Vulgar History: An introduction to women’s history

Vulgar History: An introduction to womens history

As Women’s History Month progresses, a lot of women (and men) may want to learn more about women’s history told by women. For those who find themselves to be too busy or too preoccupied to read books or articles, or for those who want something more rich with facts than movies, listening to a podcast could be the perfect option.

My best recommendation for a “feminist women’s history comedy podcast” is Vulgar History, which is hosted by Ann Foster, a Canadian writer that specializes in women, history and pop-culture. 

Foster has created five seasons of the show entitled “Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History,” “Women Leaders And The Men Who Cried About It,” “How To Lose A Queen In Nine Days,” “Women In Towers And The A$*#8!2# Who Sent Them There,” “Vulgar History Internationale” and most recently “There’s Something About Mary, Queen of Scots.”

Each episode focuses on a specific woman (or gender-fluid person) from history. Foster has focused on everything from ancient to the 19th century and from the Americas to China, as well as everything in between. Foster outlines their lives from birth to death with the most detail as possible, focusing almost exclusively on their personal lives and omitting mundane information about military activity or tedious governmental details. Instead, she fills her episodes with juicy details about their scandals, schemes and struggles with the patriarchy (among any other interesting tidbits Foster can find about these usually fairly-forgotten women). 

Vulgar History also includes Super Specials that tell stories about women or men that do not pertain to a particular season, interviews with authors of historical nonfiction and fiction novels and exclusive, you can listen to these and her regularly-programed episodes for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher, or you can listen to Patreon-only episodes that you can pay a monthly subscription to listen to. Those episodes include her spin-off series Vulgarpiece Theatre with co-hosts Allison Epstein and Lana Wood-Johnson in which the three women recap and review historical films, as well as Foster’s series of episodes titled “So This A$*#8!2#,” in which Foster tells the story of a historical male figure and outlines their life, usually bringing to light many of the corrupt, awful things they’ve done, but occasionally Foster finds a historical male figure who is actually not so bad. 

I cannot recommend this podcast enough to every woman as a way to connect with women from the past and see how women have always been powerful, important and beautiful in their own individual ways.