Module 3.1

Masks and Constraints of Self

In this part of the module we explore some of the ways that we construct our sense of identity and self. We will explore it through the concept of masks and roles.

The first couple of resources I want you to consult are from An Orbit Around the Sun. Please read “He Will Never Know,” “Not a Fucking Lesbian,” and “Perfect Family Portrait.” Pay attention to the function of gender roles and identity in each of the stories. Notice the impact of hyper masculine or toxic masculine identities in creating limiting and violent environments. Also notice how these identities pass down in different form the weight of their toxicity.

Next, watch The Mask You Live In. (Remember to access the video by using your student number as your username and the last four digits of the number as your password.)

Finally, read “A Question from Prison,” a blog post I wrote about masks and developing safe spaces.


Answer the following question in a typed page or so:

What do these texts have to say about being a man and being a human being in our present culture? Use paragraphs. How do the masks that we live in protect and imprison?

Format your paper based on the MLA guidelines. Edit carefully.

Have one of your group members serve as your editor on the assignment. Include her or his name at the end of the text.