What Does It Mean to be a ‘Real Man’

In our society the expectation for a boy to be a “real man” is centered on stifling emotion, physical strength, violence, sexual conquest, and economic success. The Mask You Live In is a film dedicated to spreading the word that being a “real man” is so much more.

In a screening hosted by the YWCA West Central Michigan, The Mask You Live In seeks to expand how we define American masculinity. The film lays out the devastation wrought on both boys and girls when the cultural definition shies away from authentically connecting young men to those around them; the very thing that makes us human.

Here are some facts:

•    Three or more boys commit suicide every day and suicide is the third leading cause of death for boys
•    Boys are two times more likely to flunk or drop out of school
•    Boys are two times more likely to receive special education
•    Boys are four times more likely to be expelled
•    93% of boys are exposed to internet porn before age 18
•    21% of young men use pornography every day

The Mask You Live InWhile the masculinity crisis hurts boys, it touches on girls as well. The well-being of girls and women is inextricably tied to the well-being of boys and men.

•    1 in 5 women are raped
•    1 in 4 women are abused by their intimate partner
•    1 in 6 women has had a stalker threaten her
•    64% of mass murder victims are women and children; 94% of their killers are male

Nationally recognized for its expertise and effectiveness, the YWCA West Central Michigan is our community’s most comprehensive provider of domestic and sexual violence services.

The Mask You Love In will be screened this Thursday, October 15 at Celebration Cinema South. Check in starts at 6:30 p.m. with the film starting at 7. A panel discussion with representatives from the YWCA, The Men’s Resource Center and Family Futures will immediately follow the film.

The event is free, but reservations are required! RSVP Here or contact lsikkema@ywcawcmi.org.