The Profess-Hers Podcast
27 | Warrior Women of Westeros

27 | Warrior Women of Westeros

May 21, 2019

In our last Game of Thrones episode, we first address some questions about the show’s depictions of women and sex, and focus on the Warrior Women of Westeros, including Arya Stark, Brienne of Tarth, and Yara Greyjoy.

No season 8 spoilers!

Of course, we can’t resist talking about gender roles or the show’s portrayal of gay characters, along with some male characters who grapple with the patriarchy, including Ned Stark, Ser Loras, Renly, and Theon Greyjoy.

Of course, a Game of Thrones episode will be full of twisty stories, strong women, some laughs, and connections between history and HBO. Find out what Misty almost blindly predicts for Westeros, and which character Allegra thought should have ended up on the throne.

Synonyms for nuanced: shaded, exact, subtle, fine, showing fine grades or distinctions.

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.

Written by Allegra Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

26 | GOT Queens?

26 | GOT Queens?

May 14, 2019

Queens and female leaders in GOT have stories full of family drama, battles for the throne, and questionable choices. It turns out there are lots of historical queens with all that, too.

No Season 8 spoilers!

A 7th Century Chinese empress, Cersei Lannister, the Spanish queen who sent Columbus to the “new world,” the Mother of Dragons, and Sansa Stark - each has a complex story, interesting relationships, and struggles against the patriarchy.

We also discuss the feminism of the show: its treatment of women and of misogynists, its representation on screen and off, and when it will be safe to decide whether it really is a feminist show.

Of course, a Game of Thrones episode will be full of twisty stories, strong women, some laughs, and connections between history and HBO. Find out who Misty would be if she lived in Westeros, and which character shares a motto with Allegra.

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.

Written by Allegra Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

25 | Fangirls

25 | Fangirls

May 7, 2019

What does it mean to be a fangirl? What are some things worth fangirling about?

In this episode, we examine and discuss the term “fangirl” - its positive and negative implications - and we get to talk about things we are total fangirls for! We also (somehow) discuss Joe Rogan, being called sir, grading finals, and wearing swimsuits.

Misty tells us about the power and fun of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a musical show that just ended on the CW that she wishes we would all watch already. Cristina talks about the new show Shrill on Hulu, based on the book by Lindy West. Allegra (of course) can’t shut-up about Grey’s Anatomy, which will (apparently) never end (it’s been 15 years!).

All these shows give female writers and producers vehicles for telling women’s stories, showing female characters with depth and nuance, and showing us people we can relate to, care about, and learn from. They’re all also fun, honest, and easy to stream.

Written by Allegra Davis Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens, with guest Cristina Martinez Sullivan. Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

24 | Bosses Who Happen to Be Ladies

24 | Bosses Who Happen to Be Ladies

April 23, 2019

We discuss the frightening term “ladyboss,” the more frightening company “LadyBoss,” stats on women business leaders, and two female tech execs.

Blondes probably don’t really have more fun, but they do have more high-level management positions. This, and lots of other weird, awful stuff is true when it comes to the obstacles women face in the workplace. We’ll talk tokenism, Leaning In (blech), and Theranos, too.

There’s a pretty narrow path to success for women, and especially for women whose identities have multiple intersecting factors like race, disability, nationality, and age. We strategize how to get more diverse perspectives at the top, and how leaders have to be intentional to make real change.

Some sources we mention, if you want to do extra reading:

  • About Elizabeth Holmes’s appearance and not her fraud:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/03/26/elizabeth-holmes-defrauded-investors-why-are-we-obsessed-with-her-appearance/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.dd96cb19b232

  • On Lean In and its weaknesses:

https://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/12/6/18128838/michelle-obama-lean-in-sheryl-sandberg

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-i-wont-lean-in_b_3586527

https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-sheryl-sandberg-lean-in-problematic-advice-2018-8

  • Blondes have more success?

https://slate.com/human-interest/2016/08/why-are-female-ceos-and-senators-disproportionately-blond-blame-sexism.html

  • Why Women Don’t Want to Work For Women:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEXVQiN49V0

  • Slate: Lady Boss of Me -How the “lady boss” rhetoric of female empowerment places women in charge of little more than themselves. 

https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/08/lady-boss-women-empowerment-rhetoric-doesnt-equate-to-actual-power.html

  • Forbes: How A Millennial Couple Spent Their Last $1,000 To Build An 8-Figure Business-

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tinamulqueen/2018/09/20/how-a-millennial-couple-spent-their-last-1000-to-build-an-8-figure-business/#3ad77fa704cf

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

Written and hosted by Misty Wilson-Mehrtens and Allegra Davis Hanna.

23 | The Uneven Bar - Women in Gymnastics

23 | The Uneven Bar - Women in Gymnastics

April 15, 2019

What's changed in American women's gymnastics since Mary Lou Retton got that perfect 10? Were they all changes for the better?

In this episode, we discuss the history of women's artistic gymnastics - from when females were first able to compete, to when women started doing the aerial impossible. We cheer for Simone Biles, Kerri Strug, and other favorites, and contrast the strength and power of these athletes to the murky mess of institutional failure that's surrounded the sport for decades.

Lots of great highlights and good memories (especially for those of us who love the Olympics!). We also get into new scoring systems, feminist gymnasts and feminist gymnastics, gold medal counts, and our hope for the USA Gymnastics of the future (as long as Simone Biles will be there, we're in!). 

You'll also get a couple of good book recommendations - whether you're into novels or nonfiction. 

Written and hosted by Allegra Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. 

22 | The No-History Episode - Updates on Women in TV, Sports, Music, Science, Space and More

22 | The No-History Episode - Updates on Women in TV, Sports, Music, Science, Space and More

April 8, 2019

In this (kinda short) update episode, we discuss recent developments for women in horror, TV, sports, music, math, science, movies, and space. Most of the news is good - but all of it is essential.

Who's broken records in music? What happened to our all female space walk? Why are people still telling women what they can't wear to play sports? How did women already become more impressive at math since just last month?  Also, more to say about Captain Marvel, lady detectives, and horror.

It's a fun episode, with guest spots from Cristina (Brooklyn 99!) and Austin, some great recommendations for binge-watching and normal watching, and some news that will outrage but also inspire. 

Written and hosted by Allegra Davis Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens.

Clips from "7 Rings" and "Thank U, Next" and from Jordan Peele's "Us."

To read the Tweets we quote about the space walk, follow Erin Blakemore (@heroinebook): https://twitter.com/heroinebook/status/1110313517599449088.

21 | Female Investigative Journalists - Women’s History Month 2

21 | Female Investigative Journalists - Women’s History Month 2

March 29, 2019

Nelly Bly, Katherine Graham, Marvel Cooke, Lorena Hickok, Joan Didion: they wrote stories that sometimes only women could write, elevating women's voices and revealing otherwise unknown details of our society.

We are going to (of course) discuss a brief history of women in journalism, and share stories about four of our favorites. Allegra also shares some book recommendations, and we (try to) end on a positive note, analyzing these women's long lasting and beneficial impact on history and writing. 

Intrepid and important, these real-life women writers have their stories told in some novels we recommend in this episode.

This episode was recorded in Galveston, where we were attending the Texas Distance Learning Association Conference. 

Books we recommend: Woman 99, The Address, The Dollhouse, White Houses. and Slouching Toward Bethlehem. 

Find us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @professhers. Email us at professhers@gmail.com

Written and presented by Allegra Davis Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens.

20 | Women of Science - Women’s History Month 1

20 | Women of Science - Women’s History Month 1

March 22, 2019

The history of women in the sciences is not stellar, but we’ve got lots of good news, and several female scientists to celebrate, from the 1700s to right now.

We can’t pronounce the names of all of the dinosaurs whose fossils she found, but we can tell you how much we respect the achievements of Mary Anning; Misty takes us back to the time when women were welcome in science, but also to a time when a woman couldn’t become a surgeon, so she helped invent a different medical subfield; and Allegra brings you promising updates from NASA, where women are rocking rocket science. Other women we dig in this episode: Dr. Virginia Apgar, Tiera Fletcher, and Kristen Facciol.

Some sources we mention, if you’d like extra homework:

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

19 | Women in Space and Flight - MCU Part 2

19 | Women in Space and Flight - MCU Part 2

March 8, 2019

How do the MCU movies in space represent women? How important is Captain Marvel? What’s the history of women in flight and space?

In this episode, we discuss the three MCU movies that take place in space: Guardians of The Galaxy, Guardians of The Galaxy 2, and Captain Marvel. We also discuss some famous women of flight - piloting military planes, space shuttles, and commercial airlines. There’s a lot of great representation in the films, and in our history, as well as some unfortunate moments.

Hear about women who helped train pilots in WW2 and how they never gave up fighting to be recognized, women who took flight for NASA and the Air Force, and how our first female combat pilot has kept fighting on behalf of herself and other women in the armed forces after retiring.

Also: Spoiler-free quick review of Captain Marvel, and discussions of representation behind the scenes of these three movies (Female writers! A female director! A score composed by a woman!).

We’re taking Spring Break off - so we’ll be back March 22 to continue celebrating Women’s History Month!

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

18 | MCU Part 1 - Representation and Women in Superhero Films

18 | MCU Part 1 - Representation and Women in Superhero Films

March 1, 2019

Is the Marvel Cinematic Universe a feminist universe?

In this episode, we discuss the history of some of our favorite heroes and the comics code that prohibited both “the walking dead” and  drawing women with “exaggerated” physical qualities. We talk about screen time for women in the last 20 Marvel movies, representation in the writers’ rooms, and the things to look for in a feminist viewing.

We agree that most MCU movies give us some good news, like female scientists, world class assassins, and even some cool lady villains, but also bad news like limited development and some serious male gaze.

At least one of us is a huge Marvel fan (and the other is hugely oblivious to everything except which one Thor is), so there are no takedowns here. And, there’s lots to love, like the many kinds of progress Black Panther includes, the first named female superhero in the MCU, and the (fingers crossed) upcoming Black Widow movie. Plus, strong friendships, perfectly awkward teenage Peter Parker and the academic decathlon team, and us not remembering what to call the clothes superheroes wear (We know now! They’re suits!).

Part 2, which covers heroes in space and Captain Marvel, is coming next!

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