When men complain about the pressure to be tall and muscular, they’re right. They’re absolutely right that they’re expected to be physically imposing. At it’s worst, they’re expected to assert their power through violence. And, underneath the posturing, they are forced to hide their feelings.
The Mask You Live In, available on Canadian Netflix, lays all of the ways we set boys up for failure out in the open. Most of us are desensitized to the messages beaten into us, that we become blind. Not just physically, but psychologically, by the way we talk, what we watch, and who we idolize.
A few criticisms I’d make is that it’s alluded that boys watching “bondage porn” are somehow more toxically masculine. While porn is a problem in the ways it portrays sex, I don’t really agree with the insinuated evil of kink/BDSM. I’d like to add that different ways of having sex are fine as long as they are consensual. I wish they had had a sex educator in the documentary explain this point…
Overall, I agreed with the film’s main ideas. It covered the causes and effects of Toxic Masculinity and the Demonization of Femininity. The Mask You Live In made me very emotional in spots: I teared up, and I’m not one to cry during movies. Most of the time, I was just nodding my head.