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Elliot Rodger was a jihadist – for organised misogyny, if not for organised religion

Like Mohammad Sidique Khan, who set off a bomb on the London Underground nine years ago, Elliot Rodger was young, educated and outwardly respectable.

Like Khan, he killed seven people including himself.

My guess based on his demographics is that Roger was probably an atheist – but otherwise, the two were in many ways twin souls.

Both men were part of violent movements with track records – ones which, while not representative of all they claimed to speak for (Muslims and men, respectively), exploited widely held beliefs’ potential at their most extreme.

Both saw themselves as political, each his movement’s defining rhetoric.

Both were radicalised by peer groups, both stated their motives explicitly and both fit the archetypal profile for the kinds of killers who did what they did.

Both, crucially, saw their victims as deserving what they got.

If the Santa Barbara shooter had been a jihadist, not much about him would have been that different – but the media’s reaction would have been the polar opposite.

The truth is that Elliot Rodger was a jihadist – for organised misogyny, if not for organised religion.

Read my new column at the Daily Dot.

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Comments

  1. see_the_galaxy says

    I don’t think so many sexually frustrated and humiliated young men have ever been able to form such large communities as now. Since in their minds, each female they see could ‘rock their world’, but chooses not to, these kinds of young men are going to find hatred of women easy. It is easy to hate someone who does not provide you what you want. In groups, the extreme ideologies get reinforced and gain strength.
    But in the past, religion helped detoxify this sort of thing. By telling sexually frustrated young misogynists that they shouldn’t even be thinking about sex, it helps. It is less psychologically painful to think you shouldn’t be wanting what you can’t get than it is to think you’re just too much of a loser to get it. Plus, religion at least hypocritically teaches you should be kind, forgiving, and so on. But secular communities seem to be at a loss on the issue. We can correctly reprimand people for being misogynists–and there’s a lot of need for this.
    Watching the vile, despicable, swinish abuse that’s being dished out (such as what we saw on Greta Christina’s blog) is shocking and there’s no excuse for it.
    But that isn’t the point; I don’t think it’s a particularly original observation that Christianity’s anti-sex ideology helps some people feel better about themselves and that this feature gives Christianity part of it’s psychological appeal. If Christianity hadn’t suppressed philosophical schools long ago, and secularism had had a long time to develop, we might have our own cultural resources, art, imagery, of equal psychological power. Right now, we may be logically and morally right, and psychologically wrong.

  2. says

    Moio’s father says she was like !0, and they hadn’t seen each other since then. That’s even worse, and shows some severe tendencies to have distorted fantasies fueled by this fairytale entitlement absorbed by so many.

    Of course, I suppose her father could be mis-gauging her age, but even at 12-13, that’s pretty scary for an obsession.

  3. Maureen Brian says

    Hang on, see-the galaxy @ 1,

    Why are these people humiliated? Where did they get the idea in the first place that women are supposed to be walking up to them in the street and offering them sex?

  4. brucegee1962 says

    Maureen brian:
    “Where did they get the idea in the first place that women are supposed to be walking up to them in the street and offering them sex?”

    From pretty much every single piece of media entertainment that has been offered up in the last, oh, several millennia.

    How many pieces of popular entertainment can you think of, from Gilgamesh on down to every single show on TV, where the heterosexual male protagonist starts out without a girl, and ends up without a girl, and never obtains any positive attention from a girl at any point during the entire story? But for all too many MRAs, that’s their entire life story.

    If you’re all alone, then watching TV feels like watching everybody else in a class taking a midterm on chapters 28-37, and comparing how well they did on the answers afterwards, while you still haven’t managed to purchase the textbook yet.

    Full disclosure: I’m happily married now, but a few decades ago I often went dateless for years at a time. It’s hard to avoid the easy answers of self-loathing on the one hand or misogyny on the other. That was in the days before the internet, but if it had been around, I think the misogynistic philosophizing might have been at least a tiny bit tempting.

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