Feminist Film: Violence Caused by (Surprise!) Masculinity

Documentary says mass shootings, mental illness result of culture’s obsession with ‘male talk.’

BREAKING: Despite skinny jeans, mocha latte and Chris Hayes, U.S. males still haven’t been adequately feminized. The tragic result: continued bloodshed in American society. 

That’s the gist of a new documentary called “The Mask You Live In,” by feminist filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom. The focus of “The Mask” is the male population’s place in and relationship to American culture. Predictably, judging from the trailer and the film’s enthusiastic reception in left-leaning media, traditional masculinity is a leading cause of murder and mayhem. Continues after the video.

The trailer opens with commonly heard “macho” phrases like, “Be a man,” “Man up,” and “Don’t be weak,” as taken from television and films. What follows is talking heads – sociologists, educators and other progressives –discussing how the culture encourages bullied, depressed, lonely, suicidal and poorly performing boys to hide their feelings. The trailer then moves onto the most controversial aspect of the documentary. 

While newspaper front pages and headlines remind viewers of recent mass shootings, the experts blame the culture’s version of masculinity for causing them. “Whether it’s homicidal violence, or suicidal violence,  people resort to such desperate behavior only when they are feeling ashamed and humiliated, or feel they would be if they didn’t prove that they were real men,” says Dr. James Gilligan, a “psychiatrist/educator.” 

“You’re told from day one, don’t let anyone disrespect you, and this is how you handle it. As a man, respect is linked to violence,” according to Dr. Joseph Marshall, “educator and youth advocate.” 

The film also sites Michael Kimmel, left-wing author of “Angry White Men,” the latest in a long line of “scholarly” works that seeks to explain why white guys tend to be conservatives and why they’re prone to the kind of bigotry and violence they rarely end up actually being guilty of. 

The film is set for release in 2014, and has been promoted on lefty websites like Upworthy.com, and The Huffington Post. Newsom received $101,000 in just one month of fundraising through Kickstart,  and it’s partners include, Upworthy, The White House Project, and The Girl Scouts of the USA.

Newsom’s first film, “Miss Representation,” premiered at Sundance in 2011 and received a lot of press and critical praise from media like Politico, CNN, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. According to the film’s website, it has had screenings in all fifty states and thousands of schools have shown the film to their classes. And educators probably can’t wait to inflict “The Mask You Live In” on their young charges as well.

— Kristine Marsh is Staff Writer for MRC Culture at the Media Research Center. Follow Kristine Marsh on Twitter.