In my last post, I focused on India because that is what my fellow passenger had talked about most. However, the problem with violence against women is certainly not endemic to India or Asia, it is pervasive around the world including the Western world.
I have yet to find that upside to patriarchy, but what I have found are two fabulous TED talks that are by men, for men addressing the complex issue of violence against women.
I know, who has time, right? Well, for those who feel that way, I’ve provided an excerpt from each so that you just may get motivated to store this away to watch when you do have the time, and so that you just may get motivated to pass it on as well.
How else do we change this twisted world? Except to listen up, think really hard about these serious issues and change ourselves. One mind at a time.
I’m going to share with you a paradigm-shifting perspective on the issues of gender violence — sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship abuse, sexual harassment, sexual abuse of children. That whole range of issues that I’ll refer to in shorthand as “gender violence issues,” they’ve been seen as women’s issues that some good men help out with, but I have a problem with that frame and I don’t accept it. I don’t see these as women’s issues that some good men help out with. In fact, I’m going to argue that these are men’s issues, first and foremost.
Now obviously, they’re also women’s issues, so I appreciate that, but calling gender violence a women’s issue is part of the problem, for a number of reasons.
The first is that it gives men an excuse not to pay attention. Right? A lot of men hear the term “women’s issues” and we tend to tune it out, and we think, “Hey, I’m a guy. That’s for the girls,” or “That’s for the women.” And a lot of men literally don’t get beyond the first sentence as a result. It’s almost like a chip in our brain is activated, and the neural pathways take our attention in a different direction when we hear the term “women’s issues.“
I grew up in New York City, between Harlem and the Bronx. Growing up as a boy, we were taught that men had to be tough, had to be strong, had to be courageous, dominating — no pain, no emotions, with the exception of anger — and definitely no fear; that men are in charge, which means women are not; that men lead, and you should just follow and do what we say; that men are superior; women are inferior; that men are strong; women are weak;that women are of less value, property of men, and objects, particularly sexual objects.
I’ve later come to know that to be the collective socialization of men, better known as the “man box.” See this man box has in it all the ingredients of how we define what it means to be a man. Now I also want to say, without a doubt, there are some wonderful, wonderful,absolutely wonderful things about being a man. But at the same time, there’s some stuff that’s just straight up twisted, and we really need to begin to challenge, look at it and really get in the process of deconstructing, redefining, what we come to know as manhood.:
Finally, here’s a video of an Australian Chief of Army giving everyone in the army a dressing down on sexism. Now, this is the kind of leadership from men that we need more of!
This extreme, grand smack-down is a result of an investigation into the Australian army and its culture of sexual exploitation. The Army sent this guy to deliver the message, really an ultimatum, to any soldier who even considers being sexist. This is 3 minutes of pure, undiluted leadership.
If only this was typical of an end result of patriarchy, I wouldn’t be complaining!