Picture:
Picture:
Tedx

There are many problems with the high number of women and girls who are victims of rape, sexual assault and harassment.

Among them is the language we use, argues author and lecturer Jackson Katz.

A quote of his, explaining this view, has been retweeted almost 30,000 times.

He is quoted as saying:

We talk about how many women were raped last year, not about how many raped women.

We talk about how many girls in a school district were harassed last year, not about how many boys harassed girls. We talk about how many teenager girls in the state of Vermont got pregnant last year, rather than how many men and boys impregnated teenage girls.

So you can see how the use of the passive voice has a political effect.

It shifts the focus off of men and boys and onto girls and women. Even the term ‘violence against women’  is problematic.

It’s a passive construction; there’s no active agent in the sentence.

It’s a bad thing that happens to women, but when you look at that term ’violence against women,’ nobody is doing it to them.

It just happens to them.

Men aren’t even a part of it.

Katz has previously argued in a Ted talk that sexual assault, domestic violence and sexual harassment shouldn’t be referred to as women’s issues because “it gives men an excuse not to pay attention”.

Here's his Ted talk:

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)