"I can be hard to live with. I don’t mean to be but I can be…..critical.
Sometimes I think I’m just not good for people, that it’s not good for them to be around me. I wear ‘em down. They… they get unhappy.
I used to think about it more, but you reach a certain age, you know who you are. Now, I live in a little room out in the country behind a bar… work four nights a week… in between I drink. And there ain’t nobody there to stop me. I know who I am. And after all these years, there’s a… victory in that.
Why Everyone Should Care About the Isla Vista Shooting.
And yes. I mean everyone. Not “all women” or “all men.” Not “people of Los Angeles” or even big cities, not white women, not black women, not old or young, not American women, or people, but, you heard me…. ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. This is serious. Misogyny kills and it’s getting worse.
*Firstly I’d like to send my deepest sorrow and condolences to the families who lost their loved ones. They were taken from you for no reason, and I cannot imagine what you’re going through right now.*
On Friday night, a 22 year old man drove to a UC Santa Barbara sorority with the intention of killing the women residing within. Unfortunately, he succeeded. By Saturday morning, 7 were pronounced dead (including 3 people he’d stabbed in his apartment earlier) and 13 were injured.
The media has continued to write about this as the tragic story of a “lonely virgin”, a “mad man” who didn’t have enough therapy or take his meds. While Twitter has retained a stronghold on the #YesAllWomen hashtag, I’ve noticed many of those around me have quietly exited the discussion. Even more still don’t know it has even occurred. Perhaps it feels tried? Something we’ve seen before? Another “mad man” casualty of America’s failed mental health system and easy gun access. …Well we have seen this before. A lot. I mean just last month, a 16 y/o boy in Connecticut stabbed his classmate after she said no to his prom request. Oh and then there’s the Indiana man who got no jail time despite being convicted after he admitted to drugging and raping his wife for years. But you’re telling me there’s no correlation, right? No common thread? All just crazy people. Hm.
Well Elliot Rodger was in therapy—likely some of the best the country has to offer—and as far as “meds” go, this wasn’t a momentary lapse in judgement; this was a deeply thought-out plan. Rodger wrote a 140 page manifesto detailing his plan to eradicate women from the planet. You can read it here if you’re feeling particularly masochistic. It’s long, terribly narcissistic, drenched in misogyny, and as one friend warned me “will surely give you nightmares”. In it, he outlines plans to extinguish women, that he’ll “quarantine all of [the women] in concentration camps.”
"Women must be punished for their crimes of rejecting such a magnificent gentleman as myself." — Elliot Rodger
Police found three semi-automatic handguns with 400 unspent rounds in his black BMW. All were purchased legally. He TOLD people what he was planning. He had been posting videos online for months prior to the event—videos his mother found in APRIL— and he himself even SENT the aforementioned 140-page document to his parents, his therapist, and others. Police briefly met with him and dismissed him as harmless, a nice boy who was “nothing out of the ordinary.”
Perhaps now you’re asking yourself how is this possible? How could a verified madman who’s telling people when and how he plans on committing mass murder, how could he actually get away with it? I’ll tell you.
Because Misogyny lives and it’s killing us.
Elliot Rodger believed women owed him sex. As a man, to be a man, he needed to have sex; and since not one woman in the “two whole years” he lived in Santa Barbara—he emphasizes this in the manifesto—had satiated that right, and had left him to “suffer in lonely virginity,” he got angry. ”No one respects a man who can’t get a woman,” he said; and since being a “man” is more important than being a human, he took revenge.
For the past three days, I haven’t slept. I was sick to my stomach when I first read about the story, and continued to feel worse throughout the day, the night, the following day. Sure, there are murders every day and, unfortunately, more and more mass shootings. Why is this different? Why am I so destroyed over this? Why is the #YesAllWomen hashtag STILL trending 3 days after the actual event? It’s because our society washes over misogyny as if it’s no big deal. Men and Women are taught actively through the magazines, commercials, television, movies, etc that women are objects and men can “have” them. The idea that a man might think he deserves women, to the extent that he would adorn himself in wealth to try to “win” women, is nothing new. It’s actually worse.
Women and men alike are now so used to hearing comments similar to those made by Rodger and people like him, that they often shrug it off as harmless. Anything from a small, slightly sexist joke, to openly haranguing women who won’t engage when shouted at. Comments about women being sluts if they put out or even if they don’t, sexist jokes, cat-calling, online trolling… this is the world we live in; and as women, this is the world we fight off every-single-fucking-day. Men’s Right’s Groups and Pick Up Artists’ groups provide forums to encourage this type of thinking. Both of which, by the way, are forums Rodger frequented. Where perhaps years ago this type of thinking might have been rather commonplace—objectification of women—now, people voice it, support it, and ban together to secure it. And while these forums are not filled with “All Men”, EVERY woman has had to learn to protect herself from their advances. Every woman I know, regardless of age, socio-economic stature, looks, you name it, has experienced some level of harassment on regular basis.
Did you read that? Did it sink in? If not, go back and read again. Then again. Then imagine not being able to go for a run without wondering if you might be putting yourself in harm’s way. Imagine wanting to say something honest online but knowing that as soon as you do, (some) men are likely to respond with “i’m gonna rape you” as a way to get you to shut up.
Women are used to being followed, stalked, responded to with violence if they don’t give a man a smile he “asks” them for on the street. We’re used to it. But that doesn’t mean we deserve to continue living this way. Enough is fucking enough.
Did I mention it’s 2014?
A young girl (early teens) told me today that she felt bad about this weekend’s events… Aka she felt bad for the kid who was, as the media has portrayed him to be, a self proclaimed “lonely virgin”, that he’d gone to these lengths to be happy. By now, after reading this much, you can assume correctly that my blood started boiling that very instant. I asked her, calmly, if she knew of his plans to kill all women?
"Did you know he drove to the sorority to target women? He wanted to kill all women because they wouldn’t have sex with him. Did you know that?"
So why is it that a smart young woman could hear of such a tragic event and not even know that this had been a hate crime? The man detailed his hate for women in various mediums and still those who read the news or got it second hand from parents or friends might just think that it was the “work of a mentally ill person” with guns?
This, friends, THIS is a problem. Covering up hatred for women as “nothing to worry about” is dangerous. It’s easy, it’s normal, and it’s literally killing us. More women have died by the hands of their husbands or boyfriends in this country than troops in Afganistan/Iraq and US casualties of terrorist attacks…combined.
I guess I have to mention that obviously all men do not treat women this way. All men do not feel this way, and they certainly don’t act this way. That’s not the point. It’s that too many do.
Please do yourselves a favor and read the #YesAllWomen feed on Twitter. Please teach your boys that women are not property. Please teach your girls that they are not property. Please keep this conversation alive. Feminism is not evil, as Rodger claimed it is. It’s the fight for gender equality. That’s it. Equality. Because as Ruby Hamad states, “women are not slot machines into which [men] can insert “niceness” and get sex in return.” …we’re humans. Just like you.
And if you want to read more on the subject, here are some recommended pieces. Personal favorites include:
Or perhaps you still need convincing that this is a big deal? That you should care about it? Here ya go:
PUA (Pick Up Artist) groups, of which Rodger was a member, have come forward as saying that if more men don’t get what they deserve (ie sex from women) that this will continue. You can read the disturbing statement here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/25/anti-woman-website-predicts-more-elliott-rogers-if-society-doesnt-provide-them-with-sex/
Everything I’d ever want to say on the subject of Elliot Rodgers and misogyny
Sorry not sorry.
My two favorite people made this photo.
Samantha by Nicholas LaClair.
This is a photo of me taken by Nick
"I can be hard to live with. I don’t mean to be but I can be…..critical.
Like Someone in Love (2012) - Abbas Kiarostami