From Publishers Weekly
Katz is cofounder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program (MVP), and his focus is on prevention—his intended audience is not violent men who need help changing their ways, but all men, who, he says, have a role to play in preventing male violence against women. His basic assertion is that rape, battering, sexual abuse and harassment are so widespread that they must be viewed as a social problem rooted in our culture, not as the problem of troubled individuals. He urges men to directly confront the misogynistic attitudes and behavior of their peers. Some men may find Katz's advice occasionally baffling: he is full of directions about what not to do (such as paternalistic actions that deprive women of their autonomy). He wants to bring men into the larger discussion of pornography (which, he points out, has been dominated by women) and get them to look at its impact on themselves. Katz also presents eye-opening exercises and discussions from the MVP model that engender productive discussion among participants—usually high school or college students. If only men would read Katz's book, it could serve as a potent form of male consciousness-raising.
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Katz, an antisexist male activist, repositions violence against women as a broader cultural issue, not just a women's issue. Arguing for a "far-reaching cultural revolution," Katz explores those aspects of American culture that promote violence against women, focusing separate chapters on pornography, prostitution, and other sex-related businesses as well as sexual violence in the military, the music industry, and athletics. He catalogs the troubling statistics regarding domestic violence, sexual harassment, and other acts of violence and hostility by men against women, but he is most powerful when detailing encounters with men and women speaking about their personal experiences. Based on his work with gender violence, the book also offers advice on how men can ally with women to curb violence and change those aspects of the "boys will be boys" attitude on male aggressiveness and masculinity that can lead to violence and abuse. This is a candid look at the cultural factors that lend themselves to tolerance of abuse and violence against women. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved