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Society's Obsession with Women’s Butts

Renee Bright

We’ll forgive you for laughing at the headline of this episode. But the thing is, butts have a serious cultural history.

The journalist Heather Radke is our guest. You may know her name — or her voice — from her reporting for “Radiolab.” In her debut book, she explores the history and the present of our longstanding fascination, even obsession, with the human behind — specifically, with women’s butts. There’s humor, sure, but our preoccupation with the rear end crosses paths not only with gender but also with race, suspect medical procedures and at least one fitness craze from the ‘80s. This Friday at noon, Heather Radke joins us to talk about, you know, that thing represented by the peach emoji.  


  • Heather Radke. She’s a contributing editor and reporter at “Radiolab”. Her new book is Butts: A Backstory [Amazon|Bookshop]. 

Airdate: Friday, Dec. 16, at 12 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022 at 11 a.m. Rebroadcast: Friday, Mar. 31, 2023 at 12 p.m. and Saturday, April 1 at 11 a.m.