Man Up

What You Lose When You Don’t Drink

In some male-dominated spaces, it means a lot more than giving up alcohol.

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About the Show

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.

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Episode Notes

This week, Aymann learns about the military’s machismo drinking culture through the eyes of Claire, a young Air Force officer who’s trying to earn the trust of her peers while also giving up alcohol. First, Claire talks about why drinking is so pervasive out of uniform and why the social politics of booze are so different for men and women. Then Claire and Aymann hear from Heather King, formerly also of the Air Force, who made it her goal to outdrink all the men. Now she’s sober, and has some bracing perspective on what that means for someone reared in military culture.

What makes you a work in progress? Do you want to talk through something you can’t quite crack related to manhood or masculinity? Let us know, and we might help you work through it on the show. Give us a call at 805-626-8707 or email us at manup@slate.com.

Podcast production by Cameron Drews.