1) Did you agree or disagree with the main premise of the film about gender norms for masculinity? Explain and support your position
2) In terms of aesthetics or treatment, what did the film do particularly well? What did it poorly on this score?
3) What did you learn from the film that you may apply to your everyday life?
My earliest memory it was my father bringing me down in my mother’s basement putting up his hands and teach me how to throw jabs and punch and. Those are that he gave me those three words be a million stop with the two year stop with emotions can be a man in this world you will learn how to dominate to control people in circumstances. That was a source of tremendous shame I left their room with tears coming down my eyes just feeling I wasn’t quite man enough. Football became a tremendous place to hide you can hide inside that how much you can hide behind the world the crown you get to project this facade this persona the appeal to me of what it means to be a man in this culture I thought if I could manifest as a hyper masculinity somehow that would validate who and what I was certainly my father would respect to see how palm for how strong how tough I was and give me the love and attention that I desperately wanted. I don’t ask every man to think about what age they were what was the context when someone told you to be a man. That’s one of the most destructive phrases in this culture a belief. Stuff don’t cross right up with the emotion pick yourself up be show Don’t be a person of my display keep cool and be kind of a **** always keep them all shy like the tattletale going to hang it’s you want to run your life rose come before the hello good lady in manny a man wrote some balls Man man I am not a man out of are not a man a. Yet again another teen has taken his own life. Her being bullied for years the details of the gang rape that took place outside a high school homecoming dance are for a fright eans confessed to shooting an Australian man for quote the fun of a teen people were charged in the beating death of a Florida A and M. drum major the result of a band initiation ritual a student was found dead alcohol five times the legal limit in his system he killed his girlfriend and then shot himself over twenty little children dead he also shot his model the shooting was apparently a premeditated one gunman and he is among the dead. Now I don’t know Ariana. If you really knew me you wouldn’t know a feeling outside of school. And I mean that sometimes it’s hard to talk to somebody. If you really knew me in another when I’m sad and I. Really don’t say nothing about it. I used to hide emotions like when I’m sad and turn your body on the mat over to. For a long time I didn’t have any friends so I did nobody would talk to. We don’t really talk about they’re not in our house. If you really knew me you know that sometimes I feel like I can’t be myself. If you really knew me you know that I am I know my dad. If you really knew me you were known them or dad even to you and I don’t think I ever seen him out of jail. Around fifth grade and none of us who are you most people don’t know that about me. If you really knew me. We know that. My parents went through a little phase where they told us they’re going to get a divorce I just needed someone to talk to about it. Now no good boyfriends. Views the photo just giving up on my. Belief sixteen I felt like an outcast I felt alone for. A long time. If you walk onto any playground in America where there’s a bunch of boys happily playing you can start a fight by asking one question who’s a sissy around here and two boys will go at it he is he is he and he can have a fight or all the boys go and that Boyle either have to fight them or run home crying that idea of being seen as weak as a sissy in the eyes of other guys starts in our earliest moments of boyhood and it follows us all the way through our lives proving to other guys that we’re not girls that we’re not women that we’re not gay we’ve constructed an idea of masculinity in the United States that doesn’t give young boys a way to feel secure in their masculinity so we make them go prove it all the time if **** men up by step down from. Masculinity is not organic it’s reactive it’s it’s not something that just develops it’s a rejection of everything that is feminine Sometimes my friends act like they’re tough when they feel like they’re now from the beginning with orders boys to lock down our emotions we can’t talk about being afraid we can’t talk about being hurt we could talk about being pissed off we could talk about being angry we can’t talk about being say if you never cry you have all these feelings stuffed up inside of you and you can’t get them out we put them on that trajectory through our popular culture through our parenting styles or educational styles and through assumptions about natural manhood and maleness that we pass along that are incredibly insulting and damaging and then there’s a whole social system that polices them on through this low level of threat from other men if they’re not man enough. To say when to get into how. Learned masculinity as children where we learn it from who taught it to us and I’m going to ask me you guys to shout out ideas that you had on it from your childhood in my house so we don’t cry showing emotion it’s like you’re weak to be hard just hold it in no tattle telling fight back and every day in the surrounded around. Money money money money money money be the best go for the triple This is a Double it was OK to be a womanizer a man has to be dominant and in charge and has control you know a man does everything to the extreme and never back down from anything a man use violence to solve problems. The first why every boy learns in America is we associate masculinity with athletic ability side strength or some kind of skill set I’ve always felt the pressure of you need to be boss he needs you not you you have to have a six pack those boys that can catch a don out or hitting curve or elevator I want to play football Best Buy one sports have fun doing it makes money I want them T.V. type of rights they’re set up for a tremendous value in frustration in life because being a man doesn’t have a single thing to do with athletic ability you think about all the other boys on that playground they don’t just want to play sports they want to do computers or music or drama or debate this past month I did took part my first. Feeder production Look I wish I had taken part in that throughout high school I don’t know I had didn’t because it was just it was something taboo years weren’t supposed to do it. Second my every boy learns is that we associate masculinity with economic success. My name is Jordan Belfort the year I turned twenty six I mean forty nine million dollars which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week you know it’s been said that comparison is the thief of all happiness so if you’re building your sense of masculinity based on power positions there’s always going to be someone that has more that leads to an incredibly empty life of striving for things at the expense of for truly important life I’ve had eight year old kids sit on my couch eight year old boys and also somebody want to be when you grow up and they’ll say a venture capitalist. There is so many things wrong with that that I hardly know where to start the extent to which he comes in and has already been programmed he is going to head there. He limited options in his life and they will never feel authentically like his own in the third good crowd Tiriel as a culture we associate sexual conquests what masculinity. Is made of a look at what the ladies can only imagine the top five hottest girlfriends of Derek Jeter been everywhere we all salute you associate in that would masculinity is so nice when you test. You know you said that is to put in a back seat Bam cold X. at me and I get what you got a day. You do have a dignity well those were the sign the cute boys silent to keep them conforming to the construct. My grandfather is very much that alpha male type He’s a former military drill sergeant going to war from the South was able to go out in the world and sort of pull himself up by his bootstraps and very much for a Philistine of the American dream in that regard Granted he was a white male in a particular time which gave him access to that success even if he was poor to begin with. I grew up with my grandfather’s voice hearing you need to be bigger stronger faster so I was always having to prove myself. And never succeeding it made me very insecure and not feeling like I was good enough. When I was a kid I had long wanted hair and a very high voice that I wasn’t a cool kid I was this awkward little kid I was saying in choir I played clarinet in the band but I also played baseball and football and basketball and got to do all those different things and express myself in all sorts of different ways things changed around middle school I started to get bullied and made fun of you called a **** or a post. And that’s when. The social pressures really kicked down I cut my long hair off change the way I dressed I dropped my voice I don’t even know when my voice naturally broke I have no idea because they’re forced and I played more sports and joined all the teams I dated the head cheerleader and distanced myself from people who were less masculine to me I have a friend who didn’t play sports and was kind of feminine he was being picked on even more than I was. And instead of me sort of staying by his side and being his friend I remember to some degree. Making the decision that to decide to push myself to not be friends with him anymore it’s not go to his house too. And I remember him asking me why are they bad and I couldn’t tell them I didn’t know what to tell me the time. School was a training ground for me to learn how to perform masculinity to perform to be one of the guys. Throughout most of history there’s been this belief that men and women are fundamentally different creatures than I probably begins with the Bible sex is a biological term it refers to which chromosomes you have to X. is female X. and Y. is male gender is a a social construct these are expressions of masculinity or femininity and both of these are spectrums and they overlap boys and girls are far more human and far more of the same than they are different if you gave fifty thousand psychological tests to girls that would fall out of a bell shaped curve if you gave the same fifty thousand psychological test to boys it would fall out of the boy bell shaped curve if you superimposed them they’d be ninety percent overlapping you’ve got the shoulders which stick out on either side and those are very often the traits that feed into our stereotype people make the assumption that because the brain is biological that any sex difference in the in the brain must be hardwired but the brain is plastic the brain changes or as a result of experience you go through a process called proliferation and pruning which is that you make a whole bunch of brain connections and the ones that you use are strengthened and the ones that you don’t use die back whether it’s empathy or aggression or spatial ability or verbal ability things that a child spends their time on that’s what they’re going to be good at parents from even before a child is born start thinking about the child differently they decorate the room differently they buy different clothes. So this notion that there is such a thing as gender neutral or that parents are not responsible for gender differences is a psychological in possibility we are becoming much more bifurcated in terms of hyper masculinity and femininity girls products have become much Pinker and boys products have become much more cammo and much more violent and it’s not just in the toys but it’s also in television programming and movies this hypermasculine ization hyper feminize ation reflect a cultural tension and fear about the fact that gender is socially constructed and we respond in ways to try to organize and simplify the world that actually end up simplifying it to such a great extent that it puts pressure on young men and young women to fit into those boxes that are going to be got to be tough but you can’t resist you know but a time a boy is five years old he’s pretty much taught that is not OK to cry in public he may still do it but the expectation is by the time he’s ten that he’s perfected and if he’s twelve and he’s still crying in public there’s a problem. Here guy are you one of those single people who are a worthless pansy **** who is now we bring him slobbering like I’m not on your all girl. Boys are not encouraged to talk about any kind of pain with anyone else and when they do talk about pain fathers particularly but mothers also tend to focus more on how to solve that or what they’re going to do for their actions. The more time it’s come out that. They’re learning how is it possible for them as boys to be in the world and to engage in their relationships and to behave in ways that will be considered socially acceptable and in the learning to accommodate to those ideals they’re learning to conceal or just downplay qualities that are traditionally associated with girls and women mothers are told that if they. Hold the boy too closely they’re hurting his development you’re making him a mama’s boy you want to be a flying monkey momma’s boy snitch or do you want to be a man. Now being a mama’s girl or daddy’s little girl that’s wonderful but I’m mama’s boy it means somehow he’s soft we. Were concerned that our child is going to be ridiculed or concerned that that our son will be the target of violence and so we give him what we we think he needs in order to avoid that Mario ride but one player don’t cry. The reason men are less likely to show empathy less likely to show vulnerability less likely to bring up children in that kind of way is that they’ve been socialized into this I was really very moved by the fathers who brought their little four year olds and five year old school in the morning and how tender these men were with their son’s patient loving they were with these little boys so I asked them what do you see in your sons that leads you to say I hope he never loses that and the father spoke about their sons out their quality they were so emotionally open and their real joy and their friends and the men felt that on the Road to Manhood they themselves had lost touch with these qualities in themselves and the quandary for them was would they have to silence the very qualities that they most value in their sons was the most exclusive sense of do them. My father we don’t really have a great relationship this night job was drinking he was an alcoholic I was afraid a film he was a mean man he was emotional this he didn’t care about much and is going to school was in the power behind what we should have been doing you would get a good job get a lot of women in your mitt. My mother was more my striving for she told me that education was important so every year on Mother’s Day Of course I was on our Mother’s Day card but also I was in our crowd all Father’s Day and I would just thank her for playing both roles in my life. The moment I found out I was going to be your father was a very scary for me I was an undergrad and my son’s mother told me she was pregnant and we were no longer together that sold her if she wanted I would raise and I would take care of. My father didn’t raise me and is very important for me to raise my son. Has been very hard to play ball. ROSE As a mother and father for Jackson albums told the minutes of their strong I spent a lot of lights crying because he did have their legs in I had to you know take care of that and they don’t want to take it any click because Jackson said to me Daddy arm since it is and I was like OK. OK So then I started I started reading of doing google searches on how to be sensitive. I started to ask them how you felt like how do you feel why he said Are you OK He taught me how to be more in touch with my own emotions and in the end as well as he would proselytize I would cry when I’m and I would tell him dead he wasn’t allowed to try to go no but it’s OK you need to cry cry. It took some time for me to get there. Men are doing better meadow much more loving with this sons and speak about love and hugs think kisses you know meant a much more purposeful and you know the experience of nurturing the children and sharing in those responsibilities so we are getting better the fact that we’re having this conversation speaks to progress but it doesn’t take away there’s a lot of work still to do. Growing up and that helps hold on I grew up in there was a lot of physical abuse. My father used to beat my mother pretty pretty horrifically from my recollection my father sold drugs and that’s how he made his living. He was in and out of prison my entire childhood. In fact I think he was gone the first two years that I was born so I didn’t even really get to establish that connection that most young boys get to establish with their father. In middle school with six truly difficult to deal with because I didn’t. Even know what it meant to be a man like I did not have. A father figure in my life i just that strong women. I was bullied a lot growing up because I’m not the most masculine of men never have been and why am I ostracized and treated different because I don’t want to fight because I don’t see the point in having rampant unprotected sex with uncountable women and then sitting on boasting about it over booze and smoking to a joint and yet that’s what society deems as masculine I don’t value that and I think it’s because I still am so close to my mom and to my grandmother and they’re both extremely strong and respectable not only women respectable people and so that’s that’s to me is what I wanted to emulate. One of the things that came up in my study has to do with the mean team which the was a team created by the boys for the boys for the purpose of acting against the girls this is a pre-kindergarten class in the beginning there was a little bit of intermixing. But then by December of that first year the boys versus girls dynamic had become clear and even the hierarchy among the boys had become clear it had these rules and these ways of being and these ways of engaging each other in behaving one of the rules was that they couldn’t play with the girls and if you broke those rules you could be fired and technically not be a boy anymore when the boys told me I’m actually friends with all the girls I actually like the girls but if Mike the leader of the Mean team finds out then he’ll fire me from his club and then I won’t have a club they totally understand my kind of these are the rules and then these are the consequences for their status among the boys. When I was choosing schools for Roman to go to kindergarten I specifically chose one that was Christian based it seemed to that there was an emphasis on family values and kindness but by the end of kindergarten I started to see a change in my son’s behavior and the kids around him and I would describe it as like just a hard edge that got progressively worse in first grade there were days where he would come home and just burst into tears and I would see what is going on and he he said will see how so and so push me out of line for the fourth time this week and the teacher really didn’t do anything about it or you know they were making fun of me at recess or. You know I want to soccer practice and I said I was the worst person on the team so it started with things like that and by second grade there was one day where he came home saying that he was strangled and the hallway. By the middle of the school year I would pick him up from school and I could see in his face that he was doing everything he could to hold back the tears because he didn’t want to be made fun of even more by the boys and the second tweeter of half a block away just the floodgates opened and he was so sad. I felt alone. I wasn’t doing what everyone else was why I was different. There’s a dominance hierarchy there are tough guys who are on the top and there are weaklings girls were the bottom of the heap Now this is the origin of sexism and homophobia and sexism it’s that a girl isn’t as strong as a boy with homosexuality he gave their big. Comes both stigmatised version of weakness and Sissy knows what happens in your relations with other kids is that you pick out someone who appears weak in that way you maybe bully him but maybe is just a more subtle kind of demeaning and you start hating that thing about him that you are afraid of in yourself. I was born in Salt Lake City after first grade we moved to Massachusetts I dealt with a lot of bullying. With a lot of time on seeing were I got picked on because I would is the smallest kid the skinniest kid the most non white kid and lastly the kid probably most suspected to be gay which you know is true ended up being true but yeah I remember these kind of big kids coming over and. Yelling out a **** or I want to go back to China. I would always fight back again my stomach punch stand. I just remember coming home from school with like bloody hands just from being pushed onto the concrete my hands kind of grazing against the concrete terrorizing for me I would always end up crying. I felt a lot of shame from not being able to defend myself my dad would start giving me advice about how to fight back I mean I love my mom you know and I love my dad. But I just got the same thing from the. Everybody’s telling me to just deal with it. After a fight and I learned to just wash my own hands of the blood I learned to just not talk about it. I felt so down and depressed to the point of contemplating suicide many times. And I just feel like living anymore. I never really knew why I had such a difficult time talking about how I felt. Until I looked back to my history and I was like whoa obviously that’s why you know because I was discouraged with physical force from from ever expressing emotions. Boys directly make the link between having friendships and mental health so they tell me if I didn’t have someone to talk to about my secrets and about my personal life I would go crazy I would go wacko and sometimes I’m sad I could tell my friends this and they could try to help me out. Eleven twelve thirteen fourteen boys tell these very passionate stories about other boys and wanting to be friends with them and wanting to share secrets this one way described how he was having difficulties with his parents understanding him and the person who saved him on a daily basis with his best friend who he felt really loved him unconditionally starting when they were about fifteen sixteen seventeen the language chefs you hear boys actually talking about their struggles and their friendships being hurt by other boys feeling betrayed by other boys are wanting to have intimate friendships not knowing how to find those friendships from middle school or I have or really close friends and we did everything together like when in high school I struggle finding people I can talk to about things because I feel like I have to do with them so. I’m not spose to get help. They really buy into the culture that doesn’t value what we feminized So we’ve made feminine relationships emotions all these critical things empathy and so boys begin to devalue their relational parts to themselves their relational needs the relational desires. In good times guys are like really close each other and they’re really good friends in that other they interact a lot that would things get a little bit worse it’s more like you’re on your own. One of the adolescent boys described it as if you spill your guts the way that girls do if you tell somebody how you really feel then they can use that against you at any time. So the loss of the intimacy in their friendships feeling oftentimes for many of our boys very lonely very isolated and they really enter into a culture. Masculinity that makes these bizarre equations that male intimacy has to be about sexuality the start saying things like I feel close to him no homo he’s cool no homo So this constant allusion any sign of intimacy is going to be perceived as potentially gay they understand that if you’re straight you have no desire for male intimacy we don’t do that with women we do that with men. Each of them is posturing based on how the other boys are posturing and what they end up missing is what they each really want which is just that closeness. Drinking and drug taking are very often only the boys relax those tight rules which say they always have to be silent and strong and when you get drunk you know your friends and you can tell them how much you love them you can have sex with a girl and not feel afraid in a way that all people feel when they start having sex because it’s intermittent turned it on for milieu. It’s incredibly exposing. It’s not just acceptable that teens are drinking doing drugs than having sex it’s expected and sometimes looked down on if you’re not doing that you feel out of place if you’re the only sober one there. So boys take drugs and alcohol but they’re often doing it to treat lonely yes when they’re lonely or in a lot of psychic pain and they don’t have the words to put it into language. They take to drink and drugs to blot it out. And well. My mom and father met when they were about seventeen years old and they decided to leave Mexico for a better future for my mom to mean them go to school and get a career scene where you don’t have to be like me. Give. Me as. This up but I mustn’t just need to see it the. Way he. Knows All my book when the dumbest miss it will go to. My dad actually. Here’s kind of wired kid back here let’s party over and I like to go out with his friends one night he just made a bad move in to say drink and drive and you know he got pulled over and they found out later it he was a U.S. citizen so they deported him back to Mexico and he’s been there since I was in South Korea I miss my dad very much and you know there’s nothing I can do but facing them in Mexico there’s a game and best and on the last problem us going with. You insane around when we need it I’m with the one thing but yeah and see if they had a compliment the cumbia don’t. Notice a bunch of different faces there’s a lot of pretty girls and then there was like the gay members and then the skaters and then kids this move on either server joining a gang it was because it was a school I was eventually jumped in and you know I claim. A cold or they gave me a nickname to just affiliate. I would describe at four and I ran away from home I just found myself a lot of trouble mentioned in a character. Illegal releases does me N C But I am Mrs Gilson book in my study and. You know all giddy. Days from one moment the. Mrs Mason deal more this is but I was. Around my freshman year is when I felt really depressed and alone. Or just wake up in a bad mood sometimes I would cry myself to sleep I have no one to Tazza like no one could really listen to me and some I was going to be OK. I got your anything. I really felt like everyone gave up on me or my mom. There’s been a time where I almost there Komisar. Going to put more pressure on my family. My mom remember. When Basically I had it was better when I was smoking every day. I would always be hot I was smoking I want to think about the trolls. I remember July sixth we went to the cannabis quote We kept T.H.C. where X. boy we smoked a joint and then next thing I know I saw a cop flashing his lights he wrote his ticket he came back to the car and he searched me he found there my shoe and he put the CO saw me and he told me you have the right to mean family and you know me take him in jail. Me going to say gave it all. To quickly monoplane their. Email you know mucho the media is the UN I met. Gala. We need million more. We recognise more and more that adolescents are more likely to be depressed and suicidal but we imagine that that will be female adolescents because of the way we define depression more removed more quiet not responding what boys tend to do when they are getting depressed is actually the opposite boys are more likely to act out more likely to become aggressive using curse words and screaming at people but most people see it as a conduct disorder or just a bad kid and what happens before they see the other signs of depression which will calm and Alessa mouse just as females that young male may become suicidal but no one has noticed it’s. Exactly at the age that we began to hear the language the most a language disappear from boys narratives in the national data that’s exactly the age the boys begin to have five times the rate of suicides girls. The way boys are brought up makes them hide all of their natural vulnerable and Catholic feelings behind a mask of masculinity. And also when they’re most in pain they can’t reach out and ask for help Kristen are loud too or they won’t be a real boy they’re shamed into this and they’re very ashamed to break out of it. So they live behind that emotional mask that keeps boys from expressing their true feelings. Now. There are. People like. Mike and. Craig speak out. Like. This is my high school I graduate from this high school I never want to be a teacher I was going to be an engineer and make a lot of money. I became a teacher because I saw that my community was hurting. Good teachers and I think one of the biggest challenges was that I’ve been through it right and so I want them to be able to know that they can move forward and they can succeed and they can do whatever they choose to do in life but I don’t think our work. If you go two blocks away you’ll find prostitution there’s a lot of gang activity in the area like a war zone right there kids get up every morning they have to prepare their mask for how they’re going to walk to get to school so the mask requires me not to. Let people see any of my vulnerabilities I mean I have to put on a very tough mask and when I get here hopefully I can take the mask off so I can focus on learning rather than continually wearing this already. I refuse don’t not take the mask off. So you take all of the masks mask you’re going to do on this mask you’re going to draw what represents you wear something that you hold up every day when you walk to school that you let people see. And then on the bag. I want you to write what is it you don’t let people see. I was behind a mask. So she’s always you take a mass. Eligible that. I want you to hit someone across the circle with your mat don’t don’t leave your seat don’t leave the scene you can leave you see. Over. There. So more so reveal what’s on the mass they opened the read out loud that just a front Bonnie Cary can happen OK what’s behind the mask. Sadness and fear this goofy kindness happy. Smile fun. In the back anger anger. I read mine the front says entertainment that’s what I show the mass on the back says pain. Energy frustration happiness friendly far smile outgoing and on the back to say sadness scared tears missing my They’re trying to take care my brothers and. Bank. Why do you think we hold back our pain. People don’t want to know everything. Yet keep the poker face on that note. How hard is that to walk around every day with a poker face on. It’s not just an activity on paper it. Is about real stuff that we are dealing with the young men that we hide behind because. You don’t feel safe. Almost ninety percent of you have pain and anger on the back of that paper and that’s not a coincidence. That is real. And we’re only eight here and there are hundreds of young men out there that are having the same experience but they don’t have anybody to talk to about it. They’re holding back sadness holding back pain to hold anger because they have nobody who’s
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