This documentary was written, directed, and produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and explores what Newsom perceives to be harmful notions about masculinity in American culture. The film follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity. Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, they confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence.
These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men. Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it. “The Mask You Live In” ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.
Please join us for the film’s screening and the discussion which follows. It’s free and open to the public! Donations to defray cost of screening rights are gratefully accepted.