Violence against Women (Admission Essay Sample)
Watch the video first, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvSfeCRxe8) then answer the following question
1. Why is "women's issues" a problematic term for Katz?
2. What is the privilege of dominance that he discusses? How does this relate to the language structure he emphasizes?
3. How does Katz suggest we shift our ways of thinking about gender violence?
4. What questions or thoughts does Katz's discussion bring up for you?
Violence against Women
The term womenâ€™s issue is problematic for Jackson Katz. The term makes problems of gender violence, which include domestic violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse of children to be viewed as women's issues that good men help to eliminate. The problems are not seen as men's issues. He argues that the gender violence issues are menâ€™s issues. Men tend not to pay attention to the gender violence issues because they are viewed as women's issues. Many people think the term gender refers to women; hence, the term gender violence is synonymous to women problems. The dominant group gets no attention. Calling gender violence issues women issues are also part of the problem.
Katz talks of privileges of dominance. In the discussions involving gender violence issues, men and masculinity are exempted. He says that the large groups "have been rendered invisible in large measure in the discourseâ€¦" (Katz). As a result, they exclude themself from the problems that are primarily theirs. According to Katz, the principle aspect of privilege and power is the ability to go unexamined. The dominant groups in the society are not challenged and their privileges and power is not examined. This group lacks introspection or self-awareness. The privileges of dominance relate the language.
The language used to discuss issues of gender violence excludes men. This relates to the privileges of dominance. Language demonstrates ones thinking. People use passive voice to discuss issues of gender issues. Using passive voice, for instant "Mary was beaten" (Katz) erases the perpetrator leaving Mary who is the victim. The use of passive voice shifts the focus from the perpetrator to the victim.
Katz advocate for a shift in ways of thinking about gender violence. Society views issues of gender violence as women's issues while in reality, men are the key perpetrators of the violence. The society should change in the type of questions they ask in case of incidents of violence against women. The society needs to ask questions such as why domestic violence is rampant in many parts of the world, and the role of various institutions towards eliminating domestic violence. The answer to this question will help in perverting the violence. The society should change the habit of blaming the victim. Asking questions such as "What was she wearing at that party?" Will only intensify the situation. The society needs to shift from the cognitive structure set up to blame victims. The key focus needs to be shifted to the perpetrators. In addition, the society should change the way they view men who fight against...
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