The Gender Knot

The Gender Knot

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“The show serves an important purpose: Encouraging men and women to enter a productive dialogue with one another” - Time Magazine’s top 50 podcasts. The ideas podcast where we untangle the new masculinity and femininity. Hosted by Nas, aka Nastaran T...Show More
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Mark Manson on modern life

35:05 | May 13th

The hit author talks about his new book ‘Everything is fucked: A book about hope’, and how technology and choice are impacting how we live and make decisions on the modern world. Mark is also off on a speaking tour, head here to check out dates and...Show More
Matt Stadlen on Vulnerability

43:44 | May 6th

This week, LBC's Matt Stadlen joins us to talk about vulnerabiltiy. We try to uncover some of the reasons why men and women have a hard time opening up, especially in intimate relationships. Be sure to check out Matt's show on LBC: https://www.lbc....Show More
Mark Manson on sex and pornography

30:54 | Apr 29th

The author of hit book ‘The subtle art of not giving a fuck’ talks to Dan about how pornography and the way it’s impacted men’s interest in sex, and tips on how to have more fulfilling sex. Also check out Mark’s upcoming book ‘Everything is fucked’ a...Show More
Creepy Courting

33:06 | Apr 22nd

This episode we discuss the line between courting someone and stalking. What can often start off as something innocent looking can very easily turn into a frightening situation. Laura Mucha, author of the book Love Factually, joins us to discuss th...Show More
Getting along

17:52 | Apr 15th

Welcome to Season 5! We’ve re-branded the podcast, and going to be focusing on trying to get men and women to get along. We chat about this new direction a little and catch up on some of your mail from over the hiatus period. Hosts: Nastaran Tavak...Show More
Self care

20:19 | Mar 29th

All female episode this week, Nas and Sam chat about self care and ask if it’s bullshit. Self care has become very popular among women, especially on Instagram. Does self care empower women to take care of themselves or is it just another thing to ad...Show More
Men Only

46:16 | Feb 18th

As a man, who do you talk to about sex? What about feelings? How about everything else? This week Dan and Jonny are hosting a Men Only episode with guest German Villegas to discuss who men can talk to about what’s going on in their lives. And yes...Show More
How to make amends

31:28 | Jan 28th

So, you’ve hurt someone or done something bad and want to make amends? We run through our experiences on the best ways to do this. We also revisit last week’s topic of emotional labour and hear from our audience on what is a very messy, very difficul...Show More
Emotional labour

33:03 | Jan 21st

What exactly is emotional labour? Nas talks about it all the time, Dan is still unclear about what it is, so he speaks to Gemma Hartley, Author of ‘Fed Up: Emotional labor, women and the way forward’, to find out more. Guest: Gemma Hartley, author ...Show More
Imperfect allies

37:36 | Jan 14th

Last week we talked about the importance of men being allies even if they haven’t been perfect in their behaviour towards women, but is there a line to this? Today’s guest tells us of a time he was called out and ended up having to question his rol...Show More
How to be an ally

27:27 | Jan 7th

We brainstorm a list of things men can do to be allies to women, and how women can best encourage men trying to be allies. And we want to hear from you on what has or hasn’t worked in your own lives. Sponsor: Blinkist - key takeaways from the world...Show More
Meltdowns

31:32 | Dec 17th, 2018

Why are meltdowns gendered? Do we ever talk of men having meltdowns? If not then why not, and what does this mean about our expectations of how women and men can express themselves? We get some help from our friends at the hit podcast A Gay and a Non...Show More
Walking on Eggshells

36:44 | Dec 10th, 2018

Nas often feels like she’s walking on eggshells on this show; she has to be honest with men but also keep them engaged and not annoy them so much that they tune out of the show, and these conversations, altogether. Dan and Nas try to figure out this ...Show More
The Nitty Gritty

41:29 | Dec 2nd, 2018

You’ll have noticed we’ve been changing the direction of the podcast over the past few weeks, with there being fewer abstract explorations of ideas and more delving into the nitty gritty of how men and women can actually better relate in these confus...Show More
Let's talk about (real and fake) sex

48:34 | Nov 26th, 2018

Porn is pervasive in today's internet culture. But does the typical male gaze leave women out of the viewing audience? And what does this one-way perspective do to our real-life sexual and personal relationships?  As Nas and Dan take a break this we...Show More
Disenfranchised Men – round 2

37:47 | Nov 19th, 2018

Our listeners are annoyed! Many of you were unhappy with our take on disenfranchised men last week after we interviewed former New York Times reporter and author Andrew Yarrow, who has written Man Out about men on the sidelines of American society. ...Show More
Disenfranchised Men

45:21 | Nov 12th, 2018

Former New York Times journalist Andrew Yarrow joins us to talk about why so many men in America feel disenfranchised, and how this is impacting everyone else. Men around the world have seen their position shift drastically over the past few decades...Show More
Men and commitment issues – round 2

27:53 | Nov 5th, 2018

A few weeks ago Dan tried to convince us that the stereotype of men having commitment issues was exaggerated and false, and he made a good case for this. But Nas was still left wondering where these assumptions come from and realized that Dan had eva...Show More
MeToo and Hollywood

45:18 | Oct 29th, 2018

It’s a year since allegations against Harvey Weinstein broke, leading to a real opening of conversation about sexual harassment and assault against women, be it at the hands of powerful men or in day to day life. We speak to a Hollywood insider abou...Show More
Slow Burn’s Leon Neyfakh: gender in US politics

44:52 | Oct 22nd, 2018

Hit podcast Slow Burn just spent their second season looking at the saga around Bill Clinton’s impeachment. They revisited Bill Clinton’s affair with then 22-year old unpaid intern Monica Lewinsky, and looked at the varied reactions from feminists, a...Show More
How women can ask for what they want

46:25 | Oct 15th, 2018

Former dominatrix and Taoist nun Kasia Urbaniak teaches women about power and influence at her school The Academy. She walks us through this unique time where women are finally speaking openly and honestly and expressing their rage, and how we can ...Show More
Dan Savage: lessons from same sex couples

39:10 | Sep 24th, 2018

The love, sex and relationship guru and host of the Savage Lovecast gives us his thoughts and tips! Note: this episode is very Not Safe For Work – save for later if that’s relevant! Also, co-host Jonathan Freeman is leaving us and signs off! Final...Show More
Men and commitment issues: fact or fiction?

17:30 | Aug 27th, 2018

It’s a big cliché that men are scared to commit, don’t want to be tied down, are always ‘hitting the road’ and leaving promising relationships with women.  Today’s guest thinks this is a simply not true and actually leads to us all suffering and hav...Show More
The roots of male shame

29:40 | Aug 20th, 2018

Why is shame such an issue for men despite the privileges men still have in almost all societies? Is privilege itself part of the problem, and what can be done to tackle this issue? Women are also being vocal about their experiences due to toxic masc...Show More
Women negotiating better pay

37:50 | Aug 13th, 2018

In April, a report by the UK governments and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission showed that 80% of large companies still paid male employees more than the women. In the US, in 2017 women still earnt just 82% of men’s salaries, according to da...Show More
Men’s groups: potential problems?

28:21 | Aug 6th, 2018

Men’s groups can’t be a substitute for therapy, says today’s guest. We recently looked at men’s groups and had some interesting feedback. Despite all the positives we hear, that can be problems which are worth knowing about. We speak to someone who...Show More
Guest episode: Ministry of Ideas

21:29 | Jul 30th, 2018

Jonathan is stuck in the library in DC, and Nas and Sam and Jonny in London are all swamped, so we decided to play you an episode of one of our favourite podcasts while we work on more Gender Knot material for you for next week onwards. The Ministry...Show More
Men’s groups: can they support men?

49:28 | Jul 23rd, 2018

‘Transformative’ is a word we’ve heard from so many men who’ve benefitted from men’s groups. It’s a topic that’s comes up on this podcast a lot. Why are so many men getting together with other men to talk about their lives and experiences? How do the...Show More
Friends helping us find love

34:15 | Jul 16th, 2018

This week’s guest emailed 700 people asking to be set up on a date, and followed up with everyone a year later detailing what happened. The most interesting part of her results are that the people she knew the least were the ones who set her up with ...Show More
Male Shame and women's roles

34:31 | Jul 9th, 2018

Male Shame lies at the root of so many problematic dynamics between men and women, whether on an individual or a society-wide scale. The problem is many men have a very limited space where they can explore their shame, if they even have that space at...Show More
Women in business: what should they keep doing?

35:15 | Jul 2nd, 2018

Speaking more forcefully, being more assertive (or even aggressive), over-confidence and being unrealistic about outcomes; these are just some of the ways in which women in technology are told to approach investors if they are to raise money. But is ...Show More
More women are cheating. Why?

35:57 | Jun 25th, 2018

We got a curious email from the folks at Ashley Madison recently – that’s the dating website for people looking for discreet encounters, such as affairs. They’ve seen a rise in the number of women signing up, and there’s evidence showing that more wo...Show More
Fearing ambitious women

33:21 | Jun 18th, 2018

In season 2 we explored why we’re scared of ambitious women, and talked to our co-producer Sam and a teacher about the roots of this problem. It was an episode which really resonated with so many women who listen to this show and a dilemma we just ha...Show More
Esther Perel: What’s next for men

39:27 | Jun 12th, 2018

This is the century where men need to rethink their identities at home and at work, says world renowned therapist Esther Perel, and that things will only change for women once men do this. We hear about her experiences working with couples and the un...Show More
#MeToo comebacks?

23:36 | Jun 4th, 2018

Stephanie Butnick of the Unorthodox podcast and Tablet Magazine joins us to kick of season 3 where we ask if the men accused of sexual assault and harassment under the #MeToo movement can make comebacks. Note: There are rumours that Charlie Rose ma...Show More
Flawed Male Heroes

30:26 | May 21st, 2018

Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Diaz recently joined a line of men such as Louis CK and Aziz Ansari who had been looked to by some people as being allies to women, but who have recently been accused of sexual assault or harassment in the wake of ...Show More
Do men need nature to be better men?

29:23 | May 7th, 2018

A man going off on a solo expedition into the wilderness when he’s having a dilemma or a tough time or when he needs to make a difficult decision is a staple of so much literature, and especially of fiction aimed at boys. It also seems to be a thing ...Show More
Men and feelings: How to go there?

24:38 | Apr 15th, 2018

We’ve heard a lot about the dilemmas surrounding men and their feelings on this podcast: how boys are raised with little acknowledgement of their feelings or disallowed from expressing or exploring them, to the destructive impact this has when they g...Show More
How can men best help feminism?

59:08 | Mar 31st, 2018

We just made Time Magazine’s list of 50 best podcasts - http://time.com/5178078/best-podcasts-2018/ - and they recommended this episode from earlier in season 2, which is also one of our favorites, so we’re replaying it now. We explore the best thin...Show More
Why are we scared of ambitious women?

55:50 | Mar 26th, 2018

Ambitious women get held to tricky double standards; there’s the expectation that they should have the drive and vision of ambitious men but are also expected to ‘be nice’, to care take others and to not threaten men. And women are often harshly judg...Show More
Live Show: Can women break into Boys’ Clubs?

1:00:50 | Mar 19th, 2018

Former Apprentice contestant Michaela Wain and journalist Chris Hemmings help us figure out if women can break into boys clubs – those industries where men favour each other for jobs and create an atmosphere which makes it hard for women to get ahead...Show More
Homophobic gay men

44:46 | Mar 12th, 2018

James Barr, co-host of the hit LGBTQ+ podcast A Gay and a Non-Gay, posed this question to us and joins as a special co-host for this episode. Gay men have been gaining more rights and visibility, and yet homophobia exists, both in and outside the co...Show More
Should men be involved in feminism?

1:05:34 | Feb 26th, 2018

We have our live show on Monday 26th February! We’ll be joined by guests Michaela Wain entrepreneur, contestant on The Apprentice, and Chris Hemmings https://twitter.com/hemmch journalist, author of ‘Be a Man’ as we discuss: can women break into boys...Show More
Masculinity Crisis? Mark Manson weighs in

35:11 | Feb 19th, 2018

We’re gearing up for our first live show next week, so are replaying one of our favourite episodes from season 1. Mark Manson is a self-development expert and the author of the book ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’. He writes about how to impro...Show More
Men and feelings: what’s the deal?

54:53 | Feb 12th, 2018

Many men seem to struggle with expressing their feelings, and with generally dealing with their feelings in the first place. It’s a complaint women often have, but how much truth is there to this? What’s the deal with men and their feelings? Why do s...Show More
Does gender shape business?

1:08:30 | Feb 5th, 2018

The world of work was mostly made by men for men. As more women enter and rise through the economy, there’s a lot of dissatisfaction and discussion about how things are done; why is everything about achievement? Is making money really the be all and ...Show More
Are women too compassionate?

55:34 | Jan 29th, 2018

Being understanding, empathetic, seeing the other side of the story, being compassionate: these are many very classic feminine traits. But the upside of someone who is too compassionate is often also someone who lets others walk all over them, or som...Show More
Can men fail?

53:48 | Jan 22nd, 2018

The pressure to achieve is often a big deal for men across many cultures. Notions of success and failure are closely tied in with masculinity. At the same time, the past decade has seen huge changes in the global economy, and together with the rise o...Show More
Sex and self-worth

49:35 | Jan 19th, 2018

We explore some differing experiences: from a young man who tried to get respect from men through sleeping with women, to sex in a long term monogamous relationship, to the in-betweens. And can we ever really get self-worth from sex in the first plac...Show More
How can men best help feminism?

58:51 | Jan 8th, 2018

We kick off season two with a question for men who want to be better allies to women: how can men best help feminism? It’s a pivotal moment in history, and so many men want to help out, but what should they do more of and what should they avoid? And...Show More
How will #MeToo affect dating?

20:55 | Jan 1st, 2018

Many people have expressed concern about what behaviour is or isn’t appropriate when it comes to dating, including dating in the workplace. We explore the nuances. We also welcome our co-host for season 2: Jonathan Freeman. Host & producer: Nas aka...Show More
Nico Tortorella: Family and Sexuality

19:07 | Dec 18th, 2017

The actor and model Nico Tortorella has talked about being sexually fluid, and explores his sexuality and his relationships in his podcast The Love Bomb. The star of the hit TV series Younger talks to us about his experiences with coming out to his f...Show More
Mark Manson: Men’s Groups

26:39 | Nov 20th, 2017

The transformational power of men’s groups have come up several times on this podcast, but men’s groups often have a pretty bad and misleading reputation. The author of ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’ talks about a men’s group in Boston which t...Show More
Why don’t men talk?

26:15 | Nov 13th, 2017

Dizraeli had a breakdown last year. The MC and poet found it hard to talk about what was going on with him, and also found little support from men when he did reach out. He managed to seek help and is now focused on exploring why men don’t talk and h...Show More
Theresa May - jumping on the LGBTQ+ bandwagon?

27:11 | Nov 6th, 2017

Theresa May recently attended the Pink News Awards – the first sitting UK Prime Minister to do so. These awards recognise people who have worked to improve LGBTQ plus life in the UK. Some people praised her for this and for a speech she gave at the a...Show More
Mark Manson: is there a masculinity crisis?

32:23 | Oct 30th, 2017

Mark Manson, the author of the New York Times bestseller ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’ and self-development expert, has spent a decade or so working closely with people, helping them improve all aspects of their lives, and has written insight...Show More
#MeToo: how should men respond?

19:07 | Oct 23rd, 2017

#MeToo has seen women around the world sharing their experiences with sexual harassment and sexual assault. Now two other hashtags have grown in response, and these are about experiences on the other side of #MeToo. With #IHave and #IDidThat men who...Show More
Deray McKesson: activism

31:14 | Oct 16th, 2017

Being an activist is all about changing the world: from the structures that shape our societies down to the daily conversations we have with each other. Deray McKesson has been active in Black Lives Matter and he is closely involved with people and e...Show More
Women journalists calling people out

38:13 | Oct 9th, 2017

We recently asked if women politicians can call people out, a subject that was pertinent given Hillary Clinton’s latest book where she does just that. Now we turn to women journalists. Journalism is all about raising uncomfortable questions, speaking...Show More
Hugh Hefner’s Vision for Men

26:59 | Oct 2nd, 2017

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner passed away last week. There’s been a ton of debate about his impact on women: did he treat them as sex objects or did he liberate them from strict sexual values? And people have also been talking about his contribution to...Show More
Hillary Clinton’s “Blame Game”

1:20:07 | Sep 25th, 2017

Hillary Clinton apparently isn’t authentic. Except for when she is, and then no one can handle it! Hillary Clinton’s new book ‘What Happened’ delves into the circumstances around her losing last year’s American presidential election to Donald Trump....Show More
Is gender relevant?

09:43 | Sep 18th, 2017

We’re trying to untangle the new masculinity and femininity, but is that even a relevant mission? Or should we be trying to figure out a post-gender world instead? Journalist Dina Newman was born in Russia and now lives in London. She believes the wo...Show More
Does clothing shape gender identity?

41:45 | Sep 11th, 2017

Gender neutral clothing is all over the news at the moment. Just a few examples include school children protesting why girls and boys have to dress differently from each other and therefore encouraging their schools to change dress codes, and departm...Show More
Hiding emotions

14:07 | Sep 4th, 2017

Dominating, debating, having to be right – these are just some behaviours that are often common in people with power. And they are often also used by in men in power (or are stereotypically more negative ‘masculine’ traits which end up being used in ...Show More
Do men need purpose?

43:34 | Aug 28th, 2017

What is a man’s role in society these days? This question seems to be coming up again and again. The rise of women and feminism, together with changes in the economy, and globalization are some of the factors cited as having had a big impact on men a...Show More
The Google Memo

12:14 | Aug 21st, 2017

A male product manager at a tech company gives his take on the Google Memo that’s been a big topic of discussion in recent weeks. To bring you up to speed: a software developer at Google called James Demore wrote a memo about the company’s diversity...Show More
A More Feminine Economy

35:07 | Aug 14th, 2017

‘The future is female’ – it’s a slogan we’re seeing increasingly, on t-shirts and placards and social media feeds. And there are currently plenty of important and necessary debates about getting more women into the upper echelons of business: more wo...Show More
Energies: Masculine & Feminine

11:59 | Aug 7th, 2017

What is masculine and feminine energy? This short and sweet episode lays down the basics! We’ll find out what we mean when we talk about masculine and feminine energies (and traits), and our own relationship with these within ourselves. Host: Nas a...Show More
Women's Groups, Men's Groups

55:44 | Jul 31st, 2017

Why are so many people around me suddenly joining men’s groups and women’s groups? Isn’t the notion of segregating ourselves due to gender a little… outdated? After all, so many of our social issues are related to us not knowing and being close to pe...Show More
Men and feminism – reactions!

18:14 | Jul 24th, 2017

Confusion, frustration, empathy, being able to relate – just some of the reactions I received from you, the audience, to last week’s episode exploring men and feminism, where we asked whether men should get involved in feminism, and if so, how. Many...Show More
Men and feminism

1:05:01 | Jul 17th, 2017

Should men be involved in feminism, and if so, how? Men are super involved in feminism these days – and there appears to be a cultural trend in getting men involved in the fight for gender equality. We’re seeing this daily: be it the UN’s HeForShe ...Show More
Callout: workplace sexism & your experiences

05:04 | Jul 10th, 2017

What sort of sexism takes place in the workplace that we still don’t acknowledge or talk about? There’s been a lot of talk about sexism in the technology industry, and over the past few weeks several high profile investors have publicly said that...Show More
Emotions in Leadership - do they hinder women?

46:22 | Jul 3rd, 2017

Hillary Clinton was often criticised for being too ‘cold’ and ‘unemotional’ during her 2016 US Presidential bid. Many women in the West can relate to this: if they show emotions they are not taken seriously in the workplace, and yet if they control t...Show More
Leaning Back & Lean In

42:15 | Jun 26th, 2017

You’ve heard of Leaning In but how about Leaning Back? Over the past few years a lot of women have undertaken Sheryl Sandberg’s advice to assert themselves more, to speak louder and to sit at the table. But some women are questioning this and are thi...Show More
Redefining & Owning Masculinity

25:04 | Jun 19th, 2017

Masculinity gets a bad reputation these days. We hear a lot about what’s wrong with it, but what about the good sides, and also the messy sides? I talk to a woman about what role we women can play in redefining masculinity, and get one young man’s ex...Show More
TEASER: The Gender Knot Podcast

00:59 | Jun 15th, 2017

The podcast where we untangle the new masculinity and femininity. These are exciting times; we’re re-defining gender roles, but let’s be honest, we’re pretty confused about it all too, so let’s get untangling!