When you hear “gender” what does it mean to you?

Over the last couple of days our faculty has been on retreat. At one point we watched this TEDx talk by Jackson Katz regarding the need for male leadership in response to gender-based violence. Jackson raises this issue:

What do you hear when you hear the word gender?

What do you hear when you hear the word race?

What do you hear when you hear sexual orientation?

His point is that with each of these words we tend to “hear” or imagine the minority: female, people of color, gay/lesbian/bisexual, etc. He suggests we are much less likely to think “male” in response to gender, white/Caucasian in response to race, and “heterosexual” in response to sexual orientation.

Do you agree?

If so, why is this? Jackson would say it is because the majority is always invisible and thus not included in discussions. His point is that gender-based violence becomes just a female issue due to this problem. While you might not agree with all he says, it is a worthy 0f your consideration on how it is that we ignore problems that seem to not relate to our own experience.

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