History Podcast Plagued With Complaints They Spotlight Women Too Much Brings the Receipts

Illustration for article titled History Podcast Plagued With Complaints They Spotlight Women Too Much Brings the Receipts

Behold: A convenient illustration of the fact that when you start mentioning women at all, ever, some people start wondering why you have to talk about women all the damn time.

Apparently, the hosts of the popular podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class often get variations on the complaint, “Why so dern many women?” (Sounds like a different variation of the regular complaint that women on the radio have vocal fry.) Upon receiving the latest email along these lines— “Perhaps you could rename [the] podcast, stuff you missed in history class mostly about women”—cohost Tracy V. Wilson did a little number crunching and blogged about her findings. Guess what?

Let me start by saying just how fed up we are of getting basically this exact same email (which we also get in the form of tweets and Facebook comments, and one-star reviews that we “only” talk about women). Our predecessors got this message, too. And we’ve pretty much handled it the same way. Even though it should not be a problem to talk about women more than we talk about men, we’ve gone back into the archive and looked, and what we’ve found is that a sound majority of our shows that could be classified as “men” or “women” are about men. Even through dedicated, continual effort to talk about women, we still don’t even come close to a 50/50 split.


Specifically, the count: 92 men or groups of men; 66 women or groups of women; 62 events primarily or exclusively about men; 4 events primarily or exclusively about women; 117 ungendered subjects.

Wilson even included the tallies for recent years in easy-to-comprehend chart format, and concluded, “Allow me to suggest that if you think these charts represent a show that is ‘mostly about women’ or talks about women ‘too much,’ that the problem is not us, our work, or our subject matter.” Given the fact that history is already dominated by stories about men [insert joke about “his”tory here], even if Stuff You Missed in History Class was tilting towards women’s stories, that would hardly do much to balance things out in the grand scheme of things.

Photo via Getty Images.

Senior Editor, Attic Haunter, Jezebel

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Damn! I love it when they lay the smack down. Once, out at the range, a visiting officer commented on how there were "so many women out here." There were exactly four of us. We pretty much just rolled our eyes and were like "Yes, sir."