Kelly Strayhorn Looks Behind ‘The Mask You Live In’


On October 21st, Kelly Strayhorn Theater will host a screening event for The Mask You Live In. Presented by The Girls Coalition of SWPA and 3E Now, an organization dedicated to preventing dating violence and gender inequality, the film examines how toxic masculinity limits boys and their ability to develop healthy relationships.

The documentary from director Jennifer Siebel Newsom 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 film ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.

The Mask You Live In screening event will begin at 5:30 p.m. A panel discussion featuring representatives from 3E Now and PAAR will be moderated by Jodi Hirsh, the Director of Communications for Councilman Dan Gilman and Social Media Manager of the Southwest PA Says No More Initiative. The evening includes light dinner, dessert, and beverages. Tickets are $10 and are available for purchase at Eventbrite.

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