Who the Heck is Jackson Katz ?

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“We talk about how many women were raped last year, not about how many men raped women. We talk about how many girls in a school district were harassed last year, not about how many boys harassed girls. We talk about how many teenager girls in the state of Vermont got pregnant last year, rather than how many men and boys impregnated teenage girls.

So you can see how the use of the passive voice has a political effect. It shifts the focus off of men and boys and onto girls and women. Even the term ‘violence against women’  is problematic. It’s a passive construction; there’s no active agent in the sentence. It’s a bad thing that happens to women, but when you look at that term ’violence against women,’ nobody is doing it to them. It just happens to them. Men aren’t even a part of it.”

-Jackson Katz

I’ll admit that I’d never heard of Jackson Katz until I researched him after reading the above quote last night. A quote that to me is so incredibly profound. It highlights the need for more careful language that shifts the blame to the actual perpetrator, not the victim as regularly occurs.

What an incredible bio he has. Katz, a former football star, a TED Talk speaker, and I now know, is one of the most prominent voices in the pro-feminist men’s movement. His agenda is to educate men, particularly in college age campus settings, on what they can do to end sexual voilence.  Katz is also the co-founder of MVP Strategies (Mentors in Violence Prevention), one of the longest-running intervention training programs in the U.S. He has also created training materials for universities and school districts, NFL teams, several Major League Baseball teams, and even the U.S. Navy.

We all know that sexual voilence and harrassment isn’t a Hollywood issue. It is a societial issue that affects females from all walks of life, regardless of age, income and workplace. Perhaps the most promising thing that could come out of the Weinstein coverage is for more men to understand that harassment from males, of all ages and positions, happens to females of all ages and positions. Perhaps this nature of giving men like Weinstein a free pass will end.  It’s time to stop blaming the victims and start taking the issue seriously.

 

 

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The #MeToo Movement

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‘Sexual assault against women is an epidemic of epic proportions. More than half of the women I have known well, have been assaulted in one form or another. If any other form of dysfunction impacted that many people, we would declare a state of emergency. It is perhaps the most socially acceptable epidemic on this planet. And it has to stop.

Women can no longer live with these secrets, nor can they walk this earth fearful of where they step. But they cannot do it alone. Awakening men must join them. We must stand firmly beside them, and stand down those unconscious men who frighten and assault our sisters. We must make a conscious choice not to shame women, but to shame those men who belittle and abuse them.

This is the next step, one that holds the key to world transformation. Because if half the planet is denied basic protections, the entire planet is lost. May recent events be a true, never-to-be-forgotten call to action for awakening men everywhere. Courageously confront and transform the aggressor that lives within you. Give him no place to hide. It is not shameful to acknowledge your violent conditioning. It is shameful to act upon it. Make another choice. Stand beside your sisters. Stand down your unconscious brothers. Make love your lasting legacy.’

-Jeff Brown

Enough already. FFS!