Despite tremendous media coverage of the upcoming recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom in California, one aspect of this political struggle that has barely registered in California or nationally is the women’s rights work and leadership of Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the first partner of California. In a Ms. exclusive interview, contributing writer Jackson Katz, a long-time colleague and collaborator of Ms. Newsom, asked her about her gender justice advocacy work both in and outside of the Newsom administration—and her unfinished agenda.
The Trump-inspired Capitol riots were a stunning, disgraceful reminder that far-right violent extremism and white-nationalist terrorism are on the rise.
But while much of the commentary about the insurrection has focused on racism, another crucial part of the story has escaped scrutiny: the fact that the vast majority of those who rioted were not just white people, but white men.
Trump’s behavior has so dramatically lowered the bar for what is and should be expected of adult male behavior that it will take years to undo the regression. Come January 20, we will see if our nation’s “moral imagination” can be reignited—this time with infinitely more competent and enlightened 21st century leadership.
Trump might not be a sophisticated political thinker or student of history, but he understands something fundamental about manhood in a patriarchal culture: the system remains in place because a majority of men fear being ‘unmanned’ and losing the respect of other men more than they value abstract concepts like commitment to scientific reason, equal justice under law or even democracy itself.
How will we be able to develop a better, more inclusive leadership class that is capable of finding solutions to complex 21st century problems when our political culture is dominated by language that focuses not on what candidates say or stand for—but on the fact that the “frontrunner” failed to deliver a “knockout punch”?
Three sworn officers of the Minneapolis Police Department—all adult men—were in a position to interrupt their fellow officer’s abusive behavior and save Floyd’s life. But none did. Why?
How do norms in male-dominated peer cultures like police departments operate to keep men silent, even when they know something is wrong?
The straightforward explanation for why the federal government has done such a poor job in response to the coronavirus crisis is that Donald Trump is simply not man enough to be president of the United States.
The viewing public has been able to observe what untold numbers of women have experienced directly for millennia: powerful men treating them differently than men as they try to do their jobs.
Wearing a mask acknowledges that we are all human beings, and that it is in our DNA, regardless of gender, to care about each other. It is a national tragedy that we don’t have a president who can say and model this in a time of great need. But we can say it to each other—We can all step up and cover our faces.