A culture that constantly devalues women »« “All of you girls who rejected me”

Grandstanding?

To my surprise – I’m always surprised, no matter how repeatedly I see these things; I seem to be incurably naïve – I’m seeing people on Twitter complaining about “radical feminists” making connections between Elliot Rodger’s noisy explicit hatred of women and his murder of some women. It turns out it’s “selfish” and “grandstanding” to make this connection, even though Elliot Rodgers made it himself.

hale2

Steve Zara @sjzara

I see a really important question – can the extremely common harassment of women be enabling of violence? I have no idea.

Miranda Celeste Hale @mirandachale

Plus, the thing is a fear-mongering stunt that encourages women to see themselves as perpetual victims. Fuck that.

Steve Zara @sjzara

My particular concern is that it’s grandstanding fuelled by tragedy.

Miranda Celeste Hale @mirandachale

Exactly. People who take advantage of a tragedy in that way are extremely selfish. It’s heartbreaking to see, really.

“Grandstanding fuelled by tragedy”? What does that even mean? People are making the connection between noisy misogyny and violence to…show off? Why would that be the case? How would that work?

Am I “grandstanding” for instance when I pay a lot of attention – public, blog post and social media attention – to the kidnapping and enslavement of schoolgirls in Nigeria by a violently misogynist group of Islamists? Is that “grandstanding”? Is it grandstanding to make a connection between Boko Haram’s misogynist theocratic views and its actions?

And what is “extremely selfish” about making a connection between misogyny and violence? What is even a little bit selfish about that? I don’t see it; I can’t see it.

These aren’t the scruffy pseudonymous photoshoppers, these are serious people, yet here they are fretting (or raging) about the “grandstanding” and “extreme selfishness” of people who see a connection between pervasive misogyny and an incident of violence against women.

It’s baffling.

Comments

  1. Blanche Quizno says

    When Ann Coulter posted that “Bring back our country” selfie, that was grandstanding. RE: the twitter exchange, I’m kinda WTF. Steve started off well, I thought – yes, the fact that women are routinely harassed DOES seem to make violence against women more prevalent, as the harassment is itself a form of violence, moving what is considered “norm” closer to violence on the violence/nonviolence spectrum. It’s a huge societal issue that is really important for us to address.

    So why did Miranda jump all over his shit, and why did Steve react as he did? Was Steve’s first question kind of sarcastic or something? That didn’t come through in the tweet. I don’t get where these people are coming from. Is Miranda a MRA? Is Steve? Was his first comment *not* a thoughtful question? Is there something going on here that I’m missing??

    This whole exchange moves into bizarro territory shockingly fast.

  2. says

    If a neo-Nazi said “I’m going to kill Jews and Jew-lovers” and then did it, no one would claim that discussing Antisemitism was grandstanding.

    If a Klansman said “I’m going to kill black people and white race traitors” and then did it, no one would claim that discussing racism was grandstanding.

    When a man who is admittedly angry at women says “I’m going to kill women and the men they sleep with” and then does it, only a fool would claim that discussing misogyny is grandstanding. You’ve identified two fools at once, and they’re not remotely alone.

  3. karmacat says

    What is wrong with viewing oneself as a victim? Being a victim doesn’t lead to perpetual victim hood. The only people who complain about perpetual victimhood, are the ones who don’t want to look at the issues. It is ironic because it was Elliot Rodger who complained about being a permanent victim.

  4. says

    If someone tells you they are going to do something and tells you why and then does it, then, other things being equal, it is reasonable to assume that the reasons they gave are correct. You don’t have to be a radical anything to see that.

  5. Jackie the wacky says

    When you think they’ve hit bottom, they start hammering away at the bedrock, don’t they?

  6. says

    I’m trying to work out just how hard you’d have to squint _not_ to make this connection.

    Perhaps if I bang my head really hard on this granite counter, I’ll _stop_ seeing it..

    (Bang…)

    Nope. Still there.

    (/And, really, my head hardly hurts any worse)

  7. Blanche Quizno says

    Okay, maybe cuz it’s still kind of early in the morning (for me for a Sunday), but I’m still all WTF down here. Anyone care to eli5?

  8. says

    I think it’s the “no true misogynist” bind:
    If the guys are harassing women online and write hateful things it’s not misogyny because they’re not killing women.
    When they’re killing women and say it’s because of it, it’s not misogyny because reasons

  9. Tessa says

    I think it’s the “no true misogynist” bind:
    If the guys are harassing women online and write hateful things it’s not misogyny because they’re not killing women.
    When they’re killing women and say it’s because of it, it’s not misogyny because reasons

    Because they’re “crazy.”
    It works perfectly, if they don’t “make good” on their threats, they’re not misogynists because they’re really harmless, but if they do go through with it, then they’re not really misogynists because they’re obviously insane. Therefore, no real misogyny.

    Brought to you by the same people who say that if you’re too suspicious, you’ll insult men by treating them all like rapists, but then if something happens, you were too trusting, and shoulda been more vigilant.

  10. embertine says

    I’m really sad to see this from Miranda. I know it’s not the first time, and probably not the most egregious example, but… really? Pointing out that his “manifesto” reeks of misogyny and entitlement, and asking if that there is something about our/his culture that supports that, is somehow taking a tragedy and turning it into a vicious radfem agenda?

    No, MCH, it’s asking the right fucking questions. Perhaps if you weren’t so busy trying to prove that you’re one of the good ones, not one of those nasty FtBers, you’d be asking the same questions. I do loathe the ‘chill girl’ trope with the intensity of a thousand burning suns but, my Eru, you make it hard not to think that’s what’s going on here.

    Dial it back a couple of years to before “guys, don’t do that” and ask yourself what you would have thought about all of this back then. Back when you didn’t have quite as much of an axe to grind in the WRONG FUCKING DIRECTION. Ugh, tolerance limit reached.

  11. Gordon Willis says

    To address karmakat’s question at #3, I have puzzled about this, too. I wonder if the idea of being a victim collides with one’s sense of self-respect — of being able to “handle” difficult situations. It’s very hard to accept that we might become victims of another person’s hatred or will-to-power, but of course we might, at any time, and this makes us feel insecure. So pride and an unwillingness to accept fundamental insecurity might be at the root of why some women reject the complaints of other women about misogyny. I’m only proposing possibilities here, because I don’t know. Embertine talks about the “chill girl trope”: it’s a contemptuous attitude that does great harm to others, and, in fact, makes them victims.

    As to Steve Zara, my impression is that he found himself on the wrong side three years ago and is still trying to justify himself. I wish he would simply stop doing it because it is utterly pointless and leads to obsession. Anyway, that’s what I think, and I think that that’s why his initial question is so muddled.

  12. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    “I do loathe the chill girl trope. . ”

    Bullshit. Bull. Shit. There is no “chill girl trope,” if by that you mean “made up and exaggerated, too-broadly applied category.” That was a bunch of crap cooked up by people accused of being chill girls like *once or twice*. There’s no trope. That’s a slyme lie.

    And worse, that is what’s going on here. They are being chill girls. And it’s morally perverse. Reposted from my FB:

    Some of you would literally dig your own grave by hand if you thought it would get you a anti-feminist cookie. “Chill girl” doesn’t come close to strong enough to describe your moral depravity. You’re sick.

    “Not all graves!”, you’d cry, turning over spadefuls and giggling. “It’s just a nice rectangular hole!”

  13. says

    Dial it back a couple of years to before “guys, don’t do that” and ask yourself what you would have thought about all of this back then. Back when you didn’t have quite as much of an axe to grind in the WRONG FUCKING DIRECTION.

    That’s exactly what seems to be going on. It’s like at that time some people decided not just that they disagree with some others, but that those people were now enemies and their participation tainted every enterprise by association. It’s completely warped their responses, leading them to: tolerate misogyny and terrible behavior in their “camp,” ally with people they previously (rightly) opposed and even support actions they previously (rightly) condemned, avoid talking about subjects previously important to them for fear of coinciding with their enemies, reject and even mock positive efforts (Women in Secularism!?) because of the participants, change their perspective on (pseudo)scientific fields,…

    It would be nice if one of the people who’s painted him- or herself into a corner in this way would try to break out. Not to maintain the same binary opposition on the “other side,” but simply to refuse to let their public views be poisoned by personal enmities and to evaluate things independently and nonreflexively. As you suggested, to ask themselves whether these would have been their reactions prior to 2011.

  14. says

    Brought to you by the same people who say that if you’re too suspicious, you’ll insult men by treating them all like rapists, but then if something happens, you were too trusting, and shoulda been more vigilant.

    Also brought to you by the same people who announce that if only women would have more sex with men they don’t like, men wouldn’t murder women so much, and in the same breath deny the existence of rape culture.

  15. ema says

    Of course it’s “grandstanding fuelled by tragedy“. Elliot Rodger made it clear that his murder of women had to do with animal control, war games, public hygiene, and men’s health (emphasis mine):

    I concluded that women are flawed. There is something mentally wrong with the way their brains are wired, as if they haven’t evolved from animal-like thinking. They are incapable of reason or thinking rationally. They are like animals, completely controlled by their primal, depraved emotions and impulses.That is why they are attracted to barbaric, wild, beast-like men. They are beasts themselves. Beasts should not be able to have any rights in a civilized society. If their wickedness is not contained, the whole of humanity will be held back from advancement to a more civilized state. Women should not have the right to choose who to mate with. That choice should be made for them by civilized men of intelligence. If women had the freedom to choose which men to mate with, like they do today, they would breed with stupid, degenerate men, which would only produce stupid, degenerate offspring. This in turn would hinder the advancement of humanity. Not only hinder it, but devolve humanity completely. Women are like a plaque that must be quarantined.When I came to this brilliant, perfect revelation, I felt like everything was now clear to me, in a bitter, twisted way. I am one of the few people on this world who has the intelligence to see this. I am like a god, and my purpose is to exact ultimate Retribution on all of the impurities I see in the world. (p117)

    The Day of Retribution is mainly my war against women for rejecting me and depriving me of sex and love. (p 119)

    Women’s rejection of me is a declaration of war, and if it’s war they want, then war they shall have. It will be a war that will result in their complete and utter annihilation. I will deliver a blow to my enemies that will be so catastrophic that it will redefine the very essence of human nature. (p 131)

    Women are like a plague. They don’t deserve to have any rights. Their wickedness must be contained in order [to] prevent further generations from falling to degeneracy. Women are vicious, evil, barbaric animals, and they need to be treated as such.

    In fully realizing these truths about the world , I have created the ultimate and perfect ideology of how a fair and pure world would work. In an ideal world, sexuality would not exist. It must be outlawed. In a world without sex, humanity would be pure and civilized. Men will grow up healthy … fair and equal…..

    In order to completely abolish sex, women themselves would have to be abolished. All women must be quarantined like the plaque that they are, so that they can be used in a manner that actually benefits a civilized society. In order [to] carry this out, there must exists a new and powerful type of government, under the control of one divine ruler, such as myself. …

    The first strike against women would be to quarantine all of them in concentration camps. At these camps, the vast majority of the female population will be deliberately starved to death. That would be an efficient and fitting way to kill them all off. I would take great pleasure and satisfaction in condemning every single woman on earth to starve to death*. I would have an enormous tower built just for myself, where I can oversee the entire concentration camp and gleefully watch them all die. (p136)

    *This from a piece of garbage 22 yo who never had a job in his life and had all his meals, including $200 ones, paid by his parents and grandparents.

  16. ema says

    Ugh, quote fail. Should be : In fully realizing these truths … under the control of one divine ruler, such as myself. …

  17. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @2. Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    If a neo-Nazi said “I’m going to kill Jews and Jew-lovers” and then did it, no one would claim that discussing Antisemitism was grandstanding.

    If a Klansman said “I’m going to kill black people and white race traitors” and then did it, no one would claim that discussing racism was grandstanding.

    When a man who is admittedly angry at women says “I’m going to kill women and the men they sleep with” and then does it, only a fool would claim that discussing misogyny is grandstanding. You’ve identified two fools at once, and they’re not remotely alone.

    Exactly – Quoted for truth and seconded by me.

    In the circumstances, given what the mass murdering douchebag killer said and then did – how, how can anyone not make the connection?

    We don’t really need more proof of a rape culture and treating women badly differently to others do we – but this provides yet more.

    “Grandstanding” my arse!

  18. says

    Well, Sara Mayhew took it upon her to explain that it was only women in the US* who need to feel afraid of men. Apparently there was never an anti-feminist mass shooting in Canada. Apparently there aren’t 2 women who are murdered by their (ex) partners in the UK every week. Afghanistan probably doesn’t even exist.

    *I think she became supreme thought leader for all non-USAmerican women)

  19. says

    I wonder what, exactly, these people imagine being the driving force behind the murders. He worked up his anger and lowered his threshold for violence on something. So, disregard the the metric craptons of manifestoe-izin which was clearly a huge focus of his life.

  20. arthur says

    Steve Zara used to be a voice of reason on the Richard Dawkins website.

    I remember when readers over there used to drool over the latest Pat Condell diatribe, and Steve Zara would be about the only person pointing out that Condell’s rants were clearly irrational and unreasonable.

    What happened to that guy?

    Whilst there is often a Barnum Effect attached to major news stories, where we use a story to bolster and confirm our preconceived political ideas, it’s perfectly rational and reasonable in this case to use this tragedy as a blatant example of misogyny at work.

  21. says

    @arthur, both Hale and Zara are “FTBoooollliiiiess!!!” thinkers … By that I mean if the FTBullies don’t like something then it must by definition be ok and the opposite position correct. There is no need to do any thinking about the subject.

    Even to the extent that Hale made the unbelievably ridiculous assertion that misogyny and harassment are not at all common. Despite the vast rafts of evidence to the contrary and none in her favour. It just must be true because the FTBullies think the opposite, QED. #skepticismFTW!

  22. says

    Zara hasn’t gone nearly as far off the “FTBoooollliiiiess!!!” deep end, though, from what I’ve seen. He’s not nearly as obsessed; he doesn’t say such warped things; he doesn’t hang out with the staff and membership of Team Harassment – all with the proviso “that I’ve seen” but I think I probably would have seen.

    But why on earth he thinks it’s “grandstanding” to connect misogyny to what Elliot Rodger did is beyond me.

  23. arthur says

    Having read Oolan’s reply, I googled “Steve Zara FTbullies”, to check whether Steve had been publicizing that daft meme. Sure enough, he had, from 2012:

    https://twitter.com/sjzara/status/221244041285734402

    “Steve Zara: #FTBullies I may have different views about language style, but the points Paula Kirby makes are rationally explained.”

    I assume Steve is referring to Paula Kirby’s odd essay published at that time, “THE SISTERHOOD OF THE OPPRESSED” where she describes to the blogging and tweeting of Ophelia, no less, as having “real parallels” with 1930s Germany.

    How someone like Steve, who seemed a sensible figure, stooped to find that kind that kind of thing “rationally explained” is bewildering to me.

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