The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Have You Met TED Yet?

Posted by Tom Jackson on September 25, 2008

TED is a technology and innovation conference that’s held every year in Monterey, California. Lots of great thinkers like Al Gore, Eve Ensler, and Richard Dawkins have all presented (strictly under 20-minute) talks. It costs around $6000 bucks to attend, assuming of course that they deem you worthy of a ticket. I would sell my decaying grandmother to go at least once in my life. But until I find a bidder I am forever thankful for the TED website.

Every talk ever filmed at the conference is available to view, and it’s all for free! With the number of hours I have spent on this site I’m sure I could have completed a PhD in astrophysics. But no mind, at least I’m doing something towards enriching my noggin.

Below is a link to one of my favorite talks by writer Isabel Allende. In it she talks about, among other things, her definition of feminism.

Click here to view Isabel Allende’s TED Speech.

This talk is apt as my first post for The Dawn Chorus. Especially when Isabel talks about what she thinks is needed to improve the world for some of its most disadvantaged women:

We need to nurture the feminine energy in men for real change to happen.

Cheekily, she then notes that they must be men with young minds,

as old guys are hopeless, and we must wait for them to die off.

And as a man with a young mind, I couldn’t agree more.

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5 Responses to “Have You Met TED Yet?”

  1. scal said

    Being the only male writer on a feminist blog is a really interesting position in which to be. I hope you’re going to bring more than just a “men other than me, aren’t they hopeless?” perspective.

  2. Tom, spot on.

    I had this discussion with my mother recently, who says I need to get over my thinly-vieled distaste for most men over 45. I told her when they can speak to me as an adult, instead of assuming they are more worldly and intelligent than I am by virtue of their gender and their age, I’ll be happy to drop the distaste in return. I have three men in my life over 45 who treat me with respect. They receive nothing but respect in return. Respect is not blindly given because you have a penis, or because you’ve been around longer. The more you behave like this is your world and you are an expert/lord/demigod within it, the more distaste you will see on my face.

    Sadly, men 45+ who are prepared to enter into a genuine relationship (be it friendship, family tie or other) with a woman on equal footing, particularly if she is a generation younger, are rare.

    Mind you, there are still way too many young men being groomed in the same way to have the same attitudes. My hope is that they are no longer the majority.

  3. sjtindustries said

    Come now scal, feminists are optimistic no? I’m sure Tom will be great (not to put the pressure of expectation… but…).

    As a male trying perhaps somewhat to follow some sort of feminist type thingy (being genuine to other people, wow, what a stretch), and constantly failing (why does porn have to be so easy to find online? and my impatient / condescending streak does not bode well in conversation) I’ve found other male writers to be rather decent.

    Thinking of the example of Robert Jensen, the anti-imperial writer whose work introduced me to feminism, criticism from one’s own sex can perhaps be harder to dismiss, but also does not necessarily have to be self righteous. If anything, it at least dismisses the first line of defence (“but it was written/said by woman”), and at best it provides not just intellectual but perhaps also practical support and background for a different way of thinking…

    Not sure if that makes sense, but i hope it does… And I shall visit that site and wait patiently for the videos… And yes, I’ve written comments on other posts, but never hit the ‘submit’ button until the article was written by a bloke…

  4. scal said

    sjtindustries – oh, I’m not disputing the value of male comment on the issue! And it’s great that a man has been added to the list of writers for this site.

    I’m just disapointed that his first post did nothing more than agree with a flippant description of older men as “hopeless”.

    When Ann Coulter writes about women for her (largely male) audience, there’s a sense of her wanting her audience’s approval – and wanting to be the only women in the room, if you know what I mean.

    It’s so easy to merely grandstand to win favour with your audience. I’d hate to see a man’s contribution to a feminist blog reduced to derision of men.

  5. Altissima said

    Hi Tom, Looking forward to more posts from the male perpective.
    I am familiar with TED, but had not seen the Isabel Allende video. It was wonderful – Thanks for pointing it out. Exploring the TED website, I also found this gem:
    Nellie McKay sings “Mother of Pearl”

    Be warned though, once you’ve listened to this you’ll spend the rest of your day humming:
    “feminists don’t have a send of humour doobeedooobeedoo….”

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