Movies are notorious for promoting stereotypic views of masculinity and femininity. How about settling down with your kids to watch some movies that go against gender stereotypes (and encourage more well rounded expressions of maleness and femaleness).
Feminine Masculine. All of the spider man movies feature a hero that is moral, sensitive, gentle and a bit shy. They all provide a good role model. What I liked about Spider Man 3 is that it shows the actual conflict between the traditional masculine tendency toward violence as a solution with the sensitive, moral option within one character. The movies are filled with action adventure and special effects, too.
Here are a few other movies with guy characters that play against the Macho type. Forrest Gump, Hunger Games (Peta), Harry Potter, Back to the Future, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Toy Story, 500 Days of Summer.
Masculine Feminine. Katniss is as tough as they come (both emotionally and physically). Yet she retains feminine values (i.e., she isn’t just a guy in a girl’s body). She also struggles with the inherent conflict between the necessity for violence in self-preservation versus that of trust in compassion. In addition, Peta is against type for a leading man.
Here are a few other movies that play against the girly-girl type. Harry Potter movies (Hermione), Coraline, Mulan, Shrek, Titan AE, Rabbit Proof Fence, Alien movies, Bend It Like Beckham, Courage Under Fire, Gorillas in the Mist, The Quick and the Dead, Terminator (Saraaah Connaahh).