“Men men men men, manly men, oo hoo hoo, hoo hoo, oo… “


As today marks “international men`s day” we dedicate this post to the men who run the (TEDxVienna-) show (together with us ladies). TEDxVienna has about 80 team members only about 25 of those are men. But today we make sure to celebrate our very own minority.

This world currently faces 3 770 655 090 people with a y-chromosome. (By the way, at the moment men outnumber women by 66 million.) Thinking of “international men’s day”, which is also devoted to the health of the male population on this planet, the following question arises:  What actually makes a man a man? There are so many attributes allocated to men per default:

  • Men are supposed to be strong communication-wise, physically and mentally.
  • Men are taught to be confident, reliable, courageous, even aggressive, adventurous, smart and – not to forget – cool.
  • Men are said to always find their ways, make themselves heard and fight for their rights.
  • Men must be communicative, daring and adventurous on the one hand, but on the other hand they also need to be caring, understanding and sensitive.

But, enough with the stereotypes (from machos to softies and back again).

Be what you want to be

Modern men, and especially TEDxVienna men are so much more than the typical qualities attributed to today’s men. They are all of them together and also, they are none of them at all. Because they are free to choose whoever they want to be. And what they choose, at least in my opinion, is an impartial, respectful, generous, open minded, supportive attitude towards everyone they meet. Some of our boys even embrace to be feminists. Of course, none of them, unless they want to, need to declare themselves as such, because they live gender equality every day. They need not hold our doors (though it is very polite, if they do), help us with heavy or challenging stuff or treat us in certain ways appropriate for girls. Instead, they liberate us from the boundaries of discrimination against women – by their everyday behavior.

There is no denying the differences between the average men and the average women – physically as well as emotionally – but in reality there is no “average person”. In fact, there are only individuals. Some of those individuals are closer to certain stereotypes, some are not. The secret at TEDxVienna might be, that there are no expectations for anyone to act within a certain gender role.

One superhero? We`ve got them all!

So, this is to the creative supermen, the event warriors, the blogging heroes, the IT-boys-squat, the communication adventurers, the speaker liaison heroes, the fearless photographers and also, to the head of our super-gang.  Even if (as Emma Watson pointed out in her famous “he for she” speech in front of UN Women conference) “no country in the world has achieved gender equality”, we, in our little TEDxVienna-universe, seem to have.


Boys!!! As your (TEDxVienna-) sisters celebrate you today, please also do so yourselves!
Thank you, dearest gentlemen, for your companionship, your wonderful work and everything you bring to our team.
Be whoever you want to be. Be leaders, followers and everything in between. We`ve got your backs, bros’.

Picture credits: TJ Photography


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About Elli Kling

Elli loves nothing more than travelling the world & getting to know other cultures. She likes reading, cooking and is obsessed with japanese green tea. She has a background in communications, enjoys writing and is also part of the TEDx Communications & PR Team.

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