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The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help Paperback – April 16, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks; 3.2.2006 edition (April 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402204019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402204012
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Moser on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is both accessible and sophisticated in its approach. It covers political and social issues and popular culture in great depth. However, Katz pitches his argument to the broadest possible audience; he almost never uses jargon. I used the introductory chapter in a classroom with both high school and college students, and they all responded to the piece with enthusiasm. Another aspect of the book that elevates it above many similar works is Katz's use of personal anecdotes from his career as an anti-sexist activist to illustrate his points. These stories not only help to ground the book in reality, but they make it clear that the author has tested his ideas in the field of deeds. He has constantly sought out new audiences and been challenged to refine his approach. He advocates for a very inclusive model of gender violence prevention. He wants us to be honest with ourselves and call "domestic violence" what it is--men's violence against women. However, he also makes it clear that viewing all men as potential perpetrators is not the answer. Rather, encouraging men to take the issue personally and own up to their social responsibility, while encouraging others to do the same, can make a huge difference. For anyone who would like to learn more about men's violence against women, or gender and society in general, this book is a great place to start.
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Format: Paperback
I wish I had 200 copies of this book. There are so many men I know that can find themselves depicted in Katz's clear and insightful reflections on male culture today. Why has the violence women suffer at the hands of some men been called a "woman's issue"? Where's the curiosity and creativity of more men when it comes to looking at why violence and sexual violence in particular are so epidemic? Or even, more dangerously, glamorized in aspects of the pornography industry? Forget "Pretty Woman" or "The Girl Next Door" and dive into real life. Katz has done his research and articulates a vision that should make every man stand up and collectively work to make this a world they are proud their daughters and sons will inherit. I really wish I had 200 copies....
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Format: Paperback
Jackson Katz's book could be one of the most important I have ever read, hands-down. Two years ago, after my wife came home from a graduate-level class, she told me we needed to watch Katz's documentary, Tough Guise (MEF). The documentary revolutionized the way I veiwed masculinity both in myself and in our culture. I then found Katz's book. The Macho Paradox does the exact same thing: Katz includes an amazing array of statistics as well as references to a variety of studies and cultural icons in order to prove his case--that masculinity needs a serious overhaul in our contemporary culture. No longer can we allow women to be abused in such rampant fashion. Katz explodes the myth that men are simply "born" with a bent towards aggression and violence; rather, he questions and explores what in our culture teaches men to behave the way we do. I highly recommend this book to both men and women, as its message is one we severely need today.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a male and professional firefighter working in a hyper masculine and sexist environment I found this book to be incredibly enlightening and encouraging as I work to embrace a healthier definition of masculinity and to fight the negative influences associated with my workplace and in broader culture as I build a better me. This book sparked immense interest in and better understanding of gender and violence issues to which I was mostly blind before. It led me to purchase and read Men Speak Out by Tarrant, A Call To Action by Jimmy Carter, and so much more material as I aimed to educate myself and realign my perspectives and behaviors. I gained valuable insight and perspective into the world of the women in my life. I have now embarked on a mission to do my part through self evaluation and peer education to fight sexism and be sure I am no longer part of the problems of our culture. I think especially for guys who align themselves with stereotypical definitions of masculinity, who are interested in being real men and creating a stronger and healthier self, and who want to work to build a better world for the women (mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, etc.) and men (fathers, brothers, sons, husbands) they love, this book is a must read. I purchased the book on kindle, liked it so much and felt it was so important to my own transformation and endeavors I bought a hard copy so that I can loan it to the important men in my life.
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By Line on January 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time about how to end violence against women. The author analyses very well how the angle must be turned away from the women victims and how to make them safe, and rather towards men's actions and how to prevent them. He also looks at larger structural tendencies and mind sets which contribute to a "culture of rape" and subjugation of women. This is a book with a refreshing voice which shows how to go about strengthening gender equality.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Katz practically shouts the alarming seriousness of violence against women, mostly with simple statistics including that one in four women will become a victim. We all know people who are victims, yet we remain mostly silent. Katz makes it very difficult to remain silent and inactive, by making it very plain that we need to act, and that it is really men who need to change our behavior.

He then switches away from simple, unavoidable, perhaps obvious truths and identifies sometimes subtle factors that turn men violent.

I know it's uncomfortable; I don't like the guilt either, but every man should read this book. Every man should "man up" and act to stop the violence.
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