The Mask You Live in

I am a male teacher.  I watched a film tonight that will change how I teach this fall.  If you have a Netflix account you might want to check it out too.  It’s called “The Mask You Live In.”

A synopsis of the film from The Presentation Project:

The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.

Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.

Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media also weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it.

The Mask You Live In ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.

There are great interviews with kids, teachers, academics, and coaches. It’s worth your time.

I think the great myth in America is that sports builds character.  Sports does not build character unless the coach intentionally teaches it and models it.  When I did start coaching I did not want to be a transactional coach using kids for my own identity. So I started with a simple philosophy, if you are going to be a transformational coach you have to know what you are transforming.  I coach to help boys become men of empathy and integrity who be responsible to change the world for good.  That’s what sport ought to be about. And we have a lot of work to do in our country.   — Joe Ehrmann



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