Brooklyn based creatives Samantha Nzessi and Remoy Philip invite you into their sometimes loud but necessary banter on masculinity. Hear Samantha and Remoy discuss topics like what masculinity means to our society, has masculinity actually been good to men, or even how the latest movie, TV and sports trends are helping or hurting our society as a whole. Also listen as a variety of guests—experts in the fields of gender studies, activists, or even everyday people like you—stop by the pod to chat on subjects like ‘woke feminism’, queerness or the men's rights movement.
Meet our hosts
Samantha Nzessi is a third-culture kid who owns the fact that she's a food snob. She is fed up with the lack of consideration and empathy that humans show one another and would like to see more equality in her lifetime. She loves artful things, the NBA and her loved ones and still wonders where one can find blackjack tulips this side of the Atlantic.
Remoy Philip is a New York-based creative and co-founder of Theo Media. Remoy believes a constructive, honest conversation about masculinity is long overdue. He is humbled to be a part of this conversation and will shamelessly sneak in as much NBA banter as he can.
Make America Great Again, How the dominant was left behind, with Dr. Michael Kimmel
In Season 2, Samantha and Remoy seek to uncover the systemic character of MASKulinity. They kick off with the illustrious Dr. Michael Kimmel, renowned sociologist and founder of CSMM at Stony Brook University, who drops knowledge about why white men feel left behind, what class has to do with it, how embracing ambiguity is pivotal to social change. He shares a wise insight about the notions 'good man' versus 'real man', and the unexpected place he found hope. All the dopeness can't fit in this description!
Why Can't People Change Their Minds?
In the aftermath of the Aziz Ansari sexual misconduct story, Remoy and Samantha take the opportunity to insightfully talk about our cultural conventions surrounding sex. First, they discuss the Netflix show End of the Fxxking World and how it trailblazes the idea of “changing your mind.” Next they talk about the short story “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian and how this story uncomfortably but necessarily forces us to rethink the way we talk about sex and vulnerability. Lastly, Samantha and Remoy delicately unpack the details surrounding the Aziz Ansari story and return back to earlier conversations about consent and entitlement.
What is the impact of having so many men in prison?
In 40 years, the American prison population has increased from 300,000 to 1.6 million. This week, Samantha and Remoy examine the prison industrial complex and cyclical impacts of mass incarceration on men and society. Alejo Rodriguez, who faced incarceration himself before becoming Mentor and Alumni Coordinator at the Prison Reentry Institute, shares his wisdom, weighing in on the intergenerational perpetuation of incarceration, how bullies are rewarded and how men are only allowed to feel anger and pain.
Black Panther is FINALLY out and Remoy and Samantha are excited to talk about it! They explore themes of unity throughout the film, how traditional notions of masculinity are turned on their head, and how much of a badass Shuri is! They explore the dueling masculinities displayed by King T’Challa and Erik Killmonger, Okoye’s embodiment of what is usually thought of as masculine, and the importance of bringing the intersections of race, culture and gender live on screen in Ryan Coogler’s masterpiece. Tune in and let them know what you think, at email@example.com.
Weaving the Fabric of Exclusive American Masculinity with the Boy Scouts
“HELPING YOUTH IS A KEY TO BUILDING A MORE CONSCIENTIOUS, RESPONSIBLE, AND PRODUCTIVE SOCIETY” is the Boy Scouts of America tagline. But conscientious and responsible doesn’t mean inclusive. At least it didn’t for a long time. Samantha and Remoy are joined by Eric Busse, Training & Volunteer Engagement Director at Scouts for Equality, who breaks down what it looks like to hold such an established American institution accountable for their exclusionary policies and practices. He shares the organization’s successes and he and Remoy trade stories about their own experiences as Scouts. Tune in!
Supporting LGBTQ Athletes in the Binary World of Sports
This week, Samantha and Remoy welcome Hudson Taylor to the show. As founder of Athlete Ally, he paints a picture of accountability in the world of sports, working with coaches and institutions at high school, college and professional levels to ensure that LGBTQ athletes are treated equally. He shares how athletes are discouraged from being vocal about political issues, what it took for him to move the needle forward and tips on how allies can move up the ally commitment curve. Tune in!!
MASKulinity is making some people a lot of money
Not Samantha and Remoy! Ha! This week, they explore one of the incentives behind keeping traditional gender roles alive: profit. They start by reflecting on the Parkland shooting, veering into the gun safety and addressing men’s and women’s uses of guns, eventually understanding how the performance of masculinity is a central component to 42% of American households owning at least one gun. They address why men-led movies make the most money, and close out by highlighting how binary systems as being central to 1% capitalism.
Brooklyn Boihood Collectively Redefines Masculinity
This week, Samantha and Remoy talk masculinity as a non-binary. What does it mean to redefine masculinity as a transgender man and gender-nonconforming person? Ryann Holmes of bklyn boihood helps us navigates the tough waters of non-conformity, and what it looks like to provide support and space for boihood while dealing with one's own notions and performance of masculinity, individually and collectively. Ryann shares useful and practical knowledge that everyone can use to move the needle forward, while emphasizing the need for safe spaces.
Tackling Street Harassment with Brooklyn Movement Center
This week on MASKulinity, Remoy and Samantha are joined by Anthonine Pierre, Deputy Director at Brooklyn Movement Center. Anthonine shares about fighting street harassment through the collective No Disrespect, underlining how important it has been to have men involved in this effort. Samantha shares her own recent instances of street harassment and Remoy and Anthonine ponder what it looks like for people, men especially, to intervene when witnessing it. They talk about the causes of harassment, and discuss the importance of people who are directly impacted by issues to be leading those movements.
What drag teaches us about owning our self-expression!
What happens when we look at men performing something other than masculinity on purpose and for fun? Samantha and Remoy are joined this week by the illustrious Ben Strothmann, also known by his drag name of Honey LaBronx! Ben puts the hosts on game about what drag actually is, how the performance of masculinity is alive and well in the MSM community, and his own definition of “toxic masculinity”. The three explore how drag is a freeing self-expression as a contrast to the masks of masculinity and femininity that we are confined to.
It’s the Hegemony Olympics! Wait, what the hell is “hegemony”?
Samantha and Remoy peel back the layers on what they actually mean when they discuss “dominant standard” and “hegemony”. They then award their bronze, silver and gold to hegemonic pop culture tropes that perfectly reflect these concepts. Without giving too much away, “being like Mike”, transformers, a strong dislike of Tyler Perry movies come up in the conversation! Then, Remoy sits down with his friend, economist Eli Moore, to talk fatherhood and economics for MASKulinity’s first Teddy Perkins (Champagne Papi) segment.
Ya can’t pour from an empty cup! How men can take better care of themselves
This week, Samantha and Remoy revisit to men's mental health. They are joined by Justin Lioi, a therapist who works with men and supports men at differing points in their lives: new dads, unassertive guys and angry dudes. They talk about everything from modeling behaviors for children to men appearing aloof in moments when they’re feeling pain and don’t want to burden their partner. Justin advises on how to seek support as a man, and how people can move the men in their lives to seek support. Tune in for this insightful episode!
Ignoring it won’t make it go away! How doing the work leads to men’s freedom
It’s Mental Health Month! Samantha and Remoy stress how, in order to de-stigmatize mental health, it’s on us to make it as important yet banal as physical health in our day-to-day lives. Not dealing with mental illness has led to shocking stats, revealing its monumental impact on our society. Resident therapist Justin Lioi shares what men come to him for, defines depression and anxiety and how they manifest. Finally, Remoy gets personal about his own struggles and how he got free in this pivotal episode.
Black Masculinity, Mental Health and Education
What does it look like implement an education system that factors in young black men’s needs? Dr. Obari Cartman, a Chicago-based clinical psychologist and full-range expert, who primarily works with black men and boys, lets Samantha and Remoy in on the other side of the mask, uncovering the education system’s impact on young black men, and shares forms of community that black men respond to deal with their mental health. They also cover hip hop and the importance of owning what we like to listen to and redefine power.
Turns out Junot is not Jesus...
We delve into Washington’s NFL team treating their cheerleaders as escorts! Samantha and Remoy also tackle the contrast between Junot Diaz's recent allegations of sexual misconduct versus his revelation as a rape survivor and how that fits in our upholding of maskulinity. What would society be like if experiences were validated instead of social positions? Bonus: Teddy Perkins/Champagne Papi segment with musician Ryan Culwell, who talks fatherhood and informing masculinity through music.
Diary of an Immigrant Family - South Asian Edition
The show gets personal this week. Samantha and Remoy are joined by Reema Sharma, outreach fellow at SAKHI, a NYC-based organization dedicated to providing support to South Asian women survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. The group distinguishes similar patriarchal structures pervading through Western versus non-Western cultures, acknowledging the traumatic impact of process of immigration on brown families and how that compounds the performance of masculinity.
Creative Therapy expands how we can deal with ourselves!
This week, Samantha and Remoy talk about using creativity for support. Matt Nahoum, primary therapist at Integrated Creative Therapy and Recovery Specialist at East Village Access, shares his work using art to tap into the burden of maskulinity, dealing with trauma and addiction. They explore modeling and vulnerability in community, explore the creative tools used to support clients. Remoy gets brave and personal in this episode, and the hosts collectively decide it’s time to try art therapy!
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For the preview episode of MASKulinity, we give you a sneak peek of what’s to come! What do Samantha and Remoy have up their sleeve?? What’s society been up to in order to maintain this unattainable persona?
White Supremacy to Google said what?
For the first official episode of MASKulinity, Samantha and Remoy reflect on the events of Charlottesville. #ripheatherheyer and the link between white supremacy and masculinity Remoy catches Samantha off guard with “Tweets of the Day.” Also, apparently the reason why women are less represented in positions of leadership and in the technology field has nothing to do with sexism. No, their brains are just different. Whaaa…!
Men as victims of violent crime
In this episode of MASKulinity, Samantha and Remoy are joined by Yuval Moses a therapist from the Crime Victims Treatment Center in New York, who works with men who have survived various forms of violence. He drops knowledge on his work, and in the process, schools us on what’s needed from society to prevent such a pervasive dynamic.
A look back at this summer
This week, Samantha and Remoy plunge us back into summer news that has yet to have an update. R. Kelly's sex cult of 19 to 22-yr-olds, Betsy DeVos penchant for men's rights on college campuses, Men Against Women in LAPD and even a little interracial romance. Listen as they explore what the MASK has to do with it all.
Man Up! - Young Men Stop Violence Around the World, with Jimmie Briggs
This week, Samantha and Remoy talk to the wondrous Jimmie Briggs, a renowned journalist who wondered unchartered waters to found an organization empowering youth around the world to combat gender-based violence. fromSouth Africa, to Pakistan, to Oakland, The Man Up! Campaign has had an impact around the world. Jimmie also talks to the duo about his own experience with manhood and maskulinity, and how it's impacted his life as a father and as an activist. He's just so cool.
Men Got Issues
This week, Samantha and Remoy explore why men fight, actually more like why they think they should at least want to fight; talk about the bravery of 5 men stepping forward to denounce Ed Murray's criminally gross ways and how this could inspire other men to do the same; and finally, address just one more thing that men deal with that we don't talk about: eating disorders. Tune in this week for some insights and conversation about how Men Got Issues.
This week, Samantha and Remoy tackle a long-awaited topic: Single-Sex Education. Is it helpful or does it just reinforce stereotypes about boys and girls?? They are joined by Regine Roy, founder and CEO of Queen Geniuses, and Barry Cooper, formerly High School Dean of Eagle Academy for Young Men, Ocean Hill, and author of a book about successfully co-parenting. These guys make a strong case for single-sex education and it's not at all what Samantha and Remoy think.
A woman’s opinion in a man’s world and what verbal abuse looks like
This week, Samantha and Remoy navigate some hot news items. First, they unpack how ESPN, in trying to censor SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill’s opinion, validates the worldview that women are inferior. Next, they paint a vivid picture of what actual verbal abuse looks like. And lastly, they look at the tragedy in Las Vegas and come to understand that there are stratifications of privilege and compassion within masculinity.
American Christianity and MASKulinity
West Texas pastor, David Ritchie, joins Samantha and Remoy to explore the complex intersection of Christianity and masculinity. David shares being born into Christianity, seeking out other philosophies and religions, and finally returning to the Faith with greater hope for what it could be. David reflects on how Christianity, in its purest form, is incredibly progressive relative to gender roles. Finally, David speaks to how Christianity has been co-opted for the greater evil instead of the greater good.
Hollywood Validates the Mask in Masculinity
With the Harvey Weinstein scandal looming, Samantha and Remoy take the opportunity to look at the overarching power of Hollywood. First, Remoy illustrates how TV and Movies taught him to take a kiss from a woman. Next, Samantha speaks to the dehumanizing power of the cinematic “male gaze.” Lastly, both Samantha and Remoy dive into the Weinstein story and seek out opportunities for men to be better accountable to one another.
Maskulinity in the 'Hood
Christopher Saunders joins Samantha and Remoy to shed some light on how masculinity has affected the 'hood. Saunders shares eye-opening stories from his childhood, uncovering the way masculinity is tied to survival not just for men but for everyone, and how even though the LGBTQ community is prevalent in the 'hood, masculinity seeks to silence their voice. Finally, Saunders recounts being pulled over and arrested a block away from Times Square, and how that shaped his current journey into criminal justice.
Maskulinity 1 on 1
In the season 1 finale, Samantha and Remoy go “1-on-1” to get to the core of key issues plaguing masculinity. First, Samantha perceptively discerns the difference between enjoying being desired and just being objectified. They tackle the policing of women’s sexuality and explore the predicament of the “nice guy.” Samantha and Remoy address intersections in racism and privilege and how seeing them is everyone’s responsibility. Finally, they recap, give shoutouts and reveal what’s coming up in Season 2.
Bonus Episode! Looking out for men and boys with NextGenMen
Bonus episode! Samantha and Remoy couldn't end the season without talking with Jason Tan de Bibiana from NextGenMen! Jason shares the organization's work, laying out what it looks like to teach young men to be responsible and to speak to those gendered things that they just don't teach in schools about what it's like to grow into a young man. Samantha, Remoy and Jason talk about the future of education, NextGenMen's initiatives working with adults and show a lil appreciation for Canadian artists.