Documentary Screening with filmmaker Dr. Thomas Keith

The Empathy Gap: Masculinity and the Courage to Change

In The Bro Code and Generation M, filmmaker Thomas Keith examined how American culture bombards young men with sexist and misogynistic messages. In The Empathy Gap, he looks more closely at the ways these messages short-circuit men's ability to empathize with women, respect them as equals, and take feminism seriously. Keith begins by exploring some of the key messages about manhood that boys absorb from the culture -- that they should acquire material wealth, meet conflict with aggression, harden themselves, suppress all human emotion except anger, and view women primarily as sexual objects -- then argues that these messages not only devalue women but also undercut men's innate capacity for caring and empathy. Along the way, he draws fascinating parallels between sexism and racism, spelling out how each is rooted in cultural norms that discourage empathy, and shows how men who break with these norms live happier and healthier lives.

Features

Jennifer Siebel-Newsom, Tony Porter, Michael Messner, Derrick Jensen, Kevin Powell, J.W. Wiley, Charlotte Watson, Eddie Moore Jr., C.J. Pascoe, Julia T. Wood, and others. 

Filmmaker's Biography

Dr. Thomas Keith teaches Men and Masculinities at the Claremont Graduate University.  He specializes in American philosophy and pragmatism with an emphasis on issues of race, class, and gender. Dr. Keith previous films, The Bro Code: How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men and Generation M: Misogyny in Media & Culture, are both bestsellers and are screened in college and university classrooms around the world. Dr. Keith's forthcoming book is Masculinities in Contemporary American Culture: Confronting Complexities and Challenges of Male Identity

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