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S2E8: Confronting Toxic Masculinity with the Power of Play: Jeff Harry

Toxic masculinity in the workplace has become a significant issue, often overlooked or ignored. Our recent podcast episode with Jeff Harry, a specialist on the mission to purge workplace toxicity, delves deep into this matter, exploring the damaging impacts and offering solutions to foster healthier work environments.

toxic masculinity, play at work
toxic masculinity, play at work

Jeff Harry began his journey into understanding workplace toxicity from his early career days at Toys R Us, leading him to establish an innovative workshop, Rediscover Your Play. This workshop is designed to address the fundamental issues that make workplaces an unpleasant place to be. His experience with toxic masculinity has helped him shape the conversation around how we can address and ultimately eradicate this harmful behavior in the workplace.

One of the significant discussions in the podcast episode was around traditional masculine leadership. Often glorified, such leadership styles can lead to resource exploitation, employee layoffs, and overall dissatisfaction within the workforce. This perspective is derived from analyzing the leadership styles of influential figures like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, both renowned for their business success but also criticized for their management practices.

A critical factor contributing to workplace toxicity is the societal pressure on men to conform to specific success standards. Influential figures like Andrew Tate and Joe Rogan propagate these standards, often resulting in toxic work cultures. The episode delves into these aspects, exploring the negative ramifications of such societal pressures.

One of the episode’s most enlightening sections discussed the importance of ‘play’ in fostering harmonious relationships and combating toxic behavior in the workplace. Jeff Harry explained how external factors such as the climate crisis, COVID-19, and inflation have contributed to rising depression levels. He emphasized that ‘play’ could act as a countermeasure, helping individuals navigate these challenging times.

The conversation wrapped up by exploring the significance of empathy, balance, and healthy femininity in transforming workplaces. Using examples from leaders like Jacinda Ardern, the episode emphasized the importance of creating healthier, happier workplaces.

This podcast episode provides a comprehensive understanding of toxic masculinity in workplaces, its impacts, and how we can counteract these issues. It serves as an essential resource for those seeking to create a more positive and inclusive work environment.

By confronting and discussing these issues, we can start to change the narrative and build workplaces that respect and value all employees, regardless of gender. This change will not only make workplaces more enjoyable but will also contribute to increased productivity and overall business success.

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toxic masculinity, play at work
toxic masculinity, play at work

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Read the Episode Transcript

Nicola
Host
00:00
What’s up? Good morning Jeff. How are you?
Jeff
Interviewee
00:05
I’m doing quite well, very excited about our discussion.
Nicola
Host
00:10
Ooh, stop us. We’re a little bit excited too. We thought this would be, we are too. We are hey, hey, hey, hey.
Gina
Host
00:18
We haven’t actually had anyone who’s like a man who wants to talk about toxic men.
Jeff
Interviewee
00:23
What I know, Men just really love talking about themselves. I mean, and Barbie I mean. Goodness, you both saw it right.
Nicola
Host
00:36
I did it. You need to. It’s cute, but it’s also like it’s cute and then it’s also subversive.
Jeff
Interviewee
00:45
It’s so subversive, I love it All right.
Gina
Host
00:48
So before we get into it, tell us who you are, what you’re going to talk about, and I’ll just tell you a little bit about yourself.
Nicola
Host
00:56
Where are you calling from? Tell us all the deeds.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:00
All the deeds. Okay, so my name is Jeff Harry, I live in Oakland, california. I run an organization called Rediscover your Play and the whole goal is to make work suck less, because I travel all over the country and sometimes other parts of the world and everyone just hates work right now, like everyone is just so angry, I mean, and it’s to the point that I talk to people a lot and they’re just like I don’t even want to work, like any job, like I’m just done and I think I’ll have a lot of it.
Gina
Host
01:35
I would like to now work?
Jeff
Interviewee
01:36
Yeah right, wouldn’t that just be like amazing or heck, the amount of people that I’ve talked to where I’m like universal basic income would give them freedom to pursue some art or some other thing that they actually want to do? As for my origin story, my origin story is Did you ever see the movie Big with Tom Hanks? So I saw that movie when I was in third grade and I was like you can play with toys for a living and I was like that’s a job. So I started writing toy companies in third grade and then I did not stop until I got into the toy industry. And I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten exactly what you’ve always wanted and then been so disappointed when you got it Like I feel like we started hearing this story since we started doing this podcast.
Gina
Host
02:26
People are like I got the job that I’ve always wanted and then it was terrible, or I ended up hating the company that I used to love so much.
Jeff
Interviewee
02:33
It’s like yeah, so I have like I was really has that, but like I was working for a toy company, thinking there would be toys, thinking there would be play, thinking there would be high fives and people that are happy. None of that Snacks.
02:47
Like definitely snacks, at least some snacks. But instead it was just toxic people, a lot of egos and a lot of like backstabbing and I was like what is happening? Like where’s the joy, where’s the fun? So I left. I was in New York at the time. I left there, I came to the San Francisco Bay Area. I piddled around for a while. I had no idea what I was doing. I did a bunch of odd jobs and then I found a job on Craigslist, which is a super shady site in the US.
Gina
Host
03:17
I feel like it’s gotten shadier.
Jeff
Interviewee
03:19
It’s even gotten shadier, like you pick up furniture on that site or you have misconnections. But I found a job teaching kids engineering with Lego so and it was just like, ooh, I got to play with Lego for living and I joined this organization. It was only seven people at the time and us nerds were able to grow it into 400 people and it became like the largest Lego inspired STEM organization in the US. And while we did that, we got the attention of Silicon Valley. So then they were like, hey, do you do team building events? And we’re like, of course we do. No, we didn’t, we were just making stuff up.
Gina
Host
03:54
You always say yes. Entrepreneurs always say yes. You just say yes, you want no one. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Figure it out on the back side.
Jeff
Interviewee
04:00
Figure it out on the back end right.
Gina
Host
04:02
Yeah. We’re building gigantic.
Jeff
Interviewee
04:04
Right.
04:06
We started building gigantic things out of Lego. We started partnering with Lego, we started working with Google and Facebook and all these companies, and I was expecting them to be the best right, because they’re supposed to be so amazing and they were toxic places too. There were a lot of people that were not happy at those jobs and these were considered the best companies in the world. So then, in like 2019, I created Rediscovery or Play because I was like I want to make workshops that address why work sucks so much. So the first workshop I ever made was called Dealing with A-Holes in the Workplace through Play, and I went to Boston, I went to Australia to speak about it. Yeah, I just went all over the all over with my friend, gary Ware, and then, since then, all of my workshops are about healing workplaces and just addressing toxicity and toxic masculinity in the workplace.
Gina
Host
05:01
So when did you become aware Like when was your the light bulb moment about the toxic masculinity at work?
Jeff
Interviewee
05:10
Oh well, I became aware of toxic masculinity in fifth grade, when I was at the moment when I was at the mall with my sisters and they got catcalls and then they can, and I would. Always I was like dudes are gross, like, like that was one of my first conclusion Like why is dude so gross? And then I realized that I was like, oh, I’m a dude, I’m a dude Like oh. So I had already like dealt with that many times with my sisters, with a lot of my friends I identify as women, but I I didn’t.
05:45
I knew it was toxicity in the workplace with, like, my first job at Toys R Us, but I didn’t know it was toxic masculinity until I started to see that pattern at almost every company I was at, where a majority of the most incompetent leaders were men and they also were the meanest, and I was. And then it wasn’t even just that, but even the women that were also toxic embraced a lot of toxic masculine traits. So they started acting like a lot of the men, because that’s what was supposed to be, like the type of leadership Right.
Gina
Host
06:23
That was the model of leadership.
Jeff
Interviewee
06:24
That was the model.
Gina
Host
06:25
In order to get ahead, they need to adopt those, you know, ideals.
Jeff
Interviewee
06:31
So I remember working for Toys R Us, right, and this was like 2000. So I was working for the corporate office.
Gina
Host
06:38
Wait that was also old.
Jeff
Interviewee
06:41
Wait what.
Gina
Host
06:43
You were all so old, I’m like I know I’m like. I know. I’m like, I’m like I know, I’m like I know, I’m like I know, I’m like I know.
Jeff
Interviewee
06:50
Let me tell you about black and white television, everybody, it was amazing. Rotary phone, world War II oh my God.
Nicola
Host
06:56
We were just talking about this the other day and I was like do we all remember dial up and then you couldn’t get a telephone call, like your mom would get a call, yeah, and it would drop out your internet.
Gina
Host
07:07
Oh my God, it was the worst and you’d be like don’t take calls.
Nicola
Host
07:11
I’m like I am in Right.
Jeff
Interviewee
07:14
Or to remember when you’re on a call with a, with your friends or or, heaven forbid you’re the person you’re dating and you had to bring the long cord yeah To the bathroom and then, and then someone else would get on and you’d be like get off the phone, get a eyeball. I’m out right now.
Gina
Host
07:33
Is someone there? Are you breathing? Someone’s breathing. Who’s there?
Jeff
Interviewee
07:37
Someone’s. I know someone’s there. Get off, jeff.
Nicola
Host
07:40
That’s what I would we did grace for a second because our telephone number, our home telephone number in South Africa, was one digit off a radio station. Yeah. But we’d get these radio station calls and it would be like, can I talk to like so and so on the radio? And I’d be like, yeah, sure, please hold the line, and I’d put just the phone next to the thing and just walk away.
Jeff
Interviewee
08:07
That is amazing. So actually this reminds me, and then I’ll eventually answer your question. But this reminds me. So one of the reasons why it became so aware of toxic masculinity, without knowing what the words were, was my sisters would come home from like a fight with their boyfriend and they’d go right up to me and they go if you do what he did to me, I’ll cut your balls off, like if you ever do this to a girl. But they never told me what they did, so I just didn’t do anything during high school because I was like very scared of what might happen. So that made me aware. So yeah, so anyway, when I joined Toys R Us, I was at the corporate office in New Jersey. I was living in Brooklyn and then 9-Eleven happened while I was there and I lived in Brooklyn but I was commuting to New Jersey and right then and there I was. Just like I don’t want to die in a cubicle, like just seeing it happen firsthand. Yeah, Like you know, I could hear that so that I left.
09:09
but I stayed with Toys R Us and I helped open their store, their largest toy store in the world, the Times Square Toys R Us. It had the biggest Ferris wheel in a toy store ever and it had the literally had the Jurassic Park T-Rex from the first movie and my job was to play with toys underneath the T-Rex. So I was like this is a dope job, the way in which you got the job. You had to sing the Toys R Us theme song. So everyone’s just like I want to be a Toys R Us kid. Like, like everyone was like family right, and then right after Christmas family just disappeared and they just laid off everybody. They fired people at 3 am, like the whole night crew. They would have them work like a few hours and then they just had cops escort them out or security escort them out.
Gina
Host
10:02
Yep, like with no like no, warning no warning, no warning.
Jeff
Interviewee
10:10
And then with us during the daytime, they would just ask us to go downstairs and then you’d never see the person again because again they would get escorted out. And when that happened, I was like I was 22 years old and I was like this is just not right. So I wrote a manifesto. I didn’t know what it was, but I wrote this document outlining like how messed up that was, and I printed like 60 copies.
Gina
Host
10:36
Oh, my God, and.
Jeff
Interviewee
10:36
I just put him. I put him in mailboxes like Jerry Maguire, not realizing what I was doing, and then they thought I was trying to unionize the store when I didn’t even know what I was doing.
Gina
Host
10:47
But I was just like this is wrong, you were just like saying, like you were pointing out a wrong that you saw, yeah. Did you even know would like at that age and at that time, would you even know how to unionize anything? No, I wouldn’t know, I would have been like what’s unionization?
Jeff
Interviewee
11:03
Someone came up to me and was like you need to talk to this person and I was like about what? I was like I don’t know what I’m doing. I was like what does that actually mean to unionize? And that freaked them out because that was their flagship store and if that happened there, then it could happen across the entire country, if not bigger. So then I started getting ostracized more and more. My hours got cut, however, I was speaking to two or three people. A manager would come over to break it up and then I just eventually just left. I stayed with Toys R Us for a little bit longer, like I transferred to their location in the West Coast because I just wanted to get out of New York. But yeah, that was my first experience of like oh like. Work kind of sucks when you have crappy leadership.
Gina
Host
11:51
I mean, I don’t know.
Nicola
Host
11:54
You go ahead, nicola. Oh no, I was going to say OK. So we’re starting to see toxic positivity.
Jeff
Interviewee
12:00
You just love that topic. We can talk about that too later. Yeah.
Nicola
Host
12:04
Circle all the way back around. So you’re seeing toxic masculinity from your sisters? All right, I want to. I’m curious to know, like, how did that change your thinking? Like, other than being terrified about losing your dick, yeah, how did it change your thinking? Did you start identifying like situations where you’re like, oh my God, like who are these people?
Jeff
Interviewee
12:28
Yeah, I mean because I always had more, you know, female friends or women that identified, as you know, identified that way than men, and just listening to their stories I was like I was always like, oh, I don’t want to be that dude, like I can’t be that dude. But when I started seeing it in the workplace, I saw it as just like a lot of insecurity, like masked in aggression, right. So then, you know, a few years later, I worked on the Obama campaign Great, great organization at the time. They got, they got, you know, him elected. That was awesome.
13:09
But then there was this outgrowth of the Obama campaign called Organizing for America and I worked for them and I had a toxic masculine boss who was like clearly feeling insecure and, because of that, would constantly make these arbitrary metrics that we had to hit so that he looked good, and that just got it really exhausting. You know, and just knowing, the more and more I talked to him and realized like how insecure he was, a lot of things we were just doing just because this guy did not know who he was, and I was like, is this happening everywhere? I was like, what is? Why is this the case? So then, of course, again, I left that organization and the way I left that organization at the time was like three of us quit at the same time, you know, and we were in charge of like running a pretty significant part of California in organizing around like healthcare and education, and they continued to hire toxic leaders and I was like I don’t get it.
Gina
Host
14:17
That’s not for you. Yeah, what do you think? You said aggression and insecurity. So what do you think are like the traits of a toxic, a toxically male leader?
Jeff
Interviewee
14:33
That’s. I love that. You asked that is. I’m literally about to do a workshop, a virtual workshop called why Ted Lasso’s masculine and feminine leadership matters, and I where did I break it down here?
14:48
So, traits that I talk about a lot is bullying, avoiding losing at all costs, restraining one’s emotions during conflict, you know, showing that strength through aggression, right, and then constantly trying to exhibit dominance while masking, you know, insecurity and a certain level of weakness. So those are the traits that I’ve seen and I talk about it all the time like you see it in Elon Musk, you see it in Steve Ubs, you saw it in Jeff Bezos, you see it with the Wolf of Wall Street, and what’s funny is all these dudes are celebrated Like they’re all celebrated as like geniuses and monarchs of industry, you know, and they’re just as horrible as like Rockefeller and all those other people back in the 1930s and 40s of just exploiting people and then doing a really good job, a really good PR job, of making it look like they’re really smart, when, frankly, look what Elon Musk has done for Twitter right, it’s gone, it’s literally done.
15:55
He’s done that Right, Like he destroyed it. You know, and I even walked through a whole method of like October of 2022, he comes in with like a kitchen sink, being like I’m going to throw away everything but the kitchen sink. Remember that Like so cocky.
Nicola
Host
16:11
We literally spoke to someone from Twitter yesterday morning who? Told us that story? Who was working?
Gina
Host
16:18
during that takeover and they said it was like a hostile takeover. Yeah. So he was. So the, the person we interviewed said that Elon Musk brought the sink in to say, like, let that sink in like. Oh my gosh, so stupid, like again which is even worse than I’m throwing everything out but the chicken. So, but the chicken sink.
Jeff
Interviewee
16:43
The chicken sink. The chicken sink.
Gina
Host
16:48
That’s also a chicken.
Jeff
Interviewee
16:50
Right, but you know they might have already expressed this, but, like, the first thing he did was he got rid of all the employee resource groups. So any resource group that was around women leadership, any resource group around LGBTQ, any resource groups around there was one called Blackbirds, which was black women taken away immediately. Right, that was the first step he did to make it just an unsafe space. And then he started laying people off. And then he laid off way too many people that he didn’t even realize that he had laid off way too many people. Like it’s unbelievable what he did.
Gina
Host
17:29
The ex Twitter employee said the majority of people who are left are people here on like eight. What is it? H1b visa.
Jeff
Interviewee
17:36
Yeah, h1b, yep.
Gina
Host
17:38
OK.
Jeff
Interviewee
17:39
So he has control over them, yeah.
Gina
Host
17:42
That’s exactly what this Did he talk about, or?
Jeff
Interviewee
17:45
did the Twitter employee talk about the hardcore, the hardcore thing?
Nicola
Host
17:49
Yeah, well, you either you have to sign, like a loyalty thing, and yeah, went into that as well, it was.
Jeff
Interviewee
17:57
So when he did that and I could even share my screen if you want to see it, but when he did that it showed there’s a really powerful photo of free Elon that shows a significant amount of women. And then post Elon where all those dudes that like hung out with him at 1 am and did code or whatever, and it’s all these dudes that look just like him, they did code.
Gina
Host
18:21
And then you were like no, they did code.
Jeff
Interviewee
18:24
Yeah, it was just like dude this is just ridiculous. So yeah, and then he’s like considered really smart.
Gina
Host
18:31
When SpaceX is struggling, tesla is losing money, like and I don’t why, I think at the end of the day, when we had that amazing interview with the ex Twitter employee, we all came to the conclusion like do you think it can even be saved? And it’s like if he gets out of his own way it could potentially be saved, but the way it looks right now it doesn’t seem that way, like I feel like this was a terrible investment on his part, and he even tried to back out of it.
Jeff
Interviewee
19:01
Yeah, yeah, yeah, because he, he really and that’s just one example right, like, I don’t want to just focus on him, but it’s this idea of like. Same example with with Jeff Bezos 1999, jeff Bezos, a lot of people like that guy that it was the one of the coolest places, addressing one of some of the most interesting tech issues that were people were facing at the time. Right, like, even like, can we even sell books online? Right, so it was a place to be. But then he bought into his own BS, right, and now, now he’s like launching, you know, rockets into space that look like his wing, like it’s just, it’s ridiculous. That’s like.
Gina
Host
19:42
Also like his whole body transformation from like.
Jeff
Interviewee
19:47
I know.
Gina
Host
19:48
Like regular, like dad, bod kind of to like somebody who’s on Annabar to a villain, to strip to a villain.
Jeff
Interviewee
19:56
I haven’t seen this, so.
Gina
Host
19:58
I mean, it’s a great body transformation, but I feel like that, coupled with that immense wealth, makes people oh yeah. Kind of like go a little nuts. Yeah, oh my God, he does look like Licks Luther.
Jeff
Interviewee
20:13
Yeah, he is like, exactly like him and like again. You get so detached from reality and you buy into your own BS.
20:23
No, but I mean, but but tying it to Barbie, because I loved Barbie and how much they talked about the patriarchy right and talk to they show like the patriarchy does not benefit most men, Like most men are not Elon, Most men are not Jeff Bezos. But that is what’s sold to you. That’s what’s sold to men Like you have to be this way, Like there’s even the whole Andrew Tate, Joe Rogan, man O’sphere movement pushes this thing of like you have to be a high value man, which means you have to have a lot of money, you have to have a lot of muscles, and that’s when you start in a really nice car and house so that you can get the girl right, and it’s just like dude. Women don’t even want that. Most women don’t want just that. They want someone that has emotional intelligence. But you know, we’re not even focused on that. We’re focused on trying to be like these toxic dudes and like these alpha males yeah.
21:20
Yeah, these, but these fake alpha males right, because I even used to talk about this alpha male is not even a real thing.
Gina
Host
21:28
So what do you think? So wait now. I’m interested in alpha male. What is the definition, in your opinion, of what an alpha male is, and why doesn’t it actually exist?
Jeff
Interviewee
21:38
So my understanding, and let me make sure I get this right. Because I feel like if you literally type in, alpha male is fake, you know, a bunch of articles come up about it, right, and so the term alpha male was first invented by David Meck. And what he was? He was a. He was a scientist that was studying wolves. And he was studying wolves and captivity for a for a book called the Wolf Ecology and Behavior of Endangered Species.
Nicola
Host
22:15
Makes sense.
Jeff
Interviewee
22:16
So what? But what he noticed was that he was studying wolves and captivity. But when he he revised it because those alpha males were the ones that were like top dog and you know I have to be the best and blah, blah, blah. But then when he he changed that study in 1999, when he studied wolf packs out in the wild and he found that there was no alpha male that somebody else brought this study up on one of our interviews and I’m blanking who it was.
Gina
Host
22:46
But they said once the alpha male was removed yeah, the pack, the sort of middle men who were like helpful towards the women, the women wolves.
Nicola
Host
22:59
No, it was monkeys. It was monkeys, and then all the monkeys die Like.
Gina
Host
23:04
All the bad monkeys were taken out and the whole system changed Like it was so much more like like peaceful and walking towards a similar goal and was that what this guy also found. Well, no, this is.
Jeff
Interviewee
23:17
This is slightly different. So David Meck found in 1999 that the wolf pack is run by a strong female and a strong male, right, and they look out for the most vulnerable, the oldest of the wolves, and usually the strong female wolf is sometimes the strongest, so she. So she walks from the back. You know covering the vulnerability, right and so, and then anyone that exhibits certain alpha male qualities that is affecting the pack can get ostracized, right. So really, what the study of alpha males is, it’s the study of insecure animals in captivity, like in a jail or something like that. So when a guy goes, I’m an alpha male, really, what you’re saying is you’re a scared animal in prison. That’s really what you’re saying. So so it’s funny that we use the term and we’re claiming the term because, like, that term is even incorrect. Like you know, you don’t want to be that, because that is not actually healthy.
Gina
Host
24:18
Why is alpha male almost used like interchangeably with you know, like with being a successful man?
Jeff
Interviewee
24:26
Because, in my opinion, us men are looking for a quick answer for how we show up, right Like we don’t know what that means to be a man, right. So we’re like you know, we’re constantly looking for what that means. You know, you’ve always were told, especially if you know you had, like a very patriarchal family of just like, be a man, suck it up, you know. You know, don’t cry all these things. And if you grow up in that society where you feel very unsafe, then you’re like OK, I want to be a man. Who’s a man here? That guy, the guy that’s bullying everyone? Or that guy that has all the power?
25:05
I wouldn’t say he’s bullying everyone, because I’d be like that guy is the coolest, that guy is getting the most women, that guy has the most money, that guy has the most power. So I want to be that right. That’s usually what you do when you’re coming from an insecure place. That’s why a lot of dudes join frats when they first arrive to university Because, again, they don’t know who they are and they’re scared that they’ll look stupid. So if they join a frat, then they’ll be surrounded by other men and they can act a little bit stronger, right, like. Those are some of the things that we do because we’re coming from a place of a lot of fear.
Gina
Host
25:45
OK, so what if you have someone who is successful, who can be aggressive but is also kind like aggressive when needed? Are you like that?
Jeff
Interviewee
25:54
never happens. I haven’t seen that. I haven’t seen that right. Like you know, I talk a lot about healthy masculinity. And what’s healthy masculinity? You know, your willingness to be vulnerable, your willingness to say that you’re wrong. Right, like in parts of South Asia, men hold hands. Straight men hold hands. If you did that in America, you’d be considered gay, which is so scary for a straight man to be told because then that demasculates guys.
26:25
If you notice, any time a movie like Barbie comes out or or someone like I think it was like Michael B Jordan was was like hugging another guy and he’s a straight guy they were like why are women always trying to demasculate us? Like it triggers so many men that we’re like no, we’re not allowed to be men anymore. Right, because they’re so worried about power being taken from them. And they think that that is what’s happening right now, especially because women are graduating in a faster rate than men, women are beginning to earn more than men and we’re scrambling because we don’t know what to do. So there’s like been this backlash of men being like oh well, women are just gold diggers. Well, actually that doesn’t make sense. They make more money than us, they don’t need our money anymore.
27:15
So that’s not a good argument. Well, they’re, you know, they just hate men and they’re all. They, just, they, just, they just all want to be lesbians or something they like. Just make all these, we make all these claims up because we don’t want to face the reality of like. We haven’t evolved, we haven’t gotten better, we’re still embracing a lot of the patriarchal things that were happening in the 1950s, and it scares us because we don’t know how to get better as a, as a society. So there’s this really interesting comedian called Bill Burr. We know him.
Gina
Host
27:53
And you know some people like him.
Jeff
Interviewee
27:56
Some people you know these all over the place, right but he had this really good joke of like 10 years ago where he talks about any time a guy is with other guys any straight guys, let’s just talk. We’re just talking straight guys and a straight guy does something reasonable Like it’s raining and he has an umbrella, he pulls out his umbrella.
Nicola
Host
28:19
All the other guys will be like look at this fucking guy with his umbrella.
Jeff
Interviewee
28:24
Like you, know, like what a you know, and the derogatory gay term right, the F term right, and or like he orders pancakes with bananas and he’s like this guy ordered pancakes with bananas. Do you want to stick that banana up your ass? Like, oh my God, I wasn’t about to say that.
28:44
See like there’s this constant trying to insult the guy by demasculating him and saying you’re gay, when what’s really interesting is so many things that a lot of straight men do, especially like sports, like football, are quite intimate.
29:08
Like you’re putting your hand, like, right in that dude’s ass as you’re getting a ball, right, you know, when you wrestle I just heard this when they wrestle they’ll stick a finger up at each other’s butts as, like a way, as part of the strategy, right? Or like so weird stuff where, like, I think there’s a lot of closeted gay men that are not able to express that. So then they go over the top with being like, I’m a man, I’m a straight man and I’m gonna make fun of you as much as possible. When we’re all in a gender spectrum, right, like when we’re all, like, can we embrace the fact that, like you, I can find a guy attractive and also not want to sleep with this guy, right. But can you say that with other men? Oh no, that would be considered gay, right? So I think we overtly do those jokes as a way of masking the fact that, like, maybe we want to communicate a certain level of intimacy, but I can’t.
Gina
Host
30:13
That’s where I ended up with. I was like you know, like guys are so weird, like that, and I asked him. I was like do you think it’s just like? You know they really like each other, but they don’t know how to be like that, like that’s my guy like I really like him. I love like we say that about our girlfriends, right, I’ll be like nobody needs to fuck with so-and-so because that’s my girl. I got her Like I love her so much, but that’s not acceptable for men to say it.
Jeff
Interviewee
30:38
So then it comes out like on this, like weird homosexual bashing kind of thing which I don’t understand Exactly, because it’s that whole thing of what I said earlier, right Of just like, think about it. The only time in which two men, two straight men, can hug in Western culture is when their team wins a championship. Like, can you like? Think about that? Like, you know what I’m saying, like embrace and be like I love you, man, you know, or like, or when you’re drunk, or something like that, like it’s either looked down upon, so then they don’t know how to express this. So yeah, then it comes out in all these other weird messed up sexual innuendo ways, you know, and then they’re like I’m just joking around. I’m just joking around the whole time.
31:28
I’m joking, I’m joking. And then that same sexual innuendo stuff also then is very dangerous, because then they actualize that with women. That then can be very aggressive sexually to women, because again they don’t know how to express them.
Gina
Host
31:44
They don’t know how to be like friends with women as well, or like they weren’t taught how to be intimate emotion. It’s like emotional intimacy and emotional intelligence. Yes, yes. I think, like especially in America, I think we’re doing everyone a disservice by not like teaching, like emotional maturity somehow. Yes. I don’t know how you can teach it, that’s not obviously not my forte, but, like once I became emotionally mature, which I was a hard case it took me a long time. Things got so much better. I became less angry.
32:18
I like was a little bit more laid back and it’s like. You know, I guess men are just not taught Like it’s okay to talk about something that’s bothering you. You don’t have to walk around and be annoyed. You know, like, say what’s bothering you, it’s not the end of the world. You know, say that so-and-so is my really good friend and I really like him, like that sounds less homosexual. That just sounds like a blanket statement Like there’s no sexual innuendo, right? So I can’t men just say that.
Jeff
Interviewee
32:47
But we didn’t get to practice that Like, if we got to practice that as kids then it wouldn’t be that big of a deal now. But because we didn’t get to practice that and the only time we were able to communicate any level of intimacy was, you know, with our mom or something like that, right, and anytime, like a woman showed us any level of like, emotional, you know safety, then we were like, oh, that woman must be attracted to me Rather than like that woman is just being, is being, a friend of mine, right. So we also then misinterpret how other people treat us, because we’ve never been treated that way. A leader, a male leader, right, will fancy a certain girl or a certain woman, right, and then she doesn’t give them the time of day, starts cutting projects, starts ostracizing her from meetings, starts punishing her in all these ways, because that’s his only way of getting back at her, because he showed her a side of vulnerability that now he’s like very embarrassed that he showed to anybody, so there is a level of embarrassment to it.
34:00
There’s a, it’s so much shame and embarrassment. And shame and embarrassment drives a lot of toxic behavior in men. Right? Because like we don’t wanna look weak, we don’t wanna look like we’re demasculated, we don’t wanna look like we don’t know what we’re doing and think about it with the most toxic male leaders. When was the last time you ever heard them say I don’t know? Right, like they are beyond sometimes delusional in their narcissism. Remember Fire Festival guy? Do you remember that dude?
Nicola
Host
34:34
Oh my God, yes, what a twit. And now that you’re doing Fire 2, I can’t even deal with my life, right, nicole?
Jeff
Interviewee
34:43
Like that dude has the caucasity, not even the audacity.
Nicola
Host
34:50
Oh my God, that is the best terminology I think I’ve ever heard in my lifetime. That guy like how the fuck has he decided that he is fucking? What are they gonna get this time? Like a fucking chicken wrap.
Jeff
Interviewee
35:08
You just went to jail for this, Like you just went to jail for Fire Festival, and then in jail you were like you know what? I got an idea for Another Fire Festival.
Nicola
Host
35:21
Oh boy, what I have the plan for you.
Jeff
Interviewee
35:27
And he believes people are gonna invest. And you know what’s the crazy part? Some people might, some crazy, sad individuals might.
Nicola
Host
35:37
Okay, I’ll tell you what they’re gonna invest. They’re gonna invest because they want their name attached to the shit show, because they’ve got huge publicity. They’re gonna invest because they want the connection. And you know what people are gonna go? Because people wanna see the chaos.
Jeff
Interviewee
35:55
They want. Well, yeah, it’s gonna be like Burning man, but worse you know, it’s just gonna get stranded, but yeah. But the caucasity of some men is beyond reproach. Like you just are amazed at their boldness, and especially after they’ve either gone to jail or lost a ton of money. The WeWork guy is another great example. Loses a billion dollars at WeWork. Just got funded for a hundred million dollar new fund Like why?
Nicola
Host
36:32
are people continuing to give him money? He’s just got big dick energy and then he comes in with his big dick energy and just gets all the money.
Jeff
Interviewee
36:40
From, I’m assuming, small penis dudes that also are like I love this man yeah.
Gina
Host
36:47
It’s bizarre, but he’s like to me he’s like the definition of a co-leader, like he has, like it’s even beyond toxic masculinity, it’s like he’s like another level, yeah, he has the ability to sell you Like he. This is what I, in my mind, I equate it to Whoever came up. We’re all old enough to remember this. Do you remember when you could buy a star? Oh my God, I bought a star.
37:15
Oh yeah, what a fucking scam, right? You’re literally getting a piece of paper that says you bought this star and you’re paying like 99 bucks. That guy fucking laughed all the way to the goddamn bank and I’m still pissed that I didn’t think about it first Right.
Jeff
Interviewee
37:29
That’s true.
Gina
Host
37:30
So he, the WeWork guy, what’s his name? Again, I forgot.
Jeff
Interviewee
37:34
Adam Newman, I think.
Gina
Host
37:35
Adam Newman right, Okay.
Jeff
Interviewee
37:36
Yeah.
Gina
Host
37:38
He is the living breathing, buying a star certificate. He’s selling them nothing. He’s cause, literally it wasn’t Selling community, community Right, but really, when it came down to it, it was just like shitty offices in an open work setting.
Jeff
Interviewee
37:55
Yep.
Gina
Host
37:56
It wasn’t a tech app. It wasn’t an app of any kind. He was literally just selling rental office spaces.
Jeff
Interviewee
38:03
Yes, right.
Gina
Host
38:05
Which is like let me give you a ton of money so I could be part of this, which also reminds me of Billy McFarland when he came out with that card that remember it was like the X card and there was like the X townhouse. The X card card yep Right.
38:19
Whatever it was called, and I remember when it first came out, one of my potential clients was like well, we have an X card and maybe you want to meet at the X townhouse. And for some reason I was like this just is gross. And I was like I’m sorry, I’m traveling, even though I wasn’t. I was like I’m not going to be able to meet there or ever, period.
Nicola
Host
38:38
And like this is like an MLM bank card. Yeah, it kind of.
Gina
Host
38:42
I mean and I think he misappropriated all the funds Like it was a whole disaster. But again, these are people who have the ability to like, charm you through words. Yeah. And become like larger than life characters, but they’re selling you nothing, yeah.
Jeff
Interviewee
39:02
Well, they’re selling you the star. Right, but think about what they’re doing. They are. They identify where you feel insecure. Right, fire festival, you don’t. You don’t want to have FOMO, you want to be at this party. If you’re not at this party, you’re irrelevant. Right, we work. You got to get joined this train before, or just you’re again not going to be relevant.
Gina
Host
39:26
You’re a loser.
Jeff
Interviewee
39:27
You’re going to be a loser.
Gina
Host
39:28
You can’t come to the we work events on the weekend, which literally sounded God awful.
Jeff
Interviewee
39:34
Right and he even started a wee school at one point. Oh, I know he had bought into so much. But but the and this might sound a little controversial I don’t just blame that, I in many ways blame also everyone that promotes that, everyone that supports them. So great example Wolf of Wall Street, guy right goes to jail for ripping people off. They make a movie about him. He now is on the MSNBC and CNBC on a regular basis Like they call him how not to get conned.
Gina
Host
40:11
The original.
Jeff
Interviewee
40:12
He’s telling people how to how to invest money and you’re like dude. This dude ripped off hundreds of millions of people. Why are we listening to him?
Nicola
Host
40:22
And just that it’s like you. You’re being rewarded. Yes. For being naughty Shit, yes, so. So where is the social justice here? So does that mean that I can go and be fraudulent fraudster and I’m going to go to prison for like two minutes and be like, yeah, hello, here is my investment strategy.
Jeff
Interviewee
40:50
They go. They go to jail for a shorter period of time than someone that robs a liquor store. Oh, OK.
Nicola
Host
40:58
Especially if they’re a person of color. A minimal amount of marijuana.
Jeff
Interviewee
41:02
Right, so so so you know this. This might sound weird or slightly controversial, but like why do you think there’s so much crime happening around at least the US right now Is because everyone that you watch on TV is breaking the law, from a former president to the Supreme Court, to all these people in corporate, and they’re getting away with it. So then why won’t I break into a car and just steal stuff? Everyone else is getting theirs right. Like the moral compass is so skewed right now.
Nicola
Host
41:39
You know, when you take a compass to like a location and there’s just like magnets or whatever in the mountain and the compass goes.
Gina
Host
41:47
It’s like what you’re saying, because everyone in our society is like being rewarded for doing criminal bad.
Jeff
Interviewee
41:54
Yeah, yeah. And so for and, and and only some of these are being policed right.
Gina
Host
42:02
Right.
Jeff
Interviewee
42:02
Some people are being policed and others are allowed to do whatever they want. And I think you know, and I’ve talked about this before, but like the origins of police, in the US at least, comes from slavery, it’s, it comes from slave patrols, the whole point. That’s why loitering is a crime, because when you know slaves would be walking around or walking outside of their, outside of their plantation, slave patrols would round them up and send them back to their slave plantation. So to this day, the police, or at least many of that, many of it, is to police a certain part of society, right, while other people are allowed to break whatever laws they want to break and no one cares Like everyone.
42:48
Yeah, exactly. So you know, you know when you, when you look at certain professions like police, like I think this also happens with firefighters a little bit Pilots, you know there’s certain professions where toxic masculinity thrives even more, because it’s a lot of it, it’s about power, it’s a lot of it of exerting a certain level of power, and that it’s tough man, it’s tough to.
Nicola
Host
43:18
So, circling back to what you said earlier, like you’re just seeing, ok, we’re seeing it, you’re seeing it, we’re just seeing a whole bunch of people that are just hating their fucking jobs.
Speaker 2
Host
43:26
Right, We’ve got people left, right and like I just fucking hate my life.
Nicola
Host
43:31
Do you think and this is a question for both of you, because I’m curious to know, because, like, as we’re talking, it’s kind of making my you know brain juice moderately work, because, yeah, I got it. So we have these environments where we have toxic masculinity we have. We know we have a very strong patriarchal system. We’re seeing some changes in some countries. Yeah. But overall it’s male pale, stale up at the top. Yeah.
44:02
Then you have the added like layers of we’ve got, you know, climate crisis. Yeah, we’ve just come out the other end of COVID crisis. Now we’re sliding like a train wreck into like this inflation, cost of living drama. You know just unobtainable expenses that you know are just ridiculous. Do you think that this whole compounding should show is really what is driving this? I actually just don’t have the main capacity to work Like. This is awful. Yeah, jeff answers.
Gina
Host
44:43
I just want to say we all know that everything that’s going on right now, like especially in America, I could really only speak for America. Everyone’s mental health in America is in the trash. Yes, it’s in the trash. Yes, I think it was previously in the trash, but I think the pandemic, yes, really highlighted it, because you couldn’t like, you couldn’t get away from yourself, because you were stuck in home.
45:05
So it’s like, everywhere you go there, you are Right. So it’s like now you’re really feeling like, oh my God, like I have racing thought. Whatever you’re depressed, whatever the case is Like I think I think when, when I’m depressed and I do take medication for depression, which I’ve spoken about I become non functioning and I the last thing I want to do is work.
Jeff
Interviewee
45:26
I don’t even want to get out of bed.
Gina
Host
45:27
I don’t even want to open my eyes.
Jeff
Interviewee
45:29
Yeah, I want to work, yeah.
Gina
Host
45:31
You think it could potentially be. First of all, our whole world is like basically falling apart, but also depression. Like is the American workforce just like very depressed, and I think yeah, oh, yeah, yeah.
Jeff
Interviewee
45:43
So there were a lot of epiphanies that that Americans found out about the workplace during the pandemic. They really they knew that their companies didn’t care about them, but they didn’t realize to the extent. And when their companies were trying to force them back into work and you saw places like Tyson food where they forced their staff back into factories and then people died, and you were like and then you had Elon Musk being like yeah, tesla, you have to show up to, you know the, the car lines and whatever, whatever things like that, and more people were put at risk. Then all of a sudden, you were like oh, not only do you not care about me, but you’re willing to sacrifice my life so that you can make just a little bit more profit. And I think that just put people to the edge. That’s why the great resignation happened the way it happened and and why Gen Z drove it right.
46:43
But what is interesting is, you know, I find toxicity and toxic masculinity thrives in silence. That’s what they want. They want everyone to be divided. They want everyone, they want, you know, you to to feel as if everyone else is really bad, when this might sound weird, but this is a great. This is the perfect opportunity Because the patriarchy seems so fragile right now.
47:13
It’s the fact that a movie like Barbie can threaten the patriarchy. It’s a movie for good. It’s only two hours. People Like it’s not that scary and people are freaking out about it is awesome, right, the fact that you have men acting like children, like having temper tantrums I just saw I’m going to make a video about this of like this pastor literally taking a bat, taping a Bible to it and smashing a Barbie house, just to show that that you know they’re fighting. They’re fighting woke, ism or whatever term they want to use. Like this is. This is the opportunity, in many ways, we’ve been looking for, because, like it’s had to get this bad for us to realize what’s not working. Because in order for us to, for example, heal the planet, we need to embrace much more healthy femininity. We need to have a balance that currently is not existing. Right, where we’re both masculine and feminine can exist in in one, in in in our leaders.
Gina
Host
48:20
Right, I talk a lot about just under the wolves.
Jeff
Interviewee
48:23
Right, I talk a lot about Jacinda Ardern, the former New Zealand Prime Minister. What a queen. Healthy, masculine. Close the borders, set boundaries, did all these really things from a healthy masculine standpoint, but also healthy, feminine, compassionate, empathetic. Made sure people had money, made sure they had UBI, made sure they didn’t have to go to the office. What happened? Lowest COVID rates. Lowest COVID death rates in the world. This is what can happen. However we celebrate leaders like that.
Nicola
Host
48:57
Now I know there are other issues with her, but then what happened was the. Because we love a bit of toxicity, don’t we? She’s doing all of these things that are keeping us as unbelievably safe. Yeah. And all they’re commenting on is what she’s wearing. She had the highest rate of bullying online than any other Prime Minister had ever had People just you know attacking her on a daily basis based on her looks what she said, what she’s.
Jeff
Interviewee
49:29
you know, you do it, so the more we call, the more we call out on this behavior and talk about how it’s so antiquated and in the past, and the more we push back on patriarchy and toxic masculine leaders, the more it’s it’s going to get bad, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. But what is happening is great, right, because, like you, first have to identify that you have an illness and that you’re unhealthy in order to address this right.
50:01
So it is a really bad for a time for America, and a lot of America is depressed and also great because now we have an opportunity to go to therapy if we want to. We can also just spiral down and we’ll see what we end up choosing to do.
50:18
But I love the fact that a lot of women are challenging men to step up, you know, in ways that they haven’t in the past and that they won’t tolerate, or they just won’t marry men or be with men anymore, if they’re just going to continue to do the crappy things that they did before. You know, there’s a lot of studies that find that women actually live a longer life when they’re not with a guy. I only want to bring a partner in if it’s going to improve my life, so I love that women are pushing to higher standards. Now, having said that, what are some men doing? We’re, we’re back lashing right. We’re, we’re getting more aggressive. What are who’s? Who’s represents a majority of shootings, men, right, because, like, we don’t know how to handle our loneliness. And at this time, there are all these articles that are like, well, men are lonely, so what should we do about it? It’s like, well, women shouldn’t compromise to adapt to the fact that men are lonely. It’s the fact that, like, we have to raise our standards.
Gina
Host
51:22
Level up. Yeah, level up.
Jeff
Interviewee
51:25
Or just be like or expand what it means to be a man, and we’re we’re currently struggling with that identity crisis right now. I didn’t. This is why I love Barbie so much. There is that there’s like I don’t know soliloquy or rant by American for air or what it’s like to be a woman.
Gina
Host
51:43
I read that I had never.
Jeff
Interviewee
51:44
I had never known any of that as a man. I didn’t know what that’s like. I didn’t know what it’s like to always feel like you have to be perfect but nothing’s ever great enough, right?
Gina
Host
51:57
You know like that is exhausting, like well, I think that’s why most women have such shitty self-esteem, because we’re always yeah aiming for perfection. But then we’re like, oh, we’re also like. Then we talk negatively to ourselves.
Jeff
Interviewee
52:12
Right, we can’t be too much or too little.
Gina
Host
52:15
We can’t be too revealing or too conservative, like you. Have to strike the perfect balance, and it’s impossible because everyone’s perfect is subject is subjective.
Jeff
Interviewee
52:24
Right and in addition to that, just like the level of safety right, Like I can walk around at night as a six foot brown guy in Oakland, but most women I would not recommend you walk around after a certain period of time.
52:39
Like, like listening to my I go to. I stay at a lot of hotels when I’m speaking. Listening to my friends that are women speakers. The amount of extra things they have to do to make sure that they’re safe going to a hotel is obscene. Like in relation to what I have to do right From. Like making sure someone doesn’t follow them in the elevator, making sure they don’t know the room number. Like making sure the doors locked. They even have an extra lock that they bring to block the door. Like all these extra things, and I’m like man, it is so much more exhausting to be a woman. And meanwhile, anytime a man has any level of of like challenge, we start to freak out because we’re like, oh my gosh, it’s so horrible out here. Like it’s not easy for men anymore. And you’re like, what are you talking about, dude? Like what are you talking?
Gina
Host
53:31
Yeah, what do men say? That’s not easy. I’m, I’m, I’m interested to hear. What do you think is funny.
Jeff
Interviewee
53:35
Well, when? Well, well, right now, where you’re like? Oh well, women, you know, women have so many high standards. Now, oh my gosh, you know, they’re, they’re, you know.
Gina
Host
53:46
Oh, you mean, we just want normal human decency? Yeah, such a fucking high standard.
Jeff
Interviewee
53:51
Or we talked about this before right, when the Me Too movement came and they were like, whoa, now I can’t say anything to women. And you were like what were you saying to women? Like what the fuck were you saying? What can you not have a normal conversation without saying? A sexual innuendo in the middle of it. Like are you that bad? Like do you talk to that few women? You know?
Nicola
Host
54:16
how are you talking to your mother?
Jeff
Interviewee
54:18
Exactly. Yeah, what Like I don’t get it, do you have?
54:21
I don’t get it Well, and you know not to go so far into this because I don’t want to get too personal, but like I’ve seen where I’ve noticed men are most of vindictive towards women and like mentally abusive towards women and sometimes physically abusive towards women is when they themselves have not had a good relationship with their mom and they’re getting back at women or getting back at their mom through that woman and that’s really sad, but like and it’s a lot of trauma. Again, it’s a lot of trauma that they’re not willing to address and it’s not popular for a lot of men to go to therapy, so they don’t address it. So instead they use this as like an opportunity to treat women in a piss-poor way and it’s really sad.
Gina
Host
55:16
How do we change the narrative for men Is it during curities before.
Speaker 2
Host
55:20
So what do you mean? Change the narrative. What do you mean by changing the narrative?
Jeff
Interviewee
55:23
The narrative of how we’re raising our sons to not yeah, I mean the way we do it is we show more vulnerable affection towards boys. Boys at a younger age.
55:39
Like we show them how to communicate their emotions through words. Right, we show them, not just tell them. Right, because I think there’s a lot of like telling, like this is how, what you should do, but men should be exhibiting a certain level of healthy masculinity towards each other. You know, a group that gives me a lot of hope is stay at home dads. I’ve there are some conferences. I used to know people that would go to this conference called dad 2.0. There’s another conference called at home dads, and it’s a lot of dads that are either stay at home dads or dads that spend a lot of time with their kids, and there’s a lot of healthy masculinity and healthy femininity. Right, so they do the laundry, they change the diapers.
Gina
Host
56:28
Because they have to.
Jeff
Interviewee
56:29
They cook, they do all the things. So it’s not like women’s work and men’s work anymore, right, like we are able to embrace a more complex way of showing up. So I think, when we’re willing to embrace more of the gender spectrum, of like I have healthy feminine traits and I have healthy masculine traits and I’m gonna show my kids how to do that that is where I think there can be healing. But as long as we, as long as we polarized right, as long as we’re like women first men, and there are this and this is that and we’re not willing to like embrace the complexity of it, that both men are aggressive and also they’re very lonely, how do we? Let’s have conversations around that, right, you know, the more we’re able to have those conversations and sit in the both, and that’s when the healing is gonna start to happen. And that’s what. That’s the stuff I advocate.
Gina
Host
57:27
So what was like? You seem like. You seem like you’d be a great boyfriend or husband to a woman if that’s what you want to do. But how? Why did you become such a proponent of you know, like doing this? I mean, I know you had some incidences in your work, but like was there-.
Jeff
Interviewee
57:48
Well, I’ll try to answer it. I know where it comes. Do you know what I’m getting at?
57:54
Yeah. So again, right From my origin story, I’m a play person. I love to play, Like that is my jam. And the reason why I love to play is play creates harmony. Play builds relationships with people. People see each other’s inner child that way. That’s where I think a lot of healing comes from, through play. I mean, heck, a war was started for a night Christmas Eve in the trenches because of play, right? So I see the power of play.
58:26
Play is very, is very feminine, it’s collaborative, it’s intuitive, it’s all these things. So because I’ve embraced play, I have a lot of feminine traits that balance out the masculine traits and because of that I’m like, oh, when we play more, we get along more, and I just want people to get along more, Like I just want a workplace that not suck. So when I go into a workplace and I’m like, why are y’all making it harder than you have to? Why do you have Chad in charge of everybody, when Chad is currently under investigation for sexual harassment? Five people have quit because of this guy. And also, everyone is less productive every time he’s at a meeting because he takes up 80% of the meeting. If we address Chad and not just him, like let’s not just get rid of him, like maybe the strategies to get rid of him, but it’s like, but we set boundaries, meaning like we don’t support that behavior.
59:24
Everyone doesn’t like. Everyone likes work a little bit better. Like why don’t we do that? We’re like at work 2,000 to 2,500 hours a year. Why are we putting ourselves through all this pain and suffering so like? That’s the vibe that I have. I’m just like. I see people miserable at work all the time and I’m like I say it all the time work sucks, but it doesn’t have to. So why are we letting it suck so much? Because we’re allowing toxicity and toxic masculinity to thrive. That’s why.
Gina
Host
59:54
So can you give us an example of maybe an exercise you would have like a Chad team or a team run by Chad, like in your example that you just gave us? Like what would you have them do with? Play, like to kind of work, I don’t know, to work out the situation, or An example, and the way I use play is like it’s experimental, right.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:00:14
So it’s like play is just all about testing stuff out. So let’s say you have a Chad that takes up a majority of your meetings, like 80% of the meeting. They just talk all the time. So then what the play would be for you to talk to everyone else in the meeting and be like listen every time Chad cuts you off, every time Chad cuts off Gina or Nicola, like be like, oh, excuse me, chad, gina was just about to share something, and also Gina’s like the project lead on this, so she probably should have. She has a lot to say about this, so let’s make sure we hear from her right? The more we start sending boundaries around Chad, the more it becomes less toxic for everybody else and more toxic for him. And then he has to decide do I change my behavior because I still want influence here, or can I not act like a three-year-old child having a temper tantrum? So I’m gonna leave and then I’m gonna leave the organization? So do that over three to six months where you have strategies around how you’re gonna start to take back over the meeting. That’s one way.
01:01:24
Another way is if Chad is the one that’s running your meetings right and he’s talking the whole time. Confront that person directly and be like what’s the point of our meetings? Is the point of our meetings for us to like, brainstorm and get a lot of ideas? If it is, right, now that’s not happening because you’re talking a lot? Is that your goal? Like, what’s your goal right? What’s your intent? Like, come from a place of objectivity but challenge the notion of like what is actually happening. What we usually do is we just don’t say anything and we’re just like well, that’s just the culture. Everyone loves Chad. That’s not the case. There’s a lot of allies that just like aren’t able to speak up because they don’t see other people challenging power, and really what we need to do is challenge toxic power more.
Gina
Host
01:02:11
Right. So how would you do that through play, though? I think that was my question. How would you handle a Chad situation with what you teach people in terms of play?
Jeff
Interviewee
01:02:21
But that’s so. What I’m saying is just like the play is in the experiment of these different strategies. Oh challenging. So, like play is how am I gonna cut him off in the work play? How am I gonna cut him off in the meeting? How am I gonna give more room for everyone else to speak? Like, let’s play with that experiment of us finally taking over the meeting over the next three months Another play is I’m thinking you’re gonna bring out like the battleships.
Gina
Host
01:02:52
And be like now you-.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:02:54
We’re not gonna bust out Legos and just be like okay, everybody, let’s do the thing.
Nicola
Host
01:02:58
It’s more like, let’s experiment with a lot of different strategies. Just side noise. I’m going to the Lego workshop. Which Lego workshop are you doing?
Gina
Host
01:03:06
I’m going to the workshop where there’s candy and maybe some creativity play, like maybe some painting or sand art, or like the little like you’re making, like a little pot with play.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:03:18
Yes, it’s pottery and the other play that I would also challenge people to do is then I’m like I’m gonna confront Chad. Oh, I’m a little nervous about it. Okay, let’s practice, like let’s, I will be tend to be Chad and you be the other person, and let’s practice over and over again. Let’s run this scenario over and over again so that when you actually walk into that room, you’re more likely to know how to adapt to it. You won’t get as nervous, and you know, and you know backed down right. So that’s what I’m talking about Experiment, constantly being open to failure, constantly trying many different things out that are pushing power.
Gina
Host
01:03:56
Here I was thinking that you were like bringing balls and shit on your like, like your conference. I mean I can. I’ve done that too Catch the ball Was I way off. Base on that, nikola. Did you think that too? Yes, we, every day is a school day for us these days.
Nicola
Host
01:04:10
Oh my God, this whole week has been a fucking school day.
Gina
Host
01:04:12
We’ve just been, we’ve been, our assets have been handed to us over and over and over again.
Nicola
Host
01:04:18
This whole week.
Gina
Host
01:04:18
You know you learn from it this whole week because we’re like we learned so much this week. It’s been nothing. You know what?
Nicola
Host
01:04:25
I you know what my biggest learning from this, I’d say, this week was was probably, I’m going to say I’m reflecting on myself and not understanding the full scope of life. I didn’t realize that neurodiversity is no longer a spectrum. I did not understand that and I now understand that it is more of a color wheel. It’s a color wheel and I get that now and I acknowledge that maybe I failed on that front and progressed the negative narrative around.
Gina
Host
01:05:02
We have you and I have you and I have even on our first season of the podcast, cause we were like, we were very quick to be like, oh, maybe that person was neurodivergent, and it’s like we’re just using that word like blanket, like in a blanket sense. And that’s not at all okay.
01:05:19
So we learned that and I think I I think my favorite like that was a good lesson for us to learn that like we’re being closed minded without even realizing, like we didn’t set out to be that way. But I think my favorite thing that I learned about was data science and natural languages. Like I’m just blown away that people do that.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:05:39
That’s like a job Like someone.
Gina
Host
01:05:41
I just like it’s nuts. People don’t have weird jobs, no, but it’s so cool Like I would never be able to do it, but I it’s like the coolest thing ever. That was my fun learning experience for this week.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:05:53
Something else that comes up when you share this is, I think, also what we need to be challenging is we need to be challenging systems of power, but having empathy for people. I think we a lot of times and I do it myself, I did it earlier with Elon Musk right, we demonize people but we don’t challenge the system that put those people up in the first place. And the more that we can actually challenge the system that celebrates toxicity, the less we’re gonna actually produce toxic leaders. And the way we do that is we have to obviously build more empathy for each other. So if we can do that, then there’s progress.
Gina
Host
01:06:34
I think that’s the overarching thing that I’ve learned the most since we started this podcast is better, like, the better leaders we have are always empathetic yeah, like Empathetic vulnerable. Yep. Not afraid to say that was my fault. I messed up.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:06:57
So the more we can celebrate empathetic, compassionate leaders that display shared humanity and prop them up, the more we can actually start to heal workplaces. That’s all of the work that I’m just trying to do is like can we celebrate more of the Jacinda Ardern’s and people like that, rather than us continuing to celebrate the patriarchal Rockefellers of the past that are not? They’re just not contributing, they’re just not helping.
Gina
Host
01:07:28
They’re not serving anyone.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:07:29
And, frankly, in many ways tying it back to climate change. Their narcissistic ways of being is what’s destroying the planet Like. It’s just not sustainable because they constantly want to win and they constantly want more and more and more, and that’s just not healthy anymore.
Nicola
Host
01:07:46
So it isn’t, and I think we are starting to see a shift. Right, we’re starting to see this shift in. Actually, that’s not good enough. Yeah. You know, I think, granted, it’s a small shift, but you are starting to see it in certain places. You know the great resignation. Ah, that’s actually not good enough.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:08:04
Well, I don’t even know if it’s small, because like strikes that are happening with riders you know, there’s just strikes that were happening with flight attendants, just strike that happened with UPS workers and then they got huge rages. There’s just strikes that are about to happen with all the major car dealerships in the US. So, like it’s building, it’s happening, it’s like it’s coming together.
Gina
Host
01:08:28
It’s a brown swell. Yeah, who do I have to join? I’d like to join a movement that’s the movement we’re going to join.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:08:34
I don’t know if I have the idea Consistent bowel movements.
Gina
Host
01:08:37
That’s another thing between men and women. When can men can poop anywhere. They’re like always so regular. I’m like lucky if I poop like once a week.
Nicola
Host
01:08:45
Or I can’t use the work bathroom, like there’s no way, oh my gosh, oh wow, oh my god, really Like the idea of pooping in the paddock bathroom. I just, oh, my god, like it’s so scared, it’s like in my throat.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:09:00
Are you worried someone’s? Are you worried someone’s going to poop next to you? For someone sitting next? To you Like what are you worried about?
Gina
Host
01:09:06
You guys seem to start a band that’s a woman who won’t see me poop? What I’ve done, like in my household, to like de-stigmatize pooping. I’ll like I’ll be, like I gotta go poop, like I will announce it Just like it’s normal. My child announced it. Yeah. So I will announce it and then, like if someone’s in the bathroom and I hear them, I’ll stand outside the door and make fart sound to cover theirs.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:09:31
Oh my gosh.
Nicola
Host
01:09:33
I would never poop in your house. My poop would just stay in my body for the rest of eternity.
Gina
Host
01:09:38
No, I’m trying to help the pooper out because I’m like, let me distract anyone else, who’s? If it’s just me and the pooper, who cares? But it was like me, the net like, let’s say, joe’s pooping and it’s getting loud and there’s like Lucia and why isn’t it getting loud Like?
Nicola
Host
01:09:51
what sort of loud are we getting Like?
Gina
Host
01:09:53
why isn’t it loud I don’t know, Like you hear, you know stuff happens. I’ll stand outside the door like make fart sounds to try to cover it for them.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:10:02
Wow.
Gina
Host
01:10:02
But also secretly, to kind of annoy them.
Nicola
Host
01:10:05
I will never poop at your house. In summary, I will just poop in the car.
Gina
Host
01:10:09
Well, if it’s just you and me, you can go upstairs.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:10:11
In the park, In the park For people that are not comfortable pooping. Y’all are very comfortable talking about pooping.
Gina
Host
01:10:19
Well, no, I’m comfortable pooping. I can poop anywhere. The thing that I’m uncomfortable about with pooping is that I don’t go enough.
Nicola
Host
01:10:27
I just want to be invisible during poop time, like just make me invisible, like I don’t even want to know that it’s happening, like if I could.
Gina
Host
01:10:35
Ok, here’s a good thing, though, like men don’t care. Men don’t care. They will like be fighting for their life in the bathroom and walk out and don’t give a shit. Why can’t I only?
Jeff
Interviewee
01:10:44
Seriously, I mean. I mean, do you see men at like sporting events or concerts, like do you see how fast that bathroom line moves and we barely even wash our hands? You’re just like, there’s like there’s like there’s like 80 women trying to get in the bathroom and the men’s line is like two guys and they’re just moving.
Gina
Host
01:11:03
Men are like. In a word, they’re animals. They’ll just be like gross. We’re gross. Get it out, we’re super gross.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:11:10
Keep it moving, Like we might swing our hand by the water which is so gross.
Gina
Host
01:11:16
So my head, maybe some of my head Any man who doesn’t wash their hands after number two, you’re gross.
Nicola
Host
01:11:23
Circle it back. So circle, trying to circle it back.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:11:27
I love that. We went down the poop. We went all the way down the sewer of the poop. I think that’s half the episode. I really hope we don’t delete all of the poop. Wait, let me. Let me try something. I’m going to, I’m going to, I’m going to add a soundbite that you can transition back from poop into toxicity. Ok, ok. So, as we’ve been talking about poop and diarrhea, I really feel especially America’s workplace right now. We’re, we’re a body dealing with diarrhea and I feel like the more we take some pep-to-biz-mo, which is embracing some healthy femininity and some balance, we can finally get that out of our system and finally find a certain level of healthy balance to this body again. So we’re, we’re pooping out the toxicity. That’s really what I’m saying, but it’s going to run.
01:12:31
We’re going to go through, but we had some spicy food, so we’re going to go. It’s going to be a little hard, it’s going to go through some times it’s going to burn the anus, you know.
Nicola
Host
01:12:40
and then we get to the other side and we’re going to get to the other side and you won’t.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:12:44
you won’t know when we’re going to finish. We’re going to be like, oh, I don’t know if I can get through this, it’s just like but we’ll be OK.
Nicola
Host
01:12:51
Exactly.
Gina
Host
01:12:53
Exactly. Oh my God, I feel like this is, then. This is. We’ve actually had really great interviews this week.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:12:59
Yeah, this is a very different reason. Oh, I love it, I love it.
Gina
Host
01:13:04
All right, so Jeff where can we find you?
Nicola
Host
01:13:08
Yeah, we’re going to get people to talk about because I feel like everybody needs to find you and I feel like they all need to hang out with you at some point, because you were just high quality.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:13:18
Oh, that’s so nice.
01:13:21
So if people want to see my ridiculous videos where I make fun of the workplace and talk about dismantling patriarchy through play. My handle is at Chef Harry plays. So J, e, f, f, h, a, r, y, p, l, a, y, s and that’s at Tick Tock Instagram threads Probably not Twitter anymore, because I’m going to end that YouTube medium. All of all the handles, linkedin, all that, ok. And then if you want to cause mischief in the workplace and address power dynamics so that work doesn’t suck so much anymore, then go to my website, rediscoveryourplaycom, and then just simply click on the let’s play button and we can connect and explore how we can address all this toxicity, so you can enjoy work Finally, instead of having it suck so much.
Gina
Host
01:14:18
Yeah, that would be awesome. Ok, I just followed you on Instagram and I love that in the first video you have, you’re wearing a terrible wig. Oh, I have so many wigs.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:14:30
I have so many toxic leader wigs. I have like four or five wigs Wait.
Nicola
Host
01:14:35
I’m coming for this too. I’m coming. Hold on, I need to see the wigs.
Gina
Host
01:14:38
I’m not going to see the wigs no the one in the beginning of this your wig is God awful and I’m here for it.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:14:45
Yeah, exactly. Oh, they’re the worst, they’re amazing.
Gina
Host
01:14:48
Yeah, but it’s like you walk into a store and you’re like give me your worst wig.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:14:54
Yeah, that’s exactly what I did, oh my God. I love this yeah, you see the blonde one. I have five wigs back here, even a pink wig like a troll wig that I make videos with. Yeah.
Nicola
Host
01:15:07
I have to say that that you’re I’m like down your Instagram. I have to say that your Instagram is like the funnest thing I think I’ve been.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:15:14
Oh, that’s awesome.
Nicola
Host
01:15:15
Yeah, but very serious on there recently, whoever is listening to this episode if you are not subscribing to this channel this has been so much fun.
Gina
Host
01:15:24
Yes, sorry, we’ve gone way over time and I’m sure you’re very busy, but we got distracted by your Instagram.
Jeff
Interviewee
01:15:30
I’ll talk to you later. Thank you so much.
Nicola
Host
01:15:32
Bye. Thanks, jeff, have a good one.

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