Bro Code, The
How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men
Filmmaker Thomas Keith, a professor of philosophy at California State University, Long Beach, provides an engrossing look at the forces in male culture that condition boys and men to dehumanize and disrespect women. Breaking down a range of contemporary media forms targeted explicitly at young men, Keith teases out the main maxims of "bro culture" and "the bro code," and examines how this seemingly ironic mentality reinforces misogyny and gender violence in the real world. Whether he's looking at movies and music videos that glamorize womanizing, pornography that trades in the brutalization of women, comedians who make fun of sexual assault, or the recent groundswell in men's magazines and cable TV shows that revel in reactionary myths of American manhood, the message Keith uncovers in virtually every corner of our "entertainment" culture is clear: that it's not only normal -- but cool -- for boys and men to control and humiliate women. Along the way, The Bro Code
makes a powerful case that there's nothing normal, natural, or inevitable about this toxic ideal of American manhood, and challenges young people to fight back against the resurgent idea that being a "bro" -- and a man -- means glorifying sexism, bullying, and abuse.
Featuring interviews with Michael Kimmel, Robert Jensen, Shira Tarrant, J.W. Wiley, Douglas Rushkoff, Eric Anderson, and Neal King.
Step 1: Train Men to Womanize (18:03)
Step 2: Immerse Men in Porn (13:25)
Step 3: Make Rape Jokes (11:33)
Step 4: Obey the Masculinity Cops (12:22)
Viewer discretion advised : Contains violent & sexual imagery and profanity.
Written and produced by Thomas Keith
Director of Photography: Michael Enriquez
Additional Photography: Mitch Lemos
Editing: Thomas Keith
DR. THOMAS KEITH | Director, Writer, Producer
Dr. Thomas Keith teaches philosophy at California State University, Long Beach and California Polytechnic University. He specializes in American philosophy and pragmatism with an emphasis on issues of race, class, and gender. In 2008, Dr. Keith directed and produced the bestselling film, Generation M: Misogyny in Media & Culture
, which is used in classrooms around the world. Dr. Keith's forthcoming book is Masculinities in Contemporary American Culture: Confronting Complexities
and Challenges of Male Identity
To book Thomas Keith for a speaking engagement, contact Leslie
The Bro Code: Media, Masculinity & Misogynistic Misfire
Shaping Youth | Amy Jussel | September 29, 2011
Praise for the Film
"An excellent tool for classroom discussion about male socialization and the damaging impact of media and pornography on men and the women around them."
- Paul Kivel | Author, Men's Work
, Boys Will Be Men
, and the Young Men's Work
"Anyone who believes that the U.S. is in a post-feminist era should take a quick and dirty tour of Bro culture with Thomas Keith as guide."
- Joan C. Chrisler, et al. | Sex Roles: A Journal of Research
"The Bro Code
is an important and engaging film that exposes how boys think about and react to the gendered, highly sexualized, and radicalized landscapes that they inhabit. The insights the film offers for feminism are truly important. One comes away from The Bro Code
aware of how important it is to engage boys in anti-sexist education and to help them navigate a consumer society that has mainstreamed pornography and overrun the popular culture with demeaning images of women. This is a crucial addition to Gender Studies and to our understanding of how our culture indoctrinates boys into a sexist and sexually brutal world view. It is certainly a wake up call: we need to pay attention to the private lives of boys."
- Athena Devlin, Ph.D. | Co-Director, The Women's Center | St. Francis College
"Our culture creates a dominant form of masculinity which encourages men to be unhealthy, sexist, homophobic, violent, and uncaring. Part of the glue that holds this in place is the 'Bro Code,' a set of spoken and unspoken rules and guidelines, the purpose of which is to perpetuate heterosexual male hegemony and patriarchy. The Bro Code: How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men
is a powerful tool that provides many points of departure for engaging in conversation and action to dismantle both the Bro Code and unhealthy aspects of masculinities it supports. The section on men and pornography is one of the most powerful examinations of the deleterious impact of pornography I have seen."
- Tom Schiff, Ed.D. | Co-founder of Phallacies, a men's health dialogue and theater program
"Filmmaker Tom Keith's powerful indictment of contemporary culture carries within it an undercurrent of optimism. Despite its horrific portrait of men behaving badly -- and dangerously -- the days of "Jersey Shore" manhood are numbered. When The Bro Code
is screened on campuses, more male filmgoers than you might imagine will crack the code, reclaiming both healthy masculinity and their full humanity."
- Rob Okun | Editor, Voice Male Magazine
"The Bro Code
offers a candid look into the disturbing socialization of problematic masculinity. As an anti-sexist activist this DVD offers yet another relevant engagement tool in order to reach high school boys and college-age men. I readily suggest this important video to anyone who is involved in gender justice education."
- Derrick L. Williams, PH.D. | Violence Prevention Coordinator at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale | Founder of Progressive Masculinities Mentors
"Tom Keith's The Bro Code
is a vital look at what makes us men tick and how we can find our way through the maze of modern masculinity to an identity which is balanced, healthy, and fulfilling."
- Thomas Matlack | Founder, The Good Men Project
"The film is vivid and up-to-date with popular culture. Keith is explicit about the use of media and its influence on sexism, masculinity and culture. It will serve as a treasure trove for
debunking masculine myths on superiority, violence and sex. The Bro
can be used within diverse settings and within a diverse populace. The message of men, sex and the media will be challenged by
ground breaking footage."
- Juan Gomez | Trainer The Council For Boys and Young Men
"In The Bro Code
, filmmaker Tom Keith reminds us that men have a responsibility to speak out against sexist images. By seriously examining the ways that homophobia, misogyny, and sexism are embedded in everyday interactions and frequently disguised as comedy, Keith illustrates the problematic way our culture socializes men, and then calls on men to participate in changing the culture."
- Ben Atherton-Zeman | Actor and Creator of the one-man play, "Voices of Men"
"The Bro Code
is a challenging and important piece of film work. It should make viewers see themselves in new and troubling ways and increase their awareness of the images and stereotypes that drive much of their behavior. Suitable for college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of sexuality/gender, anthropology of media/popular culture, and American studies, as well as general audiences."
- Jack David Eller | Anthropology Review Database
"Filmmaker Thomas Keith gives us a show-n-tell glimpse of the mass media and marketing machine lauding 'permission' upon males to act like thuggish jerks, cads, and misogynistic monsters, disrespecting women with ramped up, amped up buffoonery ranging from 'rape jokes,' to crass, coarse entitlement. Why do boys feel they have the right to behave this way? Look no further than music videos, movies, ads and a pop culture of pornification, The Bro Code
- Amy Jussel | Executive Director of Shaping Youth
National Conference on Men & Masculinity | July 22, 2012
National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education | June 1, 2012
Annual Conference on Men and Masculinities | March 30, 2012
Men Can Stop Rape
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Men Against Violence Against Women
Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP)
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