Mask You Live In Gender Analysis

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As a society, we all “do gender”, either consciously or unconsciously. Gender is a social construct that is so embedded into today’s society that has become so natural and normal to us, we don’t even think twice about acting on it. As soon a baby boy is born, their gender is constantly reinforced to them in virtually every aspect of their lives. Right off the bat, boys are wrapped in a blue blanket at the hospital, and from there the divide continues into what Kimmel and Holler (2013) call colour-coded children. Some people even believe that if mothers hold their sons too tightly for too long, it will hinder their masculine development (Newsom et al. 2015). That statement is actually very false, in fact the exact opposite is true, but it goes…show more content…
According to the film ‘The Mask You Live In (2015)’, being successful in terms of masculinity includes things like athletic ability, economic success, and having quality women and quantity of women. These so-called successes leave little wiggle room, resulting in life long struggles for the many men who don’t, or don’t want to, meet these criteria. Also maybe you noticed that emotions aren’t mentioned in masculine success. The amount of criticism and ridicule that boys and men receive when releasing emotion is baffling. So many boys are told from a young age that it’s not manly to cry, or to hold their emotions in and be strong. This mentality is so damaging to males as they never learn how to properly deal with their pain and emotions, yet the damage done to men is so overlooked. People often believe that women are more likely to experience depression or feel suicidal, yet that isn’t true. Boys are five times more likely to commit suicide than girls, and suicide is the third leading cause of death for boys (Newsom et al. 2015). Since boys express their depressed or suicidal feelings in a less recognizable, like acting out or becoming aggressive, they often go untreated; fewer than 50% of boys and men with mental health issues seek help (Newsom et al.…show more content…
Often times, hierarchies within school groups form as a way to establish the leaders of the pack; the boys who exemplify a more hegemonic form of masculinity tend to pick on kids who are seen as weaker to establish their authority. During school, especially elementary and middle school, many boys feel the need to show off with displays of hypermasculinity by being aggressive and bullying others (Kimmel 2013). When a boy is getting bullied, his masculinity is already threatened, and so many choose not to seek out help due to the risk of getting in more trouble with their bullies. One in four boys get bullied at school, yet only 30 percent of them notify an adult (Newsom et al. 2015). An example from the documentary, ‘The Mask You Live In (2015)’, was this kindergarten club called the “mean team”. It was a group “created by the boys, for the boys, acting against the girls” that was made up of rules, such as not playing with girls, and if the rules were to be broken, you would be “fired” from the group. (Newsom et al. 2015). This group exemplifies that even at such a young age, children are already starting down this toxic road of gender polarization (Kimmel
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