Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Heroic Stereotypes

Just watched a TEDx by Colin Stokes where he explains that Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz wins the fight with evil by being nice to everyone and being a leader (incidentally, of a team of men). Dorothy was not the hero of the story because she was the best at fighting or using a special power or type of magic. 

I agree with Stokes on this. Movies and pop fiction are often sending the wrong message: “Is a hero’s job to defeat the villain and collect his reward (that is usually a woman who has no friends and doesn’t talk)?”

That last bit in parentheses is a reference to the Bechdel Test that most movies fail.

Bechdel Test - 1. Are there 2 women with names and lines? 2. Do they talk to each
other? 3. About something other than a man.

Among Stokes' conclusions was this: “A real man is someone who trusts and respects women and stands up against a real bad guy (that wants to hurt women).” That is the kind of leadership people need to see. 

He also says this about Obi Wan: He knows more than anyone else and shares that knowledge.
Stokes assigns some of the problems he identifies to Joseph Campbell and “The Mono-myth” - The Hero’s Journey from The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Stokes notes that the hero is typically white, male, straight, and able-bodied. The truth of his words is powerful. http://youtu.be/OyM-2_5cmkA

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