"Elliot Rodger … viewed himself as a sophisticate and a catch, and reserved much of his venom for attractive women, who he believed spurned him, and men who had more success in dating."
This isn’t just about mental illness or gun access - those are symptoms. This is the end result of a boy raised in a culture befouled with patriarchy, male privilege, and male entitlement. This shit will never end until we stop putting band-aids over the symptoms and start treating the disease.” #FeministKilljoy
Some rambling reactions and harmonious thoughts:
Yup. There is indeed a mix of elements at work behind this horrible occurrence. It isn’t just one single thing that brought it about but some factors loom larger than others.
A main characteristic of the patriarchy and misogyny that contributed to Rodger’s delusions and murderous spree is the simple inability or choice to not see women as equals. In Rodgers it likely came from a neglectful upbringing, an abundance of material wealth and some classic sociopathy that could very well have been part of his biology.
There unfortunately isn’t one remedy to help prevent things like it from happening again. There are many changes that must be made if we collectively care as a nation and society to try and prevent such tragedies.
But do we care enough? I do, of course and so does any reasonable, caring and empathetic human being. It’s hard to see any indication that anything is improving though. Are things “better” than they were 10 years ago? 50 years ago? 100 years ago? I’m having a hard time answering that this year.
As has been said, we certainly aren’t collectively acting in earnest to prevent gun violence. Another day, another shooting, another day of inaction follows. There are too many hurdles of money and power in the way at present. The loved ones of those in power have to be lost for change to occur.
I pity those raising daughters when the world those parents try and prepare them for is still so set against valuing women as equals and considering them worthy of being in power and making their own decision about sex and reproduction.
I can see the obvious need for parents raising boys to instill respect for women in them. It all starts there. That is where the patriarchy can be broken and misogyny diffused. It isn’t right to simply let societal norms determine how male children learn to treat females since rarely anything improves that way.
I posted in a shortened form on Twitter that the mature thing for a male to do is realize that whatever flaws women are repelled by are his flaws, not hers. Sure, not all women are perfect or mature but that doesn’t matter here. Women of all sorts of persuasions can easily see flaws men can’t see in themselves and the immature reaction to rejection is for a man to blame everyone else but himself for his romantic failures.
I completely understand and still know very well the frustration so many males feel when love is unrequited or sexual attraction is not reciprocated. Again, the mature reaction is not to believe some vengeance must be exacted upon those women who don’t simply obey or spread their legs at a desperate male’s request. It also doesn’t mean a man should take on the less respectable traits of the males that targeted females seem to choose.
Who wants to be with a woman who only likes assholes and who will spread for any male that wants sex? Men won’t be happy in the long run pursuing such women. The reverse is true for women. Who wants to be with a male who only wants a woman for sex and will have sex with any woman who opens her legs? Women won’t be happy in the long run pursuing such men.
There can of course be brief sexual encounters by consenting individuals. The key word is ‘consent’.
There have been some good writeups on the web in the last year about the problem with some self-proclaimed “nice guys”. The neckbeards and fedora-wearing trogs react hostilely of course but there is a lot of wisdom to be extracted from those articles if a thoughtful man wishes to be less of a turn-off to women.
(Worthy of discussion at a later date is the value of the availability of safe and legal prostitution and its role in muting potentially violent behavior in males. But not today.)
I wish I could say it will get better. I wish such tragedies could influence negligent parents to begin actively shaping the attitudes of their sons. I wish the women I love didn’t have to live in fear. It’s dismaying in 2014 that we have to keep having this discussion over and over.