Thursday, May 8, 2008

Seeking Men to Fight Domestic Violence

I haven't posted much recently and that's because for the past few weeks I've been working full gear on this story. It's about how the images being put forward by people working against domestic violence have changed in recent years: now the effort is more inclusive of men. As fun as it is to do videos about Chinatown garbage tours and Scottish dancing, it is also incredibly rewarding to work on some more serious issues every once in a while.

I've met some amazing people - men like Daniel Jose Older, a paramedic who was so sick of bringing beat up women to the hospital that he decided to become an anti-violence educator, and singer Michael Bolton, who founded an organization that supports women and children at risk of poverty and abuse (photographic evidence below)... as well as many others who unfortunately didn't make it into the final story but certainly helped me understand the issues a lot better. Like Quentin Walcott, who runs a whole team of anti-violence educators at CONNECT, and Stephanie Davidson and Linnea Hincks, two very bright students at Columbia and Barnard who also helped me unpack some of the concepts behind feminist theory and gender violence.

I'd love to hear what you think about my story, so feel free to post comments below. I'm also probably going to be adding another blog post or two in the next few days about other interesting things that didn't make it into the story, so stay tuned for updates (and previous posts).


Noah said...

Sounds like they have few things right and lot wrong. Men should not be making money off of working against violence against women. They said it all when they say that men are getting higher speaking fees and more opportunities than women to speak on violence against women. Men should be taking responsibility for each other. The paper paraphrased Don MacPherson as saying:
If women were to say the same thing, Smith said, they would be branded as bra-burning lesbians.

Burning bras and lesbianism are not mistakes and shouldn't be epithets. We need to argue to each other (men) that we need to be quiet and listen to women, really listen. If we're more willing to hear a man talk about violence against women than a woman we are missing the point.

I've been involved with a fund-raising group for a local womens' shelter in Vancouver Canada for 12 years and I've learned the most by listening and following the leadership of the women who volunteer, work and have stayed at teh shelter.

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