Walking into the Wifi lounge, it was hard to miss the group of students huddled around a table of free food and coffee. The smell of coffee drifted through the air amongst the murmurs of students looking for their friends, discussing any midterms that were taken that day, and waiting for the free movie to begin. Once the clock hit 6:30, students rushed to find the nearest seat and settled in to begin the film.

Movie night was hosted by the Third Wave Club, a documentary showcasing “The Mask You Live In”, highlighting the dangers of toxic masculinity and why it should be talked about amongst students.

Many of the attendees did not really know what they were walking into. What was the movie about? Why did PCC decide to showcase such a film?

Third Wave Club hosted the screening of the film because it dealt with issues concerning toxic masculinity in society, and also the strain of young boys to grow up into what society defines as “men”.

The event even attracted a student from another college to come and experience for themselves.

“I think it’s a community experience, and not something that ELAC has,” said Sam Molina, a current East Los Angeles Community College student, “So I really appreciate that PCC is doing this.”

Before the film, students were welcomed to free snacks, hot chocolate, and coffee. This allowed students to mingle before the movie and to enjoy themselves before the showing.

“Yes I also came for the free food,” said Molina.

During the film, there was a dead silence in the WiFi lounge. The images from the movie flashed across the faces of the audience: young boys playing with toy guns, athletes being praised for their bodies, and incarcerated men in tears because they’ve felt abandoned in their emotions.

Audience members were serious, some with set furrow brows deep in concentration, not missing a line from the movie. The film touched upon many sensitive subjects involving rape, violence, and isolation that felt all too real for many of the attendees, and created a community among the viewers.

“I am a sociology student, and as I take more classes I start to realize that masculinity, like the rest of society, starts to fall into a specific role,” said Benjamin Armijo, a current student at PCC, “And those roles can be positive or negative depending on how you express them.”

The movie addressed the different roles that men are expected to play and how that can affect rape culture, domestic abuse, and violence.

“Masculinity is derisive of a behavior that is often antisocial, behavior that disassociates [young men] not just from women, but other members of the community”, continued Armijo.

As college students, the social issues of gender roles among men and women are being explored more in the classes that the campus offers, and also the political climate of our everyday lives.

After the showing, the audience members got together in a circle and discussed the emotions they felt and experienced during the film.

It was apparent that many of the students believed that toxic masculinity is a problem because of the comments made during discussion after the film and Third Wave Club is helping to create the conversation towards awareness.

Since they discuss very relevant topics,  it was only right to showcase a very relevant movie, as many audience members expressed along with Third Wave’s ICC Representative, Melissa Quintero.

“I think it’s very relevant, because the film shows that as a child boys are raised to be hyper masculine,” said Quintero, “or that it is frowned upon to show emotion, so the film shows how problematic that is”.

To be apart of the conversation, join the club every Thursday from 12pm to 1pm club in C325.

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