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Home » A Reframing of Masculinity, Rooted in Empathy: Gary Barker (Transcript)

A Reframing of Masculinity, Rooted in Empathy: Gary Barker (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Gary Barker’s talk titled “A Reframing of Masculinity, Rooted in Empathy” at TED conference.

In “A Reframing of Masculinity, Rooted in Empathy,” gender equality advocate Gary Barker addresses the critical issue of traditional masculinity norms and their impact on society. He draws from personal experiences and extensive research to highlight the role of men in perpetuating violence and the urgent need for a shift towards a more empathetic understanding of manhood.

Barker emphasizes the alarming statistics of male involvement in violence and the societal pressures that shape these behaviors. He advocates for engaging men and boys in conversations about care, empathy, and vulnerability as foundational elements of a healthier version of masculinity. Barker’s talk challenges the audience to reconsider societal norms and to foster environments where men can express themselves without the constraints of traditional masculinity.

By promoting empathy and understanding, he envisions a future where men are allies in the fight for gender equality and are part of a compassionate society. Barker’s message is a call to action for redefining manhood in a way that benefits everyone, encouraging a collective effort towards change.

Listen to the audio version here:

TRANSCRIPT:

This is a hard conversation. I want to start with that. Well, let’s step into it. It was 1977. Jimmy Carter was president. “Queen” was playing on the radio. I was having lunch in my high school cafeteria in Houston, Texas, when we heard a young man shouting at another young man next to him saying, “You stole my girlfriend, and I’m going to make you pay.” He pulled out a pistol, and as about 100 of us looked on, he shot and killed him.

Two years later, I was a freshman at a big state university, Friday night in the dorm room. Music, beer, five young men take a young woman back to one of their rooms and force her to have sex. There was no investigation at the time. No one called it rape. No one said sexual violence. These two events are what drove me to do this work.

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