Documentary Review ~ The Mask You Live In

We’ve begun to raise daughters like our sons but very few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters ~ Gloria Steinem

This blog is not about feminism but rather about masculinity. How would you define masculinity? Why are little boys shamed for crying from the tender age of childhood? Why most men show emotion only in an outburst of aggression? Anger is acceptable but tears are not !?!


The mask you live in is an eye-opening documentary about how not only millennials but also baby boomers have been raising their sons. It talks about how we as a society have conditioned little boys to “man up” for small things and not showcase an outburst of tears, particularly in public. Eventually, these very same boys in our lives who grow up are left with no outlet for their emotions and frustrations, leading them to take drastic steps towards humanity.

I have observed it not only in the United states, where this documentary is filmed but also India where traditions are deeply rooted in our culture. In schools, teenage boys have to constantly struggle to fit in and prove their masculinity in irrelevant ways. If they do not adjust to the rules and regulations of boyhood they will be considered an outcast. I have changed 9 schools while growing up because of my parent’s job transfers and observed this standardization everywhere from a government school to a convent school and boarding school . I remember wondering at 14 years old, how do they keep up with this constant façade. But now I know that it has been so intricately carved into their upbringing and day to day life that they themselves do not realize it. This documentary not only raises some very important questions but also provides the relevant solutions for shaping our future society.

I would say let little boys cry, let them be sensitive and express all kinds of emotions. They would learn not only to respect the other gender but also spread love in our society. If the men in our lives make this small change the women in their lives would be much safer and independent. The mask you live in is worth watching for all the parents who are raising sons, for all men who were raised with certain norms and for all women to understand why men behave the way they do. It will certainly answer all the questions above and much more.

It is available on Netflix.

*Netflix made its debut in India a while back. Make your account already!

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