In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Jackson Katz spoke to a brimming Satellite Student Union about American manhood and violence against women.
Katz was introduced by Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro. Castro referred to Katz as a scholarly brother and told the audience that being bold means not engaging in violence.
In the beginning of his lecture he pointed out the importance of acknowledging that men have been sexually assaulting women, children and other men for thousands of years. He stated that it wasn’t until the 1970s that rape crisis centers developed.
“Jackson Katz is an internationally known lecturer on gender violence,” said Krysten Cherkaski, a double major in philosophy and women’s studies at Fresno State. “He’s really important specifically because he talks about the place of men in the fight against gender violence and how they can help and also how society raises men to see this as normalized.”
Katz covered the cycle of domestic violence and how it affects society. He told the audience that children don’t witness domestic violence, but experience it themselves and are traumatized by the events.
“Men and boys that have been abused are 10 times more likely to be abusive,” Katz said.
Cindy Aguilera, a criminology major at Fresno State, came out as part of a criminology theory class she’s taking on campus, which she says is currently covering the topic of violence and women.
Katz said that the whole system needs to reexamine this issue and the number of men incarcerated in our country, which he referred to as an embarrassment.
“I’ve been doing this since I was a college student,” Katz said. “When I was a young guy I started to have my eyes open to how pervasive the problem was in the world generally, but more specifically on my campus and the women that I knew and how much fear they lived with.”
He credited the feminist movement for the social evolution we have made on the issue and said it takes engagement, especially by men, to advance peace and education on the issue.
“I realized that there’s not that many men speaking out and I was a young guy who was pretty self-confident and I was like ‘I’m going to start speaking out, it’s obvious this needs to happen,’” said Katz.