Man Up | Masculinity, Race, and Relationships in the Modern World

Man Up | Masculinity, Race, and Relationships in the Modern World

On Man Up, host Aymann Ismail invites men and women to tell embarrassing, funny, and sometimes disturbing stories about their lives as they try to figure out what they still have to learn—and unlearn—about being a man. They’ll talk relationships, family, sex, and identity, trying to understand their experiences to help listeners make more sense of their own.... Show More

Episodes

September 18, 2019 29 min

This week Aymann talks to several women (and one man) about the phenomenon of “reply guys” where men reply to women on social media in order to pester them, correct them, or to just be noticed. First, three Slate writers compare reply guys to gnats and argue that they’re more annoying than threatening. Then Aymann talks to Scott Barolo and Shrew, the two people behind the Twitter account @9replyguys, which calls out reply guy b... Read more

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September 11, 2019 27 min

Video game scholar Megan Condis joins the show to explain why white supremacists have been targeting online gamers. She says there's a specific subset of men, whose fear of newcomers in the gaming space make them attractive recruits for hate groups. 

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September 4, 2019 31 min

Pretty Rik E, a DC-based drag king, talks to Aymann about what it means to treat masculinity as a performance. Rik E is part of a group called Pretty Boi Drag, whose drag shows involve lip syncing to hyper masculine songs, dancing confidently, and sporting glued-on facial hair. In their performances, drag kings simultaneously celebrate and skewer male swagger. In the case of Rick E, sometimes they even carry their on-stage personas... Read more

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August 28, 2019 33 min

Aymann realizes he’s a little squeamish about the current birth control options for men. First he talks to writer Angela Anagnost-Repke, who’s been trying to convince her husband Brad to get a vasectomy. Then Dr. Paul Turek joins the show to explain what a vasectomy actually entails. Then, for a non-surgical solution, Aymann talks to Rufaro Huggins, a member of a birth control study conducted by the University of Washington School ... Read more

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August 21, 2019 32 min

What exactly was going through Kareem Rahma’s 20-year-old head when he found out his father only had 6 months to live?As he tells it, nothing. He was entirely fixated on how the family dynamic was about to change. As the eldest sibling, as the oldest boy, he was certain that the responsibilities of his father, financial and otherwise, were his to inherit. This week on Man Up, Aymann talks with Kareem about how he may have put that ... Read more

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August 14, 2019 28 min

This week on Man Up, Aymann talks with Kim Gandy about the link between mass shootings and domestic violence. Gandy has been an advocate for survivors of domestic violence for over 30 years, so she knows better than most the cost of staying silent on the issue. She shares what she’s learned about early evidence of abuse, and what our best tools are in preventing it.

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August 7, 2019 29 min

This week on Man Up, Aymann sits down for his first-ever therapy session with psychotherapist and host of the Hey Man podcast, Avi Klein. He learns something about how he copes, and about how some therapists might be pushing men away. 

Tell us what you think about this and other topics by leaving a voicemail at 805-626-8707 or emailing manup@slate.com. We may fe...
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This week on Man Up, writer Eddie Kim talks with host Aymann Ismail about sexual racism, why he thinks Asian men are at a disadvantage on dating apps, and how some toxic subcultures react to that. 

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July 24, 2019 25 min

When J. Kenji López-Alt landed a job as a line cook at the elegant No. 9 Park restaurant, he wasn’t expecting to spend his first day standing in the corner with a figurative dunce hat on his head. He was being punished by the chef for incorrectly chopping the chives. He later worked at other expensive restaurants too, even spending a few weeks working for the famously cruel Gordon Ramsay, where he watched another cook have a hot pa... Read more

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Noor Tagouri knows better than most what it feels like to have everything she does under a close watch. Her interview in Playboy Magazine caused an international firestorm not for what she said, but for what she wore. This week on Man Up, Noor shares what she learned from being the subject of ridiculous online harassment, and teaches Aymann the consequences of imposing his opinions on others.

Slate Plus members get bonus...
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Nichole Perkins knows what straight women look for in a man. She’s a romance novel enthusiast and former co-host of Thirst Aid Kit, a podcast that focused on sexual desire and celebrity hotness. In this episode, Man Up host Aymann Ismail talks to Nichole about what male desirability means in 2019 and what he’s learned about his own attractiveness since getting married. Then Aymann asks his wife Mira what drew her to him in the firs... Read more

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Nichole Perkins knows what straight women look for in a man. She’s a romance novel enthusiast and former co-host of Thirst Aid Kit, a podcast that focused on sexual desire and celebrity hotness. In this episode, Man Up host Aymann Ismail talks to Nichole about what male desirability means in 2019 and what he’s learned about his own attractiveness since getting married. Then Aymann asks his wife Mira what drew her to him in the firs... Read more

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July 3, 2019 24 min

Over the weekend, Aymann was going viral on the less savory, right-wing corners of the internet. An admittedly poorly worded tweet had exposed him to an avalanche of criticism, some understandable, others sinister and racist. And when a total stranger asked Aymann for his location in a threatening way, he gave it to them.
 
 So this week, Man Up producer Danielle Hewitt staged an intervention, to help Aymann take a deeper...
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June 25, 2019 32 min

When Terrell Starr started doing yoga in his 30s, it opened up his mind to new possibilities of what his body could do—not to mention what he could do as a man. He realized he’d been restricting himself not only physically but mentally because of what he’d learned growing up. This week on Man Up, he talks with Aymann about yoga, therapy, and breaking free of social limits.

Read his article for The Root, Read more

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Simran Jeet Singh has worn a turban his entire life. It’s a requirement of his Sikh faith but it has also made him a target for racist harassment. This week on Man Up, Aymann and Simran share their experiences experiences and discuss how Simran’s Sikh faith has helped him navigate them. 

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Trystan Cotten was not prepared for the way his relationship with law enforcement would change after he transitioned in his late thirties. As he wrote in the Washington Post last year, it all came to a head w... Read more

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In an effort to distribute office tasks evenly, Slate’s New York office implemented a sign-off sheet for loading and unloading dishwasher—when you do it, you cross your name off. After a quick, unscientific study of the list, it’s clear that there’s a gender disparity in who contributes—and who doesn’t. The men of the office, including host Aymann Ismail, were slacking. So Man Up ambushed a few of Slate staffers to ask why they did... Read more

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Growing up, Cord Jefferson never really saw himself reflected in the characters on TV. Now, he’s a script editor for shows like Master of None and The Good Place. Aymann talks with Cord about what happens when you don’t relate to the characters you’re supposed to on your television screen.

Contact us about this and other topics by leaving a voicemail at 805-626-8707 or emailing Read more

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May 21, 2019 24 min

Aymann talks to his brother, Mohamed, about how they grew up and why he's chosen a distinctly different parenting style from what they grew up with.

Podcast production by Danielle Hewitt and Cameron Drews.

Contact us about this and other topics by leaving a voicemail at 805-626-8707 or emailing manup@slate.com. We may feature you on the show. An...
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May 14, 2019 27 min

What happens when you finally meet an absent father who haunted your childhood.

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