How movies teach manhood | Colin Stokes


When Colin Stokes’ 3-year-old son caught a glimpse of Star Wars, he was instantly obsessed. But what messages did he absorb from the sci-fi classic? Stokes asks for more movies that send positive messages to boys: that cooperation is heroic, and respecting women is as manly as defeating the villain. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

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  1. Ton Bong says

    STOP reversing gender roles because you are destroying people so they are unable to form normal families!

  2. Cami Star says

    At least with star wars Rouge One and the movie before that (the girl's name was Ray, but I forget the name of the actual movie lol) one of the main characters/heros are women 🙂 🙂 <3

  3. bear6213 says

    what about “The Grinch” (with Benedict Cumberbatch)? two strong female leads who ultimately change the entire story as well as offering a healthy view on the impact of love and community and support. (Yes I’m aware that movie came out long after this presentation, just putting it out there as a good, underrated example.)

  4. Carter Stubbs says

    Stop putting your own insecurities in your children's mouths weirdo

  5. asmy althany says

    Let the writers have the freedom to write stores that have only men or only women or whatever … things like "the bechdel test" hinder creatively and freedom of expression … if you don't like a movie then don't watch or let your kids watch it.And for female power … please don't give the false assumption and fantasy to girls that they are more powerful than males on average too much.State the truth … look "Bulls are more powerful then Cows, bulls are more muscular and aggressive than the female of the species" … and you would go: no no don't tell the truth of the world, it damages there feelings, let the girls live in there fantasy.

  6. Tsar Alester says

    Examples of Manhood:Crocodile Dundee300Gladiator007SchwarzeneggerClint EastwoodMaster ChiefDark Knight

  7. CornerTalker says

    So even with a video focused on masculinity, a third to a half of the comments are about women. What a gynocentric world we live in.

  8. CornerTalker says

    Great Male Movies (focus on father/son or mentor/pupil) The Boy and the Beast, The Lion King, A River Runs Through It, Good Will Hunting, A Perfect World, The Man Without a Face. The B & B far exceeded my expectations.

  9. Lu M. says

    I know a little child, he's 5 years old. Last time I talked to him, he said to me: "I want to be like princess Elsa !" as a job for the future…. I didn't say anything, I just thought it was really cute.

  10. The Dork Knight says

    Good discussion but ironic he used Wizard of Oz, which in behind the scenes the actress Judy Garland playing Dorothy was sexually assaulted by men, constantly told to lose weight, etc… Also would like to point out in my opinion Pixar's Toy Story shows a strong female character, Andy's Mom who is seemingly a single parent raising two kids on her own.

  11. Abril Chihuahua says

    Avatar the last Air bender not only passes the Bechdel Test but makes it look ridiculous. All of the girls are strong without sacrificing their femininity. The Kyoshi Warriors, for example, are made up of only girls, who with make-up and long dresses have no problem taking on men. Then there are the boys. The main character is Aang, a pacifist, vegetarian, flower-crown-wearing, jewelry making boy. Who learns how to control his emotions, especially when they are riding high. He is in the midst of a 100-year war and refuses to kill anyone. The characters talk about romantic interests, sure, but that is never the main conversation. It gives so many people someone to look up to. It allows you to choose whom to idealize.

  12. Delilah's Last says


  13. Hanna says

    I don't really understand his point because sometimes he seems contradicting… He wants teamwork in boy movies but don't most these movies have that? Although I agree that there has to be less comedic relief, dopey dudes whenever a girl is in charge. Like, can't there be more of a balance?

  14. Henry Routh says


  15. Stephanie Romero says

    Kataangs, Allurance listen!

  16. Stephanie Romero says

    deberian ver las protagonistas del studio Ghibli

  17. Moments with Molly says

    HOW DARE YOU DISRESPECT LEIA LIKE THIS?!Also, the 'Wizard of Oz' books are VASTLY different than the movie.

  18. ちかふじです says


  19. Tiny Ford says

    If you watch a show like Ozark, you will realize that men think like Marty in how we will do everything we need to to get the best for his family, while Wendy goes above and beyond to protect her family. The same goes for Breaking Bad. Walter does what it takes to give the best to his family while Skyler does everything to protect her family. The best shows out there show characters in the real way we are as humans, without trying to teach a message and just letting everyone relate to the man and woman they represent

  20. Tiny Ford says

    Gravity Falls is perfect for boys and girls, Regular Show is perfect for boys

  21. Yesica Hernandez says

    Yo leí el mago de Oz sin duda me quede fascinada con la historia. Ahora quiero enseñarle a mi hermana este tipo de historias, se logran los objetivos si se trabaja en equipo.

  22. MisterJang0 says

    Is this video what started the third-wave feminist movement?

  23. Ирина Ионова says

    I at first time see that all my favorites films and multfils are pass the Bechdel test

  24. Juvybia says

    This is so bullshit. Is painfully stupid, and easily debunked. Lets make woman more powerful, but she can't do it without man help. Lets raise our boy's just to follow, not to lead, because God forbid it is oppressing women. Stupid,stupid .

  25. Tyler says

    So what he is saying that he wants his son to be an Iseakai with strong female party members #Everyharemanimeever

  26. Tyler says

    Hmm, about the Wizard of Oz ending, She didn't make any real friends, and infact she was still living in kansas and was just having a really wild dream. To put my counter statement on this, This means that everything that Dorothy experiences is just a wild dream. That has no baring on reality. She is still a woman living with her family on what appears to be a farm.

  27. Bakpfeife says

    So… He never talked positively about guys, men or masculinity in men but only for women. That stuff is EVERYWHERE in media why was this talk done?

  28. Yuppi says

    Isn't star wars a story about few people fighting their hardest for everyone's good, for justice, and overcoming huge oppressing system? As well as making trusty friends who will not leave your side, and going through the psychological development of slaying your father. And seeing that even "objective evil" can have emotions and good in them, do the right thing in the end.One of the characters is a boy who was nothing but a slave but rose above his place. Another was a slave who rose above his place, came back to free his mother, failed as a father, but tried to make up for it in the end. The whole trilogy was essentially working out the relationships of kids and their parents. One character was a sleazy smuggler who always thought about themself but found a greater cause for doing good and being altruistic. One character became a respected ruler of people who people loved and trusted.The kid probably sees cool lightsabers that go woosh. And his father who is kind.I don't think we watched the same movie when we watched star wars. I've watched both kind of movies, but I claim neither movies are bad for kids. I guess both have political agendas, can't vouch for either in that. I guess it depends on your values, which you want to paint harmful for the development of a person. If you really want to find villains.Interestingly enough boys build friendships over mutual interest in doing good and challenges they face, they create bonds with people who have the same direction or help them to change the world for better. If you make a boys life too much about friendship over challenges that provide meaningful progression to their life (let alone all about slaying things that are seen patriarchal, essentially teaching the boys that they should seek to overthrow themselves in general, men), obstacles to overcome, studies show they become anxious, depressed, for missing meaning to their life. Well documented to being one of the biggest crisis in modern day – young men being completely lost in society, feeling unwanted and without direction. Leading to passive, almost hibernating life or crimes, nothing productive at least. Being resentful and hostile towards people and society. That might be one of the big answers to the speakers question. Almost majority of the kids are now fatherless. They don't have a father who teaches them how to protect people around them, wives, kids, friends. I think star wars does teach kids those good values. Obi-wan is a father figure to luke, wise and teaches him to protect the weak with his strength. Luke seeks to protect all people with his friends. Funnily enough there's also a sister who is wise and brave and who he works with and who he seeks to protect.But there are also movies like maleficient where a girl is taken care of female fairy aunts and fighting a female villain and in the modern movies the villain starts to love the girl and melt her shut down heart. It's a cool movie for boys as well, even though the only noteworthy male character is a dumb prince. For older kids there's movies from different spectrum, like Tomb Raider where a female adventurer solves the mysteries of the world, is very independent and successful in her actions.But it's true that the female parts are poorly written at times when you gauge their dialogue importance. The problem is that they get extremely poorly written when the female characters get bigger dialogue for unknown reason. Now not exclusively, there are plenty of movies with good female characters, but you can spot a movie miles away that made its mission an important female dialogue and characters or political message over the story. We've seen improvements but at the same time all time lows when people who don't understand how to write a good part go on a mission like that.

  29. andrea r says

    its always confusing to me how movies with a male protagonist are movies for everyone but movies with female protagonists are "movies for girls"

  30. Onside Silver says

    Yehaaa, i kinda get it, i mean what he says is not wrong but i feel like he's forgetting the other side of the coin.Todays daily cartoon shows are the perfect opposite: The man is a complete idiot and borderline insane while the woman is always the genius and pillar of the family, age doesn't matter is always like that (Simpsons, Futurama, Family Guy).And yeha women get molested yada yada, we heard that at nauseam (not disproving it) but what about men that get manipulated and used by women? I'm curious to see how to show a cartoon like that without being called a misogynist or risking a full on war between the 2 sexes.I get what he's saying, i just feel that it's a really close minded view of the whole cake…

  31. Aanchal Kumar says

    9:30 I'm sorry I know this is serious and I love your talk but is that Tyler Hoechlin in the audience???

  32. rys iii says

    Star Wars tells a tale of amazing women and men cooperating to defeat the ones who try to imprison the freedom of the galaxy, Leia doesnt just sit around waiting, she is leading many actions, she is just not fit for the modern standards where women have to do absolutely everything and without a mistake or fatique if they want to be politically correct and not sexist, for example captain marvel, charlie's angels (the 2019 ones) etc

  33. Velocity Raptor says

    I would not lump kung fu panda with shrek and the fucken lion i cant remember his name from madagascar. Poe grows a lot and shows honor and strength and the ability to bounce back when times are tough.

  34. wezbie says

    what do the Persian Roman and Modern western cultures all have in common? they all failed because they honour fools.

  35. Garfield Disciple says

    2 things I sont believe in and never ever ever will.1.fate2. Owing someone something bcuz they did something 4 u(unless of course you say exactly that)

  36. ______________________ says

    this have to be worst ted talk i have seen

  37. Hawkward says

    What he's saying is just not true. He's blatantly cherry-picking examples to support his points, when you could just as easily find plenty of examples to the contrary.

  38. Maria Vassallo says

    raises hand "Labyrinth"

  39. jamarkus gg says

    Judging by the fact that even a normal glance in the direction of a woman is considered harassment, I am not sure of the relevance of this statistics

  40. MaDDworlD says

    male, female, those are just old terms we need to break away from. its time for global work, so we can go invade other planets and destroy other worlds.

  41. PickBit says

    I wonder how a society where men die on the job everyday, where men make up the vast majority of suicides and the homeless, where men have almost exclusive presence in heavy-duty and dangerous jobs, where they get punished more harshly for the same crimes, are constantly disadvantaged in divorces and paternity issues etc… can be called a "patriarchy"… Fun fact: if we want to talk about violence and assault, men are victim of violence BY WOMEN everyday too (and are victims of general violence more than women, one might add), but this fact is ignored and the men in question are ridiculed if they dare talk about it. Yes, there are problems with the modern society (even though we shouldn't forget that modern western society is the best that has ever existed in human history) and yes, there is a lot to be done still to improve it, but exaggerating one side of the issue while completely or mostly ignoring the other does not help at all.

  42. CyanKnight_Q9 says

    I'm sure he's talking about the ?tai

  43. Filth McGee says

    Hes forgetting that a lot of these movies appeal to teenage boys or men. There's a reason why there are fewer women in movies. But, I think times have changed and Im pretty sure most people dont care what gender the main characters are. Also, i agree that media has influenced boys and we're feeding a problem if these are the only movies that are popular.

  44. 전병조 says

    He's saying that he doesn't think kids movies have anything to do with sexual assaults, but he actually IS saying it. The whole point of the speech is to say it. If it wasn't, there would be no point mentioning the sexual assaults. What a passive aggressive way of arguing.

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