to the book Men’s Live)
This paper should thoughtfully demonstrate what you understood from viewing the film in light of your book.
When you give your opinion, please make sure to inform it by and base it on your understanding of our class readings and discussions. Make sure to back up your ideas with 1) references to the anthology, Men’s Live
How are we failing our boys and young men by teaching them the wrong lessons about what it means to be a man?
Discuss how journalistic language glosses over the unpleasant reality of men being the perpetrators of violence. And discuss
how men’s violence is perpetuated by our use of language. Likewise, discuss how our language naturalizes, habituates, and thus
excuses male violence.
Discuss how and why public conversations about the culture of violence in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook,
Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado get off point and disintegrate into shifting the blame.
How do videogames (p. 509), the Hollywood film industry, and the military (p. 569) instigate and benefit from violence?
What does the “boy”/“guy” code or the “man box” mean? See especially pp. 14-16 and pp. 100-113 in our reader. Discuss gender policing among young boys, connecting your discussion to pp. 73-79.
Discuss the paradox of trying to live up to these idealized male tropes. Discuss the variety of American tropes of
masculinities that define what it means to be a “real man.” Discuss the ways in which American men will co-opt existing
tropes to lay claim to being a “real man.”
How do men who feel emasculated, that is, whose power has been undermined, subordinated, and exploited, buy into
masculine ideals to compensate for what they think has been denied to them?
Discuss how men in marginalized positions feel pressure to conform to masculine ideals more acutely.
How does the media keep ratcheting up what it means to be a “real man,” while at the same time lamenting the
“wussification” of the American male?
How might ordinary men actually share some of the same extremist male fears and disillusionment that we hear about in the media? How do men use sexist and homophobic talk and behavior to form bonds with each other?
How is American society (both men and women) complicit in normalizing male violence?
How do men demonstrate maleness through a pecking order? How is male violence an avenue to avenge feeling shamed or
Discuss how marginalization can abet the development of masculine violence, allowing a man to rewrite his life’s script so
that he becomes “the leading man.”
Men harm others: but what harm do they do to themselves by capitulating to violent norms?
How does the cultural ideal of the invincible man cause his downfall?
How does the culture of male violence affect men’s ability to live emotionally fulfilling lives? (See Men’s Lives, Part 12:
Men, Movements, and the Future.)
to the book Men’s Live)