If you seriously want to contend that Elliot Rodger wasn’t motivated by hatred of women

A Facebook friend, Brian Murtagh, has a public post expressing fury at the “oh it wasn’t hatred of women” trope. It’s good to see such posts (and I’m seeing a lot of them), because this trope is truly disquieting and despair-inducing. I quote him with permission.

Look, if you seriously want to contend that Elliot Rodger wasn’t motivated by hatred of women, I don’t want you to unfriend me. I want you to explain your reasoning in a comment to this post.

I will then eviscerate your arguments, mock and castigate you thoroughly, then *I* will unfriend *you* – unless you convince me. Go on, give it your best fucking shot.

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Try staying quiet for a while and actually listening

Phil Plait has a great article at Slate on #YesAllWomen, with a shout-out to Amy at the end for giving him a helpful idea – that’s how good it is.

The murderer was active on men’s rights fora, where women are highly objectified, to say the very least. They are seen as nonhuman by many such groups, and at the very least lesser than men—sometimes nothing more than targets or things to acquire. What these men write puts them, to me, in the same category as White Power movements, or any other horribly bigoted group that “others” anyone else. While it may not be possible to blame the men’s rights groups for what happened, from the reports we’ve seen they certainly provided an atmosphere of support.

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Guest post by Antonia Bookbinder on the normalization of misogynist ideology

I recall being a twenty-something woman and being tremendously attracted to one or another sexy, smart man. These men almost always friend-zoned me for being butch and sarcastic, saying how great it was to be friends with me because I wasn’t “really a girl” and whining about their far more conventionally feminine girlfriends. It hurt, a lot, and I eventually learned to avoid that particular sort of male “friend”. Somehow, though, I never ranted about how all men were evil or depraved or contemplated purchasing firearms to massacre popular students. This is mostly because I was never told that I had an inalienable right to male bodies. [Read more…]

Their depraved emotions and vile sexual impulses

Amanda Marcotte has some thoughts on PUA ideology and Elliot Rodger.

This theory—that ordinary and worthy men are oppressed by women who refuse to have sex with them—was articulated in Rodger’s 141-page manifesto he sent to newspapers.

Women are incapable of having morals or thinking rationally. They are completely controlled by their depraved emotions and vile sexual impulses. Because of this, the men who do get to experience the pleasures of sex and the privilege of breeding are the men who women are sexually attracted to… the stupid, degenerate, obnoxious men. I have observed this all my life. The most beautiful of women choose to mate with the most brutal of men, instead of magnificent gentlemen like myself.

This sort of rhetoric is fairly common on some of the more embittered PUA forums, and the “men’s rights” forums that have quite a bit of overlap with them. 

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Rodger told the world exactly why he went on this killing spree

Lindsay Beyerstein has a brilliant public post on Facebook that has 392 shares as of this moment.

I am so tired of ostensibly smart, liberal men pretending that there’s some deep mystery about why Elliot Rodger did what he did, or worse, that there’s something unseemly or self-serving about feminists pointing out that he was an explicitly misogynist terrorist. I read Rodger’s manifesto twice. I wish all English comp students could formulate a thesis and support it as clearly as he did.

Rodger told the world exactly why he went on this killing spree. He spelled it out in excruciating detail and sent his narrative of the killings to the media. In case that wasn’t enough, he made a series of YouTube videos to cement his narrative of his own crime in the public mind.

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Attitudes that generally put down women

The Wall Street Journal reports on #YesAllWomen – not with anything earthshaking to say, but it’s interesting that it reports on it at all.

Hours after a shooting rampage in this coastal college town that the alleged gunman said was “retribution” against women who’d rejected him, a woman launched a conversation on Twitterabout what it’s like to feel vulnerable to violence.

“As soon as I reached my teens, I didn’t feel comfortable being outside in the evening on my own street,” the woman wrote in one of her first posts under a Twitter hashtag called #YesAllWomen. The woman declined to be identified for this article.

The hashtag had garnered more than 500,000 tweets by Sunday afternoon, according to Internet analytics firm Topsy.com, making it the most active on Twitter.

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What elephant in what room?

On the other hand, more cheerfully, I’m seeing a lot of good mini-essays (which is to say, paragraphs) on Facebook by angry male friends expressing their anger at all the anxious misdirection oh no don’t look at the misogyny look over there at the purple rabbit in a fedora.

Like Martin Robbins for example, who gave me permish to quote him.

A man who was part of a community of extremists who hate women, wrote a manifesto about his hate for women, then went to a female sorority house to kill women.

But it definitely wasn’t about his hatred of women. Oh no sir, it was because of his Asperger’s, or some undefined mental illness. It clearly had nothing to do with his hatred of women because he killed men too, on his way to the female sorority house. More men than women in fact if you count them up. And even if it was related to misogyny, we probably shouldn’t talk about it because hey, if we air these sort of views publicly the terrorists win.

That’s one of several I’ve seen, and that’s just among my friends and just the ones I’ve happened to see. There’s a lot of fedupness – male fedupness – with this “it wasn’t misogyny!!” bullshit. Never doubt it.


“All of you girls who rejected me”

The Boston Herald reports on Elliot Rodger and his multiple murders in Santa Barbara.

“On the day of retribution, I am going to enter the hottest sorority house at UCSB, and I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see inside there,” 
Rodger said in his final video. “I will be a god compared to you. You will all be animals. You are animals, and I will slaughter you like animals. I hate all of you. Humanity is a disgusting, wretched, depraved species.”

The Santa Barbara City College student complained of being a virgin who had never been kissed and was constantly rejected by women who prefer “obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman.”

“You think I’m unworthy of you. That’s a crime I can never get over,” he said. “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’s only fair.”

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To my surprise – I’m always surprised, no matter how repeatedly I see these things; I seem to be incurably naïve – I’m seeing people on Twitter complaining about “radical feminists” making connections between Elliot Rodger’s noisy explicit hatred of women and his murder of some women. It turns out it’s “selfish” and “grandstanding” to make this connection, even though Elliot Rodgers made it himself.

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