The facts speak for themselves. Men suffered more than their fair share of lay-offs in the past year (80 percent to be exact(1)), so much so that women now outnumber men in the work force for the first time in history(2). Women also outnumber men in higher education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with nearly 60 percent of grad school enrollees being women(3). Boys - our future men - are failing out of high school at alarming rates, 4.9 percent versus 3.8 percent of girls(4), and are being diagnosed with ADHD at rates three times higher than that of their female counterparts(5). In short, manhood is in peril … or at least going through a pretty significant transformation on its way to the new future state.
The changing nature of masculinity isn't going unnoticed. Prominent and influential media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, NPR and The Philadelphia Inquirer, have all covered the issue in recent months. The subject matter ranges from boys falling behind academically to why women in developed nations no longer prefer "macho" men. The topic is rife with perspective and generates profound debate among men and women alike. "An Emasculating Truth" is a film that tackles the subject head on, exploring the changing perceptions of what it means to be a man, and will undoubtedly spark some heated debate.
In "An Emasculating Truth," Neistat and Boyson show it's not too late to reclaim and redefine manhood. Boyson embarks on a journey, traveling the country as he speaks with experts, and engages in activities seen as either manly (bull-riding, hunting) or decidedly unmanly (armpit waxing, visiting a plastic surgeon). His epiphany is both personal and enlightened and he ends up learning a lot about himself.
"The defining moment when a man realizes he is a man is different for everyone," Boyson said. "But taking responsibility for another person, whether it's your child, spouse or someone who needs you - the point where men accept that responsibility and commit to it, seems to be a consistently defining juncture in their lives."
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