By Sophie Williams
Graphic by Sophie Williams
FOUR STARS (out of five)
As a young teenager who was extremely distressed by monthly bleeding and premenstrual symptoms, the Clue app’s simple, efficient record-keeping interface was an extremely helpful coping mechanism. Gathering data and getting future notifications based on it kept me from being caught off guard or overly confused or having to think so much about it.
Hormonal, a podcast by Clue, is similarly straightforward and useful, sharing info that can give the listener more control over unknown or uncontrollable circumstances. The first season focuses on hormones, covering a range of topics from endocrine disruptors and acne to histories of medicine. The podcast doesn’t dive too deeply into the material, but introduces ideas and corrects common misconceptions you might not’ve questioned or even considered before. There are excellent tidbits that have nothing to do with menstruation. The interview can contain non-sequiturs, veering away from a topic instead of delving in, but the range is broad. While the episode conclusions are sometimes jarring — with host Rhea Ramjohn thanking the guest and ending the show, leaving you wanting more — it is easily digestible and encourages further exploration.
The language can be binary, as much of the history and science is, but consciously so — and it is often not, taking a refreshingly non-girlboss approach. I recommend Clue for everyone who has a period and Hormonal for everyone who has hormones (that is, everyone) for learning a little more about what we’re all going through.
Favorite Episodes: What Makes a Woman in Women’s Sports, Grains of Salt: Hormone History, and How Pollutants Influence Our Hormones
Random Bonus Recommendation: Gender Abolition, Michel Foucault, and Marxism-Leninism with guest Alyson Escalante (Revolutionary Left Radio)