dr chloe warren is a science writer, writer writer, mc, occasional comedian, and guinea pig appreciator.

Alex: my argumentative, poetic, patriarchy-smashing PodPal

Alex: my argumentative, poetic, patriarchy-smashing PodPal

Who is Alex?

Alex is a poet, journalist, environmentalist and feminist. She’s also the host of a number of different community group events across Newcastle (Awesome Newcastle, Heart Open and Word Hurl Anti-Slam) – she makes things happen!

Alex and her partner Josh’s favourite pastime is robust discussion. Not surprisingly, Alex has some strong opinions, but she’s fascinated by other people’s perspectives, too. She writes a lot about beauty standards and feminism, and even established her own campaign, “No Makeup Nofember” to encourage women to shake up the status-quo and also to raise money for One Girl.

Alex likes wine, dancing, yoga, and socialising. She’s a self-confessed social media addict and she sometimes worries she can spread herself a little thin IRL too. Alex shares in my sentiment that it’s not really fair that we only get one life – there’s just so much awesome stuff to do and people to meet!

What should Alex be listening to?

Ladies, We Need To Talk

Straight out of the Australian Podcast Awards, Ladies, We Need To Talk is smashing out their second season and continuing to boldly go where no major women’s platform has gone before. I’m talking period sex. I’m talking masturbation. I’m talking women choosing not to be their child’s primary caregiver. Cop it.

This an ABC production so obviously it’s beautifully crafted. Each episode manages to sustain a consistent narrative whilst still being committed to the intertwining of multiple perspectives and opinions. Indeed, the entire series actually follows an overarching journey of self-discovery of its host, Yumi Stynes, with the first series ending with a somewhat shocking revelation on her part.

I love that the podcasting has provided a way for the ABC to provide ‘taboo’ (pssht.) content without triggering some of the country’s less…progressive...listeners. Ya can’t complain about what you don’t know how to download, hey old dino-mates?

Alex should listen because …. she is a feminist, but also a woman. Actually, not just because she is a woman, but because she’s a person.

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Science Vs

Oh so you like robust discussion do you Alex? Have a taste of this podcast and get yourself some ammo for your next lively brawl.

Originally created for the ABC by science journo Wendy Zuckerman, this podcast made the jump state-side a few years ago and is now hosted by Gimlet media. Despite this, they’ve managed to avoid being overly Americanised (think shouty adverts and click bait episode titles) and the premise and delivery of the podcast remains mostly the same, but I’m pretty sure with a larger budget. (They are always on the road! All over the country! And it’s a big country!)

Each episode takes a different topic (varying in science-y-ness and also controversy) and pits the opinions and fads against the facts.

I love this podcast because I’m a science writer and unofficial science philosopher - and Science Vs gets science journalism SO RIGHT. (apart from maybe reliance on the word “fact”, but let’s not go down that rabbit hole) Coverage of complicated scientific issues is…complicated. But this podcast takes a step-wise and logical approach to tackling some pretty hectic issues.

If the idea of a science podcast is unappealing, start yourself off with the episodes on gun control, abortion and immigration – then I’m pretty sure you’ll be just about addicted enough to want to hear the rest.

Alex should listen because…the best kind of arguments are the ones that you win with science.

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Unladylike

I will admit that I have only listened to one episode of this one but it came highly recommended by another great podcast, The Longest Shortest Time.

Unladylike did a guest feature on LST a few weeks back and it’s made itself at home in my subscriptions pretty much immediately. Hosts Cristen and Caroline offered up a sneak preview of sorts, and I loved was their self-awareness and humility (also sense of humour!). They shared how listener feedback on an episode featuring domestic workers had led to them completely revising their perspective, and to jumping straight back into the topic with their eyes opened. Intersectionality in action! What a great way to own up to making mistakes and, more importantly, taking strides to fix them.

Alex should listen because…I know she loves a good old fashioned bra burning.

How about a wildcard?

While Alex probably isn’t the type to get hooked on detective-esque podcasts like Serial, I think she’d like this one episode of Criminal (many Serial-eque attributes but not quite the long haul).

It’s about a crime ring in North Carolina – a crime ring bent on perpetuating the Venus Fly Trap Market. Alex is from South Carolina and she was very excited to show me her new carnivorous house plant a few weeks ago. I told her about this podcast then but I can pretty much guarantee you that she didn’t listen to it.


So many of us have tried and failed to enlighten Alex of the podcast ways, but I have now officially done all I can to change her mind.

Genevieve: my artistic, home-buying, family-planning PodPal

Genevieve: my artistic, home-buying, family-planning PodPal