Youtube Misogyny: Glenn and Rad on “Rodger Madman or Misogynist”?


Christina Rad has an excellent rebuttal to Jaclyn Glenn’s musings and follow up on Elliot Rodger, and his motives for a mass shooting. She has some astute observations on how words like mentally ill and insane are not interchangeable.  I don’t want to ruin it for you, so go watch it. Of course, the comments are already thick with misogyny deniers, and people who think they know when people are insane or not and what motivates them.

Rad made an excellent point about how insanity is defined in a legal context. It hinges on a criminal’s ability to understand whether their action was right or wrong. She sets up a case quoted from his Manifesto, that Rodger was aware of the legality of his actions.

In the aftermath of the shootings, people often said things like we can never know what went on in the mind of a madman. As Rad points out, Rodger laboriously documented his motivations.

I was going to post that I hoped that Glenn would give Rad’s video an equal amount of effort and thought, but she has already posted to it.

JaclynGlenn

Again, since apparently everyone misses this, I said he was VERY misogynistic. I said this several times in both videos. He was also fucked up in the head. Feminists like to ignore that because it doesn’t suit their agenda, hence my video. His mental state made him capable of murder, the misogyny simply determined who the targets would become.I too have lawyers in my family. Yes, insanity was a colloquialism… I mentioned that it was a legal term because that’s the word most people seemed to offended by. Since it is legal (and slang) I pointed it out.

So again, she returns to the point she made in her videos, that feminists are ignoring that Rodger was “fucked up in the head” because it doesn’t suit their agenda. I am pretty sure that Rad didn’t ignore that he may have unusual and I believe she said strange  behaviors. More importantly, it isn’t fair for Glenn to accuse “feminists” as a group of ignoring Rodger may have had a psychological diagnosis. (Worded that more charitably) The thing Glenn is missing is it is irrelevant as a motive if he wasn’t legally insane. And too, that is a strong accusation to accuse “feminists” of callously using a mass shooting to further their “agenda”. She hasn’t provided strong enough evidence to make such a blanket accusation of feminists.

While we are on agenda, why would it be a bad thing to draw attention to misogyny culture provided you aren’t glossing over the real motive? I think Glenn must already know that she gets more hate directed toward her as a woman than men youtubers get. Whenever, I discuss feminism on youtube the hate directed towards me is fierce. There are all kinds of gleefully angry comments on my perceived appearance, rationality, and emotionality.  It is like dealing with hateful creationists only dripping with more venomous contempt. On other topics that don’t draw misogynists out people comment that my voice is cute or something of that nature.

Youtube right now is a cesspool of misogyny culture. It is denied in some cases by popular atheists, who paradoxically don’t have religious cultural reasons to deny that there is a problem. The culture is so pervasive that it feeds hateful, misogynists like Rodger a steady diet of hate. Don’t forget that Rodger is a youtuber, and posted his death threats there. He also fed himself a steady diet of Pick up Artist rhetoric that dehumanizes women there. Another important point Glenn misses, people often live in subcultures that normalize things that are delusional. That is why religious beliefs are not necessarily diagnosable in the DSM V. If people think they are praying to a god, it isn’t necessarily a psychiatric hallucination. It is normalized by religious culture.

And still, I can hear the denials that I have already heard before that you shouldn’t take internet posts like death and rape threats seriously. They’re trolls, right? Don’t be a victim Glenn urged in her videos, because she says you can’t affect the victimizers.

As someone, who has been bombarded with hateful comments, I say fine you can’t stop insults. However, youtube has to stop being a place for mass shooters to threaten people. The death and rape threats need to be against comment policy and taken down. How come youtube can defend copyrights of corporations, but not the rights of living people to not have their lives threatened? What if you want to hear Christina Rad, Ashley Paramore, or even Jaclyn Glenn, but you can’t because they have been targeted by misogynists and it has taken a toll?

Comments

  1. Misty says

    It’s wrong to try and discount the misogyny, yes, but it’s just as wrong to deflect from the mental illness part of the topic and dismiss it by saying “no one can tell if he was mentally ill”. Yes, people can tell. It was so obvious that he saw many therapists and was prescribed anti-psychotics. Mental illness is just as serious of a topic, dare I say more serious. Taking the possible dangers of some mental illnesses serious may kick people in the butts and take threats and unacceptable behavior more seriously like Elliot Rodger’s. So in all honesty, I think they’re both right. Both are important things to pay attention to, the misogyny and the mental illness, and neither should be discounted.

    And it’s the DSM-V now :)

    • says

      I don’t know of any feminists that are trying to “deflect off the mental illness part of the topic”. I am not even sure what you are referring to.

      • R Na says

        Spot on,lilandra, AronRa as well.I put this to Jac in response to her 1st video,hope you don’t mind my copying it to here.
        Not quite, Jac. Feminists don’t need to search for anything to piggyback onto to address basic anti-women issues…such as misogyny.Why would you make trivial and superficial the actions of those who want a better world, a goal in itself for both genders.Sounds like an argument that men make about false claims of rape, to distract, cuz even if a false claim is made the stats of real crime of rape is so much larger that to mention false claims in the face ofthe terrible crime of rape is to lessen the awfulness of rape and adds to the wrong side of the issue.
        My Dad neglected his family and had such a low opinion of women generally, that it meant nothing for him to have done his whole life beat his women to teach them a lesson(seriously, you shoulda heard this a-hole disrespect women to his kids…me), and my Mom was after him to care for us with food clothes, etc and his response was to hit her. I used to watch her walk, and each time I did I recalled the 14 inch iron skillet he threw across the room at her hitting her on the side of her head, causing severe concussion as well as the familiar stumble walk he created by damaging her inner ear on the left of her head, was he mentally ill, or was it his misogyny that shaped his treatment of my Mom and women in general? His willingness to use women in his life as punching bags. You could say he was crazy, but it was due to a societal cultural standing misogyny that owes to Kyriarchy, nix patriarchy, both aren’t good.
        Thanx for listening.

    • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

      There are many reasons to see a therapist that don’t involve being mentally ill. And the particular anti-psychotic Rodger was prescribed is also often prescribed to autistic people to help them manage certain behaviors.

      Mental illness is certainly an important topic but there is exactly zero evidence that Elliot Rodger was mentally ill. Even if he was mentally ill, we have no diagnosis. Mental illness in general has no particular correlation to violence. The mentally ill are LESS likely to be violent than the general population except those with certain very specific disorders. So, even if you concede that Rodger was mentally ill just for the sake of argument, you’re still no closer to showing that Rodger killed BECAUSE of his (assumed) mental illness. The mental illness argument IN THIS CASE is a red herring.

    • says

      Diagnosing mental health is not something laypeople can do. Psychiatrists and psychologists have to study and go to school for years before they’re qualified. The random Jane or Phil on the street is simply incapable of offering up qualified opinions on the matter. People so readily toss out explanations about the mental health of others. I suspect its because people have a hard time understanding that neurotypical humans are perfectly capable of a range of actions, up to and including killing others*. Soldiers and police officers have done it. Civilians who accidentally kill someone do it. Domestic violence leading to the death of a spouse is another example. No, these examples don’t get to be ignored. It’s special pleading to claim that killing people in one set of circumstances is an example of mental illness, but it’s not in these other cases.

      In all of those cases, no mental illness is required for an individual to take the life of another. The same is true of Elliot Rodger. He was raised (like *every* American in this country) in a culture overflowing with entitlement, toxic masculinity, sexism, racism, misogyny, and gun violence. Our culture glorifies violence as a means to an end, and guns specifically as a method of achieving that end. ER felt he was entitled to the attention of women and was frustrated that women did not want to fuck him. He had narrow ideas of the role of men in society. He held racist beliefs against Asians (yes, he had some self loathing going on there). He wallowed in a PUA/MRA cesspool, which is just the extreme end of the misogyny that permeates society. All of that explains his actions. By knowing these factors, we can attack the problems. Education and dismantling the patriarchal structure in this country are keys.

      Contrast that by claiming “Elliot Rodger was mentally ill”.
      First off, unless you’re a certified mental health professional, you are not qualified to make assessments about the mental health of others. Laypeople lack the skills, training, and knowledge to determine the mental health of *anyone*
      Secondly, the man is dead. Even a mental health professional cannot look at his actions and determine what his mental health is after he died. They can make an educated guess, yes, but unless they’ve actually interacted with him in a setting where he was their client, then they cannot make a firm determination.
      The third point was contained within the second. Even if ER were alive, a psychiatrist has to interact with ER with him as the patient to make any determination. That cannot be done through a YouTube video.

      Fourth, even *IF* it was ok to diagnose ER posthumously, without any expertise, it does no good. Let’s say he had mental illness H. Unless H can be specifically correlated to higher levels of violence, how does it help us prevent future shooting sprees? ER could have had H, but it may have had nothing to do with this horrific actions and since he’s dead, we don’t know how or *if* H was connected to his actions.

      Fifth, even if we could diagnose ER posthumously, without expertise, and knew that he went on his rampage bc of H, what do we do now? Round up everyone with H and lock them up? Put them under surveillance 24/7? Is there a causal link between H and a propensity for violence or was it just in ER’s case? There’s not much in the way of explanatory power in “Elliot Rodger had a mental illness”.

      I realize that many people have latched on to the fact that ER was in therapy several times. The problem is people go to therapy for a range of issues, many of which are not related to mental illness. People can go to therapy bc their parents divorced, or they’ve been bullied, or they’re having trouble dealing with their sexuality. We don’t know *why* he was in therapy. We also have no knowledge of any diagnosis made by any of his therapists, so making the statement “ER was in therapy” doesn’t tell us anything useful.

      Another problem with linking mental illness to ERs actions is the splash damage done to people who have mental illnesses. By claiming that ER had a mental illness and that led to his actions, people are saying that there is a causal link between whatever mental illness ER had and committing murder. That means anyone else who has a mental illness now becomes suspect (remember, we don’t know what specific mental illness he supposedly had).

      *This is othering. People think that “normal” humans don’t act in such horrible ways. “Normal” humans don’t go on killing sprees. Only people who are not normal do that. People who are other. People who are different than the rest of us. People who are not normal human beings. This distancing leads to dehumanizing bc it treats a category of humans as if they aren’t like the rest of us. Not just different, but deserving of certain types of treatment. Which is just what homophobic bigots do. Or misogynistic arseholes. Or transphobic douchebags. Or ableist fuckwits.

      • abear says

        Tony the queer shoop wrote:

        *This is othering. People think that “normal” humans don’t act in such horrible ways. “Normal” humans don’t go on killing sprees. Only people who are not normal do that. People who are other. People who are different than the rest of us. People who are not normal human beings. This distancing leads to dehumanizing bc it treats a category of humans as if they aren’t like the rest of us. Not just different, but deserving of certain types of treatment. Which is just what homophobic bigots do. Or misogynistic arseholes. Or transphobic douchebags. Or ableist fuckwits.

        It reminds me of the way the ableist fuckwits tried to claim that Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) wasn’t totally sane. Anyone that isn’t a homophobic/ misogynist/transphobic douchebag/ bigot/ arsehole would know that it was the culture of toxic environmentalism that was totally to blame for Ted becoming a serial murderer!

  2. Al Dente says

    Rodger explained his misogyny at great length. I don’t understand why Glenn thinks it wicked or morally wrong for feminists to point out the actual, real consequences of misogyny.

    The death and rape threats need to be against comment policy and taken down. How come youtube can defend copyrights of corporations, but not the rights of living people to not have their lives threatened?

    Google has repeatedly shown they don’t care for their uploaders or viewers. The only people Google listens to are the advertisers and not even all of them.

    • AhmNee says

      I don’t understand why Glenn thinks it wicked or morally wrong for feminists to point out the actual, real consequences of misogyny.

      Because you can only establish correlation, not causation?

      Aron says:

      Rad made an excellent point about how insanity is defined in a legal context. It hinges on a criminal’s ability to understand whether their action was right or wrong.

      This misses part of the picture. There are mental conditions such as Sociopathy or Psychopathy (Anti-Social Personality Disorder) which are not legally defensible but are still mental conditions. I don’t know if Megalomania (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) falls under that category of unlikely to be defensible mental disorders but, in my inexpert opinion, it would seem to fit the bill, as well.

      http://law.jrank.org/pages/7670/Insanity-Defense-Psychopaths-Sociopaths.html

  3. Ed says

    I think he was both misogynistic and mentally ill. The most extreme fringes of poisonous ideologies probably attract more than a few troubled people. His worldview was almost literally solipsistic, as well as paranoid, grandiose and deeply despairing.

    And yes it is important to distinguish between legal insanity and mental illness. But having the opinion that he was mentally ill does not mean that one thinks he shouldn’t have gone to prison if he’d been captured. Even believing that he was insane,assuming anyone believes that, doesn’t imply that he should have been let go if captured.

  4. Ryan Cunningham says

    This post is so on point, I think I’m bleeding. You’re like some kind of god damn logic ninja. Thank you!

  5. says

    Seems bizarre to me that so many self identified atheists are saying they “think” he was mentally ill, or they “are of the opinion” that he was mentally ill…. What they mean to say is they *believe* he was mentally ill, and based on what evidence? He took some anti-psychotics that are prescribed to autistic people… Not necessarily mentally ill people. He killed people, something that people who are not mentally ill do all the while. He had extreme beliefs founded in delusion, just look at creationists FFS! I thought belief with such scant evidence was anathema to atheists?

    • dthunt says

      The tabooing of “believe” and “faith in” and so forth is fairly wide-spread in the community, and there are reasons for it that make it not surprising, and in some cases it makes a great deal of sense.

      Incidentally, “self identified” in combination with “atheists” leaves the impression that you do not think that they are in fact atheists, and/or look down on those people. You will have better luck engaging with atheists if you just leave out the “self identified” thing. If you are trying to differentiate between people you would label as atheists (based on your observations) and those who definitely prefer that label, there are other ways to do that that will generally play better.

      As far as the observations about the mind of Elliot Rodger, read his manifesto. It is FILLED with very useful evidence regarding his mental states. I would not expect a psychologist who looked at JUST the manifesto to be unable to reach any sorts of conclusions about the mind of Elliot Rodger.

    • says

      oolon:
      I think many people think that you can simply look at someone’s behavior and determine their mental health–whether they’re qualified to make that determination or not. I suspect that’s an attempt to rationalize how a human being could commit such horrible actions. If he’s mentally ill, he’s othered, which means he’s not normal. That means everyone else is safe. Only those people with a mental illness like ER had can do such things. People have a hard, hard time accepting that neurotypical people can commit murder. To accept that means people have to accept that they have it within themselves to commit murder. The capacity exists within all humans.

  6. doublereed says

    This reminds of an interesting point. In the case of Joseph Franklin, who was a vicious racist and serial killer. He repented before he was executed and said rather interesting things.

    At his 1997 trial for Gordon’s murder, Franklin told the court that his only regret was that killing Jews wasn’t legal. Franklin, who represented himself at the trial, asked the jury to sentence him to death. He flashed the jurors a thumbs-up when they followed his wishes.

    “I had just totally been obsessed with Mein Kampf and Hitler and wanted to kill some Jews,” Franklin told Hatewatch. “That was another thing that was crazy. That was obviously the work of somebody who was mentally ill, because who would want to go around shooting somebody worshipping at a synagogue? I just cannot imagine myself committing a crime like that anymore. I have actually come to the conclusion over the years, a person that is anti-Semitic, that in itself is a sign of mental illness.

    Not really saying I agree with that, considering that Anti-Semitism isn’t that uncommon in other parts of the world, but it speaks to a larger point I think. What’s the practical difference between being thoroughly consumed by hatred and insanity? Why do people try to excuse the rampant misogyny with talks of mental illness?

    • says

      Basically you’re asking how we can tell the difference between extreme anti-semitism and mental illness. The difference is if a culture normalizes it isn’t necessarily the result of an organic illness in the brain. Example, if an adult were to tell you that he believes Santa is bringing him presents and watching whether he is naughty or nice, they very well may be hallucinating. However, millions of children believe this because they are raised in a culture that maintains a kind of hoax on children as part of a tradition. All of these children don’t have an actual organic mental illness; they have just been raised in a culture that normalizes children having Santa beliefs. Likewise with extreme anti-semitism one of the most common irrational hatreds of all time. The worst example of that being Nazi culture in Germany.

      • EnlightenmentLiberal says

        Reminds me of one of my favorite lines by Sam Harris (paraphrased). If you believe that saying a certain incantation in Greek over your breakfast cereal will turn it into the blood and body of Julius Caesar, then you have lost your mind. However, if you believe that saying a prayer in Latin over a cracker will turn it into the body of a two thousand year old dead Jewish carpenter, then you’re just a Catholic.

        Completely agreed with lilandra that things which are completely batshit insane to believe in isolation can be reasonably believed if your surrounding culture also believes it.

      • ButchKitties says

        It’s the not the sole reason for the finding, but one of the reasons that Anders Breivik was ultimately found sane was his participation in a political subculture that endorsed his beliefs. It’s what ruled out the possibility of a delusional disorder. He did not hold those extremist beliefs in a vacuum.

        It’s a horrifying read, but the psychiatric report (or the translation of it anyway) can provide some insight into what happened with Elliott Rodger. Breivik did have some personality disorders, but that’s not why he gunned down a bunch of kids. He wasn’t some pre-lit mental illness cannon that was merely aimed by an anti-Muslim agenda. The ideology is what drove him to violence.

  7. dthunt says

    Human behavior is complicated. When I look at Elliot Rodger, I see various traits and tendencies which may be real with various probabilities, and I imagine many different possible arrangements of the causal arrows that explain the murders, because that’s what our primate brain likes to do, and is inclined to try that nonstop, and because I don’t, as a rule, stop looking at the first plausible answer it gives me when that runaway analysis isn’t unwelcome, and because I accept that getting at the answer to a question of human behavior is generally going to involve a number of competing influences and strange relationships and because I am unsatisfied by putting Elliot Rodgers in a reference class all by himself, or only with other things I am inclined to not accept as human on an emotional level (e.g. ‘murders’, etc) – as an explanation for human behavior.

    I see VERY FEW PEOPLE who profess a direct link between “Misogyny” and “Murder” and say “Ignore all other factors”, which is the criticism that I have seen a number of people level against “feminists” (sigh).

    I see MANY people looking to Elliot Rodger as an opportunity to message more effectively than at other times about misogyny, to educate, and to raise awareness.

    I find the former (both the utterly simplistic sole direct link explanation, and the misdirected backlash) to be alarming.

    I find the latter understandable, but I think people should be very clear about their arguments for why Elliot Rodger is pertinent to understanding misogyny. I think he is, incidentally, but probably for a different reason than many people do – his worldview is so utterly simplistic that he provides an unusually sharp view of what extreme misogyny looks like. When people are emotionally vulnerable, we need to very clear.

  8. R Na says

    “It is my observation today, in 1981, that there is far too much violence, inequality, & disrespect shown to women all over the world, in the forms of sexism, misogyny and more, and it should, albeit, MUST stop NOW & I, as a human being, pledge to do what I can to end the overt, sometimes covert, and too often, blatant, abuses of women.”-RN
    I updated my pledge 30 or so years later in 2012, and to my sadness, as things have changed so little so has the pledge barely changed and maybe the situation is worse, worse with the GOP zealots spate of anti-women bills particularly Reproductive Rights put forth by MEN who cannot ever be pregnant and will never face an intimate and personal decision to have an abortion. They should have NO say in the matter.
    Revised??Pledge to women, 30 years later:
    “There is far too much violence, inequality, & disrespect shown to women particularly in the forms of sexism, misogyny and more, around the world and it must, MUST stop now & I pledge as a male human being to do what I can to end the abuse of women.” -RN Dec 2012
    Of course, injustice isn’t exclusive to women, but it does appear to be a paramount of a problem, hence, my pledge.

  9. Shatterface says

    Arguing about whether misogyny or mental illness made him a killer is like arguing whether it’s the hydrogen or the oxygen which makes water wet.

  10. thelibyan says

    The narrative building over the Elliot Rodgers murders have been fairly obvious. Glenn was right about that. There was always going to be an obvious feminist tendency to minimize the “he was batshit insane” narrative, as this challenges the “he was a product of systemic misogyny” narrative, this dovetailing pretty neatly with feminism’s greater theoretical strain. Personally, I think the misogyny angle is overplayed. Rodgers musings about setting up his own fascist dictatorship, outlawing sex, his obsession with his own fate and destiny and his obsession with his own death as a transcendent, history-changing event are textbook schizophrenia and/or manic depression – what he was being medicated for. In the end, he killed more men than women (its amazing how few people know that)

    • says

      Watch the video you are responding to, before you repeat the same tired canards. She answers the one you just posted about him killing more men than women. Unless you have already made up your mind that you know better can handwave things without consideration.

    • R Na says

      This is abso-f**king-lutely astounding…the idiocy of it, not the astuteness, as there’s none in the thing at all. i.e., this:
      “There was always going to be an obvious feminist tendency to minimize the “he was batshit insane” narrative, as this challenges the “he was a product of systemic misogyny” narrative, this dovetailing pretty neatly with feminism’s greater theoretical strain.”
      For this sentence to make any sense, you need to parse it, because as is, it’s meaningless drivel, with unproven assumptions, speaking in absolutes, stated as fact your personal bias, AND bottom line is IMHO, you’re full of horse manure wrapped in cow crap pushed by a gigantic dung beetle.
      Feminism meanse different things to different people. Women are no monolith and are as diverse as the number of women there are. 5 basic definitions of Feminism has been put forth and accepted by knowledgable by writers.
      Misogyny isn’t perpetrated by just men. Just as misogyny and misanthrope are both seen by some as a mental illness, but both have become normalised,i.e., accepted, even with the knowledge it’s insane. Israel wants its occupation of Palestine normalised to remove negative criticism of their godawful crimes, and to accept them as a normal Democracy even though they ethnically cleansed the land/country they call ‘Israel.’ I mention this last part to show insanity that is taken for granted, even while it is indeed insane to subjogate sections of the human race to the whims of a few that is not good for the human race as a species.
      There is no “obvious feminist tendency ” to anything, but there are individuals who act perhaps predictably. Misogyny is indeed a problem, one, because half the world’s people are women;two, women in some countries that have community latrines aren’t free to relieve themselves when they get the urge, but must instead calculate the best time to go to prevent being sexually assaulted. Can an assault occur by a person who respects you, holds you in high enough regard, has no misogyny towards you?Sexual entitlemnt of men brings with it resentment of women, and misogyny is in many subtle forms, and rampant throughout the world, from genital mutilation to a mandate from god to obey your man as he obeys god.
      If Feminism is about anything, it’s about NOT normalsing/taking for granted and accepting behavior that compromises one’s dignity and rights as a human being. Mental illness, generally, doesn’t by itself subjogate women, misogyny does.
      For too long , from women being unable to inherit her spouses property when dead, to not voting, to being denied renting an apartment of her own, to being seen in a bar alone, to not being truly represented in Congress at better than 20%(due to women having never seen women as role models who were other than fashion models, or Moms, or sibling’s sisters), to not being recognised for the various important roles in society that are not as subservience to men, but indeed shape so many of us.

      If there is a Feminist tendency it is to defeat normalisation of the worst in people of both genders, of which misogyny is most egregious, but it must be identified, which means Feminists have no need to piggyback onto a different issue to fulfill a special agenda, it’s in plain view for all to see. Essentially, IMHO, Feminists don’t want to fit in established traditional patterns that no longer work, that’s even questionable that they ever worked, they want to uproot the bad, keep the good, and find even better for the good of us all.

      “It is of no great measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”-Jiddu Krishnamurti\par

    • says

      The narrative building over the Elliot Rodgers murders have been fairly obvious. Glenn was right about that. There was always going to be an obvious feminist tendency to minimize the “he was batshit insane” narrative, as this challenges the “he was a product of systemic misogyny” narrative,

      We have no qualified mental health professional stepping forward who examined Elliot Rodger telling us that he had mental illness X, or that he was clinically insane. You’re judging his actions based on your narrow understanding of the range of human behaviors. Moreover, you’re acting as if you have expertise in the field of mental health.
      Do you?
      Even if you are qualified, you didn’t have ER as a patient, and *that* is necessary to make a determine of his mental health. Not by being making armchair assessments.

      Additionally, misogyny wasn’t the only factor at play here. Other socio-cultural factors influences his actions too: toxic masculinity which he was reared in that taught him to expect certain things from women bc he’s a man, a culture of violence and gun violence that teaches people from a young age to turn to violence to solve their problems and to use guns as the primary recourse, and racism.

      There’s no evidence he was mentally ill. People kill people without being mentally ill, so you cannot point to his actions as proof that he was mentally ill. That’s circular reasoning.

      • thelibyan says

        “There’s no evidence he was mentally ill.”

        He was prescribed anti-psychotic medication for extreme paranoia by his psychiatrist, one of the countless mental health professionals he had been seeing almost every day since before he was 10. Also, court documents relating to his parents’ custody battle reference medical testimony indicating clinical mental illness. And the idea that you can’t point to someone’s actions as proof that they’re mentally ill is absurd. Actions and behaviors are most often the only indicators underlying a mental illness diagnosis. Its why we can with a fair degree of confidence posthumously diagnosis OCD in people who lived before anyone knew there was such a thing.

        • dthunt says

          Oh! I’m quite impressed! You were actually directly responsive to a narrow claim, named the evidence that the post requested (though I suspect you will now be asked to provide sources for them, so you may as well do that), and explained what appeared to be the critical misstep the the parent post.

          I will respond, though, on behalf of the parent, and say that a causal link from mental illness to murder is difficult to make convincingly, even if various hypotheses about ER involving various mental illnesses happened to be true.

  11. dthunt says

    Bold claim:
    The most qualified people to talk about mental illness are people who are trained to examine mental illness and are well-versed on literature and have some amount of experience backing them.

    The most qualified people to talk about Elliot Rodger’s mental state, specifically, are people who fit the previous profile, and have also examined him.

    If the latter category is not speaking, there is little to say about it. If it is speaking, we should assign it some number that reflects our willingness to believe its claims.

    If the former category has opinions, too, those opinions are more likely informed than the layperson’s. These opinions are lower than the level of credibility than many people are willing to accept. For that reason, if a psychologist wishes to offer insight into Elliot Rodgers, conclusions are tremendously less valuable than observations about what evidence is available about the mental status of Elliot Rodger, and specifically, with respect to information that lets us understand the likelihood of various diagnoses in the general population, and the likelihood of various evidence under various hypotheses.

    Then at least, you don’t have a bunch of uninformed idiots shouting back in forth on a forum about evidence.

  12. Gerard O says

    There seems to be a solid case for a posthumous diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome in the case of Elliot Rodger, a point I have made elsewhere. I have also stated that this should be classified as a misogynist hate crime, which is obvious given Rodger’s statements through various media. How much his neurological condition contributed to the Isla Vista massacre is truly intangible.

  13. scrivener says

    Clearly after watching the video I am convinced that he was mentallyy illlness …

    Look one can argue weather this level of misogyny is mental illness, but it seems clear to me that he is misogynistic regardless of whatever underlying causes may be(and that we don’t know), I don’t know how this works in with Arron-ra’s point about being Asian or semi-Asian but the trigger was his hatred of women which seems mostly arbitrary (I have not read the manifesto so if he explicitly states things I don’t know please don’t flame me).

    I guess what I am saying in short is that she is right to point out that a generalization of “mental illness” is damaging to people that have done nothing to deserve your derision, and there is a huge blaming of some sort of “mental illness” blamed from this to Sandyhook to Columbine, and can lead to violence against people who have done no harm to anyone.

    Pogroms against people classified as “undesirable” is not new, she already godwin’d so I take no blame.

    She is right

  14. johnmarley says

    Okay, maybe I’m misreading the byline on this post, but afaict Aron-ra did not write the OP and has not commented in the thread. I have a hard time lending credence to comments that get that basic info wrong. Even if I otherwise agree.

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