Who wears the mask?
Men, men, men.
I don’t mean to say women live cent per cent authentic life. Nevertheless, the society is okay with us being emotional and live from a heart space wherein slowly there’s a more gradual acceptance of our rational, aggressive, powerful side too.
This 2015 documentary, directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, is a stirring representation of what it means to be a “MAN”. We talk about women empowerment but how can we take away the power from one hand to another till the time we don’t understand the men involved in it?
The short film talks about how men and women are boxed into certain expectations whereas studies show we are not that different. “Masculinity” has been associated with power, aggression, and dominance but the fact is, it’s only a side of them. The other side of them is as caring, empathetic, creative and emotional just as much as we women are said to be. Unfortunately, to “man up”, it’s repressed.
And what happens when you repress something? It explodes.
It’s not surprising then that it’s mostly the male population involved in violence, substance abuse, and alcohol. It’s a way for them to release those pent up emotions – because you know, men are ”not allowed” to cry, express or talk it out. And so, these catalysts simply becomes their excuse to make them feel safer to be able to be more vulnerable.
The question is, aren’t we making them feel safe enough to be vulnerable?
It’s interesting how depression is mostly associated with girls, whereas it’s a lot more common amongst boys. It’s just that the way they express their sadness is alarmingly different and aggressive – something we have come to accept as ‘normal’.
We, girls, have seen it all as we grew up, but just from the other side which somewhere made us simply say “boys are bad“.
I found the representation absolutely classic in terms of the little ways it depicts the way boys’ life evolves as they grow up – be it the video games, the pornography or the so-called unbreakable “bro code” which refuses to see women as friends. It starts with primary school boys Ewwing girls – because brotherhood comes first – and later translates to a girl becoming a conquest and an object. Funnily, a man has fifty friends to chill out with, but when he really needs someone, he would choose to isolate himself – because dudes don’t cry it out with their pals!
The gist of the documentary is how men are wearing a mask all the freaking time when they are as human as us and when they need to feel as loved as any of us do. They have been living in denial of their emotional side just because they’ve been told to “be a man”.
But in real, they just have to be themselves: WHOLE. Head and heart both.
I’d suggest all guys to watch this documentary even if your oblivion reflex denies it. It might hit you, but you will be thankful for someone acknowledging the whole of you.
It’s not about changing men. It’s about them returning to being themselves.
And girls? Watch it to understand that bad man were not born; they were made – by all of us- and then, shift your perception a little to let the men in your lives open a bit more to you.
Here’s the trailer of “The Mask You Live In”:
Watch it on Netflix.