Boys to Men: Are You Listening

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    • 00:00

      [MUSIC GIOVANNI PIERLUGI DA PALESTRINA, "SALVE REGINA"][MUSIC DO KELLY, "BOYS TO MEN"]

    • 00:54

      SPEAKER 1: A few bad teenage boys,which is what you hear about on the news,is not what all or most teenage boys are like.

    • 01:01

      SPEAKER 2: People say most of was just juvenile delinquents,we just want to run around and terrorize, itain't really like that.

    • 01:10

      SPEAKER 1: You watch the news at nightor you pick up the New York Times Magazine,all these articles making it look like all teenage boys arelike in straight jackets and that's not true at all.And I don't think that we should be portrayed that way.

    • 01:21

      SPEAKER 3: From the first day that we're born.You know how parents treat boys rougher.Like they throw a football at them.Why you not catching the ball?And throw it harder till you catch the ball.Girls, they watch them go, they give them a little roseand be here, go play in the yard or something.And boys go play in the street or something.

    • 01:37

      SPEAKER 4: They be feeling sorry for the girls,but they don't feel sorry for the boys.Because like, they tell you to go suck it up, whatever.Like in football, the coach, they don't even help.I was playing football, I got tackled, I'm like, my leg hurt.Too bad.I went running down the field, my leg limpinglike this or something.It don't make no sense.Instead of trying to be nice, and say, oh, back upor something.They're going to just throw me back out there.

    • 01:59

      SPEAKER 4 [continued]: Well, you know.Suck it up.I suck it up.But when you suck up as much as you can,that's the end when you break your point,and they still, you know.

    • 02:07

      SPEAKER 5: That girls are discriminated--it's really a myth.Because I haven't seen in any of my classesa teacher discriminating towards the girls.From what I've seen, they don't like the guysa lot more than they don't like the girls.Because I think there's actually an even bigger stereotypethat the guys, like, goof off a lot more.

    • 02:30

      SPEAKER 5 [continued]: And then it ends up that teachersare, a lot of times, stricter on guys than they are on girls.

    • 02:35

      SPEAKER 1: A lot of girls have this mentalitythat they have to overdo boys because boys, already,they probably think, have a leg up in the world,so that they have to work even harderand be even more competitive to succeed and achieve as muchas boys do.

    • 02:51

      SPEAKER 6: In our school, next year a lot of girlsare signing up for wrestling.And I think there was one girl whosigned up for the football team.

    • 02:59

      SPEAKER 2: I don't care.You know what I'm saying?If they need to huddle with you.

    • 03:03

      SPEAKER 6: All the guys on the other teams are like,I can't believe we're hitting girls.

    • 03:05

      SPEAKER 3: One day, my sister askedme to teach her how to defend herself.And my mom heard her and my mom waslike, that girls weren't meant to fight.Like, guys were meant to defend girls.And I told my mom that that was wrongbecause I knew girls that could beat me up.And she's a girl.You know what I'm saying?

    • 03:24

      SPEAKER 7: If a girl gets higher than me,I'll be pissed for like, the rest of the year.I don't want to see any girls getting ahead of me.So I feel slightly threatened by the factthat girls would get ahead of me.I just think it goes against nature in my own head.I feel small.I have ego complex or something, the pulling thing.I don't know.Maybe it's just me.

    • 03:42

      SPEAKER 8: And there's a good amountof classes where it's just the girls,they seem to have a stronger voice over the boys,as far as like, expressing their views.Like, especially in classes more where it's opinionated,like English or something of that sort.I mean, they really get to express what they want to sayand the teacher listens them all the time.I feel that the boys don't always get that same attention.

    • 04:03

      SPEAKER 5: I think programming.There are a couple of girls in the class.He, I think, truthfully favors them.Like, say we're all sitting there working on programsor whatever it is we're working on.If one of us asks him for help, helike, briefly comes over to us, says something, then goes on.If the girl in our class asks for help,he spends a good 20 minutes, step by step,

    • 04:25

      SPEAKER 5 [continued]: just telling her how to do the workand just doing the whole program for her.He kind of just expects more from us.He expects that we don't need that kind of help.

    • 04:33

      SPEAKER 8: Most of my classes, all the teacher's petswould be girls.Like constantly, you could just tellthat one girl or someone out of the entire classwould just be favored.Like the teacher would always call on her.Or like, they'd always agree with exactly what shehad to say.Like, sometimes I feel like if one of my friendssaid the exact same thing, the teacherwould have said like, no, I don't really know about that,

    • 04:53

      SPEAKER 8 [continued]: but maybe she does.

    • 04:54

      SPEAKER 9: My health teacher, she just gives us a book,like 40 pages to do, and define words.I talked to one of the females that goes to my schooland she was like, well, that class is easy.All you got to do is just write.Most people, I know they like to write.I want to do something.I mean, let's talk or do something.I just can't sit there and just write.

    • 05:16

      SPEAKER 5: If you're sitting in the classroom for 40 minutes,and especially if the teacher's boring,you're listening to this and none of it'sjust going in because you're so completely boredand you have all this energy inside youand you have no idea what to do with it.And you just can't concentrate.So that's why I think a lot of guysare just given these drug hormones.So that this energy doesn't completely overtake them.

    • 05:39

      SPEAKER 5 [continued]: So they can at least hold it until theycan spend it somewhere.

    • 05:42

      SPEAKER 8: I know a few kids in my gradewho are on like Prozac or Ritalin and they're all guys.And I don't know any girls who are on anything like that.And I think that that is true.That just because boys have so much energyand what they do with the energy isI think why so many people, or boys, for that matter,are put on drugs.With their anger, they build up and they actuallydo something destructive with it.

    • 06:03

      SPEAKER 8 [continued]: And most girls wouldn't do that.Like, you don't see girls going outon shooting rampages in their schools.It's only guys who have lots of anger fed up inside of them.They go out and do it.So that's why they give them all these drugs to tryand calm them down, make them normal again.

    • 06:32

      SPEAKER 10: Nowadays, basically all people want to dois talk about drama.That's what everything's all about.If they do something that they're not used to seeingor that they dislike, they'll tell you about itand they'll start spreading rumors about youjust because they like being rude or whatever,even though it's not their business.And that's what gets us angry the most.

    • 06:52

      SPEAKER 11: Kids get made fun of so much nowadays.It's like, you could just be walking down the hallway,people just start laughing at you, you have no reason.Like, just by the way you walk, you know what I mean?

    • 07:05

      SPEAKER 12: It's like if you wear a shirt to schoolor something, a lot of people start going, oh, man, that'sugly.Don't ever wear that again.Like, a week later, if you see it in your closet,you're going to think, do I want to wear this again?Do I want to have to listen to this is ugly?Like, you know, hey, what are you wearing?So you'd just be like, no.

    • 07:23

      SPEAKER 9: It was real hard timesand I had to wear these one pair of girl jeanswith a little velvet heart in the back.Man, it was embarrassing.I had to go to school with them on.I was like, man.Then when I grew up, I was like, well, that was hard times.You had to do what you had to do to get by.

    • 07:44

      SPEAKER 9 [continued]: Hey, so, I might not be only one out therewith a pair of girl jeans on, so it really didn't matter.

    • 07:52

      SPEAKER 8: I take a lot of shit for being skinny.All those other people who are so buff, or tall,or whatever it is, they just haveto go out of their way to make fun of you.And I don't want to change myselfjust so I can suit their needs.

    • 08:03

      SPEAKER 5: Me personally, I obviously think every oncein a while, you know what, I need to either lose some weightor work out some.But personally, I'm way too lazy to actually do it.

    • 08:15

      SPEAKER 13: About the names and stuff,it is effect, because nobody, theydon't want to hear nothing negative about themselves.Period.It was like, ninth grade, I was-- Iused to get a lot of cracks and jokesand stuff about my weight and all that.

    • 08:37

      SPEAKER 13 [continued]: But I was just-- but now, you work out,it's like you're working out to fit their standards.And that's the way it is.But you don't want to do it.You try to think in your head, no, I'm going to be myself.I'm going to be myself.But then, on the other hand, you think, they still got jokes.

    • 08:57

      SPEAKER 8: One of my friends, Mike,he's really pretty skinny but he'sbeen going to the gym and all that.And he's trying to get me to do that.And frankly, I told him no because Iwouldn't want to do that for myself.I'd be doing that just to satisfyother people, to get them to shut up.

    • 09:10

      SPEAKER 13: Like, sticks and stones can break my bones,but names will never hurt me.But names do hurt people.Like, you keep getting picked so,you lifting, getting your chest and your armsand everything big and everything, so when they talk,at least they'll be like, he's big.He's big and strong, he'll knock me out.Something like that.It's just, I got to do crunches and stuff.

    • 09:33

      SPEAKER 13 [continued]: But I got to do it so I can be straight.

    • 09:39

      SPEAKER 14: I had one group of friendsand I switched to another because Ihad different friends.So when I switched, I see one person one minuteand then I see another.I know that I myself sometimes change personalitiesin front of other people.I don't know why but it's just a habit that I have.

    • 09:58

      SPEAKER 6: To blend is better than to stick out.And no matter who we're with, we kind of geta different attitude and try to kindof pass for something else.

    • 10:07

      SPEAKER 15: You want people to like you.And it's not something that you can really help.You just want it.It's set in your mind.

    • 10:37

      SPEAKER 16: My friends don't compliment youwithout putting you down at the same time.They're afraid of the whole gay thing.They can't give you all good.Like, they'll play you, nice ass, but you're too black.It's like that.

    • 10:53

      SPEAKER 17: That's what people don't want to go through.If you show your friendship, in case you're a guyand you're showing it to another guy, you're hugging himand stuff, people are going to be like, aww man, they're gay.Even though you know you ain't gay,but you don't want to keep hearing that.And once that person starts sayingit, then the next person, then all of a sudden,the whole world is going to make you out to be gay.So that's what people don't want to go through.

    • 11:15

      SPEAKER 3: I get called "fag" sometimesbecause I get manicures.I had a manicure done yesterday.And when I got home, my bo was like, aww,you little fag, you over there getting your nails done.I was like, it ain't my fault youneed good hygiene and stuff.And he was talking about, no, you're a fag,only girls do that.I was like, oh, well, at least I want to be clean.

    • 11:32

      SPEAKER 12: You try to like categorize gay people.We're like, OK, if they're wearingtight jeans and tight shirts that come up to here,they're gay.If we see them with another guy, they're gay.

    • 11:41

      SPEAKER 7: There's this one kid at school called Derrickand everybody thinks he's gay.So they'll just be like, you're gay as hell.And I'll hang around him.I'll talk to him.They'll be like, oh Edmund, stop hanging out with that gay kid.I'm like, kiss my ass.

    • 11:51

      SPEAKER 3: They'll probably call youa fag or a punk or something.Stop acting like a pussy and shit.

    • 11:57

      SPEAKER 7: I don't care.Because I'm kind of the outsider in my school.It's all boys.I just stopped caring after a while.

    • 12:03

      SPEAKER 18: I won't call him a fagto play around because that's a degrading remarkto call somebody.That'll make them feel more less than a man, if they're a man.Because I know if somebody called me a fag, I'm like,yo, what you talking about, yo?I'm going to react because I know I ain't no fagand you're trying to belittle me.

    • 12:21

      SPEAKER 12: A man someone who can take responsibilityand knows his actions are the right thing.And if he prefers to like another guy while doingall this, then he's still a man, whether or nothe's gay or straight or bi or whatever.

    • 12:36

      SPEAKER 18: All right.Check it out.I got fears towards gay people because they justintimidate me.I feel like hating them because I'm overprotective of myself.I don't like gay people.I be ready to tee off on a gay person.

    • 12:55

      SPEAKER 16: Ever since I was little,I've been afraid of gay people because Ihad a bad experience when I was 13 with a gay dude.He chased me and he tried to grab my stuff.I snuck him and ran.But since then, I've been homophobic.So I think that's the whole thing.A lot of people are afraid of gay people.

    • 13:16

      SPEAKER 17: I used to think that about gay peoplebefore I went to this school, all boys school.I used to think they was bad and sinners.Because in the Bible, it says, gay, that's like you said,is a sin.But when I went to that school and Istarted meeting gay people, I found outthat they ain't what people think they are.Gay people are just normal just like you and me.Just that they have different feelings.Who is it to tell people how they should feel.

    • 13:37

      SPEAKER 17 [continued]: That's how I feel.

    • 13:38

      SPEAKER 10: I really don't have any problems with gay peoplebecause I have two gay friends and Ithink two bisexual friends.And I don't have a problem with it because they act the same.It's no big thing.They're cool.That's it.I don't care if they're gaying up.

    • 13:57

      SPEAKER 19: Like you say, I don'thave problems with gay people, no.That's their choice.I have nothing to do with it.Who am I to tell them what to do?

    • 14:21

      SPEAKER 16: Whenever I be hurt, I just try and shownot the pain.Be like no, I'm fine.And that never ever went away.And to this day, even though I know that I do it,I'll still tell you I'm fine.If you punch my nose bloody, I'll still be like,I'm all right.I can't help it.Is like a habit.

    • 14:43

      SPEAKER 20: You don't want to be like a girl,crying about everything.Or like being so sensitive to everything.Because that's not a man.You don't want guys to be crying about everything because that'swhat separates guys from girls.

    • 14:57

      SPEAKER 16: One time, I was on roller blades.I started rolling down the hill.And then like, I saw cars coming.And then I just made myself fall.And I had to twirl down the hill about 30 timesbefore I stopped.And I got up.I took off the skates.

    • 15:17

      SPEAKER 16 [continued]: And I was like, nothing's wrong.I'm all right.And my friend was like, you sure you're OK?My jeans were all torn up.My hand was all bloody.I got a nail stuck in my hand.I acted like nothing happened.I was like, I'm all right.And I didn't want to tell nobody I was hurting like heck.

    • 15:37

      SPEAKER 12: If in the movies we'llsee Arnold Schwarzenegger take all these bullets or whateverand get beaten up, and then he's like, yeah, I'm all right.And we just say, OK, so we don't go crying to our friendsor girls or whatever and show them, oww, look, I'm hurt,help me.

    • 15:50

      SPEAKER 20: My friends, if I camecrying to them every other day or whatever,they would think I'm a wuss or whatever.And that's not the kind of face that I want for myself.

    • 16:00

      SPEAKER 18: Me, I don't express my feelings to nobody.I keep everything to myself.

    • 16:05

      SPEAKER 9: I can't talk that deep with most of my friends.Like I'll talk deep to one of my true best friends, most of thewould look at me strange.Like I'll say, oh, yeah, I had to crybecause something happened.My mom was mad at me.I never tell people that.They'll look at me strange, like, what?Or I'm afraid they will.

    • 16:23

      SPEAKER 17: I used to feel that I alwayshad to hide my feelings, especially to my mom.I used to have a lot of feelings that Iused to just wouldn't share.But being that, the love that she was giving me,I felt if I told her things that I wanted to,then it would all change.

    • 16:36

      SPEAKER 20: If you go out there like all upset,people are going to think you're a wuss.And that's not the image you want to have.

    • 16:42

      SPEAKER 5: Biggest reasons why I don't do somethingor don't say something is kind of fear of rejection.You do care about what people think.No matter how much you say that you don't.

    • 16:52

      SPEAKER 15: People, they can say that they're really independentand they rely on what they think of themselves.But it is important to know that you've got a lot of friendsout there.It's all self image, basically.They do care what other people think of them.

    • 17:10

      SPEAKER 11: Phoniness starts young, though.

    • 17:12

      SPEAKER 5: For me personally, you'reafraid that everybody else is going to think you're stupid,think you're, I don't know, gay.

    • 17:20

      SPEAKER 2: I ain't really never havea problem sharing my feelings.I share my feelings with my brother, my grandmother.And right now I share my feelings with my peersis in the program and certain staff membersI feel comfortable sharing it with.

    • 17:34

      SPEAKER 5: If you're feeling guiltyabout something or if you're feeling sad,it's always nice to get something off your chestand finally be done with it and tell somebody.

    • 17:43

      SPEAKER 1: My aunt from California,she called me up the other day when I had justbroken up with my girlfriend.And she's like, so how are you?I'm like, oh, I'm OK.And I didn't even realize that I wasgoing to tell her what happened, but I'm justso used to just telling the average person oh, I'mOK, that I said, oh, wait, wait.I'm not OK.And I had to go back and take it back.

    • 18:02

      SPEAKER 15: My cousin, he was in a lot of debt.And he took people's money, invested it in stocks.And when the stock market went down a lot,he committed suicide.And a couple days later, the stock marketshot right back up.And it made me think, because if he had just waited,

    • 18:22

      SPEAKER 15 [continued]: if he had talked to someone about it,because no one thought that he had any problems.And they all thought that he was really cheerfuland made a lot of jokes and stuff.And it just makes you think.

    • 18:37

      SPEAKER 18: The way I express my feelings,I resort to violence or something.Or if not, I go smoke a blunt or something.That'll calm me down.That's how I express my feelings.And sometimes I just black out.Certain people, they can't comprehendwhat I've been through or the things I've done.The stuff I did and why I did it.

    • 18:59

      SPEAKER 18 [continued]: I can't even talk about it.It get me mad.

    • 19:05

      SPEAKER 20: Sometimes when you hang out with certain people,you're not supposed to share your feelings.When you go out, you hang out, you're supposed to have fun.People don't want to hear your whatever feelings,blah, blah, blah.That's not why you're there.You're there to have fun.That's what they're looking for.And if you want them to like you,you got to be a fun person.

    • 19:22

      SPEAKER 5: Not only do you have a fear of rejection,you're afraid that if you do tell somebody,that they're just going to be fake about it.Yeah, oh, OK, I'm sorry.But you know that they don't care.And sometimes that can make you feel even worsethan if you hadn't told them to begin with.

    • 19:36

      SPEAKER 17: That's how you got to do it.Like, you live in a TV.You got to give the people what they want to see.If you don't, they're going to talk about itand despise your name.

    • 19:47

      SPEAKER 6: Basically takes courage.And if you have the courage to tell somebody what you'reactually wanting to say, then you get through to them.It takes a lot of effort.You got to keep pressing, talk to them.You just have to come to realize that it's time to tell somebodyhow you're actually feeling.

    • 20:26

      SPEAKER 21: My soccer coach, he'salways telling the team how we have to be men.He's like, not men where you shave and you grow pubic hairs.And he's like, that doesn't mean that you're a man.He says you need integrity to be a man.You need to see the problems.

    • 20:47

      SPEAKER 21 [continued]: You need to walk away from a fightwhen you know it's good to walk away.It's like, you need integrity.And if you don't have that, then you're not a man.

    • 20:56

      SPEAKER 14: To be a man is to become unique.To be your own man, not do what people says, do what you thinkis right in your heart.That's what I-- to become a leader, not a follower.

    • 21:06

      SPEAKER 16: I'm trying to live as a teenager right nowand just stay with that.And I am not ready to start thinking about being a man.

    • 21:12

      SPEAKER 2: Because I'm still a teenager.I ain't really ready.I'm still in the process.But I start to think being a man isall about stepping up to the plate.And don't blame anybody else for something you did.You did it.You got to be responsible for it.

    • 21:29

      SPEAKER 10: If you want a family and if youwant to make something of your life,then you have to stay in school and youhave to get a good enough educationto support the kind of family that youthink is right for you.

    • 21:42

      SPEAKER 9: Males, we get the most advice.Your parents, they get on you so much harder.You got to go to school, and get a job and support the family.It's like, we have to be there.They always talk about how not to go to jailand don't turn into a bum and all this.I be like-- yeah, don't go on a corner.Don't go out with one of them fast girls,

    • 22:04

      SPEAKER 9 [continued]: get yourself in trouble.I mean, that's how it is.It's like, so much harder.

    • 22:09

      SPEAKER 14: I think the man alwayshas the blame because he always hasmost responsibilities, stereotypically.

    • 22:19

      SPEAKER 18: My father, I consider him a manbecause he goes to work, he takes care of the bills.I mean, he puts food on the table, pays the rent,he does everything he's supposed to, so he's the man.

    • 22:30

      SPEAKER 10: Nowadays, they've kind ofchanged the definition of a man.A man used to be someone like John Wayneor something like that.Some guy that protects his woman, stays by her,honors himself, fights for what he believes in.Nowadays, a man is just a gender.

    • 22:55

      SPEAKER 10 [continued]: It can't be described, just a gender.Female and male.That's how it goes.

    • 23:17

      SPEAKER 19: My father goes like this, live your moment now.You're going to be old someday and you'regoing to have a lot of responsibilities then.Live your life now.And my mom goes like, no, you can't do this stuff.You got to think of future.No.Study and everything.Just think about what you're going to be when you get old.That's a difference between one another.

    • 23:36

      SPEAKER 16: I get more dissenting from my fatherthan I do my mother.My dad will let me do something, thenshe'll want to change it, for no apparent reason.Like, my father found out that I had sex for the first time.She was mad at me.She kept asking me questions to make me feel bad about it.And my dad was laughing.

    • 23:57

      SPEAKER 16 [continued]: He was like, good for you.And my uncles are the same way.But all women in the family was like, stupid bastardor whatever.They made me feel like I did something wrong.I didn't know what to think.

    • 24:11

      SPEAKER 2: When you got a father and a son relationship,you don't really feel too comfortable about talking aboutif you having a sex relationship with a girl.You ain't going to feel too comfortable telling, well, mom,you know, I had sex with this girl.You going to feel more comfortablesaying that to your father.

    • 24:27

      SPEAKER 1: My mom always says, which is true,who knows how a woman wants to be treated betterthan another woman?And like he said, it's true.Sometimes if you want to talk about more personal things,you may want to go to your dad.But if it's like you're having likea fight with your girlfriend or something like thatand you don't know what to say her,your mother's going to know what you should say to another womanbetter than your dad.Because I'm sure your dad has messed up many times

    • 24:51

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: fighting with your mom.So I guess it's better, in certain instances, howto treat a girl is probably betterto go to your mom to ask.

    • 24:59

      SPEAKER 18: I tell my mother everything.She just keeps it real with me.If I tell her I have sex with some chick,she asked me if I use a condom, I tell her yeah.She just be like, I mean, be careful.

    • 25:11

      SPEAKER 5: My mom can sometimes be very nosy about things.And it just gets so annoying that after a while,you don't want to be open.

    • 25:21

      SPEAKER 17: My ma, she listens to me,but not how I want her to.Like, she's understanding me, but not.It's to the point where, I'm trying to-- how can Isay this-- she's listening, but she's not really listening.It's like she's listening because that'swhat she's got to do.But she ain't listening because

    • 25:35

      SPEAKER 16: Taking time to think about it.

    • 25:36

      SPEAKER 17: Yeah, take the time, yeah exactly,think about what I'm really talking about.

    • 25:41

      SPEAKER 3: Feels good when a parent encourages you.Because most parents are like, my mom.My mom encourages me sometimes but not all the time.I got robbed close to where I work at.And I was scared.I was literally scared to walk back down that streetbecause they might recognize me.So then my ma was driving one day.She was driving me down there.She stopped the car.And she was like, get out.

    • 26:02

      SPEAKER 3 [continued]: And I was like, why?And she was like, you're going to face your fear because whatif right now when I go home, I die?How are you going to get down here to work?And I was like, oh, I know you're notgoing to make me do this.She got the car, she made me get of the carand she just took off.And I was like, aww, man.

    • 26:18

      SPEAKER 15: I really wouldn't go to my dad or my mombecause I just feel uncomfortable talkingto them about that stuff.I would go to my sister.There's a lot of stuff that I can talk to her aboutthat I'm basically afraid to talk to my parents about.

    • 26:34

      SPEAKER 2: When I was three, my mother passed.When I got like, six, my father passed.So I ain't really had-- I ain't really know my mother,and I ain't really know my father either.So I ain't have a mother figure or a father figure my life.But if my parents was here, I wouldn'tbe introduced to all this getting arrestedfor stolen cars, guns, and all this other stuff.

    • 26:56

      SPEAKER 2 [continued]: If I would have had a mother or father figure my life,my life probably would be much more better.And now I wouldn't even have to worry about being in program.Only program I'd probably be in is basketball.

    • 27:30

      SPEAKER 17: A man should teach a boy how to grow up to be a man.I never really had that father figure to teach mehow to do the man things.If I had a father, I think I will probablybe ready to be a man right now.Because with my mother had taught me,and if I had a father that teach me the same thing,then I think I'd be ready by now.But since I just grew up with my mother, it's just different.

    • 27:51

      SPEAKER 2: I can't really say if I had a father figure my lifethat I'd be ready to be a man.I still wouldn't.

    • 27:58

      SPEAKER 22: I consider myself lucky.Because not all people had the chance to be with their father.Some people haven't even seen their father eversince they were born.So I always talk to my father.I always tell my father I care for him.

    • 28:13

      SPEAKER 23: At first I felt like a man figureisn't that important or whatever.I was like, my mom is my mother and my fatherbecause I never ever met my father nor seen him.It really didn't matter.I wasn't boohoo-ing about it because my mom,she's always been there for me.But my godfather and I sat down and talked to himand he talked to me.It's like, it really is important.

    • 28:34

      SPEAKER 4: My father died when I was six,but all his family and all my family,they live all the way in Atlanta.And all the way up there.So I'm the only person in my family up here.And my other uncle in Pennsylvania-- Idon't want to say this-- but he's a junkie and stuff,so he doesn't really help me.So I don't really have any male figuresexcept for teachers in school.But the teachers don't help me.

    • 28:54

      SPEAKER 4 [continued]: They just-- they hate me too.So I'm just like, stuck here, living on my own.

    • 29:01

      SPEAKER 13: My father, he always busy.So we'll speak but it won't be like, a long good talk.And the same with my mother, because she's always working.But coach, I could see him every day if I want to.Any problem I have, me and him have a conversation about.And I always come out with an answer-- somethingthat will benefit me.

    • 29:22

      SPEAKER 8: I don't get a whole lot as faras mentoring because I don't really ask for it.I don't really go after that.I usually just follow my own instinct.

    • 29:30

      SPEAKER 17: I study other people or other guysthat I see and see the things theydo to try to help me become that man that I want to be.Because when I was little, I ain't reallyhave a teenager boy that I could look up to that was doing good.Around my neighborhood, it's like this bunch of little kids.I always play with them and chill with them.I pick them over somebody my age justbecause I feel like by them looking up to me,

    • 29:52

      SPEAKER 17 [continued]: it makes me feel more better.I love when people look up to me for respect.My best friend, he's like 12 years old,he even told me that I was his role model, I was his hero.When he told me that, that touched my heart.Because somebody telling me that I'mtheir hero and their role model.Man, it just feels good.That makes me feel like a man.

    • 30:36

      SPEAKER 17 [continued]: My belonging is in theater.I think I belong in theatre.I guess my one connection.Like if I'm on stage, I'm going to perform.So the theatre class for me is like where is my belonging.And I found that when I just entered high school.When I entered the drama guild, it changed my whole life.So that's my belonging.Stage is where I want to be.

    • 30:56

      SPEAKER 10: Every day after school, if I don't work,I go to this cafe called "Garden."If I ain't go there, then I don't know where I'd be.Because I'm not in a church group or anything.I'm not into sports.I just chill there with the peoplethat I want to hang out with.

    • 31:10

      SPEAKER 18: I'm a member of the Lion Kings.People call it a gang, but it's not no gang.It's not about violence and negativity and everything.It's like, you have some bad Kingsjust like you have some bad cops or some bad congressmen.I feel connected to these people because they accept mefor who I am.

    • 31:30

      SPEAKER 18 [continued]: I don't have to prove nothing to them.

    • 31:35

      SPEAKER 2: Some people do it because they feel safe.They feel safe in a tribe or something like that.Do it for protection.

    • 32:02

      SPEAKER 16: In this millennium, and this lifetime right now,to most people, money is making a man.To most women, money is making a man.That's how it is, yo.90% of the time, dude could look like he got shit on his face.If he got money, he's going to have some girl.

    • 32:22

      SPEAKER 18: People with more money, they get more respect.The more money you have, the more respect you have.If you don't get respect, you can buy respect.

    • 32:30

      SPEAKER 2: Money don't make the man.That's all to it.It don't make the man.When a man got money, he's supposedto know how to utilize it and stuff.Like my brother, he a man because when the job he got,any time he get his paycheck, he don't justrun out and spend it.Like I'd be.Like, I'm going to go to the mall and get this.He don't spend it.He knows how to utilize the money.

    • 32:50

      SPEAKER 2 [continued]: Because if you're a man, you shouldknow how to keep your priorities straight,which are bills and everything.Because if you went, you just spend the money,then you've got to tell your son,like well, we've got to wait for the lightsto come back on next month so I can pay the bill back up.Like my brother, he keep it.We got a house, whatever.He pays the water bill, light, all that.

    • 33:10

      SPEAKER 2 [continued]: Because he utilized money.And on top of that, he got a bank account for me.And tuition money for when I get older so I could go to college.So therefore, my brother's a man.

    • 33:21

      SPEAKER 16: They make money look like the root of man, GT.All the men got money.You ain't never seen GT magazine going in the projects lookingfor that man who is just taking care.GT is Denzel Washington.He got dough.He's presentable.

    • 33:38

      SPEAKER 18: That's why I sold drugs.Because the glamour, yo.People look at you different.Like, he's a big dog.Look at that.Let me stay away from him.You know what I mean?Always have a brand new pair of clotheson, new coat, everything.Stay looking nice.It's the image everybody has to portray.

    • 33:56

      SPEAKER 2: I like to buy clothes and things.When I get money, money burns my pocket.I got to understand and learn how to utilize money.Get my priorities straight.

    • 34:05

      SPEAKER 10: I just started a job at Domino's.And I think that working would show my momthat I'm mature enough to at least supportmyself a little bit.And have enough maturity to have a job.

    • 34:17

      SPEAKER 12: Society.They force you to choose between Domino's and drug dealing.There needs to be more things that will keep peoplemy age off the streets and off the drug selling and giving usmore opportunities.

    • 34:31

      SPEAKER 2: I don't care if you're a garbage man.You putting food on the table, whatever.But all in the same process, you'retaking care of your family.Your house in order.Your son, your daughter, whatever, a staying in school.They're doing what's right.Then you're a man.

    • 34:44

      SPEAKER 11: That's a lesson a lot of people got to learn,is that whatever you love, whatever you want to do,you got to be able to sacrifice other things for it.

    • 34:54

      SPEAKER 16: People with making money.And they get what they want with money.Money, power, respect, that's the key to life.

    • 35:02

      SPEAKER 10: It's not about money to be able to be a man.It's about getting out and getting your job because yourealize what you have to do to support yourselfand your family.That's what it's about.

    • 35:14

      SPEAKER 2: We go to community service sites and stuff.We go to the senior citizen home.It's a food bank.When I first started going, I ain't really like ittoo much because I wasn't used to just doingstuff for other people, like giving them support on stuff.I just free, like, yeah, can you mop this for me?

    • 35:36

      SPEAKER 2 [continued]: No, you do that yourself.What's wrong with you?I'm leaving.But now I feel good about it.I feel real good about doing it, whatever.So now when I go home, like if somebody asks like, yeah, youcould do this for me, I'm like, all right, I got you in that.Whatever.I feel good about doing it.I don't do it to people please.I do it because I want to do what I feel good about doing.

    • 35:57

      SPEAKER 2 [continued]: Part of it is where you grow up.The kids ain't really getting the opportunityto get out of that environment.And they ain't really getting that type of pictureto go to other places.That's how it is.

    • 36:10

      SPEAKER 18: To grow up in society todayis hard because we don't have enough choices.I mean, the only choice we have is the hard way or the harderway.We should have other escape routes.Now I mean like, more after school programs,more places to go and learn things,or even better ways of living.

    • 36:29

      SPEAKER 2: And that's why most of us running aroundhere, stealing cars and things like that and keepcoming in and out of the system.

    • 36:36

      SPEAKER 18: In neighborhoods where I'm fromand most of the people in here, you see more liquor storesthat you see Boys and Girls Clubs.You go on one block, you can see like 20 liquor stores.I mean, there should be a Boy's Club or a church.Or something, I mean, something educational.Or something for someone to go and chill for a little.

    • 36:54

      SPEAKER 2: You're introduced to a lot of negative things.And if you've been around negative for 15 years,that's what you know, mostly.You know positive.You know what's right and wrong, but you'reso used to doing negative, that'swhat's going to keep coming to you.When you do negative things, negativeis going to come to you.When you do positive, the positive will come.That's how it goes.

    • 37:15

      SPEAKER 18: Like the Projects.Look at the word "Project."What are we, an experiment or something?

    • 37:38

      SPEAKER 24: I was taught, like if you get mad at something,like if somebody gets you mad, you react on it, oh well.If it sound big, most of the time,I probably get myself in trouble.That's how I was brought up.

    • 37:52

      SPEAKER 16: If somebody made me want to punch them,I'm going to punch them.I mean, I got to let it out.My dad, he always taught me, if it's like that, let it out.

    • 37:59

      SPEAKER 2: I ain't used to letting somebodysaying what they want to say to me without me saying somethingback.Or somebody putting their hands on me and me not retaliating.But right now, I'm going through the process.I'm still learning.

    • 38:12

      SPEAKER 17: As of now, I still don't reallyknow how to really control my anger.If it's like, if I'm in the anger that's too deep,I don't know what to do.

    • 38:23

      SPEAKER 25: I have to calm myself downby just walking away.Because if I don't, I'm going to wind up hurting somebody.

    • 38:30

      SPEAKER 13: Me personally, I've got a short temper.So before, I used to always get into a lot of altercationsand fights and stuff, like when I got upset.And I used to start them because itwas like, I don't care since I'm upset,I'm going to make somebody else upset.That was the mindset.

    • 38:47

      SPEAKER 16: I've seen my dad get mad and hold stuff in.And when he let it out, it was just like boom,right in your head.

    • 38:55

      SPEAKER 13: One day, I don't even know why I did it.He stepped on my shoe.And I was already mad.So I don't know, I just hit him.And I just kept hitting him, kept hitting him.When I was doing it, it was like,I didn't know why I was doing it or what for.It was like, it was just happening.

    • 39:16

      SPEAKER 13 [continued]: And I couldn't stop it.So he was in the hospital and stuff-- broken ribs and allthat other crazy stuff.Went to see him.He didn't want to hear the apology.So I was like, all right, fine.But if I thought about it, I wouldn'twant to hear it either.I don't know.

    • 39:37

      SPEAKER 13 [continued]: It was wrong because after a while I'm thinking,I could have killed him.I don't want that on my conscious.Because it was over-- it ain't even no excusefor what had happened.There ain't none.It just happened.There ain't nothing I can do to pull it back.If something would have happened to him because of that,

    • 40:01

      SPEAKER 13 [continued]: I don't know what would have happened.If I would have just spoke to somebody.But it's like, you don't want to tell people your problems.

    • 40:10

      SPEAKER 3: It just happened to me.Right, somebody go up to me and hit me.I be like, I don't know what you're hit me for,because I'm not going to strike you back,so it doesn't solve things.And since that day, my brother calls me a punk.He be like, you're a punk who let's somebody hityou and you ain't strike them back.I was like, I consider myself a bigger manbecause it takes more balls to walk awayfrom something than to fight.

    • 40:31

      SPEAKER 16: I can never go home.He punched me and I couldn't get up.It's not going to happen.Not in my family.I get beat up again.It's always going to be that way.

    • 40:43

      SPEAKER 2: My brothers and my sisters tell me,you ain't always going to win a fight.You going to lose it.You going to win some.That's how I see it.So don't think they teach you nothing.

    • 40:53

      SPEAKER 16: They teach you to do things on your own.The whole purpose was for me to get stronger.I wanted to go home with something to be proud of.Like, yeah ma, I just got finished beating up somebody.It's that accomplishment that make me happy with my mom,you know.It's always been like that.It's all about accomplishments.

    • 41:12

      SPEAKER 2: Overall, like nine out of tenis going to bring more pain to you.That's all it's going to do.

    • 41:18

      SPEAKER 16: All my uncles, they sort of trained mereal militant to do whatever they say.But when they came to going out on the streetand seeing people, it's like, yo, I don't care what to say,you ain't family.It's all about family to me.

    • 41:36

      SPEAKER 2: When you got that type of mindset, whenyour family is telling you, yeah, you betterwin that whatever, and then you going back out on the street,you say, I don't got to listen to you.You are a fag.You ain't my family, so I don't want to talk.That's the type of thing, your family puttinginto your mindset that you could beat anybody.Those type of things get you killed or hurt or something.

    • 41:58

      SPEAKER 2 [continued]: Something bad is going to happen to you.That's why I don't think that makes you stronger, anything.

    • 42:03

      SPEAKER 16: It makes sense, what my mother wastrying to teach me.The whole thing is for me to know, don't come home failing.Your parents don't want you to come home failing.

    • 42:13

      SPEAKER 20: My parents, they want me to mature.They would want me to take care of my own problems.Going and face the bully and try maybenot fight him, but try to settle the problem myself.Because when you get out there in the real world,there's things that you can't go cry to your mommy about.You have to make decisions on the spot.And if you learn them now, it's better.

    • 42:34

      SPEAKER 2: The group, it's another [INAUDIBLE],and we're the same.He got anger problem too.And staff told me.Because I came up and I calmed my anger down and stuff.Now they got me working with him on his attitude.So like if I ever catch an attitude,if I want to express to the group, I express it to him.And he do the same.We could relate to each other like that

    • 42:55

      SPEAKER 2 [continued]: because we got the same type of attitude.And I calmed my anger down.

    • 43:16

      SPEAKER 7: Sometimes I just don't want anybody's help.Like, I'll just want to do it all alone.I just don't want other people's help.I don't want everybody else to get involved into it.Like if my mom would want to help me,she'll want to change things around.Or if dad gets involved, he might mess something up.Or I don't want it that way.My friends get involved.I just don't want to have to deal with all that,

    • 43:36

      SPEAKER 7 [continued]: so I'm like, yeah, let me keep it to myself.I'll deal with it.

    • 43:39

      SPEAKER 5: Everybody needs help.No matter how high or how low.Everybody needs help sometimes.And it just depends.Some people are afraid to ask for that help.

    • 43:48

      SPEAKER 9: You can't get through everything by yourself.Can't get through anything by yourself.You need somebody.Need something, you need somebody to be there for you.

    • 43:57

      SPEAKER 2: If you don't ask for help, that'slike being in a classroom, you don't know a math problem.You're going to be the only one sitting there.It's like you be too embarrassed to ask.Now when the time comes to hand in your paper,you ain't got nothing on the paper.Then you might get put on blast from your teacher.But me, I ain't got no problem asking for help.

    • 44:17

      SPEAKER 5: Some problems, you reallyshouldn't deal with it on your own.You need to talk to somebody.But some things-- minor things-- like,getting a bad grade on a test and thingslike that, if you get over it on your ownwithout help from somebody else, you're the stronger for it.Because you learn from your experience and youknow what you screwed up on.

    • 44:39

      SPEAKER 5 [continued]: And you'll know to avoid it next time.

    • 44:40

      SPEAKER 14: If you want something,it's not really going to come to you.like give it to me.You're going to have to work for it.You have to ask people.And anything you don't want, you'regoing to have to do the same thing.And ask people not to say it or don't give it to me.Goes both ways.

    • 45:17

      SPEAKER 10: Nowadays, it's everybody against everybody.In the streets, it's even worse.For drugs, you could get shot.Anything could happen.That wouldn't happen when they were kids.They do not know how hard it is to be a kid nowadays.

    • 45:33

      SPEAKER 5: Adults.They don't listen.The one thing that frustrates me the mostis when I'm trying to say somethingand they don't listen.And they repeat the same point over and over again.And I have to say over and over again justthe same exact thing.And they just won't listen to it because theythink that they're right and they refuse to even think

    • 45:54

      SPEAKER 5 [continued]: of the possibility that they're wrong.

    • 45:56

      SPEAKER 23: My mom, she doesn't do it all the time,but sometimes she likes to jump to conclusions.And instead of just listening, just likesit down and listen and hear my point of viewand then react on it.It's like, she's saying, oh you should just do this.Or you should just do that.

    • 46:12

      SPEAKER 5: For some people, somethingthat an adult might think, oh, that's not a problem.Like for some people, I don't know,this is a little bit absurd, but evenproblems with clothes or something.It might be the biggest problem in the world.And if they don't deal with it, they'll be seriously upset.And it's going to be extremely bad for them.And adults might not understand that.

    • 46:29

      SPEAKER 23: And I think it should be vice versa.So it's like the teenagers to listen to their parentsand hear what they have to say.And that way, it's like the communication flowwould be better.

    • 46:39

      SPEAKER 13: But it's like, they don't think they never wrong.That's how I see it.It's like, I'm always right.You're wrong.I don't want to hear that.It's like they're egging you almost.And for me, that gets me upset because I'm telling the truth.I'll be thinking to myself, if they just listen,

    • 47:02

      SPEAKER 13 [continued]: maybe they could solve the problem.

    • 47:04

      SPEAKER 5: That really irks me when my parents tellme to do something, but they don't give me a reason.Like if my mom were to say, you can't do this.I say, OK.Why?No reason.You can't do it.It's the most frustrating thing in the world.Sometimes I think they really have no reason for it.And it's just the way they were taught.And so they're just passing it downand they don't care whether it's right or wrong, just do it.

    • 47:25

      SPEAKER 13: It ain't like I want to be equal to no adult.Because I can't.Because I'm a teenager.I'm a kid.They know more.They got more experience.But not all the time be trying to boss people around.Because I don't like to be bossed.Well, they always say, you rebel,yes yo do these acts every now and then.

    • 47:45

      SPEAKER 2: That's what we need.Some people or teachers, most of themaren't really taking the time to sit down and just talk.Look, you got this opportunity, so we'regoing to go down there today, boom, boom, boom.Run it down to you.And that's what we need.

    • 47:60

      SPEAKER 9: I want adults to be able to listento my point of view, listen to my side of the story.Nobody really listened when I was growing up.

    • 48:07

      SPEAKER 17: It's not every day whensomebody wants to come hear our stories.I never knew a white person that comewant to hear a black kid's story.If all they'd do is just listen to our stories, that's all.

    • 48:16

      SPEAKER 16: And for all you all grownups our therethat want to hold stuff back from usand try and keep your kids in the closet, locked upin your houses, and not let them go out and experience the worldand not let them see.Yo, they are going to rebel.You can't hold our voices back.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 50:07

      SPEAKER 16 [continued]: [MUSIC ROBERT ROSS, "TO LIVE A BETTER LIFE"]

Boys to Men: Are You Listening

View Segments Segment :

Abstract

This documentary, "Boys to Men," interviews boys ages 15 to 16 years old. Discussed is teen culture, violence, masculinity, and the coming of manhood. These teenage boys give their opinion and knowledge of what it's like or how a man is perceived. All these boys come from different neighborhoods and homes. They all have no previous knowledge of one another.

Boys to Men: Are You Listening

This documentary, "Boys to Men," interviews boys ages 15 to 16 years old. Discussed is teen culture, violence, masculinity, and the coming of manhood. These teenage boys give their opinion and knowledge of what it's like or how a man is perceived. All these boys come from different neighborhoods and homes. They all have no previous knowledge of one another.

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