Understanding the “Man Box”

TED.com is a website that I became acquainted with through one of my teaching colleagues. According to the website:

“TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.

You can find talks about various topics, from education to religion to technology to entertainment…Lots of very intriguing speakers, some who are well-known, such as Al Gore, to less well-known people, who, in their talks, inspire us, teach us, persuade us, fascinate us…

I came across a new TED talk today that I felt I had to share. This talk was given by Tony Porter at the first TEDWomen conference held just this past month. Mr. Porter is the co-founder of A Call to Men, a non-profit organization “committed to ending violence against women.” In his presentation, he discusses the “Man Box,” and how living in the “Man Box” causes men to live in bondage to what some men think being a man is all about. He discusses how much of living in the “Man Box” leads to violence against women. Nonetheless, he concludes his talk with a profound statement of liberation that we all, men and women, must hear.

Below is the video of “Tony Porter: A Call to Men.” Play it for every man you know. But as a woman, I feel it is also a call to me – to further understand these issues so that I can understand that there are other men who are trying to break free of the “Man Box.” I need to understand these issues so that when my husband explains the “Man Box” to our daughter, that I will be able to understand right along with her.

I am the wife of a man who has long broken out of the “Man Box.” Nonetheless, let us all seek to understand the men in our lives to support them breaking out of their own “Man Box.”


  1. Joe McDermott says:

    Great post. There are a lot of problems with the attributes of men that society currently reveres; however, in my experience as a man, we will emulate those behaviors/attitudes, whatever, that we believe will make us more attractive to women. Look at what our girls are taught to value in a man…look for the six pack abs, Escalade and plenty of money and you get all the attention a man could want. I have two daughters and have tried to raise them in the knowledge that the man who fears God first is the rarity in our world. If more women were attracted to this kind of man, things would change.
    A really cool speach at TED was one Billy Graham did years ago. A lot of atheist’s in the audience and he delivered.

  2. KWiz says:

    Thank you for your comment, Joe. My husband says the same thing – our society says “this is what you should value in a man,” which makes it difficult because men want to please women. Sounds like a catch-22 for men who put (or want to, but feel pressure) God first. But then again, that’s what attracted me to my husband 11 years ago. I truly believe that it’s up to fathers to teach daughters (as you and my husband are) what to look for when they choose men (much later on!!!). I didn’t get that, and I made SOOOO many mistakes before I met my husband.

    Thank you again! I’ll take a look at Billy Graham’s TED talk.

  3. Ines says:

    Hi Kay,

    just stopping by to say hi and to let you know I appreciate your comments and support on my blog very much 🙂 I hope your little girl is doing well.

    I love Tony’s video it actually made me cry, he is outstanding and speaks from the heart. This message needs to be heard by all men.

    Hey I would love to add value to you, if you wish email me and I will provide you with a free redeem code for our little ipad/iphone app so you can have some fun with your girl 🙂

    have a great week,

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