OUR FAVOURITE EPISODES THIS MONTH:
As an avid lover of cooking shows on tv, at first I was really skeptical about what I would think of food on the radio. Milk Street Radio is co-hosted by Christopher Kimball, formerly of America’s Test Kitchen. As someone with a long history of explaining food, he makes even learning how to make better rice an enjoyable experience.
In this episode, he speaks with Naomi DuGuid, who went on a journey across Georgia, Armenia, and Iran to learn about Persian cooking. Learning about the ways that she went into strangers' homes and got them to share with her was really great, and gave me some food for thought when I'm out speaking with people in the future
- Lilly Crown, Producer
This episode will make you completely re-think and re-evaluate your understanding of the infamous “grey area.” The 4-part podcast mini-series, simply (or not-so-simply) titled “No,” was created by Prest and her genius team at The Heart. It distills some very complicated and hard-to-navigate conversations about sexual intimacy and consent between men and women down to the rawest form a 4-part mini-series could possibly accomplish.
I cannot speak for every woman, but I can say that it spoke to me in ways that I’ve never had happen with a podcast. It is honest and visceral. At the end of each episode, I was left re-examining myself as a woman, as well as every past relationship I’ve ever had with a man. Yes. It’s that intense. Prest doesn’t pull any punches, so be ready to face some demons, whether they’re yours or those of someone else in your life.
The discussions and content may be graphic at times, depending on who is listening and what they are comfortable discussing in the way of sexual relationships and intimacy. It is also a mini-series more specifically geared towards heterosexual relationships, and the creators acknowledge this for reasons you’ll more fully understand near the end of the series.
That being said, any gender could theoretically identify with the issues discussed.
Overall, the team at The Heart do what they do best and more: They take what our society often considers a taboo or complicated topic, and they elevate it to higher ground through impeccable storytelling.
- Jaqueline Sofia, Producer
This season is phenomenal. If you just listen to one thing on this list, make this it – I’ve been texting and emailing and talking to friends about it non-stop since it’s been coming out. Producer Kaitlin Prest talks us through three personal stories about sexual consent – about times when it definitely wasn’t given, about times when it was, and about times when it wasn’t clear cut.
Whilst I definitely can’t reflect every man’s take-away from this, here’s mine. It made me re-evaluate a topic that I’d always thought of as black and white. It talks about a grey area that I’d never considered the existence of before. It’s not reductive, and it definitely doesn’t try to excuse men who have intentionally crossed a line, but it discusses it in a way which made me realise that confusion because of bad communication is probably much more common in everybody’s sex lives than we’re comfortable admitting. In simple terms, I guess I loved it because it discusses the nuances of power & consent in a way that isn’t black and white, and made me think more deeply about the issue. Aside from the wonderful storytelling and general audio loveliness, I think it’s just a super important resource for anybody, but particularly for men.
- Alex Atack, Producer
THIS IS ABOUT: KILLING IN THE NAME OF [Link contains graphic images]
This story from an Australian podcast (which I only just discovered!) recounts the story of a nightmarish Philippine theatre production that gets flagged by the UN for its horrifically violent and realistic content. The story is beautifully produced and told in this really gripping way. It’s like This American Life meets Battle Royale.
- Alex Atack, Producer
A teenager living in Kabul hatches an elaborate plan to convince a member of the Taliban to stop falling in love with his friend’s sister. A story about Afghanistan that you’ve definitely never heard. It’s hilarious and terrifying at the same time.
- Alex Atack, Producer
This podcast is for the Arabic speakers. Eib is a heavily loaded term, meaning "shame", "disgrace" or a form of judgement in Arabic. Eib by Sowt Podcasting tackles issues that are considered shameful by Arab society. In this episode, a young unmarried woman finds herself pregnant with a man she loves, taking the listener through the painful process of hiding her pregnancy and ultimately making the decision to get an abortion. This is an incredibly moving and powerful story.
-Razan Alzayani, Executive Producer