No I’m definitely not the only one. Jessica Valenti is another (and so are most of the people on #YesAllWomen).
Women have had enough. The stares. The butt-grabs. The little comments. And now this: a man writes a 140-page misogynist manifesto before killing six people, and yet – still – women are called hysterical for insisting this tragedy was driven by sexism.
And “cruel”; “selfish”; “child-molesting” – ok I made that last one up. I think.
Valenti quotes Soraya Chemaly and Lindsay Beyerstein – a bit of a Women in Secularism roll-call, which is nice.
As journalist Lindsay Beyerstein wrote on her Facebook page, it’s infuriating for people to pretend “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.” She continued:
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.
Truly, he couldn’t have made it any clearer. Why do some people nonetheless doubt his laid-out, explicit motive?
Part of the obstinate disbelief seems to be a need to protect the privileges of sexism: associating misogyny with a mass murder would mean having to recognize just how dangerous misogyny really is and – if you’re partaking – giving it up. Some men want to believe that they can continue to call women “sluts” and make rape jokes without being part of a broader cultural impact. But they can’t: sexism, from everyday harassment to inequality enshrined in policy, pollutes our society as a whole and limits our ability to create real justice for women.
Of course it’s about protecting sexism. There are a lot of men – and a few women – who think it’s fun to call women “sluts” and make rape jokes, and the backlash against #YesAllWomen is just more of that. They want to do that, they want to have fun doing it, and they want not to admit that there’s anything wrong with it or harmful about it.
They want a lot. It’s almost as if they feel entitled.
Someone asked me over the weekend if I thought this shooting – and the aftermath of activism – would be a watershed moment. I replied that I was hopeful, and I still am, because being cautiously optimistic is the only way I’m able to do this work and get up in the morning. But I’m also exhausted, and fed up.
If this shooting isn’t the clearest example of sexism turned deadly – then what is? What will it take for Americans to get real about how profoundly misogynist our country really is?
I seriously have no fucking clue.