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Playlist: Women's History Month 2019

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit:
Curated Playlist

History and celebrations for March.

The Making of Male Dominance

From The Center for Documentary Studies | 53:59

One-hour documentary special on the invention and perpetuation of patriarchy in the Western world and early U.S. history.

Scorspecial2_small This one-hour special, co-hosted by John Biewen and Celeste Headlee, goes way beneath the #MeToo headlines to explore questions like: How, and when, did male dominance get started in the first place? (Spoiler: The cave men didn’t invent patriarchy, and it’s been around for only a fraction of human history.) How has patriarchy lasted so long? Some leading (male) Enlightenment thinkers argued that “all men are created equal” should become “all people are created equal.” Why did they lose the argument? (Hint: They lost the skeleton war.) The Making of Male Dominance was adapted from early episodes in the Scene on Radio podcast series, MEN. 

From the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and PRX. 

A Change of World

From The Poetry Foundation | 59:00

Meryl Streep narrates an hour-long documentary special about how the Women’s Movement changed poetry, and how women poets changed the culture.

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"A Change of World" tells the story of how poets who were swept up in the Women’s Movement of the 1960s and 70s radically changed American poetry. As poet Alicia Ostriker says, "For the first time in the history of writing, which is about 4000 years or so, women could write without fear, without constantly looking over their shoulder to see if they were going to be approved of by men.” How did this come about?

Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” was a primary catalyst of The Women’s Movement. In poetry, it was Sylvia Plath’s posthumous book “Ariel,” which electrified a generation of women poets. We’ll hear from Plath herself and from women poets who were coming up during the 1960s. We’ll also hear about the radical sexual and psychological candor of Plath’s friend, Anne Sexton.

By the 1970s women poets were publishing a huge variety of poetry that simply was not imaginable a decade earlier. Yet they still didn’t have mainstream literary approval. When Adrienne Rich won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1974, she accepted on behalf of her fellow nominees Audre Lorde and Alice Walker. This was a watershed moment. As Honor Moore says, :It was shocking. Feminism had no standing in the culture.  It was courageous in the sense that none of these three poets would ever be accepted or considered in the same way again.”

In the face of continuing sexism in the literary establishment, women poets began forming their own informal communities, with readings, magazines, bookstores, workshops and mentorships. We’ll hear about this movement from poets who participated, like Sharon Olds, Judy Grahn, Sonia Sanchez, Susan Griffin, as well as archival audio from some of the leading poets of the time. 

Humankind Special: The Life of Dorothy Day

From Humankind | Part of the Humankind Specials series | 59:00

We profile Dorothy Day — a remarkable 20th century figure: journalist and founder of the “Catholic Worker” movement, which established soup kitchens and “houses of hospitality” in the Great Depression. More than 200 Catholic worker facilities remain in operation today. Hear the provocative story of her social activism and inspiring spiritual beliefs.

Dorothy-day_small We profile Dorothy Day  a remarkable 20th century figure: journalist and founder of the “Catholic Worker” movement, which established soup kitchens and “houses of hospitality” in the Great Depression. More than 200 Catholic worker facilities remain in operation today. Hear the provocative story of her social activism and inspiring spiritual beliefs.

When Pope Francis addressed Congress in 2015, he cited four great Americans: President Abraham Lincoln, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., writer and activist Dorothy Day and theologian Thomas Merton. Ms. Day, who died in 1980 at age 83, was a remarkable 20th century figure: journalist and founder of the “Catholic Worker” movement, which established soup kitchens and “houses of hospitality” in the Great Depression. More than 200 Catholic worker facilities remain in operation today.

In this profile, we hear excerpts of a talk by Dorothy Day, along with recollections by her youngest grandchild, Kate Hennessy, a Vermont resident, who recently published a moving family memoir, The World Will Be Saved By Beauty for which she reconstructed the Dorothy Day story. Also heard is Kathe McKenna, co-founder of Haley House in Boston, a Catholic Worker hospitality center, inspired by the life and work of Dorothy Day. Today, more than fifty years later, Haley House operates a soup kitchen, food pantry, and other services. Most recently, they opened Dudley Dough, an inner city workplace that offers a living wage and for customers, healthy pizza.

The Hidden World of Girls with Host Tina Fey (Hour 1)

From The Kitchen Sisters | Part of the The Hidden World of Girls series | 54:00

Groundbreaking writer, actress and comedian, Tina Fey comes to Public Radio to host The Hidden World of Girls, two new hour-long Specials inspired by the NPR series heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. From the dunes of the Sahara to a slumber party in Manhattan, from the dancehalls of Jamaica to a racetrack in Ramallah, Tina Fey takes us around the world into the secret life of girls and the women they become.

Sound-rich, evocative, funny, and powerful--stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secret identities. Of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide. These specials are produced by Peabody Award-winning producers, The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva), in collaboration with NPR reporters and foreign correspondents, independent producers and listeners around the world.

These two stand-alone Specials are Newscast Compatible, produced with the NPR News Special Programming Clock.

Hour two is available here: http://www.prx.org/pieces/68512

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The Hidden World of Girls
Two New Hours from The Kitchen Sisters and NPR

With Host Tina Fey

The Hidden World of Girls, two new hour-long Specials hosted by Emmy Award-winning writer and actress, Tina Fey. Stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secret identities—of women who crossed a line, broke a trail, changed the tide. 

Host Tina Fey, star of 30 Rock, author of Bossypants and Saturday Night Live alumna, takes listeners around the world into the secret life of girls—from the dunes of the Sahara to a slumber party in Manhattan, from the dancehalls of Jamaica to a racetrack in Ramallah—and reveals some of her own hidden worlds.  

These two new specials are produced by the Peabody Award-winning Kitchen Sisters, in collaboration with NPR and independent producers from around the world.  Inspired by “The Hidden World of Girls” series heard on Morning Edition and “All Things Considered”, these specials feature the best stories from that series as well as new, never before heard features, interviews and music.  

Lively, sound-rich, evocative, “The Hidden World of Girls” is two hours of stories and more. Stories of girls and the women they become. 

As part of this international collaboration, The Kitchen Sisters opened up The Hidden World of Girls NPR phone line and invited listeners to share their stories of groundbreaking girls and pioneering women. Calls poured in from around the world and these stories and messages thread throughout the hours. Stories in the hour include:

  • The story of The Braveheart Women’s Society: Coming of Age in South Dakota, a journey to a four-day rite of passage ceremony for Sioux girls from the banks of the Missouri River.
  • From the foothills of Dublin, The Hidden World of Traveller Girls. Travellers, the gypsies of Ireland, nomads traveling in caravans, camping by the side of the road. The men live for horses, the girls for their weddings. Big elaborate weddings.
  • We travel to Wayne County, Mississippi into the world of Girls Who Hunt. 
  • We grapple with issues of family, crime, violence and reckoning in the story, Deborah Luster: One Big Self
  • Russia’s Singing Babushkas—a group of elderly women from Buranovo, Russia, who began singing together and who have become a musical sensation at concerts performing Beatles songs.  
  • And science fiction stories of friendship, superpowers and the Beatles.  

Major Funding for The Hidden World of Girls comes from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art. And from listener contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions.

BILLBOARD :59
Incue: My best friend Rosemarie and I had a very involved secret life.
Outcue: Back in a moment.

NEWS HOLE: 1:00-6:00

SEGMENT A: 12:29
Incue: From The Kitchen Sisters and NPR, welcome to The Hidden World of Girls.
Outcue: The Hidden World of Girls continues in a moment.   

BREAK: 19:00-20:00

SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: You’re listening to the Hidden World of Girls a collaboration between NPR, The Kitchen Sisters and listeners around the world.
Outcue: Stories from Louisiana, Russia and Venus when we return in a moment.

BREAK: 39:00-40:00 

SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: I’m Tina Fey with more stories for NPR’s Hidden World of Girls
Outcue: With The Kitchen Sisters, I’m Tina Fey. MUSIC

Rocket Girls and Astro-nettes

From Richard Paul | 59:07

Women in the ultimate Man’s World – the labs and Shuttle crew cabins of NASA in the 60s and 70s.

Eileen_collins_nasa_photo_2_of_2_small This program is the story of women in the ultimate Man’s World – the labs and Shuttle crew cabins of NASA.  Told in the first person, these stories explore the experiences of NASA’s first woman engineers and scientists and its first astronauts.  It also tells the fascinating story of a group of women pilots who – in the early 1960s – were led to believe that they would be America’s first women astronauts and were given the exact same physical tests are the Mercury astronauts.  The program is narrated by Eileen Collins, the first woman commander of a Space Shuttle. 

Women in Jazz: Women's History Month Special

From Guy Rathbun | Part of the the Club McKenzie: Your 1920s Jazz Speakeasy series | 59:00

This is a tribute to a few of the more influential women who were instrumental in the formation of early jazz.

Lil_armstong_small Lillian "Lil" Hardin Armstrong, Marian McPartland, Mary Lou Williams and Valaida Snow (Queen of the Trumpet) are the featured artists.

The Feather Detective

From Smithsonian | Part of the Sidedoor series | 27:16

In 1960, investigators found dark bits of feather stuck inside a crashed airplane's engines. They needed someone to figure out what bird they belonged to—and how that bird took down a 110,000-pound plane. Enter Roxie Laybourne, a Smithsonian bird expert who not only answered that question, but also invented the science of using feathers to solve bird-related mysteries. This time on Sidedoor, we revisit some of Roxie's greatest cases and learn how she and her team helped keep the friendly skies friendly for both birds and people.

Side_door_logo_640x640_small In 1960, investigators found dark bits of feather stuck inside a crashed airplane's engines. They needed someone to figure out what bird they belonged to—and how that bird took down a 110,000-pound plane. Enter Roxie Laybourne, a Smithsonian bird expert who not only answered that question, but also invented the science of using feathers to solve bird-related mysteries. This time on Sidedoor, we revisit some of Roxie's greatest cases and learn how she and her team helped keep the friendly skies friendly for both birds and people.

WHER: 1000 Beautiful Watts—The First All Girl Radio Station in the Nation—Part 1

From The Kitchen Sisters | Part of the Fugitive Waves series | 25:08

When Sam Phillips sold Elvis' contract in 1955 he used the money to start an all girl radio station in Memphis, TN. Set in a pink, plush studio in the nations's third Holiday Inn, it was a novelty—but not for long.

Ks_fugitivewavessm_small When Sam Phillips sold Elvis' contract in 1955 he used the money to start an all girl radio station in Memphis, TN. Set in a pink, plush studio in the nations' third Holiday Inn, it was a novelty—but not for long. He hired models, beauty queens, actresses, telephone operators. Some were young mothers who just needed a job. WHER was the first radio station to feature women as more than novelties and sidekicks. The WHER girls were broadcasting pioneers. From 1955 into the mid-1970s they ruled the airwaves with style, wit and imagination. "WHER was the embryo of the egg," said Sam Phillips. "We broke a barrier. There was nothing like it in the world."

Kathleen Hanna: from Bikini Kill to Le Tigre

From David Schulman | Part of the Musicians in their own words series | 04:40

Original riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna remembers the DIY feminist punk scene she catalyzed in 1992 with Bikini Kill. (The band's first EP was re-released Nov 20, 2012, in 20th-anniversay vinyl). And she talks about how her musical energy takes new form in her current, much poppier band, Le Tigre.

Me-performing_small DIY!

The WASPs: Women Pilots of WWII

From Radio Diaries | 22:42

The story of the first female pilots in WWII.

Wasp_square_small In the early 1940s, the US Airforce faced a dilemma. Thousands of new airplanes were coming off assembly lines and needed to be delivered to military bases nationwide, yet most of America's pilots were overseas fighting the war. To solve the problem, the government launched an experimental program to train women pilots. They were known as the WASPs, the Women Airforce Service Pilots. 

Ruffian

From Third Coast International Audio Festival | 09:40

When Re:sound host, Gwen Macsai was fourteen, the incredible female race-horse, Ruffian, ran straight into her heart and left a permanent impression.

Ruffian_small It’s June 1973 and Secretariat has just become the first horse in 25 years to win the triple crown, obliterating his competition in the Belmont stakes by  31 lengths and setting a new world record.  Interest in horseracing is soaring. Women’s Lib is in full swing. Ms. Magazine is just one year old. The Equal Rights Ammendment  has been ratified in 30 states but is still a very contentious issue. And in September of ’73, a loud-mouth former tennis champion named Bobby Riggs becomes the male chauvinist pig that everyone loved to hate. 

This was the climate in which a beautiful female race-horse named Ruffian captured the attention of the country, and stole Gwen Macsai's fourteen-year-old heart.  In this personal essay, Gwen recounts Ruffian's racing career,  including her tragic battle-the-sexes race that ended in heartbreak.

A Picture Emerges

From Josh Swartz | 06:33

This story explores Michelle Obama's early life, expectations surrounding her ascendency as First Lady, and the impact she will leave on the office. Told from the perspective of Peter Slevin, former Washington Post bureau chief and author of the biography "Michelle Obama: A Life".

Obama638_small This story explores Michelle Obama's early life, expectations surrounding her ascendency as First Lady, and the impact she will leave on the office. Told from the perspective of Peter Slevin, former Washington Post bureau chief and author of the biography "Michelle Obama: A Life".