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Gender Violence as a Male Issue

Jackson Katz's Violence Against Women Speech Implicates Bystanders

— November 16, 2013 — Keynote Trends
Jackson Katz's violence against women speech discusses how men are left out of the equation. Katz asserts that framing the issue as a women's issue is problematic because it "gives men an excuse to not pay attention." The same is true of calling it 'gender violence,' since "gender" is often synonymous with women, much in the way "race" is synonymous with blacks/Asians/Latinos and "sexual orientation" is synonymous with being gay. Jackson notes that the dominant group is often erased with the terminology, inevitably evading examination and lacking introspection.

Katz notes that our current structure allows victim-blaming to be commonplace. He seeks to shift our focus from questioning and blaming women for their choices, to inspecting the role of various institutions -- from religious hierarchy to sports culture to pornography -- and how they influence abuse.

Katz discusses the Bystander approach, which veers away from the perpetrator-victim binary and instead focuses on people not directly involved in an abusive cycle. The approach encourages men to speak out against abuse of varying degrees and forms in order to create a peer culture in which it is seen as unacceptable instead of merely illegal and results in a loss of status.