This clip comes from a documentary, produced by the Media Education Foundation, called Tough Guise: Violence, Media & the Crisis in Masculinity. In this segment, educator and scholar Jackson Katz outlines what it means to be a “real man” in contemporary American society. He argues that a focus on being a “tough guy” leads to high rates of violence among men and boys, as well as unproductive relationships and unfulfilled personal lives.
When you think of what it means to be a “real man” as a teenager in American society, what are some adjectives that come to mind? What adjectives describe someone who is not a “real man”?
What role does media and popular culture play in shaping what it means to be a “real man” today?
Should we try to redefine what it means to be a “real man” in the way that Jackson Katz wants us to? What would be the benefits? What strategies would be required to make this shift occur?