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Women What Whistle

This podcast is about not falling in line or fading away. Stories of bravery, accounts of resilience and even tales of sheer bloody-mindedness. It’s about finding our voice, and sometimes our brave, through the stories of other women who’ve had to find theirs.

Sep 6, 2022

Here we go, the first episode of Women What Whistle, renamed and revamped and very much about not falling in line or fading away. It’s about finding our brave through the stories of other women who’ve had to find theirs. 

We start this week with a conversation laying out the concept that challenges our perception of normal. We so often berate ourselves for not being like someone else, but ultimately, normal is most beneficial when measured against ourselves. Dr Sarah Chaney, historian of nursing and emotions, joins me for a conversation in which we talk about how this concept of normal came about, and just how flawed it is.

Sarah touches on her own experience growing up, of trauma, living with grief, being bullied, self-harm and feeling immensely anxious on a daily basis. She’s a wonderful example of being shaped by her experience of life so far, allowing the process to mould her into who she is today and embracing her past in order to shape her future – surely that is the perfect example of finding true personal fulfilment.

Culturally we have become obsessed with happiness, but I think contentment and fulfilment is perhaps a more valuable aspiration. But, those things don’t come from what we have or what others see, they come from allowing ourselves to embark on our own journey, by owning our past and allowing it to shape who we are today and carry us into tomorrow.

Sarah has written 2 books, Psyche on the Skin – a history of Self Harm, and Am I Normal – the 200 year search for normal people (and why they don’t exist). She’s also co-hosted a fascinating podcast series called Living With Feeling and if you can follow her on Twitter @kentishscribble

It's so great to be back and thanks for listening! Each new episode will be published every other Tuesday across all podcast platforms. You can also subscribe for free on which means you will get it delivered to your inbox, and you'll also receive my fortnightly newsletter/chat on non podcast weeks. If you would like to support with £4 per month, you will also get access to the undedited video conversation – it won’t be polished like the podcast is, and won’t have my chat at the beginning and the end, but will give you the opportunity to see how the interview actually went in real time, warts and all. It will also help keep the podcast going without the need for random ads!

Please note that if you’re a free subscriber, you don’t miss anything, you still get all the best bits in the podcast itself.