Feminist Folklore

97 EpisodesProduced by Skylark Media

Feminist Folklore examines fairy tales, myths, and legends from around the world through a feminist lens, asking the question: how do the stories we tell about girls and women inform our attitudes about gender, sexuality, and more?

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90: Meet La Llorona’s German Cousin

April 17th, 2019

37:12

This week, Rachael shares a story that may sound familiar to fans of La Llorona: The Woman in White. She’s a tanner’s daughter, he’s a knight pretending to be someone else so he can hook up with her . . . This can't end …

89: Morgan Le Fay Leans In

April 10th, 2019

35:06

Move over King Arthur, Morgan Le Fay is the baddest bitch in town! This week, Carlea shares a much-requested story, Morgan Le Fay, and it sure is a …

We'll Be Right Back!

April 3rd, 2019

3:15

Feminist Folklore is taking a quick break this week! But Rachael and special guest Aaron (!!!) have something to tell you anyway:

We're looking for …

88: The Robber Bridegroom

March 27th, 2019

47:42

This week, Rachael shares a story about a fiancé who's not what he seems, and the intrepid young woman who exposes his lies. We love a story about a brave woman who's not afraid to stand up to the shady men in her life! 

87: The Girl with the Horse's Head

March 20th, 2019

46:12

This week, Carlea shares a myth from China about the goddess of silk worms, who has a more upsetting origin story than you might expect. It …

86: The Twa Sisters

March 13th, 2019

48:32

This week, Rachael shares a story about two royal sisters who don't get along so well, and a traveling musician who could give Hannibal Lecter a run …

85: The Princess and the Pea

March 6th, 2019

50:52

This week, Carlea shares a story from Hans Christian Andersen about a picky prince and a very sensitive princess. Is it a celebration of ladies' delicacy, or a send-up of the nobility's oversensitivity? Who knows! Maybe …

84: American Hysteria Crossover!

February 25th, 2019

39:57

This week, Carlea and Rachael team up with Chelsey Weber-Smith of the Skylark podcast American Hysteria to discuss contemporary legends like The Hook …

83: Boo Hag

February 20th, 2019

50:43

This week, Rachael shares a Gullah story about a beautiful woman who's not all she seems, much to the peril of her new husband. But hey, who hasn't …

82: The North Wind and the West Wind

February 13th, 2019

40:40

This week, Carlea shares an Italian story about a breeze who just wants somebody to love. Yeah, anthropomorphic wind is a weird one, we know. But if people insist on gendering the wind, you better believe we're gonna …

81: The Goose Girl

February 6th, 2019

52:02

This week, Rachael shares a listener suggestion (thanks, Mandy!) about a princess and her scheming maid. It's almost like a non-voluntary Parent Trap …

80: The King and the Clever Girl

January 30th, 2019

52:12

This week, Carlea shares a story from India about a young woman who's really playing the long con. If you liked The Emperor's New Clothes but always wanted more feminism in it, this one's for you!

Audio engineering and …

79: The Myth of the Founding of Rome

January 23rd, 2019

52:15

This week, guest Lauren Crossland-Marr shares a story about a Vestal virgin, a she-wolf, and some serious sibling conflict. You may know it as the …

78: Synevyr

January 16th, 2019

47:32

This week, Carlea shares a story from Ukraine about a girl, her dead boyfriend, and a big lake of tears. And OK, it's tragic and everything, but also? Relatable. Who hasn't wanted to cry so much they created a body of …

77: Live at the Chicago Podcast Festival

January 9th, 2019

36:00

We're back in the new year with a live episode from the Chicago Podcast Festival, where Carlea and Rachael discuss a local ghost story. You know the story -- girl meets boy, boy falls in love with girl, girl vanishes …

76: The Blind Man's Daughter

December 26th, 2018

47:02

This week, Rachael shares a story from Korea about a series of deals that go from bad to worse, and somehow the heroine's always the one who gets the short end of the stick. She gets a happy ending, but we still have …

75: Spookmas 2018!

December 19th, 2018

50:00

This week, Rachael and Carlea share stories of holiday monsters: La Befana from Italy and Mari Lwyd from Wales. Except neither of these spooky …

74: The Girl and the Snake

December 12th, 2018

44:28

This week, Carlea shares a story about an adventurous girl and a snake who respects her autonomy until a no become a yes. Kind of some mixed messages in terms of respecting women's choices, to say the least.

Audio …

73: The Owl Women

December 5th, 2018

40:13

This week, Rachael shares a Yakama Native American story about superhuman sisters on the hunt for a man, but not in the way you might think. There's intrigue, deer blood, and deadly tricks. And, surprise surprise, the …

72: Snotra the Elf Woman

November 29th, 2018

48:56

This week, Carlea shares an Icelandic story about a woman who's living a double life, a nosy farmhand, and some mutton. Really, the mutton is important! Pay attention to the mutton!

Audio engineering provided by Aaron …

71: An Abenaki Witch Story

November 21st, 2018

45:38

This week, Rachael shares a story from the Abenaki people about a dead witch in a tree, and a husband who just won't listen to his wife . . . and pays the price!

Audio engineering and story music provided by Aaron …

70: The Tree That Absorbed Tears

November 14th, 2018

47:27

This week, Carlea shares a Jewish folktale about a woman in a difficult situation who only has a tree to tell her troubles to. This is why it's …

Introducing American Hysteria

November 12th, 2018

2:24

Feminist Folklore is excited to tell our listeners about a new podcast from Skylark Media: American Hysteria!

American Hysteria is a podcast …

69: The Bound Children

November 7th, 2018

42:22

This week, Rachael shares a Sioux story about a grieving widow who gets her groove back, but doesn't exactly go about it in the best way. Maybe don't murder your children just so you can spend more time with your new …

68: Spooklore II: the Spookening

October 31st, 2018

53:42

For Halloween, Carlea and Rachael each share a spooky contemporary legend: "The Poison Dress" and "Teke Teke". Join us for tales of glow-ups gone wrong and chance encounters with horrifying consequences. Happy Halloween …

Introducing Blackwood

October 24th, 2018

12:05

Feminist Folklore is excited to tell our listeners about a new podcast out now from Wondery and Skylark Media: Blackwood!

Five years ago, three …

67: The Witch of Treva

October 24th, 2018

42:22

This week, Carlea shares a story from Cornwall about a witch, her skeptical husband, and an impossible test. All we’re saying is, when a woman tells you she’s a witch, believe her!

Audio engineering provided by Aaron …

66: The Legend of Xunaan

October 17th, 2018

36:46

This week, Rachael shares a story from Mexico about a beautiful girl, her warrior boyfriend, and her overprotective mother. Because it's totally …

65: The Frog Prince

October 10th, 2018

44:44

This week, Carlea shares a classic fairy tale about a young girl who’s forced to marry a slimy suitor just because he helped her out one time. One time! But it turns out if you throw enough frogs against a wall, maybe …

64: Kakuarshuk

October 3rd, 2018

39:19

This week we tell you the amazing/confusing story of Kakuarshuk. This Inuit tale has everything: adult babies, trolls using seals as weapons, and of …

63: Aunt Misery

September 26th, 2018

31:52

Ok, OK, so the name IS problematic. But! wait until you see who Aunt Misery tricks. Hint: he and Bill Murray did not get along in Scrooged... He also carries scythe. Bottom line, Aunt Misery has. got. it. figured. out. …

62: La Candileja

September 19th, 2018

40:39

This week's story is a listener suggestion: La Candelija. This is a "holier than thou" story. Here is the gist: woman raises questionable men, but …

61: La Patasola

September 12th, 2018

52:09

This week we bring you the weird/horrific/amazing story of La Patasola (a listener suggestion). La Patasola was married to a tyrant, and when she had …

60: Yatsuya

September 4th, 2018

1:10:04

This week the femlore ladies welcome Nicky Mandiola, of one of our favorite podcast Malicious Mamas to gather 'round the campfire and tell us a …

59: The Condor Seeks a Wife

August 28th, 2018

48:09

"The Condor Seeks a Wife" is pretty misleading, since the condor doesn’t really seek a wife, mostly he just pretends to be something else and then carries a poor, unsuspecting woman away. Real messed up right? Wait, it …

58: Guinina

August 21st, 2018

41:50

Welcome to problematic central! Next stop this story. This week, Rachael tells us the story of Guinina, a Taino woman from Puerto Rico who falls in love with a conquistador named Don Christobal de Sotomayer (real dude, …

57: Two Sisters and their Neighbor

August 15th, 2018

39:52

This week, Carlea and Rachael discuss a Mexican folktale called "Two Sisters and their Neighbor". Get ready for for a suuuuuper sex negative tale of …

56: Woman in the Veil

August 8th, 2018

42:24

It's a story everyone knows: boy falls in love with girl, boy's best friend is skeptical, boy and girl meet up, girl is a man eating ghoul. See? you …

55: La Siguanaba

August 1st, 2018

43:04

This week, a posion, that instead of killing just makes you into a monster... Can I have a drop of that? Also, a woman who puts her desires first and pays dearly for it. For men, its just another Saturday night …

54: La Tunda

July 25th, 2018

41:29

Two words: shrimp. farts. But like, the shrimp doesn't fart... A monster farts on shrimp and then feeds it to people, making them catatonic. “Ewww, what kind of a monster is she??!” you may ask, but maybe she just had …

53: Love Like Salt

July 18th, 2018

42:12

What do you love the most important person in your life as much as? Rachael is set on indoor plumbing/ toilet seat. In this week's tale the protagonist proclaims that she loves her father as much as (you guessed it!): …

52: Tanabata

July 10th, 2018

40:53

Ever heard of the story of Tanabata? If you lived in Japan then you probably have. It's a summer festival in Japan that centers around a love story. This one is as tragic as they come, but I mean that's what make an …

51: The Princess Who Never Smiled

July 4th, 2018

39:59

This week, Carlea tells a story about a princess who really doesn't feel like smiling, thank you very much. Everyone goes to great lengths to get a little smile out of her, but maybe she just isn't in the mood, OK? …

50: The Fox Sister

June 27th, 2018

40:43

This week, Rachael tells a pretty creepy story from Korea. The Fox Sister is about when you were a kid and you told your sister she was adopted, but …

49: How the Giantess Guimara Became Small

June 20th, 2018

54:12

How exactly does a giantess become small? I mean, there has to be a class where she gets called on and does not know the answer, right? Nope, that was just Rachael’s experience. Well, this Giantess is a badass who is a …

Femlore Anniversa-minisode

June 15th, 2018

22:52

It's officially our first birthday and that means it's time for the fem-lore-anniversa-mini-sode! For the anniversary episiode we talk our favorite femlore stories. Thank you all for all your support, and here is to …

48: Zerendac

June 13th, 2018

54:21

This week, Carlea and Rachael talk Zerendac. A tale that has everything you could possibly want: magical ghouls who feed people their ears, Women who …

47: The Good Wife and the Bad Husband

June 6th, 2018

49:47

This week, Carlea and Rachael discuss a tale from India. This story kinda feels like the quintassential glass houses/stones situation, except with a woman who is shamelessly tricked—and a husband who isn't, but is so …

46: Bride Bridekins

May 30th, 2018

1:03:19

We're baaaaaack! This week, Rachael and Carlea discuss a fairy tale from a well-known Croatian children's collection published in the early 20th …

61: Bluebeard REMIX

May 23rd, 2018

36:26

This week is another classic from the Femlore vault: Bluebeard! This tale is about a super chill dude who really, really, REALLY doesn't want his new …

60: Barbara Allen REMIX

May 16th, 2018

24:26

This week, Rachael and Carlea are still on a break... So we have decided to republish our episode on the beloved folk song Barbara Allen. Nothing …

59: La Llorona REMIX

May 9th, 2018

35:29

This week, we are re-releasing an old episode: La Llorona. 

If you don't know the story, its a doozy. Let us sum up, woman marries man against her …

45: The Lady With The Ring

May 2nd, 2018

55:20

This week Carlea tells us a spooo-oooky story from Europe. Here is the gist: A lady "dies" (notice the quotation marks) and is buried, but when the grave robbers make their move, she wakes up. Too bad, that's only the …

44: The Flea

April 25th, 2018

43:21

This week, Rachael and Carlea discuss a strange classic, “The Flea.” Nope, it’s not a follow-up to “The Fly” (side note—we love you, Jeff Goldblum). …

43: Little Red Cap

April 18th, 2018

49:35

You may have heard this story. Here's the quick synopsis: girl strays off path to smell some flowers on way to Grandmothers house, meanwhile wolf …

42: Blodeuwedd

April 11th, 2018

37:11

This week, we meet Blodeuwedd. A Welsh lady that was originally a bunch of flowers only to be put together in the shape of a woman so that she can be the wife of some guy (Galatea anyone?). Blodeuwedd, though, has …

41: The Girl and the Dead Man

April 4th, 2018

40:48

In this week’s episode, three young girls separately go out to find their fortune (‘cause that’s what you do with your family... separate). Anywho, all three girls are offered Bannock (google it, it looks yummy), but …

40: Omie Wise

March 28th, 2018

39:20

Rachael and Carlea talk murder ballads. You know, those old-fashioned pop songs that recount terrible crimes. Though we’re pretty sure they would be …

39: Rapunzel

March 21st, 2018

1:02:44

This week we have our favorite guest Mindy Scott on (again!). Mindy tells a story barely any of us have heard . . . Rapunzel.

Here is the scene: Rapunzel is a plant (no, seriously) that a husband steals from a witch …

38: The Old Woman in the Wood

March 14th, 2018

37:02

This week, Carlea tells a story from the little known Brother's Grimm (who dat, amirite?) The main character has to deal with more than just like, getting robbed... She has to deal with a mansplaining dove (gasp!). This …

37: Tannakin Skinker

March 7th, 2018

37:24

Oh? Tannakin? Yea, she just happens to have the face of a pig, but a "womanly figure" (eyeroll). Poor Tannakin... she eats her dinner from a silver …

36: How a Loving Couple was Parted

February 28th, 2018

35:28

To round out our series on African American folktales (#BlackHistoryMonth), Carlea tells the story of a lady who just wants some shoes and does …

35: Annie Christmas

February 21st, 2018

35:54

We are still on our journey through stories from the African American Diaspora (specifically the Louisiana region #blackhistorymonth). This week, a badass lady named Annie Christmas. Annie takes no shit and is taking …

34: The Six Witches

February 14th, 2018

33:38

Our Black History Month series continues! This week: a story about six witches who fly in the face of the Capitalist machine. This one's …

33: Big Liz

February 7th, 2018

32:47

This week, a contemporary legend from Maryland (Femlore's home state!) In honor of Black History Month, we are going to be focusing on African …

45: Cinderella

January 31st, 2018

44:42

This week, Rachael and Carlea tell you a classic! The one and only: Cinderella. In this version by the Brothers Grimm, Cinderella is an able bodied young woman who scales trees to run from the prince (can’t he take a …

31: Vasilisa the Beautiful

January 24th, 2018

43:48

This weeks special appearances include: an evil stepmother, Baba Yaga, magic thread, and of course... a Csar! 

Everyone voted for Baba Yaga last week, so here she is. This tale also has a woman named Vasilisa, who has …

30: Crystal the Wise

January 17th, 2018

37:00

This week: a Chillean story about a lady who is too smart for her guy. Crystal, the wisest person in her kingdom, is commissioned to tutor King's daughter. While there she meets a snot-nosed prince who she doesn't like, …

29: "Chimidyue" by Special Guest Mindy Scott

January 10th, 2018

52:03

This week's story is brought to you by our amazing guest Mindy Scott. She tells us this story of "Chimidyue" a Native South American folktale about a …

2: Sarah Winchester

January 3rd, 2018

21:17

This week, the femlore ladies are still on holiday vacay. In the meantime, we gift you a classic from the "Disney" vault (just kidding). This one is …

1: Beauty and the Beast

December 27th, 2017

26:17

Because Carlea and Rachael are on vacation, we thought we would re-release an old episode of ours that you can't find anywhere else! In this episode, …

28: Holiday Double Feature: Christmas Monsters edition

December 20th, 2017

40:01

Happy Holidays listeners! This week, the femlore ladies bring you two woman-monsters that have been overlooked in our traditional …

27: The Legend of Koko Head

December 13th, 2017

30:56

The legend of Koko Head is a Hawaiian myth. Let's quickly sum up: a story where a goddess sends her vagina somewhere else to lure a rapist...? What is happening? Why did it take so long for us to cover this one...? Most …

26: Katie Crackernuts

December 6th, 2017

34:47

Katie crackernuts? Hardly know her... Ugh, sorry about that. All horrible misogynistic jokes aside, this B is T-O-U-G-H. Not only that, but she knows her worth and she asks for it. Crackernuts (hehe) is the heroine of …

25: The Invisible One

November 29th, 2017

29:46

This week we have a Native American legend from the Mi'kmaq people, this one is a real page turner/ear turner (that's probably not right...). It's a rags to riches (debateable) story of a young woman who takes a chance …

24: The Chuang Brocade

November 22nd, 2017

31:14

This week, Carlea shares the Chinese fairy tale "The Chuang Brocade". Finally, a hero we can root for . . . sort of? Join us for magic tapestries, horses with human teeth, fairy palaces, and a romance so quick it puts …

23: Mulan

November 15th, 2017

29:04

This week prepare to leave happy. Rachael reads a little known annonymously written poem from the Northern Wei Dynasty... Mulan (translation by Hans …

22: The Bone Church with Special Guest Lauren Crossland-Marr

November 8th, 2017

32:13

This week, special guest Lauren Crossland-Marr (Rachael's twin sister) tells us a story in honor of last week's All Souls Day. It's a macbre …

21: Spooklore Double Feature!

October 31st, 2017

46:29

For Halloween, Carlea and Rachael discuss two short contemporary legends: "The Babysitter" and "The Slit-Mouthed Woman". Are women vulnerable …

20: Tam Lin

October 25th, 2017

29:58

A tale as old as time… You know the one where the really hot guy is a captive of a fairy queen and might be an all around terrible person…? Its OK, …

19: The Painted Skin

October 18th, 2017

37:50

This week, we tell the Chinese tale of the Painted Skin. A terrifying tale of makeup... well, more like taking someones body and then painting their skin with the skin of said (now dead) person. Nope, that's not the …

18: The Old Hag

October 11th, 2017

32:03

"You've just been hagged," is not a your mama joke, it's a terrifying phenomemnon that many Newfoundlanders are all too familiar with. Here's the rundown: you hear someone coming up your stairs, slowly making there way …

17: Bloody Mary

October 4th, 2017

32:55

Boo! (Gotcha!) Our spooklore countdown to Halloween is in full swing! This week Rachael and Carlea talk one of the most famous Legends around: Bloody …

16: The Juniper Tree

September 27th, 2017

37:37

The ingredients of this story are enough to make a listener believe in Spooklore. After all, you've got a woman who gets crushed by a stone, a little boy who gets his neck chopped off by the lid of a chest, add a little …

15: Lady Bathory

September 20th, 2017

35:42

This week, we discuss Countess Elizabeth Bathory . . . and the questions that persist around the stories of her terrible cruelty. Was the "Blood Countess" as evil as they say, or was this a case of exaggerated charges …

14: The Disobedient Girl Who Married a Skull

September 13th, 2017

28:52

This week our episode comes to us by way of Nigeria. No, listener, you did not read that title wrong. Here is the play by play: disobedient daughter …

13: The Peony Lantern

September 6th, 2017

31:34

This week Rachael tells us the story of "The Peony Lantern." A ghost story from Japan, we are officially kicking off Halloween!

Music: Pray For Japan by fri.events Orchestra

12: The Dog Bride

August 30th, 2017

32:13

This week Carlea tells us the story of the Dog Wife. You know, the one where the guy marries a dog 'cause he finds out it becomes a beautiful lady at …

11: The Pastor's Wife

August 20th, 2017

35:59

Get the tissues out, listener, this one is a doozy. The Pastor's Wife is a Danish folktale that is super depressing—and problematic. Firstly, our …

10: Barbara Allen

August 16th, 2017

31:22

In "Barbara Allen," two people who hardly know each other die for love, as people tend to do in folk ballads.

Questions, comments, hopes, dreams? …

9: The Wife of Bath's Tale

August 9th, 2017

37:19

Our first listener recommended story is finally here! This story is like the plot of “What Women Want.” Except, you know, it happened in the 1400s, and instead of Mel Gibson, it’s a knight with a lusty liver. The knight …

8: La Llorona

August 2nd, 2017

35:29

We've updated this episode with better sound quality! check out episode number 60.

La Llorona, mourning her husband's infidelity does the unthinkable. No, doesn't move in with her parents… it's waaaaaaay worse…

7: Bluebeard

July 26th, 2017

32:52

In this episode Carlea describe the bizarre tale of Bluebeard. The guy with the perfectly sized, and totally normal key...

Music: Bach's Ariata Variata, variations 1 & 2, by Brandon Kinsella

6: Galatea

July 19th, 2017

20:04

Buckle up listeners (Mom)! In this episode, Carlea tells us the story of Galatea. You know, the completely normal story of a sculptor falling in love …

5: Cora's Tree

July 12th, 2017

24:50

This week, Rachael tells us the story of Cora's Tree, an old American legend that has everything we love: witches, familiars, and a guy named Captain …

4: The Crane Wife

July 6th, 2017

24:09

This week Carlea tells us a Japanese folk tale called the Crane Wife. A bird that is also a wife? This one reeks of the patriarchy. Also! we have a …

3: The Little Mermaid

June 14th, 2017

38:13

In this episode, Rachael and Carlea discuss the classic Fairytale, "The Little Mermaid." Join us as we tell the original Hans Christian Andersen version and discuss how this beloved story is filled with many, many …

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