You’ve probably seen this quote on social media by now: “We talk about how many women were raped last year, not about how many men raped women.” After survivors of sexual assault and harassment shared the #MeToo hashtag to describe the scope of sexual assault, Jackson Katz illuminated the problem. His insightful commentary on how we talk about rape and harassment went viral as women and men sought to make sense of the violence toward women that is a public health issue in our society.
Jackson Katz, Ph.D., is an educator, author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who is internationally renowned for his pioneering scholarship and activism on issues of gender, race and violence. He has thought deeply about these issues and has been uniquely willing to address the behavior of men. Here are his Ten Things Men Can Do.
1. Approach gender violence as a MEN’s issue, not just a woman’s issue. Realize it can involve men of all ages, races, and socioeconomic levels. Realize men can be empowered bystanders and confront abusive peers.
2. If someone you know is abusing his female partner – or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general – don’t look the other way. Try to talk to him about it if you are comfortable doing so. Urge him to seek help.
3. Question your own attitudes and language. Could they be inadvertently perpetrating sexism and violence or be hurtful to someone else?
4. If you suspect someone you know is being abused, ask if you can help.
5. If you are emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive to women, or have been in the past, seek professional help NOW.
6. Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence. Support their efforts with your time, talent and treasure. Support local rape crisis and domestic violence programs. Consider organizing a fundraiser for them or for MAVAW.
7. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing as abuse of one affects all and this abuse can have a link to sexism.
8. Learn more about gender inequality in differing societies and about the root causes of gender violence. Educate yourself and others on the issue.
9. Don’t fund sexism. Refuse to purchase items that are sexually degrading towards women.
10. Teach young boys about how to be men that are respectful of women. Lead by example.
This content was produced by MVP Strategies, a gender violence prevention, education and training organization. It is available free as a poster here.
Copyright © 1999, Jackson Katz