Well, that explains everything


An expert on a news program has figured out why Rodger killed all those people.

He was gay. Also schizophrenic.

She never met him, but she’s a psychologist on Fox News. That’s enough for a diagnosis, right?

Otherwise, the consensus I’m seeing all over the place is that we don’t need more gun control, other than adding more psychological screening to the process of buying a gun. Huh. What kind of screening would catch an Elliot Rodger, but wouldn’t also cause every Tea Bagger and gonzo flying a Confederate flag from his pickup truck to be similarly prohibited from purchasing any ol’ gun they want?

What I saw on the Rodger video was a well-dressed, wealthy young man who was lucid and speaking hatred in clear language, and who was perfectly in control. If he were getting a few questions to determine if he could buy a gun, I don’t see any reason to think he wouldn’t be able to choke back the hate long enough to be approved.

For that matter, hating women or any other group probably won’t be among the criteria for denying someone a gun — imagine, a restriction that would prevent a Republican from buying a firearm!


Let’s be clear about something: I am not agreeing with this irresponsible psychologist. My point is that Elliot Rodger was as sane as your average Republican. You will not solve gun violence by locking up everyone who ever had psychological counseling.

He was also not gay. Full stop. It’s ridiculous to even bring it up.

He did not kill people because he was frustrated about not getting sex. We’ve all been there: I went through adolescence, when my hormones were sizzling at their peak, and I managed to survive years of ‘involuntary celibacy’ without so much as punching anyone. And I was a homely shy nerd who didn’t own a BMW (I had to pick up my dates in my dad’s station wagon.)

The insanity defense, the gay nonsense, and the toxic blue balls excuse are simply not valid explanations for what happened.

The real culprit in all of this is a culture of thriving misogyny, in which women are dehumanized and regarded as grudging dispensers of sex candy, who must be punished if they don’t do their job of servicing men. Elliot Rodger was a spoiled, entitled kid who had his brain poisoned with this attitude. First he learned that women are disposable, then he learned that they were evil for not having sex with him, and then he rationally put together two delusions and acted on them.

And it’s not just MRAs and PUAs that spread that poison. Every politician and media blowhard who bargains away women’s rights, who dismisses efforts to correct economic inequities, or patronizingly decides that they must manage women’s lives for them, is polluting the atmosphere further.


Yet another explanation.

Even more strangely, the proudly racist Steve Sailer – a hero to Heartiste and others in the “alt-right” wing of the manosphere – has declared that Rodger wasn’t motivated by misogyny but rather by “anti-Blondism,” and that his targeting of “ blonde sluts” in a popular sorority house was “an extremely intentional racial hate crime.” Never mind that the half-Asian Rodger idolized blonde women as superior (even as he hated them) and that his comments online are littered with rather crude, rather traditional racism against people who weren’t white.

Somehow, I’m not surprised that the scientific racists share many common causes with misogynists.

Comments

  1. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    No new gun control measures…except mandatory psychological screening, including a waiting period long enough to ensure visiting a state-funded psychiatrist who has the power to assess whether or not you are healthy enough to own a gun.

    Yeah. Republicans would so go for that half-measure.

    =======================================

    In the meantime, we’ve already been fighting with this fucked up ableist conflation of violence and mental illness in the other thread. Trust Fox News to open up another front.

  2. says

    just… just burn the planet down. All of it. Coat it in a fine mist of napalm and set it alight. Get rid of this mad and ignorant species and let nature start anew, fresh and without our bullshit.

  3. says

    This is all built on a fantasy that there are “good” people and “bad” people and that only the “bad” people use guns in any undesirable way. That includes everything from letting your six year-old take it out and show it to his friends to mass murder.

    Reports are that he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s. Which may be true, but a hell of a lot of gun nuts have been diagnosed with something. Imagine the reaction of the NRA if everyone who wanted a gun had to prove no history of depression, or poor impulse control, or substance abuse or PTSD or paranoia. All of those put you at risk for doing something “bad” with your gun. And worse, all those problems put you are risk of being a victim of a crime, and the NRA loves to talk about crime victims with their guns grinding away the “bad” people and their guns.

  4. karmacat says

    She is actually a psychologist not that it really matters. /American psychiatric association does have a code of ethics that psychiatrists should diagnose someone they are not treating or evaluating. And then you don’t talk about a patient.

  5. alasdhair says

    Catch-22 should apply: anyone can buy a gun as long as they aren’t crazy: it’s their constitutional right. But wanting to buy a gun is a sure sign that they are crazy, so therefore they can’t.

  6. blf says

    American psychiatric association does have a code of ethics that psychiatrists should diagnose someone they are not treating or evaluating.

    That they should?! That’s more fecked-up than the NRA and thugs combined.

    I assume you meant “should not“…

  7. says

    imagine, a restriction that would prevent a Republican from buying a firearm

    I remember when Maryland passed a law that you couldn’t own/handle guns if you had been convicted of domestic abuse, and they had a big push-back because apparently it would have disqualified a lot of cops from being able to carry. :\

  8. CSB says

    Gay men are, of course, well known for obsessing over the fact that no woman would ever consider sleeping with them.

  9. gingerbaker says

    “What kind of screening would catch an Elliot Rodger, but wouldn’t also cause every Tea Bagger and gonzo flying a Confederate flag from his pickup truck to be similarly prohibited from purchasing any ol’ gun they want?”

    The system almost stopped Rodger. Police interviewed him upon request from a mental health expert, but only spoke to him at his door. Rodger himself said that if they had searched his room, his plot would have been foiled.

    An interesting question might be why the cops did not know – or were not allowed – to search his room to find the three handguns he had legally purchased over the past few months?

    I seem to recall something about how the NRA promoted a law to expunge from databases gun purchase information after a few months?

  10. Nick Gotts says

    Tashiliciously Shriked@2,

    So your response to an atrocious crime is… to propose a far, far more atrocious crime. No. Even if this is, as I suspect, purely rhetorical, it’s vile. Stop it.

  11. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    STOP with the “crazy.” Stop it. Everyone STOP IT.

    You want a better conversation about this shit? Then stop fucking pretending that bog-standard, predictable, ordinary and murderous behavior is some “lone nut,” or a sign of “mental illness.” This is NORMAL in a gun-crazed hyper-macho society.

    Jesus fucking christ. I’m less pissed about the slur on mentally ill people (of which I am one) than I am about how this talk greases the wheels to continue avoiding honest confrontation of the NORMAL, yet murderous, culture that we created and feed every day.

    This is never, ever, ever, ever, ever going to get better until we face up to this. You could help, PZ, by not adding to it. It’s not that hard to avoid the “mentally disturbed” reflex in language.

    Who am I kidding, though? This thread will fill right up with crap like #5 above, and the regulars will have to keep bailing water out and pushing back endlessly.

    Nothing. Ever. Gets. Better.

  12. gingerbaker says

    “I seem to recall something about how the NRA promoted a law to expunge from databases gun purchase information after a few months?”

    Actually worse than that )from http://smartgunlaws.org/maintaining-gun-sales-background-check-records-policy-summary/):

    “As of July 2004, approved purchaser information must be destroyed within 24 hours of the official NICS response to the dealer.20 This destruction requirement has been imposed in appropriations bills as part of the so-called “Tiahrt Amendments,” named after their chief proponent Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS). As a result, ATF inspectors are no longer able to compare the information on file with the dealer to the information the dealer submitted to NICS.”

    Pretty sure you can thank the NRA for that.

  13. says

    What kind of screening would catch an Elliot Rodger, but wouldn’t also cause every Tea Bagger and gonzo flying a Confederate flag from his pickup truck to be similarly prohibited from purchasing any ol’ gun they want?

    Probably none, but that’s a feature, not a bug.

  14. gingerbaker says

    Josh

    WTF are you saying? That Roger’s behavior was normal? That he wasn’t mentally ill? Have I misunderstood you or is this some of the most egregious postmodern revisionism I have ever encountered?

  15. rabbitscribe says

    It certainly does matter that she’s a psychologist, not a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are MD’s. In my state, you can become a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with an online degree. I have my misgivings about both fields, but psychiatry is far more rigorous and scientific than psychology.

  16. Nick Gotts says

    Naked Bunny with a Whip@13,

    You will notice that I have absolutely no power to make Tashiliciously Shriked desist from such vile rhetoric. But you evidently think I should only express my disgust with that rhetoric in a Naked Bunny with a Whip-approved manner. Are you capable of detecting the irony here?

  17. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Gingerbaker: You’ve been around the Internet long enough. You know exactly what I’m talking about. You know perfectly well about the conversation that dissects this idea that it’s an individual, a lone person with a “mental illness” that excuses and props up predictable patterns of culturally sanctioned misogyny and violence.

    I know you know this, because I remember you from years past before you threw your lot in with the the anti-feminists.

    So, understand that I know that you know this isn’t some weird, never-before-encountered-by-Gingerbaker “postmodern revisionism.” You do know. And I’m not going to flatter your disingenuous stance.

    To others: Gingerbaker’s playing a game, and he’s doing it consciously. This isn’t shocking or new to him. It is, however, a hook for him to rehearse his grudges. Just know that he’ll play you if you let him.

  18. laurentweppe says

    just… just burn the planet down. All of it. Coat it in a fine mist of napalm and set it alight. Get rid of this mad and ignorant species and let nature start anew, fresh and without our bullshit.

    What’s the cure for murder?
    Genocide!
    Did you get your degrees at the Philosophy School For Comic Books Villains?

  19. weatherwax says

    #14 gingerbaker; “As of July 2004, approved purchaser information must be destroyed within 24 hours of the official NICS response to the dealer.20 This destruction requirement has been imposed in appropriations bills as part of the so-called “Tiahrt Amendments,” named after their chief proponent Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS). As a result, ATF inspectors are no longer able to compare the information on file with the dealer to the information the dealer submitted to NICS.”

    I don’t disagree with you, but I’m a little confused as handguns are registered here in California, and the police officers should have had quick access to his purchase history.

  20. parasiteboy says

    From what I’ve read about the types of guns the murderer used, no “common sense” gun laws (eg. banning things like high power assault rifles or extended clips) would not have prevented this tragedy. As Josh, Official SpokesGay@12 eluded to, it’s going to take a cultural change because this country will never outlaw the sale or ownership of guns.

    ChristineRose@3

    history of depression, or poor impulse control, or substance abuse or PTSD or paranoia. All of those put you at risk for doing something “bad” with your gun.

    You could say the same thing about cars or knifes or anything else that could be used as a deadly weapon. Also it’s not always one thing, but from what I remember reading about people who commit violent crimes, substance abuse with one of those things increases the chance of violence. Unfortunately since the republicans in 1996 put a freeze on funding studies into gun violence we don’t have the data.

    As someone who has OCD, depression, and anxiety I do take offense to the way that mental illness terms are thrown around here so casually, as it reinforces the stigmatism of mental illness and also insinuates that those of us who have mental illnesses and own guns (like I do) are automatically considered irresponsible gun owners.

  21. gingerbaker says

    “To others: Gingerbaker’s playing a game, and he’s doing it consciously. ”

    Bullshit.

    I don’t have a clue what you are trying to say. It sure sounds like you are saying that this guy was not mentally unbalanced and his behavior falls into what you define as “normal”. If that IS what you are saying, you are not making sense to me. Or can’t you explain it any better?

  22. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Just know that he’ll play you if you let him.

    What? gingerbaker flamboyantly mugging for the crowd and going off on a long solo that makes your head pound?

    Unheard of.

  23. plainenglish says

    @gingerbaker:
    I think one cogent point Louis was offering in the other thread was that he is sick up to here with the mental tag being slapped to and fro whenever there is something involving violent harm being done. Whether or not violent harm is done by people not suffering something covered in the DSM is a philosophical question, I guess, but it is clear to me that violence is done as a routine in so-called normal life. Violence begins in childhood for most of us, in myriad ways, some of them cultural practice like barbaric practices in childbirth, lack of sufficient care for mother and baby, one or both. Then there are the hitters of children who hit because they love, to protect and teach their kids, whack whack. And then children are removed from their parents and exposed to the daycare life and public schools. And it goes on…. but the point is that we tend to want to tag and label and perhaps explain away uncomfortable truths that blast us into fearful states. For instance, ChristineRose @ 3, why is it you list all these personal sort of problems/diagnoses and overlook that the USA is a nation of violence and endless war? That is the homefront, the focus on the family. They sing happily about bombs bursting in air and flags as if that is some ultimate achievement of humans on earth. They use every trick in the book to lure young people into Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket boot camp and they do not even need to find an actor to be the reptilian motherfucker trainer of soldiers; they just pluck a real boot camp USA man and hire him for the film. If America had any less insight it would be declared a throwback….and now it just drones on, blasting people to smithereens all over the world while we wonder why a ‘healthy’ young fellow decided to go kill some innocent folk. For fuck sake. For fuck, fuck. If only fuck… No fuck so kill kill. Seek pro help from PICKUPARTIST sites. Talk about the sad side of the internet.
    Giliell. @ 9, you are fucking right on the mark. The real terrorism begins at home.
    Josh@12, things change all the time and so slowly it all comes garbled to the ear. I appreciate your view of things here….it has helped me.

  24. says

    Yes, gingerbaker, killing people because you think they deserve it is actually pretty common behaviour. It’s often called war. Are all soldiers just mentally ill? Was there a kind of viral insanity in post WWI Europe? It’s what normal people with normal brains that function normally do once they’re convinced that they’re right.

  25. says

    @9 right on.

    Murdering innocent strangers to express your vile political beliefs and strike fear into your opponents is called “terrorism.” Except when a white man does it.

    Nobody ever tried to understand why Bin Laden was so disturbed. Nobody dismissed him as a nut job who would’ve murdered regardless of the cause. Nobody thought that acquiescing to his entitled delusions would’ve somehow prevented the tragedy.

    The apologists making excuses and waving away the blame are revolting. They’ll do anything to distract from the fact that these murders are the end result of privilege, entitlement, and misogyny.

  26. rabbitscribe says

    I’ll take a stab at it, Ginger: I think his point is that this sort of thing is to be expected in a culture that celebrates violence and denigrates women. Take away the glorification of firearms and the misogyny and Isla Vista doesn’t happen no matter what’s going on in Rodgers’ head.

  27. ck says

    CSB wrote:

    Gay men are, of course, well known for obsessing over the fact that no woman would ever consider sleeping with them.

    Well, it’s no less ridiculous than the idiotic book The Pink Swastika that proposed the Nazi party was full of gay men who liked to go out and arrest and torture gay men. This little piece of propaganda was by a couple of those darlings of the anti-gay movement, Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams.

  28. says

    I remember when Maryland passed a law that you couldn’t own/handle guns if you had been convicted of domestic abuse, and they had a big push-back because apparently it would have disqualified a lot of cops from being able to carry. :\

    I kept trying to compose a coherent reaction to this, but my internal voice kept pantomiming the act of headdesking for a while.

    I suppose it starts with the incredulous “why keep them on the force, then?” but then I wouldn’t want to make life harder for ex-cons if they’ve genuinely reformed/actually innocent. But if this was presumably cited as a significant factor in the push-back against gun control, it sounds like something’s deeply wrong with the hiring practices. Which I suppose isn’t surprising, really.

    And seriously, let’s be careful about assuming mental abnormalities are responsible for every homicidal gunman. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 30, and I wouldn’t want people to casually associate it with homicidal rage.

  29. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Here “normal” is used as “not mentally ill”. Normal is not used to mean “a behavior in which every person engages multiple times per day.”

    Being left handed is normal, not common. Being queer is normal, not common. Nothing about being a left handed queer who visits Yellowstone every single May, frequently while wearing a batik kaftan is abnormal. But my best statistical guess is that there have been fewer people in that category over the last 100 years than in the category “murderers convicted in a court of law in the USA”.

    If you really have no idea that it is normal among young men in the USA to fantasize about having god-like power and killing lots of people who are known by all to be objectively bad thus proving one’s moral and physical superiority at a single stroke, you’ve never watched a summer blockbuster have you?

    Moreover, if you have no idea that feeling entitled to women’s bodies for sex is normal among young straight men in the USA, you’ve met fewer than 5 young straight men citizens of the USA.

    Yet more? If you have no idea that normal but masculinity obsessed young men in the USA engage in violence, you’ve never spent a week in a USA high school.

    Finally, if you have no idea that that normal people in the USA are taught to love guns and that guns give them power – power about which one might fantasize if one likes summer blockbusters – you’ve never heard of the fucking NRA.

    The fact that 4 things needed to come together in sufficient quantities to make Rodger a murderer and that these things don’t commonly all occur in the same person at the same stage of life in a manner sufficient to make witnessing a murder an every day event for you no more makes Rodger’s thinking equivalent to mental illness than the thinking of the left-handed, kaftan-loving queer who can’t get enough of Yellowstone.

  30. says

    let’s be careful about assuming mental abnormalities are responsible for every homicidal gunman

    By the same token, the vast majority of gun-owners aren’t homicidal, either. Though PZ likes to tar everyone with the same brush, occasionally.

  31. plainenglish says

    @33 Lynna, OM, very true. Perhaps ‘common’ is more accurate. The use of normal otherwise becomes a kind of sarcasm…. as in so-called normal life. Meaning life that is commonly known but hardly normal.

  32. laurentweppe says

    If you really have no idea that it is normal among young men in the USA to fantasize about having god-like power and killing lots of people who are known by all to be objectively bad thus proving one’s moral and physical superiority at a single stroke, you’ve never watched a summer blockbuster have you?

    Or played games published by EA

  33. says

    The fact that 4 things needed to come together in sufficient quantities to make Rodger a murderer and that these things don’t commonly all occur in the same person at the same stage of life in a manner sufficient

    That’s a very good point. There are 200+million people in the US and 100+million guns and the fact that these tragedies are “newsworthy” is an indicator that they don’t happen very often. It doesn’t make it any more (or less) of a tragedy; it’s just an extreme outlier. We are still, individually, much more likely to be killed by a drunk driver than a spree shooter.

  34. chigau (違う) says

    “mentally unbalanced” and “normal” are the only choices?

  35. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chigau:

    “normal” is used in lots of ways. When it is used to indicate “not mentally ill” I’m fine with its tentative use in characterizing Rodger’s behavior.

    And, obviously, when discussing P, P or NotP are in fact comprehensive choices.

    But we in no way have to limit ourselves to discussing P (in this case, mental illness). Part of the point for myself and, I believe, for Josh and Louis, has been that we don’t actually make a lot of progress on preventing the next murder if we throw up our hands and say “MentalIllnessDidIt”.

    Do you understand how we could be just as pissed off at that sort of incurious defeatism as we are at the incurious and defeatist rejection of biological sciences that would, if commonly followed, have prevented contemporary medicine’s current life-saving and life-enhancing achievements?

    Do you understand how we could be even more pissed off given that blaming violence on mental illness not only prevents positive and productive investigation of violence but also contributes a large amount to the stigmatization and victimization of people with mental illnesses who are moral and non-threatening?

    fFs, YES there are more choices. That’s the POINT.

  36. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    That’s a very good point. There are 200+million people in the US and 100+million guns and the fact that these tragedies are “newsworthy” is an indicator that they don’t happen very often. It doesn’t make it any more (or less) of a tragedy; it’s just an extreme outlier. We are still, individually, much more likely to be killed by a drunk driver than a spree shooter.

    But hey, lets just fucking forget about all the women murdered by men exactly like this fuckhead every year because they don’t kill several at the same time. After all, it doesn’t make the news! Fuck dealing with the underlying issues that cause this shit and file it under “Rare”. Disperse with the guns, glorify the violence, enhance the entitlement, maybe with more fucking sprees people like you will realize just how dangerous this is every single day for women.

    And everyone else to boot. But no, it’s just the spree factor that made the news so let’s just pretend reducing spree killing just isn’t enough to warrant getting alarmed about.

  37. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    In the US, what he did IS normal. It happens a couple of times every single year. It is never surprising. Never. And every single time, no matter the actual mental state of the shooter, no matter the actual history of the shooter, the shooter is dismissed as insane, crazy, unbalanced, mentally ill. Which is convenient. Because it means that this was, like every single other mass murder shooting spree, an isolated incident completely and totally divorced from the rest of society.

    Normal does not mean everyone does it. It (to me) means that it happens often enough, is common enough, that it is not a surprise.

  38. karmacat says

    To blf at #6, I did mean should not. Sigh. proofreading, how does that work?

  39. Steve LaBonne says

    The problem of “normality” here is that so many Americans think it’s “normal” that every random person can walk around with guns. That is completely insane, and the gun fondlers can bite me if they don’t like to hear it.

  40. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chigau, #42:

    I’m relieved. I had thought we were on the same page. Sorry I misread you.

    Please have this tray of entirely-not-mentally-disturbed chocolates. Plus these two with cognac and goji berry truffle cream in the middle.

  41. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’m just going to put this

    :sigh:

    right here. Anyone who wants to is free to take a guess why, or even pick it up and borrow it for a bit.

  42. chigau (違う) says

    CD #46
    Thanks. Yum.
    I dropped my usual habit of quoting nym and number and look what happened.

    #47
    Sometimes you can blame it on that “Skip to comment form” thing … sometimes not…

  43. Louis says

    I ‘m really glad that, imperfect though they were, the comments I made on the other post had such a profound effect. Look, here’s Ginger Baker to prove it.

    Excuse me, I’m off for a drink.

    Louis

  44. mudpuddles says

    It was only a matter of time before someone on a right wing talk show blamed this on “gayness”. I expect someone on Fox will blame feminism next, followed by Darwin, and Obama. Its all sadly predictable; gun murder, followed by wingnuts blaming everything but the actual cause, followed by no substantive political efforts whatsoever to tackle the problem, followed by gun murder, followed by….

    Not sure I’d agree with #2 that we should burn it all down, but I would like the chance to go live under the sea for the rest of my days.

  45. says

    @52
    mudpuddles

    I would like the chance to go live under the sea for the rest of my days.

    You may be joking, but there are such things as “intentional communities”, and they are something I seriously want to know the viability of for many reasons including events like these.

  46. Louis says

    Chigau,

    The local has wifi. It also has happy UKIPists celebrating a strong shift to UKIP in the EU elections. This is not a good night for the UK.

    Louis

  47. Pen says

    Re the mental health of the shooter and his links with MRA ideas.

    I just read The Mind of a Madman, about Anders Breivik, or rather, essentially about how the Norwegian system set about deciding whether he was mentally ill or not. Ultimately, he was found sane because he’d been part of a sub-cuture (Stormfront, et al) within which his ideas and actions were normalized.

    What I’m getting to here is the question of free speech and the advisability of laws against certain kinds of hate speech. It’s not just ‘sticks and stones’ or openness to debate. White nationalist speech made Breivik, extreme Islamicist speech made the Boston bombers, looks like MRA speech may well have made Elliot Rodger. Speech can normalize most things in any given society such that behavior which would seem insane to one group qualifies as normal in another, and that which seems normal qualifies as insane. What people are allowed to say persistently and repeatedly in public matters.

    I don’t know Rodger’s mental status, but I believe the law enforcement official who first examined his last video immediately reported him as obviously very disturbed. According to the Norwegian judicial system, as they decided in the case of Breivik, this is merely due to the official’s ignorance of Rodger’s sub-culture. Within that sub-culture, his views are normal in themselves, other holders of those views would no doubt claim he just ‘went a bit too far’.

  48. Jackie the wacky says

    Yes, gingerbaker, killing people because you think they deserve it is actually pretty common behaviour. It’s often called war.

    Perfectly stated, Giliell.

  49. Jackie the wacky says

    Marcus,
    Did you actually just claim that mass murders and scads of kids accidentally getting shot is only news worthy because it is “rare”?

    So by your logic, no one would care if it happened more often? It wouldn’t even get reported?

    How often does that need to be before we magically stop paying attention to it and thusly, you admit it’s a real problem?

    How is that supposed to work?

  50. Louis says

    Jackie the Wacky and Giliell,

    Yes, that is perfectly stated. It’s also called often called “domestic violence”.

    Louis

  51. imthegenieicandoanything says

    “Elliot Rodger was a spoiled, entitled kid who had his brain poisoned with this attitude. ”

    This isn’t as horrible a simplification as before, but it glances to the I’ve-got-an-axe-to-grind side as well. This sounds perilously close to “Burn the witch!” but passion, as the first article and comments showed, overwhelmed all other feelings. It isn’t laudable, though.

    The Guardian confirmed the MRA influence (and anyone willing to grant anything MRA validity can fuck off AND die – those people, when they aren’t themselves Nazis, may be worse than Nazis), but tone angle (which Louis rightly criticized when presented too casually) isn’t even addressed here – he had mental health issues of a serious nature, and was under treatment.

    That doesn’t excuse anything. It explains some things, though. Many points – the ease of getting multiple firearms, the inability of the public health workers to determine that he was a real threat for violence, many others – that might have made this horror a work of imagination only happened to break exactly the wrong way.

    Certainly, male attitudes towards females of our species – in most human cultures – need to continue to change. Stupid and evil, selfish, ugly, vain pieces of human shit used the Net to expel their personal poisons, and this kid was unbalanced enough to believe them, but I don’t want his corpse or his victims’ used as a poster child for any position.

    The other thread was filled with rage as ugly as I’ve seen here. And as misdirected and unproductive as any. If that was grief and horror, and most of it was, I understand it – but it doesn’t make it less rational and less useless.

    Understanding what we can, deciding what we can do, and doing it without undue pride for ourselves or scorn for others, with compassion is our goal. Generally speaking. Right?

    Getting angry, in my case, means I’m wrong in some way: usually being unrealistically impatient but often being selfish or stupid (with many other variations). Where does your anger come from? And what good is it?

    My sadness is for the victims (UCSB was my university and I was often in Isla Vista) first, and their families and friends. I do not wish this dead kid in hell, though, even if I believed in such nonsense.

  52. carlie says

    Did you actually just claim that mass murders and scads of kids accidentally getting shot is only news worthy because it is “rare”?

    So by your logic, no one would care if it happened more often? It wouldn’t even get reported?

    Every single day in the US,

    4 children are killed by abuse or neglect, 5 children or teens commit suicide, and 7 children or teens are killed by guns.

    Do each of those make national news? Nope. Some don’t even make local news. Because it isn’t rare at all. Just because it’s not right doesn’t mean it’s not normal.

  53. says

    Marcus Ranum

    That’s a very good point. There are 200+million people in the US and 100+million guns and the fact that these tragedies are “newsworthy” is an indicator that they don’t happen very often. It doesn’t make it any more (or less) of a tragedy; it’s just an extreme outlier. We are still, individually, much more likely to be killed by a drunk driver than a spree shooter.

    Yes, jackass, spree shootings only happen a few times a year in the U.S. You know how often they happen in the rest of the industrialized world? VIRTUALLY NEVER. Spree shootings happen vastly more often here than elsewhere. Furthermore, the vast majority of shootings in the U.S. (Which also happen a whole lot more than they do in other industrialized countries), aren’t spree shootings, but a whole bunch of people are still dying. On top of which, cars have a use that isn’t killing things, which guns do not.
    TL;DR: You’re an asshole for even making the comparison.

  54. ck says

    imthegenieicandoanything wrote:

    “Elliot Rodger was a spoiled, entitled kid who had his brain poisoned with this attitude. ”
    This isn’t as horrible a simplification as before, but it glances to the I’ve-got-an-axe-to-grind side as well.

    It’s not as much of one as you might think. Some excerpts from his life story:

    I started to frequently ask my mother to seek marriage with this man, or any wealthy man for that matter. She always adamantly refused, and demanded that I stopped talking about it. She told me that she never wanted to get married again after her experience with my father. I told her that she should sacrifice her well-being for the sake of my happiness, but this only offended her further.
    […]
    I started a day of working at this new job. It was located in an office building that was connected to an Airport in Los Angeles. To my horror and humiliation, the job turned out to be a menial custodial job, and I had to clean offices and even the bathrooms. There was no way I would ever degrade myself to such a level. I felt like utter shit from even considering working at such a place.

    So, he was certainly extremely spoiled and entitled. He figured his mother should get married because it would benefit him, and turned up his nose at a job he felt beneath him despite not having any better prospects.

  55. ck says

    Oh, and he quit school because the girl he had a crush on was with someone else.

  56. unclefrogy says

    we do seem to be unwilling to confront mental illness in any meaningful way.
    We use the idea as a way to other those who are suffering from it. We use the idea to distance ourselves from their actions never looking at how we are them given different circumstances.
    We seem not to want to ask the hard questions.
    Why do we not think about Ben Laden as someone suffering from some mental illness?
    What do we think will happen when a bunch of people who have a pathological hatred for some group or other join together. Will they become a sub-group?
    If they all share the same delusions does that make them healthy.
    Is normal healthy?
    we will not ask the hard questions we do not want to and we will just continue stumbling along. It is just easier not to confront ourselves. We do not want to come to grips with our own fears and our own irrationality.
    the next time something like this happens we will react the same way .
    We go to war but the leaders no longer do the fighting and killing some other misanthropic or not thinks he must force his will on some others but it will be others who do the fighting and dieing and for them there will be many other reasons which may not be the same as the instigators.

    we are all subject to this no exceptions,
    uncle frogy

  57. says

    Yes, let’s speculate about the guy’s sexuality instead of listening to his bonerrage because he hates women. A mean them dam queers are cra cra and violent!

    /snark

    Just once if tragedies like this happen, I would like it if morally depraved person wasn’t immediately “given” to marginalized group by the media. Can we please, for once, talk about why people like Roger feel entitled?

    And

    @Louis

    Thanks for your posts in the other thread. RE: mad =/= bad. I found them to be very helpful. That nonsense annoys me a great deal and you clarified my thinking on why.

  58. says

    Yes, jackass, spree shootings only happen a few times a year in the U.S. You know how often they happen in the rest of the industrialized world? VIRTUALLY NEVER.

    I was not trying to excuse it. Back off, sheeesh.

  59. Jackie the wacky says

    To declare this man’s actions the result of mental illness is to pretend that far worse has not been done and is not done every day since forever out of bigotry, jealousy and just plain malice. It’s also racist and classist as hell.

    When a brown man from a backwater in an Islamic theocracy murders a woman for offending his honor, I never see people rushing to excuse his society for normalizing his attitudes toward women.

    This killer was a clean cut, straight, white, wealthy, American man. That’s why people are rushing to say “He must have been crazy-out-of-his-mind!”. They won’t cast a critical eye at their own culture. They can’t question the privileged class.

  60. Jackie the wacky says

    Also…

    To understand how not out of the ordinary gender based hostility and violence toward women is, they’d have to admit that things like patriarchy and rape culture exist.

    They’d have to admit that women are telling the truth about harassment, assault and rape.

    They’d have to admit that there is a need for feminism.

    They’d have to take all of the death and rape threats seriously.

    Some people are very invested in not recognizing those things.

  61. says

    Marcus Ranum#69
    I don’t know what you thought you were trying to do, then. There was nothing cogent or relevant in the comment to which I replied, and no reason to keep repeating that tired bullshit comparing (in your case massively poorly)gun deaths with traffic deaths, nor to keep banging on about how spree killings aren’t a big problem because they only happen a few times a year. The post was bullshit on every level, and served to do nothing but minimize the massive massive problem the U.S. has with both guns and misogyny (not that the latter one is limited to the U.S).

  62. Ichthyic says

    You may be joking, but there are such things as “intentional communities”, and they are something I seriously want to know the viability of for many reasons including events like these.

    here’s one that has been running successfully for decades. I even recall my high school history teacher telling us about a visit she made to it back in the 70s. She was favorably impressed.

    http://rt.com/usa/us-american-communist-community/

  63. Ichthyic says

    …of course, the problem is that intentional communities can only maintain themselves as strictly closed communities; isolated and with very strict punishments for “cheating”.

    imagine if everyone in the US was liable to be deported if they broke a constitutional law.

  64. carlie says

    The Oneida community was intentional, and had “complex marriage” wherein everyone slept with everyone else (supposedly only consensually, but I’ve heard that’s debated). They eventually fell apart, in part because so many of them wanted to pick out their own sexual partner and not have to share if they didn’t want to.

  65. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    @Marcus Ranun,

    Comparing gun spree deaths to drunken driving deaths is dishonest. The more relevant comparison is total deaths due to guns vs. total deaths due to drunk driving. Relevant statistics for guns are here; relevant statistics for drunk driving are here. In 2011, the last year for which both sites have statistics, the number of deaths due to guns was 32,163; the number of deaths due to drunk drivers was 9,865. In general, there’s about a 3:1 relation between gun deaths and drunk driving deaths.

    The current case of course isn’t entirely about guns; half of the murders were committed with some sort of sharp object. It’s pretty clear that the killer’s mind was poisoned by privilege, resentment, and misogyny; still, without access to guns, it’s hard to see how he would have killed more than the three in his apartment.

  66. yubal says

    While the US debates (yet again) probable reasons for the latest spree killing in this heartless and gun obsessed society, four people were shot dead in a jewish museum in Belgium.

    At least we know the motivation here. Hatred of the jews is timeless and universally found in all social groups.

    Question is, where did the gun come from? in the light of the recent elections I hope it was not an Islamist.

  67. gmcard says

    We don’t apply the “crazy” label to the wife-beater in Alabama* or the daughter-murderer in Saudi Arabia because, as fucked up as the poisonous misogynistic/theocratic/patriarchal/authoritarian culture is, there is an obvious connection between the trigger of an action and the target of the action. The wife-beater is mad his wife didn’t make dinner? He slaps her, he doesn’t run over to an elementary school and slap a dozen random kids. The daughter-murderer is mad his daughter hung out with an unrelated male? He murders her, he doesn’t make for the marketplace and start lopping off heads. The actions are still absolutely disgusting to anyone concerned with universal human rights, but its easy to see the actions as rational in light of immersion in poisonous cultural attitudes.

    Being mad that the women you chase aren’t interested in you, and reacting to that by going on a multi-site rampage, killing your three male roommates and another male in a deli in addition to the two sorority members who were your stated target… yeah, calling that “mentally unbalanced” hardly seems unfair.

    *Except often we do say the wife-beater has “anger management issues”, i.e., is kinda crazy, so spinning this as some unwillingness to examine the toxic attitudes in U.S. culture is a little ridiculous.

  68. narciblog says

    I just wanted to point out that the woman that saw fit to diagnose him without ever meeting him and decide he was secretly gay and that that was the reason for his killing spree, has a mail-order PhD from California Southern University.

    I had to work for my PhD. She had to buy stamps.

  69. says

    @ gmcard

    calling that “mentally unbalanced” hardly seems unfair.

    It is very unfair to anyone who fits that category. Just stop with the scapegoating already.

    Do you notice how you contradict yourself too? You say:

    the poisonous misogynistic/theocratic/patriarchal/authoritarian culture is, there is an obvious connection between the trigger of an action and the target of the action.

    , and understand this argument in terms of the individual, with an individual target. Why is it so hard to see that the same applies to an individual with an amorphous, monolithic target (here “Women” , or “Other Men” ).

    An entire category of people become a single thing. That “single thing”, Other, is as much a single target as the wife, and the daughter you described. Any individual can be targeted for merely falling under the category in question.

    Does this help you to understand why dumping the problem under the heading “mentally unbalanced”, is both unfair and damaging to the millions of people with their own, completely unrelated, mental problems?

  70. A. R says

    Before I say anything, I need to make it very clear that this IS NOT, a diagnosis, or even anything like one. It is an observation based upon years of experience in emergency and acute psychiatric care and emergency room work: The circumstances here suggest something more than just really, really hating women (now, mind you, I have no doubt that misogyny played a significant role, and indeed was likely THE major component in the thought process that led to the shooting). From the videos and accounts of individuals close to him, I get the sense that this was not a psychologically sound individual. I am not willing, for ethical and other reasons, willing to say anything more specific, but I refuse to believe that this individual (or almost any other who commits acts of mass violence of this type) could be entirely psychologically sound.

  71. A. R says

    From Boston.com:

    The man who killed six people in separate drive-by shootings late Friday night near Santa Barbara, Calif., was reportedly under psychiatric care.

    Elliot Rodger, 22, the son of filmmaker Paul Rodger, was “diagnosed with ‘highly functional Asperger’s syndrome’ as a child, BBC reported.

    Well, then. Ignore everything I said.

  72. ck says

    Wait… So, gay, schizophrenic, racist… I’m sure the conspiracy gun nuts are already claiming this is another “false flag” event. Are we sure he isn’t a secret Muslim, too? I wanna fill my scorecard.

  73. FO says

    @PZ I agree with everything but one thing.
    You say that everyone has been through years of “involuntary celibacy” without becoming violent.
    By the same reasoning, since everyone has been very sad at times, depression does not exist.
    There is a difference in quality.

    (Please understand that I do not condone nor justify neither misogyny neither the actions of a hateful murderer, and I think that the burden and the responsibility of changing things lies overwhelmingly on men.)

    I have been exposed to a lot of people with mental illnesses, me included, and one of the things that is most devastating is being dismissed by people who, understandably, can’t relate.
    Feeling rejected and dismissed because of things others do not understand and you don’t know how to control is not a justification to harm others, but is horrible nonetheless.

    I am being especially vocal about this because I think these seven deaths, six of which entirely innocent, could have been avoided.
    (Yes, I’m in favor of gun control, but that’s not my point here.)

  74. Nick Gotts says

    imthegenieicandoanything@60

    Getting angry, in my case, means I’m wrong in some way: usually being unrealistically impatient but often being selfish or stupid (with many other variations).

    Fine, but don’t presume that the same applies to everyone else.

    Where does your anger come from?

    The amygdala, I believe.

    And what good is it?

    It motivates me to act against injustice.

  75. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Here’s the thing. As David at We Hunted the Mammoth said and various posters here over the various threads about this, when someone spouts antisemitic rhetoric and then shoots Jews, no one doubts that his act (shooting) was influenced by his rhetoric (antisemitism). Same with Anders Brevjik, same with the Boston marathon bombers. No one is buying the argument that they are mentally ill – in fact they are the ones who take their rhetoric to its logical conclusion.

    So even if I grant that Rodgers may display some signs of mental illness, what does that mean? Did his mental illness make him go out and shoot these people? Or did his misogyny and general sense of entitlement do that? Did his mental illness override his moral compass that says you shouldn’t shoot people, or did his sense of entitlement and having been wronged do that? When police officers visited his home after his family complained about worrying about his mental state, did his mental illness cause him or enable him to fool the officers into believing he was mentally sound?

    So what if he was mentally ill? The only thing this changes is that if he was diagnosed and committed, he physically wouldn’t have been able to commit these crimes. But how could anyone have known before he actually shot people that he was going to shoot people? His rhetoric is depressingly normal!

    So even if he was mentally ill, so what?

  76. mickll says

    Man shoots a bunch of people, says he did it because he can’t have sex with women.

    Faux news concludes that he must have been gay.

    Seems legit.

  77. says

    FO

    You say that everyone has been through years of “involuntary celibacy” without becoming violent.
    By the same reasoning, since everyone has been very sad at times, depression does not exist.
    There is a difference in quality.

    Depression is a classified mental health condition.
    Involuntary celibacy isn’t

  78. Ichthyic says

    The Oneida community was intentional, and had “complex marriage” wherein everyone slept with everyone else (supposedly only consensually, but I’ve heard that’s debated). They eventually fell apart, in part because so many of them wanted to pick out their own sexual partner and not have to share if they didn’t want to.

    one of dozens of communities that tried and failed.

    which, of course, is exactly why I posted one that has maintained it’s presence and philosophy since its inception in the 60s.

    it’s the closest thing to a pure Marxist community still in the US.

  79. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    FO @ 84

    You say that everyone has been through years of “involuntary celibacy” without becoming violent.
    By the same reasoning, since everyone has been very sad at times, depression does not exist.
    There is a difference in quality.

    Is that was passes for reasoning on your planet? Everyone experiences X without taking positive action Y is the same as everyone experiences A therefor mental health condition B doesn’t exist. Analogies: how do they work?!

  80. says

    I think that FO’s point is valid in the simple, trivial way – one’s subjective reaction to certain phenomena/situation (in this case PZ’s) cannot be broadly applied as the only possible reaction of everyone else. They do not, at least I do not understand it that way, equate hornyness and sexual frustration with mental illness, they only try to state that different people react differently to identical stimuli/needs satisfaction or lack thereof etc and that ones experience cannot be broadly applied.

    Just a few days ago there was a prolonged discussion about how Little Rex Giant Doucheweasel’s ability of casually dismissing and ignoring abusive language targeted towards him does not diminish the anguish experienced by people subjected to online bullying.

    Similarly – not idetically – this applies to this as well. People differ in intensity of their sex drive and therefore inevitably they will also vary in their reaction to inability to satisfy that drive.

    I agree (and from what I see I do not think that FO’s position is different) that this is not an excuse for violent behaviour, and I too, like most here, think that the main reason for this incident was that Rogers was brat spoiled by toxic mysoginy and patriarchy into having unreasonable expectations of the world in general and women in particular to pander to his needs. Without MRA, PUA and the whole rest, he would learn to cope with his frustration in socially acceptable way (or at leas the probability of him doing so would be higher).

    That I agree with almost everything that PZ, Louis (especially Louis, thank you Louis, I learned a lot) and many others said over the last two days about this, does not change the fact, that this part of PZ’s reasoning is logical fallacy “faulty generalisation”. But I think that this is secondary to the overall validity of PZ’s point and indeed it has been used as a distraction from the real issue at hand, so I will shut up from now on.

  81. birgerjohansson says

    “was as sane as your average Republican”

    And a lot of them dream of offing the n*gger in the White House.
    Culture, sort of.

  82. says

    It’s important to remember that normalized behavior within a (sub) culture is NOT an indicator of mental illness even if the same behavior would be indicative that something is wrong within a different or mainstream culture.
    People like Rodger aren’t lone wolves. They have supportive communities that reinforce them in their opinions

  83. randay says

    I think that your use of “gonzo” is inappropriate. It is degrading to the work and memory of Hunter Thompson.

  84. FO says

    @Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-, #88
    “Depression is a classified mental health condition. Involuntary celibacy isn’t”
    Except when it wasn’t.
    I mean, we all know that modern psychiatry is perfect and there is no possible improvement we can make.

    @Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm, #84
    My apologies, I though I was communicating with a sentient lifeform.
    “Since everyone has been very sad at times but survived then suicide is not a real problem, those that do are just wimps”.
    Better?

  85. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    FO @ 96

    My apologies, I though I was communicating with a sentient lifeform.

    If you want people to grasp your meaning, it’s on you to make sure you’ve conveyed it. It’s not on others to psychically know what you really meant by your shit analogy.

    “Since everyone has been very sad at times but survived then suicide is not a real problem, those that do are just wimps”.
    Better?

    Well actually that analogy is better but it really just illustrates that you’re missing the point which is that focusing on this guy’s involuntary celibacy is a derail. The actual problem is the intensely toxic misogynist and patriarchal ideology Rodgers was steeped in which allowed him to go from “the women I want don’t dispense sex to me at my whim” to “they deserve to die.”

  86. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    FO, , are you suggesting that we should classify “involuntary celibacy” as a mental illness? Why?

  87. playonwords says

    It took me a long time to work out my attitude to this and when my thoughts finally coalesced I posted it on “We Hunted the Mammoth” Copied here

    Mentally ill does not mean violent or prone to violence any more than being on a widely prescribed anti-psychotic means that you have a psychosis. That Rodger was mentally disturbed around the time of his rampage says nothing except that, like any spree killer, he was emotionally and mentally unable to connect with his victims.The trouble was that any problems that Rodger suffered had led him into a toxic community which affirmed the fantasies he was having, perhaps even adding other layers to such fantasies and it is in that community that the roots of Rodger’s acts lie.

    This vile group asserts a belief that “real” men have sex by the time they are “X” years old and that failure to do so either means the celibate is somehow deficient or there is some external agency depriving the man of his rights. Nothing is the fault of the man; it is all a plot against him. Given this base assumption of faultlessness it is not surprising that the MRA/PUA/InCel community is in denial – probably even denying that they had any duty to advise the police about this man’s descent into violent fantasy.

  88. Ryan says

    Surely the issue here is not his state of mind – but gun control in the US. Yes, some people are sexist, rascist etc, but the bottom line is that people really should not have access to guns – at all. Particularly young, impressionable teenagers.

  89. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Surely the issue here is not his state of mind – but gun control in the US. Yes, some people are sexist, rascist etc, but the bottom line is that people really should not have access to guns – at all. Particularly young, impressionable teenagers.

    By focusing only on the gun control aspect, you are ignoring the virulent misogyny that lies at the root of this specific person’s problem. Yes, gun control is important and the scale of the event would have been different with better gun control.

    But is it any more acceptable to have these kind of views if you “only” lash out at the woman/women under your direct “control” or within your direct reach, the way that happens daily all over the world?

  90. Bernard Bumner says

    As much as I hate, hate, hate to agree with Piers Morgan; as he pointed out on the radio this morning – the UK has the same violent culture, the same video games, the same mental health issues, the same disaffected, lonely, white young men. Add to that the same culture of sexism and sexualisation.

    Why don’t we have the same numbers of mass murders? Is it just a cultural difference or is it the intersection of attitudes towards and availability of guns?

    As he also pointed out – if 100,000 Americans per year were being killed and harmed by a disease, there would be millions or billions of dollars being spent on a cure. Fortunately, there is no National Association advocating on behalf of cancer.

    Toxic masculinity, misogyny are all part of the problem – but I am not sure whether changing that culture is an easier than changing gun laws.

  91. Ryan says

    “By focusing only on the gun control aspect, you are ignoring the virulent misogyny that lies at the root of this specific person’s problem. Yes, gun control is important and the scale of the event would have been different with better gun control.”

    Well, the intention is certainly not downplay the sexism/rascism problems that plague the world, but without a gun the kid is just an angry, sexist kid. With a gun he’s a mass murderer. So yes, while we would like change peoples views I reckon we might want to take all their guns away first.

  92. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Ryan @ 103

    Surely the issue here is not his state of mind – but gun control in the US. Yes, some people are sexist, rascist etc, but the bottom line is that people really should not have access to guns – at all. Particularly young, impressionable teenagers.

    Yes, what we really ought to focus on is not the reasons the murderer explicitly gave for what he did, but on gun control. Clearly that’s the root of the issue.

    Bernard Bumner @ 105

    Toxic masculinity, misogyny are all part of the problem – but I am not sure whether changing that culture is an easier than changing gun laws.

    .
    …the hell does easier have to do with it? Certainly the fetishization of guns in the US is a factor in the ability for something like this to happen but it’s possible for people to care about more than one thing at a time. It’s not as if we have to choose between dismantling cultural misogyny or gun control.

  93. Louis says

    Bernard Bumner,

    A Gentleman does not agree with Piers Morgan even if, and I want to make this absolutely clear, Piers Morgan is accidentally correct. The proper conduct of a Gentleman in this instance is to look embarrassed, change the subject, if completely necessary try to insinuate Piers Morgan is French, or, in extremis, provide a distraction by invading a nation of technologically disadvantaged brown people, declare it part of the Empire, start reciting Kipling poems and singing “Jerusalem”, playing Elgar AND ONLY ELGAR on a gramaphone, and punching a German.

    To do any less would be to forfeit one’s status as a Gentleman, to become Unclubbable, and thus to have one’s top hat bashed in and one’s spats muddied in a most disagreeable manner.

    Louis

  94. says

    without a gun the kid is just an angry, sexist kid

    I skimmed his memoir-manifesto last night. There were several incidents in the years and months leading up to this in which he went after happy-looking couples – throwing coffee and other drinks on them and then running away. At one point, he tried to push some women off a cliff. His fantasies about the days leading up to the “Day of Retribution” involved luring people into his apartment, attacking, torturing, and flaying them with knives, and cutting off their heads. He planned to run people down with his car, as he did. I’d say that in this specific case, there was essentially zero chance that he wouldn’t have escalated to serial/mass violence, even if he didn’t have access to guns.

  95. Ryan says

    @109 SC
    OK I didn’t know about his history. But the gun issue is still relevant, without easy access to guns it would have been a lot more difficult for him to plan and kill people. I’m not saying that he wouldn’t have managed, but it would have entailed more calculated planning.

  96. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m not saying that he wouldn’t have managed, but it would have entailed more calculated planning.

    Considering the number he killed without guns, I’d say your argument falls apart. No way in hell is the US going to ban guns in the near future, so your whole argument is unrealistic. Easier to change society, which is near impossible.

  97. says

    I’m not saying that he wouldn’t have managed, but it would have entailed more calculated planning.

    Well, he was planning this for literally years. In this case, it just wasn’t a question of access to guns being a deciding factor in whether he was going to inflict violence on a large number of people. Access to guns is certainly a major problem in the US, but in this particular case it just seems like a relatively minor factor in relation to the culture of patriarchal violence in which this guy was formed.

  98. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    From the Fox News psychologist:

    Was he angry with women because they were taking away men from him?

    Wow. I thought my browser was going to shut down when I first read that. The gay villain trope is already offensive in the numerous works of fiction it appears in, but I didn’t think that even a Fox News talking head would actually say it out loud.

    And as for “anti-Blondism,” does that make me a racist for hating Fox News and it’s blonde army?

  99. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My own sense is that the whole “must have a gun” business is part of the toxic masculinity, and reductions in the level of that masculinity are needed before meaning gun-control dialog can start.

  100. nich says

    SC@113:

    Access to guns is certainly a major problem in the US, but in this particular case it just seems like a relatively minor factor in relation to the culture of patriarchal violence in which this guy was formed.

    For what it’s worth, the manifesto did seem to say that Rodgers did not believe his day of retribution was actually practical until he had his glock in hand:

    “I had the knowledge, in the back of my mind, that the Day of Retribution was very possible now. Going to the shooting range while I waited for my laptop gave me the perfect opportunity to gain some initial training in shooting guns, which will be the main weapons I use as vengeance against my enemies when the Day of Retribution ultimately comes to pass.”

    “After I picked up the handgun, I brought it back to my room and felt a new sense of power. I was now armed.”

    ‘He bought his second handgun in the spring of 2013, when he “began to seriously think about planning the Day of Retribution,” he wrote.’

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/25/justice/california-shooting-revelations/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

  101. says

    Eschaton posted a link today to an analysis by Echidne of the Snakes that I feel is worth reading.

    Thanks. From there:

    Because of the misogyny he so plentifully expressed, I read the manifesto looking for examples where he would have been rejected by women. Oddly enough, there are none, unless we count a girl who pushed and yelled at him in childhood, because he first bumped into her. Other examples are of the type where a woman he smiled at didn’t smile at him, where a woman he said “hi” to didn’t respond. If female rejection was what he mostly blamed for his suffering, where is that rejection in his manifesto? Or did he expect women to flock to him, without any necessity to make an effort to meet them or talk to them?

    This really comes through in the manifesto. There are several episodes described in which he’s attracted to a woman, wants to talk to her, decides she would reject him, and concludes on that basis that she is hurtful or torturing. He saw women as villainous and cruel simply for kissing or dating other men, especially men he didn’t think deserved to possess them.

  102. says

    For what it’s worth, the manifesto did seem to say that Rodgers did not believe his day of retribution was actually practical until he had his glock in hand:

    But that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t have committed serial/mass violence if guns had been unavailable. He surely would have, and his fantasies and actual violence involved other weapons (and, in the case of the cliff incident, none).

    “After I picked up the handgun, I brought it back to my room and felt a new sense of power. I was now armed.”

    Yes, as Nerd suggested, gun culture is part of the patriarchal culture of violence we’re talking about.

  103. Gregory Greenwood says

    The hideous violence and misogyny of Rodger are horrifying, but the insidious mentality of Faux News manages to further compound tragedy with cynical exploitation to advance a poisonous political agenda. The bodies are barely cold, and yet here are the Fox zombie talking heads scrabbling for any opportunity to throw out some casual ableism and homophobia; to try to lay the blame at the feet of some of society’s most marginalised and vulnerable groups rather than deal with the strong liklihood that Rodger was neurotypical and simply warped by our misogyny-saturated society to such an extent that he had no difficulty dehumanising and subsequently murdering women, in no small part due to a steady diet of toxic sexism from various sources, mainstream popular culture and pseudo-journalism such as that produced by Faux News undoubtedly among them.

    That is the reality that so many of the aforementioned talking heads are trying so hard to ignore – Rodgers was most likely not suffering from any diagnoseable form of mental illness, and even if he was that alone is not sufficient to explain his behaviour. Nor was he some monster completely lacking kinship with ‘normal’ people. Rodgers was, almost certainly, neurotypical, with an entirely ordinary and unremarkable brain very much like those of billions of others. It wasn’t something broken in his biology or neurophysiology that made him do this, it was something broken in our society; our culture shaped him into what he became, and we all share some portion of the blame for that. But it is so much easier to just declare him a monster, use him to smear the targets of popular hatred de jour, and then make all haste to return to business as usual – which of course will include yet more heaped helpings of misogyny, sexual objectification, and tropes about the notional untrustworthiness of women.

    That is, at least in part, what Faux News and other organisations like it trade in; reassuring us that we are nothing like the Rodgers of the world, and that we hold no responsibility for the structure and cultural mores of the society that creates them. It is an easy pill to swallow, absolving us of any involvement as it does, and that is why it is so very profitable.

  104. says

    Yes, better gun control is needed.

    However, this particular incident also brings to light the consequences of teaching violent misogyny to young people, especially young men, on a societal scale.

    Suppose Elliot Rodger did find someone who was willing to have sex with. Given his own words, I find it hard to believe that he would not have ended up visiting some violence this unlucky woman, or even killing her.

    If he had done this, it would have still been a hate crime motivated by the hatred of women as a class. But it would not have made the news. As so many millions of other similar murders and beatings do not, being classified under the boring, ordinary designation of “domestic violence.”

    Globally, 1 in 3 women becomes a victim of this sort of violence. Even in countries where guns are not accessible.

    That’s why the gun discussion is a derail here. So please stop.

  105. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    SallyStrange Thank you, that’s exactly what I was trying to say. This part is especially true:

    If he had done this, it would have still been a hate crime motivated by the hatred of women as a class. But it would not have made the news. As so many millions of other similar murders and beatings do not, being classified under the boring, ordinary designation of “domestic violence.”

  106. says

    FO –

    Was he a misogynistic jackass because he is involuntarily celibate, or, should we actually use some logic and rationality to consider the fucking possibility that maybe he is involuntarily celibate because he was a misogynistic jackass and that maybe, just maybe, and I know this is a stretch for you to consider because it means you have to think of women as people, maybe women aren’t obligated to put out for people who treat them like shit?

  107. Gregory Greenwood says

    SallyStrange @ 122;

    Suppose Elliot Rodger did find someone who was willing to have sex with. Given his own words, I find it hard to believe that he would not have ended up visiting some violence this unlucky woman, or even killing her.

    If he had done this, it would have still been a hate crime motivated by the hatred of women as a class. But it would not have made the news. As so many millions of other similar murders and beatings do not, being classified under the boring, ordinary designation of “domestic violence.”

    Quoted for (depressing and horrifying) truth.

    Globally, 1 in 3 women becomes a victim of this sort of violence.

    And even that may be a conservative figure.

    Even in countries where guns are not accessible.

    Exactly – the UK has some of the tightest gun controls in the world, and yet over here we have been experiencing an epidemic of violence against women that has been ongoing for decades and shows no signs of abating.

    The ready availability of guns magnifies the problem of gendered violence (and indeed all forms of violence), especially with regard to the potential for mass casualties, but it most certainly doesn’t cause the problem on its own.

  108. says

    Suppose Elliot Rodger did find someone who was willing to have sex with. Given his own words, I find it hard to believe that he would not have ended up visiting some violence this unlucky woman, or even killing her.

    Almost certainly, because this was about his basic identity and feelings of extreme worthlessness alternating with grandiosity. If it were a woman he considered beneath him, he would have felt reminded of his perceived low status and worth, felt defeated, and hated her for it. If it were a woman he considered worthy, he would have felt anything other than adoration, or his own sexual difficulties, as the deepest humiliation, and hated her for it. If she didn’t want to be his girlfriend or went out with other men, he would have been humiliated and enraged. He discusses prostitutes at one point in the manifesto, and says essentially that he thinks having sex with a prostitute would only ultimately remind him of his failure and leave him feeling worthless. It seems likely that these would be the emotions he would have experienced, and that there’s a good chance he would have become violent in that situation and perhaps even serially violent.

  109. daved says

    Let me get this straight. The mail-order-degree psychologist on Fox is a Bad Person for diagnosing the shooter, whom she has never met, as gay and schizophrenic.

    However, it’s no problem if PZ diagnoses the same guy, whom he also has never met, with

    The real culprit in all of this is a culture of thriving misogyny, in which women are dehumanized and regarded as grudging dispensers of sex candy, who must be punished if they don’t do their job of servicing men.

    This also fails to explain why Rodger’s first three victims were his male roommates, who he stabbed to death.

  110. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Daved, there is no need to diagnose him with severe misogyny, since the shooter himself so handily did that for us. He stabbed his roommates, according to him, because he thought they were going to stop or in some way hinder the execution of his plans to kill all the sorority girls.

  111. says

    Ryan @106:

    Well, the intention is certainly not downplay the sexism/rascism problems that plague the world, but without a gun the kid is just an angry, sexist kid. With a gun he’s a mass murderer. So yes, while we would like change peoples views I reckon we might want to take all their guns away first.

    As I’m sure others have pointed out by now, one can speak out against the misogynistic attitudes that enabled Rodgers’ actions *and* advocate for stronger gun control. While you’re right that a lack of guns would have been an impediment to his desire to kill a lot of women, taking all their guns away first is [sadly] not an option in the US. We can’t even get sensible gun control legislation…we’re certainly not going to be able to take any guns away.

  112. says

    daved:

    Let me get this straight. The mail-order-degree psychologist on Fox is a Bad Person for diagnosing the shooter, whom she has never met, as gay and schizophrenic.

    However, it’s no problem if PZ diagnoses the same guy, whom he also has never met, with

    The real culprit in all of this is a culture of thriving misogyny, in which women are dehumanized and regarded as grudging dispensers of sex candy, who must be punished if they don’t do their job of servicing men.

    This also fails to explain why Rodger’s first three victims were his male roommates, who he stabbed to death.

    Are you seriously doubting that his misogyny was a significant factor (if not *the* significant factor) in his murder spree? If you do a little searching online, you can find his own words. Here’s a transcript of his last video:

    “This is my last video. It all has to come to this. Tomorrow is the day of retribution; the day in which I will have my revenge against humanity. Against all of you.

    “For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I have been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires. All because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men but never to me. I am 22, and I am still a virgin. I have never even kissed a girl. I have been through college for 21 / 2 years, more than that actually, and I am still a virgin. It has been very torturous.

    “College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. In those years, I have had to rot in loneliness. It is not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted me. But I will punish you all for it. It is an injustice, a crime. I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I am the perfect guy, and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me — the supreme gentleman. I will punish all of you for it.

    “On the day of retribution, I am going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB, and I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up blond slut I see inside there.

    “All those girls that I have desired so much, they all rejected me and looked down on me as an inferior man . . . while they throw themselves at these obnoxious brutes. I will take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one. The true alpha male.

    “After I have annihilated every single girl in the sorority house, I will take to the streets of Isle Vista and slay every single person I see there. All those popular kids who live such lives of hedonistic pleasure while I have had to rot in loneliness all these years . . . now, I will be a god compared to you. You will all be animals. You are animals, and I will slaughter you like animals. I will be a god, exacting my retribution on all those who deserve it. And you do deserve it, just for the crime of living a better life than me. All you popular kids, you never accepted me, and now you will all pay for it.

    “Girls, all I have ever wanted was to love you and to be loved by you. I wanted a girlfriend, I wanted sex, I wanted love, affection, adoration. You think I am unworthy of it. That is a crime that can never be forgiven. If I can’t have you, girls, I will destroy you. You denied me a happy life, and in turn I will deny all of you life. It is only fair. I hate all of you. Humanity is a disgusting, wretched, depraved species. If I had it in my power, I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls, rivers of blood. You deserve to be annihilated. I will give that to you. You never showed me any mercy, so I will show you none. You forced me to suffer all my life, now I will make all of you suffer.

    “I have waited a long time for this. I will give you exactly what you deserve, all of you, all you girls who rejected me, looked down on me, and, you know, treated me like scum while you gave yourselves to other men. All of you men for living a better life than me. I hate you. I hate all of you. I can’t wait to give you what you deserve: utter annihilation.”

    Can you read that and *not* see the misogyny (and the fuckton of toxic masculinity he absorbed)?
    Oh, and _yes_ he did kill his male roommates. Does that someone magically mean his desire to kill a lot of women wasn’t due to his hatred of women?

  113. says

    http://thinkprogress.org/home/2014/05/25/3441489/yesallwomen/

    n the online reaction to the tragedy, nothing has matched the conversation that began with a simple hashtag, #YesAllWomen.

    The hashtag is a response to a “Not all men” meme that’s surfaced over the past few months. “Not all men” is an objection that’s used to dismiss the issue of violence against women and misogyny in society, simply because not all men are like that. Turning that language around with #yesallwomen refocuses the conversation on the fact that all women, at some point, face objectification. This occurs on a daily basis, but stories about women who are victims of domestic violence or street harassment don’t attract national attention.

    The person who created the hashtag hoped to show that even though not all men are violent, objectification is widespread:

    Guys, I’m going to be tweeting under the #YesAllWomen hashtag. Let’s discuss what “not all men” might do, but women must fear.
    — Kaye M. (@gildedspine) May 24, 2014

    At its peak, 51,000 tweets an hour called out the harassment, threats, and abuse that women face from men who are taught to feel entitled to women’s bodies.

    Examples of some of the memorable tweets can be read at the link.

  114. says

    More TV propaganda for treating women badly, this time a reality TV show:

    A British man named Matt Hicks, who kind of resembles Prince Harry, impersonates him for 12 American women who think they are on a dating show. This is so obviously mean-spirited and disingenuous, the show’s only recourse is to pretend that it is not. To do this, the show presents Matt as just in it for love. Matt is a “poor” guy (please ignore his upper-class accent) who cleans up oil spills and is never given the time of day by the women he deserves. “Can love survive when fame, wealth, and status melt away?” the show asks, framing the story as one in which it is Matt, and not the women, who’s taking the big risk. He’s opening up his heart even though it is possible he will be rejected—not for being a liar and a manipulator, but just for his blameless status as a non-prince. What non-prince among us cannot relate? […]

    Slate link.

  115. neuroguy says

    The real culprit in all of this is a culture of thriving misogyny, in which women are dehumanized and regarded as grudging dispensers of sex candy, who must be punished if they don’t do their job of servicing men.

    This statement is absolutely true as far as it goes. I would add they are also punished apparently (according to the video) if they service the wrong men. Women are deemed incapable of any sexual agency of their own. But the problem is much deeper than this. The whole social construction of gender needs to be deconstructed before there can be any real improvement here.

    Before I go on, I know I am going to get a flurry of knee-jerk “what about teh poor wittle menz” responses. You, frankly, are idiots. We are talking about male violence against women, and the law can only do so much; men’s attitudes need to change for it to be reduced. And if you want to change men’s attitudes, you are, ipso facto, going to have to focus on men, at least to some extent. And that means you need to focus on masculinity. Toxic masculinity needs to be deconstructed or destroyed; but also, a healthy masculinity needs to be put in its place.

    I find it noteworthy that the only male-specific problem that garners significant attention in our culture is erectile dysfunction. There are others which should garner attention such as prison rape (there are organizations and individuals which fight against this, but I am talking about how it is perceived in our culture). Why is this? Because masculinity is constructed as performance; if a man doesn’t perform, he is, therefore, a failure. Male sexuality is not constructed as intimacy but rather performance. If you’re still a virgin by age 22 you are therefore a Failure with a capital F. I’m quite sure Rodger absorbed THAT message loud and clear also. The feeling of sexual entitlement we see in some men is primarily in those who have performed in some other way (e.g. athletes). Because performance makes him a “real man” and of course all women want a “real man”. And performance needs a scorecard, so the measure of his being a “real man” is how many notches accumulate on his bedpost.

    What is the connection with violence? It is twofold. First, if lack of performance is the worst thing, even worse than a failure to connect and empathize with people (which is how it’s regarded), than logically any obstacle must be overcome via any means necessary no matter what damage it may cause to others. Second, constructing masculinity as performance dehumanizes men. Doesn’t matter what we think, what we feel, whether we are hurting, as long as we perform and produce. Lack of empathy towards us results in lack of empathy from us. Men are socialized to think like this from an early age, to just suck it up and take it under penalty of not being a “real man”. Men are socialized to be providers for their children, which is the “manly” thing, but it is deemed “effeminate”, even creepy perhaps, for them to have a deep emotional relationship.

    So, I’m not a “real man” and proud of it. I’m not raising my sons to be “real men” either. The whole concept is as toxic as nuclear waste and inexorably leads to violence against women and other men.

  116. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And that means you need to focus on masculinity. Toxic masculinity needs to be deconstructed or destroyed; but also, a healthy masculinity needs to be put in its place.

    Yet you have no plan for that. Only getting your rocks off.

  117. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Welcome to feminism, neuroguy. Where prescribed gender roles are called out for the shit it is. (now can you hie thee to the other thread? there are so many unanswered questions, and I find it hard to interact decently here while you said some pretty shitty things there.)

  118. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    I’m disgusted by the various arguments that if only Rodger had been able to have sex, then “this tragedy would have been averted!!!”

    Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

    What would have resulted is a(nother) dead sex worker that no one would have cared about, because who cares about dead sex workers?

    What would have resulted is a(nother) woman brutalized and/or killed by her partner, passed off as “domestic violence,” and she would have been blamed for her own ordeal – because she should have avoided him.

  119. says

    Nerd:

    Yet you have no plan for that. Only getting your rocks off

    In all fairness, neuroguy did say this:

    So, I’m not a “real man” and proud of it. I’m not raising my sons to be “real men” either. The whole concept is as toxic as nuclear waste and inexorably leads to violence against women and other men.

    Toxic Masculinity manifests in so many ways that it may be extremely difficult (impossible?) to raise one’s children without some of that shit creeping in, but neuroguy sounds like xe is making a real attempt at that. Please don’t dismiss that.

    ****

    Gen:

    (now can you hie thee to the other thread? there are so many unanswered questions, and I find it hard to interact decently here while you said some pretty shitty things there.)

    All of ^^^^this goes for me as well.

  120. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @neuroguy:

    I find it noteworthy that the only male-specific problem that garners significant attention in our culture is erectile dysfunction.

    You luuuv you some availability heuristic, don’t you?

    I had more, but really it amounts to you failing to notice things, like that discussions of masculinity are an incredibly major topic in feminism. If you think the feminists are against killing compulsory masculinity, wrapping it with some bricks, and dumping it in the Marianas Trench, you really don’t get what drives feminists.

  121. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Esteleth:

    I’m disgusted by the various arguments that if only Rodger had been able to have sex, then “this tragedy would have been averted!!!”

    Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

    What would have resulted is a(nother) dead sex worker that no one would have cared about, because who cares about dead sex workers?

    Thank you. I didn’t do enough to counter that in the other thread. If he had hired a contact sex worker, there would have been a serious risk to her (“her” given Rodger’s expressed preferences) life. If he’d focussed murderous rage on one person – and the first person to have sex with him almost certainly would have become the focus of his murderous rage, whether a sex worker or just a sex partner – and successfully killed that person without getting caught, or without receiving a life sentence, I can easily see him becoming a serial killer and not a spree killer.

    Frankly, he could have done even more damage that way, though I don’t in any way mean to imply the damage he did do wasn’t already horrific.

  122. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Pretty much the only thing that makes Rodger unusual is the “spree” part of his killing. If he, like many other men, had killed as many people over many years, he would just be another “man with anger issues” and a “history of domestic violence.”

  123. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tony, NG’s whole argument on the Gentleman thread was if there were social/sex workers available, the tragedy would never have happened. Then he avoided any and all concepts that women had choices that didn’t involve the wishes of men.

    Sorry, I don’t look very charitably on anybody who doesn’t understand the need for “cotillion“, which I remembered while reading the threads from an episode of Northern Exposure, where the townspeople periodically reviewed the etiquette of the various tribes in the area so toes weren’t unnecessarily stepped on. Just simple things like this tribe’s hostess expects you not to finish a plate, but this other tribe’s hostess does.

    My point is there are things in place to teach folks how to properly interact with other people, including how to approach and talk to both men and women. And yet, no plan or even real suggestions were given.

  124. doublereed says

    It makes me wonder whether sex/gender should be a factor for a bias-crime. This is a rather shocking case of it. But I don’t anyone can question whether or not this is a hate crime against women. That’s obviously the motivating factor.

    Pretty much the only thing that makes Rodger unusual is the “spree” part of his killing. If he, like many other men, had killed as many people over many years, he would just be another “man with anger issues” and a “history of domestic violence.”

    So the unusual part of what he did was what he actually did? Kind of a strange point.

    I really don’t understand why people are trying to say that Rodger was normal. I guess it’s to say that the problem is a larger cultural problem rather than a random anomaly. Okay. That’s certainly true. But killing sprees are not normal, even for misogynists.

  125. says

    So the unusual part of what he did was what he actually did? Kind of a strange point.

    No, you fool, the unusual part was that he killed a bunch at once instead of one at a time.

  126. neuroguy says

    @135:

    Yet you have no plan for that. Only getting your rocks off.

    Oh yes the “men are pigs” meme. OMG I actually have sexual desires! The horror! Even worse, I’m fulfilling them! Oh, and that even before having figured out the grand solution to toxic masculinity! No I’m not going to be ashamed about that, sorry. Apparently slut-shaming is a horrible thing if done to women but just fine if done to men. And you wonder where MRAs come from. YOU are the problem. You don’t really regard men as fully human as women.

    @136:

    Welcome to feminism, neuroguy. Where prescribed gender roles are called out for the shit it is. (now can you hie thee to the other thread? there are so many unanswered questions, and I find it hard to interact decently here while you said some pretty shitty things there.)

    I’m done with that 500+ post thread where my words were twisted and contorted beyond belief, and everyone acting like haughty moral paragons while refuting strawmen. If you don’t want to interact here, your choice. I may take that discussion to Thunderdome the next time one opens up but I’m done on that thread.

    As for feminism, yes it calls out prescribed gender roles, but it fails to fundamentally deconstruct gender; specifically, the construction of masculinity as performance, even if what is done is different than before. There are plenty of feminists who will laugh at 22-year-old virgins as “losers who couldn’t get laid”. There are plenty of feminists who fight tooth-and-nail against fathers’ rights activists – claiming ALL they are after is using the children as pawns in their drive to keep power over women. (And don’t go No True Scotsman on me, please.)

    @139:

    I had more, but really it amounts to you failing to notice things, like that discussions of masculinity are an incredibly major topic in feminism. If you think the feminists are against killing compulsory masculinity, wrapping it with some bricks, and dumping it in the Marianas Trench, you really don’t get what drives feminists.

    So where in the world did I deny that discussions of masculinity are a major topic in feminism. I know this. Feminists would like to dump toxic masculinity in the Marianas Trench, yes, but what do they have to put in its place?

  127. neuroguy says

    @142:

    Tony, NG’s whole argument on the Gentleman thread was if there were social/sex workers available, the tragedy would never have happened. Then he avoided any and all concepts that women had choices that didn’t involve the wishes of men.

    Bullshit. Like several others on that thread, you’re a brazen liar.

  128. says

    @143
    doublereed

    But I don’t anyone can question whether or not this is a hate crime against women. That’s obviously the motivating factor.

    Yes it is obvious, but never underestimate the obliviousness and denial that people can have. I’ve seen people completely deny that. But maybe you were talking about a certain set of people, not the entire population.

  129. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Neuroguy:

    As for feminism, yes it calls out prescribed gender roles, but it fails to fundamentally deconstruct gender; specifically, the construction of masculinity as performance, even if what is done is different than before.

    There is, in fact, a strain of feminism that does seek to “fundamentally deconstruct gender.” It’s called radical feminism.

    Fun fact!

    As for what feminists would like to replace toxic masculinity with, the general consensus amongst the various streams of feminism is “egalitarianism.”

  130. says

    @neuroguy

    You’re a really bad communicator at best.

    The most you can probably contribute is to get out of the way so that discussion no longer gets tangled in whatever you are really trying to say.

    You’re also wrong about things like:

    As for feminism, yes it calls out prescribed gender roles, but it fails to fundamentally deconstruct gender; specifically, the construction of masculinity as performance, even if what is done is different than before.

    ?? like, I’ve seen feminist discussion of exactly that.

  131. throwaway says

    Neuroguy bleats in 147:

    but what do they have to put in its place?

    Try an absence of toxic masculinity. That seems like a great thing to put in the place of the presence of toxic masculinity. Are you really saying that it would create a voluminous gap? By which method do you come to such a conclusion – that something would need to be replacing it?

  132. chigau (違う) says

    neuroguy
    The Thunderdome is always open.
    Link is in the sidebar above PZ’s photo.

  133. throwaway says

    To answer my own question: I presume the method is similar to that which rhymes with “nut thump it” and involves an orchestration of the puborectalis and sphincter.

  134. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Thanks, Esteleth, #150, for the fun fact. Saved me from typing it.

    @neuroguy, 147

    So where in the world did I deny that discussions of masculinity are a major topic in feminism.

    Uhh, I got it in #134, from here:

    And if you want to change men’s attitudes, you are, ipso facto, going to have to focus on men, at least to some extent. And that means you need to focus on masculinity.

    If you aren’t focusing on men and masculinity “at least to some extent”, aren’t you focussing on it *to no extent at all*?

    The problem here may be the “you”. You might have simply meant “feminist Hordemembers” rather than “feminists generally”

    But even there, if you know that it’s a major topic of feminism, and you know that there are a lot of feminists here, why would you think for a minute that we don’t focus on masculinity “at least to some extent”.

    Or do you mean that you haven’t read any threads on pharyngula that deal with masculinity? Because, again, availability heuristic is not a very effective argument here. Instead, you could try to go ogle “masculinity site:freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula” without the quotes and see where that gets you.

    Feminists would like to dump toxic masculinity in the Marianas Trench, yes, but what do they have to put in its place?

    First, I said “compulsory masculinity” and, well, okay, now I’m just spitballing here*, and with your healthy masculinity and Esteleth’s “egalitarianism” maybe I’m just getting myself in trouble, but I have this totes bonkers idea:

    What about we replace compulsory masculinity (and compulsory femininity) with **nothing**.

    *what the hell does that even mean? I speak english and I know it’s an idiom, but an idiom invoking what?

  135. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Neuroguy you should check out the work of Michael Kimmel and other male feminists like him. They’ve devoted a lot of work on the field of masculinities.

  136. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Apparently slut-shaming is a horrible thing if done to women but just fine if done to men. And you wonder where MRAs come from. YOU are the problem. You don’t really regard men as fully human as women.

    Fuckwitted MRA answer to an obvious point. Why should I believe anything you say, when nothing is evidenced….

  137. says

    You don’t want to go back to that other thread because then it would be even more difficult to deny that the problem is you and your bad ideas and shitty communication, not everyone up and deciding to suddenly be a bunch of liars, neuroguy.

  138. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Arrrgh! Throwaway, you black-clad, tabi-wearing, shuriken-throwing, incompetent-in-circular-groups-but-lethal-alone super-assassin!

  139. says

    As was noted and documented on the other thread, neuroguy has something significant in common with Elliot Rodger: that is, his theory about why “most men” aren’t having as much sex as they want.

    It’s society’s fault (my position). Society, dominated as it is by rich and powerful men, would like to have all the women to themselves. Therefore most men in my view are set up to fail with regard to women.

    This is pretty much exactly Elliot Rodger’s theory too.

    Does this set off any warning bells for you, neuroguy? It should.

  140. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    neuroguy @ 147

    There are plenty of feminists who fight tooth-and-nail against fathers’ rights activists – claiming ALL they are after is using the children as pawns in their drive to keep power over women. (And don’t go No True Scotsman on me, please.)

    Yes, there are people who call themselves feminist while arguably misplacing their efforts. These people are not evidence that feminism as a movement has failed to “fundamentally deconstruct gender.” Preemptively playing your Limited Edition Gold Foil No True Scotsman Card doesn’t give you a free pass to claim whateverthefuck you want without challenge.

    What does “fundamentally deconstruct gender” mean and what does it look like when it happens? Who exactly has tried and failed to do it and on what grounds do you judge that they’ve failed? Or are you claiming that nobody has tried? Show your fucking work, jackass.

  141. throwaway says

    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden @

    Arrrgh! Throwaway, you black-clad, tabi-wearing, shuriken-throwing, incompetent-in-circular-groups-but-lethal-alone super-assassin!

    What can I say, I love picking the low-hanging fruit!

    *smoke bomb vanish*

  142. says

    neuroguy

    And you wonder where MRAs come from

    Yep, it’s our fault, just like it was the fault of those blonde sl*ts.

    I’m done with that 500+ post thread where my words were twisted and contorted beyond belief

    So you’re going to infest another thread…
    Here’s an idea: The problem is you. It’s not that other people twist your innocent words, it’s that you write shit and are then surprised at the reactions. Maybe that’s totally not what you want to say, who knows? Learn to express yourself in a way people understand what you mean instead of complaining about the fact that people react to what you write.

    Bullshit. Like several others on that thread, you’re a brazen liar.

    Yeah, she lied by quoting you…

  143. says

    Yep, it’s our fault, just like it was the fault of those blonde sl*ts.

    Gosh, is that another point of similarity between neuroguy and Elliot Rodger? How strange and surprising. Whatever shall we make of it?

  144. says

    bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahaha

    the last refuge of the moronic incompetant. “all you fuckers just don’t understand me. stop quoting my words at me, that’s lying abuse”

    Neuroguy, people have given you a lot of benefits of the doubt. You’re simply unable or unwilling to accept that your words do not say what you apparently think they claim to say. You are unable or unwilling to accept that you are not expressing yourself clearly (at best), or that we see through your wordplay into your actual claims and call them out for being the unmittigated horrible bullshit that they are.

    The onus is not on *us*, it is on *you*. You are either expressing yourself shittily, *or* you are a terrible fucking human being.

  145. Al Dente says

    neuroguy @147

    I’m done with that 500+ post thread where my words were twisted and contorted beyond belief, and everyone acting like haughty moral paragons while refuting strawmen.

    If everyone else is “twisting” and “contorting” what you say then perhaps the problem isn’t with them. Maybe you’re poor at communicating your ideas, maybe you haven’t thought of all the implications of what you’ve written, or maybe all these other people find your ideas obnoxious. Please note that these alternatives are not exclusionary.

  146. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    NG:

    I’m done with that 500+ post thread where my words were twisted and contorted beyond belief, and everyone acting like haughty moral paragons while refuting strawmen.

    In other words, you had your ass handed to several times, and you are unable to refute any argument against you. You have shown a history of sympathy for the MRA lies and bullshit. Noting you have said in the last couple of days has truly refuted that, just hand-waving stirring chaff in the air. Not until you can consider and accept you could be and are wrong, can you discuss this matter with intellectual honesty. And we are still waiting for you to get there….

  147. Tethys says

    Yeah, she lied by quoting you…

    Yep, horrible brazen behavior on my part.

    I wonder if he thinks I can’t see and comment on this thread too?

  148. says

    SallyStrange:

    How about nurturing masculinity? I like that kind of masculinity.

    Though this is obviously positive, doesn’t it still effectively say “these are the roles or characteristics that the typical man should possess”?

  149. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Well, for variety, we could say, “these are the roles/characteristics that the typical person should possess, no matter the arrangement of their genitals or their gender identity.”

  150. Gregory Greenwood says

    neuroguy @ 147;

    Oh yes the “men are pigs” meme. OMG I actually have sexual desires! The horror! Even worse, I’m fulfilling them! Oh, and that even before having figured out the grand solution to toxic masculinity! No I’m not going to be ashamed about that, sorry. Apparently slut-shaming is a horrible thing if done to women but just fine if done to men. And you wonder where MRAs come from. YOU are the problem. You don’t really regard men as fully human as women.

    I am pretty sure that MRAs need no encouragement to hate women. All they require is an unfounded sense of entitlement to sexual contact with women’s bodies paired with reality steadfastly refusing to indulge their delusions. If you are seriously suggesting that MRAs only exist because of ‘mean’ or ‘shrill’ feminists, then I really think that you need to wade through the cesspool that is MRA hate sites like AVfM for a while, and see for yourself how deep that well of obsessive, misogynistic hatred really goes.

    I’m done with that 500+ post thread where my words were twisted and contorted beyond belief, and everyone acting like haughty moral paragons while refuting strawmen. If you don’t want to interact here, your choice. I may take that discussion to Thunderdome the next time one opens up but I’m done on that thread.

    Are you sure that this is a fair assessment of what happened on that thread? Ask yourself; when a substantial number of people – many of whom are well educated in this specific field and used to debates on such issues – all seem to ‘misunderstand’ your points, and all to do so in the same manner, then which option is more parsimonious:-

    1) That they are all conspiring together to twist your words in pursuit of some evil hive mind imperative, or are all too incompetent to understand your masterful rhetoric.

    2) That you are failing to communicate effectively, or your argument is simply weak and poorly thought out.

    Is not the second option at least a credible possibility?

    As for feminism, yes it calls out prescribed gender roles, but it fails to fundamentally deconstruct gender; specifically, the construction of masculinity as performance, even if what is done is different than before. There are plenty of feminists who will laugh at 22-year-old virgins as “losers who couldn’t get laid”. There are plenty of feminists who fight tooth-and-nail against fathers’ rights activists – claiming ALL they are after is using the children as pawns in their drive to keep power over women. (And don’t go No True Scotsman on me, please.)

    You do know that there is an entire subset of feminist disciplines that deal explicitly with the many and varied ways in which the patriarchy hurts men too, right? Including the performative aspects of masculinity and the forms of gender performance policing that punish men who fail to conform to the expressions and manifestations of masculinity considered ‘acceptably’ heteronormative in our culture? It is not as though these issues have never occured to feminist thinkers, or have been left to one side abandoned and unexplored. They form a mainstream component of modern feminist thought and research.

    You may get some individual feminists who behave poorly in some circumstances, but that is hardly sufficient to invalidate the entirety of feminist thought, in the same way that the existence of people like Thunderfoot doesn’t invalidate all of atheism.

    So where in the world did I deny that discussions of masculinity are a major topic in feminism. I know this. Feminists would like to dump toxic masculinity in the Marianas Trench, yes, but what do they have to put in its place?

    A more egalitarian, progressive masculinity that is not constructed as opposed to – or dominant over – femininity, and is less dependent on toxic in group/out group dynamics and gender policing. A masculinity that can form one component of idenity, rather than acting as a suffocating straightjacket that supposdly determines the whole of one’s idenity, or at least of one’s sense of self worth.

    Wouldn’t that construction of masculinity be better for everyone?

  151. doublereed says

    I’m probably wrong about this, but I was under the impression that it was called “feminism” because it was about redefining femininity. As in, being ‘feminine’ can now also mean being strong and confident, etc. To quote Lauren Faust, “there are many ways to be a girl.” Essentially just reconstructing gender norms to a more inclusive idea.

    It seems to me only natural that this concept would extend to masculinity as well, where more traditionally feminine roles are also considered masculine like nurturing and caution.

  152. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Point of fact, doublereed, it’s called “feminism” because it was originally conceived as advocating for women and women’s rights. The first usage was in the 1850s.

  153. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @doublereed:

    It was originally a french term, which strictly translated would be “womanism”, but it was imported rather than translated. I don’t know enough about the earliest uses of the term to know exactly why that was chosen over other options, and which options were considered, but it’s unlikely to have had anything to do with redefining femininity as we understand it. The earliest first wave feminists (as a distinct group) were contractarians. It was about gaining equal rights and privileges in relation to the state. Cultural change was presumed to flow from having a different relationship to the state. If some really wanted to throw off the hoop skirts (perhaps like George Sand), changing legal rights against and obligations to the state would seem to be playing an awfully long game.

    But again, Wollstonecraft – Seneca Falls is not my area of expertise.

  154. FO says

    @Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- #97
    “you need to make a positive case for your assertion.”

    @Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk, #101
    “are you suggesting that we should classify “involuntary celibacy” as a mental illness?”

    “Involuntary celibacy” would be a really poor name…
    I have been obsessed with women since before I had memory, since before I would find them attractive or had any interest in sex. Even my parents joked about it.
    I have no clue about its origin and I hate it with a passion.
    My frustration for my perceived lack of appeal to women led me to severe depression and close enough to suicide that I actually scared myself.
    Go ahead and dismiss me like everyone has always done: even if it is a delusion it doesn’t change the fact that for the person, for me, it is real.

    If it happened to me, it could happen to a different person.
    This person, being different, may vent its frustration in a different way than I did, possibly violent.

    As this person’s suffering is routinely dismissed, the person is more and more alienated, the frustration and sense of betrayal from the society grows.
    Compassion withers, a wounded ego grows.
    Eventually the person rejects the rules of the society in bulk and buys into whatever hateful ideas appeal to his ego.

    @Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm, #100
    Fair, let’s agree on miscommunication.

    My argument is that the misogyny and violence that caused this tragedy feed on this frustration.
    If you understand this frustration, you understand one of the sources of misogyny and violence and you have better means to reduce them.

    I agree that the frustration and suffering are entirely self-inflicted, and I accept that they may be entirely delusional.
    But for the person they are very real.

  155. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    FO @ 179

    My argument is that the misogyny and violence that caused this tragedy feed on this frustration.
    If you understand this frustration, you understand one of the sources of misogyny and violence and you have better means to reduce them.

    Citation fucking needed.

  156. says

    Hey, FO

    I’ve gone through what you described. In some ways, still am.

    Wanna know a secret?
    The problem was me, not everyone else. If people had catered to me, it would only have reinforced the wrong and damaging ideas I had.

  157. says

    —-My argument is that the misogyny and violence that caused this tragedy feed on this frustration.
    If you understand this frustration, you understand one of the sources of misogyny and violence and you have better means to reduce them.—

    Why is your inability to get laid the fault of women?

    You keep saying B follows A, when that’s not the case.

    I ask again, why do you refuse to consider the possibility that the reason women won’t sleep with this guy is because he is an entitled, misogynistic asshat, instead of this idea you are dead set on that he is an entitled misogynistic asshat because women won’t sleep with him?

  158. says

    —-I have been obsessed with women since before I had memory, since before I would find them attractive or had any interest in sex. Even my parents joked about it.—

    There is your problem, right there. You don’t see women as people. You see them as something put on earth for your enjoyment.

    Guess what, jackass? It so happens that a lot of women find being treated like objects of obsession to be creepy and a major turn off.

  159. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Monitor note:
    Please remember to use html tags:

    Use the HTML tags listed below the comment box. In particular, use “blockquote” when quoting someone.

    <blockquote>quoted words</blockquote>

    gets you:

    quoted words

  160. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Monitor note:
    Please remember to use Nyms and/or comment numbers:

    If you are replying to a specific comment, use the comment number and poster’s name.

    From: The Rules

  161. ck says

    Are we still talking about the idea that all this guy really needed was to get laid? I think plenty of people have made the case that him getting laid would’ve changed little (except maybe the body count). If you want to be disabused of that notion just read the guy’s autobiography. The thread throughout all of it is entitled, resentful, and very, very angry.

  162. says

    The problem with the hypothesis that lack of sex causes misogyny is that misogyny flourished during the times when all men were pretty much guaranteed a wife to have sex with or beat or both, as he pleased.

  163. F.O. says

    @Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm #180
    “Citation fucking needed”
    Do you realize I’m not talking about sexual frustration?
    Also, ehm, no. If you limit your discussion to what has already been scientifically established in the peer-reviewed literature, you will not be able to address any new problem.
    But hey, I’ll humor you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frustration%E2%80%93aggression_hypothesis

    @Tashiliciously Shriked #182
    Yes. Exactly! The problem is that it is a secret.
    Think about why it took you so long to find out that the problem was you.
    Think about how you finally got there and were able to address your personal issues.

    What I am suggesting is definitely not “catering” or acconsenting to whatever the frustrated individual demands, but rather helping to realize exactly that the problem lies within themselves and that they can overcome it.

  164. F.O. says

    Also, my focus on the mental disease is misplaced.

    PZ, it is true that a lot of frustrated kids leave their teens without becoming violent.
    But many of them obviously end up in the ranks of the PUAs and the MRAs, which in turn create the misogynistic environment that enabled Elliot Rodger.

    Is it far-fetched to argue that the (non-sexual) powerlessness that they experienced with women made them angry and resentful?

  165. says

    FO:
    You ought to link to a primary source for such a claim.
    In any case, your wiki link has this to say:

    However, this theory has some problems. First, there is little empirical support for it, even though researchers have studied it for more than sixty years.[5] Another issue is that this theory suggests frustrated, prejudiced individuals should act more aggressively towards outgroups they are prejudiced against, but studies have shown that they are more aggressive towards everyone.[5] The theory also has limitations, for example it cannot say why some outgroups are chosen to be scapegoats and why others are not.

  166. says

    F.O.:

    But many of them obviously end up in the ranks of the PUAs and the MRAs, which in turn create the misogynistic environment that enabled Elliot Rodger.

    You do understand that misogyny is a pervasive problem in society, right? MRAs and PUAs didn’t create a misogynistic environment, they carved out an area {of any already sexist/misogynistic society} where they could crank the dial past 10.

  167. F.O. says

    @Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop! #191
    You are right, I let myself be caught in a red herring, which is what I wanted to convey with my last post: the focus should not be on a single individual, but on the environment that made him feel justified to murder innocents.

    Also please notice that my statement that “[..] PUAs and the MRAs [..] create the misogynistic environment that enabled Elliot Rodger.” is perfectly compatible with the idea that this (specific) misogynistic environment was built on top of an already vastly misogynistic society, statement to which I agree wholeheartedly.

    I really wonder if you are more interested in nitpicking to find me at fault or you are actually interested in what I am trying to say.

  168. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I really wonder if you are more interested in nitpicking to find me at fault or you are actually interested in what I am trying to say.

    If you are trying to say the MRA/PUA

  169. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, unknown keyboard shortcut caused a premature post #193.

    I really wonder if you are more interested in nitpicking to find me at fault or you are actually interested in what I am trying to say.

    If you are trying to say the MRA/PUA group should not be criticized since they helped you, not many of us will agree with you. They are evil hateful misogynists, and should be roundly criticized for the hate they fill society with. If you have any other point, we aren’t grasping it.

  170. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @FO

    Your claim was that this “frustration” is the cause of MISOGYNY. That is a very different claim than that frustration can cause individuals to scapegoat. You want to be taken seriously trying making a fucking coherent point.

  171. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    @FO

    I’m really trying to see your point here, but I have to point out that men are not alone in being desperately alone and frustrated. Like mentioned before, there are many, many women who are deemed “undesirable” by society who also go years, sometimes their whole lives, without any sexual or intimate relationships.

    Further, sexual prowess aren’t the only source of these feelings of frustration and alienation, especially in teens.

    I get that you are saying that some men feel disenfranchised, in which case I again suggest the work of Michael Kimmel and those feminists who work in the field of masculinity studies. Or just plain up straight mainstream feminism, you know. The feminists who laugh at men who are virgins are so rare as to not exist (none that I’ve seen, personally, and I’m always reading feminist blogs and stuff).

    You say that men who are disenfranchised and lonely end up at MRA sites and PUA sites, but come on. Even if they do end up there, surely there must be a point where they see how rankly and viciously misogynistic these sites are and start thinking “wait, maybe this shit is toxic, better look further”?

    At what point can men, even desperate, bitterly lonely men, be expected to take responsibility for their own self-improvement education in a way that doesn’t lead to the blind hatred and vitriol of the MRA/PUA?

  172. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Speaking of Michael Kimmel, he has an extremely interesting article on CNN written in December of 2012 but relevant in light of this shooting too.

    Some interesting quotes dealing with masculinity and entitlement:

    Motivations are hard to pin down, but gender is the single most obvious and intractable variable when it comes to violence in America. Men and boys are responsible for 95% of all violent crimes in this country. “Male criminal participation in serious crimes at any age greatly exceeds that of females, regardless of source of data, crime type, level of involvement, or measure of participation” is how the National Academy of Sciences summed up the extant research.

    How does masculinity figure into this? From an early age, boys learn that violence is not only an acceptable form of conflict resolution, but one that is admired. However the belief that violence is an inherently male characteristic is a fallacy. Most boys don’t carry weapons, and almost all don’t kill: are they not boys? Boys learn it.

    In talking to more than 400 young men for my book, “Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men,” I heard over and over again what they learn about violence. They learn that if they are crossed, they have the manly obligation to fight back. They learn that they are entitled to feel like a real man, and that they have the right to annihilate anyone who challenges that sense of entitlement.

    This sense of entitlement is part of the package deal of American manhood — the culture that doesn’t start the fight, as Margaret Mead pointed out in her analysis of American military history, but retaliates far out of proportion to the initial grievance. They learn that “aggrieved entitlement” is a legitimate justification for violent explosion.

    Until we transform that definition of manhood, this terrible equation of masculinity and violence will continue to produce such horrific sums.

  173. says

    And then there was this in the German news today:
    Over the last 5 years, German cops killed 40 people. 2/3 of them were not actually a danger to anybody except maybe themselves (I guess the cops solved that problem), but actually mentally ill people in the clinical sense that at that point in their lives they were completely out of their own control.
    Mentally ill people aren’t killers, they are being killed.

  174. specduckular says

    Meh…

    He killed men and women.

    Seems like an equal opportunity killer to me.

  175. Maureen Brian says

    specduckular,

    That is truly a spectacular failure to grab your own arse before it falls off.

    Mr Rodger, as explained in about 140 pages of Manifesto and multiple videos said that his plan was to kill women because they refused to have sex with him and to kill men because, though he regarded them as racially inferior to himself, these men seemed to be getting sex with the women who, he believed, rightly belonged to him.

    Do keep up.

  176. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Do keep up.

    “duck” is banned MRA troll. That’s the best it can do, being years behind reality.

  177. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Meh…

    He killed men and women.

    Seems like an equal opportunity killer to me.

    Hey, it’s not as if the killer himself stated very clearly and unequivocally in video format and in writing why he was going on his spree. I guess we can should just dismiss this.

  178. specduckular says

    Yeah….

    Can’t quite dismiss the fact that he killed these men.

    I guess actions speak louder than words.

  179. throwaway says

    specduckular:

    Can’t quite dismiss the fact that he killed these men.

    Yeah, don’t let his own words convince you, just look at the gender of the victims and draw conclusions from only that information.

    Fuckwit.

  180. throwaway says

    Finish this statement, specduckular: Elliot Rodger killed three men in his apartment because ______.

    A few hints: it wasn’t because they were opportunistic killings, nor was it simply due to their gender, nor was it likely to have been due to direct harm done to Elliot.

    What the fuck are you doing here specduckular? You can’t keep up yourself, nor are you obfuscating your biased shitweasling either. Do fuck off.

  181. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Can’t quite dismiss the fact that he killed these men.

    Gee, the killer was afraid they would stop his rampage. Not his target. What rock do you live under, and why are your ears covered to keep from learning things?

  182. A. Noyd says

    Why did Rodger also target men if he was motivated by misogyny? Three reasons:
    1) He was also a white supremacist.
    2) As is typical of many misogynists, he believed in a hierarchy of value among men beyond race: the whole alpha/beta/whatever deal.
    3) Because of misogyny, he saw women as sexual prizes, not fellow humans who should get to make their own choices. It enraged him to see “undeserving” men get these prizes.

    Basically, he hated women as a class. He also hated certain classes of men, but not men as a class. His hatred and dehumanization of women fed into his hate of certain kinds of men to the point that he wanted to kill those men, too. There’s no mystery or contradiction here.

  183. specduckular says

    Yeah…

    I’m thinkin’ that power and control had more to do with these killings than the simplistic observations given voice here.

  184. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I guess actions speak louder than words.

    Because writing a 140 page manifesto detailing how women are the root of all evil and your plans to exterminate them is totes not an action.

  185. throwaway says

    specduckular

    I’m thinkin’ that power and control had more to do with these killings than the simplistic observations given voice here.

    I’m thinkin’ you’re just being a contrarian twit to ruffle some feathers for your moment of being in the spotlight. Get lost, bumblehead.

  186. Gregory Greenwood says

    @ specduckular;

    Enlighten me – at what point exactly did you decide that the deaths of six innocent people was principally significant as an opportunity for you to post contentless, smugly condescending drivel? You do understand that these people are dead, right? Killed in pursuit of the toxic ideology of Rodger, who has left behind a manifesto in which he clearly identifies the reasons for his violence as an extreme hatred of women and those ‘undeserving’ men who have sexual relationships that he believes should be his by right?

    Do you really think that trying to minimise the misogynistic character of his violence in pursuit of some shallow MRA/PUA talking point is responsible or ethical behaviour? You are acting as if the fact that he killed men somehow eliminates the deaths of his women victims, and makes the misogynistic environment that shaped him and drove him to kill irrelevant. Ask yourself; why are you so invested in denying the role of misogyny in this tragedy, and what does that really say about you?

  187. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    I’m reading the guy’s manifesto and jissis fok it’s so extremely disturbing to see how he goes from a nice, shy, happy little kid to full out hatred in just a few dark years. I actually have to say that it does seem clear from the manifesto that bullying did play a large part in his evolution from happy kid to twisted misogynist, as did an embattled relationship with his stepmother (although even with him describing it, I can’t see any of her “strictness” as unreasonable).

    Really disturbing stuff!

  188. says

    specduckular:

    I’m thinkin’ that power and control had more to do with these killings than the simplistic observations given voice here.

    Inasmuch as Elliot Rodger wanted power over women, and the ability to control them, then yeah, you’re correct. Of course, that was borne out of his misogyny.
    As for “simplistic observations”, that’s ironic coming from you, with your one sentence thoughts on a complex situation. Come back when you’ve given more thought to this asswipe.

  189. specduckular says

    Oh this is great. A yank lecturing me on the ethical implications of gun violence.

    I’m not the one whose culture places their fucking love for guns above the lives of their children.

  190. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @specduckular:

    And how many gun-control laws did you write? For how many did you cast your vote as an MP? How many articles or books on ethics, much less the ethics of firearms and firearm culture have you published?

    I really don’t see how anyone here is in any less authoritative a place to critique the ethics of gun culture than you are.

    Moreover, I don’t even see a comment on the ethical implications of gun culture, per se. Nor do I know to whom you are aiming your comment. A yank? Who knows? You’re just going off wild, context-free speculation, not any content of this conversation.

    Perhaps if you want to contribute, you could employ the community norms by specifying the comment to which you are responding and, y’know, making some fucking sense.

  191. says

    @217
    specduckular

    Oh this is great. A yank lecturing me on the ethical implications of gun violence.

    Please quote the lecture on the implications of gun violence, I don’t see it.

    I’m not the one whose culture places their fucking love for guns above the lives of their children.

    No chain of logic detected.

  192. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It amuses me when Europeans act as if, having shipped most of their religious nuts over here in previous centuries, our excess of religious nuts (gun worshippers included) is somehow a sign of Europe’s innate superiority.

  193. says

    Given the results of the EU elections, which saw the hard right make considerable gains, anyone from Europe might want to consider glass houses when making a comment about the right wing nature of US culture and politics. Those parties, whatever their stance on gun control, are full of Europe’s equivalents of Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum.

  194. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Azkyroth:

    If they actually rejected religious zealotry, gathering up the loons in one place and shipping them over here on the B ark, it might be.

    Of course, what actually happened was that they went around murdering the religious dissenters of the day until the flight of the survivors: a combination of the most paranoid and the most bizarrely unwilling to concede to homicidal power that, say, crackers become magic by delegation of magical authority from the king or queen of England instead of from the magical authority of the pope. Most people just ate whatever cracker was local and were grateful no one was cutting off their heads.

    Rinse and repeat, with different cracker controversies, and you get the US and, to a lesser extent, Canada.

    So. Y’know. This tactic, murderous fanaticism about murdering other fanatics until there are few fanatics left, doesn’t exactly impress me as proof of European reasonableness and wisdom.

  195. says

    And as for as the male/female split of those Rodger killed that’s pure happenstance. One of his first targets was reportedly a sorority, but when no one came to the door when he knocked he sought other targets.

  196. dorkness says

    @220, Azkyroth
    The export trade was marginal and we used to be quite as nutty as Americans (if not more) until after WWII or even later. We’ve just forgotten it; I can barely understand my ancestral culture of Fundamentalist totalitarianism (at least you guys didn’t have an established church that would have made the Leviticus a part of the legal code).
    We still have reservoirs of deep nuttiness, like the Laestadians. (Sort of like Lutheran Quiverfull.)

  197. says

    timgueguen

    Given the results of the EU elections, which saw the hard right make considerable gains, anyone from Europe might want to consider glass houses when making a comment about the right wing nature of US culture and politics.

    Could we maybe just abstain from sweeping generalisations about a few million people? I’m actually pretty sure that every Pharyngula EU citizen voted and that none of them voted for any of those parties. So, unless you personally think that every US citizen should be treated as a NRA member and creationist by default your comment is simply bullshit. You’re more than welcome to criticise German EU election results. Just make an argument. It’s not like I am happy about getting Juncker.

  198. David Quosig says

    I’m disheartened that we have to polarize this into “mental illness” or “manosphere.”

    I’m not sure if we appreciate copy-pasta of anything, but I’m hoping a simple descriptive definition from NAMI will be ok. They introduce their discussion of mental illness as follows…

    “A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.” -NAMI

    Is anyone actually claiming that he did not have “a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life?” I feel that would be a claim without merit.

    Noticing this should not diminish looking at how his inability to cope was channeled and/or affected. I feel we can still point to seedier aspects of the knowledge he was consuming and also call out those factors. Staying too focused in your approach at the expense of honestly looking at the factors gives people (who have been yammering in these comments) room to call foul.

    I get that we like to be polarizing, but honesty should play front and center of this argument. That way, we can both look at why he was unable to cope with something that people are expected to cope with (lack of a sexual partner), AND we can look at how learning negative ideas can channel that inability to cope into dangerous and deadly situations. Unless you are claiming that merely ascribing to those toxic ideas directly leads to that kind of extreme behavior (not being a a misogynist, but killing people); that is clear hyperbole.

    Also, my bad if the formatting is complete trash, this is my first post here so I’m not quite sure how to make it look nice.

  199. says

    @225, Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    So, unless you personally think that every US citizen should be treated as a NRA member and creationist by default your comment is simply bullshit.

    Speaking as a US citizen who is neither an NRA member nor a creationist, I think the world would be better off if everyone did automatically assume that every American was not merely an NRA member and a creationist, but also a self-centered lying hypocrite and entitled, overprivileged nitwit. For a start, maybe it would stop other countries from permitting themselves to take aid from us — which is inevitably tied to so many strings that “aid” is probably not even the right word, and always ends up leading to a CIA presence which will happily destabilize the government in what is perceived as the interests of the US by the CIA at that moment (which, of course, always ends up being stupid and actually bad for the US in the long term, which is why I’d be glad if it stopped happening).

  200. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    David Quosig @ 226

    I get that we like to be polarizing, but honesty should play front and center of this argument. That way, we can both look at why he was unable to cope with something that people are expected to cope with (lack of a sexual partner), AND we can look at how learning negative ideas can channel that inability to cope into dangerous and deadly situations. Unless you are claiming that merely ascribing to those toxic ideas directly leads to that kind of extreme behavior (not being a a misogynist, but killing people); that is clear hyperbole.

    We’re talking about the misogynist aspect because we have 20 Youtube videos and 140 pages of Rodger’s own words telling us explicitly that this was motivated by hatred of women. We’re not speculating about his exact mental state because none of us has, or has ever had access to him and are therefor unqualified to discuss it responsibly even if some few of us might have the expertise to do so if we had access to him.

    You want to talk about being honest? We prefer to be honest about what we can reasonably say we know vs. what would be pure, irresponsible speculation.

  201. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    re my 229

    First paragraph should be a block quote. Mah bad.

  202. says

    David @ 226:

    I’m disheartened that we have to polarize this into “mental illness” or “manosphere.”

    I’m not sure if we appreciate copy-pasta of anything, but I’m hoping a simple descriptive definition from NAMI will be ok. They introduce their discussion of mental illness as follows…

    “A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.” -NAMI

    Is anyone actually claiming that he did not have “a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life?” I feel that would be a claim without merit.

    I am not qualified to determine the mental health of anyone (let alone doing so online). Are you?
    Please read Louis’ comments on diagnosing mental illness:

    Why discussing people’s assumed/inferred mental health status on the internet is a very bad idea:

    i) “Qualifications: lack of them.” I seriously doubt you are a psychiatrist/psychologist or in any way qualified to diagnose mental illness in anyone. I am aware that mental health professionals are people, and thus fallible human beings and all that comes with that, but people without the training, qualifications and experience to make diagnoses are not really in the position to go around offering their uneducated opinion on complex topics with any likelihood of being correct. Where’s the humility? Responsible, relevantly qualified, experienced mental health professionals would not do this sort of thing. What makes you believe you have a sufficiently unique and special insight that you are capable of accurately assessing something so complex as another person’s mental health without such training and experience?

    ii) “Qualifications: no lack of them.” If you are a psychiatrist/psychologist, making glib diagnoses over the internet based on one (or a few) details is professional misconduct and you should be struck off. Let me know your employer’s details, I’ll let them know that your desire to commit career suicide has been successfully accomplished. You know what it takes to establish a diagnosis, and a few vague details from the internet or the media are not sufficient.

    iii) “Experience: personal.” People who retort “Ah! But I have a mental illness/know someone with a mental illness/took a psych course once/care for someone with a mental illness” get one thing through your skull: you are not alone in having experience of people with mental illness, having mental illness yourself, or what have you. It does not make you special or an expert, it does not qualify you for anything other than describing your own experience. Full stop. The end. It is certainly not a qualification for remote diagnoses.

    iv) “Reading: The power of Google and Wikipedia etc.” Perhaps most importantly, mental illnesses do not reduce in an uncomplicated manner to simple behaviours. Checklists like the DSM-V and the ICD-10 etc are descriptive not definitive. Their use is the start of longer diagnostic processes and augmented by reference to (hopefully) carefully observed clinical experience and research data. They are not tools to be bandied about by those unqualified and inexperienced in their use to score rhetorical points on the internet. Reducing complex issues to simple slogans is one hallmark of LAZY (note emphasis) bigotry. A far greater understanding of the context is needed. More than that, neither of these documents are without their problems. These are live discussions in the relevant professional fields. Google University is not fucking good enough.

    Allow me to expand a little. I work at the boundary of chemistry, biology and (mental health) medicine. In fact I am working on two mental health drugs at the moment. I am spectacularly familiar with these things from a professional and personal standpoint. I would not dare have the arrogance to make claims about someone’s mental health. Not just from a distance, but from right up close. Not only, despite being very familiar with the relevant medical literature, am I unqualified to do so, I haven’t sat down with a person and taken a sufficiently detailed medical history to make diagnosis possible. And to be blunt, even though I would be a competent amateur, I’d have no real idea how to interpret the information in context or even check I was administering the relevant tests in the right way. Add in my personal experience and I still would not dare do so. Such things are fraught with pitfalls. Making diagnoses is not just a complicated issue, it is also a complex issue. Remote internet “diagnoses” can only be done out of ignorance and prejudice, not knowledge or suitable professional humility.

    Even in emergency mental health care, “rapid” diagnoses with patients in front of the relevant medics, professionals take longer than the equivalent of a few typed words on a screen. Attributing the actions of one person to some form of personality disorder (for example) takes vastly more than one liberally stupid comment on the internet and some vague understanding of mental health issues. Anyone can read the DSM or ICD or a few articles about mental health and note a couple of similarities with something “bad” in the behaviours of people with mental illnesses. This does not a diagnosis make, and pretending it does does a disservice to the complexity of the subject at hand, the professionals doing work in this area, and the people suffering from mental illnesses.

    v) “Opinions: Well that’s just, like, your opinion.” Noting the flaws and stupidity of remote internet “diagnoses” does not mean I merely disagree with you. Internet “diagnoses” are simple recitations of common prejudices. As if behaviour someone deems aberrant or abhorrent is somehow indicative of medical (as opposed to merely behavioural) difference. There is a wide spectrum of human behaviour, much of which is horrid, not all of which is pathological. Attributing behaviour someone deems unpleasant/bad to mental illness is counterfactual. Do not for a second think this is merely a personal difference. You’re disagreeing with widely available evidence. Many perfectly sane people do far worse and far more self-involved things than make a stupid comment on the internet.

    There are live, generation long arguments within the relevant medical fields about which, where and how behaviours are pathological. There are enormous areas of grey. I guarantee you none of the details you have adequately fit in any of them.

    vi) “Associations: Bad = Mad.” Associating bad behaviour with mental illness is one of the major reasons stigma about mental illness persists in every society. The lazy examination of someone’s bad behaviour as being due to mental illness indelibly associates bad with mad. This is a perpetuation of the idea that “mad” people are “bad” people. This contributes to people not being “out” about their diagnoses, to people being refused jobs because of their diagnoses, to people losing relationships with friends and loved ones because of their diagnoses etc. There is real harm here.

    An innocent little remote internet “diagnosis” made based on snottily stated “experience”, or what have you, is neither innocent nor harmless. It has splash damage. It is not a thing without consequence. Can I ask that people think about this? The association of mad with bad is not merely counterfactual, it’s harmful. Pause your fingers, think. Is that such a big request?

  203. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @David Quosig, #226

    NAMI is a group specifically by and for parents/relatives that feel that they have been harmed by mental illness indirectly. They have advocated forced medication for the good of people **other than** the medicated. [Though I don’t both to keep up with such bigoted organizations, so I can’t say whether they’ve come to their senses since…I don’t expect them to have done.]

    The fact that they have a relentlessly vague definition of mental illness? No surprise. They aren’t professionals. They aren’t people with mental illness looking for the betterment of people with mental illness, save to the extent that they don’t want to have to witness “suffering” when that other person’s suffering impacts them personally.

    When I was doing more mental health activism, I was consistently appalled at both the stances that they took *and* that people actually took them seriously.

    Quoting them does you no favors with me. If they had a **good** definition, I’d still be looking for the loopholes. But they don’t even have that. Not only do they have no benefit of the doubt on this issue, they have no competence to overcome basic skepticism.

    But moreover, seriously? You think this is a definition?

    A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

    Physical pain, chronic or acute, also disrupts one’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning. It also results in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

    I doubt even NAMI thinks that this is a *definition* of mental illness. This is merely a comparison meant to be illustrative of the serious impacts mental illness has, not a checklist to determine whether mental illness exists.

    Read Louis and try again.

    Try again reading Louis, I mean.

    Your thoughts on this issue are clearly too atavistic compared to others’ contributions to be of much use here.

  204. says

    I guess actions speak louder than words.

    Right, which is why when that guy who joined anti-Semitic hate groups went on to attempt to shoot up a synagogue and ended up shooting a Methodist and, I think, a couple of Presbyterians, everyone was like, “Well, actions speak louder than words. I guess that guy hated Christians and Jews equally! Totally not an anti-Semite!”

  205. F.O. says

    Ok guys, be patient, it’s the first time I try to discuss my ideas in a public forum and I’m still working the language to do so.

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls #194
    “They are evil hateful misogynists, and should be roundly criticized for the hate they fill society with. If you have any other point, we aren’t grasping it.”
    I loathe MRA/PUAs and any other misogynyst.
    This tragedy is vastly on their shoulders and they should be criticised, called out and exposed and weakened as much as possible.

    My argument is that to weaken them you have to understand why they are attractive to young men, and then you have to provide an alternative.
    The alternative is NOT SEX, but is providing them with tools to work on themselves, overcome their personal problems, and be able to have meaningful and respectful relationships with women.
    For many young men this should be obvious but for one reason or another IT IS NOT.

    Most importantly, we must convince them that these tools do work.
    The PUAs are popular because they can convince young lonely men that the shit they do will make them happy (it won’t).

    @Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm #195
    Yes, I was wrong on the scapegoating.
    I thought I made it clear, I apologise if I didn’t.

    I think perceived powerlessness (non-sexual frustration) towards women is easily redirected, by our misogynist society, into more misogyny.
    I also think that this powerlessness leads people into any ideas that promises them more power: PUAs and MRAs for example. These groups in turn legitimize misogyny, causing more misogyny.

    @Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk #196
    Thanks, your effort is much appreciated.
    You’d be surprised that I consider myself a feminist and am accepted by my friends (mosty women) who also identify as feminists, and this is the people I find myself most comfortable with.

    Men are not alone in being sad and frustrated, I do acknowledge that women have much more problems.
    But to solve many of women’s problem, we need better men, hence my focus on men in this thread.

    I think sex has nothing to do with this: it’s all about power and perceived lack thereof.

    “surely there must be a point where they see how rankly and viciously misogynistic these sites are and start thinking “wait, maybe this shit is toxic, better look further”?”
    It is exactly what happened to me.
    The problem is the “better look further”: to many people this “further” simply does not exist, they see the PUAs as their only option.
    Further, our whole society is misogynistic, so many do not ever realize that it is toxic.

    “At what point can men, even desperate, bitterly lonely men, be expected to take responsibility for their own self-improvement education in a way that doesn’t lead to the blind hatred and vitriol of the MRA/PUA?”
    Always.
    But we have all the interest in making things as easy as possible for them.

    Thanks for Kimmel, I’ll check him.

  206. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    F.O. @233

    My argument is that to weaken them you have to understand why they are attractive to young men, and then you have to provide an alternative.
    The alternative is NOT SEX, but is providing them with tools to work on themselves, overcome their personal problems, and be able to have meaningful and respectful relationships with women.
    For many young men this should be obvious but for one reason or another IT IS NOT.

    I don’t think the problem is that they don’t have “the tools to work on themselves.” Misogyny, rape culture and penis-entitlement I would suggest comes from values. Their values are such that they’ve constructed a worldview where it’s not only okay, but correct to treat women like chattel and brass-ring prizes. This was brought home to me brutally when I saw a tween-aged girl wearing a pink tee that said “cum dumpster” across the front. What the fuck have we been doing as a society when at least one barely pubescent girl thinks it’s cool to wear t-shirts with messages like that?!

    Values are learned, and by the time a boy leaves his teenaged years, I’d argue those values are deeply ingrained. What I think we need to do is short-circuit those misogynistic values being taught, and for those who already hold those values, do what we can to make it very uncomfortable to practice those values.

    At least I think so. I’m not absolutely clear on the solution, but I don’t think having a sit-down with misogynists and giving them “tools” will get us very far.

  207. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    FO:

    The alternative is NOT SEX, but is providing them with tools to work on themselves, overcome their personal problems, and be able to have meaningful and respectful relationships with women.
    For many young men this should be obvious but for one reason or another IT IS NOT.

    I have provided an alternative, over many threads, something already in place. Cotillion. Notice the teaching of how to introduce yourself to both sexes, etc. Evidently you are too bushy complaining instead of reading for comprehension.

  208. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @FO

    My argument is that to weaken them you have to understand why they are attractive to young men, and then you have to provide an alternative. The alternative is NOT SEX, but is providing them with tools to work on themselves, overcome their personal problems, and be able to have meaningful and respectful relationships with women.
    For many young men this should be obvious but for one reason or another IT IS NOT.

    We understand why these groups are attractive to young men. They provide a very attractive narrative to a young man feeling aggrieved that women fail to dispense sex to them upon being presented with the right Nice Guy Tokens. We get it.

    We also get that we need to do a better job of teaching social skills. Anyone in this culture who is not properly neurotypical and outgoing has a steep road ahead of them in terms of developing fulfilling relationships.

    But it’s not a matter of men needing to be taught specific skills for dealing with women. Women are, contrary to popular belief, people and, contrary to popular belief, respond to the same kinds of social interactions that men do. Women are individuals with interests and abilities about which conversations can be had just like men. There’s not a fucking user manual to talking with women because women, funnily enough, not mass produced on an assembly line any more than men are.

    Dismantling cultural misogyny is how you teach men to have respectful relationships with women because, once you’ve done that, you’ve eliminated the idea that women aren’t people. Once you can get everyone to agree that women are people, it’s just a matter of social skills.

  209. anteprepro says

    David Quosig:

    They introduce their discussion of mental illness as follows…

    “A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.” -NAMI

    Is anyone actually claiming that he did not have “a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life?” I feel that would be a claim without merit.

    I’m gonna make this simple: Affirming the consequent is a logical fallacy.

    Your example:
    If mental illness, then diminished capacity for coping.
    Diminshed capacity for coping.
    Ergo mental illness.

    General example:
    If I jump up, then I am higher in the air.
    I am higher in the air.
    Ergo, I jumped up.

    Or, in other words: Mental illness isn’t the only thing that reduces your capacity for coping with everyday life.

    Unless you are claiming that merely ascribing to those toxic ideas directly leads to that kind of extreme behavior (not being a a misogynist, but killing people); that is clear hyperbole.

    Clarification please: What is “clear hyperbole”?

  210. says

    My argument is that to weaken them you have to understand why they are attractive to young men, and then you have to provide an alternative.
    The alternative is NOT SEX, but is providing them with tools to work on themselves, overcome their personal problems, and be able to have meaningful and respectful relationships with women.
    For many young men this should be obvious but for one reason or another IT IS NOT.

    The thing you aren’t getting is that is exactly what we are doing when we are calling out this shit.

    As I pointed out to you already, repeatedly, and which you’ve already repeatedly failed to address, is that we’ve TRIED to provide these tools.

    A woman gave a guy advice on how to not come off as creepy when ‘hitting on’ women. Several other women backed her up and offered additional advice. As a result, these women have been the victims of a years long campaign of hatred and threats.

    The problem is much larger than ‘offering compassion to guys who can’t get laid’ can fix.

    The problem is a culture of toxic masculinity that teaches young men that the problem isn’t them, it’s women. A problem you to which you have repeatedly contributed through your framing of the issue.

    This shit needs to be called out. Fuck nuance, fuck not all men, fuck compassion, fuck it all.

    Women. Are. Dying.

    Women. Are. Being. Raped. And. Murdered.

    Their lives matter. Where is your fucking compassion, sympathy, and nuanced understanding for them?

  211. says

    I think perceived powerlessness (non-sexual frustration) towards women is easily redirected, by our misogynist society, into more misogyny.

    Here is an example of how your framing contributes to the issue.

    The problem isn’t ‘perceived powerlessness’. The problem is that men are taught they should have that power in the first place.

  212. F.O. says

    @jrfdeux, mode d’emploi #235
    I agree with you. Rape colture must be called out, challenged and eradicated.
    The values of our society must change.
    However, not unlike religion, multiple approaches work better than a single one.

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls #236
    “Cotillion.”
    Good luck with that.

    Also, do you attack all newbies for not reading the comments in your previous threads?

    @Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm #237
    “We also get that we need to do a better job of teaching social skills.”
    Nerd of Redhead and a few others apparently do not get it; I’m glad you agree with me but it seems like the debate is still open.

    Also, again, I have never talked about a user manual for women.
    I have talked about a “user manual” for men, for young men to understand themselves.
    Yes, I agree, we should dismantle the idea that women are not people, and this must have a high priority.
    But don’t you think that this necessary change could come faster if we also taught men how to handle their ego and their social ineptitude?

    Look, I agree that everyone, regardless of gender, comes in all shapes and sizes and experiences.
    But if some men think that NiceGuyTokens will get them happiness through sex we have a double problem: the first is misogyny, the second (I hope you will agree with me) is vast social ineptitude.
    Perceived powerlessness and the utter blindness to their social misconceptions reinforce misogyny.
    Addressing effectively social ineptitude is not sufficient, but it will help men out of misogyny.

  213. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I have talked about a “user manual” for men, for young men to understand themselves.

    A “user manual” is always within the context of a society. There are many ways and programs out there to teach one how to behave in interactions, treat other people with respect, and how not be a bigoted bore. You want it handed to you on a platter, making you sound like a whiner. What you need to do is to stop whining, and stop pretending men don’t know how to act. They do. They just chose to make women objects.

  214. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Actually I’d like to withdraw my Kimmel suggestions: I learned yesterday that he is abominably transphobic. My apologies, I had no idea.

  215. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    FO @ 241

    Also, again, I have never talked about a user manual for women.

    You have talked about men needing specific instruction specifically for dealing with women.

    Yes, I agree, we should dismantle the idea that women are not people, and this must have a high priority.
    But don’t you think that this necessary change could come faster if we also taught men how to handle their ego and their social ineptitude?

    The entire concept of this male ego and rampant social ineptitude shit you’re peddling IS misogyny. As Sally Strange pointed out at #242, there’s no evidence that men are any less socially adept generally than women are. The problem is that they only apply those skills to other men because we teach them not to see women as people with whom they can interact in the same ways. When the objectification goes away, men are free to get to know women the same way they get to know other men: by having actual reciprocal conversation with them.

    But if some men think that NiceGuyTokens will get them happiness through sex we have a double problem: the first is misogyny, the second (I hope you will agree with me) is vast social ineptitude.

    You need to make a case that this vast social ineptitude among men even exists. The Nice Guy Tokens are not a social skill problem AT ALL. The problem, as many have said, is that men throw them out the window when dealing with women because women are not people to have relationships with; they’re ambulatory masturbation aids.

    Perceived powerlessness and the utter blindness to their social misconceptions reinforce misogyny.
    Addressing effectively social ineptitude is not sufficient, but it will help men out of misogyny.

    This powerlessness is only perceived because our misogynist culture teaches them the misogynist idea that they OUGHT to have power over women. When they discover that they don’t, they feel aggrieved. This. Is. Not. A. Social skill problem. They have the godsdamned social skills. When they discard this idea that they are OWED a position of power over women, they’ll stop feeling wronged when they don’t. WithinThisMind already pointed this error out to you and you ignored her.

    What you’re calling poor social skills is men applying misogynist ideology to their interactions with women. They’re going through the motions they were taught by their misogynist culture and finding them ineffective. Because women are not stupid. We know when we’re being “picked up” and we know it means we’re dealing with someone who has no interest in us as people.

    Nerd of Redhead and a few others apparently do not get it; I’m glad you agree with me but it seems like the debate is still open.

    You may not have intended this, but you can fuck right off with playing some of us off against the others because we superficially agree with you to some extent. Deal with Nerd or ignore him, but don’t set him up as the bad guy.

  216. David Quosig says

    Great, you folks don’t disappoint.

    @Tony, Seven of Mine

    I agree, actually, that we shouldn’t be speculating about his mental state. However, I’m responding, specifically, to the claims that he was not mentally ill. I was incorrect to speculate, but it is difficult to otherwise set up a counter-example.

    I guess I’ll take my lashings, but the vast majority of the discussion has been actively avoiding discussion about his sanity, which still strikes me as begging to be blasted once someone comes forth with enough reasonable information to call that into question. And then we may be left with others saying “he was just a crazy person, normal people aren’t hurt by these ideas.” And that would be bad, because that statement is demonstrably false.

    I’ll take my lashings as well on another topic, since I too have largely walked through life thinking that mental health diagnoses are complicated, vague and fuzzy, but if mass murderers aren’t considered crazy, then what do our categories really measure. I didn’t realize (thanks to my privilege) that those ideas would stigmatize those who have been diagnosed.

    @anteprepro #238

    A fair point.

    My statement about hyperbole was that some of the statements here seem to suggest that the lessons of the MRA, manosphere, etc alone are enough to turn all people into killers (by implicitly denying other factors, such as mental illness.) I don’t deny that those ideas are toxic, negative and can contribute to a situation where someone becomes a mass murderer, but I don’t think it is empirically supported that those ideas alone are enough.

    Finally, I’m not asking that we stop yelling at the manosphere. Frankly, that can keep going until they are no longer influential, and then they are simply echo chamber to each other until they die of old age. It would be nice, though, if people removed “it wasn’t his crazy” from their language, because that can come back to haunt you. At best, I guess, be reserved?

  217. anteprepro says

    David Quosig

    My statement about hyperbole was that some of the statements here seem to suggest that the lessons of the MRA, manosphere, etc alone are enough to turn all people into killers (by implicitly denying other factors, such as mental illness.) I don’t deny that those ideas are toxic, negative and can contribute to a situation where someone becomes a mass murderer, but I don’t think it is empirically supported that those ideas alone are enough.

    I can’t speak for anyone else’s opinion on the matter, but I don’t blame the MRA brigade or their thought process alone for the murders. They defined his targets, they created a toxic climate where he could grow his hatred, but MRAism isn’t a sufficient condition for killing people. I don’t believe that, and I don’t think anyone else here believes so or has implied as much. In fact, I am far more concerned about how much impact “mainstream” culture had on the killer’s thought process than the impact of the MRAs. Because the MRAs are only truly dangerous insofar as they neatly link up with existing power structures and the current status quo.

    All in all, I am also not that concerned about blame. I am concerned about this happening again. I am concerned about living in a country that has a cultural climate that is so poisonous that this can happen and that it will likely happen again and again. I want that to change. I want the “mainstream” culture to change so much that people like this killer will be seen as misogynistic assholes and will be seen as extremists and will be seen as all around douchebags before they finally cross the line into abusing or raping or killing women. That’s what I want. Not to worry about and blame some jagoffs who revel in their sexism in their dark corners of the internet. The ones who revel in the light are the ones to really worry about.

  218. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    However, I’m responding, specifically, to the claims that he was not mentally ill. I was incorrect to speculate, but it is difficult to otherwise set up a counter-example.

    I haven’t read the entire comment thread word for word, but I’m not aware of anyone flat out denying he was mentally ill. We’re just being realistic about what we know which, as far as I’m aware, is only that he was seeing a therapist.

    I guess I’ll take my lashings, but the vast majority of the discussion has been actively avoiding discussion about his sanity,

    Yes, because we don’t know enough to judge. The vast majority of us would not be qualified even if we had direct access to him.

    which still strikes me as begging to be blasted once someone comes forth with enough reasonable information to call that into question.

    This is one of the more asinine things I’ve ever read. So what if that someone does come forth? That wouldn’t retroactively justify talking out of our collective ass about something we weren’t qualified to comment on. Anyone who wants to blast me for not drawing conclusions when I don’t have the necessary facts can take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.

  219. John Horstman says

    @alasdhair #5: I’ve long argued that the sole criterion for denying weapon ownership should be the desire to own a weapon. I have a similar ideal condition for holding political office.

  220. John Horstman says

    @SallyStrange #242: I’ve become increasingly aware that this is the case, but it’s a serious mistake to state those results as a universal truth (not that you necessarily are, but many people do). I was taught growing up, for example, that we should always listen to and privilege the actual content of someone’s words over any tonal or non-verbal cues they might be sending, in the contexts of both combating the rape meme, “Her lips said no, but her body said yes,” (and similar rationalizations for ignoring (non-)consent) and in mediating cross-cultural interactions, as non-verbal signals can and do vary greatly in different cultural contexts. As such, I’ve wound up in countless situations where I ask for clarity (when I perceive a discrepancy in the denotative content of someone’s words and the manner of their delivery) and people insist that what they truly mean is the denotative content of what they said, though it later comes out that my perception of their intonation and body language was entirely accurate. This may well not apply to most cases, but it is deeply problematic in the circumstances where it does apply, and it’s especially troubling for e.g. people on the autism spectrum who are bad at forming heuristics to interpret normative non-verbal communication.

    As long as people insist on not directly and clearly stating what they mean, it is impossible to sort out the bad-faith actors on a case-by-case basis. It may very well still be preferable to keep the present norms – if, in this case, the degree times frequency of harm visited upon women for clear, direct rejection is significantly greater than the degree times frequency of harm visited upon people who have difficulty interpreting non-verbal social cues, then the norms as they stand make sense – but as someone who has run into this problem over and over in good faith, it bothers me when anti-misogynists make the argument that I either don’t exist or am lying. As I said, I actually AM pretty good at interpreting non-verbal cues, but it’s a conscious application of consciously-learned information about human social cues in our particular cultural context (eye contact, mono- versus polysyllabic responses, physical contact, posture, vocal pitch, intonation, smiling, laughter, arm/hand placement, touching one’s own face or hair, pupil dilation, blinking frequency), not a subconscious heuristic, so I know there was a time when I wasn’t very good at it and I can easily understand how some set of other people might be bad at it.

    We need to own up to the fact that some of the proposed methods of combating misogyny in our culture DO marginalize particular groups of people, becasue denying that fact is going to make those people defensive and bitter and presume that we’re arguing in bad faith (which we would be). In an imperfect world, sometimes the only options are imperfect actions, and the best path is to acknowledge the imperfections, not to pretend they don’t exist. Lots of harassers DO understand perfectly well that their targets want to be left alone, but that doesn’t mean that this is true in all cases. “Not all men” is a thing exactly becasue far too many people have the unfortunate tendency to generalize without qualifiers or assert untrue universal claims. Insisting that people should be able to correctly interpret when one is generalizing and when one actually intends a universal statement makes way less sense to me than insisting people be slightly more clear in their use of language by stating generalizations explicitly as generalizations.