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Jackson Katzs talk Violence and Silence analyzes many of the

themes of masculinity that we learned in class. He begins by defining


gender violence as any sort of sexual assault, relationship abuse,
sexual harassment, domestic violence and abuse of children. Katz
argues that the main problem with gender violence is calling it a
womens issue because it shifts the focus away from men. Katz makes
an important observation on the way dominant systems maintain and
reproduce themselves- by having the privilege of going unexamined
and unchallenged. He cites the examples of race and sexual
orientation and how people almost never think of White and
heterosexuality as a race and sexual orientation respectively.
Katz further talks about the pervasiveness of victim blaming in
domestic and sexual violence. We tend to ask questions like what was
she wearing?, Was she drinking at the hotel room?, etc. Katz argues
that the questions that should be asked involve men. Why is it that an
overwhelming majority of perpetrators of sexual abuse and violence
involves men? And more importantly, we should question the systemic
role of institutions in place in society that led to these outcomes.
One particular argument that Katz talks about is closely related
to class discussions we had regarding the intersectionality of
oppression. This concept of intersectionality can be applied to the roles
that race, family structure, the economic system, sports culture,
religious belief systems, definitions of masculinity and how each of
these intersects.
Another key point of his speech relates to the themes of
masculinity in class lectures and Kimmels Guyland. Katz argues that
the socialization of boys and definition of manhood is problematic and
actually encourages sexism and violence. Kimmel wrote extensively on
the themes of masculinity, which is characterized by anti-feminine,
success, self-reliance, and aggressive and sexual elements. To be man
entails being hypersexualized, violent and aggressive and antifeminine. Boys growing up with these themes deeply ingrained and
embedded in them could lead to a lot of sexual abuse, violence and
disrespect of women.
Katz calls for more men to stand up and call their friends out
whenever someone makes a sexist, homophobic or racist comment. He
equates silence with consent and complicity. After all, women arent
the only ones affected by sexual and domestic violence. Boys whose
mothers and sisters are affected, boys who are traumatized by adult
male violence, boys who happen to be sexual prey as well, etc. These
issues affect both men and women. Katz makes a poignant point about
how standing up for these issues and challenge other men to be aware
has everything to do with leadership and not sensitivity. Katz cites
the Penn State example where the administrators, basically men in
positions of power, failing to protect little boys.

I think that Katz would be considered a liberal feminist, because


he ultimately believes that both men and women are disadvantaged by
societys gender expectations. He advocates leveling the playing
field through socialization (By stander program) in order to bring
about gender equality. However, some parts of his speech could be
considered multicultural and post-modern feminist, especially when he
believe in the intersectionality of race and ethnicity, sexual orientation
and economic system (class) in not only producing abusive men, but
also affects the way women experience sexual violence and abuse.