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  • You know, my favorite part of being a dad

  • is the movies I get to watch.

  • I love sharing my favorite movies with my kids

  • and when my daughter was four, we got to watch "The Wizard of Oz" together.

  • Totally dominated her imagination for months.

  • Her favorite character was Glinda, of course.

  • Gave a great excuse to wear a sparkly dress and carry a wand.

  • You know, you watch a movie enough times

  • and you start to realize how unusual it is.

  • Now, we live today and are raising our children

  • in a kind of children's fantasy spectacular industrial complex.

  • But "The Wizard of Oz" stood alone, it did not start that trend.

  • Forty years later was when the trend really caught on

  • with, interestingly, another movie that featured a metal guy and a furry guy

  • rescuing a girl by dressing up as the enemy's guards.

  • (Laughter)

  • Do you know what I'm talking about? (Laughter)

  • Now, there's a big difference between these two movies,

  • a couple of really big differences between "The Wizard of Oz"

  • and all the movies we watch today.

  • One is there's very little violence in "The Wizard of Oz".

  • The monkeys are rather aggressive as are the apple trees.

  • But I think if "The Wizard of Oz" were made today, the wizard would say,

  • "Dorothy, you are the savior of Oz that the prophecy foretold.

  • Use your magic slippers to defeat

  • the computer-generated armies of the Wicked Witch."

  • That's not how it happens.

  • Another thing that is really unique about "The Wizard of Oz" to me is that

  • all of the most heroic and wise and even villainous characters are female.

  • Now, I started to notice this

  • when I actually showed "Star Wars" to my daughter,

  • which was years later and the situation was different.

  • At that point, I also had a son.

  • He was only 3 at the time.

  • He was not invited to the screening. He's too young for that.

  • But he was a second child and the level of supervision had plummeted.

  • (Laughter)

  • So, he wandered in and it imprinted on him like a mommy duck does to its duckling.

  • Is he picking up on the fact that there are only boys in the universe,

  • except for Aunt Beru and, of course, this princess who is really cool

  • but who kind of waits around through most of the movie

  • so that she can award the hero with a medal

  • and a wink to thank him for saving the universe,

  • which he does by the magic that he was born with.

  • Compare this to 1939 with "The Wizard of Oz".

  • How does Dorothy win her movie?

  • By making friends with everybody and being a leader.

  • That's kind of the world I'd rather raise my kids in.

  • Why is there so much force, capital F Force,

  • in the movies we have for our kids

  • and so little Yellow Brick Road?

  • I know from my own experience that Princess Leia did not provide

  • the adequate context that I could've used

  • in navigating the adult world that is co-ed.

  • (Laughter)

  • You know, there was a kind of first-kiss moment

  • when I really expected the credits to start rolling

  • because that's the end of the movie, right?

  • I finished my quest, I got the girl, why are you still standing there? (Laughter)

  • The movies are very, very focused on defeating the villain

  • and getting your reward and there's not a lot of room

  • for other relationships and other journeys.

  • It's almost as though if you're a boy, you are a dopey animal

  • and if you are a girl, you should bring your warrior costume.

  • I mean, there are plenty of exceptions

  • and I will defend the Disney princesses in front of any of you.

  • But they do send a message to boys. The boys are not really the target audience.

  • They're doing a phenomenal job of teaching girls

  • how to defend against the patriarchy,

  • but they're not necessarily showing boys

  • how they're supposed to defend against the patriarchy.

  • There are no models for them.

  • And we also have some terrific women who are writing new stories for our kids.

  • And as three-dimensional and delightful as Hermione and Katniss are,

  • these are still war movies.

  • And, of course, the most successful studio of all time

  • continues to crank out classic after classic,

  • every single one of them about the journey of a boy, or a man,

  • or two men who are friends, or a man and his son

  • or two men who are raising a little girl.

  • Until, as many of you are thinking, this year,

  • when they finally came out with Brave.

  • I recommend it to all of you. It's on demand now. (Laughter)

  • You remember what the critics said when Brave came out?

  • "Ahh, I can't believe Pixar made a princess movie".

  • Now, almost none of these movies passed the Bechdel test.

  • Alison Bechdel is a comic book artist and back in the mid '80s

  • she recorded this conversation she'd had with a friend,

  • about assessing the movies that they saw.

  • It's very simple. It's just three questions you should ask,

  • Is there more than one character in the movie that is female who has lines?

  • So, try to meet that bar. (Laughter)

  • And do these women talk to each other at any point in the movie? (Laughter)

  • And is their conversation about something other than

  • the guy that they both like?

  • (Laughter)

  • Right? Thank you.

  • (Applause)

  • Thank you very much.

  • Two women who exist and talk to each other about stuff.

  • It does happen. I've seen it.

  • So, let's look at the numbers.

  • 2011, the hundred most popular movies.

  • How many of them do you think actually have female protagonists?

  • Eleven.

  • But there is a number that is greater than this,

  • that's going to bring this room down.

  • Last year, the New York Times published a study that the government had done.

  • Here's what it said.

  • One out of five women in America say

  • that they have been sexually assaulted sometime in their lives.

  • Now, I don't think that's the fault of popular entertainment.

  • I don't think kids' movies have anything to do with that,

  • but something is going wrong

  • and when I hear that statistic,

  • one of the things I think of is, that's a lot of sexual assailants.

  • Who are these guys? What are they learning?

  • What are they failing to learn?

  • Are they absorbing the story that a male hero's job

  • is to defeat the villain with violence and then collect the reward,

  • which is a woman who has no friends and doesn't speak?

  • Are we soaking up that story?

  • You know, as a parent with the privilege of raising a daughter,

  • like all of you who are doing the same thing,

  • we find this world and this statistic very alarming

  • and we want to prepare them.

  • We have tools at our disposal like girl power and we hope that that will help.

  • But I got to wonder, is girl power going to protect them if at the same time,

  • actively or passively, we are training our sons to maintain their boy power?

  • And I'm talking mainly to the dads here.

  • I think we have got to show our sons a new definition of manhood.

  • Now, the definition of manhood is already turning upside down.

  • I mean, you've read about how the new economy

  • is changing the roles of caregiver and wage earner.

  • They are throwing it up in the air.

  • So, our sons are going to have to find some way of adapting

  • to this new relationship with each other.

  • And I think we really have to show them and model for them

  • how a real man is someone who trusts his sisters and respects them,

  • and wants to be on their team, and stands up against the real bad guys,

  • who are the men who want to abuse the women.

  • And I think our job in the Netflix queue is to look out for those movies

  • that passed the Bechdel test, if we can find them,

  • and to seek out the heroines, who are there, who show real courage,

  • who bring people together and nudge our sons to identify with those heroines,

  • and to say, "I want to be on their team",

  • because they're going to be on their team.

  • When I asked my daughter who her favorite character was in "Star Wars",

  • you know what she said?

  • Obi-Wan.

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi and Glinda.

  • What do these two have in common?

  • I think these are the two people in the movie who know more than anybody else

  • and they love sharing their knowledge

  • with other people to help them reach their potential.

  • They're leaders.

  • I like that kind of quest for my daughter,

  • and I like that kind of quest for my son.

  • I want more quests like that.

  • I want fewer quests where my son is told, "Go out and fight it alone"

  • and more quests where he sees that it's his job to join a team,

  • maybe a team led by women,

  • to help other people become better and be better people,

  • like "The Wizard of Oz".

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

You know, my favorite part of being a dad

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【TEDx】The hidden meanings in kids' movies: Colin Stokes at TEDxBeaconStreet

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/10/19
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