The Bipolar Feminist Podcast
By Nikita Ramkissoon
The Bipolar Feminist PodcastFeb 12, 2023
Managing mental illness without treatment
The lack of access and affordability to mental health treatment make it difficult to manage, which is why we need universal basic healthcare, which is the only way to ensure everyone gets the help they need and not just the few who can afford it.
Interview: Black men's mental health activist Jayvon Thomas
Jayvon, known on social media as Original Keith, is a student, educator, and activist whose focus is on the upliftment of the black community in the US. Studying psychology in order to help black men navigate the stigmatised world of mental health, Jayvon is aiming to see black liberation but knows that it may not be in his lifetime. We talk about black identity, books, and police killings of unarmed black Americans. Please support Jayvon by donating to his Cashapp on $JayvonT22.
An overview of privilege
The crux of the issue when discussing privilege and how many misunderstand the term is that having privilege does not mean that an individual is immune to life’s hardships, but it does mean having an unearned benefit or advantage one receives in society by nature of their identity.
Interview with Scots poet Len Pennie
I have a great chat more than an interview with Len Pennie, a Scottish poet and Scots language and mental health advocate, who is also a dear friend and fellow feminist writer.
Whiteness in interracial relationships
In relationships with white people, we have structures of internalised superiority and internalised inferiority that have resulted in white people overestimating their human value or are unencumbered by race, and people of colour underestimating their worth based on race.
Living with autism
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Some people with ASD have a known difference, such as a genetic condition. Other causes are not yet known. Scientists believe there are multiple causes of ASD that act together to change the most common ways people develop. We still have much to learn about these causes and how they impact people with ASD.
Being brown and the beauty industry
Beauty has everything to do with how the world sees us and everything to do with how we choose to show ourselves to the world. In the world’s insistence that we, as brown-skinned people with brown histories, aspire to be as white as possible, any sort of celebration and marking of brownness as good is undesirable for whiteness to flourish.
Say their names
Black people killed by police from 1870 to 2023. None of them had been charged with a crime.
Artwork of Aiyana Stanley Jones by Adrian Brandon from his "Stolen" series, dedicated to the many Black people that were robbed of their lives at the hands of the police. I use time as a medium to define how long each portrait is coloured in. One year of life meant one minute of colour.
The Male Gaze and its effects
The male gaze encompasses sexual objectification, which is the way in which the female body is viewed as an object only deemed purposeful for male sexual interaction and gratification. What happens through this sexual objectification is that men objectify woman’s bodies.
Disability, brownness, and feminism
The disabled people's movement - while many and sometimes the majority of its activists are women - is still informed by political and theoretical debates which strangely sideline brown women's experiences and issues. In this regard, none of the movements are truly intersectional.
Feminism and the Global South
While I do agree that solidarity is essential, and that listening to other contexts matters, I challenge the idea of passive solidarity with western feminism as the way to go about ensuring freedom for all women the world over. The global South" is not a homogenous space.
The power of the feminist manifesto
The ultimate goal of the feminist manifesto is to direct our energies to the wide range of targets for our oppression, to shamelessly operate as both individuals and a collective body, to welcome into the fold new and forgotten voices of feminist resistance, and to express righteous anger loudly and forcefully, even with the weight of the world on our shoulders.
Mythbusting intersectional feminism
There are many myths about feminism that pervade the truth about the movement. In order to debunk these myths we need to understand what feminism actually is before we show what it isn’t. Feminism is the belief in social, political and economic equality of all people regardless of sex, sexuality or gender identity.
A feminist analysis of domestic violence
Although domestic violence has been defined in a variety of different ways, and there is no “perfect definition,” it can be defined as a pattern of behaviour in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
Podcast: Mental health and brown communities
Mental health issues are an increasing problem in communities of colour. This is not surprising, given the unique challenges we face as the global majority that do not have the same access to resources, education, and jobs as our white counterparts.
Pornography through a feminist lens
Pro-porn feminists first asserted that sex work is no different from other kinds of work during the fight against the MacKinnon-Dworkin ordinance, an argument that is especially important because it then follows that the porn set, like any other workplace, should be safe, regulated, and free from discrimination.
How rape culture distorts the reality of sexual violence
Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorisation or blatant disregard of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.
Stereotypes and tokenism
Stereotyping is just one of the things that impact people in ways that homogenises large groups of people and it can lead to what is called tokenism.
Whiteness Part II
The second episode in a two-part series that looks at a brief rundown on the history and meaning of whiteness.
Whiteness Part I
The first episode in a two-part series that looks at a brief rundown on the history and meaning of whiteness.
All about ADHD
Despite how common ADHD is, doctors and researchers still aren’t sure what causes the condition. It’s believed to have neurological origins. Genetics may also play a role. Research suggests that a reduction in dopamine is a factor in ADHD.
TERFs are neither radical nor feminist
It is not sex that determines one’s experiences with oppression, but gender identity’s relationship with that sex. Cisgender women are undeniably oppressed in comparison to cisgender men, and their oppression is not dismissed when compared to their transgender sisters.
Celebrity misogyny and its support harms survivors
Famous perpetrators will set themselves up as pillars of society to hold themselves above reproach. People might go out of their way to establish themselves as charitable or compassionate ... so that when an allegation does come up, that’s their first line of defence.
The nuances of the female orgasm
Women are blessed with bodies that are capable of experiencing orgasm in more ways than one. Some researchers believe that there are as many as 12 types of female orgasms.
Womanism and how it differs from feminism
It is well known that black women have a higher likelihood of experiencing violence, receiving lower pay, and seeing fewer media and political representations of women who look like them. Because the mainstream feminist movement does not begin to cover this one-two punch of racism and sexism, a paralleling womanist movement was formed to acknowledge black women’s specific struggle for equality.
The politics of body and beauty standards
It is a reality that we need to continue teaching ourselves to dislike our appearances, to feel inadequate and frustrated, and try to look as beautiful and exotic as possible. The balancing act we play, as women, is hard enough without the need to justify playing their game or not.
Growing up surrounded by white narratives, I have had to purposefully dismantle the internalised belief that my story was not worth telling. As a brown, queer, disabled woman, I grappled with the constant fear that, as a writer, I would have to assimilate to telling white male narratives or perish. It also stemmed from the fact that all of my teachers were white and furthered these ideas, despite all the privileges afforded to my school to create a racially diverse space.
Interview: She's A Crowd - the world's first sexual assault reporting tool
Too often, survivors of sexual assault don't report because of stigma, lack of interest by authorities, and victim-blaming, among many other reasons. She's A Crowd allows survivors to report their experiences and turns it into a dataset that authorities can use preventatively and that researchers can use to bring light to the issues survivors face.
The real threat of online abuse
With the #MeToo movement, it’s easy to log onto social media and see just how many women are victims of sexual harassment. Whether in person or online, women everywhere have experienced it in one way or another. And with all the new ways the internet has opened avenues of communication, online harassment is more prevalent than ever.
How men can be feminists
Put simply, feminism as practised by men is often just decent manners. This behaviour is the inspiration behind the old joke heard at women’s events everywhere: “Have you heard the one about the feminist man walking into a bar? He tripped over it because it was set so low.”
Interview with US presidential candidate Jasmine Sherman
Jasmine Sherman is the Executive Director of Greater Charlotte Rise, an organisation, dedicated to immediate housing relief in Mecklenburg County. Jasmine is passionate about the community with a focus on supporting the housing insecure, children's education/welfare, and women's rights.
Bipolar disorder: A both clinical and personal look
Bipolar disorder is a type of mood disorder in which people have prolonged episodes of low mood and of abnormally 'high' or elevated mood, which are termed depression and mania - or hypomania - respectively. These episodes disrupt a person's life, interfering with their thoughts, emotions, behaviours, relationships, and day-to-day functioning.
Interview with writer Kimberly Latrice Jones
Taking her 2020 viral video and book, How We Can Win a little further, Kimberly Jones and I chat about how black women are impacted by the white supremacist delusion.
Girls' access to education in the global south
While women do have the right to access education in many countries, there are several barriers that prevent them from doing so in the global south.
Special podcast: Abortion is also about racial and economic justice
That abortion bans would resemble your average day in US policing is not an exaggeration. Just like the war on drugs made it easy for the criminal justice system to target certain communities - particularly the poor and people of colour - disparities in the way in which policies are enforced infect every stage of the system such as the decision to arrest, the decision whether to charge and which charges to bring, the trial process, and sentencing, poor black women will bear the brunt.
Interview with astrophysicist Kirsten Banks
"My favourite part about what I do is seeing someone's face light up when the lightbulb flicks on, their eyes widen, and they have that "ah-ha" moment. I want to help people appreciate and understand space and astronomy so that we can all enjoy the night sky that we share, together."
Girls, women, and bitches: Why language matters
Honestly, many people don’t think this is a big deal and some women even call themselves and others “girls, ladies, or bitches.” But could this impact the way people think about women?
The state of disability in South Africa
Disabilities - both physical and mental - are misunderstood in South Africa, and therefore, people with disabilities are sometimes shunned or excluded from society.
Gender bias in hiring and employment
Although many sexist prejudices have weakened over time, gender stereotypes still influence employers’ decisions during the hiring process, and those stereotypes disadvantage all genders.
The pink tax and its financial implications
While we may laugh at aprons being called “manly cooking vests”, the real implication for women is that women end up paying on average $1400 more on their products per year for no good reason.
The choice to be childfree
Why does the world get so angry when people who can have kids just ... won't? We look at the reasons it makes sense not to procreate.
The myth of the friendzone
The friendzone is jokingly used to describe when men who show affection through kindness to women are labelled as just friends when they believe they are owed more. This episode explores the often disastrous consequences of such assumptions.
Special episode: Roe v Wade and what its overturning means
The impact of overturning Roe v Wade would be to end the guarantee of federal constitutional protection of abortion rights and allow each state to decide whether to restrict or ban abortion.
Interview with a feminist communications specialist: Dr James Stein
Dr James B Stein is a lecturer in Communications in Utah and his social media content specialises in educating men on effective feminist communication methods. He's also quite funny and takes his tactics to new levels to get through to the stubborn men.
The mental load and its effects on women
Women bear so many burdens and the mental load, or cognitive labour, is one of the many things that holds us back socially, economically, and emotionally. In this episode, we tackle the meaning of the mental load.
Why men's mental health is a feminist issue
Many men do not seek help for their mental illnesses and the consequences are devastating for society and women in particular.
Beyond yes or no: Consent and consenting behaviour
People often believe consent is something that has grey areas. Newsflash: It does not.
Interview with music industry specialist Angela Weickl
Angela Weickl, the co-director of shesaid.so, an organisation aimed at helping women in the music industry find tangible solutions to hurdles they face, speaks to us about the organisation and the state of misogyny in the South African music industry.
Childhood abuse Part III: Effects and recovery
**TRIGGER WARNING** Sexual abuse, childhood abuse, rape, depression, mental illness
In this episode, the third episode in this series, I speak about my experience of childhood sexual abuse and how it truly feels to be abused. This podcast contains sensitive content.
Interview with transformation coach Part II - Generational trauma and healing
This week is the second part of an interview with Mayuri Govender, founder and transformation coach and consultant at Breaking Brown Silence (BBS) Consulting where she does anti-racism and anti-discrimination work with corporates, universities, schools, and pretty much any organisation that needs transformation.
Childhood abuse Part II: Experiencing abuse
**TRIGGER WARNING** Sexual abuse, childhood abuse, rape, depression, mental illness
In this episode, I speak about my experience of childhood sexual abuse and how it truly feels to be abused. This podcast contains sensitive content.
Interview with transformation coach part I: Feminism and Indian South Africans
This week is the first part of an interview with Mayuri Govender, founder and transformation coach and consultant at Breaking Brown Silence (BBS) Consulting where she does anti-racism and anti-discrimination work with corporates, universities, schools, and pretty much any organisation that needs transformation.
Childhood abuse Part I: Grooming and gaslighting
**TRIGGER WARNING** Sexual abuse, childhood abuse, rape, grooming, gaslighting
In this episode, I speak about my experience of childhood sexual abuse and how it began with grooming and gaslighting. This podcast contains sensitive content.
White feminism and why it's dangerous
White feminism is a form of the movement that has prioritised white supremacy over women's rights. In this episode, we talk about what white feminism is and why it's so detrimental to the feminist movement as a whole.
Hysteria and why mental health is a feminist issue
Throughout history, women have been disconnected from effective healthcare due to every problem being blamed on the pseudoscience of hysteria. This week, we look at how women are undermined in mental healthcare.
We delve into what internalised misogyny is and how it affects people in private and public settings, including the home, work, schools, and religious organisations.
Feminist economics and why we need it
In this episode, we take a look at the current capitalist economy through a feminist lens and give a run-down of why we need feminist economics within the existing system.
Language, gender, and feminism
Today we look at the importance of language in how we represent gender and the terminology that can help us understand it more.
Why bipolar? Why feminist?
Welcome to the Bipolar Feminist Podcast! Where I will be introducing you to the topics that I talk about the most - mental health and feminism. I hope you enjoy this journey of discovery.