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The Gender Knot

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The ideas podcast where we untangle the new masculinity and femininity.

The ideas podcast where we untangle the new masculinity and femininity.
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United Kingdom


The ideas podcast where we untangle the new masculinity and femininity.






Emotional labour

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 of Fed Up: Emotional labor, women and the way forward Host and producer: Nas aka Nastaran Tavakoli-Far . . . . . . Co-host: Daniel Carroll . . . . . Co-producers: Sam Baker and Jonathan Blackwell . . . . . Additional...


Imperfect allies

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 role as an ally to women, and we hear from author and educator Jackson Katz on this dilemma. . . . . Guests: Omar Aziz, co-host of The Samovar Network podcast . . . . . Jackson Katz, author and educator . . ....


How to be an ally

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’s best nonfiction in audio or text. Get your free 7-day trial by heading over to: . . . . . Host and producer: Nas aka Nastaran Tavakoli-Far . . . . . Co-host: Daniel Carroll . . . . . Co-producers: Sam Baker...



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 NonGay to figure this out. . . . . We’re off to rest over the festive season and will be back on 7th January 2019 – speak to you then. . . . . Guests: A Gay and a NonGay podcast hosts James Barr and Dan Hudson . . . . ....


Walking on Eggshells

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 delicate balance. . . . . We also hear more from Kasia Urbaniak, the former Taoist Nun, former Dominatrix and women’s power coach who told us how women can ask for what they want a few weeks ago. Kasia fills us in on the ways in which women...


The Nitty Gritty

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 confusing times . . . . . As such we’ll have having more audience participation, so send us your thoughts. . . . . Men’s coach David Lion helps us to help an audience member with a dilemma, and tells us about his [online summit called Evolving...


Let's talk about (real and fake) sex

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 week, co-producers Sam Baker and Jonathan Blackwell tackle the subject of porn and real world sex and how we can make online content for everyone. We talk to sextech entrepreneur and pioneer, Cindy Gallop from MakeLoveNotPorn and education...


Disenfranchised Men – round 2

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. . . . . We read out some of your emails and invite one of our audience members to figure out: what do we do about disenfranchised men? Should we do anything at all? And exactly who should be getting involved?. . . . . **Guest:** Alex, listener of...


Disenfranchised Men

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. Some of the key reasons given include the rise of women and big changes in the global economy, leading to some of the political unrest and upheavals of the past decade. . . . . So, what do we do with disenfranchised men?. . . . ....


Men and commitment issues – round 2

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 evaded some key issues entirely! So this week we come back for a second round to delve in further. . . . . **Host and producer:** Nas aka Nastaran Tavakoli-Far. . . . . **Co-host:** Daniel Carroll. . . . . **Co-producers:** Sam Baker and Jonathan...


MeToo and Hollywood

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 about the situations and we also dig into the mixed messages men have been getting over the past year: what exactly do women want from men during these sensitive but important times?. . . . . **Guest:** Steph, works in the film and...


Slow Burn’s Leon Neyfakh: gender in US politics

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, as well as Juanita Broderick’s allegations that the president had raped her. . . . . The season went out at while Brett Kavanaugh’s senate confirmation hearings were happening, which made for especially timely and important listening, and allowed...


How women can ask for what they want

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 best get men and women to support each other through the necessary but transformative mess ahead. . . . . **Guest:** Kasia Urbaniak, women’s power and influence coach and founder of The Academy . ....


Dan Savage: lessons from same sex couples

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 – download now and save for later if that’s relevant! . . . . . Also, co-host Jonathan Freeman is leaving us and signs off! . . . . . Finally, The Gender Knot is on hiatus until 15th October. We’ll be back with a new season then . . . . . **Guest:** Dan Savage, sex and relationship advice columnist and host of the Savage Lovecast...


Men and commitment issues: fact or fiction?

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 having worse relationships. We dive into the nuances. Note: The Gender Knot will be back in early October - we are taking a break during September but will be back in a few weeks. Write to us in the meantime! **Guest:** Dan Carroll, co-host of the...


The roots of male shame

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 masculinity and also male shame. Where does this leave men as they try to grapple with their own experiences? **Guest:** [Rob Kandell](, coach and consultant, host of the [podcast Tuff...


Women negotiating better pay

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 data by the Pew Research Center. There are structural changes that still need to take place, how do men and women approach pay negotiations differently? How receptive are bosses to women asking for more money, and what are the best ways women can...


Men’s groups: potential problems?

Therapy is important, and 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 actually runs men’s groups and also works helping teenagers develop healthy relationships. We delve into the potential problems and how to best utilize men’s groups. **Guest:** [German...


Guest episode: Ministry of Ideas

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 of Ideas is a podcast about the ideas that shape our world, and is from Harvard Divinity School. Their episode ‘White Balance’ looks at how understanding race in American also requires understanding its relationship to class. It’s a compelling...


Men’s groups: can they support men?

‘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 these groups work and what do they talk about in them? And can they provide men with the support that they need? **Guests:** Kenny Mammarella D’Cruz ([The Man Whisperer](, men’s group founder and personal development...