Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Mask You Live In - Trailer

Many friends have shared this link on fb and I cannot wait for this documentary to release.  This was done by the same people who created MissRepresentation, a documentary that I watched about a year and a half ago that was really a catalyst for me and my blogging exploration of gender inequality in this past calendar year.

I worked with pre-teens and teenagers all of my professional life.  I was barely out of adolescence myself when I began ministry with young people.  Adolescence is a developmental stage that grew out of the change of the family during the industrial revolution.  Childhood and adulthood were mostly experienced on a binary continuum before technology advanced our culture to a place of not needing to work so hard to survive.  It was really a matter of survival...you were a child until you could bring money to the family through working.  On that day you were graduated...good times over.  Okay, maybe it was not so simplistic, but I think you get my point.

In our culture there is a growing cushion of time and space between the carefree innocence of childhood and the reality of living fully adult.  And it is a good thing to have a chance to transition from childhood into adulthood.  It is the space where autonomy is explored and identity is solidified.  We human beings tend to do really stupid things during the teen years and it seems to be universal...crossing over every divide of gender, socio-economic bracket, race, religion, nationality, etc.  I truly believe it a brain functioning thing, but none the less, it keeps us all aware that in the end, we are all human beings and equal by birthright.

Our culture is a problem for girls and for boys but unfortunately we don't really get the scope of the problem until our youth start to self destruct.  Once the *bad behavior * starts surfacing, we adults run around trying to put blame on the shoulders of someone...anyone but ourselves.  When we launch into the histrionics the teens in need get missed a second time and start becoming the identified patient in our culture.  We gawk and point at them for the self destruction, but rarely do we come alongside to understand what they are trying to communicate to us about the toxicity of our culture.

Girls generally act inwardly...eating disorders, cutting, suicidality, sexual promiscuity, esteem issues, etc.  Boys act outwardly...aggression, violence, damage to property, etc.  The documentary MissRepresentation explored the areas of gender inequality and even touched on the male dynamic a bit, but in the end I was left with a burning in my bosom to keep exploring the issue...specifically as it applies to boys and male teenagers.  This new documentary seems to continue the exploration...




We need to find solutions for our girls and our boys and we need to craft these changes to apply on the very moment a newborn is placed in arms to be nurtured.  Our thinking needs to change, our conversations around gender need to evolve, our parenting needs to be more mindful, our modeling of appropriate behavior need to be valued, our discretion of media needs to be monitored more carefully.

As a parent, I am super strict with what media comes into my home for one very simple reason...I don't trust our culture to give my family a helpful message of what being an adult looks like.  Or to put it more bluntly... I think that our American media is really messed up.  The mighty dollar rules what messages flow out into the world and not what is moral or helpful for healthy human development.  My super strictness is but for a season though and it has always been my intention to slowly relax the rules so that by adolescence they are thinking critically about all media and mostly given freedom to explore what's out there, you know, because they'll do it anyway.  I will prefer they do their exploration in my home so they can be mentored through the process of mindful media usage, rather than to need to go behind my back to see what everyone else is seeing.  I am militant now because my children are building a foundation for adult living, but my intention is to slowly give way to letting them explore the full range of what the media offers, once I feel their moral compass is cemented.

I am not afraid of media, it is just a tool that unfortunately gets handled mostly by the rich and powerful among us.  I have a deep understanding that our media shapes our culture and has for quite some time, but since media is merely a tool it all comes down to who controls what messages get out there.  I do not trust the man behind the curtain to give me or my children any messages that are good for us to thrive in this life...and why should I?  Isn't it my job and my joy to give my children the messages that they need to thrive in this life?

So today I have chosen to use the tool of media to share about media that I find helpful...may it be helpful to you and yours.

Here is a link to to the trailer for MissRepresentation:

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