I can't agree with all points raised in this TED Talk* — The Wizard of Oz movie doesn't deliver exactly the same feminist message as the books — but I love that Stokes' talks about how movies can help teach boys to be inspired by girls. The white male normative tales don't allow much room for learning about anyone other than white men. And this world is mostly filled with people who aren't white men. So, you know, we need some new stories, and fast. Creating more movies with strong female characters is good for boys and girls, and for society as a whole.


*I still don't completely understand what TED talks are? I mean, I know what they are, but why are there ten thousand of them and they're all ridiculously long and dense — are there Cliffs Notes for some of the better ones? Someone should do that.

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I've argued before that the main reason women are more empathetic than men (generalizing of course) is that we grew up in a world empathetic towards men and therefore learned to think of male needs and male concerns and how it must feel for a man to go through "fill in the blank." But men not only don't live in a world empathetic towards women, but are strictly encouraged to avoid any understanding of women and the shit we go through. Ever seen a tampon commercial and had a man nearby literally flinch? Men are told that empathizing with women is anti-masculine.

How do we learn to empathize? One major way is through books and movies, which put us in the shoes of someone else. Which is why the cannon should be expanded to include more books by and about people who aren't white dudes. But more than that, we need to expand our definition of masculine to include empathizing with people who don't have penises.