Man Up

Why Men Who Are Sick Insist on Going to Work

Don’t cough on me, bro.


Episode Notes

This week, a squabble in the Slate offices: Deputy Editor Lowen Liu explains why he’s so bad about taking sick days and shows up to the office, even when a serious epidemic is dominating the news. But first, Slate’s culture editor Forrest Wickman lays out why he desperately wants his co-workers to go home when they show symptoms of a cold or flu. After that, Man Up host Aymann Ismail talks to Mieke Beth Thomeer, associate professor of sociology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, about why men in particular are so bad at prioritizing their own health—and, sometimes, the health of the people around them.

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

Podcast production by Cameron Drews.


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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