Katie speaks with Priti Krishtel, co-founder and co-executive director of I-MAK, an organization that uses patent law to fight high drug prices across the globe. Think patent law doesn't affect your life? Think again. Chances are, at some point in your life, you've been prescribed an expensive medication that did not have an affordable, generic equivalent. That's patent law at play.
Priti discusses how pharmaceutical companies abuse the patent system to keep drug prices high, how it's possible to increase global access to affordable and life-saving medicines by restoring integrity to the patent system, and what YOU as a layperson can do to help bring drug prices down at home and abroad.
Katie interviews Gerda Larsson, cofounder and managing director of The Case for Her, an impact fund that invests in for-profit companies and organizations that work on women and girl's health. Gerda discusses what an impact portfolio is and how it operates, why she and her cofounders began The Case for Her and decided on an impact investing model, and what types of initiatives the fund is investing in around the globe now. Gerda and Katie discuss the fund's focus areas of menstruation, female sexual pleasure, and menopause, and how lifting social taboos surrounding these topics has humanitarian and economic impact. Gerda also gives advice on what simple, everyday steps people can take if they want to advance women's equity but don't know where to start.
Katie interviews author Rita Dragonette about her new book, The Fourteenth of September. They discuss the critical but often overlooked role of women in the Vietnam War and its protest, the experience of being a young woman on a college campus during that time, the lessons we have learned as a country because of the Vietnam War, and the parallels we can draw between the 1960s/70s anti-war movement and activism among young people today.
Katie interviews Lindsey Pollaczek, Vice President of Programs for the Fistula Foundation. Fistula is a childbirth injury largely eradicated in the developed world, but still devastating women in the poorest countries. It's treatable with life-transforming surgery. Lindsey explains what obstetric fistula is, why it's harmful to mothers and fatal to their babies, and what we can do to stop it.
Recommendations from Lindsey for learning more about fistula -
Cutting for Stone, a fictional novel
A Walk to Beautiful, a documentary
In this episode, we share the recording of a live interview of our host, Katie Breen, at Parillume's June 2018 SHINE Soirée in Denver, Colorado. Parillume is an organization for survivors of sexual violence, and its founder, Lisa Foster, interviews Katie about privilege, authentic allyship, and activism.
To watch the video, find it on YouTube here (Katie's entrance is at 17:25).
To learn about upcoming SHINE Soirées in Denver, click here.
To learn more about Parillume, click here.
Katie interviews Lindley Ashline, founder of stock photography website Representation Matters. Lindley explains why it's so important that we see representations of diverse bodies in the media, and how she uses her platform to create stock imagery featuring people in all types of bodies - large bodies, brown and black bodies, bodies belonging to LGBTQIA+ folks, aging bodies, disabled bodies, tattooed bodies, and more. Lindley also explains how and why businesses and content creators can and should use these types of images in their work, and why it's important that ALL of us diversify the types of bodies we expose ourselves to on social media.
- The Health at Every Size Movement
- Meredith Noble's list of body-positive Instagram accounts
- Jes Baker's "135 Ways to Diversify Your Instagram Feed"
- Link to the GoFundMe for Katie's Harvard tuition
Katie interviews Torey Ivanic, author of the book "No Big Deal," a tale of surviving and overcoming childhood sexual abuse. In the episode, Torey shares her story of being sexually abused by a trusted gymnastics coach while she was in her teens. She discusses the aftermath of the abuse, her experience bringing her perpetrator to justice, and the lessons for parents and survivors she hopes we can take away from her story.
Listen to the full recording of Femtastic host Katie's TEDxBoulder talk on privilege, inclusion, allyship, and activism:
"What Does Your Activism Look Like?"
We all have some level of privilege. What do we do when we are confronted with it? How does that make us feel? And how do we use our privilege to make the world a better place?
The video recording of Katie's talk can be found on YouTube at this link.
Like what you hear? Supporters of Femtastic and/or Katie Breen can contribute to the GoFundMe for Katie's Harvard tuition here.
Katie interviews Brianna Rader, founder of Juicebox, a company whose mission is to get people talking about sex, dating, and relationships. In the episode, they discuss what a sex coach is, who can benefit from working with one (hint: EVERYONE), and the types of topics they help people contend with. As Brianna discusses, you don't need to have a "problem" or be in a crisis to use a sex coach - even if your sex life, dating life, or relationship is great, you can always make it better, improve communication (inside the bedroom and out), deepen your intimacy or pleasure, and explore new things! It's like having a personal trainer - you might already be in great shape, but there's always more improvement to be had. We also discuss Juicebox's iOS app, a platform that offers free resources for people who want to learn more about sex, dating, and relationships from experts (and peers), as well as an extremely AFFORDABLE service that connects you with a professional coach you can chat with on demand, 7 days a week. Listeners of Femtastic can even try out coaching for FREE. Listen to the episode to learn more!
In honor of Mother's Day, we are re-releasing this amazing mother-daughter podcast interview! Get your tissues ready! This episode was originally published as Episode #12, "Mother and Daughter: A Tale of Two Veterans" on March 17, 2017.
In this episode, Katie had the privilege of interviewing Debbie Johnson and her daughter, Lauren Halloran. Debbie is a retired U.S. Army colonel who served as a nurse in the Gulf War, when Lauren was just a little girl. Lauren is a former Air Force lieutenant who served in Afghanistan. Both mother and daughter talk about the difficulties not only of deploying to a war zone, but of reintegrating into civilian life upon their return. They touch on the stigma surrounding mental illness in the military, the experience of being women in male-dominated environments (both the military and the Middle Eastern countries they deployed to), how little we talk about the struggle of coming home from war, and how sharing their experiences with one another brought them closer together and helped them both heal from the traumas of war. The beautiful, heartfelt, and often tearful interview, which lasted about 90 minutes, is a powerful testament to the bond between mothers and daughters, and to the healing power of sharing our stories, no matter how difficult. (Head to Femtasticpodcast.com to see photos of Lauren and Debbie overseas and at home. There's a super cute pic of Debbie's homecoming to her three kiddos that you're not gonna want to miss.)
Katie interviews Shari and Dakota Hindman, the mother-daughter (respectively) duo behind The Mother's Center. Shari and Dakota discuss the work they do at The Mother's Center to help people honor and stay present for all of the important moments in life (pregnancy included). Specifically, Shari dives deep into the ancient practice of "circle," and how this type of collective communication is used at The Mother's Center as a tool to help people cope with and appreciate whatever life throws their way. They also discuss why it is so important that The Mother's Center's inclusive pregnancy programs honor every event that can happen on the childbearing continuum, regardless of one's gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy outcome.
This episode explores how women farmers are both the most vulnerable to climate change and also the most prepared to stop it. Katie interviews Rachael Cox, CEO of EarthEmpower, a social and environmental enterprise focused on empowering women farmers in rural Guatemala and southern Mexico to use their traditional farming practices to adapt to climate change.
Rachael describes her organization's unconventional development approach that empowers indigenous women to use their communities' centuries-old farming and conservation practices to safeguard against the threats of climate change while fostering economic development.
Katie interviews Rachel Ginocchio, an educator and activist aiming to change the age-old conversation around "where babies come from." Today, less than half of all U.S. families have a married mom and dad raising their genetically related children. Rachel founded an organization called Roads to Family in order to start more inclusive conversations about the many ways that children and families are made in the modern age - whether through divorce and remarriage, adoption, IVF, surrogacy, gay parents, foster care, single parents, transgender families, or some other arrangement. Katie and Rachel discuss why it's time we update how we teach our kids about human reproduction, and how we can start doing so.
Katie interviews Karla Gonzales Garcia, the Policy and Program Director of the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR). Karla describes the work of COLOR, the meaning of reproductive justice, and the public policy issues on COLOR's legislative agenda for 2018. She also explains the ways in which public policies that affect us all (such as paid family leave and affordable healthcare access) uniquely impact Latino and immigrant communities. Lastly, Katie and Karla offer a call to action for listeners to get involved in their state and local politics during this very important year in American politics.
Katie interviews Chiara Bercu, an expert in menstrual health who has worked on adolescent education programs in developing countries across the globe to help prepare students for puberty and menarche. Chiara describes the obstacles to and impact of menstrual hygiene on girls around the world, including the drastic effects that a lack of menstrual hygiene can have on girls' school performance, self confidence, and overall wellbeing. She discusses effective interventions for improving menstrual health and hygiene of girls in developing nations, as well as how taboos surrounding women's periods differ in various countries around the world. Lastly, Katie and Chiara discuss ways in which we can all combat stigma surrounding periods, regardless of where we live.