Are we finally seeing a shift in our culture for men? These three amazing TED talks for men make me think that the answer is a resounding “yes.” We still have a long way to go, but as long as men like these continue to speak out, there’s hope.
Actor Justin Baldoni knows a thing or two about following a script, both onstage and off. As a kid, he found himself struggling to fit in with the other boys at school and was angry at his “unmanly” father for not being the type of guy who was into the usual “guy stuff.” As he became a young adult he was even a bit complicit in reinforcing negative male stereotypes through his work as an actor and model. Now, as a husband and father himself, he’s stepped up to be a game-changer for his generation, by proving to men and boys that it’s okay to just be themselves.
‘There are many wonderful things about being a man… but there’s some stuff that’s just straight up twisted.” And as he demonstrates in his talk the twisted stuff can sometimes lead a man to compromise his own values, and his own humanity, before he risks violating any of The Man Rules. Tony makes a passionate argument for helping men break out of the man box and changing the way we raise our sons and daughters.
The central argument of Jackson Katz’s talk is only one of the remarkable things about it. He also manages to deliver this message in a way that demonstrates how it’s possible to show up in a way that is both “masculine” and vulnerable. His voice is strong, but it shakes a little, he is unhalting in his assertions but often pauses mid-sentence, there’s a “tough love” quality to his tone, but at times he seems nearly moved to tears. It all adds up to a very powerful 18 minutes, and an irresistible call to action. But, I do have one reservation: he focuses only on the need for “good” people to intervene when they witness abusive behavior. It doesn’t mention the need to provide resources for the men who offend to help them stop the abusive behavior. But, none of that detracts from the power and importance of his overall message.
What are some of your favorite TED Talks for men?