Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Violence and Silence

image from You Tube
As the mother of two boys, it is largely up to my husband and I to empower our boys with the courage and skills to be good men. Men who have the confidence and enlightenment to stand-up for themselves and to challenge and lead others to do the right thing. 

With so many recent stories about the abuse of others and the continuance of that abuse through social media... with assaults being perpetrated in institutionalized settings and then 'legitimized' through silence and inaction... I hope we have finally reached a tipping point. Several recent items have given me hope. 

I recently read this letter from a mother to her sons. I love how well and clearly this mother tells her boys real and unadulterated life facts, and provides guidance and good sense while empowering them to be, if not a hero, a decent and functioning human being.  

Paul showed me this video about what to do with a drunk girl passed out. Simple. 

Then this morning, I was referred to a TEDxFiDiWomen talk by Jackson Katz. I love listening to the TED talks. Such a diverse range of points of view - some truly inspiring, enlightening, thought-provoking and humorous. This talk too was inspirational. Katz works within the field of gender violence prevention and is an anti-sexist activist. His work attempts to shift the paradigm from violence being 'women's issues' to laying the blame fair and square on not only the perpetrators but their peers. Working within male-dominated cultures such as the United States Marine Corps and professional and college athletics, Katz attempts to remove victim-blaming from the conversation and to redefine manhood. He wishes to enable the 'by-stander', whoever they may be, to step up and speak up against anyone making sexist, racist, degrading or harassing comments or enactments. Katz emphasizes the need for peers to speak up and not remain silent where that silence would be seen by the perpetrator to be a form of consent or complicity. 
He has some very salient points about need for men (and women) in seats of power to take (true) leadership and to be held accountable for forming the thinking and encouraging the responses of younger impressionable people. 

No comments:

Post a Comment