With the recent exposure of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predatory behavior towards women in Hollywood, we’re compelled to share this poignant Ted Talk from Jackson Katz with you because it’s as relevant today as it was when he gave it at TEDxFiDiWomen back in November 2012.
It challenges us to rethink how we frame the conversation about violence against women.
“Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is among the most universal and pervasive human rights violations, affecting at least a billion women across the globe. Recent estimates suggest that approximately 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from their partners, or non-partner sexual violence – just a few of the highly prevalent forms of violence.” – International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
Whether it’s sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship abuse, sexual harassment, or sexual abuse of women and children, we must change the narrative so that men begin to see these heinous acts as their issue and not a just a women’s issue.
Men, especially those who wield power, must have the courage to speak up amongst their peers and to challenge them when they engage in sexist or misogynistic behavior. They must think of speaking up as a model of leadership and not of sensitivity to be more effective. They must end their silence because as this Martin Luther King quote sited in the Ted Talk so powerfully reminds us:
“In the end, what will hurt the most is not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.