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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 11:11 am | Mostly Cloudy 55º


2020 A Year Without War, Coalition Against Gun Violence Sponsor Community Forum

The Coalition Against Gun Violence organized a Town Hall Community Forum and presented the film Tough Guise 2: Violence, Manhood & American Culture on Sunday at the Santa Barbara City College BC Forum.

The presentation was co-sponsored by 2020 A Year Without War, the Anti-Defamation League of Santa Barbara, the Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County, the League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara County, the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

The Tough Guise 2 documentary explores misogyny and why men are so frequently the perpetrators of violence.

Jackson Katz, Ph.D., the creator and writer of the film, was on hand for questions and answers.

Following the film, a panel moderated by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson discussed gender violence and ways that women and men can improve communication and mutual awareness. Panel discussants included Dr. Katz, Assemblyman Das Williams, Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Cathy Murillo, CAGV co-chair and marriage family therapist Toni Wellen, 2020 AYWW members Melisa Ashbaugh Johnston and Norm Johnston, and professor Joe White, founder of 2020 AYWW and chair of the Philosophy Department at SBCC.

The panel discussed the pervasive issue of violence against women in our culture.

“All of us must question stereotypical gender roles and encourage American women and men to question our cultural expectations," Wellen said. "It is often true that abused women and abusive men have two things in common, low self-esteem and a lack of self-assertion skills. Seeking help can change a life."

Ashbaugh Johnston provided a millennial female’s perspective: “Respectfulness and intelligence are two qualities that many women find sexy in men, qualities we should celebrate in our society, not denigrate.”

White addressed how violence in our society bears upon the 2020 AYWW goal of achieving a global cease-fire in the year 2020.

“After being involved in this program it appears the vast majority of crime and violence comes from men," he said. "A year without war will not be possible without some serious reflection on the part of men."

Wrapping up the event, Williams said, “It was an honor to be a part of this powerful program that examined how our society sets up expectations for and then suffers from the consequences of masculinities and violent behavior. I look forward to working with the sponsoring organizations on future events to amplify the conversation on gender violence.”

— Luella Engelhart is a public relations coordinator for 2020 A Year Without War.


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