The Profess-Hers Podcast
Women in WW2 | 30

Women in WW2 | 30

June 17, 2019

In our 30th episode we talk about women during WW2, their service, work, and achievements. Women were helping to win more than one war, as they made contributions to the nation’s efforts abroad, while also moving women closer to equality and fair treatment.

Misty schools us on Rosie, rationing, Victory Gardens and the AWVS (American Women’s Voluntary Service). Allegra recommends some great books about women during WW2, including Code Girls, a nonfiction book researched and written by a woman about the hundreds of women who helped write and decrypt codes during the war.

A lot changed for American women during the 1940s, including how many women worked, and what kinds of jobs women were (finally) able to hold. If you are able to uncover the stories that have been overlooked, you’ll see the progress toward equity and inclusion these women were able to make, while helping the Allies win the war.

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.

29 | Girls Who Game

29 | Girls Who Game

June 10, 2019

Girls are gamers, too. How far have we come since Ms Pac-Man? How many women play video games, and why don’t all women feel welcome? In this episode, we talk about female players of all ages, from the 80s until now.

We get into all-female esports team, Overwatch leagues, tournament play, barnacle characters in WOW, and whether Candy Crush counts.

Links and extra credit reading:

Blackgirlnerds.com blog entry on WOW:

More info on GamerGate:

More about the Frag Dolls:

The “Insights into Sexism” research article abstract and media coverage:

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.

28 | Warrior Women in Real Life

28 | Warrior Women in Real Life

June 3, 2019

Women warriors have always been pretty common, and women have played major roles in historical combat and modern special operations command forces. In this episode, we’ll talk about some women whose stories you (probably) haven’t heard, including gladiators, a short-term warrior queen, and someone nicknamed “angel of death.”

Misty gets back to history - ancient history! - and Allegra shares stories from more recent women at war.

To see the statue we discuss, click this link and scroll down: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/gladiators/amazones.html

More reading for those who want extra credit:

https://www.ancient.eu/article/35/female-gladiators-in-ancient-rome/

https://www.cnas.org/publications/commentary/dispelling-the-myth-of-women-in-special-operations

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/08/us/shannon-kent-military-spy.html

https://www.cfr.org/article/demographics-us-military

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.

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.