What About Teh Menz? – Answered!

The next time some sniveling asshat starts the “But what about teh menz?!” whine, don’t sweat it. Yeah, it’s annoying as shit, and we’ve answered that “patriarchy hurts men too” about five quadrillion-zillion times, and we’re tired of it, but it’s all good. The question has been answered by someone with a masculine voice and a penis who identifies as a menz. All we have to do is aim the sniveling asshat at this video. Seriously. Watch it. Just use caution if you have any medical conditions that make punching a fist into the air and screaming “Fuck yeah!” at the top of your lungs painful. (And remember to say thank you to Mary at Skepchick for finding it.)

I can’t find a transcript. I want a transcript, but I haven’t got time to do one. If someone wants to do one, I’ll be happy to send you a nice sniny chunk o’ something from ye olde rock collection. This was fabulous. It’s not much different from what women have been saying for ages, but it’s from a penis-haver to other penis-havers who identify as penis-havers, and it’s phrased in ways I think will be hard for certain subsets of the penis-haver population to avoid if they don’t want to come off looking like complete social losers. And I love the way Jackson Katz has turned this right away from the victims back onto the perpetrators. It even works for when the perpetrators aren’t men. It’s setting the conversation down firmly where it should begin and end: not how victims should avoid being victimized, but how perpetrators should avoid perpetrating, and what we as a society can do to reinforce the idea that certain shit is completely fucking unacceptable. Yes. That’s what we’ve been saying. That’s what needs to be bellowed from the rooftops until even the thickest of skulls have been penetrated.

(Oh, and Ron Lindsay? I’d like you to pay especial attention to the bits where he talks about leadership. Take notes, please. Which principles can you apply to your own life and work? Write 500 words, due by next Monday.)

I found Jackson Katz’s website after listening to his talk whilst repeatedly saluting him with my cleaning products, and there’s this wonderful list, which he encourages us to share. So I shall (en español).

Ten Things Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violence


  1. Approach gender violence as a MEN’S issue involving men of all ages and socioeconomic, racial and ethnic 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 attitudes. Don’t be defensive when something you do or say ends up hurting someone else. Try hard to understand how your own attitudes and actions might inadvertently perpetuate sexism and violence, and work toward 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. Attend “Take Back the Night” rallies and other public events. 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 a fundraiser.
  7. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing. Discrimination and violence against lesbians and gays are wrong in and of themselves. This abuse also has direct links to sexism (eg. the sexual orientation of men who speak out against sexism is often questioned, a conscious or unconscious strategy intended to silence them. This is a key reason few men do so).
  8. Attend programs, take courses, watch films, and read articles and books about multicultural masculinities, gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence.  Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between individual men and women.
  9. Don’t fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any Web site, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner. Protest 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 violence prevention programs, including anti-sexist men’s programs. Lead by example

Copyright 1999, Jackson Katz. www.jacksonkatz.com
Reprint freely with credit.

So there ye go. Point the “what about teh menz?” cadre at these items, and if they’re still sniveling about teh menz afterward, you know they’re not coming at this in good faith. They’re part of the problem, not good and useful critics, and should be treated accordingly.

And to those men who have already answered that question by stepping up and taking responsibility for making the world a better place for women and men? Thank you.

Carry on. We can win this thing, together.

slam dunk

What About Teh Menz? – Answered!

16 thoughts on “What About Teh Menz? – Answered!

  1. rq

    I saw this video, and it was super-powerful. I posted it to my Facebook, but nobody commented, so my next step is to post Anita Sarkeesian’s latest videos on the timeline of my friend who’s doing PhD research into gaming (more neurology and reaction time, but hey, it’s a related topic, right?). I’m trying to be unobtrusive about coming out as a fighter for feminism. Apparently, I’m so good at it, nobody’s noticing.
    I’d love to do a transcript, but I think I’m short on time (seeing as how you probably want it, like, yesterday), so if no one else volunteers, I will.
    Thanks for posting it again, as well as that list (I have it bookmarked somewhere for random sending out of and for Husband education). It’s all very valuable, and at the moment, cannot be repeated often enough.
    I’d love to see Jackson Katz present sometime. Too scared to actually want to meet him. :)

  2. 2

    I’m sorry Dana, but I don’t think you need a bunch of fucking rules to to act like a decent human being. Anytime a person needs a crib sheet to provide obvious answers to fundamental questions of morality, they’re in real trouble. I could easily condense this list into one simple statement: Treat people with the same dignity you want them to treat you. Facile, non ?

  3. 5

    We should go meet him together. And brava to your fighting for feminism! Don’t worry about the lack o’response – there’s only so many dumb as fuck antis, and they’re busy targeting a chosen few women. They’ll get round to us someday. When they do, remind them you number many feminists with rock hammers amongst your friends. :-)

  4. 6

    Yes, love, but the problem is that some of these doodz need to be reminded that women are people, so yes, they’re in real trouble. Hopefully a crib sheet will help them remember.

    I’m just glad you’re one of the ones who needs no such reminding.

  5. rq

    Maybe we can split the job, if you’ll be taking 2 – 3 days for a transcript (that was about my estimate, too). Let me know: taarpinsh at hot mail dot com.

  6. rq

    Oh, I will. ;) And I have other resources, such as a DNA lab at my disposal, so as long as we all stick together, we won’t be struck down. *hugs*
    Incidentally, not that I’ve been SuperCommenter here lately, but my commenting might reduce even more due to the end of maternity leave and going back to work on Friday (evenings and weekends, yay! [/freakedout]). Don’t worry about me, I’m just trying to do everything and stay sane. :)

  7. 12

    This guy is awesome. Given that women are too often dismissed by men when discussing issues like gender inequality in society, it is important for men to speak up.
    I hope you’ll post the transcript when Mattir finishes it (I have net access by phone and videos buffer waaay too much).

    I think I will follow rq’s lead and post this on my FB page too.

  8. 15

    A thought – is there any way you can run the video through your voice-recognition software? Route it through the speakers?

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