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The Mask You Live In

The Mask You Live In (2015)

January. 05,2015
| Documentary

Compared to girls, research shows that boys in the United States are more likely to be diagnosed with a behaviour disorder, prescribed stimulant medications, fail out of school, binge drink, commit a violent crime, and/or take their own lives. The Mask You Live In asks: as a society, how are we failing our boys?


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Really great film. Really enjoyed hearing hearing men talk about their experience of growing up. It made me question the way we talk to young people. I grew up a pushy girl with a sensitive brother and now I see why neither one of us could win.


This infomercial, I refuse to call it a documentary, is extremely creative in its deceptiveness. Besides being entirely inspired through the narrow, uncritical lens of feminist theory, this production never admits this. It has been specifically designed to groom the viewer into feminist ideology. I could not be more offended about the hypocrisy of this production. Imagine for just a moment, an all male production in the modern age, told through some narrow male ideology, defining female problems, explaining the lived female experience, providing contrived statistics produced through this narrow male ideology and proscribing the solutions to these female problems. I can only imagine the outrage. I can't even count the number of times that in feminist circles it has been stated unequivocally that men cannot understand female experience and that it is misogynist to even try...clearly double standards are perfectly fine as long as they benefit women. The anecdotes and the problems men experience are all real, it is the explanations for those problems that are either lacking or outright deceptive. Women's role in men's problems is completely ignored. Single mother households, something that is completely ignored (they are called single parent families...would not want to bring attention to the fact that 90% of single parent families are led by a mother...such a distraction to feminists...) in the program, is a massive factor in most of the statistics offered...suicide, school drop outs, criminal activity... It's a massive omission...and the "other" single parent families, those led by a father, do not experience these problems on anything like the same scale...both sons and daughters do much better in a father led single parent family than in one led by a mother...almost as well as intact two parent families in fact. Apparently that was not worth mentioning to the producers of this program. This is not at all surprising because if you know anything about feminist ideology, you would know that the ideology has serious problems with marriage...as in I am fairly confident that good feminists would like to see it abolished. If the above is not convincing enough, now we have to turn to the bogus statistics and crisis language that is used in the program, in particular, in regards to rape. A huge flag went up when the narrative promoted the idea of "rape culture". I am kind of surprised that this program went there. The producers had kept their agenda on such a subliminal level for the most part up to that point. The idea that we live in a "rape culture" has always been a huge stretch. Everyone, and I do mean everyone...at least in this country, is aware that rape is highly illegal. In prison, even among the concentration of violent criminals found there, rapists are at the bottom of the food chain. Everyone knows that. Even RAINN, the largest and most important anti-rape organizations had this to say about "rape culture"...and I quote "Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime." Feminists, of course, denounced this judgment but this does not alter the fact that feminists were happily quoting the statistics of the organization for many years before this apostasy. Feminists didn't realize that RAINN was interested in facts, not ideology. The other false statistic is THAT 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted on campus...what the program does not bother to tell you is that the study was done at only two universities, was done online, and suffered from a high non-response bias...super misleading. It is not to say that sexual assault is not a serious problem, it is. It's just not a crisis or an epidemic. The truth is that women have never been safer from violence, sexual or otherwise, in western societies now than at any point in human history...but, you see, that doesn't fit the feminist narrative, so it is omitted.In conclusion, I am both very disappointed, because men do experience a long litany of problems and they are rarely discussed, and offended...the producers didn't even feel the need to include a token male in the production when all of them would have been deeply offended at the reverse. I can't imagine that they couldn't have thought about and discussed that. Is it possible that they are so blinded by their ideology that they couldn't see the double standard? It beggars the imagination. I just wish that the resources that were used in creating this deceptive piece of indoctrination and feminist ideological grooming could have been used for another purpose, mainly the solutions to the many problems that men face. What a waste of time and resources.


Incredibly condescending, misleading and even the core premise is entirely false. The term "be a man" does not refer to not being a woman, as these documentary makers just asserts. This is an entirely constructed dichotomy they've invented in order to justify the pathologicalization of male identity that constitutes this entire film. Being a man is as opposed to being a child. Has nothing to do with femininity. It refers to behaving like an adult, accepting responsibility, not throwing emotional fits, dealing with problems instead of just complaining etc. These filmmakers try to assert the term leads to emotional trauma in boys, because it supposedly disallows femininity. This piece of nonsense put to film even tries to suggest that masculinity is unnatural, while femininity is the gold standard to which boys should strive. They even go so far as suggesting all the worlds ills are due to masculinity, which is both extremely narrow minded and reeks of feminist fanaticism. They correctly identify problems like broken homes and bullying as emotional tolls on boys, but then they pretty much blame the boys for their own emotional suffering. Apparently because they are not dealing with emotional stress the way girls do, which allegedly is the magic solution to everything.These ideologues evidently subscribe to the scientifically thoroughly debunked idea of gender as a social construct, and thereby the boys woes are due to their blank pages being filled with the wrong programming. There is so much this documentary could have tackled, but instead its a mess of politically charged preaching of feminist rhetoric. Faking a concern for the well being of boys in order to demonize masculine behaviors as a sickness in need of a cure. No words describing positive attributes typically associated with masculinity are ever mentioned, and this narrow focus on negative traits most of which aren't even gendered, shows how this film indeed comes from a place of gender supremacy. This misandric psychobabble spares no sophistry to posit masculinity as an overarching problem. Obviously they flat out ignore the common acceptance of female on male violence, because that would ruin their shallow narrative. Of course they will not tackle violent mothers, despite this being the most common violence children experience at home. Girls favoritism influencing boys behavior is apparently not a thing. Never mind that, as these boys are merely not being human correctly.This is just another piece of propaganda doing nothing to challenge preconceived notions or explore unknown territory. It only exist to further strengthen the prejudices its obsessive creators deem righteous, no more challenging to the mind then flatulence. If what this film proclaims had any root in reality as opposed to radical feminist mythology and an extreme form of confirmation bias, then a hypothetical society without men would necessarily be a utopia. So unless you are a true believing feminist disciple lacking independent critical thought, you will find this film infuriatingly ignorant in its disingenuous approach to a serious topic. In fewer words this film can be described as hatefulness dressed up as concern. Truly sickening.P.S.: Other reviewers seem to suffer from the misapprehension that giving this film a bad review somehow proves something about the reviewer. These are mere typical feminist shaming tactics and it is quite remarkable to observe how predictably and mindlessly these are still employed. You should apparently just listen and believe without question, because scrutiny and skepticism are the biggest enemies of dogma. This is an acceptable ideal only if you are a mindless follower. Think about that.


What does it mean to be a man, exactly? Why shouldn't boys cry? Why can't fathers share their emotions? Why are men allowed to communicate their anger towards others but not their love for their friends? Why are young men taught to view women as sexual conquests instead of people or friends? Questions such as these lie at the heart of this documentary, which argues that our society's definition of masculinity is deeply flawed. This is done through a wide array of interviews and case studies. Though the film is clearly informed by feminist theory and an academic foundation, the case studies put a face on concepts and humanizes the ideas found in textbooks. It is an accessible and clear introduction to the fact that feminists care deeply about men's issues. I would strongly discourage people from avoiding the film simply because of this theoretical orientation, however. I was able to easily relate to the narratives and case studies presented in the film. The process of socialization for boys is something I experienced first hand, and the film organizes things in an insightful and cogent way. Similarly, it does an excellent job of capturing when things begin to go off the rails. For instance, one of the experts that is interviewed notes that kindergarten boys are eager to talk and participate, while by sixth grade boys had become increasingly reticent. This reticence is, partly, because of an avoidance of being nerdy (weak, effeminate) in favor of projecting a tough "I don't care, none of this effects me" attitude. Example upon example is piled on to create a compelling diagnosis of a problem.The primary issue of the film, or perhaps an area for future discussion or analysis, is that it does not explicitly broach how masculinity overlaps with race and class. It is portrayed, but not explicitly explored. There is some mention of how sexuality and masculinity are intrinsically connected, but those other axis of oppression are largely ignored. As a result the concept of masculinity used in this film might seem overgeneralized to viewers. Fortunately, the film wisely sticks to the most universal threads such as aggression, dominance, and control. Just a final note: If you have read this film as attempting to demonize "maleness," you've missed the point. It's about the performance of manhood, which is a matter of gender, not sex. Gender is highly malleable and varies across cultures in a variety of ways, and this movie highlights the possibility for change towards a more open and loving form of masculinity in the future. That is a fantastic message and I would encourage any men who find themselves feeling defensive or threatened by the contents of this film to really question why they feel that way. There is an enormous opportunity for self- introspection and growth in this film.