New Documentary Turns Identity Politics on Its Head

 

“This film comes at a perfect time to contribute to the growing intersectional movement that is turning the page on the politics of hatred, fear and violence as it bends the arc of history toward a future of peace and social justice.”

                                               — Dr. Michael A. Messner | University of Southern California

For years, right-wing political leaders and media commentators have accused the left of cynically trading in identity politics to distract from real policy issues and pit Americans against one another based on race, gender, and sexuality.

The new documentary The Man Card: White Male Identity Politics from Nixon to Trump turns this charge on its head, exposing how the right has been deliberately and methodically targeting white working-class male voters at the level of identity for decades.

Ranging from the 1960s to today, The Man Card details how conservative campaign operatives have attempted to win the support of working class white men by framing liberals as soft, branding the Republican Party as the party of “real men,” and positioning right-wing policy as a bulwark against threats to traditional masculine power and authority. The film pays special attention to how right-wing rhetoric has helped channel the legitimate class-based grievances of millions of working-class white men into unbridled resentment of people of color, immigrants, women, LGBTQ people, and so-called “liberal elites.” In the end, The Man Card also makes clear how this siege mentality has undermined the presidential prospects of women and undercut our ability as a nation to adapt to transformative economic changes and environmental threats.

The Man Card is now available to watch through your university or public library via the Kanopy streaming platformClick here to see if your university subscribes to Kanopy. You can also purchase a DVD, get a 7-day streaming rental, or host a virtual public screening of the film.

The Man Card was directed by award-winning filmmakers Peter Hutchison and Lucas Sabean of Eat the Moon Films, and created and co-written by acclaimed author, educator, and cultural theorist Jackson Katz.

 

Praise for “The Man Card”

 

“A vitally important and timely new film.”

— Jean Kilbourne | Senior Scholar, Wellesley Centers for Women

“Methodically shows that Trump’s strategy to connect masculinity to presidential politics is nothing new. This is a must-see documentary for anyone interested in American politics and contemporary democratic struggles.”

— Dr. Farida Jalalzai | Professor of Political Science, Associate Dean of Global Initiatives and Engagement, Virginia Tech University

“Essential viewing for not only every gender and politics course, but for any and all students of American politics….Raises important questions about the inherent and not-so-subtle masculinity of the American presidency and what that means for women seeking the office.”

— Dr. Lori Cox Han, PhD | Author of Women, Power, and Politics

“Fast-paced and compelling … Sure to generate a lively discussion about politics and masculinity in gender studies and American government courses.”

— Dr. Valerie Sperling | Co-author of Trumping Politics as Usual: Masculinity, Misogyny, and the 2016 Elections

“Shows how Presidential politics in the U.S. has been driven not just by dog-whistle messages against people of color and women, but also by overt endorsements of narrow, destructive and unhealthy conceptions of white men’s masculinity.”

— Dr. Michael A. Messner | University of Southern California | Author of Guys Like Me: Five Wars, Five Veterans for Peace

“A vitally important documentary to more completely understand the gendered and racialized ideologies shaping political polarization in the U.S.”

— Dr. Tristan Bridges | Associate Professor of Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara and co-editor of Men and Masculinities journal