Technology has transformed my life in profound ways, but more importantly, the 1000+ young people I have worked with over the past 15 years (many of whom were young women suffering from depression, drug abuse, eating disorders, and suicidal ideation). Together, we composed digital music, created digital stories, broadcast spoken word events and created short films; All with the intention of sharing the youth voice and perspective with our communities.
Research and pre-production efforts have been redirected online for our upcoming documentary film, "The Gentle Man,” as a result of the ‘shelter-in-place orders in most countries right now.
I am hoping to connect with several women leaders on this platform to collaborate with and help further the mission of this violence-prevention film. I’m so grateful to have access to these online platforms. The future of technology and how we interact with it will not only determine the trajectory and scope of this film, but the level of global unity we choose to create together. I’m truly humbled by the process.
Retention of participants has been the greatest challenge so far in this film. Six out of six young teen males who were initially excited about the project, withdrew at the urging of their family and friends. They all said something similar to: “I realized I just don’t have time for this in my busy schedule.” After conferring with their teachers, I was assured that their resistance was entirely due to fear of what they referred to as “social suicide.” These teens didn’t want to be the one group of men who spoke their truths and were consequently ridiculed and ostracized for it; This fear seems to be at the core of what perpetuates violence towards women – our socialized silence about it.
Technology has enabled us to open this topic back up for discussion here on World Pulse and the global network so EVERYONE can contribute their thoughts and feelings to this important project. While most people are stuck at home, what a better time than now to self-reflect and build a better, more equitable world? The digital realm also provides a buffer that protects peoples’ identities for those who choose.
To contribute your answers to the questions below, please email: [email protected]
* 8 SURVEY QUESTIONS FOR ALL PEOPLE FROM ALL DEMOGRAPHICS *
- How would you define a gentleman? What does the phrase 'be a man' mean? Have you ever felt that you don’t belong? Do you feel like you live up to your family’s (or guardian’s) expectations of you? Have you ever been out-of-control angry? If so, did you feel that you had the tools to deal with it? When is it okay to be violent towards someone else? How much of a role do you think society plays in how men define themselves? Why do you think people avoid talking about things like this?
This article is my application to [Become a Featured Storyteller and/or Changemaker] in support of World Pulse’s #SheTransformsTech Digital Campaign.
~ Abram R. Katz