September 29, 2018 Editor

The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help

WN: Below is a passage from Jackson Katz’ book with same title of this post. Below that are links to the book, and to a page on “Goodreads” with more quotes.

My wife and I work with men who have harmed their partners. It is gratifying to see lights turn on, even to observe “aha!” moments at times.The trick of course is to parlay new insights into habits for a lifetime…

We men can live out the difference of how to treat women — as Gandhi says, thereby being the change we want to see in the world.

by Jackson Katz

I draw a line down the middle of a chalkboard, sketching a male symbol on one side and a female symbol on the other. Then I ask just the men: What steps do you guys take, on a daily basis, to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they’ve been asked a trick question. The silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter. Occasionally, a young a guy will raise his hand and say, ‘I stay out of prison.’ This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, ‘Nothing. I don’t think about it.’
Then I ask women the same question. What steps do you take on a daily basis to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? Women throughout the audience immediately start raising their hands. As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine. Here are some of their answers:
    • Hold my keys as a potential weapon.

    • Look in the back seat of the car before getting in.

    • Carry a cell phone.

    • Don’t go jogging at night.

    • Lock all the windows when I sleep, even on hot summer nights.

    • Be careful not to drink too much.

    • Don’t put my drink down and come back to it; make sure I see it being poured.

    • Own a big dog.

    • Carry Mace or pepper spray.

    • Have an unlisted phone number.

    • Have a man’s voice on my answering machine.

    • Park in well-lit areas.

    • Don’t use parking garages.

    • Don’t get on elevators with only one man, or with a group of men.

    • Vary my route home from work.

    • Watch what I wear.

    • Don’t use highway rest areas.

    • Use a home alarm system.

    • Don’t wear headphones when jogging.

    • Avoid forests or wooded areas, even in the daytime.

    • Don’t take a first-floor apartment.

    • Go out in groups.

    • Own a firearm.

    • Meet men on first dates in public places.

    • Make sure to have a car or cab fare.

    • Don’t make eye contact with men on the street.

    • Make assertive eye contact with men on the street.

Jackson Katz, The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help

Please click on: The Macho Paradox

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.