The short documentary film “Masculinity” sheds light on the pressures of being a man. It covers what it takes to be a man today. Jason Innocent takes us through a visual journey where we hear multiple men and women sharing their thoughts about toxic masculinity, the stress of being a man, and the pressures of society. The film is written and directed by Innocent.
The film starts with a quote by Chris Kyle “in the end, my story, in Iraq and afterward, is about more than just killing people or even fighting for my country. It’s about being a man. And it’s about love as well as hate.” Those who don’t know Chris Kyle, he was the man on whom the film “American Sniper” was made. He was the best navy seal sniper ever produced by America. In this quote, he shares that being a man was the only thing that motivated him to fight and prove himself a man. The country and the honor were the secondary elements.
The documentary is only 15 minutes long but, I would say, it summarized the whole crux of the topic very effectively. The concept of masculinity has been in discussion since the evolution of time. And it keeps on telling men how to be a man or how to behave. The traits such as leadership, dominance, and strength are considered the key ingredient of being a man.
Then comes the term of “toxic masculinity” originated in the late twentieth century that delivers that men demonstrate qualities such as strength, dominance, and virility, and they are not supposed to show emotions except the only emotion, anger. This concept evolved further and is still present in our societies. But psychologically speaking, this behavior is very dangerous to men’s mental health. Men or women who suffer from toxic masculinity has a higher rate of traumatizing and suicides. It further leads to diseases such as depression, anxiety, poor social functioning, appearance issues, and substance abuse. Men commit suicide 3.5% more than the women and 6 out of 10 men face mental traumas at least once in their lives.
In our societies, we deal with men as robots who cannot have emotions and the ones who cannot cry, no matter how big the tragedy is. This notion of being called a true man is not human. Yes, I would call it that way. Men or women, both are human beings and can have emotions and they both have the right to express themselves. Men and women are indeed being created with different physical attributes but that does not mean that we should treat men like robots, or the one whose only responsibility is to earn a living or go fighting for his country. Men should also be given room to practice his emotional side. Only by practicing this phenomenon, we can reduce the number of Americans face mental illness per year. 49% of men feel more depressed than they confess to others in their lives. Although short, but Innocent covers all prevailing issues regarding masculinity in this exceptional documentary. Masculinity (2020),” is officially available for viewing on YouTube.