The Macho Paradox is the social studies, women help, men recovery and gender studies book in which the author shows how a man can play his role with a woman to build a positive society. Jackson Katz is the author of this outstanding book. Jackson does not focus only on violent men but on all the men of the world who can play their role to make this world a better place for women. A woman feels strong when men are standing with her and they are taking care of her emotional needs.

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Two boys opened fire on a schoolyard full of girls, killing four and one female teacher. But there is a framework of explanation that goes much further than most of those routinely offered. It does not involve some incomprehensible, mysterious force.

It is so straightforward that some might incorrectly dismiss it as unworthy of mention. Even after a string of school shootings by mostly white boys over the past decade, few Americans seem willing to face the fact that interpersonal violence—whether the victims are female or male—is a deeply gendered phenomenon. Obviously both sexes are victimized.

But one sex is the perpetrator in the overwhelming majority of cases. The Jonesboro massacre was in fact a gender crime. The shooters were boys, the victims girls.

With the exception of a handful of op-ed pieces and a smattering of quotes from feminist academics in mainstream publications, most of the coverage of Jonesboro omitted in-depth discussion of one of the crucial facts of the tragedy. The older of the two boys reportedly acknowledged that the killings were an act of revenge he had dreamed up after having been rejected by a girl. This is the prototypical reason why adult men murder their wives.

If a woman is going to be murdered by her male partner, the time she is most vulnerable is after she leaves him. The gender crime aspect of the Jonesboro tragedy was discussed in feminist publications and on the Internet, but was largely absent from mainstream media conversation.

Jonesboro was not so much a radical deviation from the norm—although the shooters were very young—as it was melodramatic evidence of the depth of the problem. This was an act of premeditated mass murder. Boys did.


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