“Calling gender violence a ‘women’s issue’ is part of the problem.”
Jackson Katz, an anti-sexist activist who works extensively with the military and university sports culture, gave a TED Talk in February about men’s role in what has largely been built as a “women’s movement.” He asks, “Why do so many men abuse, physically, emotionally, verbally and other ways the women and girls and the men and boys that they claim to love? What’s going on with men?”
Using linguistics and logic, Katz directly challenges anti-feminist mentality and reframes gender violence prevention as a men’s issue. His “bystander approach” aims to create a culture in which gender violence is categorically unacceptable in the peer culture, among men and women alike. That includes violence of all kinds perpetrated by men against women, men against children, women against men, and men against one another.
“This isn’t about individual perpetrators. That’s a very naive way to understand what is a much deeper and more systematic social problem…How can we change the socialization of boys and the definitions of manhood that lead to these current outcomes?”
His conclusion is powerful and inspirational:
“We owe it to women, there’s no question about it, but we also owe it to our sons. We also owe it to young men who are growing up all over the world in situations where they didn’t make the choice to be a man in a culture that tells them that manhood is a certain way. They didn’t make the choice. We that have a choice have an opportunity and a responsibility to them.”
Watch the whole video below: