Masculinity and male vulnerability are not always topics at the forefront of discussion on campus, but a new three-part series will attempt to address these issues. The series is a collaboration between the Bowdoin Men’s Group, Women’s Resource Center and Office of Gender Violence Prevention and Education. It kicked off on Wednesday with the screening of the documentary “The Mask You Live In,” followed by a panel discussion.

The film documents the struggle of boys and young men as they attempt to navigate masculinity as it is constructed in American society.

“Thinking about the ways in which we’ve constructed masculinity in society, it’s so pernicious, and so deeply ingrained,” said Assistant Professor of Sociology Theodore Greene, one of the panelists. “We take for granted the ways in which we become agents in this kind of socialization.”

The Bowdoin Men’s Group has been a major part of planning this series. The Bowdoin Men’s Group meets weekly on Thursday nights, and aims to create a space where men can come together and discuss difficult and uncomfortable issues such as sexual violence on campus.
Jared Feldman ’16 was one of the first members of the Bowdoin Men’s Group, which he remembers as beginning informally and growing organically. For a group that will see many of its core members graduating in May, he sees this series as a way to get new students involved.

“For people who are excited about this event and want to continue to have these discussions and really delve a little bit deeper, there is a place on campus where you can do that,” he said.
Feldman added that he sees the Men’s Group as a way for men to assume some responsibility in conversations they often aren’t actively initiating.

“We don’t think it should be the sole responsibility of women and current advocates on our campus to educate men. We think men need to take more initiative in educating ourselves,” he said.

The Bowdoin Men’s Group also helped to put on last fall’s Men’s Summit, an event that all male students on campus were encouraged to attend, and which also included some college faculty and staff.

The second part of this three-part series will be a screening on April 6 of the film “Together,” followed by a discussion with Director of Gender Violence Prevention and Education Benje Douglas. The final event of the series will be a visit on April 20 from guest speaker Arian Clements, the executive director of Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine.