Lindsay Beyerstein has a brilliant public post on Facebook that has 392 shares as of this moment.
I am so tired of ostensibly smart, liberal men pretending that there’s some deep mystery about why Elliot Rodger did what he did, or worse, that there’s something unseemly or self-serving about feminists pointing out that he was an explicitly misogynist terrorist. I read Rodger’s manifesto twice. I wish all English comp students could formulate a thesis and support it as clearly as he did.
Rodger told the world exactly why he went on this killing spree. He spelled it out in excruciating detail and sent his narrative of the killings to the media. In case that wasn’t enough, he made a series of YouTube videos to cement his narrative of his own crime in the public mind.
The only thing I would add to that is that there are a few ostensibly smart (but not liberal) women doing the same pretending – Christina Hoff Sommers, Cathy Young, Miranda Hale and other slime pit types, women like that. I haven’t seen one ostensibly smart, liberal woman doing that though…
Lindsay points out crisply that Rodger said why he did it; he said it very clearly; he said it repeatedly.
A person’s own account of their behavior is never the final word. But when the person outlines their motives as lucidly and in as much detail as this guy, that is the starting point for any reasonable interpreter. Yes, we can talk about mental illness. Yes, we can talk about gun control. But none of these factors negates the fact that Rodger was a textbook misogynist terrorist, on the model of Marc Lepine and George Sodini.
Is it “grandstanding” to say that? Is it “cruel”? Is it “selfish”? I can’t see it.