Gender violence expert speaks at UA

By Mary C. Barrett, Writer

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, The University of Akron welcomed Jackson Katz in an event presented by UA’s Center for Family Studies and the Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit counties

The talk was titled “The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help.”

Katz is a world-renowned speaker who advocates the prevention of gender violence. Katz is also a cofounder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), and has spoken about the issue of gender violence and inequality to various communities, professional sports teams and other groups across the nation.

During Katz’s lecture, he expressed what gender violence is all about and why it is so crucial to take action towards stopping it. He referred to the issue of gender violence as a “deadly serious subject matter” that is creating unacceptable “gender patterns” in our society and that “it is truly pathetic.”

It is an issue that has existed for so many years, since the resources needed to put a stop to it are available, action must be taken that promote feminism and stop gender and sexual violence. He stated that feminism “is such a basic idea. It is Democracy 101.”

One of Katz’s main points was the fact that the gender issue isn’t just a problem for women, it is a problem for everyone. Instead of only reaching out to women and girls, everyone should be reached.

In regards to women as victims, Katz stated, “the use of the passive voice has a very powerful political effect by taking the attention away from men and boys.” An example of this being, “hundreds of women are raped on college campuses each year,” instead of, “hundreds of men are raping women each year.”

Katz stressed that it’s a global issue, and it’s something that affects everyone.

“I don’t think we need more awareness [about gender violence]. I think we need to respond and take action against it,” he said in a concluding statement.

He has written, “The Macho Paradox and Leading Men: Presidential Campaigns and the Politics of Manhood,” and is an active consultant for the “He for She” campaign.

About 200 people attended the event and had the opportunity to for a short meet and greet Katz.