In working toward a world without violence, what better way to gather male support than through the powerful words of other male allies? That’s why on Tuesday, October 16, Dr. Jackson Katz came to speak as the final event for the Carolina Men Care initiative at UNC.
Dr. Katz is one of America’s leading anti-sexist male activists. As an educator, author, filmmaker, and cultural theorist in the field of gender violence prevention, Katz is internationally recognized for rallying men, including athletes and US marines, to join the fight against men’s violence against women.
On Tuesday, he spoke about a variety of societal problems that combine to promote violence. Popular language, he explained, reflects how society prefers to blame victims, rather than help them. For example, sexual assault victims in court went from being called ‘alleged victim’ to ‘accuser,’ shifting sympathy from the abused to the abuser. The common use of passive language also supports the trend of victim-blaming by focusing on the assaulter rather than the assaulted (ie: “Mary is a battered woman” rather than “John beat Mary”). Katz stressed, “asking questions about Mary isn’t going to get us any closer to ending men’s violence against women.”
Through his talk, Katz motivated the audience to lessen violence within our society through working together to change popular culture, including media’s portrayal of violent men and use of sexist language. Men and women were united upon leaving the event as allies of our fight in ending men’s violence against women!
Julia Ramos is our RPE Program Intern. She contributes to our Community Education program with education and advocacy support.