What Does It Mean To Be A Woman?

Jul 23, 2013

What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be a man? Those are two large questions with no right answers. Ross Reynolds sits down with University of Washington professor Amanda Swarr for a discussion on gender, sexuality, identity and pressure while listeners share their definitions of what it means to be a woman.

The world of video games has a long history of damsels in distress. It's the go-to framework for endless heroic adventures where fabulous male heroes journey to save [insert female captured by villain here].

Washington state is in the process of changing the language in state law to make it more gender neutral. Policemen are now police officers, for instance, and freshmen will become first-year students. Supporters say the change is needed because language matters. Critics say the changes are a waste of money. Ross Reynolds interviews University of Washington Sociolinguist Crispin Thurlow, and we take your phone calls.

Mark Humphrey / AP Photo

Today Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will announce the military’s plan to allow women to serve in combat roles. It’s a move that could open up roughly a quarter million jobs for women in the military. Do you think women should serve in combat roles? Ross Reynolds hears your feedback today on The Conversation.

Naomi Wolf On Sexuality And Creativity

Dec 4, 2012
Naomi Wolf

Naomi Wolf, author of "The Beauty Myth," has written a cultural and scientific history of the intersection of sexuality and creativity. She joins us to talk about "Vagina: A New Biography."


From Wonder Woman to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, superwomen have broken through the boys' club of superhero mythology. But never for very long.

Writer Jen Stuller looks at the modern superwoman in pop culture in her book, "Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors."

Stuller tackles a wide array of cultural issues through the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau.



Is gender inequity the biggest issue of our time? Around the world, it’s not unusual for young girls from poor families to be kept out of school. In India, the mortality rate for girls under age five is 50 percent higher than it is for boys. Pulitzer Prize–winning author of “Half the Sky” Sheryl WuDunn talked with us earlier this year about education, poverty, maternal mortality, sex trafficking and gender inequality, and what can be done to help.