Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • 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.

  • It totally dominated her imagination for months.

  • Her favorite character was Glinda, of course.

  • It gave her a great excuse to wear a sparkly dress

  • and carry a wand.

  • But you watch that 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.

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

  • Yeah.

  • 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."

  • But that's not how it happens.

  • Another thing that's 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 three at the time.

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

  • But he was the 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,

  • and I don't think he understands what's going on,

  • but he is sure soaking in it.

  • And I wonder what he's soaking in.

  • Is he picking up on the themes of courage

  • and perseverance and loyalty?

  • Is he picking up on the fact that Luke

  • joins an army to overthrow the government?

  • 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's 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 --

  • Oz, right? -- and not the world of dudes fighting,

  • which is where we kind of have to be.

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

  • in the movies we have for our kids,

  • and so little yellow brick road?

  • There is a lot of great writing about the impact

  • that the boy-violent movie has on girls,

  • and you should do that reading. It's very good.

  • I haven't read as much on how boys are picking up on this vibe.

  • I know from my own experience that

  • Princess Leia did not provide the adequate context

  • that I could have used in navigating the adult world

  • that is co-ed. (Laughter)

  • I think there was a 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?

  • I don't know what I'm supposed to do.

  • 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.

  • There are plenty of exceptions,

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

  • But they do send a message to boys,

  • that they are not, the boys are not really the target audience.

  • They are doing a phenomenal job of teaching girls

  • how to defend against the patriarchy,

  • but they are not necessarily showing boys

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

  • There's 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.

  • Do you remember what the critics said when "Brave" came out?

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

  • It's very good. Don't let that stop you.

  • Now, almost none of these movies pass the Bechdel Test.

  • I don't know if you've heard of this.

  • It has not yet caught on and caught fire,

  • but maybe today we will start a movement.

  • 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.

  • And it's very simple. There'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.

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

  • 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,

  • and yet I very rarely see it in the movies

  • that we know and love.

  • In fact, this week I went to see

  • a very high-quality movie, "Argo."

  • Right? Oscar buzz, doing great at the box office,

  • a consensus idea of what a quality Hollywood film is.

  • It pretty much flunks the Bechdel test.

  • And I don't think it should, because a lot of the movie,

  • I don't know if you've seen it, but a lot of the movie

  • takes place in this embassy where men and women

  • are hiding out during the hostage crisis.

  • We've got quite a few scenes of the men

  • having deep, angst-ridden conversations in this hideout,

  • and the great moment for one of the actresses is

  • to peek through the door and say, "Are you coming to bed, honey?"

  • That's Hollywood for you.

  • So let's look at the numbers.

  • 2011, of the 100 most popular movies,

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

  • Eleven. It's not bad.

  • It's not as many percent as the number of women

  • we've just elected to Congress, so that's good.

  • 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 some time in their life.

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

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

  • I don't even think that

  • music videos or pornography are really directly related to 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 gotta 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?

  • I mean, I think the Netflix queue

  • is one way that we can do something very important,

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

  • I think we have got to show our sons

  • a new definition of manhood.

  • The definition of manhood is already turning upside down.

  • You've read about how the new economy

  • is changing the roles of caregiver and wage earner.

  • They're throwing it up in the air.

  • So our sons are going to have to find some way

  • of adapting to this, some 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 pass 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 to 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,"

  • do you know what she said?

  • Obi-Wan.

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi and Glinda.

  • What do these two have in common?

  • Maybe it's not just the sparkly dress.

  • I think these people are experts.

  • 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.

  • Now, they are 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.

You know, my favorite part of being a dad

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 US TED wizard daughter girl soaking picking

【TED】Colin Stokes: How movies teach manhood (How movies teach manhood | Colin Stokes)

  • 4495 294
    VoiceTube posted on 2013/03/02
Video vocabulary