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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

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Jackson Katz addresses gender violence and the media at Step In. Stand Up. event

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Photo by Photo by Dalia Muayad

Jackson Katz spoke to attendees of the Step in. Stand up. Fall Speaker Series Wednesday. 

The Step In. Stand Up. program kicked off its Fall Speaker Series on Wednesday, hosting Jackson Katz in the MSC Gates Ballroom.
Having previously studied at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the Harvard Graduate School of Education before obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, Katz now works as a renowned educator, author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who specializes on issues of gender, race and violence.
Heather Wheeler works as the Program Coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center and also serves on the Sexual Assault Survivors Services committee. Wheeler said she admires Katz’ work and his perspective on gender violence.
“Dr. Katz is really a pioneer educator when it comes to issues on gender violence,” Wheeler said. “One of the things that I think is very helpful that he does is that he reframes some of the traditional ways that people think about gender violence.”
Katz’s presentation on Wednesday at 11 a.m. was centered around the relationship between male gender violence and the media.
“People learn and are taught from the media more than any other source,” Katz said. “If we want to understand our society, we have to first understand the role of the media.”
Having seen some of Katz’s works previously, psychology junior Rebecca Kelly said she was able to walk away from this presentation with a new understanding of the media’s role in gender violence.
“I’ve seen a couple of his documentaries so I pretty much expected a lot of what he said,” Kelly said. “I did learn a few things about how this is represented and how media is a major influence that teaches us.”
Wheeler said she believes gender violence is a relevant and important issue that should be addressed on the A&M campus.
“I think a lot of students have really good intentions and are really good people,” Wheeler said. “But I think that sometimes what trips us up is that we want to do something about this violence but we’re not sure how and Dr. Katz really breaks it down on how we can be leaders on this issue.”
The topics discussed at the presentation are relevant to problems facing college campuses across the nation, Kelly said.
“I think it’s important to address this for college students because I feel like a lot of college student culture has a lot to do with masculinity and violence,” Kelly said. “Students can help solve this issue by being cognizant of your own behaviors and understanding your own aggressive tendencies.”
The Step In. Stand Up. committee works with other campus offices and programs to conduct sexual and gender violence awareness programs on campus throughout the year, according to committee member Melissa Williams Johnson.
“April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” Johnson said. “Events will be planned and coordinated by the Consensual Language, Education, Awareness and Relationships office that students and faculty can participate in.”
The Step In. Stand Up. Speaker Series will continue with Katz speaking Thursday at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Gates Ballroom, MSC 2400. The Step in Stand up campaign will also hold a speaker series in the spring and next fall.

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