It’s a men’s issue (addendum)

This is a verbatim comment I wrote on the TEDx talk by Jackson Katz (I posted the talk and some thoughts on my previous blog post, similarly-titled):

I wondering: do his clients listen to what he says? Getting men to listen when their minds have been programmed to regard this as garbage has got to be difficult. Some of the comments on this talk seem to represent that kind of blowback. So what if Katz is promoting himself and making money at what he does if he’s good at it? The world could use a lot more male emotional health. It’s only parents from my generation who I’ve personally seen allow their sons to feel emotions in healthy ways and don’t instruct (by word or act) them to bury their emotions. It’s my opinion that the burial of emotions can easily lead to violence, particularly with regard to men. It’s no accident that the sex that commits the most crimes and the most mass shootings and bombings is male. Men are still socialized to suck it up and deal and not be emotional and that, when they are emotional and hugging male friends, they somehow feel the need to write #nohomo. Nationally, globally, the majority of men are insecure about themselves and uncomfortable with emotions. Personally I think it’d be great if men hugged each other regularly and shared personal stories/conflicts as women do, and didn’t feel bad about it.

It’s a men’s issue.

“What about all those boys? What about the young men and boys who have been traumatized by adult men’s violence? You know what? The same system that produces men who abuse women produces men who abuse other men.”
–Jackson Katz, in the TEDx talk posted below

This, obviously, can easily and justly be applied to the mass shootings and bombings all over the earth. And since men are far and away the ones committing these atrocities (as well as the everyday sexist behavior), it greatly behooves us as a nation (as a world, really) to help see that men aren’t abusing other men. Men’s emotional health (or lack thereof) affects everyone, and Mr Katz is correct in that a new culture of normalcy where saying/doing sexist and violent acts is not right. Since men do in fact rule much of the world, their emotional health is extremely important; if we’re still producing men who abuse other men, the cycle will necessarily continue.

Mr Katz helps me feel better about calling out those who engage in sexist (or racist, bigoted, etc) behavior/speech. I do think that if I speak up I might get attacked, but at least I will have spoken up. My own sense of fear is greatly exaggerated in general, but perhaps not in this case. I don’t know.

I have no idea how what Mr Katz is saying will ever come to fruition (particularly on the national level from men in power), but if we don’t speak up it *certainly* won’t come to fruition.