(Note: Glosswitch has made her blog private, at least for now. No reason to believe it had anything to do with this, but for the meantime the Google cache of the blog this responds to is here)
I’m a bit puzzled by the misrepresentation here. I normally let these things wash over me, but about six people have now tweeted me demanding that I go read you, and it seems to make more sense to spell out my position..
I wholeheartedly agree with the first half of your post. However you then go on to say:
Today has seen plenty of men desperate to claim that misogyny has nothing to do with misogyny because hey, that’s way too simple, ladies!
You then go on on to quote me, and no one else, so I presume it is me you are talking about. But anyone who reads my post will see that right at the top, after taking a moment to remember the victims the first point I make is this:
[Mental illness] was never an adequate explanation. Mental illness alone very, very rarely drives people to kill. Hate, bitterness and rage, on the other hand, does so daily. Rodger may or may not have been ill, he may or may not had diagnostic label on his personality or neurological function, we do not know. What we do know, without question, is that he was spitting with misogyny.
Does that read like someone claiming that this was nothing to do with misogyny?
It might also have been slightly fairer to quote me at slightly greater length, because immediately after the paragraph quoted, I go on to say:
Rodger does not appear to have identified as an MRA, and a debate as to whether or not he should be so described will be a pedantic distraction. The ugly truth is that, across much of the manosphere, his rantings are not especially unusual. Somewhere on the internet right this very moment – whether on an Insel site or an MRA site or an MGTOW site or Twitter or Facebook or an atheist forum, it really doesn’t matter – an angry young man will be spitting out his hatred of bitches, whores and sluts.
In other words, the point about whether or not he is an MRA is not me trying to get them off the hook, but the exact opposite. Inaccurately calling Rodger an MRA simply allows actual MRAs to dissociate themselves from him, and lets them dodge their culpability in their shared misogyny. That was my whole bloody point there, and I don’t think I explained it too be clumsily to be understood.
The other point I was making, which may have been missed, is that while I wholeheartedly agree that misogyny and patriarchal entitlement were the driving forces here, there are millions of men with those traits who do not become mass murderers, and the temptation to write Rodger off as a simple and clear cut case of misogyny risks cutting off inquiry into other factors that may have been involved. I mentioned bullying, as one specific detail that seems to apply to every single school / spree shooter, but there may be others unique to Rodger.
In summary, I’ve found the arguments I’ve heard over the past 24 hours a little strange. Primarily, I have been criticised for asking for nuance. (One tweet directing me to this blog simply said “No need for nuance,”
I just can’t buy into that. There is always need for nuance. When Lee Rigby was murdered, I wrote a vaguely similar blog, which also called for nuance. Yes, Rigby was murdered by two Islamist terrorists, but does the story end there? No, it didn’t at the time and it still doesn’t today.
A lot of this reminds me of what John Major once said: “sometimes I think we need to understand a little less and condemn a little more.” I’ve never been able to buy into that. However much we condemn, we can always understand a little more.
I have no problem with people disagreeing with me on any point, telling me I am wrong. But very few people have been doing that over the past 24 hours. They haven’t been telling me I am wrong, they’ve just been saying “how dare you say that?”
I find that quite a depressing reaction in any circumstance.