Elliot Rodger and the Isla Vista Killings. It’s been almost a week and the tragedy has picked apart, deconstructed, dismissed, and sensationalized. Here are some of the more intersting things I found from the last week in the world of the blogosphere.
This was not a “What Drove Him To it?” type of crime. Elliot knew exactly what he was doing. Because he was not given the love and sex that he felt was entitled to him as his right for being alive, he went on a rampage to make strangers pay for his crime. He left some You Tube videos and a manifesto.
THE STORY BREAKS
As the details coming in the media seemed to…not glorify…but emphasize with Elliot. What Elliot did is the act of of crazy man. The reasons he gave for doing it were the sentiments of entitled men. (Notice I didn’t say men in general.) That he had a right to their bodies and it enraged him that they chose other men. All over the internet and media there seemed to be a chorus of “not all men are like that.” WE KNOW not all men are like that. That’s not the point. The point is not that all men are menaces to women. They’re not. The point is that all women are menaced by men.
Some people had to of course chime in that Elliot had a point and was deserving of sympathy(?!)
Then women seem to collectively snap. The message being we’re just so, so tired. We’re tired of navigating through a world where our bodies and attitudes are judged and policed in a way that men are not. We’re tired of the harrassment and not feeling safe. The Twitter tag #YesAllWomen sprang up and for about 15 hours THOUSANDS of women (and male allies!) globally shared stories and tweets about their experiences of not being safe and sexism. It really was an encouraging night as a feminist.
Some of the more powerfull tweets from #YesAllWomen:
In response to the women’s anger, some people pooh poohed it as women overeacting and feminists hijacking this for their own agenda. Matt Walsh is one of the more popular bloggers on the internet. Think a Catholic Rush Limbaugh only not as charming. On his blog about the incident he says.
“I have to wonder whether the Eternal Victims who’ve used this tragedy to advance their feminist agenda ACTUALLY think that most or all or many men share even one shred of one crumb of one iota of this maniac’s views about women. Do they hate men so much that they’ve convinced themselves we’re all one step away from murdering sorority sisters, or are they callously pretending they believe it because it makes for great propaganda (and it gives them something to do on a lazy Memorial Day weekend)?”
Other male allies chimed in their support in an encouraging display. Among them were one of the best articles I’ve seen about how men are brought up to believe that modern society has taught them that they are “owed” a beautiful women to love, and it’s funny to book. “Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds” by Arthur Chu. It’s about how he has been told that he’ll get the girl from nearly every TV show, movie, comic book, video game, and porno he’s ever seen. It can be a rude awakening when real life doesn’t always pan out this way.
So, a question, to my fellow male nerds:
What the f*ck is wrong with us?
How much longer are we going to be in denial that there’s a thing called “rape culture” and we ought to do something about it?
No, not the straw man that all men are constantly plotting rape, but that we live in an entitlement culture where guys think they need to be having sex with girls in order to be happy and fulfilled. That in a culture that constantly celebrates the narrative of guys trying hard, overcoming challenges, concocting clever ruses and automatically getting a woman thrown at them as a prize as a result, there will always be some guy who crosses the line into committing a violent crime to get what he “deserves,” or get vengeance for being denied it.
I then noticed instead of Elliot and his misogyny being blamed, people with autism were having fingers pointed at them. Juniper Russo’s Facebook is the best summation that I’ve seen about this:
This is what the news for the last few days has looked like, to me:
Elliot Roger: “I hate women. I murdered people because I hate women.”
Media: “Elliot Roger murdered people because he had autism and mental illness.”
Elliot Roger: “No, actually, it was because I hate women. I wrote a 146-page essay explaining this to you.”
Media: “Must have been autism, right? Autistic people are super dangerous.”
Elliot Roger: “But I didn’t do it because of autism! I did it because I hate women!”
Media: “Or it could have been because he had depression. People with depression are also super dangerous.”
Elliot Roger: “No, it wasn’t because of depression! I spent months of my pathetic life writing a manifesto about how much I hate women, so that there would be no question about why I did it. Why aren’t you listening?”
Media: “What if we took guns away from people with mental illness or autism? Wouldn’t that be a good idea? Or should we just lock Those People away entirely?”
(Thanks to Sonnolenta for the link)
All in all it’s been an interesting week for a feminism. The topic of male entitlement is in the air. I only wish it hadn’t taken a horrible tragedy to start the conversation.
You can find Linddykal on Twitter as lindseykal28