Welcome to What's a Man? Masculinity in India podcast with your host, Deepa Narayan, an award-winning writer, and researcher, as she explores what it means to be a man today. The series explores power and love in different aspects of men’s lives in homes, schools, and offices. Listen to the responses of some of the 200 educated middle and upper-class boys as young as 7-years old and men across the LGBTQIA + spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, and other cities with special guests in each episode. These educated boys and men believe in gender equality and are often impatient with the male-female binary.
The goal of this 10-episode podcast series is to open up compassionate, slow conversations through deep listening about what it means to be a boy or man in India today. Know more here and subscribe: www.whatsaman.com
Ep 14 How talking to men changed my feminism
In this final episode, Episode 14, of What’s a Man: Masculinity in India, Dr Deepa Narayan describes how listening to middle-class men and boys about masculinity and their secret selves, led her to the need for a renewed feminism.
These men and boys believe in gender equality but are stuck in old definitions of masculinity as dominance, aggression, and total self-reliance. And most don’t feel understood or appreciated. And they hide their pain, sadness, hurt, disappointment, and struggles. They withdraw. Or it turns to violence targeted at others and themselves. And men acknowledge their privilege.
FeminismX is a renewed feminism for men to claim their full humanity as men. FeminismX includes men and all genders in its definition. It is intersectional. It centers on love as well as power.
It means a big change for our gender equality and women’s empowerment strategies.
Ep 13 Raising a Feminist Son with Sonora Jha
Feminism is such an abused, misused, much-maligned word that even women use with caution. In episode 13 of What's A Man? Masculinity in India podcast, Dr. Deepa Narayan speaks to Dr. Sonora Jha, author of How To Raise A Feminist Son. Dr. Sonora Jha grew up and worked in India as a journalist and is a Professor at Seattle University in the US. Together they turn to the idea of feminism and explore what it means for men and whether it is possible or even desirable to raise feminist boys? And can feminism liberate men from the poisons of toxic masculinity?
Ep 12 Portrait of a man with Nikhil Taneja
Many men have changed who they are, what and how they do their lives. In Episode 12 of What's A Man? Masculinity in India podcast, Dr. Deepa Narayan interviews Nikhil Talreja, a writer, producer, storyteller, teacher, public speaker, mental health advocate, and CEO of YUVA. Nikhil peaked early at 29 and then had a nervous breakdown. His life changed when he turned to a therapist for help. He realized the core problem was his unquestioned acceptance of “masculinity”. He now creates safe spaces to listen to other young people across genders freeing them to change.
Ep 11 Portrait of a man with Manak Matiyani
Many men have changed who they are, what and how they do with their lives. In Episode 11 of What's A Man? Masculinity in India podcast, Dr. Deepa Narayan interviews Manak Matiyaani, a feminist, queer activist, and the executive director of the YP Foundation in Delhi. He facilitates youth leadership for social change. Deepa and Manak discuss his mother’s early influence on his feminism and how he works with young men on sexuality and feminist leadership.
Ep 10 Portrait of a Man
Why is it that not a single straight man of the 250 men we interviewed, chose love as part of their definition of masculinity and being a man? Is it possible for educated men to unlearn behaviors of toxic masculinity and become fuller versions of themselves? In this episode, we focus on our first Portrait of A Man, men who have the courage to change.
Our man of courage is Abish Mathew, the hugely popular comedian, and YouTuber. In conversation with Dr. Deepa Narayan, Abish shares his fears and confusions, how he is fighting off some toxic expectations imposed on him in his early training, and how he is changing himself, one behavior at a time. We weave these issues together as they manifest in one unique imperfect human being. Tune into episode 10 to find out how this one man is breaking through the privileges and traps of stereotypical masculinity.
Ep 9 Schools cement boy stereotypes
Instead of breaking down their own gender stereotypes, schools cement gender stereotyping of boys. Yet we have ignored the role of schools. In Episode 9 of What's A Man? Masculinity in India podcast, Dr. Deepa Narayan focuses on stereotypes that constrain, confine, and cement boys into narrow choking definitions of masculinity. Listen to Rohini Nilekani, a philanthropist, who supports boys and men’s programs; to Akshat Singhal co-founder of Gender Lab that runs gender awareness programs for boys and 3 boys who participated in this program.
What an absolutely crucial podcast fir our times! Thank you Deepa Narayan for taking it in and running with it.