Curious minds select the most fascinating podcasts from around the world. Discover hand-piqd audio recommendations on your favorite topics.
Bangalore-based Rashmi Vasudeva's journalism has appeared in many Indian and international publications over the past decade. A features writer with over nine years of experience heading a health and fitness supplement in a mainstream Indian newspaper, her niche areas include health, wellness, fitness, food, nutrition and Indian classical Arts.
Her articles have appeared in various publications including Mint-Wall Street Journal, The Hindu, Deccan Herald (mainstream South Indian newspaper), Smart Life (Health magazine from the Malayala Manorama Group of publications), YourStory (India's media technology platform for entrepreneurs), Avantika (a noir arts and theatre magazine), ZDF (a German public broadcasting company) and others.
In 2006, she was awarded the British Print-Chevening scholarship to pursue a short-term course in new-age journalism at the University of Westminster, U.K. With a double Masters in Globalisation and Media Studies from Aarhus Universitet (Denmark), University of Amsterdam and Swansea University in Wales, U.K., she has also dabbled in academics, travel writing and socio-cultural studies. Mother to a frisky toddler, she hums 'wheels on the bus' while working and keeps a beady eye on the aforementioned toddler's antics.
How much do we know our own bodies? Do we comprehend our pains? Do we ever wonder how deeply mysterious our bodies are?
If you are a woman reading this, have you ever thought about how women’s bodies are not just bodies and never have been? How has history, your own identity and the societal norms around you shaped your understanding of your health?
These are some of the deeply fascinating but disturbing questions this podcast series, which recently completed its first season, manages to raise within its listeners. I heard the first and the latest episode, and even much later my head was ringing with the true stories of grit and hopelessness it presented. In a sense, the podcast is a historical and cultural exploration of the female body that’s undertaken with much intimacy and frankness.
More importantly, these innermost details told (sometimes hesitatingly) by real people showcase a larger picture of how female pain is treated by the medical profession and society at large. This is a topic that has been gaining much press lately. The Atlantic and the BBC both recently carried deep-dive articles about the same issue.
Take the first episode, which happens to feature Allison's very own lived experience. It looks at painful sex and how bewildering it can get. Allison herself had no idea why sex was so painful for her; she was young and in love and wanted to enjoy sex but couldn't. She approached a doctor who told her in as many words that lots of women experience pain during sex and she should dismiss it as another of those 'womanly' experiences. Sounds familiar?
Allison's storytelling is not self-piteous or righteous. Instead, her tone is that of a pursuer. She goes on to talk about how she struggled to communicate her problem even to her loved ones. Ultimately, a specialist discovers that the pill she was taking was the root cause. From here, the podcast dives into details about the possible physiological reasons for painful sex, thus nicely rounding up the discussion.