Episode 12: Lady Detectives on TV

January 18, 2019

From Charlie’s Angels to Brooklyn 99, how have female detectives and crime solvers been depicted on TV?

We discuss some notable TV detectives from Honey West to Jessica Fletcher, talk about how shows like Law and Order made progress in representation, and get into CSI and other shows that (thankfully) start to show more complex female characters. This episode also includes discussions about The Closer, Veronica Mars, Major Crimes, and some new shows this season that have us feeling hopeful.

It’s pretty obvious from the start that we think Brooklyn 99 is the most progressive example we have - and guest Cristina Sullivan shares her take on Latina representation in the show. We commend its humor, diversity, portrayal of LGBT characters, and its approach to important topics. But how did we get here - and why is this show a rarity?

In this episode, we end on a high note of progress, with some optimism about the future of female detectives on TV.

Find Profess-Hers on Twitter and Instagram @professhers. Email us at professhers@gmail.com. Listen to us everywhere you find podcasts.

Written by Misty Wilson-Mehrtens and Allegra Davis Hanna

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Episode 11: Lady Detectives in History and Literature

January 11, 2019

Women solving crimes, preventing assassinations, gossiping to find killers, and breaking into archetypes and police forces.

Who are the notable female sleuths from literature, and how does their development reflect the changing nature of police departments? How does Agatha Christie’s most famous lady detective fit an archetype, but break the mold? What happened to the first generation of women who grew up reading Nancy Drew?

We start in the 1840s with literary traditions and the creation of modern police forces, introduce you to the real Kate Warne and a novel about her, and discuss literary and real-life legacies of women who changed crime solving.

In this episode, we make powerful connections between history and literature, and between modern policewomen and recent crime novels. You'll also get lots of great book recommendations!

Find Profess-Hers on Twitter and Instagram @professhers. Email us at professhers@gmail.com. Listen to us everywhere you find podcasts.

Written by Misty Wilson-Mehrtens and Allegra Davis Hanna

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Episode 10: Modern Holiday

December 21, 2018

All we want for Christmas is non-oppressive media representation.

In our second holiday special, we get into seasonal sexism, Hallmark and Lifetime holiday movies, Elf on the Shelf, Dolly Parton, diamond rings, and non-problematic Christmas and holiday jams.

Remembering that the personal is political, we discuss some of our holiday memories and how women balance extra expectations around the holiday season. Remembering that we support each other’s choices, we discuss representation and gender roles in Christmas TV movies, but also why those movies are valuable.

We discuss lots of things that sneak up on us during the season: extra work, sexist advertising, Pinterest and other sources of pressure, and what should really matter.

Find Profess-Hers on Twitter and Instagram @professhers. Email us at professhers@gmail.com. Listen to us everywhere you find podcasts.

Written by Misty Wilson-Mehrtens and Allegra Davis Hanna

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Episode 9: Classic Christmas (Or, How English Teachers Ruin Everything)

December 14, 2018

Baby, it's cold out there for a feminist.

In our first of two Christmas specials, we get into Little Women, and three classic “Christmas” carols. We're sure you're already familiar with how English teachers ruin stuff, but do y'all know how surprisingly rad Louisa May Alcott was?

This episode has everything: Literature and literary analysis, book-to-film adaptations, songs, jokes, history, women's movements, and what we want for Christmas!

Find out what Misty's historical final take on “Baby, It's Cold Outside” is (it may surprise you?), and learn about why “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” was banned for a year.

Find Profess-Hers on Twitter and Instagram @professhers. Email us at professhers@gmail.com. Listen to us everywhere you find podcasts.

Written by Misty Wilson-Mehrtens and Allegra Davis Hanna

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Episode 8: Women In Sports: Play Like a Person and Look However You Want

December 7, 2018

Play like a man but look like a girl? We are going to hard pass on both.

Make-up, hair-dos, playing in dresses (or worse), having chaperones and going to charm schools: Playing professional sports seems to come with some serious restrictions for women.  

We talk about women playing professional sports in the US: the woman who was too good for Babe Ruth’s liking, the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League, women who play football the only way they can, what hasn’t changed since the 1940s, and how much we love that Geena Davis movie.

We have a lot of fun on this episode, and get to discuss history, culture, sports, and film. We promise even the non-sports fans among us will be glad they’re here.

Find Profess-Hers on Twitter and Instagram @professhers. Email us at professhers@gmail.com. Listen to us everywhere you find podcasts.

Written by Misty Wilson-Mehrtens and Allegra Davis Hanna.

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Episode 7: Pop Charts, Not Pop-Tarts 2 (Women of Music Part 2)

November 30, 2018

Rebel girls, girl power, lady rock stars, Lilith Fair, and shaking off scrubs.

In our second music episode, we rock out with some of the greatest women of music from the 1980s and the 1990s. Listen as Madonna, Cyndi Lauper embrace their personal power, and Joan Jett and the Go-Go’s make space for female-led bands. In the 90s, we get alternative, and discuss songs that speak to what it was like to be a girl - or man, to feel like a woman.

Which songs speak to us about the complexity of womanhood? How does the history of female musicians relate to to women’s movements?

You’ll hear some of your favorite songs, and you’ll pick a side on our debate about Britney and Christina.

Find Profess-Hers on Twitter and Instagram @professhers. Email us at professhers@gmail.com. Listen to us everywhere you find podcasts.

Audio engineering by Austin Haynes. Written and presented by Misty Wilson-Mehrtens and Allegra Davis Hanna.

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Episode 6: Pop Charts, Not Pop Tarts 1 (Women of Music Part 1)

November 16, 2018

What counts as a lady anthem? In this episode, we discuss (and listen to!) girl groups, Janis Joplin, queens of disco, and some of the original divas.

In our first music episode, we jam out with some of the greatest women of music from the 1960s and the 1970s. Listen as women go from crying over a man to singing “hear me roar,” and from waiting on “Mr. Postman” to singing odes to “The Pill.”

Which girls groups staged a protest to get their royalties? How does the history of female musicians relate to to the women’s movements?

You’ll hear some of your favorite songs, and you won’t believe what songs made chart-topping history (clue: they’re not the ones we are still singing).

Find Profess-Hers on Twitter and Instagram @professhers. Email us at professhers@gmail.com. Listen to us everywhere you find podcasts.

Written by Misty Wilson-Mehrtens and Allegra Davis Hanna

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Episode 5: Lifestyle Leading Ladies

November 9, 2018

Was Julia Child a very tall spy?*

In this episode, we share stories about our favorite lifestyle TV leading ladies. Misty schools us on just how hardcore Julia Child was, Allegra may change your mind about how important and inspiring Martha Stewart is, and we take turns celebrating Oprah.

How did these three follow their interests and passions into high-profile careers? How have they used their power and influence to be of use to other women (and to give them free cars)? Are Martha and Oprah always on the covers of their own magazines?

Cooking, decorating, and interviewing become platforms for advocacy, doing it yourself, and health. (With a shout out to runner-up Rachael Ray, and apologies for how Oprah unleashed Drs. Oz and Phil upon the world).

*Kind of, but not really

Written by Misty Wilson-Mehrtens and Allegra Davis Hanna

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Episode 4: Women of TV Through Time

November 2, 2018

How did we get from June Cleaver to SVU? What does Friends get right in its representation of women, gender roles and sexuality, and which scenes make us cringe? Why hasn't Mariska Hargitay won every Emmy ever?

We’re going to dig into some of the golden girls of TV in every decade - from the 1950s through the present. We highlight landmark shows from every era and discuss their representations of women and how they reflect social progress. Misty takes us through the history of consensus culture, reasons to love Lucy, and what Mary Tyler Moore did for all the women who just wanna wear pants. We also talk about Roseanne, Friends, the Golden Girls, and Law & Order: SVU.

We promise there are more TV episodes to come: Handmaid’s Tale, Grey’s Anatomy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Kristen Bell everything, Orange Is The New Black, plus lots more.

Profess-Hers is a podcast written and presented by Misty, a History professor, and Allegra, an English professor, both of whom are here for having a serious, fun conversation about looking at literature, history, current events, pop culture, and media through a feminist lens.

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Episode 3: The Haunting Prose of Female Authors

October 26, 2018

Monsters, Hitchcock, psychological horror, hauntings, cults, vampires or the hunt for a killer: female authors are killing it in horror and suspense writing.

Expect many ghastly puns and lots of literary criticism in this episode, our second Halloween special, about women writers who can really scare us: featuring Mary Shelley, Charlotte Perkins Gillman, Shirley Jackson, Joyce Carol Oates, Gillian Flynn, Tana French and many others. 

What kinds of achievements are female authors making in the genre? How well are their characters developed? How did these authors use literary works to create, emphasize or reflect social messaging on women’s issues and women’s movements? Are the best female horror and suspense writers already gone, girl? Or are there some great new voices writing Power-ful books? Do any of these books not have the words “girl” or “woman” in the title?

Written by Misty Wilson-Mehrtens and Allegra Davis Hanna - Guest host Cristina Martinez Sullivan

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