Men Against Gender Violence

Yesterday I was working on my new play, “Accidental Mummies” and took time out to watch this TED talk by Jackson Kahn. Wow, so inspiring! And just as we are moving forward with an Off-Broadway production of “Asking For It.” Kahn started the “Bystander” project which encourages men to be leaders in their peer groups when it comes to changing the culture of gender violence against women and children and other men – to speak out as one would do when hearing racist or homophobic remarks. He starts out by thanking women who stand up and speak out in spite of being called man-haters and “feminazis,” etc. (which I have to say, has intimidated me) It has been very frustrating waiting for things to come together for AFI to gain traction and reach a wider audience. I released it a few months ago, unwilling to spend one more minute of energy on it. I figured it’s time had passed. There was enough said on the subject, but one of the most powerful moments out of many shared with audience members was when a young man told us after seeing the show that he hadn’t realized until then that he had been guilty of date rape. Unfortunately things haven’t improved that much. Things are terrible in the military, on college campuses, everywhere. It is going to take such an effort on the part of everyone to bring about change. I am feeling re-committed. This is an exciting time to be holding our brothers’ hands and jumping in. Check it out.

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