“I want to make feminism accessible by using comedy and satire”
What are you raising awareness for?
With my satirical podcast “Beppende Baarmoeder” (loosely translated as “Chatty Uterus”) I’m raising awareness for bodily autonomy in a witty way. I believe everyone has the right to bodily autonomy. However, in some cases people and companies try to impose restrictions upon our bodies.
An example would be the recently launched menstruation glove “Pinky Glove”, which framed menstruation as something unhygienic and girly. In my podcast I make fun of sexist beliefs and products like these. I do this by advertising fake products like “Spermy Glove”, which is a parody on the infamous menstrual glove.
What inspired you to start your podcast?
In 2021, when I was still working on my previous career in human rights law, I felt disconnected from myself. To reconnect I gave up on hormonal contraceptives and I had my first period in a long time. As a part of this process I read the book “V: van vulva tot vagina” (by amongst others Mariah Mansvelt Beck). I was really intrigued by some of the stories.
Especially, the story about the development of the speculum involving enslaved women struck me – probably because of my human rights law background. This motivated me to start working on bodily autonomy, and it perfectly clicked with my wish to start a creative project and to work on topics closer to myself. Two years later I finally published the brutal story about the development of the speculum in my podcasts’ section “De Grote Kut Show” (loosely translated as “The Big Vagina Show”) A section that discusses historical events.
What motivates you to keep going?
My cause is important to me because I used to just feel frustrated about the way society often portrays the female body as an object of lust. Think for example about the recent Dutch fraternity scandal where women were called “whores” and “sperm-buckets”. My podcast “Beppende Baarmoeder” has helped me deal with these frustrations.
For example, in reaction to the fraternity scandal I created a character named “Ernst-Jan Wijnand Junior Lodewijk de Vierde Von Naussau”, I talk to him on the phone. In these conversations I make fun of the sexist fraternity scandals. Playing this character gives me a feeling that I have power in situations that otherwise feel powerless. So in this way satire gives me an opportunity to reclaim my power.
What do you think is the biggest challenge with in the bodily autonomy movement right now?
In the past years, I feel like a lot of progress has been made when it comes to bodily autonomy and I am glad I can continue to build on the work of pioneers like Yoni. I think there’s still important work to do around transgressive behavior and me-too scandals. This is something I also rant about in my podcast to a fake sponsor called “Stichting Mannenmars Nederland” (loosely translated as Men’s March Foundation).
However, the biggest challenge around bodily autonomy is probably not for cis-women but for trans-women. In my podcast research I have discovered that it’s fairly easy for cis-women to receive hormones (in the form of the birth control pill) but that it’s much more challenging for trans-women to receive similar hormones (for their transition). I think listening to and incorporating queer-perspectives can help to address this. This is something that I have tried in my current episodes and want to further elaborate on in the future.
What do you hope to achieve with your podcast?
I want to make feminism accessible by using comedy and satire. I also hope to show that certain things that we have normalized, are somewhat absurd. Think for example about removing natural bodily hair or drinking cow milk.
I have experimented with this concept in “Kroko-Lady”, a fake sponsor that combines feminism and veganism, and takes the piss out of the dairy industry.
This also brings me to my long term goals. In the future I want to further expand on the concept of bodily autonomy, and create more links to other forms of discrimination and oppression. Ultimately, I hope to give people a new perspective on this topic that is inclusive and sustainable.
What is an important lesson you’ve learned on your journey so far?
I’ve learned a lot since I started this podcast. One important lesson to share is about blind spots and western bias. As a solo maker you have certain blind spots, especially with regards to other cultures, It’s important to run material by a diverse audience and be open to feedback.
What advice would you give to people who listen to your podcast or relate to your story now?
Experiencing sexism can feel overwhelming, and I love mocking these things. However I also like to focus on the decisions about my health and reproductivity that I can make. To me that meant giving up hormonal contraceptives, but this will look different to everyone. Giving yourself permission to listen to your body can be a great start to a powerful discovery. Something that I also reflect upon in my podcast during conversations with the spiritual “Vlinder” (butterfly), another character I play.
What advice would you give people that want to contribute to your mission?
Bodily autonomy is a broad topic but one thing you can do to expand your vision is to consume pornography beyond the so called “male gaze” (something I also make fun of in the podcast). This is a way to establish a better relationship with your own body, and doing this also contributes to changing the male gaze oriented porn industry.
A few places you could go for that are the Dutch Fucking Horny bundle curated by Damn Honey. But also Rouze, a platform with erotic stories from female perspectives.
As a new satirical feminist maker I’d be thrilled if you listen to my podcast. And I’m sure that if you’ve read this interview up until here, you will enjoy it. I’m trained in public international law, which means that I’m learning storytelling and comedy as I go. So I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show if you’re up for sharing.
You can listen to Beppende Baarmoeder, which is in Dutch, via Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. You can also engage with me on Instagram via @beppendebaarmoeder.
Want to connect with Cinny Buys? Reach out @beppendebaarmoeder on Instagram.