by Jackson Katz
1) Approach gender violence as a MEN'S issue involving men of all ages and socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. View men not only as perpetrators or possible offenders, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers
2) If a brother, friend, classmate, or teammate is abusing his female partner--or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general--don't look the other way. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it. Urge him to seek help. Or if you don't know what to do, consult a friend, a parent, a professor, or a counselor. DON'T REMAIN SILENT.
3) Have the courage to look inward. Question your own attitudes. Don't be defensive when something you do or say ends up hurting someone else. Try hard to understand how your own attitudes and actions might inadvertently perpetuate sexism and violence, and work toward changing them.
4) If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently 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 the work of campus-based women's centers. Attend "Take Back the Night" rallies and other public events. Raise money for community-based rape crisis centers and battered women's shelters. If you belong to a team or fraternity, or another student group, organize a fundraiser.
7) Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing. Discrimination and violence against lesbians and gays are wrong in and of themselves. This abuse also has direct links to sexism (eg. the sexual orientation of men who speak out against sexism is often questioned, a conscious or unconscious strategy intended to silence them. This is a key reason few men do so).
8) Attend programs, take courses, watch films, and read articles and books about multicultural masculinities, gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence. Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between individual men and women.
9) Don't fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any Web site, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner. Protest sexism in the media.
10) Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don't involve degrading or abusing girls and women. Volunteer to work with gender violence prevention programs, including anti-sexist men's programs. Lead by example.
"Calling gender violence a women's issue is part of the problem. It gives a lot of men an excuse not to pay attention." ~Jackson Katz, author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help
Jackson Katz, Phd, is an anti-sexist activist and expert on violence, media and masculinities. An author, filmmaker, educator and social theorist, Katz has worked in gender violence prevention work with diverse groups of men and boys in sports culture and the military, and has pioneered work in critical media literacy. Katz is the creator and co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, which advocates the 'bystander approach' to sexual and domestic violence prevention. You've also seen him in the award winning documentary MissRepresentation." ~YouTube Link
PLEASE NOTE: You can watch the documentary Miss Representation on the WoN Cinema right now. It may not be on YouTube very long so be sure to set aside an hour and a half to see this important documentary before it's no longer available! Of course, you can always purchase the video on Amazon (I did!) and encourage the production of more documentaries like Miss Representation.
"The Rule appeared in a 1985 comic strip created by Alison Bechdel. One of Bechdel’s characters refused to watch a film unless it met three criteria: 1) it had to have at least two women in it; 2) who talked to each other; 3) about something other than a man..." ~The Bechdel Test and Miss Representation