Thank you to all who joined YWCA Spokane’s GoodGuys as we explored men’s leadership in the prevention of violence against women with speaker Jackson Katz
Despite the falling snow and icy roads, the Spokane community joined YWCA Spokane’s GoodGuys for two special events with renowned educator, Jackson Katz.
A public speech was provided at Gonzaga University on Monday, February 11th that discussed what it means to be a strong man in today’s society. The talk was followed by an intimate leadership breakfast the following morning at Barrister Winery, where Dr. Katz took a deeper dive into how Spokane’s leaders can prevent family violence and trauma in our community.
We are so thankful to Spokane for showing up for both these critical discussion about men’s leadership in the prevention of gender violence.
Share your feedback about Jackson Katz’s public talk held Monday, Feb 11th:
Takeaways from Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz focused his talk on the need for men’s leadership in preventing violence against women. Historically, violence against women has largely been seen as a women’s issue. Dr. Katz challenged this notion by stating that, “violence against women must be seen as a men’s issue, given it is usually men who commit violence”.
Dr. Katz shared the belief that achieving equality and rights for women is a zero-sum game in the minds of many men. He often hears that if women achieve more rights in our society, men will lose power. However, he pushes back on that idea by stating “the movement to prevent violence against women will ultimately advance the health and safety of men and boys”. In order to truly eliminate domestic violence, we must understand the systems that cause boys and men to be violent. While many people condemn those who commit violence, Dr. Katz finds it imperative to not excuse the behavior but understand the system that allows that behavior. Citing Crime and Punishment, Katz believes it is “easy to condemn, and much more difficult to understand.”
Dr. Katz explains that how we use language and the ways in which we talk about domestic violence matters in the movement to end violence against women and children. During his talk, Dr. Katz called attention to this reality with an example he walked the audience through on a flip chart.
He began by writing a series of short sentences that reflect how our attention shifts focus depending on the language we use. The transition from “John beat Mary,” to “Mary is a battered woman,” shows how we more often call attention to the victim and direct our attention away from the perpetrator causing the harm.
Dr. Katz provided additional examples of how language matters.
- The common phrase “boys will be boys” suggest bad behavior is natural, and therefore men are naturally immoral beings.
- We often say children “witness” domestic violence. Dr. Katz challenges this notion, believing that if a child is in the presence of domestic violence, they are victims of it, too.
- Katz stated that we often talk about how many women were raped each year on college campuses, but we never say ‘how many men raped women’
- He acknowledged that people often say “violence against women,” rather than citing the root of that violence by saying instead “men’s violence against women.”*
*Katz acknowledged that women can also inflict violence against other women, but the reality is the majority of violence against women happens at the hands of men.
Perpetrators Of Violence Live Amongst Us
Dr. Katz further explained that shifting the focus to the abuser helps bring attention to the reality of the situation. Perpetrators of violence live amongst us. For the most part, the majority of those inflicting abusive behavior are not evil monsters who only appear in news scandals. Most are normal people. By recognizing that the typical perpetrator is a neighbor, friend, co-worker, or someone who looks and acts like us, it prompts a stronger community response to address the issue. It also encourages each of us to be reflective regarding our own actions and behaviors if “someone like me” could engage in such behavior.
Morgan Colburn, YWCA Spokane’s Director of Counseling and Outreach, was able to sit down with Jackson Katz and ask additional questions to support the prevention of violence against women.
The Reality Of Men’s Violence
Violence from men is not limited to harming women. Katz cites 3 ways men are violent: men are violent against women and children, against other men, and against themselves.
With 32,000 gun deaths in our country each year, 2/3 of them are suicide and most of those suicides are committed by white men over the age of 50. Sexual violence victims in the Department of Defense are often other men. Dr. Katz strongly believes “it is anti-male to not be doing this work.” We must solve domestic violence and the system that creates violent men.
Major issues in our society are linked to domestic violence. According to Katz:
- over 57% of mass shooters have a connection to domestic violence as a victim or perpetrator and 99% of school shooters are male.
- Victims of domestic violence are more likely to become addicted to alcohol and narcotics.
- Men’s violence is also linked to HIV and homelessness.
Dr. Katz believes we cannot make serious progress with any of our nation’s greatest issues without acknowledging that domestic violence plays a significant role.
It is not male guilt, but a male responsibility, to be a leader on this issue. Dr. Katz expressed that we need to explore all the facets of our society, including sports, religion, education, pornography, media, video games, etc. to change systemic violence. We cannot view ending men’s violence against women as an issue “some nice guys help out with.” It must be an issue that leaders in our community, on every level, work to end. Political, corporate, and educational leaders must all step up to be leaders in ending gender violence.
Dr. Katz goes on to explain his practice called the Bystander Movement that encourages peers to create social change by calling out sexist remarks when heard and talking to friends about inappropriate behavior when witnessed. Katz believes that creating a culture in which it is clearly understood that violent and abusive behavior towards women is not accepted is key to real change.
Leadership Breakfast With Jackson Katz
On the Tuesday morning following the public talk at Gonzaga, Dr. Katz and over 50 community leaders met at Barrister Winery for an intimate breakfast discussion. Those who attended were able to take a deeper dive into what Spokane and our leaders can do to create transformative change in the prevention of violence against women.
We are so grateful to all our community leaders who attended this early morning discussion despite the intense weather conditions. Together we are learning ways we as a community and as leaders can move into action. With the leadership of YWCA Spokane’s GoodGuys, we are excited to grow this movement in Spokane and prevent domestic violence.
Our leaders truly showed their dedication to these issues and their commitment to making our community a safer, healthier place for all!
Listen To Jackson Katz’s Radio Interview With Doug Nadvornick and Spokane Public Radio, held after the breakfast.
Pictures from Katz’s Public Talk and Leadership Breakfast
Thank you to our GoodGuy, Michael Larson, for capturing photos at the public talk given at Gonzaga University Monday, Feb 11th, 2019.
Thank you to our GoodGuys for making this possible!
Thank you to YWCA Spokane’s GoodGuys Advisory Council for making this event a success! A huge thank you to Doug Kelley and Manny Hochheimer, GoodGuys co-chairs, for their integral work by starting this growing movement. We deeply appreciate Avista Utilities and Numerica Credit Union for their generous support of this event. Doug Kelley shares his thoughts at Jackson Katz’s public talk Monday night.
If you enjoyed this event and these conversations ignite your passion for positive change in our community, consider joining the GoodGuys! If you would like to learn more about the GoodGuys movement, contact Manny Hochheimer at 509-462-6294 | firstname.lastname@example.org, Doug Kelley at 509-495-4925 | email@example.com, or Dana Morris Lee at 509-789-9304 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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