It can be difficult to understand why boys and men are responsible for the majority of violence in our society. However, in his documentary “The Mask You Live In”, filmmaker and activist Jennifer Siebel Newsom provides an in-depth look into the cultural pressures and messages that lead young boys to become violent.
The film explores how our culture’s idea of masculinity, which is heavily focused on strength, power, dominance, and control, negatively impacts the emotional development of young men. It shows how these damaging ideas can lead boys to suppress their emotions, leading to attention-seeking behavior or outright aggression. By doing so, boys learn that they must be tough and often use violence as a way to show their power and strength.
Newsom talks with experts who explain how we can better raise young men by cultivating empathy and teaching them healthy ways to manage emotions. This kind of emotional education needs to start early with parents reinforcing positive behaviors instead of using discipline as a way of intimidation or punishment.
In addition, Newsom speaks with former NFL players who share stories about what it means to be a man today, providing an insight into how our culture teaches boys at a very early age that they need to “toughen up” or “be a man” without taking into account their physical or emotional well-being.
From speaking with experts such as psychologists and educators to hearing from young people themselves, “The Mask You Live In” takes viewers on an eye-opening journey examining the issues faced by boys today. The film offers potential solutions for preventing violence among men while also encouraging viewers to challenge cultural norms around masculinity so that all boys can develop healthy identities and relationships.
If you’re looking for an informative yet engaging exploration into this issue then look no further than “The Mask You Live In”. This powerful film will make you reconsider what it truly means to be masculine while giving you valuable insights on how we can better help young men cope with life’s challenges in healthier ways.