Gettysburg College Program Links ‘Toxic Masculinity’ to Sandy Hook Shooting

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By Kyle Foley | 1:44 pm, October 18, 2016

Universities are closing in on a culprit for much of what’s wrong with college life these days: men.

First, Duke University created a safe space for male students to ponder how poisonous they are. Now, continuing on the theme of “toxic masculinity,” as it’s being called at multiple schools, male students at Gettysburg College are being required to watch the film “The Mask You Live In,”whose entire purpose is to explain that “be a man” is the single most destructive thing a growing boy can hear.

The film appears to link masculinity to several high-profile killings, most notably the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 children and six staff members dead in 2012. The movie also mentions the theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., as well as some notable murder-suicides. Their hypothesis, unsupported by anything remotely scientific, is that these men committed such atrocities because for men, “respect is linked to violence.”

James Goodman, a freshman at Gettysburg College, spoke to The College Fix about the film after he watched it. He said students discussed what they saw in groups. The moderators of these discussions, Goodman says, also attempted to link mass shootings to “toxic masculinity.” He also said they discussed how “video games and movies make us violent” and that “kids are becoming violent because they can’t talk about their feelings.”

“The entire movie and lesson made it seem like masculinity was an unacceptable human trait. That it’s something males should avoid. It was completely pointless. It did nothing to help anyone. I got absolutely nothing out of the experience, other than a headache,” Goodman said.

The lesson was a part of Gettysburg College’s much larger series for incoming students focused on teaching them how to become a “successful member of Gettysburg College.” Other topics they have discussed are microaggressions, gender identity issues, and the Confederate flag.

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