This is a must-see. Jackson Katz’s talk is entitled More Than a Few Good Men: A Lecture on American Violence and Violence Against Women.
Here’s an excerpt:
“In the United States when we hear the word ‘race’ a lot of people think that means ‘African American,’ ‘Latino,’ ‘Native American,’ ‘Asian American,’ ‘Pacific Island or South Asian.’ A lot of people when they hear the word ‘sexual orientation’ think it means ‘gay,’ ‘lesbian,’ ‘bisexual.’ And a lot of people when they hear the word ‘gender’ they think it means ‘women.’
In each case the dominant group doesn’t get paid attention to. As if white people don’t have some sort of racial identity or belong to some racial category or construct. As if heterosexual people don’t have a sexual orientation. As if men don’t have a gender.
This is one of the ways that dominant systems maintain and reproduce themselves, which is to say the dominant group is rarely challenged to think about its dominance, because that’s one of the key characteristics of power and privilege — the ability to go unexamined…in fact being rendered invisible in the discourse. And it’s incredible to some of us how masculinity itself and men have been rendered invisible in the discourse about domestic and sexual violence.”
This invisibility is something Carlos Andres Gomez talks about in his poetry piece Invisible Men — the “easily forgotten names” of those who “write all the books, yet somehow are always left out.”
If you can’t make it through the entire lecture (I suggest you come back to it later), at least take a look at this movie Katz made with Sut Jhally called Wrestling with Manhood: Boys, Bullying and Battering.
There’s a 2 minute clip in the lecture starting at 42:10, or you can check out a longer clip of the film on YouTube. Although Katz says 95% of it came from mainstream TV broadcasts (the rest from Pay Per View), it’s still pretty disturbing:
So while the perpetrators are invisible in our discussions about violence, the truth of its prevalence in our culture is in plain sight. Until this changes, how can we honestly say – to our children especially – that this kind of violence is truly unacceptable?
Lecture clip via The Good Men Project