Tuesday, January 16, 2018


"The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression. It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory or partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all."      -Steven Hawking

The Mask You Live In

This moving documentary film examines what it means to be a man, and explores harmful notions about masculinity in American culture. The American "boy crisis" explains how to raise a healthier generation of men and features interviews with experts and academics. The film sparks a national conversation around masculinity and ultimately creates a more balanced, equitable society for all. “We’ve constructed an idea of masculinity in the United States that doesn’t give young boys a way to feel secure in their masculinity, so we make them go prove it all the time.” There's so much loneliness, pain, and suffering when one is pretending to be someone that they're not.

“Our kids get up every morning; they have to prepare their mask for how they’re going to walk to get to school. Hopefully they can take the mask off so they can focus on learning. A lot of our students don’t know how to take it off. The mask sticks with them all the time.” Dr. James Gilligan says the stakes are very high: “Whether it’s homicidal violence or suicidal violence, people resort to such desperate behavior only when they are feeling shamed and humiliated or feel that they would be if they didn’t prove that they were real men.”

Unmasking masculinity -- helping boys become connected men.

Dr. Ryan McKelley ( psychologist) shared an early experiment from the 13th century where infants were denied social interaction. The nature of the study was to find out what language would naturally develop without influence from a caregiver. However, the study failed because all of the infants died. Study after study has shown that social isolation is a risk factor for development of disease. It highlights the importance of social connection for mental and physical health, yet the stereotype is that men are less capable of emotional connection than women, notes McKelley.

McKelley suggests otherwise. Studies show when men's physiological responses to emotional stimuli are measured, their internal experience is similar to that of women. McKelley wants men to do away with the mask. Sometimes emotional restriction is necessary, but it doesn't need to be the default mode, he says. He challenges men to eliminate phrases like "man up" or "stop acting like a girl." They should understand that opening up and being vulnerable is courageous. Taking small risks to open up will give them a broader experience of all of their emotions and allow them to make deeper connections.

The Mask of Masculinity - the traditional role of men is evolving | Connor Beaton | TEDxStanleyPark

Through powerful stories from his own life, Connor illustrates the damaging impact of the ‘man mask’ and how our perception of masculinity is one of the biggest challenges men face today. His solution: a call to men to cast off the broken ideals and discover new ways of living fully and authentically. Connor Beaton - info@mantalks.ca - is the Founder of ManTalks. He supports mens’ health and wellness by giving them tools to be better fathers, husbands and leaders in their communities.

Redefining masculinity | Shane Horsburghon onTEDx

What might the world look like if we redefined masculinity? Shane Horsburgh shares his personal journey from a false identity of hyper masculinity to a new understanding of what it means to be a man. Spending 17 years as a police officer at state and federal level, Shane Horsburgh thought he had a good grip on the world around him; including the perspectives he held, and the identity he formed as a result.

A highly trained operative in special operations and domestic counter terrorism, Shane experienced firsthand the devastating impact of violence and intolerance in society; especially those involving innocent children. He would often look at children impacted by violence and/or crime and think, ‘gee I hope someone comes along and shows them a different way of looking at life, so they don’t think this is all it has to offer’. It wasn’t until he had left the police and headed to war-torn Iraq that a fortuitous conversation with an elderly Iraqi Muslim (known as the ‘Professor’) lifted the veil on his own, limited perspective.

Little did he know…what he had wished for others was exactly what he needed? Realizing the macho laden, ego driven world he was operating in did not define who he was, he set about making massive changes in order to live a more peaceful existence. Ironically, in the midst a war-zone Shane’s conversation with the ‘Professor’ initiated a re-acquaintance with long-lost perspectives and practices; previously disguised by the masculine fa├žade he thought he needed to make it in today’s world.

Breaking the Boys Code of Masculinity -Bill Pozzobon

Bill has worked on gender and violence issues with youth and educators for over a decade. In his role as Director of the SafeTeen Boy's Program, he trains the new SafeTeen Agents for Change and co-leads Educator Trainings locally, nationally and internationally. With humor and skill Bill invites the boys and men he works with to step into their full humanity with dignity and courage.

"I am a strong believer in the power of personal choice and heart centered action. My own personal journey and the undeniable impact on the thousands of young men I have worked with, give me an enduring passion for this work."

The Boy Crisis: A Sobering look at the State of our Boys | Warren Farrell Ph.D. | TEDxMarin

What is causing a worldwide Boy Crisis and how do we resolve it. A sobering look at the current state of Boys in our society and what we must understand before we can help them. Dr. Warren Farrell is an American educator, activist and author of seven books on men's and women's issues., including the international bestsellers, Why Men Are the Way they Are, plus The Myth of Male Power.  He is the only man in the U.S. to be elected three times to the Board of the National Organization for Women in NYC. and he is Chair of the Commission to Create a White House Council on Boys and Men. Warren has appeared on more than 1000 TV and radio shows, including numerous “ratings periods” for Oprah. GQ calls him (2015) the Martin Luther King of the men’s movement. Warren is currently co-authoring with John Gray the forthcoming The Boy Crisis.

Be A Man: Joe Ehrmann at TEDxBaltimore

Joe Ehrmann has been an educator, author, activist, pastor and coach for more than 25 years. He was a college All-American athlete who played professional football for 13 years. Among numerous awards, Joe has been named "The Most Important Coach in America" for his work to transform the culture of sports.