The full title of this book is “The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help”. The title alone is an eye catcher! Jackson Katz takes the issue of male violence against females and talks about it from a rare male perspective. One thing I really like about this book is the no nonsense approach Mr. Katz takes to talking about domestic violence. He doesn’t use boring psychological talk and jargon like most books I have read in the past. It is easy to read, easy to understand, and, most importantly, the points he makes are very thought provoking.
He opens the book by discussing an exercise he does when he does lectures and presentations about domestic violence and rape. He asks his male audience members what if anything do they do on a daily basis to protect themselves from a sexual assault. He says that men give nervous laughs. One or two would give smart remarks. He asked the women the same question. You can imagine how many answers he got from women. This question made me stop and think about what I do to protect myself everyday. Think about it for a minute, what do you do everyday to insure your personal safety everyday both inside and outside of your home? Personally, I carry a cell phone, if I walk somewhere at night and it is dark, I keep my keys in my hands for a weapon, I constantly look around to see if someone is walking near me, etc. Male audience members are always shocked at the responses, Mr. Katz states.
This book makes domestic violence a human issue, not just a women’s issue. He uses statistics to back up his theories and thoughts. The majority of the book is focused on American media and culture that basically allows images of violence and degradation of women. He has chapters that look at music, pornography, athletes, sex-related industries, just to name a few. I found that this book would be an excellent tool for groups of men who for instance are in programs related to the prevention of domestic violence and rape. I think men who have already been charged with violence or rape toward women would benefit from reading this to prevent a repeat offense. The personal stories that Katz uses from his life or from those told to him from people he has encountered really back up what Katz talks about throughout the book.
I highly recommend any man, even the non-violent men, to read this book. It is also refreshing for a woman to read to know that yes, there are men on our side to help us win the challenge of bringing awareness to everyone.
I found this interview with Jackson Katz about the book. Very insightful!
The website for the book is great reading as well. I especially liked the “10 Things You Can Do To Prevent Gender Violence.
For more information about Jackson Katz, his biography lists all of the programs he is involved and links to information about his other books.