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

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

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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.


Your Opinions on Her Wardrobe Are Probably Unwelcome
Jul 17 • 20 min
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…
Men Try to Attract Women in All the Wrong Ways
Jul 10 • 23 min
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…
An Intervention
Jul 3 • 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…
Why Men Refuse to Do Yoga
Jun 26 • 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…
What Brown Men Do to Make Others Comfortable
Jun 19 • 25 min
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…
A Black Trans Man Meets the Police Again
Jun 12 • 26 min
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 when a cop pulled his gun on him after he called…
Men Aren’t Doing the Dishes at Work, Either
Jun 5 • 20 min
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…
What Hollywood Gets Wrong About Black Manhood
May 29 • 25 min
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…
How Kids Can Change You
May 22 • 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 Ghost Story
May 15 • 27 min
What happens when you finally meet an absent father who haunted your childhood.
Let’s Talk About Sex
May 8 • 22 min
Jessica Valladolid is a sex educator in New York city. Her deep friendships with boys during her formative years helped her understand how they start thinking about sex and helped set her on the path she’s on today.
When Fighting Comes First
May 1 • 24 min
Eric Kelly was so successful at fighting off bullies as a kid in Brooklyn, that he grew up to become an Olympic level boxer, until a bar fight ended his career.
Introducing Man Up
Mar 22 • 1 min
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,…