I don’t usually do two posts in one day, but I had this in one of my feeds on Facebook today and when I responded, to the OP with a minor point, they asked for more and I thought about it and decided this does earn more of a response than the one I gave simply.
So here is a better response to Jackson Katz, one that will address his speech on a point by point basis.
With respect to your education, you must be one arrogant man to decide the idea that you are pitching right now is somehow paradigm shifting. That is something for the future to decide, not you in your current place. Unless the paradigm actually shifts, you’re giving too much importance to the ideology you are currently espousing.
That first part being said, I agree with the beginning of your concept (@~2:28) that calling the issue women’s issues is rather limiting to the conversation. That in fact the issue, for those who have not yet watched the video is violence, is not a “women’s issue”. However calling it a men’s issue isn’t correct either. It is a human issue, pure and simple. Violence is part of the normal attitude of most predator species on the planet, and humans are no exception to this rule. The idea that violence is primarily associated with men, a fact, however is blame placing. Testosterone, is a major factor in the existence of violence. Blaming inherent biology for violence is misleading, women do engage in acts of violence as well. In women it can be caused by either testosterone, or an imbalance of Estrogen/Progesterone.
In addition while men’s violence is usually out right aggression, in women it tends to be more subtle, emotional violence if you will. The stereotype of the hen-pecked husband didn’t come into existence on its own. The concept of men having been emotionally beaten by their wives has been around forever. I think we would both agree this is abuse, and that it isn’t uncommon.
“Which is to say the dominant group is rarely challenged to even think about it’s dominance… the ability to go unexamined” (@~3:29)
Ah, yes, the new old trap of privilege. In western society we have so challenged the idea of a group in power that we have legislated equality. We have made it a civil offense to treat the one group as being privileged, how dare you and your ilk insist that any group even has a privilege! I see similar arguments all the time, regardless of the topic at hand, and they all lack one important thing, factual data supporting it. I wouldn’t be so crass as to argue that this method of thinking was never true, it certainly was, but it no longer is. Almost half a century, and two standard generations, have passed since this argument held any water. Today this is a ‘feel good’ statement used by people who won’t succeed, to explain why they haven’t. Notice i didn’t say “can’t” succeed, I said won’t, success comes from hard work, and effort, something that too many in today’s western society refuse to accept, feeling instead that they are entitled to luxury simply by the nature of being born. The entire point of you phrasing things this way is to elicit an emotional charge, and while that may be fun and profitable for you, it isn’t a good way of getting rational people to side with you.
(@~4:14) As far as your take on the language is perceived, you have read it completely incorrectly. What happened isn’t the removal of men from the discussion, but rather a deliberate and successful attempt to create greater empathy for the victim who was abused. I am not going to morally judge that, because in the effort to increase empathy for the victim, we have managed to loose the anger for the perpetrator. We now feel bad for this Mary in your story, but less anger for John, since he isn’t part of it.
(@~6:00) First off, ‘victim blaming’ happens to every single person who was the victim of a crime. Any crime, every crime. “What were you doing there when your car was stolen” or “Why were you walking down the street at 2 AM when you were mugged?” are common questions. It is this simple, ultimately only you are responsible for your own safety, not me, not the police, not the army, not the government.
As far as asking about Mary not getting us anywhere, you are dead wrong. Let me put a good example for you, Mary is a battered woman, because she tried to stab her husband after a fight over the bad lasagna he made, and he defended himself.
Woah, wait a minute, context does matter sir. Her context as well as his. So yes questioning the victim as to why they did what they did is valid. Is this a rare case? We don’t know, but famously there was a case that made national headlines recently. You read that right, she beat him.
The fact is that most people who are the victims of crime are partially responsible, they put themselves in a place or situation that they knew was dangerous beforehand.
As to your question why are so many people raped? For starters we have redefined rape, see here , what used to be an act without consent, has been redefined. Now we determine that people can not consent under certain circumstances, rightly or wrongly, and this has become rape. So yes the number of rape victims has gone up. But much like the idea that we aren’t teaching men not to rape, the idea that we don’t need to teach women to be cautious about their environment is just wrong.
(@~7:40) Good hypothesis, however you are pitching your idea as if it is fact. For those who haven’t watched the video, he is claiming that something is wrong with society that produces men who are violent in particular rapists. We can’t do a baseline comparison of rates of male violence around the world, because of limited data, and differential reporting methods. However you have a good thesis, but unless you can provide data to support it, you are simply not helping the problem. Should this avenue be researched? Certainly. Should we assume that it is a problem with civilization and not biology? No. The fact that you are willing to address these questions is great, but ignoring the other half, the victim half of the equation, does us no good either. Going to a party with a bunch of men alone, and willingly taking mind altering substances is part of the problem, yes the men shouldn’t have done it, but you shouldn’t have made it possible for them to do it either.
I have both a son, and a daughter. I am teaching my son not to rape, and when my daughter is older, I will be teaching her not to get raped. Because making bad decisions does hurt you.
(@~9:00) As far as you finding the term “Feminazi” or “Man-Hater” offensive, two important things. Firstly they are not used as you indicated, though yes they do often come up in discussions of this type, because contrary to your ideal view of your side, there are in-fact women that hate men out there. If you use the term “mansplaining” you’re probably one of them. I could go on and on listing the types of people that fit these categories, but won’t. Secondly, this isn’t about ‘killing the messenger’ as much as that is how you wish it were, if it were you would be completely correct in your assertion. While I agree these terms are used in ad-hominem attacks, which are generally weak, they are most often used when the person’s ideas are clearly not in line with reality. For those women who want ‘equal but superior’ rights, after all we know some people are more equal than others, if you will pardon the paraphrase.
(@~9:40) Give me one example of something men can say that women can’t? One example, where a woman will be called sexist, but a man wouldn’t? No it isn’t true, not in any way shape or form.
(@~12:00) I agree, in theory at least with what he calls “the bystander” approach. In fact recently I convinced my wife to join in an activity at work, where she learned a lesson and decided to, as a result, no longer tolerates third party homophobic speech. My wife managed to gain a large amount of empathy by going to an anti-gay-bulling rally at her job, where she was one of the few straight people who attended. The idea of standing up for people who aren’t there is a truly good one, and the fact is there is more of this going on than he might think.
@(~14:45) Jackson Katz, how you know nothing of male culture at your age is a major question. The entire male culture is built around the idea that we do challenge each other, constantly seeking a pecking order if you will. Men do stupid things for a variety of reasons, but almost always it is to challenge their peers.
In recap, we have a man here who fails to understand the basic premise of ‘male society’ as he puts it. Contrary to what he wants to believe, and what I have seen commented on Facebook, the truth is much more complex. Humans are biological machines, very much at the whim of the neurotransmitters they get, which are in turn controlled by hormone releases. While you do have some limited capacity to override these commands, the prevalence of addictions shows that it is not always possible for people to overcome them. In fact any person can become addicted to something. The very hormones that make us humans also put into us a sometimes uncontrollable urge to violence. The fools that think every human can control this urge are just that, fools. Can the majority of us? To some degree yes, but not completely. You get angry, you think nasty thoughts, great that is your limit on this particular event, however there are some people who don’t have that limit. And while it is sad that there are people who can not function in a normal society, it is a fact. There will always be people who turn to violence, and simply educating it away is not a realistic approach. You think I am wrong, tell the next heroine addict you talk to “simply don’t inject it.” and see how well that works.
Edited to add sources to this discussion that I thought were irrelevant, and unneeded, however someone called me out on them, and as such sources provided.