Some More Really Good Posts on Elliot Rodger, Misogyny, and Misogyny Denialism


Content note: misogyny, violence against women, misogyny denialism.

I’m working on my own post about Elliot Rodger, misogyny, and misogyny denialism. In the meantime, here is a roundup of some more of the best stuff I’ve read about it. I’m finding it really helpful to read what other people are writing about this: it’s clarifying my own thoughts, and it’s making me feel less alone. (My previous roundup is here.)

Arthur Chu, The Daily Beast, Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds (total genius, an absolute must-read):

I’ve heard Elliot Rodger’s voice before. I was expecting his manifesto to be incomprehensible madness—hoping for it to be—but it wasn’t. It’s a standard frustrated angry geeky guy manifesto, except for the part about mass murder.

I’ve heard it from acquaintances, I’ve heard it from friends. I’ve heard it come out of my own mouth, in moments of anger and weakness.

Lindsay Beyerstein, Duly Noted, Elliot Rodger’s War on Women:

By any meaningful standard, Rodger planned and executed a terrorist attack. He orchestrated the violence for maximum symbolic impact and took steps to disseminate his message through the mass media. In many ways, he’s a classic example of what terrorism experts call a lone wolf or self-radicalized terrorist.

Rodger’s beliefs were extreme even relative to the most fevered corners of the Men’s Rights Movement. However, his views did not emerge from an ideological vacuum. Rodger’s views were a logical extension of misogynist philosophy that says that women need to be dominated and controlled for the good of society.

Attempting to shoot up a sorority house because you want to control women is just as political and just as terroristic as attempting to shoot up an abortion clinic.

Soraya Chemaly, XOJane, When Do We Talk About “Unpleasant” Truths In the Wake of Elliot Rodger’s Destruction?:

I wanted to yell, this is a man who said he wanted to put women in concentration camps and starve them. Why is the news media not saying that? He was sick, yes, but there are men who are effectively doing this to children and women in their homes, here and elsewhere, as we go about our lives. They exist on a continuum not separate from us, but alongside us.

Amanda Marcotte, AlterNet, 4 Myths About Sex and Women That Prop Up the New Misogyny:

Unsurprisingly, then, there’s a great deal of misinformation upholding the troubling trend of new misogyny that festers in everything from “men’s rights” forums to “pick-up artist” communities to the various rape apologists and two-bit woman haters that litter the right wing media landscape. The tragic shooting in Isla Vista, which was committed by a young but hardened misogynist named Elliot Rodger, has shown a spotlight on this weird but influential world where ugly myths about gender and sexuality flourish.

Amanda Marcotte again, The New Prospect, How ‘Pick-Up Artist’ Philosophy and Its More Misogynist Backlash Shaped Mind of Alleged Killer Elliot Rodger:

Obviously, the discourse of male entitlement to female attention has long been a problem in our society. Young men angry at women for supposedly overlooking their charms for less worthy and more brutish sexual rivals existed long before The Game was published or PUA/MRA forums proliferated online. But the internet and the PUA community have created a self-haven for young men engaged in this self-pitying discourse, encouraging them to cultivate that chip on their shoulders, wallowing in misogynist accusations that women en masse are failing them by not giving up the sex these ostensibly unappreciated men believe they deserve. With so many men spending so much time egging each other on, and trying to top each other when it comes to blaming women for their own pitiful lives—to the point of advocating for the denial of basic rights to women—it’s little surprise that one of them would finally work up the nerve to get his “revenge” for all these imagined slights.

David Futrelle, We Hunted the Mammoth (formerly Manboobz), Men’s Rights Activists respond to the Elliot Rodger murders with a hearty “Nothing to see here! Move along!”:

It’s not that they’re not talking about the tragedy. A look through the top 100 posts in the Men’s Rights subreddit, the largest Men’s Rights forum online, reveals that roughly a third of them, including the top stickied post, relate in some way to Elliot Rodger’s rampage and the discussions that have come up online and in the media in its aftermath.

But the message of virtually all of these posts is: “Nothing to see here! Move along!” There are numerous posts expressing outrage that anyone would see any connection between Rodger’s toxic misogyny to the Men’s Rights movement; there are others mocking and attacking the #YesAllWomen hashtag; there’s even one suggesting that Rodger, who wrote about how he longed to watch all the women of the world starve to death in concentration camps, wasn’t actually a misogynist at all.

vampmissedith, cry laugh feel love peace panic, When I was a freshman:

When he was arrested, some of my sister’s friends (some female, even) told her that she was selfish for saying no so many times. That because of her, the entire school was in jeopardy. That it wouldn’t have killed her to say yes and give it a try, but because she was so mean to him, he lost his temper. Many of her male friends said it was “girls like her” that made all women seem like cockteases.

Wouldn’t have killed her to say yes? If a man is willing to shoot someone for saying no, what happens to the poor soul who says yes? What happens the first time they disagree? What happens the first time she says she doesn’t want to have sex? That she isn’t in the mood? When they break up?

Comments

  1. throwaway says

    Thanks for the roundup Greta!

    That Chu piece was well-written and had some great major points. My only gripe is that I feel it was cut short and the resolution was too simplistic. A simple “grow up” is not enough. Those men with any level of nerdiness or geekery who have grown up, who have come to the conclusions that Chu outlined, need to speak out. They need to lead the nerds to the promised land of requited love and realism. He had mentioned earlier in the piece that he didn’t speak up because he accepted it as normal. So he had an opportunity there to address the effects of apparent permissibility. Perhaps that would be a great follow-up article for him to write so that it reaches his audience.

  2. Maureen Brian says

    And now Santa Barbara police are admitting that they were alerted to the nature of Rodger’s videos by a mental health hotline and a therapist but they didn’t watch the videos, so they didn’t know to do a weapons search etc. etc. Basically they just thought, “Nice lad, a bit mixed up” and went on their merry way.

    Source is – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/elliot-rodger-videos-police-admit-being-warned-about-killers-youtube-channel-but-not-watching-it-9458006.html

    What would you have to do to get a cop’s head out of his butt?

  3. says

    One of the many things grating on my nerves here is the phrase “involuntary celibacy.” Some men are “celibate” because women VOLUNTARILY chose not to have sex with them — and the men are using the word “involuntary” in response. This really sounds like the men are either denying that women have volition, or denying that women have a right to volition, or denying that women’s volition matters. Whatever they really mean (and whether they themselves know what they mean), the concept of “involuntary celibacy” is a twisted, ugly, deeply dishonest hot mess.

  4. says

    Basically they’re now claiming that MRA is a religion of peace…

    One thought that occurred to me is that “entitlement” is a culture-wide phenomenon. People are conditioned to expect certain things which are supposed to be part of a “normal” life – finish school, get a job, a house, a car, a wedding, 2.3 children, climbing the corporate ladder, etc. There is a lot of social pressure to conform, to lead “a full life”, and a lot of shaming and pathologising of anyone who doesn’t.

    I think this does kind of create a sense that one is entitled to a conventional “full life”, and if a hurricane flattens the house and the kids die of cancer à la Job, or even when the career gets stuck in an awful job or the wedding doesn’t happen, there is a sense that this isn’t how things are supposed to be. As if the universe owes us anything. (Ironically, people who do live the conventional life often find out that it’s not all that great after all.)

    I’m reminded of the riots in France and the mass looting in Britain a few years ago. Then too, some were giving excuses for what happened by saying certain groups had zero prospects for achieving conventional life goals and they were just “rebelling against the system” by looting apple stores. But is it rebellion to violently grab what you’ve been told you ought to want?

    It seems to me that the seduction game is just a very stark expression of the idea that everyone is entitled to “a full life” as marketed to us by media/society/etc, and that everyone can get it as long as they follow the correct steps, buy the right stuff.

    I’m not sure how to turn this around, though. Basically we have to say “For no reason whatsoever, it’s quite possible that you’ll never get what you’ve always been told is absolutely essential for a leading happy life, because life isn’t fair, and the best way for all of us to cope with that is by not being jerks about it.”

  5. JohnM says

    Those are all good pieces that should be read. One minor nit to pick: The second Amanda Marcotte piece is at The American Prospect, not The New Prospect.

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