January 13, 2014

Be A MAN! Get Some Balls! Unmasking The Truth

The hot-off-the-press preview of the under-development film, The Mask You Live In, is already rocking the world. It's about the hard messages we, individually and culturally, give to our young guys about how to man up. Beware, the film trailer below is a shot to the gut. You may not like all of it, but with any luck it will start or add to needed discussions about the messages we're giving to our young men.

One of the activities we do with young males on Right of Passage weekends is called "Unmasking the Truth." I can't talk about the process, but I can say it's about reaching out to the young men who often live with pressurized emotional material hiding behind layers of male stereotypes and their version of masculine bravado. Inviting them to take off this "mask," when they are ready, and when they feel it's safe, is a delicate but important challenge.

When it's completed, The Mask You Live In will be an an ". . . exploration of American masculinity." It's targeted for release sometime in 2014.

See what "The Mask" stirs up in you?

If this clip doesn't show up use this link.

The Mask You Live In is from the team that created Miss Representation, a Sundance Film Festival selection. It's a moving story about the same kinds of cultural messages targeted at, and literally shaping, young women today.

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  1. Brad Leslie2:14 PM

    Wow - this video "The Mask..." really hit me hard! I was a very abusive guy, until I finally got into a program at 38. This is where it came from. I have 3 bros + 2 sis - all abusive to this day, but they have not done anything about it. I'm anxiously awaiting more!! Thanks, Earl

  2. Larry Hurley3:54 PM

    Five years ago in my home town of Asheville, North Carolina, a group of men got together to bring the "Boys To Men" program to our community. Part of the training for being involved in that program was called Reclaiming Your Teenage Fire. In that workshop I was introduced to the process of "unmasking the truth." It had a powerful effect on me. As part of the BTM program, we have a young men's support group for the graduates of our Rite of Passage weekend. It's called J-Group because the boys are called "journeyman" after their passage weekend. J-Group meets twice a month and the men and J-men sit in a circle for group mentoring. Each and every time I see young guys unmasking their truth in those meetings,I am deeply touched. I'm so impressed with the courage that I see from each and every young man that takes that plunge "without a net." The result is the I get healed from the same wounds those boys carry, layer by layer.

  3. Fredric Hayward6:17 PM

    You really want to know what it stirs up in me? Okay, a lot of pain, a lot of empathy, a lot of relief that some attention is finally being paid to this...but also a lot of frustration over the political correctness of the film. Namely, the voice-overs ("Be a man!" "Man up!" etc.) are all male. I suspect the video will place all the blame on other men for passing along this message (i.e., the political correctness of blaming men for sexism). From my own experience, the messages I got (and continue to get) from women are: "Risk your life to protect me!" "Subordinate true fulfillment to an income to support me!" "I don't want to hear anger or pain or anything negative if I am the cause!" "When it comes to risk (emotional or physical), take charge!" and, of course, "Be a man!" and "Man up!"

    Unless the video deals with the full male-female dynamic, and not just male power and female powerlessness, it won't help.


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