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The Women’s Resource Center and Cultural Unity and Engagement Center held the first of three film screenings of the movie “The Mask You Live In” on Wednesday, March 2, at the University of Colorado.
The screening encourages the promotion of freedom of gender expression, illustrating the untold story of young men in the United States searching for their true selves while intermittently suffering under the expectations of our country’s concept of masculinity.
“The Mask You Live In” was created by The Representation Project, a non-profit organization geared toward overcoming stereotypes that limit human potential. While the initial film screening only showed four parts of the movie, it was enough to give the audience a basic understanding of these problems revolving around masculinity. The film argues that American society overemphasizes elements of masculinity, including aggression and independence, which can pressure boys into pursuing an unwanted lifestyle.
According to the Center for Disease Control, boys between the ages of 10 and 14 are more likely to commit suicide than girls in the same age range. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for boys in this age range, which amounts to 11 percent of total deaths. To contrast, it only accounts for 7.6 percent of female deaths between the ages of 10 and 14.
The film cites feelings of inadequacy and inability to live up to cultural standards as cause for the high suicide rates.
This issue of masculinity and the negative effects surrounding these societal pressures are present throughout much of the film, and after the screening, audience members discussed the issues.
“It makes me sad that there are boys who can’t share their feelings,”one audience member said. “Everyone develops the same problems, but everyone doesn’t share.”
“The Mask You Live In” will be screened again on Wednesday, March 16, in the Center for Community (C4C) in room S350 for staff and faculty members, and again on Thursday, March 31, in Hellems room 199 for students.