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The Macho Paradox

The Macho Paradox is a book I was handed about a year ago. Before this, I'm very confident in saying, I knew almost nothing about violence against women. I just had not been made aware of the sheer scale of the problem.

Photo of Colin Willox
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This book brought gender violence to light, but did so in a way I did not expect. It framed the issue as a men's problem, given the vast majority of gender violence is male to female.

I am so happy I read this and feel way more enlightened on the subject. What Jackson Katz is doing, by way of educating men and boys (football teams, etc), could very well be one of the most effective methods of resolving this widespread problem.
This post is a result of a discussion had by the Berlin OpenIDEOers group / March 2014.


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Photo of Meena Kadri

Interesting Colin. Could you share some key insights from the book on your post? This makes it more likely that you'll trigger a collaborative conversation here. Looking forward to seeing more of you and other Berliners on our challenge...

Photo of Colin Willox

For sure!

Well it seems like violence against women has traditionally been labelled as just that - violence committed against women. There is a lot of focus on helping victims, which is clearly important. However, all of this steps around the fact that men, for the most part, are committing the violence.

This book, and other organizations discussed within it, attempt to rephrase the issue as "men's violence" or "men's violence against women" or "gender violence." In this way, it more accurately describes what is really happening (again, for the most part).

It also provides less room for anyone to say that this is a women's issue only, as has been the common trend (see the statistics for who takes 'women's studies' classes in universities). It is not only a women's issue, but a men's issue as well. If not more so.

It's a widespread problem, in developed and developing countries alike, that needs commitment from both sides (and between) the genders. I.e. from all humans.

That's what I learned. It may be just the surface, but it's much more than I knew :)