1. Approach gender violence as a MEN’S issue involving men of all ages and socioeconomic, racial and ethnics backgrounds. View men not only as perpetrators or possible offenders, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers.
2. If a brother, friend, classmate, or teammate is abusing his female partner – or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general – don’t look the other way. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it. Urge him to seek help. Or if you don’t know what to do, consult a friend, a parent, a professor, or a counselor. DON’T REMAIN SILENT.
3. Have the courage to look inward. Question your own attitude. Don’t have a defensive attitude when something you do or say ends up hurting someone else. Try hard to understand how your own attitude and actions might inadvertently perpetuate sexism and violence, and work towards changing them.
4. If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help.
5. If you are emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive to women, or have been in the past, seek professional help NOW.
6. Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence. Support the work of campus-based women’s centers. Raise money for community-based rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters. If you belong to a team, or fraternity, or another student group, organize fundraising events to raise awareness of these issues.
7. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing. Discrimination and violence against lesbians and gays are wrong in and of themselves. This form of abuse is also directly linked to sexism. E.g.: the sexual orientation of men who speak out against sexism is often questioned, transforming into a conscious or unconscious strategy intended to silence them. This is a key reason few men to speak about.
8. Attend programs, take courses, watch films, and read articles and books about gender inequality and the root causes of gender based violence in various cultures. Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between men and women.
9. Don’t fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any website, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner. Challenge sexism in the media.
10. Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women. Volunteer to work with gender based violence prevention programs, including anti sexist men’s programs. Lead by example.
This text was produced by MVP Strategies, a gender violence prevetion, education and training organization. Copyright 1999, Jackson Katz