How podcasting became the safe space so many of us needed
As many of us look to podcasts for escapism, education, and storytelling, it’s also become a safe space for people when they need it most. In this article, we’re looking at how women and other marginalised groups found their tribe thanks to audio.
In 2021, the Centre for Intimacy Justice studied 60 businesses that serve women’s health and health for people of diverse genders that had attempted to advertise on Facebook. Of the 60 surveyed, every company had experienced Facebook or Instagram rejecting an ad.
Of the 60 businesses surveyed, 50% reported that Facebook – now Meta – suspended their entire ad accounts for violating the terms, citing that the ads were classified as “adult products” as the most common reason for rejection.
The brands facing rejected ads categories included pregnancy or postpartum care, menopause, pelvic pain, menstrual health, fertility, sexual wellness, education, and others.
While these female-focused ads were being rejected, the platforms allowed the below ads to run.
(Source: Centre for Intimacy Justice)
It isn’t the first time we’ve seen a report like this; unfortunately, it won’t be the last. However, as the report showcased the downside of social media, it also highlighted the positive of podcasting.
Finding our voices through podcasting
When leading social platforms censor women’s health and sexual wellness, podcasting sits at the other end of the spectrum. Enter podcasts such as The Sexual Wellness Sessions, PERIOD podcast and The Dr Louise Newson Podcast.
To us, podcasting is a space that allows creators to tackle ‘taboo’ subjects head-on. Audio isn’t a space of censorship or shying away from ‘difficult’ topics. Instead, podcasting is a space that champions these conversations to take place. As a result, marginalised communities feel heard and as if they have a community to turn to in times of need.
In a survey of 1,000 podcast listeners in the UK and US who identify as women and men, Acast found that 92% of respondents are open to hearing about ‘sensitive and less spoken about’ topics. Furthermore, 57% of respondents shared that they ‘fully expect’ hosts and guests to cover sensitive issues.
Because of the nature of audio, it allows for authentic, inquisitive and candid conversations, which resonate with listeners. As a result, the medium fosters a genuine connection that can’t be replicated in other online formats.
Podcasting also serves as a safe space for hosts too. Explaining how the medium allows a carefree approach to content creation, Bianca Foley from the Sustainably Influenced podcast shared:
“As someone who lives their life online on Instagram and other social media platforms, podcasting allowed us to reach a whole new audience in a more carefree way! On visual platforms, I always feel that I have to be “made up” whereas podcasting is all about the content of the conversation and not what I look like!”
This sentiment of freedom is echoed by Sherween Gonzales from the *(Relate)able Podcast who told us:
“Podcasting allowed me to be open, honest, be free about things that I’m interested in, things that I love, things that I’ve experienced and there’s just no judgement. I’m able to reach my audience on a personal level. I can just speak freely; be myself. There are no cameras; nobody watching. It’s just myself and my two co-hosts speaking and having fun.”
Podcasts you should check out
It’s refreshing to flick through the podcasting charts and see so many diverse creators have found their voice. From tackling racism and homophobia to mental health and sexual wellness, podcasts offer genuine connections and conversations no other medium can.
Here are some of our favourites:
1. *(Relate)able Podcast
2. The Log Books
3. Shade Podcast
4. All in Due Time
6. Menopause Whilst Black
7. Black Meno and Beyond
In a nutshell, podcasting is the medium for you if you’ve got something you want to say without censorship. If you’re ready to take to the mic and could use the support of our inclusive community, click here to discover our membership options.