About

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.

Discussion

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?