Pin It

Men and The Media 

by Cara Gardner

Most parents try to protect their children as much as possible from acts of violence. They would never, for example, let one person come into their house and brutally attack another in front of their children, but kids see these things within the home almost every day. The average 16-year-old has seen more than 16,000 murders on television. Acts of violence, no matter how they contribute to plotlines, are so prolific they exceed 11 per hour on TV. These statistics, determined by the Kaiser Foundation and the American Academy of Pediatrics, only begin to quantify media's obsession with graphic murders, rapes and attacks. For Jackson Katz, a gender issues guru and violence prevention consultant, educating people about violence in the media is crucial to stopping violence in the real world.

"Violence is inherently a gender issue," says Katz. "Violent masculinity is a cultural norm in the U.S., so when men or boys act out violently there's the underlying idea that you shouldn't be shocked."

On Tuesday, Gonzaga University will host "Thinking Out Loud," a presentation by Katz, who plans to talk about and deconstruct representations of violence in media.

Katz founded the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program at Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society, which is an effort to enlist athletes in the fight against violence toward women. He is also the creator of Tough Guise, an award winning video about violence in media, and he is a violence prevention consultant for the U.S. military. From discussing the lyrics of rapper Eminem and analyzing the Kobe Bryant case, to advocating against the incessant portrayal of victimized women on prime time television, Katz takes mass media to task.

"Media is the great teaching force of our time," Katz says. "It's na & iuml;ve to think media images and representations of men and boys have not contributed to a definition of manhood."

Jackson says that no expert in gender or media studies will assert that people commit acts of violence solely based on media exposure, but he does say that pervasive messages, seen again and again over a lifetime, reinforce deep-seeded ideologies about women being victims and men being aggressors.

"It's the normalizing affect," Katz explains. "Massive exposure to violence is desensitizing. It's been measured in study after study for decades that if you've been exposed to massive amounts of women being raped, brutally assaulted etc., you are less affected by it."

Violence against women in the media has traditionally been a "women's issue," but Katz says that's part of the problem.

"It's more about men than women. Men are the ones doing it. My goal is to get men to acknowledge that violence is a men's issue. The prevention of violence means understanding cultural definitions of masculinity and doing something about it."

Publication date: 04/08/04
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Defending North Idaho
  • Defending North Idaho

    Why Heather Scott must go
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • How's That For Respect?
  • How's That For Respect?

    Trail Mix: Trump's respectful groping allegations and WA's minimum wage raise
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Accidents All Over
  • Accidents All Over

    This Congress is perhaps the least productive and worst reviewed since the Civil War; will anybody pay for that?
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Washington State Chinese Lantern Festival

Washington State Chinese Lantern Festival @ Riverfront Park

Through Oct. 30

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Cara Gardner

  • Pride or Prejudice?

    Jim West may have overcompensated for his closeted sexual identity by voting against gay rights legislation. But how are his fellow Republicans dealing with the news that the powerful conservative has admitted to sexual relationships with
    • Jul 8, 2005
  • Weapon of Mass Doubt

    Scott Ritter has been called "an honest man lost in Washington" by Forbes and "the most famous renegade Marine officer" by the New York Times. A former marine captain and the former chief weapons inspector for Unscom, the agency in charge
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • Plaintiffs Speak

    For many, the current hearings in the Washington Supreme Court regarding marriage equality are interesting side notes in the ongoing battle over the right of homosexuals to marry legally. But for Marge Ballack and Diane Lantz, two plaintif
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Do-Over

    After failing to pass a bus service tax hike last year, Spokane Transit Authority has a plan to get you to vote for it again
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • Pants on Fire

    U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers can't see the forest for the trees when it comes to climate change
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

election 2016


green zone


trail mix

Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Grading the Session
  • Grading the Session

    The Idaho Legislature made some wise decisions in Boise, but they still get a "C" for "crazy"
    • Apr 22, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation