but many parents come home from the hospital to find it’s not the innate skill it was billed as—and our lack of discussion of how …
 
Prior to the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, abortion was illegal in the United States. The court's ruling was, in part, influenced by the hundreds of women dying yearly from dangerous, illegal abortions. A discussion of the hazards of outlawing abortion is unfortunately timely, as a spate of recent abortion bans in the United States me…
 
Katie speaks with Jenna Brown, the queer doula behind Love Over Fear Wellness & Birth. They discuss what it means to doula for queer folks, what clinical and personal challenges queer pregnant people may encounter in the birth process, and ways that healthcare workers (and really, all of us!) can better care for queer parents. Jenna provides fantas…
 
Katie Breen speaks with digital health expert, Katie McMillan, about what exactly is "FemTech" and why you should know about it. If you are someone who has biologically female body parts, you might benefit from the huge array of new FemTech products and services out there that can help you to better understand, control, and manage your health - whe…
 
In this special Oscar's edition of the Femtastic podcast, Katie speaks to law partner in civil rights and employment, Kalpana Kotagal, about one of the most Googled terms following last year's Oscars: inclusion rider. Kalpana - one of the co-authors of the inclusion rider - discusses what an inclusion rider is, how it works to increase diversity in…
 
Have you heard of egg freezing? Katie talks to Jenny Lannon, co-founder of Freeze.Health, a resource that helps women decide if, when, and how to freeze their eggs. Maybe you aren't ready to get pregnant now because you're focusing on your career, or you haven't found the right partner yet, or you have an illness that can affect your fertility. Egg…
 
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