Re-introducing On the Rag, The Spinoff’s feminist podcast that is launching as a webseries next Wednesday.
Any woman that has ever been to a sleepover, a coffee group, or assembled drunkenly in a bathroom knows that a very special thing happens when we get together in a tight circle. Safe from the rest of the world, we begin to relax our shoulders, laugh louder, share things that we wouldn’t dare to otherwise. On the Rag is our attempt at recreating that circle, a media space for women to rage, to laugh and to cry about the world around us.
This International Women’s Day, we’re stoked to announce that On the Rag is launching a webseries next Wednesday, March 13. The podcast has had over 130,000 downloads since it began in 2016, each episode tackling life, media and current affairs from the New Zealand woman’s perspective. Hosted by Alex Casey, Leonie Hayden and Michele A’Court, the webseries will have the same candid discussions along with field reports and special guests.
If you’ve never heard of us before, here’s a brief history. Beginning in 2015 as a short-lived weekly column, On the Rag digested the week in news headlines and spat out an often grim, tongue-in-cheek summary of women in the news. Soon, it became clear that certain groans and sighs could only be expressed in podcast form, which saw the first episode of the On the Rag podcast, co-hosted by comedian Michele A’Court and marketing guru Zoe Scheltema.
What we quickly found is that there was much to talk about – from the famed crotchgate of 2015, to the rise of the clean-eating trend, to the merits and pitfalls of the Kardashians. After four episodes Zoe moved to London and her co-host seat was filled by Leonie Hayden – editor of Mana magazine at the time and now The Spinoff’s Ātea editor. The circle was complete and the rest, as they say, is herstory.
Three years later, On the Rag is having the ultimate glow up into an accompanying online video show, arriving each month thanks to NZ On Air. Every episode will tackle a different issue over a 20 minute runtime, and no topic is taboo. Our first episode, arriving on The Spinoff on March 13, is a deep dive into the hilarious, messy, hidden world of periods. What is a period exactly? Who has the best period horror story of all time? And what did pre-colonial periods look like?
A gift from last Christmas
Last year was rough as guts, but it didn’t stop us recording our annual Christmas episode, complete with naughty and nice lists, taxi horrors and some sobering news stories highlighting violence against women in New Zealand. We didn’t say it was funny ALL THE TIME OKAY.
When we became makeup vloggers
Last year On the Rag infiltrated The Spinoff TV on Three and tried our hand at becoming beauty influencers. Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well.
Clementine Ford not once, but twice
We have been blessed by some very special guests over the course of the podcast, including some very Funny Girls, New Zealand film greats and even Bill English* himself. Australian commentator, author and hellfire-breathing misandrist Clementine Ford has filled the fourth seat not once, but twice in the OTR studio. First, she took us to feminist church with her book Fight Like a Girl and returned to dissect modern masculinity with Boys Will Be Boys.
“The morning after the US Presidential election, a friend of mine was walking alone through the Auckland suburb of Kingsland, New Zealand when a group of schoolboys yelled ‘grab her by the pussy’ at her.” In the aftermath of Trump’s election, we called an emergency podcast to try and make sense of it all. Yes, we may or may not have cried a bit.
Inspiring the theme of our first webseries episode next week, this podcast probably needs a content warning. Joined by comedian and Boners of the Heart co-host Alice Snedden, we have a free, frank, bloody discussion about the realities of having a period. Which of us has the alpha ovaries? You’ll have to listen to find out.
“Hook it round the flaps”
This is something that Michele A’Court says out loud in this episode last month. Rest assured, there will be much, much more of that delightful imagery to come.
On the Rag is made with the support of NZ On Air. The first episode arrives on The Spinoff on March 13.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.