Violence Against Women – How Men Must Stand Up & Change Attitudes
Earlier in May I saw a great video posted on Upworthy, titled “A TED Talk That Might Turn Every Man Who Watches It Into A Feminist? It’s Pretty Fantastic.” Regardless of whether it has that desired affect, every man (and woman and child!) should watch it. The day I watched it, I shared it on Facebook with the accompanying text:
Caring deeply about issues like sexism (and racism, homophobia et al) is now not enough. Speaking out to start making a real change in peer culture to stop perpetrating bad behaviour from generation to generation is the only way forward. The more we all speak up, the more we push down behaviour that leads to abuse and violence. Such common sense right?
Even if only a few people that i’m friends with on Facebook watched it, it was important to share. The points that Jackson Katz makes are so strong that I hope they start to permeate society sooner rather than later. I’ve been thinking about it a lot these last couple of days as another video (and blog post) have been doing the rounds. A young woman asked Sir Patrick Stewart a question at a convention about what he’s proud of outside of acting, and had mentioned him speaking out against domestic violence. His answer passionately covered many points of common sense just like Jackson Katz’s video did – it’s up to men to stop violence against women, and it’s up to society to realise the roots of violence and try to eliminate them. He spoke about how his mother had been treated by his father, and that even as paramedics came to help his mother they said things like “but you must have done something, an argument has to have two people” – following it up with no matter what, violence should never be the outcome of a disagreement.
I feel like if every single one of us, regardless of gender or class, took that with us, we would all benefit. Never turn to violence as a solution. If people could see the common sense in all of this, just imagine the change that would occur. I would say that it’s more likely many more people have seen the short video of Sir Patrick Stewart than they will have Jackson Katz’s TED Talk – I hope that it makes some men stop and think, and I hope it makes it possible for more young women to believe in themselves and not be blamed as victims, to be able to stand up and speak about what has happened to them like this young woman did with Sir Patrick Stewart at Comicpalooza. I urge all of you to watch these videos & move forward with the advice and common sense within & share that with the people in your lives! I am lucky to have never been a victim of gender violence but I know people who have, and the more of us – victims or allies – who speak out against it, the more likely societal change will be.