Sometimes you read something which makes the vision of the future of the species just a little less pessimistic. Today that was the work by Ben Atherton-Zeman in his one-man show Voice of Men. The show, which is a pastiche of hyper-masculine characters like Austin Powers, James Bond and Rocky (Marciano, not …and Bullwinkle!) talks about the need for men to take responsibility for men’s violence against women. The play, currently only US based, is strongly in the american tradition of epistolatory culture and prosletyising but it serves a serious purpose – most of the audience who attends are the hard to reach young male group aged 19-25 who are often most invested in the misogynistic popular culture of our time.
And Atherton-Zeman gets a hish response rate in his ending call for people to join in the pledge against sexual violence.
“I pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about men’s violence against women. I pledge to never coerce anyone I know into having sex, or to pressure them into any kind of unwanted physical contact. I will always seek clear communication instead of assuming consent. I choose to respect, listen to, seek equality with and to share power with every person I date, and every person I know.”
From Athens News
And let’s face it, he must be doing something write because Fathers for Life have accused him of “spouting all the absurdities of radical feminist propaganda, and being backed by powerful antifamily business and political profiteers…lawyers and politicians’ bank accounts…” (See here for more on his CV).
There are video clips on the website but here are some one-liners from the show:
As Austin Powers: “I’m part of the problem! And she said “Would you also like to be part of the solution” and I said “Yeah! Baby!” and she said “Well you can start by calling me by my name”.”
In Concluding Comments: “You may disagree with the definitions of sexual assault, rape and domestic violence used here today. But if you break them you’ll still be arrested”.