Freedom And Conformity – A Gender Issue

by Lesley

Freedom And Conformity – A Gender Issue

Recently I posted the video in my news-streams of Jackson Katz ‘Violence Against Women’ because it struck a chord in how language influences our perceptions…

Later, I spoke with my close friend Lance who agreed to read his own, penned words for the camera; in part to explain how some of these gender issues have been perpetuated.

Conformity and Freedom


I hated the barber

Screamed the first few times I was held and cut

In an all-male initiation ceremony

Always gasped back the fear subsequently

Boys have short hair

Look hard – be hard

Big boots – no nonsense

Fear equals respect

No one will cross you if youre hard

Look hard

Crew cut

Barber laughs with other men

As I am held and cut

And tortured in a chamber of horrors

Full of razors and electric cutting instruments


Men laugh at pain

Go to it voluntarily

To prove manhood – masculinity

You will be forced to look hard

Then you will have to be hard

As other hard men see you as a challenge to be

Top Dog

Growling and showing teeth

Nipping and whining in a never-ending show of


Scrabbling for a place in a hierarchy of curs


Violence is funny

Being violent and aggressive is how men are

If you dont like it youll go under

Pushed down by generations of men

Kicked and trodden on by boots

Scrabbling to be top of the heap


Bloody bruised and beaten

Refusing to play this any more

Crawling away

I look back and see a writhing mass of boots

And fists

And contorted faces

Fighting for space in a groaning heap

Lance Goodey

Gender violence is not a women’s issue – it’s a very human, avoidable problem which even modern society has colluded with and at the very least, encouraged.

Violence against women is unacceptable. Violence against men is unacceptable.

We have no right to violate another.

About Lesley

Lesley Rodgers has written 146 posts on this blog.

Personal Development Consultant and Confidence Coach. Lesley is also a committed Human Rights Activist with her heart firmly lodged in 'community' and collaboration.


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