How Movies Teach Manhood Ted Talk


The influence of movies on societal norms and values cannot be underestimated. Movies have a significant impact on shaping our perceptions of various aspects of life, including gender roles and masculinity. In the inspiring Ted Talk titled “How Movies Teach Manhood,” speaker Colin Stokes explores the portrayal of manhood in popular films and highlights the need for a more diverse and inclusive representation of masculinity.

The Power of Media

In this thought-provoking talk, Stokes emphasizes how movies play a crucial role in teaching boys what it means to be a man. He argues that the media shapes our understanding of masculinity by repeatedly presenting a limited version of manhood, often emphasizing aggression, dominance, and stoicism. These narrow portrayals can lead to harmful stereotypes and unrealistic expectations for boys and men.

Reinforcing Stereotypes

Stokes points out that many popular movies perpetuate traditional stereotypes that associate manhood with physical strength, invulnerability, and an aversion to emotions. This not only limits the potential of boys to express their feelings but also propagates a distorted image of manhood that ignores the richness and diversity of the male experience.

Alternative Narratives

Stokes advocates for the importance of introducing alternative narratives in movies that challenge these stereotypes and offer a more inclusive representation of masculinity. By showcasing male characters who are compassionate, vulnerable, and emotionally intelligent, movies can help redefine societal expectations of manhood and foster healthier relationships between genders.

Impact on Society

The influence of movies on society is undeniable. As Stokes highlights, the messages conveyed by films can shape cultural norms, influence behaviors, and impact the self-perception of individuals. By diversifying the portrayal of manhood in movies, we can create a more accepting and tolerant society that celebrates the richness of human experiences, regardless of gender.


The Ted Talk “How Movies Teach Manhood” serves as a wake-up call to the film industry and society as a whole. It urges us to critically analyze the messages we consume through media and encourages filmmakers to embrace a more nuanced and inclusive representation of masculinity. By doing so, we can contribute to a world where everyone, regardless of gender, can fully express themselves and be valued for their authentic selves.

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