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Debra Smith

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Do TED men set the new standard for 'real men'? Which TED men do you admire and why?

I have discovered that most of the men I truly admire at this time in history are TED men.

Perhaps it is just that TED shows me that there are great men out in the world doing great things not just for their own small spheres but for all of us around the world in so many different fields of endeavour.

After watching Phil Zimbaro's talk on the demise of guys, I started to think of the role of men in today's world and how truly complicated it is. As the mother of 4 sons and as a woman who has fought hard for a better place for women in our world, I have begun to realize that perhaps men need from us what we needed from men- a bit of acknowledgement when we are working hard, trying to make things better and facing tough odds with courage.

So I am asking you: Please share which TED men you admire. Please choose from TED talks, TED staff and TED conversations.
Why do you admire them? (Its OK if you think that they happen to be attractive too!)

If you happen to have a personal definition of what a 'real man' or a 'good man' is to you, I would be fascinated to read it.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not limited to women but the invitation includes the whole
TED community.

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    Sep 18 2011: "The Demise of Guys" - the fact that there's a rhyme in there is the highest point that little blurb reaches.

    It should have been (more accurately) titled "Stereotypes for the 21st Century".

    I once read that masculinity is defined by what femininity is not. Much of Mr Zimbardo's talk seems to be measuring 'guys' against the yardstick that is 'gals' - a problem that began with the campaigns in the mid-80's to try and get girls doing more maths and science (and a hangover from the way "we" perceive reality).

    I wonder if women sometimes prefer the company of other women doing womanly things over mating with a man?

    Have 20th Century stereotypes been so ingrained that we still believe men just want to fuck and women don't - so much so that we are stunned by evidence to the contrary?

    A real man can balance his responsibilities and his pleasures and doesn't require an audience while doing so.
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      Sep 18 2011: "A real man can balance his responsibilities and his pleasures and doesn't require an audience while doing so."

      i like it.
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      Sep 18 2011: Hi Scott

      While it may appear that women “prefer” the company of other women to “mating with men” , most often it is not. It appears that my companionship with men other than my man, adversely affects his happiness with me. Just as the companionship of my man with other females, confuses my senses and affects my happiness.

      I too like "A real man can balance his responsibilities and his pleasures and doesn't require an audience while doing so."
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        Sep 19 2011: I think John Lennon said it best in the song "Jealous Guy".
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0dVykd2i6g

        Relationships are never easy - well, not the important ones, anyway. The hardships faced and overcoming them is what gives real weight to a relationship.
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          Sep 19 2011: Hi Scott,
          JOHN LENNON - Definitely belongs to the list of Amazing TED men.
          I just watched the video and listened to the song.
          Aren't we all fortunate that he left us with this

          "gift"

          Thank you for sending me the link. I Agree.
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          Sep 29 2011: Hi Scott - Lennon wrote song after song after song expressing his love for Yoko Ono. I personally feel she was the best thing that ever happened to him.

          Songs such as "Oh Yoko", "Woman", "Love (Is)" and "Oh My Love" are among the most emotionally honest and heart-felt love songs ever written. Another beautiful love song he wrote was "Julia" (for his mother I believe) when he was with the Beatles.

          The most important aspect of his work post Beatles was that maturation of the man and the resetting of his priorites to be love, peace and truth.
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        Sep 23 2011: Hi Juliette,

        John Lennon was a great song-writer and the messages he spread were often peace-oriented and enlightened.

        As a person, he was far from perfect.

        Jealous Guy is one of the great apologies by a man to a woman for his failings and imperfections.

        Interesting when you hold that up against a lot of female artists today and how many "relationship" songs are not about reconciliation but flicking the other person off and moving on. Not all, but a heck of a lot.
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          Sep 29 2011: Hi Scott,
          I agree. Life is too short to listen to " flicking " songs :-)
          Leaving us with such a song was what set John Lennon apart from the rest.
          Thank you for making me hear it ; my first time ever!!
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      Sep 18 2011: I was hoping that you would respond to my question especially with your classic style, Scott! Welcome and thanks.

      "A real man can balance his responsibilities and his pleasures and doesn't require an audience while doing so." What a great definition. I love it because you reached into yourself to listen to your own musical score for a sincere way of defining what it is for you to be a man. That aligns with what I think real men do - that is- let the media definitions and pressures of how to be run off their backs and be their true selves.

      I am not as thrilled by defining manhood as opposite to womanhood because we now know that gender runs along a continuum and we need to make space for all the ways of being in the world. The point of my question really is to extol 'personhood' as a unique manifestation of an individual in the world. I am trying to counteract a creeping feeling that manhood is being defined unfairly.

      As to your suggestion that women prefer the company of women, I could ask if men do not also sometimes prefer the company of men? This is as it should be but let me assure you that as much as my friends are a huge joy in my life and an ongoing source of love and support- they can never fill the role that a man fills in my life. Some of the sweetest moments of my life have been spent in communion with men and I utterly loved being the mother of 4 sons (and one daughter who provided the contrast). The sweetness of my little boys, their rough and tumble ways, their explorations and sincere questions make me love humanity itself even more.
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        Sep 19 2011: Well, I probably didn't need to rant so much before getting to the point but I cringe every time I hear "the average boy" or "most girls" - it smacks of a time before connectivity was so pervasive.

        I think there are a lot of interactions in life that are not based around sex or gender - whether it be what people like to call male bonding (it gets it's own name like it's something different from what girls do) or platonic relationships between men and women.

        What you say about definitions is true and this is my real beef with stats - you can identify trends in statistics but they cannot be liberally applied to the individual because, at the level of the individual person (as opposed to the group), many generalisations don't fit. The exception seems to take precedent over the rule at this level.

        What defines one person does not always define the next despite them sharing many traits.
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      Sep 21 2011: Scott-

      you know...my problem is not so much with the fact that men like to fuck, I particularly like to do that with a man I love, as often as possible. What bothers me, no...what drives me completely crazy is that it takes quite a long time to discover a man who is willing to make love and keep making love over the long term. Our society has not helped my plight in that a woman of 48, however open minded and fun loving I may be, is not a man magnet in the usual terms. I blame the generation before me and my generation for scaring the bejeezus out of men, for setting us back quite a few decades and causing the demise of probably 50 percent of the 50 percent of marriages that failed over the past 20 years. You see we women were taught that we could do ANYTHING on our own. Hmph...certain things I cannot do! Certain things I don't want to do!!! I drank the KoolAid all the way in to my early fourties and at 41 I found myself divorced and pretty unhappy about it.
      Now I would like to be coupled and I can't figure out which way is up, so to speak. My point is that I appreciate a man who can stand up to the complete crap that I was sold in my early twenties (should it start to leak out of my mouth...) and who can see past it to the inner woman shining through.
      I know that they exist, I'm just not sure that they want to brave getting involved with women like me....
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        Sep 21 2011: Hi Sherrie,

        sorry about the profanity but it helps shake people up.

        relationships are a tough one - there are times when I think we were all brainwashed into thinking we need relationships when in fact we don't and then I am quickly brought into line when I remember all of the benefits a strong, close relationship can bring for the people involved.

        The guys I kick round with (mostly my band) have started what we call the menimism movement. I don't know whether it's anything more than an excuse to get together and drink a few beers but I think there are guys out there thinking "what about my needs?" (I think many modern men are a lot 'softer' than media stereotypes suggest).

        I myself am lucky enough to have found a 'kind woman' (CSN&Y) and I am now consciously trying to fix my end up so that she doesn't get fed up and leave. In the process, I realised that, in the past, I was less forthcoming with relationship stuff than I thought I was.

        It's a tough nut to crack, that's for sure. Keep on the lookout. It'll probably drop into your lap when you're least expecting it.
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          Sep 21 2011: Hey Scott;
          Funny that you should bring up men wondering about their needs being met....I have worried so much about meeting my partner's needs in the recent past that I forgot about my own and became the proverbial door mat. Also not a good thing to do, kindness aside, self respect is a must in a healthy relationship. You make me smile when you say that a good man will fall in to my lap when I am least expecting it; you could be my Aunt Katherine speaking to me from 1976. I was 13 years old and could have given two hoots about it.
          The sweet thing about this conversation is that you are having it with me.
          Hug your lady and I hope it works out for the two of you in what ever capacity it is meant to.
          Oh, and trust me when I say to you that there is a kind and wise man who is going to be ever so happy to find me one day if for nothing other than the fact that we will make each other's bellies sore from laughing so much.
          I believe in love and I believe it will happily find me. I also believe that more than one woman raised her son to be compassionate and strong enough to be open. I just think it took some people in my generation (myself included) longer to self actualize than most others. We were lucky in some ways, things came relatively easy.
          In today's environment when an individual's character is more important than it has been for decades; I believe that we are being called to become a deeper, more caring version of ourselves. That has to create a positive impact on our relationships no matter what the definition, yes?
          Congratulations on your metamorphosis in to a better man, you sir, have become one of my heroes!
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        Sep 29 2011: @ Sherrie...i think we can be great friends....you make me laugh, both you and Scott....we already share one thing in common....finding that great guy to find us and be in our being....
  • Sep 19 2011: Wow a definition of a real man....let's see. Well I am real, I am male. I am not sure I live up to any one person's definition, though I have been told so. I think a real man is not defined by cultural definitions, but by who he is as a male person. I do not hunt or fish, and where I live those are two prerequisites for manly. I would rather have a day at an art museum or a concert. I am not a lover of sexless society in the sense of we are all the same; (I don't think we are, and I rejoice in the differences.) I am more a lover of a glorious, chaotic, intertwined existence of being that includes people who are males and those who are females. For me it isn't about defining the one with or against the other, it is about being human and being created with this incredible duality of male and female. I think people are suddenly more complete when they find that "other" out there who fits their otherness.
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      Sep 19 2011: Welcome Michael! Thank you.
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      Sep 19 2011: MIchael --

      Your "incredible duality of male and female" Is a wonderful, embracing phrase that suggest something like a "co-intertwined existence of being."

      Lovely definitions --

      Andrea
      • Sep 20 2011: That is exactly what I think. And once you get intertwined, well, you dont want out! Chaos is very much preferred.
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      Sep 19 2011: MIchael....io preferisco la donna che mi sveglia a quella che fa mi sogno.
      • Sep 20 2011: Mucho muy preferible...y que me encanta.
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    Sep 18 2011: Well, my hero is Carl Sagan and I'm sure if he were alive he'd have spoken many times on TED. Now, the question is, can he fix the broken dishwasher?
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      Sep 18 2011: I can really see him as a great candidate! He died in 1996 and I am not sure that he ever spoke on TED but he is certainly the prototype of what I am calling a TED man!

      I can also see why you relate to him. The poet in you is also in his spirit! He is so TED in his spirit of inquiry!
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        Sep 19 2011: Debra essere gesuita non en nessun artefatto culturale, e una vocazione, una vita, un essere profondo.
        Jaime e Il Conte siamo amici e abbiamo studiato insieme. Faciamo quello que e la nostra devozione, e il nostro capolavoro. Non di piu. Grazi per la tua benevolenza
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      Sep 19 2011: Lynn Certainly he can fix the dishwasher.
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    Oct 1 2011: One of the most central roles of a man is to be a father.

    One of the most central roles of is to teach with love.

    I look to my own father as an ideal as one who teaches and one who loves.

    Ted is a place where we come to learn and to teach what we have learned, and generally to spread the love that is built in to teaching and learning.

    I think that is why I experience TED men as exhibiting an ideal manhood.

    (A similar thing could be said about women. Ideal mothers are also loving teachers. TED women exhibit this ideal.)

    I would point to Daniel Goleman as one TED man who comes to mind. Reading his book on Environmental Intellegence was a genuine experience of being taught by a true teacher.
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      Oct 1 2011: Hello Inthegarden! Nice to see you here again!

      Daniel Goleman is a great TED teacher and his book is really a valuable read.

      You are very fortunate to be able to say those lovely things about your father. The apple does not appear to have fallen far from the tree!

      Thanks for sharing your choice of TED men!
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        Oct 1 2011: How kind! That means a lot.

        My newest discovery is Daniel Amen. It does not appear that he has been a TED speaker yet, but he would certainly be a good one.

        I have speant my life with a focus on Ethics and the Theory of Morality. But the problem that looms before me now is the question of implementation. Amen's book, Making a Goood Brain Great, talks about how brain health is the key to enabling us to consistently make good choices.

        He has used scanning techniques to scan over 60,000 brains and has learned how problems in behavior and choices correlate with cetain resulting brain scan image types. The scans show where in the brain there is too much activity, where there is too little activity, and where there is an appropriate level of activity. Then he uses the scans to see how various diets, activities, supplements, and medications effect the activity level in various parts of the brain so that they reach the healthy level.

        I have read the book twice and plan to chart out the advice from it that makes the most sense for me and begin to implement it. It appears to be a great tool in the effort to build a good life.

        I would suggest him as a future ted speaker and one who fits the TED man mold.
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    Sep 30 2011: Debra I admire your fight for a better world for women, I always wanted to do something about women's rights and hopelessly I am in iran and here I can't do much, but I am sure I will join you on this , someday .

    My TED men are

    Paul Bloom,
    watched his online psychology class on Yale website, loved it , saw his presentation on TED , loved it

    Julian Treasure
    he is so calm , even listening to him is relaxing

    Marco Tempest
    amazing and artistic presentation

    Sir Ken Robinson
    for his sense of humor

    by the way , I personally do not have that many friends just 4 . I see them maybe once a month and we only talk about movies, art and culture . Most of the times I am at home reading or writing and I don't have a girl friend , so I really don't know where I would fit in Mr.Zimbardo's list but I am sure I am not one of his 12 olympians.
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      Sep 30 2011: Welcome Amir!

      You have chosen a wonderful list of men who are doing interesting and worthwhile things. Thanks so much for sharing the talks and the speakers who have meant something to you.

      I just want to say that you have come to the right place, Amir. You no longer have just four friends. I feel certain that with the wit and charm that I have read in some of your posts that you have made many more friends here on TED already. I admire your dedication to education and especially your struggle to make learning fun.

      I am so glad that you are here and that Iran has a great teacher like you reaching out into the rest of the world through TED.
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        Sep 30 2011: wow, It was so heart warming and so wonderful, I am so grateful :)

        It is really good to see so many amazing people in here and I am so happy that there is at least one community for people around the world to gather and share ideas that are inspiring and moving.

        I am really curious to know how many TED members are somehow the outcasts of their society.

        Thanks again I am truly thrilled :)
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    Sep 26 2011: I have a TED staffer that is a true favourite of mine. He is always pleasant, great to deal with and genuinely interested in helping.

    His name is Will and he is the TED administrator.
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      Oct 7 2011: Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, Yeah!

      What's not to like about Emilaino Salinas????
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        Oct 7 2011: He says he was an ordinary boy who happened to become the son of a president...But that is the speech of a knight in shiny armor!!
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    Sep 29 2011: I love and admire Chris Anderson for founding TED....what a great community :-)
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      Sep 29 2011: Zanele! Welcome!

      I could not agree more with both your choice of Chris, your sense of loving him for giving us all an amazing gift and for this amazing community which now, happily, includes YOU!
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    Sep 26 2011: I can definitely say that I happen to have a personal preference for sir Ken Robinson as a speaker (British humour fascinates me).

    As for the TEDsters:
    Scot Armstrong - for never having a boring opinion,
    Muhammad Aizat Zainal Alam - for his great view on music,
    Salim Solaiman - for his tolerance and originality.

    and some others that I find interesting as people but don't wanna mention yet! I guess I'll be editing my list ... hopefully soon. :)
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      Sep 26 2011: Nice list Silvia! Please add whomever you find interesting so that we can celebrate their great qualities!
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    Sep 18 2011: Debra --

    Many men embody the full potentials of a "real" man. Certainly there are many here on TED. But I encounter them in "real life," too.

    My definition of good man is:

    One who embraces his full complex, balanced and evolving true self with insight and expresses it through his most humane, constructive potentials with courage, compassion and confidence. And humbly commits these to consistently engaging others in sustained relationships that energize more of the same.

    Andrea
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      Sep 18 2011: Andrea said a good man is:
      One who embraces his full complex, balanced and evolving self with insight and expresses it through his most humane, constructive potentials with courage, compassion and confidence. And humbly commits these to consistently engaging others in sustained relationships that energize more of the same.

      Bravo! That is one great inclusive definition of a good man. I love it that it equally applies to a good woman. (I am out of thumbs up for you but this response certainly is worthy of one!)
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        Sep 19 2011: Debra,

        Thanks for catching the gender inclusive theme. I recently completed phenomenological research, co-authored with a male-colleague that dealt with gender. We found it reductive to define full human expression by people of either gender by their respective sex.

        Not to say that sex differences don't exist, and for sure, do add sensual spice!

        Only that gender stereotyper minimize either and both sexes from "being all they can be -- and, indeed, are -- given the chance and courage to achieve their most intrinsic energies.

        Andrea
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          Sep 19 2011: Different things wake us up and help us to know that we must rethink our rigid definitions. For me one such experience was when my twins were born. We almost didn't make it so we were rushed to a neonatal unit at a University hospital. There, as my kids struggled for life, I found other mothers with babies who were ill. Some of those mothers had children who were born with ambiguous genitalia. What would it be like if my child went through life without fitting into one of only two choices of how to be according to prevailing norms? I would want them to have the permission to just be. Later, one of my daughter's best friends in primary school was a sweet kind funny boy. He was clearly gay. These people deserve a chance just to be with dignity.
          Your definition gives us all that chance.
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      Sep 19 2011: Ditto Debra !! Hi Andrea :-)

      Yours wraps him all up in - yet another - wonderful way.

      Expressing inner truth with " constructive courage " being the key to " balancing the evolving self "
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        Sep 19 2011: Juliette -

        I like your additions and, have amended my (our) definition to include yours...specifically regards "inner truth"...

        Thanks!
        Andrea
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        Sep 19 2011: Yes. meaningful additions, Juliette!
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      Sep 21 2011: great definition of a real man.....

      I suddenly realize why they intimidate me so!
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    Sep 18 2011: Hi Debra, was a bit confused as read your premise only, thoughts crossed how come Debra the Woman ignores women.....:) ?

    After reading your explanation it's become clear
    My TED Men are
    Speakers :
    Aaron Huey
    Hans Rosling
    Richard Dawkins
    Sir Ken Robinson
    Dan Dannet

    From TED Sters
    Joe Delsen
    Richard Dawson
    Tim Colgan
    Luigi Vampa
    Jamie Lubin
    Nicholas Lukowiak
    Scott Armstrong
    Matthieu Miossec
    Sabin Muntean

    these are just top of the mind there are many more........list should get longer and longer and happy with that if I can make it longer longer longer..................& longer

    Sorry for any spell mistakes of names as just writing for memory .....just let me know will edit accordingly
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      Sep 18 2011: Well you, Salim are certainly one of mine from TED conversations! To see the reason all one has to do is look at your first sentence in your posting above. There is something within you that always seems to yearn for the fairness, the justice and the balance and I admire that greatly. My premise is my reaching for a little balancing of social pressure from a woman on behalf of men.

      I also admire the people from TED conversations that you have chosen. I plan to check out Aroon Huey's TED talk to remember what he has said and discover what you admire in him!
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        Sep 18 2011: I don't hear much about Aron hear in TED but he is my favorite.
        Great storyteller, compassionate, empathetic, courageous ... check it and let me know what you feel about his talk.
        Thanks Debra for your compliments as usual....obliged I am
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          Sep 18 2011: Yes, all I had to do was see the title of his talk to remember him as a man of great moral courage! I admire him too, Salim.
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        Sep 18 2011: Sorry I could give you the link in my ealier post. Well here it comes

        http://www.ted.com/talks/aaron_huey.html
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          Sep 19 2011: What I love most about this talk is the strength of conviction that is evident in this man's personality!
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          Oct 1 2011: I am in love with Aaron
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        Sep 19 2011: Thanks Debra for your feedback.
        Loved his imense passion soaked in heartfelt emotion for what he does, for what he believes, what he stands for, what he ready to fight for ...................
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    Sep 18 2011: Aware honest and responsible at least.
    Aware of himself, honest with himself about who he is (or true to himself) and responsible for his life and death.
    i add the death bit, because once his not afraid of 'the big one' all the little 'deaths' and losses won't be so painful and he can be more courageous and determined; and he can leave his body as he came to it.
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      Sep 18 2011: Benny boy! Thank you for that definition. It shows such depth of thought.
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      Sep 18 2011: Thank you Benny for saying it so beautifully - I follow this.

      Being responsible to these three things and then everything else does fall into place:

      Being aware of himself,
      Being honest with himself,
      Being True to himself.

      These are three little tools I carry with me to measure my own self moment to moment. And the grade I give myself , tells me where to self-direct to stay on course. ( I replace "himself" above with the word "myself" )
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    Sep 17 2011: For me TED men are redefining manhood in a very positive way.

    I admire many but my top ones from TED talks include:

    Dan Arielly for making us think more clearly about many things
    Peter Eigen for chasing down corruption.
    Sam Richards for encouraging us to be empathetic.
    Michael Sandel for teaching us about justice and setting the highest example for public discussions
    Martin Jacques for clarifying and demystifying Chiina.
    Chris Anderson for giving us TED and for his quiet, ameliorative personality.
    OH yes, and I have to add Misha Glenny for restoring my faith in investigative journalists!

    These guys are the new standard for men for me. They help me to believe that a better world is possible. They all seem to assume that there is a place for women in the world so that we can be partners.

    I have favourites from TED conversations too. I will post them sometime later.
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      Sep 17 2011: Great question .. or I better say assignment :-) :-)

      I will have to go review my favorite talks and read more posts to come up with my list.

      For now I will start with two men;

      1. Chris Anderson - for most amazing man - having built this "Ark of awareness"

      2. Hang Le - best looks.
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        Sep 18 2011: Juliette! You are the first to have the courage to admit that some of these men are also quite attractive (inside and out)! I look forward to your expanded list.
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          Sep 19 2011: STEVE JOBS - for giving us the tools to "Think different", stay true to our passion, unleash our creativity and cultivate our imagination.
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        Sep 20 2011: That was a good talk! Thanks Juliette! (you are quickly becoming a big favourite of mine for your wit and charm!)
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          Sep 20 2011: I am honored. Thank you.
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    Oct 17 2011: Benjamin Zander - Benjamin Zander on music and passion
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    Oct 10 2011: There are so many, but Steven Pinker pops up in my head at the moment. He is an incredible human being who is so dedicated to figure out the connection between the langauge, our thoughts, minds, and cognition.

    I think he is looking at the society as a whole as well (his talk on history of violence, for example).

    He inspires us to go deeper what things we do mean to us, for example, how our usage of verbs connect to our cognitive level.
  • Oct 10 2011: Good question. My answer is EVERYONE on TED. just everyone - man, woman, young, old and or even in-between. Its just the community to be. Thanks y'all
  • Sep 29 2011: I don't think the fact that because males join a certain website are drastically different from others. I think joining a website like this one really adds wisdom and complex thinking to the joiner immensely! Then they can continue to do what they really love and think of new ways to live everyday. They might not set a very prominent moral for the vast majority of the male population, but the Men that do have the insight and knowledge to delve deep into this deserve a sort of a consideration. And plus most of the guys pictures that I've seen so far are very muscular and intelligent looking.
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      Sep 29 2011: Hi Benjamin, This is a fresh new point. My premise for the question is that TED men represent a group that are particularly admirable because of their can do and caring approach to life. You seem to be saying that TED men are not all that much different from today's men in general. I cannot tell you how much I hope that is true!

      Thank you for joining us and sharing your perspective.
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    Sep 21 2011: Debra, I am not sure how i feel about the idea of redefining manhood honestly.But I do appreciate Sam Richards for his courage to stand out and say something unpopular(for some) yet meaningful.( Maybe more importantly) himseilf is quite empathetic.
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      Sep 21 2011: He's on my list too, Amily. Thanks for joining us here!
      I am happy about your ambivalence to define or redefine manhood. The quotation marks around 'real men' are there to draw attention to the idea that it is questionable as a concept.
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    Sep 20 2011: I enjoy watching many TEDx talks in addition to TED talks. I wanted to draw attention to the great work being done around the world which is being shared on TEDx. I am paying tribute to the men of TEDx as well. Here is one talk you might never have seen. The TEDx talks are not as polished as TED talks but if we are looking for more than just entertainment there is a lot we can learn from these men (and of course the woman of TEDx too).

    TEDxNarimanPoint - Anand Chulani - Transformation in Education

    http://youtu.be/RG884jMvSNE

    TEDx NarimanPoint - Ashish Kumar Singh - Transformation in Education

    http://youtu.be/G7_uLur1zIA
  • Sep 20 2011: Debra I encourage you to watch Ben Dunlap and his TED Talk on passion!
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    Sep 20 2011: This is taken directly from another TED question posed by Wayne Roberts which asks What was your Eureka moment?
    In case anyone has not made a point of going to that question I want to share the response of one young man named CHRIS RYAN.

    " I was on my second tour in Iraq. In the same week, my girlfriend dumped me, my parents told me they were divorcing, my grandmother had a stroke, and I was told we were coming back to Iraq again 12 months after the end of the current rotation. My mind, body, and soul took such a beating, but somehow I was able to keep moving forward. It was after being completed decimated on all fronts, that I discovered the true potential of the human spirit."

    All I could respond to this young man that I admire so much for his courage and human spirit is WOW!

    I absolutely repeat my assertion that most of the men that I admire at this time in history are TED men.
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    Sep 19 2011: Which TED men do you admire and why?... well, I haven't found any TED men that are worth admiring yet.What are your suggestions Debra?
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      Sep 19 2011: That's funny Muhammad Aizat because I was just coming back to this question to write about one I admire very much for a lot of good reasons.

      I met a young 19 year old man here on TED who exemplifies kindness, caring for his fellow man, courage, and a whole host of other great qualities. He has profound faith and lives it out on a daily basis while genuinely and consistently including people of all perspectives. He is a faithful Muslim, a Malaysian and a student who reaches out into the world of TED and beyond to help his fellow man.

      His name is Muhammad Aizat Zainal Alam and he makes me believe that Islam has some wonderful human beings reaching out into the world for peace.
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        Sep 20 2011: AWWWWW!!!! You're such a sweet lady!thanks for those compliments! =)
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          Sep 20 2011: This time my goal was to be absolutely serious and to tell you and others about how many people we can admire. I am not talking about elevating people but about acknowledging when they are doing good.
          Are there no speakers from TED talks that inspire you and make you think: there is a human being trying hard to do good in his lifetime? That is what makes someone worthy of admiration to me.
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        Sep 21 2011: I do have someone in TED that I admire but she's a woman. =)
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      Sep 21 2011: I was just thinking the same thing about Mr. Muhammad. He was so kind during a conversation(remember the one where we had to get our point across in 5 words?). I found him to be funny and creative and full of respect. You, Mr. Muhammad are a gentleman and a scholar :)
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    Sep 19 2011: Zimbardo has no place informing me and others what "real men," are since most of the TED talks on mens and boys issues only deal with them in the context of how to make us more useful to women and girls. What was Ali's talk about boys in school about? The great concern they we are not getting educated? Yes, but also the social subtext that universities are worried their won't be enough males for their female graduates to date.

    Zimbardo likewise echoes this worry, that we do no have sex the way some would like, or communicate with the opposite sex in a way that people such as Zimbardo would prefer.

    Honestly, none of the TED male speakers to actual male concerns or honest to God represent men in anyway. If you think they do then I pity you greatly.
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      Sep 19 2011: James, your observations are valid but the point of my question was to provide an opportunity for the opposite. I was not extolling those talks but saying men are doing some great things and many are very healthy. Those talks and my own relationships with men made me realize that there are some great guys in this confusing time. Men should be aspiring to be their own best versions of themselves not to be more groomed for women's uses.

      Would you please accept my invitation to pick out the guys you admire here at TED? Which talks were shared by guys whom you admire? Which TED conversationalists do you think consistently present a strong presence with wisdom from a healthy male perspective?
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        Sep 19 2011: Of any guy to give a talk, Jonathan Haidt is probably my all time absolute favorite, in that his comparison and talk on moral and political "group think." I've relinked his article a couple dozen times at this point.

        Jonathan Haidt is definitely the best in my book.
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          Sep 19 2011: You are right. Haidt presented another outstanding talk with surprising insights. Thanks for accepting my invitation.
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        Sep 19 2011: Debra io non ho sostenuto niente da caso... ognuno e responsabile dalla propia parola. Io posso parlare di la masculinita per una ragione troppo forte...Io sonno uomo. La parola equilibrante dalle donne e sempre benvenuta si e ragionevole e giusta.
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          Sep 19 2011: Caro Luigi, tu, Jaime, e il Conte sono tra i miei uomini preferiti qui a TED. A volte mi chiedo se è la vostra formazione unica con i gesuiti, o se si tratta di un artefatto culturale, ma adoro l'intelligenza, l'erudizione, il carattere e le intuizioni che tutti possediamo. Voi siete uomini meravigliosi pieni di intrigity e mentre io non sono una donna che si sottomette facilmente a meno che io sono convinto trovo che tu e il tuo fascino amici e mi illumini. Grazie.
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      Sep 18 2011: Hi Aphra! Welcome!

      I would really enjoy hearing about the men you know who display more 'male competencies'. And don't forget to fill us in on the relevant variables! but Who is whining?

      Have you been watching the same TED talks that I have? I have lived a fairly long time. I was married for many years to a cop, worked in factories, academia and business and never have I found so many men I could admire and respect as I have discovered on TED. If these are Spice boys- pour on the spice!
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          Sep 18 2011: Hi Aphra, thanks for your opinions and I would not have you aid and abet! God forbid!

          I absolutely disagree with your characterization of TED commenters and I wonder if you have been here long. I tried to check your profile and discovered as is the case with most people who are very critical in their posts that there is no information there. Lonely hearts club is so dismissive and belittling. And where you can only see a desire for affirmation I wonder if you do have the ability to perceive politeness and kindness when you see it.

          I repeat, though, have you ever watched any TED talks? There are some pretty great guys doing great things. There are a lot of men on the Talks and on the conversations who fit into your preferred demographic. I invite you to really stay and really listen and contribute because after a life time of working with men of all stripes - I have to tell you that many of these men are the real deal.
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          Sep 18 2011: Aphra in your words are fresh air....if we can see the manhood history (already non written) maybe we see how we want to return to the heroic archetype. All the foundational miths are plenty of heroes that together with their heroines could found the keystone for culture and civilization....from Adam and Eve,,,,
          is nice to make a little "passegiatta" for the miths and for a nice sunday maybe the Riane Eisler book "The Chalice and the Blade" and a red wine glass are the best.
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          Sep 18 2011: Luigi che cosa è che si sono incoraggianti qui? Hai davvero letto le voci di questa persona e stai sostenendo le sue valutazioni e maleducazione?

          I will look up that book and hope to learn from it.
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          Sep 19 2011: HAhahahaha. . Spice boys , Lonely Hearts Club ? What is wrong with you?
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          Sep 18 2011: There is nothing in this question that confers any responsibility upon you. You take the nom de plume of an important female writer who had to struggle against the mores of her time and as a woman who has lived through the sexual revolution on the front lines and fought many men for just a chance to exercise my talents and strengths I look back now and see how many kind and good men were never thanked for being good people in turbulent times.

          You can come or go.
          You were, if you so choose, invited to offer some encouragement to hard working and caring people who are doing good things and who happen to be male.
          Whether it serves any purpose or not is not for you to decide.
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          Sep 18 2011: Should you be worried not to be in the eye of a woman or for any other reason that makes you fear change.
          Nothing really is changing in nature.
          The way women look at men is recently investigated.
          It appears that being questioned about men the answers of all women where substantial incongruent with the body responses in tests.
          Advertisers aren't stupid. They know what they show.
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          Sep 18 2011: This is a very interesting response Franz, I need more to understand it though. You are certainly right that advertisers take advantage of visceral level data obtained by trained psychologists. It is not hard to determine what attracts attention. I really- truly believe though that most women use their higher cognitive functions in life and in choosing which men to befriend and value.
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          Sep 19 2011: Hi Aphra,

          It seems that we share an appreciation for the Italian language - and perhaps culture (?!) - wine ?! For me they loom (the art or the process of weaving) together a poetry.

          I will gift you this and please hang on to it. It will make a great deal of sense down your path;

          " If you don't drink wine,
          don't mock the drunkards" - Omar Khayyam

          Write me when you find the second verse.
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    Sep 17 2011: Man·hood (mnhd) (this is the one I mean- especially number 2)
    n.
    1. The state or time of being an adult male human.
    2. The composite of qualities, such as courage, determination, and vigor, often thought to be appropriate to a man.
    3. Adult males considered as a group; men.
    4. The state of being human.
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      Sep 18 2011: Debra do you think that we men have to reinvent the manhood?

      Really I think that we have to preserve the values of the manhood, as you say corage, determination and vigor among others as tenderness, imagination and originality that are in common with women. We are not alone, you are the equilibrium. The manhood is not a intellectual matter to be defined or redefined in the stream of time. Is a character from genre. a seal for the way to be.
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        Sep 18 2011: hmmm. ... "reinvent manhood"...."courage" .... "vigor" ...." imagination" ... "determination" ...."originality"....
        "A seal for the way to be"...."equilibrium" ....

        Isn't everything an intellectual matter to be defined or redefined in the stream of time !! What else sets the human apart from other animals in general and apes in particular ??

        Luigi - you have fueled my engine....thoughts are being born in my mind and I am pondering ...."wheel"
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          Sep 18 2011: Juliette first...thank for your words...tis exchange of thougts and emotions in very few words are powerfull for both. If you see yoursel as a woman plenty of womanhood you can find more than the stereotype of woman. We are not magazine ads, we are soul and flesh. If we define also we put limits. I propose review boundaries, not limits. The genre equilibrium is the real force in this world...but we lost the equilibrium and change for stability...stabula...in latin the place for cows befor the slaughterhouse....stability...inmobility...death.

          Boundaries are better than limits.
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          Sep 19 2011: Juliette,tu mai ha detto limits....sono Io qui lo ha detto. Chiaro?
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        Sep 18 2011: Buongiorno Luigi e grazie per essere venuti a condividere qui!

        Men do not need to reinvent manhood but we live in a period of history that I think has been defined by women and their struggle for human rights- and that has not always been for the best. We are the equilibrium you refer to above but I think that in our own journeys we have sometimes been out of balance with the needs of men as people, as human beings. I have loved and married and divorced and loved four sons. I have seen my men close up and I really like the critters!

        Media has been so influential in defining women and either actively or by default it has redefined men in some very weird ways. When I was young, the Marlborough man was the rugged depiction of what a man should be. There was then the James Dean type of rebel without a cause. There was the strong silent type, the Jimmy Stewart type, the kill everything in sight kind of Silvester Stalone character that was redeemed by a cry for 'Andrian!" , and then bit by bit men began to become even more of a caricature in ways that made me squirm. Men were the butt of jokes in commercials that no one would have tolerated for one minute if women had been treated in such a way.

        I was on the front line when women took non-traditional jobs and believe me I saw the worst of men as well. So I do think it is valid to give acknowledgement to men we admire and who are not just following some stereotype of what a man could or should be but following their own path, integrating women into their lives and doing great things in the process.

        The secret of defining 'manhood' for me is the same as defining 'womanhood'- it is looking within for the core strengths and uniqueness and realizing that no other human being is designed to do exactly what you were designed to do. True personhood is becoming all you can be and living life usefully and joyfully as yourself.
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          Sep 18 2011: Debra grazie tanti...the media steeotypes are just for spread vulgarity. I prefer to believe in hope to find the real heroism to be real man or woman. Not the models from magazine ads or hollywood movies....I think that our subject is more to soul than flesh....if you go to your birth certificate you find names, dates, genre, fathers, mothers.....the flesh.......but theres not a soul certificate.......
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          Sep 18 2011: Debra - I love the word "integrating" as key here.
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          Sep 18 2011: scusi Luigi, ma dove ho detto "limit", Eh ?
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          Sep 19 2011: Luigi --

          Rosso. Profondo, complesso e, preferibilmente a secco -- Naturalmente.

          Andrea
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          Sep 20 2011: Luigi --

          Ho avuto il piacere di una splendida Brunello di Montalcino. Sì, piuttosto bella.

          Mettere in relazione al proprio immaginario spiaggia: onde multidynamic viene in mente.

          Andrea
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          Sep 20 2011: Debra --

          I, too, have had various family, personal and professional experiences with men that continually remind me how much I love "the critters," as you put men.

          Some of the less pleasant have given me important insights into myself, in reflection. Some of the most valuable have given me important insights through intentional co-relational attempts to understand how we can construct newer horizons together.

          You might be interested in this parallel Q I asked a while back. Far less embracing than yours. And there were tensions to traverse. I'm grateful for this conversation. It takes off where my intent was directed. In any case, there may be food for thought in it:

          http://www.ted.com/conversations/4901/is_the_demise_of_guys_a_harb.html

          Andrea
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          Sep 21 2011: Debra parliamo anche dalla femminilita.?
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        Sep 19 2011: Luigi --

        Boundaries, yes. Not limits.

        And: Mea culpa for this saucy retort in advance:

        But there are certain, ahem, flesh aspects of manhood nature has endowed that I don't think ought to be revised.

        Add soul, plus perhaps good wine, and good timing and I think equilibrium via spiritual agape with the right woman is imminent....

        Andrea
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          Sep 19 2011: Hahhhhahhhhaaaaaaaaaa!
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          Sep 19 2011: Andrea Rosso o bianco?
        • Sep 19 2011: Rosa con la mujer de mi suenos...si soy hombre!
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          Sep 19 2011: Magari un rosso siciliano Nero D,avola. E lo stesso che guardare il tramonto a una bella serata sulla spiaga. Abbiamo anche un bellisimo Brunello da Montalcino edizione limitata.
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          Sep 20 2011: Andrea, I don't think this reply is in the right place but I am responding to your last post to me where you posted the link to your previous conversation. I should have mentioned before and I apologize for not doing so that the conversation that you started about men stayed with me and made me think all of this time. What it finally generated was the realization within me that we tend to think of men as somehow more resilient or stronger as a sort of stereotype. Why? I asked myself would they not obviously need the kinds of love and support we do? Why have I assumed that I have been nurturing enough to all of the men in my life? I have appreciated when they have been tender, nurturing and supportive of me. I wondered if in the midst of fighting for women's rights through the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000+ if I really had stopped to say thank you to the good men. That lead to me asking this question. I am so very grateful to have this outlet and to have the chance to learn from, speak with and debate with so many really wonderful men. Things that go unsaid might as well never been felt at all when it comes to gratitude. So this is my way of paying a down payment on my personal debt to good men. (I will find a way to say thanks to our sisters at some point.)
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        Sep 20 2011: Luigi - Thank you.
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          Sep 21 2011: Juliette...il nostro amico Conte di Salaparuta ha una cava incredibie. Aspetiamo il suo ritorno per aprire di nuovo la porta del Caffe del Conte. Il Conte e a punto da finire un picolo lavoro e tornara a casa a Napoli. Bella mangiatta, parola e bona vita. Ti Piace?

          Michelle tu sei presto?

          Crediamo che questa tertullia si amigliora con un buon vino. Anche possiamo parlare dalla femminilita.
        • Sep 22 2011: Luigi
          I would love it if the Count returned and we shared cafe again.
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        Sep 21 2011: Caro Luigi, questa domanda è il mio omaggio agli uomini di TED e la possibilità per le donne e gli uomini a parlare di grandi qualità che gli uomini possiedono. In futuro forse qualcuno credo che sia importante discutere le qualità delle donne buone e iniziare un'altra questione riguardante le donne di TED. Tu, naturalmente sono invitati a prendere questa discussione in tutte le direzioni che si possono godere e io sorriso al vostro buffonate!
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          Sep 21 2011: Debra lo so benissimo....questa non e una buffonata per ridere soltanto cosi, e una proposta equilibrante, ma sicuro per un altra parte o consiglio.. qui a TED?, da vero no lo so.

          Vi ringraziamo il tuo soriso. Grazie tanti e ciao.
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        Sep 28 2011: I clearly owe you, Luigi an apology and this is a lesson about the limitations of using Google Translator. I was trying to say that I love to laugh with delight at the ideas you share and I ended up using a word that meant 'clown' in Italian. I am sorry. It would never cross my mind to call you a clown. I know you to be a sincere and brilliant scholar with a sense of humour.
        Please accept my apologies.

        Luigi is another of my favourite TED men.