I’m preparing for a few affinity workshops: that is, working conversations with and for female-identifying students. And on a hunch, I did a little exploring to see what one of my favorite youtube resources might have to say on the topic of gender equality. If you have a few mins, here’s Jay Smooth on “The List of Rules for Women”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlNUIIyDA_w&x-yt-cl=85114404&x-yt-ts=1422579428. Very worth watching and sharing.
At the heart of Smooth’s monologue is the question: whose problem is harassment, gossip and assault? Like anti-sexism educator Jackson Katz (http://www.ted.com/talks/jackson_katz_violence_against_women_it_s_a_men_s_issue), Smooth argues that abuse is the problem of the abuser. And while we need to educate people who are victimized, we won’t solve any problems until we stand up to and educate the people who are doing the damage.
To be clear, the issue isn’t all women on one side, and all men on the other. To me, the messy reality of who can and does abuse or get abused doesn’t delegitimize what either Smooth or Katz has to say–it just provides a bigger context for their messages.