Reports Claim Trump Dictated Son’s Message, Studying Toxic Masculinity, Living With Medical Uncertainty

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Living with an undiagnosed medical problem can make life a challenge, and it’s becoming more common for Americans. Our guest talks about the problems of “none of the above” diseases. We also talk with a UW student about a project that looks at the harmful impact that expectations of masculinity can have on men. Plus, we discuss a Washington Post report claiming that President Trump dictated his son’s misleading statement on meeting with a Russian lawyer in last year’s campaign.

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  • President Trump May Have Dictated Son's Message On Russian Meeting

    This summer, Donald Trump Jr. made a statement saying that a meeting he had with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer was about adoptions and was not campaign related. However, email evidence later showed that that statement was misleading. Now, the Washington Post is reporting that that statement may have been dictated by the President himself. Elizabeth Sherman of American University joins us to discuss the legal and political ramification ramifications of this news.

  • New UW Project Looks At Effects Of 'Toxic Masculinity' On Men

    A UW-Madison student has created a project to look at how expectations of masculinity hurt men. We find out where the inspiration came from, and what he hopes to accomplish.

  • UW Student Questions Role Of Masculinity In Life

    Eneale Pickett was just two years old when his father died.

    “It was just anger, and the fact that he ended up trying to confront somebody with a gun. And that person ended up having a gun as a well,” Pickett said. “When you meet somebody who’s also hyper-masculine, they’re gonna test you. And who is gonna win within this battle? Not of wits, but of toughness.”

    Pickett, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, first began to think deeply about the idea of masculinity when he entered college and started pondering the link between masculinity and his father’s death.

    He thought about how masculinity has affected his life, beginning with his father’s death. To help, he wrote a letter to masculinity.

    “Growing up, where I’m from, I was taught that I had to be tough in order to survive,” said Pickett, a Chicago native.

    College gave him a space to escape that mindset.

    “I have privilege being a college student, so I have time to think about these things… I better do something with it. I shouldn’t just waste it,” he said.

    From his letter came the Dear Masculinity Project, which looks at how masculinity hurts men by asking them to write not just about it, but directly to it.

    Pickett said it is that personification that makes a difference.

    “When you think of something as human, it’s easier for you to speak to it. It’s easier for you to connect with it,” Pickett said. “I didn’t want to make it too complex, because if you make it too complex, it just gets lost in translation.”

    Since the project began, it has received submissions from UW-Madison students and staff, as well as men back home in Pickett’s hometown.

    The Dear Masculinity Facebook page is filled with video submissions from men reading their letters to the camera. The project will also be staged as part of a play festival at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago later this summer.

    The submissions can be difficult because, as Pickett said, men are often taught not to express their feelings.

    “Dear Masculinity, you’ve boxed me in. You terrify me,” reads one letter.

    “Dear Masculinity, is it really OK for me to feel?” ends another.

    Many of the letters also look at the way “toxic masculinity” can affect women, as the receiving end of violence and abuse.

    Pickett said he has been struggling with the idea of healthy masculinity, whether it is even possible.

    “For me, at this moment in my life, no,” he said. “The compass of masculinity is rooted in violence. And I don’t know healthy masculinity. I could be wrong, but I just view masculinity (as) so dangerous because that’s all I’ve seen.”

  • Living With Medical Uncertainty

    Dealing with a chronic disease can be challenging. But it can be even more difficult if doctors are not able to determine what you are sick with, and more and more Americans are finding themselves in that predicament.

Episode Credits

  • Judith Siers-Poisson Host
  • J. Carlisle Larsen Producer
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Producer
  • Elizabeth Sherman Guest
  • Eneale Pickett Guest
  • Ed Cara Guest

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