Anyone who hasn’t heard of TED Talk should bookmark it right now and set aside about a week’s worth of browsing time. A nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” the site invites some of the most inspiring thinkers to speak and then lets us listen in…for free. (These are a few of my personal favorites.)
But here are two talks that directly concern readers of the Good Men Project Magazine.
First, watch Tony Porter’s “a call to men.” Porter is an educator and co-founder of The National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence Against Women. In his speech, he talks about “the man box”—a container of all the masculine stereotypes that prevent a guy from crying in front of his family, and holds young boys and girls to different emotional standards.
I come to also look at this as this fear that we have as men, this fear that just has us paralyzed, holding us hostage to this man box. I can remember speaking to a 12 year-old boy, a football player, and I asked him, I said, “How would you feel if, in front of all the players, your coach told you you were playing like a girl?” Now I expected him to say something like, I’d be sad, I’d be mad, I’d be angry, or something like that. No, the boy said to me—the boy said to me, “It would destroy me.” And I said to myself, “God, if it would destroy him to be called a girl, what are we then teaching him about girls?”
Here’s the full video:
And then there’s Slate’s XX Factor editor Hanna Rosin’s speech, which she presented after the publication of her controversial article “The End of Men.” Rosin talks about the rapidly shifting idea of masculinity, from the Marlboro Man to the Old Spice Man, and the rising role of women in our society.
Here are some of her stats:
In my mother’s day, she didn’t go to college— not a lot of women—and now, for every two men who go to college, three women will do the same. Women for the first time this year became the majority of the American workforce and they’re starting to dominate lots of professions: doctors, lawyers, bankers accountants.
Over 50 percent of managers are women these days. And in the 15 professions projected to grow the most in the next decade, all but two of them are dominated by women.
And here’s the rest of her talk:
These two speeches complement each other nicely, but we’re not totally sure we’re sold on every point. (For instance, it seems premature for Rosin to say that women are, in fact, more successful than men.)
So we leave it to you. What are your thoughts, dear readers?