Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Student Colloquium June 10, 2013


Report on Student Colloquium
June 10, 2013

A newspaper dated June 07, 2013 reads "Over 2,150 rape cases in Karnataka in three years". Not only India, the larger world has been a part of victimizing women in the form of religion, race, class, gender and sexual orientation.
Hello everyone! With this in mind we start our colloquium for the academic year 2013-14 by broadcasting a TED talk titled "Violence against women—it's a men's issue" by Jackson Katz. Jason Katz is the co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), which enlists men in the struggle to prevent men’s violence against women. Being a powerful speaker starts his conversation with a whole new perspective into the so called 'gender violence' perceived by most of us as the issues related only with women which some good men help out with. Katz speaks about how dominant group is rarely challenged to even think about its dominance especially in the case of gender, race and sexual orientation. He questions why sexual abuse, rape and domestic abuse remain a problem and the voices of change are being dominantly suppressed.
Jason Katz confronts men to stand up and be a part of the problem, as he rightly says men are affected by abuse. It is righteous to say when abuse occurs on the part of women, men are affected with their very relation of being a brother, father or a friend. Katz underlying the need for men to stand up for righteousness says we need more men with the guts, with the courage, with the strength, with the moral integrity to break our complicit silence and challenge each other and stand with women and not against them.
It was interesting for us to look into this whole new paradigm shift in thinking and acting upon violence, abuse, assault against women. We agreed upon the opinion that powerful men and women through their voices can make a difference in curtailing the dominance of the dominant. The very point we argued was that Katz was right in saying that we do not need sensitivity classes to be provided to men who indulge in violence rather help the individual with leadership quality to condemn such act.
One of our classmates argued how peer pressure can be used as a right tool to control such atrocities, the other said to bring about a change in the mind set of men whose ideologies are strong and treats women as inferior is a daunting task. We argued about how the patriarchal power can be reversed by not oppressing women rather recognizing and condemning violence against them. Violence against women is universal in nature and to bring about a change we need to break away from patriarchal school of thought and be a leader within.

Report by Bopanna
II MA Applied Sociology

Christ University

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