November 3, 2022
EP. 135 — Justin Baldoni
Actor and author Justin Baldoni joins Jameela this week to discuss different definitions of masculinity and examining it without weaponizing it, what masculinity means to him, what young boys and men are up against in society, the importance of feeling and expressing emotion, how we can model healthy masculinity for young men and boys, the importance of friendship between men and women, and more.
Check out Justin’s new book Boys Will Be Human wherever books are sold.
Follow Justin Baldoni on Instagram & Twitter @justinbaldoni
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135 — Justin Baldoni
Jameela [00:00:00] Hello, everyone. Just giving you a heads up that there’s a mention of self-harm and sexual violence in this episode. And if that’s particularly upsetting to you, please feel free to skip this episode and we will see you next week. Hello and welcome to another episode of I Weigh with Jameela Jamil a podcast against shame. I hope you’re well. I am okay and I feel very warm after today’s chat. I really enjoyed talking to Justin Baldoni. He is a wonderful actor, but he’s also a wonderful writer and speaker and educator around how we could, how men could heal themselves and how we as a society could live a better life. If men had access to more intimacy for more outlets, for pain, to more emotional and social and sexual education. And I think he’s a really important voice because he speaks from a place of so much love and hope and restoration. He’s a restorative person. He’s a progressive. He believes that men and women can come together. He doesn’t believe that all men who do bad things are evil, but they are misguided. And I understand the impatience that a lot of other genders have with men, because shit has been taken too far and there is enough education out there for people to know better. But we also don’t take into account the things that we are up against when it comes to those who are indoctrinating men into the worst parts of patriarchy. And that can be media, that can be music, that could be incel culture online, that can be the things that they see in politics, the things that they are hearing from their parents who aren’t really educated in feminism. All around little boys. It’s so much misinformation about masculinity, so much misinformation about women, about about gender stereotypes, about how to behave, how not to behave. And it’s something that we don’t take into account enough. And so we talk about patriarchy in this very sort of understandably punitive way. But we don’t talk enough about how we could prevent it, how we could prevent the type of masculinity that harms and why would anyone call it masculinity. But the thing that is used under the guise of being masculinity to harm all other people all other groups. And so in this chat, we go deep into the psyche of a man, the psyche of a little boy. I learned that there are fucking stress hormones in the tears of children, which I didn’t know. And so how wild is that little boys, especially, are encouraged not to cry because it would make them behave like a little girl. And how bad that is for their health and for their psyche and how that can lead to them acting out just so many things that I haven’t considered because it’s not my experience and it is vital for men and women to share their platforms, to be able to speak about these things so we can understand what we’re up against, because if we don’t understand it, we cannot fucking fix it and we need to fucking fix it, not just because of the harm that men do to women and to other genders, but also the increasing harm they are doing to themselves. The homicide rates are up of men killing other men, and the suicide rates are sky high of men killing themselves, both young and old. So we’re all in a fucking crisis. And patriarchy hurts everyone. Misogyny hurts everyone. How do we fix it? I think it starts with conversations like ours. Justin is here to talk about his new book, Boys Will Be Human rather Than Boys Will Be Boys. And that is something that we talk a lot about. We go through elements of his book that are about how we stop the rot before it starts. And if you are a parent or if you know parents or if you’re just interested in the conversation around masculinity. And I mean, Justin doesn’t use the term toxic masculinity, which I kind of challenge in this conversation, but also understand that misogyny, patriarchy, all these things. I don’t want to dismiss it. I want to lean in, I want to learn, and I want to understand how we can stop repeating these horrible mistakes that just make this world a terrible place to live when everything could be so beautiful because we could all just fucking get along. I know that the relationships I have with people of other genders are some of the most beautiful relationships in my life, and I don’t think I’d still be alive without a lot of those people. So I see that hope. I believe in that change and I hope you enjoy this episode and I hope you follow Justin and read his books. I think he’s using his platform in a really lovely and helpful and insightful way. This is a great chat. I’ve really enjoyed it. I hope you enjoy it too. Because of the excellent Justin Baldoni. Justin Baldoni, welcome to I Weigh. How are you?
Justin [00:04:54] I’m wonderful. I’m today’s my son’s fifth birthday.
Jameela [00:04:58] Oh, sweet. Well, happy birthday to him.
Justin [00:05:01] I like your shirt, by the way. I love it. So you’re wearing your pajamas this morning?
Jameela [00:05:05] I am wearing my pajamas this morning.
Justin [00:05:06] I would have loved to have worn my pajamas. We could have done a whole thing in our pajamas together.
Jameela [00:05:12] Absolutely. But you know what? You made me feel so at ease on our pre-interview that I was just like, he’s my fuckin friend now. And friends talk to each other in their pajamas.
Justin [00:05:24] Well, I’m half in my pajamas. I have my slippers.
Jameela [00:05:26] There you go. Aha. Sure sure sure.
Justin [00:05:28] So.
Jameela [00:05:29] Well, you look lovely. And I’m really happy that you’re here. And I want to talk to you about. About a zillion things, because I love your perspective. I love the way that you’ve used your platform. I love everything you discuss. And I align in so many ways with your way of thinking. And it is such a vital conversation, the one that you have made a big part of your life’s mission, which is one on undefining masculinity, you call it, but on making sure that we understand masculinity and understand how to not demonize it or deflate it or destroy it, but to use it for our own benefit and to elevate peace between genders and peace in and of ourselves. It’s how I would describe it.
Justin [00:06:16] I mean, I think you I think you described it better than I ever could. So interview over.
Jameela [00:06:24] Right. But. I am curious. Before we start about your thoughts on masculinity, what your journey with your mental health has been like? Because I do believe the two are incredibly interlinked for most of the men that I know.
Justin [00:06:35] Oh, yeah. They’re I think they’re inseparable.
Jameela [00:06:38] Yeah.
Justin [00:06:39] The the challenge is that us men and today, I think when I say men, I’m speaking to anybody who identifies as a man, but as men. Haven’t ever thought about mental health. It’s not a thing. It doesn’t exist in our in our world. It’s not a part of the man box. It’s not. It’s not something that we’ve ever been told that we should think about or worry about. If anything, it’s been something that is an Achilles heel or a or a handicap or a hindrance. And because of that, we kind of kick the can. And eventually many men end up hurting and.
Jameela [00:07:22] And hurting themselves.
Justin [00:07:23] are depressed and not even know.
Jameela [00:07:23] Hurting others.
Justin [00:07:24] Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a cycle. Hurt people. Hurt people. Right. And so for me in particular, I think my mental health. Is a journey I’m continually on. I’m currently on it. I don’t think I’ll ever not be on it because it it requires daily vigilance, work. But here’s what’s ironic about it, into relating it to masculinity is us men. We love to work. We love to do hard things. We love to go to the gym and break ourselves down and tear down our muscles and sweat. And we push ourselves to the limit in everything we do. In fact, we treat our bodies like machines. We have a term. We grind. We grind. We do these really hard things. But it’s all focused on the exterior, the superficial in so many ways. And and what if we just applied that to the to the mental gym, to the spiritual gym, to the emotional gym? What if that same mindset that I had my entire life about having to look a certain way and get in the gym and be strong and and be an alpha, what if I had applied that to my mental health and I went in and I and I started healing the traumas and the things that happened to me at a young age or when they happened and I felt all the feelings that I needed to feel. What would I be like today? I’d have such a head start, but I didn’t do that because I wasn’t told that that was a real thing. I didn’t even know that that was a thing. Mental health. I mean, this is a. This is a current thing in high school no one was talking about mental health for me. So in some ways it’s a beautiful thing where we’ve evolved to and the fact that you have a show about this and we’re talking about this and men are starting to talk about this for the first time in their lives, because I was somebody who struggled with anxiety in my whole life and I had no idea. In fact, I remember in therapy years ago. And. We’re talking about anxiety and. I realized they said, well, you know, sometimes I think sometimes I have a hard time taking a full breath and maybe I should go to the doctor and get that checked out. My therapist is like, No, no, that’s anxiety. I’m like, No, no, no, it’s probably something else. But and then the deeper I dug, the more I realized, Oh my God, I have been living with anxiety for my whole life, but I pushed through it just like all men are told to push through.
Jameela [00:09:59] Do you know where it came from?
Justin [00:10:01] My anxiety. It comes from a lot of different places. Specifically, I like. Like most humans, I store a lot of my pain, sadness, frustration in my body. And because I had been taught at such an early age, like many men, to not allow myself to feel my feelings, they’ve become trapped. And it manifests in a lot of different things, which is really all anxiety is it’s a manifestation of a trapped feeling, if you will. And so mine comes from all kinds of things pressure, performance, self-doubt, feeling not like feeling like I’m not enough. Very similar to a lot of people. And what I’m doing now is really practicing, which is what my mental health journey is like now, really practicing, allowing myself to feel. All of the things that I haven’t for my entire life.
Jameela [00:11:00] Yeah. Does it ever make you sick storing all of your emotional suffering?
Justin [00:11:08] It did. Oh, I believe. I believe it did a lot of my. A lot of my stuff’s manifested in physical injury. So, like, I’d be just playing basketball with my buddies and, like, I’d tear a muscle for no reason, or I’d be at the gym working out and doing something that I know that I can do, not even using heavy weights and something would tear or I have a I have disc herniations in my lower back. I believe a lot of disc pain and back pain, especially for men, is a manifestation of trapped emotion.
Jameela [00:11:36] Why?
Justin [00:11:36] There’s our center. It’s our center and we wear. We wear the weight of the world on our shoulders. It’s on our backs. We carry it. It’s what we’re told we have to do. And so for me, it’s right in my lower back. It’s just exists right there in my center. So I practice breathing into it. I practice creating space. I meditate on it. And then the more I’ve allowed myself to feel the feelings as they come up, it’s. I’ve actually felt back pain disappear. It’s pretty, it’s pretty magical. I’ve gone in and had a full on tantrum in my garage where, like, I was just overwhelmed and feeling all the pressures of the world. And I went in and I cried and I yelled and I screamed. And I did all the things that I never allowed myself to do that I was never allowed to do as a child and my back pain went away. Woke up the next morning and I was fine. And it was unbelievable. We know that the tears of children contains stress hormones.
Jameela [00:12:44] I didn’t know that.
Justin [00:12:45] So when we prevent.
Jameela [00:12:47] Sorry wait. Wait. What?
Justin [00:12:50] Yeah. So they’ve, they’ve there’s been research done. They’ve measured the chemical makeup of the tears of children and somehow bifurcated them with like actual, like tantrum tears and just regular tears. And they found that tears contain stress hormones that the body releases. So when we learn at a young age to not cry as an example, which is something that is very masculine, we teach our boys to not cry, to man up. We’re actually keeping that toxicity in our system that that the stress hormones stay in our body and eventually they have to come out. That’s why, you know, I have a five year old and a seven year old. One of the most amazing things is watching my seven year old or my five year old today. Cry a tantrum for 25 seconds and then laugh. Like they never cried because it’s out. There’s nothing left. There’s no remnants of it. They felt it. We encourage it. They cry. They scream. They did whatever they had to do for 30 seconds. It was intense. And then they start laughing and they’re fine and they’re just moving on.
Jameela [00:13:57] Fuck! Fuck! I didn’t. I didn’t this I did not know that. That’s fucking throw me for a loop. I almost never cry. I almost never cry. I was prided, you know, upon it because I was British and a child and also kind of made to be the man of the house from a really young age. I also, you know, I was also like very disconnected from a young age. And so I’ve said before on this podcast, like whenever I’m sad or something terrible happens, I can kind of close my eyes and go 3, 2, 1. And I know I’m about to get a kidney stone, so it always comes out in mind in my kidney.
Justin [00:14:32] So you manifest it as a kidney stone. Literally. Yeah.
Jameela [00:14:32] Yeah. Kidney. Kidney problems is where sometimes when I get stressed like my, my, my kidney just taps out. And so that’s that’s how mine that’s how mine plays out. But I still don’t cry a lot as an adult because I don’t have a typical function for that, to the point where like this is how little I cry, that every six months they have to put implants in my tear ducts Justin because I don’t release enough water like normal people ever, like almost ever. So they plug with plastic my tear ducts every six months to try and retain some sort of water in my dry dead eyes.
Justin [00:15:17] I’m not laughing cos
Jameela [00:15:19] From my dry, dead soul. And now to think that I’ve been fucking holding in all these hormones and all these things that could have probably like I probably got like my kidney stones are probably made of stored tears.
Justin [00:15:34] I mean, that’s very, very well could be what they are very well could be what they are.
Jameela [00:15:40] Jesus Christ. That’s huge. That is the I’m going to tell everyone. I am going to this is going to be my new party fact.
Justin [00:15:46] It’s true. It’s true. It’s why it’s so.
Jameela [00:15:48] How did you feel when you found that out, knowing how often you hadn’t cried and let that out.
Justin [00:15:53] Well, for me, it made perfect sense. I was actually I was reading it was early on, I was reading a I was reading a book about parenting. When I first read that fact and it blew my mind because it all made sense and it was I was already and already been doing this work on masculinity for years. When I read that and I just had this light bulb moment of, wait, this has always existed, how did I not know this? I mean, this is research from like the eighties. This is not new eighties or early nineties. And then yet it’s so easy to look at who we are and what we have done specifically to men. And again, I think your your situation is very unique in that it goes to show that masculinity exists in all genders.
Jameela [00:16:38] Oh, yeah. For sure.
Justin [00:16:38] So, this. This. This idea of being masculine can exist, of course, in the feminine, as I know many masculine men who also exhibit, you know, tons of and many dominant feminine traits. But when we stop ourselves from feeling which bell hooks, the great bell hooks writes The first act of violence that men commit in a patriarchal society is not violence against women. It is violence against themselves. When they commit this act of soul murder, which is when we kill off and numb that part of ourselves, that that is the most human part of our souls that allows us to feel, you know, and I believe in God. I was raised in the Baha’i faith. I believe that feelings are an attribute of the soul.
Jameela [00:17:24] Baha’i faith, just for anyone who doesn’t know is a kind of culmination of a lot of the religious teachings. Correct. And using as kind of.
Justin [00:17:31] It’s not a culmination. It is its own independent world religion. Essentially, the Baha’i’s believe that we are all one. There is one human family. There’s one God is not just. It’s not it’s not a he or she. It is it is an entity beyond our understanding and that throughout the history of the world, there’s only been one religion. It’s just been progressively unfolding throughout time, like kindergarten to eighth grade.
Jameela [00:17:55] Totally. But what I mean is that they teach the like the essential worth of all religions, right?
Justin [00:18:00] Yes the unity of all religions.
Jameela [00:18:01] And so they believe in the unity of all religions. Right? That’s what I mean.
Justin [00:18:04] Yeah, we’re all one. Exactly. I just meant that it wasn’t like a well, let’s just grab a bit from each thing. It’s more like, it’s more like a school and all the grades.
Jameela [00:18:13] That would be so many holidays if you were to take from every religion.
Justin [00:18:18] That was be thing was like my mom. My mom was Jewish, my dad was Catholic. And when they both became Baha’i’s before I was born, they didn’t want to let go of their traditions. So I grew up with Baha’i holidays, Hanukkah and Christmas. So December was a wild month.
Jameela [00:18:30] Fucking right?
Justin [00:18:31] It was a lot. It was a lot. And then I then I learned that my mom had been teaching me the Hanukkah song wrong my entire life because I, I think I went to a I went to a Hanukkah party as an adult, and I sang the song, and I realized I was singing the wrong words. So we had a good laugh about that. So yeah. So growing up in the Baha’i faith, understanding that I, I have this fundamental belief that we’re all souls, we’re all spiritual beings, having this physical experience and, and tears, feelings, these are attributes of the soul. And when we feel it is a beautiful thing, it is something to be celebrated. If we didn’t feel, what would life look like? And unfortunately for many of us men and I’m going to include you in this because you’re exhibiting some dominant masculine qualities here. We don’t know how to feel. I did not know how to cry except when it was happening to me. It was very easy. Like I’d find myself in a movie and suddenly I was crying and I remember being like, Wait, why am I crying? What is this thing that’s triggering me? And as I couldn’t figure it out because I wanted to be able to do it regularly and I didn’t know how. So I started conducting almost like research on myself. Then I would get in my head, which would stop me from crying, which is exactly what a lot of us men do. Right? We operate in our heads instead of our hearts.
Jameela [00:20:00] I was thinking about the fact that. I’ve almost lost so many of my friends to this. Right. I don’t have many men in my life who don’t struggle immensely with mood disorders and with so much depression. And, you know, I was told that my depression was repressed rage. And I can see that in some of my friends, some people have chemical imbalances that cause that depression, of course. But a large portion of my of the people in my life are men. And, uh, so many of them have been on the brink of suicide so many times. And I have watched these stereotypes kind of just. Decimate my decimate the people that I love the most in the world. And and similarly with women, all the different things that push us over the edge. But because we are specifically talking about this and this is a subject we need to get into, and I think it’s a subject that women and a lot of like, you know, feminists tend to reject more often than I think is helpful. You know, we don’t show a lot of sympathy to. We don’t. We don’t. And I understand why you know, those I have space, of course, for understanding the rage and impatience that women have with men. However, if in our society, men represent one of the root causes of a lot of women’s pain, then surely it benefits us all to investigate the cause rather than just punish the symptom, punish and disassociate from the symptom and blame and shame. Because shame is inherent and the thing that grows inside of men, that stops them from allowing themselves to feel and to be connected and to be nurtured and to nurture themselves. Like we’re not going to be able to fight this with the exact same thing that caused it. We have to find we have to find another way. And that’s why I love the fact that you talk about this. I just think it’s very interesting that you don’t use the terminology toxic masculinity. And since learning that, I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I would love for you to expand on why.
Justin [00:22:07] Yeah, because I don’t think masculinity is toxic.
Jameela [00:22:10] But I don’t think the term toxic masculinity is saying that masculinity is toxic.
Justin [00:22:14] No, but but but unfortunately, it’s been weaponized and and used in such a way. And where the meaning has been lost. Right. Like the initial. The initial introduction of the word. Is is in the phrase is not how it’s being used today. It’s kind of being used as this blanket statement. I mean, just go talk to any man on the street. There’s a very good chance that. If you bring up masculinity, there’s going to be somewhere in, you know, a two foot radius of of thinking about what masculinity is, is the word toxic. It’s just everywhere. It’s been implanted in our society and it’s been weaponized and used against men. And yet, at the same time, I also understand it. The reason why I don’t say toxic masculinity is because I have an interest in reaching men. My work is for men. I am not here to mansplain anything to women about their experience. I am simply here as a straight, cisgendered white man to reach men and let them know there’s a better way and that who they are is enough. And any phrase that will get in the way and will cause a man to be.
Jameela [00:23:45] Defensive.
Justin [00:23:46] Defensive and to and to put up his wall. I don’t have an interest in using I don’t have an attachment to the word. I have an attachment to the outcome. I have an idea I have an interest in reaching a man where he is. And a lot of men feel like they are under attack. They feel like they are not good enough. They feel like they’ll never be good enough. And the stats the stats are very heartbreaking when it comes down to, looking just looking at male suicide. Men are four times more likely to to commit suicide to kill themselves. That’s a terrifying statistic.
Jameela [00:24:20] I learned an interesting thing in that two thirds of the gun deaths in America are actually suicide and the vast majority of those are men. And I had no idea. You know, you hear the gun death statistics. You always presume it’s mostly mass shootings. Two thirds.
Justin [00:24:35] What’s actually and then if you go deeper, you’ll look at then the other gun violence is actually men dying at the hands of men. So men are dying not just in large numbers because they’re killing themselves. They’re dying at the hands of other men.
Jameela [00:24:49] Mm hmm.
Justin [00:24:49] And the vast majority of victims of gun violence are men.
Jameela [00:24:54] Mm hmm.
Justin [00:24:55] But we don’t talk about that.
Jameela [00:24:56] So then to get back to the toxic masculinity side, because I completely hear you, I think having the word toxic as a preface for anything is going to immediately make someone feel shame. And again, we’re back to shame. But I do think that there are I find masculinity and femininity to both be, you know, very beautiful things in their, like, most fundamental spiritual essence. But there is a form of both that is deeply harmful to the person and to those around them. So what is another way we can use because I think it’s important to not mask some behaviors that are the kind of manufactured stereotypes of what, quote unquote masculinity is supposed to be. I don’t want to lump all of those, like, terrible sides of, you know, the gender stereotypes. I don’t want to put that all under the name of masculinity. What is an alternative phrase we could use for the dark side of how masculinity gets weaponized against its participants and the people around them?
Justin [00:25:58] Hmm.
Jameela [00:25:59] If we’re not using the word toxic, which I’m happy to not do.
Justin [00:26:05] It could be as simple as unhealthy masculinity like it could be. I it’s a great question. I haven’t thought about it.
Jameela [00:26:12] Because it does exist as a thing that exists. But let’s give it a nicer name.
Justin [00:26:17] Yeah, I think it’s, you know, I think if anything, it’s like in any in any incorrect dose, the medicine can become the poison. That’s how I think about masculinity. And also, we’re talking about we’re talking about learned very gender specific, traditional masculinity. When we talk about this, we’re talking about the constructs through socialization. We’re not talking about biological masculinity because masculinity, I believe, is both. It’s it’s it’s not exclusive to the feminine qualities. And femininity is not exclusively exclusive to the masculine qualities. So. So I actually don’t know if I have an answer for you. It’s something that I’ll have to think about, and I can message you about it because.
Jameela [00:27:03] Yeah, please do.
Justin [00:27:04] But I think but I think that it’s.
Jameela [00:27:05] I think I quite like unhealthy masculinity. Okay. I know it’s still a negative terminology, but we don’t have to define it right now. But I do think it’s important to show someone that there is a side of masculinity that is beautiful and help, helpful and healthy and nourishing. And then there is a time where it can be taken too far. As with anything like everything in moderation is good. Anything can be taken too far or too literally and used. You know, human beings have a way of using truly anything to eventually harm ourselves and others. The Internet, for example, social media.
Justin [00:27:40] It’s what we do best. Right.
Jameela [00:27:41] Truly. What is masculinity to you, then?
Justin [00:27:45] Masculinity to me. Is. First of all, it’s a deeply personal thing. In that it’s mine. It’s not anybody else’s, which means that it’s mine. And it was. It’s my birthright. And it can’t be taken away. Which means there’s nothing that you could do. To take my masculinity away because I don’t have to prove it to you. I just am. And any way that I exhibit these qualities. Is my masculinity.
Jameela [00:28:18] Where does it separate from femininity from?
Justin [00:28:22] For me. I guess being in my masculine. Is really a combination of both femininity and masculinity. So I believe that, yeah. Do I believe that it’s good to be strong? I do. But I also think we have to undefined and redefine what strength looks like. Being strong enough to allow myself to feel is also equally as important as being strong enough to physically protect you from another man who is exhibiting unhealthy masculinity. Bravery, I think, is a very masculine quality. But I can also be brave enough to stand up to other men when I hear sexist, racist things come out of their mouths, which is one of the most terrifying things that a man can ever do, because we have been taught and socialized from such an early age that we have to pledge allegiance at all costs to our own gender. And going against somebody, another man, specifically someone who considers himself an alpha by the use of force or domination, is an terrifying thing because it is. We’re essentially giving up our man card. We are becoming traitors to our own gender. So bravery sure, it can look like running into a burning building to save somebody, but can also look like standing up to another man and stopping violence before it starts. So it’s a combination of masculine and feminine qualities. I think being strong and sensitive is very masculine. I believe one of my most masculine qualities is my ability to. Admit when I do something wrong and apologize and seek forgiveness. Now finding that in the dictionary of masculine qualities, it’s going to be hard. Admitting you don’t know the answer. I think that’s a very masculine thing. So I don’t think, again, it’s so that’s why I say it’s so individual and it’s so personal, which is why I use the term undefining, because for me it’s any definition of what masculinity is creates a box that I don’t believe is necessary because every human being is going to exhibit different traits. It’s it’s not gender specific, despite biology existing and there being again, testosterone is a real thing. But as we know, not every man has the same level of testosterone. And those that do exhibit different traits. So that’s how I think about it is very personal and. And and a combination of both. And it might not be the right answer to you or to somebody else, but that’s how it is to me.
Jameela [00:30:59] No. To me, all I hear is that, like, you know, I in the feminine identify with a lot of those same qualities. And I think the reason that we are currently in such a kind of gender clusterfuck where a lot of people are arguing over these things, is that we’re all just humans and we are all so much more similar than we are different. I agree with you that there is a difference in hormones and how those hormones impact us emotionally. You know, interestingly, watching a lot of my friends transition to men and taking testosterone and seeing how much that impacted their behaviors, and they talk about being like much more sexually charged and having more road rage and feeling just like much more on edge. And it’s suddenly evoked in them this sort of newfound sympathy or empathy for a man’s experience. Because sometimes you feel like, you know, my boyfriend talks about this is like sometimes and his life is just out of control and it’s his hormones, you know, that are just like turning and creating him in a spin. And so to have all of that and then to be taught to repress all of it or only ever take it to the gym and as they say, you know, on on social media like hide it in your muscles is so deeply scary and unhelpful. But I guess, you know, with all of this, what I like is the fact that you’re saying you’re undefining it because these things are hard to define. And there are so many like arbitrary stereotypes. And I think a lot of us start to with a lot of us sometimes start to find it jarring when we hear one group claim a thing like perhaps being brave or being strong or women being nurturing or being because there’s so many wonderful nurturing men, all of these things, it’s just a giant mishmash. And so I don’t think we even necessarily have to, you know, define these things. I think a lot of people choose not to, which is why there is a kind of like big uprising in the kind of non-binary community where they’re just like, I reject all of these things being prescribed to something like masculinity or femininity. I am me, I am not masculine, I am not feminine, I am me. I think that probably resonates with quite a lot of us, but I think with so many people who do identify with masculinity, the work you do is really fucking vital because you are trying to create a safe space for men to be able to talk about their experience, to not be. I don’t think demonizing yourself ever works. There’s a difference between holding yourself accountable, which I think all of us need to do regardless of our gender. We all, we all can do things that are harmful to ourselves and to each other. But it is you what you are preaching and teaching self forgiveness, self-love, and a kind of self-defense against ourselves.
Justin [00:33:51] Hmm.
Jameela [00:33:52] You know, we talk about Incel culture, this involuntary celibate people, just for anyone who’s new to that. And that community is full of so much more hatred for themselves than they have for women. We don’t realize that they punish themselves for the way that they look. They tell each other that they’re never going to find love, that they’ll never be worthy of love. They say that there is only one small sect of men who will ever get women because women are so shallow and so evil and that the rest of them are doomed to die alone. And they’re so ugly and unsymmetrical looking and pathetic that they deserve to be alone. It’s a it’s a devastating culture. It’s devastating culture. And it’s growing. And they’re indoctrinating very young boys online in these forums and on these websites. And this culture is just kind of exploding on us. And so if we do not start to show some empathy and start to figure out the root cause, we are on the precipice of what is turning into a really scary gender war for everyone involved.
Justin [00:34:51] And you said it. You said it beautifully. That’s why that’s why I that’s why I released this book for boys.
Jameela [00:34:59] Boys Will Be Human.
Justin [00:34:59] Not to just make this about the book by any means.
Jameela [00:35:03] No, this is why I’m this is why I want to talk to you. Because I think you’re fascinating.
Justin [00:35:08] No but yeah it’s. The boys will be human because I. I just have so much compassion and empathy. For what it feels like to be a young boy.
Jameela [00:35:21] What does it feel like to be a young boy?
Justin [00:35:24] It feels terrifyingly lonely. You don’t feel like there’s a safe space anywhere. And then you don’t feel that you are a safe space. You seek your questions out on the Internet. You teach yourself things from watching YouTube videos. Play video games to connect with friends. You have all this attraction for other people. But you’re terrified of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing. You don’t want to be toxic. You don’t want to be problematic. And yet you have urges and drive and sexuality. You have anger and resentment. Because let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter how good of a family you come from. You have trauma in your life. One in nine of you have been sexually molested. One in nine. And yet you probably didn’t tell anybody about it because if you did, it would have made you weak. Would have made you a girl. And if it happened from another guy, which it oftentimes does, we know the majority of molestations happen from family members or family friends. Then you’re gay. You can’t tell anybody about it. Then you’re confused. And the worst thing you could ever be as a young boy is a girl or gay. Because that’s how we have been socialized to view masculinity. And what do you do? What do you go to? Who do you talk to? You’re in a constant competition with every boy around. You’re constantly performing. And yet. Your body is filled with hormones that you’ve that you’ve never experienced. And there’s just old people around you telling you that you have to act a certain way or making excuses for you or saying things like, Boys will be boys. And. And we wonder why men are in such a bad place right now and and hurting so much and why depression rates are higher than they’ve ever been and suicide rates are higher than they’ve ever been. And we’re seeing younger and younger boys and older and older men take their lives. It’s it’s a very, very sad and lonely experience. And yet we have to pretend like it’s not. For our self preservation, because if we want to have any success in this world, we have to be alpha, we have to be dominant, we have to be powerful, we have to be smart, we have to be all of these things that we have to be. And if we’re not smart, we have to be athletic. We have to be built. We have to be. All of the things. So. So I just have a lot of empathy and compassion for them. And and I’m not excusing behavior either. But we’re learning about sexual intimacy from watching hardcore pornography at ten years old. What do we expect? We want our boys to grow up and not sexually assault women. But we’re not teaching our young boys that women are people. We’re teaching them that women are objects and that something to be acquired from a very, very early age, even down to our language, when we’re saying things like, no girls allowed. We know that when a person watches anything really pornography games, whatever, the part of the brain that lights up on an MRI is the part that associates objects. So if you’re watching two people have sex as an example, and I’m not I’m not demeaning porn. There is all versions of healthy porn, but I’m talking about for young boys as an example or even video games when you are watching something for hours and hours at a time and it is flooding your brain with dopamine and it’s carving these new neural pathways in your brain and you are 12 years old and you have all this new stuff happening in your body. And you’re watching a woman do whatever this man wants him to do, wants her to do. And you’re able to almost manipulate it. You’re seeing this woman as an object and not as a person. And so we wonder why one in four women are sexually assaulted. Well, we’re not. We’re not doing anything to prevent it from happening until it’s too late. I say early on in my book, I remember I interviewed this incredible woman who’s a professor at Dartmouth, and she and she shared in detail with me about her experience being raped. And one of my questions to her was like, I felt so angry. Like, I felt this like, fuck, I wish I was there. I had this whole fantasy in my head as she was talking. This was about four or five years ago of like, God, I was angry that she couldn’t walk down the street without being raped and left for dead. And I wanted to be there to protect her. And I said to her, like and I explained to her this this this image that I had of how wish I wish that a man could have been there. I wish I could have been there. And she said to me, I don’t need you. I don’t need you to protect me. I shouldn’t need protecting. The fact that we want to protect our women while noble and brave and wonderful and masculine, means we’re too late. We should be protecting our boys in teaching them early on what a woman is. And and and what emotional connection is, because at the end of the day, all of these men, I believe these quote unquote, incels, and I’m happy you’re not using that term anymore. But all of these men are literally starving. They’re dehydrated. From connection. They just so deeply want to connect and want to feel. Us men are sensitive. We need connection, like we need air to breathe. And whether that is sex, whether that is emotional connection, whether that is friendships, all of these things are being. These men are feeling starved. One in three men, I think we had Scott Galloway on my podcast recently. He said one in three men. If you walk down the street and you interviewed one in three men and you ask them to be honest, have not had any sexual encounter between if they were between the ages of 18 and 30 within a year. One in three. And it’s not just about sex, but they are feeling like they don’t. The men can’t talk. They feel like they can’t talk to women. They don’t know. They don’t want to be toxic. They don’t want to say the wrong thing. They don’t want to they don’t want to risk making a woman feel uncomfortable. I believe inherently men are good, but men are also sensitive and we need connection as much as women do. But we’ve been told that we’re not allowed to have it. So I just have compassion and empathy. And yet at the same time, it’s. When when we hear about a mass shooting happening. Right. You know who it is before you find out who it is. We know it’s these young disenfranchized, angry, generally white men. We know that this is the group of men that are just feeling like they don’t have a place in this world anymore and they’re starved of connection. And yes, they’re saying terrible things. And yes, oftentimes they’re doing terrible things. But I just don’t believe a punitive society will ever create unity. I don’t believe it’s ever going to get us closer to peace. What are we going to do just throw them all in prison. Well, we know what we know what that’s done. You know what that’s done. In America. We know we have to like we have to heal. And if you have any belief in God, if you have any belief in, you know, Jesus or Muhammad or in my case, Baha’u’llah, you understand that. Okay. You know, all of us have the attributes of God. Every human being. Kindness, compassion. Empathy. Forgiveness. Right. Ironically enough, these are very feminine qualities. But God is also the masculine qualities, too. If we have these qualities, then we have to find a way to practice them. And I don’t believe we can have this conversation about masculine, feminine talk about these gender wars without finding a place in our hearts. And it’s easy for me to say as a white man, because I haven’t been the victim of it in the same way that you have.
Jameela [00:43:40] Mm hmm.
Justin [00:43:40] But I’ve been a victim of it in a different way. And. We have to find a way to bring these young boys in and let them know that they are valuable, that they are important, that they are not the enemy, that they are not toxic, but they are sensitive and empathetic and kind. And if anything. Sure. If if if, quote unquote, an unhealthy or harmful or toxic masculinity is the problem, well, then also masculinity then is the solution. And as we know in feminism, our liberations are tied together. So it can’t be antagonistic.
Jameela [00:44:15] 100%. Well said. And what about with boys? Because in your book, you are investigating the things that they’re up against, some of which you mentioned on a practical level, right, if you have a father who’s listening to this or, you know, a parent, sister who’s like, I can see the beginnings of something, or I can’t yet see the beginnings of the dark side of of the gender stereotype. How can they protect this kid who is inevitably going to get on the motherfucking Internet?
Justin [00:44:53] Oh, yeah. I mean, it’s terrifying. You know, I have a five and a seven year old, like I said. And so we’re not there. But the amount of moms that have reached out to me is so heartbreaking because they’re so scared. And I understand. I understand because they they’re growing up having the experience of being a woman in this world and all of the things that have happened to you from such young ages. The the the even if you haven’t been physically sexually assaulted, you’ve been sexually assaulted with looks from the time that you hit puberty. It’s been unsafe for you to exist in this world from the time that you were a child. And that is the experience of most women. And here they are raising this little boy who is sweet and emotional and sensitive. And there will be a moment when that boy changes and it’s terrifying. And they’re like, What do I do? What do I do? What can I do? And that’s who I wrote the book for, because these boys don’t have anything. They don’t have an older brother to go to. That’s going to give them real good advice. They generally don’t have a father that’s going to talk to them in the way that I’m talking to them in this book. Because let’s be honest, most of the fathers are still processing, and many of them don’t even know that they need to do this healing work. They’re still existing in this world, thinking that it’s benefiting them when it’s not. They don’t have anybody. And that is a scary place when you are alone and don’t have anybody pre that 12, 11, 12, 13 year old when they start to get on the Internet. One of the things that I tell parents is that we have to just constantly remind our young boys through modeling that who they are as they are is enough, that their emotions, that their that their tears. These are actually things that make them strong. I constantly am modeling that with my child, but the only way that it works is if you do it. And this is why it’s so, so, so challenging. I mean, what is it 80% of single parent homes are single mothers. So what are they doing? How do they model that with their with their little boys when they’re little boys learn about masculinity generally from men. For those for those two parent households and heterosexual relationships, or if you are a gay couple, if you’re both men and you have children, you have to model what that looks like. You have to show your boy when you are sad, when you are feeling vulnerable, you have to cry when you feel like crying. And I still here I am writing. I write the book on this. And yet I find myself having to fight the urge to repress my feelings in front of my kids and family sometimes. And then it’s that conscious choice to let it out and then to use it as a teaching tool that I believe is having the most effect on my kids, despite how annoying it might be when they are throwing a tantrum or crying. It’s learning how to not let that trigger me because I wasn’t helped when I was a little boy in that way. When I was told that I had to stop crying and allowing them the space to feel all the things they need to feel so that they don’t grow up and to have to have plastic tear ducts put in their eyes because that’s not also healthy. Right. Like, we don’t want that. You don’t. You wouldn’t want that for your little boy.
Jameela [00:48:16] It’s also not very pleasant.
Justin [00:48:16] I can’t imagine that’s pleasant. But there’s effects of that. And the only way that we can do it is by modeling it, by encouraging it, and by just always reminding them that the world is going to put them in a box. But we can be safe spaces for them and they can be a safe space for themselves.
Jameela [00:48:33] And it’s also important to pre warn them and pre educate them about the things that they’re going to see. You know, I’ve said it again a few times on this podcast, and it’s that innocence and ignorance don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Does that make sense? For some reason that doesn’t make sense right now.
Justin [00:48:46] It does. No, no, no, it does.
Jameela [00:48:47] Okay good. Just checking. Is that like I don’t believe in, like, hiding them from it. I don’t believe in not telling your child that porn exists. I don’t believe even in not pre-warning kids. I don’t believe in trying to hold on to their innocence by closing their eyes and their ears and just going, la la la la la la la la la and thinking that you’re protecting them. Because actually I found their life came and found me anyway, the surprises came and found me anyway. And had I actually been spoken to and pre warned and prepared more of my innocence would have been held on to. I would have been able to retain more of my true innocence. That wasn’t just ignorance. It was able to, like, come out of something less scathed or avoid something. Because I saw the signs coming. It is so important to educate your children and to be, you know, when they’re ready and in age appropriate language, to be able to talk to them about the things that you shouldn’t touch or that someone else shouldn’t touch on you or the things that you’re seeing. They’re like fantasy.
Justin [00:49:43] It’s just well, everything that you just talked about, I actually share in this book, believe it or not, and it’s so important for us to be proactive in understanding that the world is going to happen to our children, whether we want it to or not, the second they leave the house. There are as but there are the worlds and we can prepare them or we can’t. The ignorance, I believe. I also have compassion for the parents because they’re trying to hold on. To the little bits of their child, their child that’s left. It’s a really scary time for a parent because you’re also like, wait, where did the time go? God, I. They were just three when they were just five. What? I no they can’t be ready. They’re not ready. They’re still innocence. I can see the innocence in my little boy. And it’s really confusing, which is why I say any parent listening and I’m not shaming you when I say, like when you don’t talk about this with them, you’re hurting them. I understand you. But yet, at the same time, we have to prepare them. Because if you don’t prepare them, who is? You are their parent. And it’s important to get uncomfortable that we know that love is selfless. Well, it is selfish to withhold the truth of the world from your kids and have it happen to them. I can tell you when I found porn and again, this doesn’t have to all be about porn, but and also in many ways it is. But when I found it, it felt like sexual assault. And I believe when a ten or 11 year old finds porn, especially now, it is a version of sexual assault because it does the same thing to their brains. They’re not ready for it. To this day, I still compare myself to the men that I saw when I was ten or 11 years old, before I had even hit puberty. It is awful. It is destructive. And we have to explain to them that this is not normal. These are not normal bodies. This is not normal sex for the boys and the girls. And you know, my good friends at a call, two men, Tony Porter and Ted Bunch, they did a survey. They went around the country speaking to two high school boys and they found that 78% of all high school senior boys, let’s call them men, because at 18 they would be tried as an adult, didn’t know the definition of consent. 18. Well, it’s not a far it’s not a far stretch to go oh, well, 78% of high school seniors in this survey don’t know the definition of consent. And one in four women are survivors of some form of sexual assault. Oh, okay. There’s a balance. There’s something going on here. We’re not preparing our boys because we’re trying to keep their innocence, or we’re saying, Oh, but boys will be boys. It’s the same reason why there’s no there’s no section of the bookstore for middle grade high school boys. This book doesn’t have a category almost because we just give up. Boys don’t read. They play video games. Which is why what’s happening right now with these boys? These boys, they’re a part of this group. They’re playing video games to connect. They’re vaping and they’re they’re in their basement trading stocks on Robinhood like this is what’s happening they’re they’re finding each other because they don’t have a place in the world. We haven’t prepare them for how to have connection with each other. So amen. And yes to everything you said and to the parents. Just know you’re. I understand you. I am going to have the same challenge when my son turns ten and 11 years old and my daughter in three years is ten or 11 years old. But I cannot be selfish. I cannot hold on to their childhood as a way of. Of making myself feel better while putting them out into the world ill prepared, because far more damage is going to happen to them. As if I prepare them and get uncomfortable and talk about some of the stuff.
Jameela [00:53:37] Amen. It’s incredibly well put, especially with the way of framing it as a kind of it is as it is a selfish versus an innocent selfishness. It comes from a good place.
Justin [00:53:49] And it’s understandable.
Jameela [00:53:49] Apparently leads to a bad thing 100%. Of course it is.
Justin [00:53:52] So much of it comes from a good place.
Jameela [00:53:53] Especially with a growing, ugly world. Of course. Of course it comes from a good place.
Justin [00:53:56] So much of the things that that that we’ve normalized in terms of when we think about masculinity is, is actually coming from a good place. Men who want to toughen up their boys as an example. Right. If you just took a snapshot right now, we call them toxic. The culture would look at men who parent and who are hard on their boys as toxic, toxic fathers, toxic, toxic masculinity. But if you if you dig deeper. They’re not toxic. They are trying to protect their boys because they were bullied. They know how hard it was to be a young boy. They know what it was like to be at the bottom of the totem pole or they. They knew what it was like to feel scared when you walked to lunch because some other. Some boy was going to kick your ass, like the father who’s trying to tough his boy up and say, don’t cry. He’s trying to prevent that boy from feeling the pain that he will inevitably feel. Even he has good intentions, believe it or not. Which is why I don’t believe we can have that blanket statement and just say like, Well, that’s wrong, that’s toxic. It’s just a lack of education. And then when we think about like, how how often have we heard, you know, the story of the father on the porch with the shotgun, right. Waiting for his daughter to come home or the first time he’s going to meet the boy? Well, of course he’s doing that because he was once that boy. He’s trying to protect his daughter from himself.
Jameela [00:55:18] It’s more distorted masculinity, isn’t it?
Justin [00:55:22] It’s confused, distorted, whatever you want to call it. But again, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But I do believe that there are good intentions there. So that’s that’s all I was going to say about it.
Jameela [00:55:34] I have a just a societal working theory that sometimes I muse over, which is that especially, you know, having come from South Asia, where I have seen immense progress and then suddenly watched it all roll back, you know, and we’re seeing it, you know, in Iran right now. And we saw it in Afghanistan and we saw it in Pakistan. And just the way that women make these huge breakthroughs and suddenly are allowed to where what they want to leave the house on their own and drive cars and go to school. And then suddenly that gets taken away from them again under new regimes. It reinforces the theory I have that part of the biggest problem is that our media entertainment, our music and our social narrative is almost entirely that of romantic relations or sexual relations between men and women. We haven’t really got enough stories about friendship. You know, as I’ve said before on this podcast, on, you know, at the end of the movie of the two best friends who are trying to help each other find love with other people, they always end up hooking up at the end like we don’t we don’t have stories that other one of them has to be gay in order in order for two people of attractive people of an opposite gender. And there’s no importance stressed upon collaboration between men and women, friendship between men and women, being colleagues together, being team mates. As I said, a huge portion of my friends are boys. And none of us, I mean, none of them would want anything to do with me and vice versa. And that’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful thing. And they are some of my great collaborators. My boyfriend is so much more to me than just someone that I have sex with or have romantic feelings with. He’s my best friend, he’s my ally, he’s my fucking team mate, and so are the other boys that I live with. And if we could just place more importance upon the fact that men are needed beyond seed and beyond protection, because now we’ve got ubereats. We’ve got windows and doors and locks, we’ve got mace. There are certain things that we have in which we don’t need men the way they fundamentally do. And I think that’s why sometimes we see certain regimes come back and disempower women so that men can feel needed again. It’s because they’re not they don’t feel like they’re needed for anything other than father, protector, killer, you know, owner, etc. forrager. If we can explain to men and women how much we need each other, how much those differences between us, those fundamental differences balance each other out and benefit each other, and that we’re all just fucking human beings. We need each other for so many more things than just practical gain. Like there is such a fuckin beauty in the friendship and we don’t tell those fucking stories enough. Maybe one day you and I will tell that story and some sort of out, you know, where the where the fucking friends don’t hook up, for fuck’s sake. And they’re just great collaborators.
Justin [00:58:20] Let’s do it. Let’s go make a movie where we’re best friends.
Jameela [00:58:23] 100%, It’s just that it’s so important. And I so feel that if man felt needed for more than just those those arbitrary things, they wouldn’t feel so afraid that they’re being made redundant. Because I think there is a fear of redundancy that comes in the need to oppress and harm women sometimes.
Justin [00:58:42] Oh, yeah. I mean, I think I think you’re touching on so many things. First of all, I love that you brought that up. And I hate to keep bringing it back to this, but I do. I read a whole section of the book about friendships. And like the myth of the friendzone and how crucial and important friendships are. My wife is my best friend. She is my best friend. I have amazing male friends. And yet my wife is my best friend. And. I while I hope that the sex will never go away, God forbid if it did, we would have our friendship right. That’s what makes a love story, such a love story is the friendship. I mean, the sex and the passion. You get married like, okay, it comes and it goes. It ebbs and it flows. The romanticized idea of what marriage looks like is not that it’s rooted in friendship. It’s something bigger than yourself. And so many young people just have this belief that men and women can’t be friends. And of course, though, they’re you know, you could consider it anecdotal evidence. You talk to ten women who have best friends that are guys, and chances are eight out of ten of them will say, yeah, eventually he wanted to date me and it crushed them. The problem is not so much that the man will want to date her because men are starving for connection. And it only makes sense that if you’re friends with somebody, you might end up having more feelings for them. There’s nothing wrong with that. The issue is, what do you do when you’re rejected? Because if you liked the person enough to be friends with her. That you wanted a romantic relationship with her. Well, then just because you’re rejected doesn’t mean that you don’t still have a friendship and that you can’t quiet your ego. And this is the problem is men don’t know what to do with rejection because we feel entitled. The second the woman rejects us, we can’t be friends with them anymore because then it’s more than that.
Jameela [01:00:40] Well, rejections are so deeply stigmatized as another thing that we need to deal with, especially for boys. We need to teach everyone about rejection from a young age so they can understand that it’s not the end of the world. It just means something isn’t right for you.
Justin [01:00:52] And you know what my mom said to me, that I still quote that I think is one of the most brilliant things she ever said to me is rejection is God’s protection. And it was really helpful. But but again, if you have a sense of yourself, if you have the belief that you are enough and someone else doesn’t see you in that way. Then you don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. You don’t get rid of the friendship. Because if she was important to you before, she should be important to you now. One of my best friends is a woman, and we’ve been friends since high school. And. And there’s never been a romantic thing between her and I, ever. And I talk about this all the time. And guess what? If there was ever a moment where one of us wanted something, it wouldn’t have mattered because we would have had a deep friendship underneath it. And. We’ve trivialized male female relationships to being just about sex, just as you said. And there’s so much more to it than that. There’s so much more to it. And there’s a whole world of it. And I want young boys to also know that, like, okay, she might not share the same interest, but that’s okay. That’s totally fine. There will be somebody else there for you. You are enough as you are. You don’t have to put. It’s not all about that one person and that one person. Whether or not she responds to you romantically in that way or not doesn’t define you. Your worth doesn’t come from that. It’s not derived from that. And that’s okay. We have you might like mint ice cream and I might like Rocky Road. Okay, great. Does that mean we’re not compatible? She just might not like something. It just might not be her taste. But you know what? You can be 50 other people’s tastes. Let’s focus on that. So I just want young boys to just have this understanding that like. When if they do like somebody, because I also don’t I want to be very mindful of like I don’t think we should be telling young boys that they can’t develop crushes on girls that they’re friends with. But I do think we should be telling young boys and what I say in the book is that becoming friends with a girl and becoming friends with her for the sole reason that you like her, that’s not okay. We should be making our interests known early on if we have interests versus trying to manipulate the situation. Because we’ve all seen men do that time and time and time again. I’ve heard stories and stories of break ups and all of a sudden all of the guy friends go boom. They swoop right in and they say, Well, I’ve been in love with you for five years. And then suddenly it’s like, God, the poor woman. And her whole life is like, Wait, what? This has all been a lie. Even and it can feel manipulative. Whereas if a young boy understands, like sure like her. But tell her you like her. And then if she doesn’t like you back in that way, you can build a friendship. And when I say very specifically in the book is and if you ever do want to have a shot, if you ever want that to seed to turn into something else then just be a friend with no ulterior motive or hidden agenda, that’s going to be your best shot anyways.
Jameela [01:03:58] Fucking beautiful. Well, I think it’s fairly evident that we should all go out and buy your books. And Boys Will Be Human is out now. Right. October 2022.
Justin [01:04:08] It’s out now. It just came out. And it’s just such a sweet, such a sweet reaction. I am so grateful.
Jameela [01:04:15] Well, I’m very grateful. I’m very grateful for your perspective. And I feel like there are more conversations for us to have at a later date. And please feel free to come back and I will come on your podcast.
Justin [01:04:26] Please, please. We’d love to have you. Everybody’s so excited about you and adores you on the Man Enough podcast. So let’s definitely have you.
Jameela [01:04:33] On really sweet and absolutely go and listen to Justin’s podcast Man Enough and and thank you for continuing to work in a repairing a reparative state. Is that right, the right word? I don’t know why I can’t think of anything. I was out very late. Thank you I’m just going to say it again, thank you for being a progressive who believes in repair and reform. It’s a mentality that I admire and I seek in others. And I so appreciate you. So before you go, I have to ask you, Justin Baldoni, what do you weigh?
Justin [01:05:07] My weight. Is this sum of my selflessness and currently that looks like I see the faces of my children when I think of my weight because they were the answer to my prayer when I asked God for selflessness. I’ve been they’ve been teaching me about that the last seven years.
Jameela [01:05:29] Fabulous. Well, they’re lucky to have you. And I have been lucky to have you here on the podcast.
Justin [01:05:34] Ditto. Thank you for this conversation.
Jameela [01:05:36] Thank you so much.
Justin [01:05:37] It’s been beautiful.
Jameela [01:05:39] Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode. I Weigh with Jameela Jamil is produced and research by myself, Jameela Jamil, Erin Finnegan and Kimmie Gregory. It is edited by Andrew Carson. And the beautiful music you’re hearing now is made by my boyfriend James Blake. If you haven’t already, please rate review and subscribe to the show. It’s a great way to show your support. We also have a bonus series exclusively on Stitcher Premium called Ask Jameela Anything. Check it out. You can get a free month the Stitcher Premium by going to Stitcher.com/premium and using the promo code I Weigh. Lastly over at I Weigh, we would love to hear from you and share what you weigh at the end of this podcast. You can leave us a voicemail at 18186605543. Or email us what you weigh at IWeighpodcast@gmail.com. And now we would love to pass the mic to one of our fabulous listeners.
Listener [01:06:32] Hello from Belgium. So I Weigh being a writer, I weigh being a feminist, I weigh being a vegetarian and caring about the earth and my impact on it. Um I weigh being part of the beautiful LGBTQ+ community, I weigh being a sister, a daughter, friend and also weigh trying my best against depression.
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