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

79113 Folder Collection
阿多賓 published on October 19, 2014    Weishu Chang translated    Sunny Hsu reviewed
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