Watch Jackson Katz discuss violence against women, and why it is important for men to address male culture. Author, consultant, and founder of the organization Mentors in Violence Prevention, Jackson Katz walks us through his belief that violence against women is a men’s issue. Katz calls for men to stand up and speak out against violence – but also speak out against sexism and harassment in small moments so that bystander intervention challenges the status quo. Watch Jackson Katz challenge men to break the silence.
Issues like relationship abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, rape – these issues tend to be considered women’s issues. Katz makes us look closely and shows us why that needs to change. “I don’t see these as women’s issues that some good men help out with,” Katz begins. Describing these issues as women’s issues gives men “an excuse not to pay attention.”
Katz walks us through questioning dominant systems, showing how the words we use have incredible power. He writes out some sentences for us that show how in dealing with violence against women, men get forgotten even though they are the most common perpetrators. Watch Jackson Katz at minute 4:00 to get his excellent description of how this language and our cognitive structure turns us towards victim blaming:
- John beat Mary.
- Mary was beaten by John.
- Mary was beaten.
- Mary was battered.
- Mary is a battered woman.
Jackson Katz raises incredibly important questions: “Why is domestic violence still a big issue in the United States and all over the world? Why do so many men abuse, physically and emotionally and verbally and other ways, the women and girls, and the men and boys, that they claim to love? What’s going on with men?”
Katz asks us to question why there are constantly new scandals erupting – like within the Catholic Church, at Penn State, with the Boy Scouts of America. These scandals beg the question: “What is the role of various institutions in our society that are helping to produce abusive men?”
How can we change the socialization of boys and definitions of manhood that lead to these current outcomes?
Watch Jackson Katz – he very eloquently and clearly states how we need to shift our gaze and ask better questions, because, he says, “This isn’t about individual perpetrators… Perpetrators aren’t these monsters that crawl out of the swamp and come into town and do their nasty business and then retreat into the darkness…. Perpetrators are much more normal than that… How can we change the socialization of boys and definitions of manhood that lead to these current outcomes?”