What do racism, sexuality and menstruation have in common? Well... It can be uncomfortable to talk about it.
Here's a selection of my favorite podcast episodes about those subjects. Because sometimes, we have to go through discomfort in order to grow and learn.
1. "An Uncomfortable (But Meaningful) Conversation About Race"
In this episode of Ten Percent Happier Podcast, a white man (Dan Harris) sits down with a black man (Lama Rod Owens) to have a conversation about racism and race issues in America. Well... the title does not lie... It's the most uncomfortable conversation I have heard. But in a good way.
In it, you can hear the two men aknowledge their feelings, their emotions and also take into account the way the other one feels. Lama Rod Owens insist on keeping the conversation about feelings while Dan Harris is tempted many times to rationalize things or to distance himself emotionally.
I loved the fact that Dan Harris owned the shame he was feeling, or the fear of saying the wrong thing, and how he was honest about maybe perpetuating prejudice during certain times in his life.
And I also love the fact that Lama Rod Owens understood Dan Harris's emotional pathway and doesn't blame him for it. While at the same time holding space for his own anger and mental exhaustion.
I think it's the best way to true allyship, if not the only way. To actually feel what the other one is feeling. Because otherwise, a spirale of shame, anger and blame unfolds and makes it impossible to understand one another.
And I say it as a black woman married to a white man.
If you speak French, I also recommend another great podcast episode by the French coach, Clotilde Dusoulier that explains beautifully the emotional dynamics that can occur to prevent people from truly understanding others's experience.
In it, I recognized some mechanisms that can sometimes explains why some white people can discard colored people's experiences about race. It's uncomfortable as hell.
Those two episodes are a great tool to start a conversation about racism.
2. "Oshun and Decolonizing Black Femme Sexuality"
In this episode of "The Sexually Liberated Woman", Ev'yan Whitney has a conversation with Dr Zelaika Hepworth Clarke, a clinical and cultural sexologist, African-centered social worker who provides sexuality consulting and therapy. In it, they discuss all things Oshun and Osunality.
"Who the hell is Oshun?", I can almost hear you ask.
Here's what Ev'yan Whitney tells about that Yoruba Goddess in the show notes.
Oshun is a Yoruba deity of femininity, sexuality, and sensual pleasure who’s been getting a lot of air time recently thanks to Beyoncé’s latest visual album, Lemonade. As I started to explore who she was, my curiosity began to grow to the point where I wanted to know even more about Her—particularly, how I could potentially use Oshun and Her influence in my spiritual and sexual life
I absolutely loved that episode that shed a new light on the fact that sexuality as we see it today is a western construction. It was empowering to listen to that alternative narrative where women's pleasure matter as much as men's.
So, of course, to fuel my book addiction, I went on and bought a copy of "African Sexualities, a reader", that was mentioned on the show.
And I also got a copy of Dr Zelaika's dissertation "Coming to My Senses: A Decolonizing Autoethnographic Exploration of Osunality” By Dr. Zelaika Hepworth Clarke".
3. Hypothalamic Amenorrhea from Diagnosis, TTC and Postpartum - ABC's of Matrescence
In it, you can hear two mamas talk about their journeys with Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.
I learned about this condition in which menstruation and ovulation stops for several months, making it impossible to get pregnant.
It's often linked to weight loss, stress, intense exercise or a combination of those factors.
Thank you, Mackenzie and Emma for raising awareness about that subject and for sharing your experience about it.
Thank you for showing the repercussions that the impossible standards can have on women reproductive health and mental well-being.
What about you ? What are your favorite podcast episodes about supposedly uncomfortable topics ?