If We Address Toxic Masculinity, We Can Change Our Culture of Violence

Sunday night in Las Vegas, a white male shooter claimed the lives of 58 people, injuring more than 500. We are heartbroken by the lives lost. We are heartbroken for the injured. We are heartbroken for their families and loved ones. We are heartbroken that we can’t pass commonsense gun laws in our nation. But we will not let our broken hearts keep us from getting to the root cause of this violence and taking action.

It is time to connect the dots between mass shootings and our cultural reality: Men commit 98% of mass murders in America. Women have equal access to guns (and let’s be honest, plenty of reasons to be angry). Nevertheless, women don’t commit such acts of mass violence. We have to stop conditioning boys and men to think solving their problems through violence is normal. We can no longer tell boys at the earliest of ages to repress their emotions and deny parts of themselves. Look where it’s gotten us today!

The combination of our hypermasculine culture and lack of gun control results in tragedy after tragedy. In fact, there is more than one mass shooting a day in the US. You may not hear about these shootings because the violence is often limited to the perpetrators’ families – these enraged men are killing their partners, friends, relatives, and bystanders. This culture of aggrieved entitlement and violence must end now.

That’s why this week, we’re asking you to screen The Mask You Live In with your community. The film exposes how our society perpetuates toxic masculinity and shows what each of us can do to help foster a healthier generation of young men. Together, we can build a less violent and more empathetic culture for all.


Jennifer Siebel Newsom & The Representation Project Team