Author: has written 5277 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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61 Responses

  1. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 August 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm |

    This guy had problems (other than being a loser).

  2. Yolanda C.
    Yolanda C. August 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm |

    The thing that is made clear to me from the Pennsylvania gym shooting is this: All bigotry is exactly the same. This dude who killed three women is the same guy as James Von Brunn or Scott Roeder, and they’re all the same guy as the dudes who killed Angie Zapata, James Byrd Jr., Matthew Shepard, Sakia Gunn, Leo Frank, and we could go on and on and on.

    But of course, when it comes to men killing women, the corporate media always gets it wrong. Misogynist murder is framed as some personal relationship shit, as if the women who were killed last night all spurned the undying love of this man somehow. It is never understood for what it is: sheer oppressive terrorism—the violation/annihilation of an individual oppressed person in order to send a message of fear and dominance to the entire group.

    And the galling contradiction about these guys flexing their dominance on the oppressed is this: they are the white guys who are the rejects within this classist patriarchal system. The guy who can’t get or keep a job, the guy who can’t get laid, the guy who thinks that brown people are taking his jobs or taking over this country or taking too much space, or the guy who thinks women are castrating and trying to eliminate men. And when he feels he’s taken all he can take from people like us, he lashes out, either at us or the whole society. It’s the same tired story.

    What did Bob Dylan say about the prick who killed Medgar Evers? “He’s only a pawn in their game.” The sooner resentful hetero white cisguys learn that shit, the better.

  3. Pega
    Pega August 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm |

    And once again, women are to blame for the violence that is visited upon them.

  4. Lauren
    Lauren August 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm |

    This story is viscerally bothering me, to the point where my skin crawls.

  5. Lauren
    Lauren August 5, 2009 at 6:23 pm |

    Misogynist murder is framed as some personal relationship shit, as if the women who were killed last night all spurned the undying love of this man somehow. It is never understood for what it is: sheer oppressive terrorism—the violation/annihilation of an individual oppressed person in order to send a message of fear and dominance to the entire group.

    This.

  6. Alexis
    Alexis August 5, 2009 at 6:42 pm |

    That “Female Market Value” test made me feel incredibly icky.

  7. E.D.
    E.D. August 5, 2009 at 6:44 pm |

    What Yolanda C. said.

  8. Jamie
    Jamie August 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm |

    I honestly can’t think of anything to say about this aside from the obvious, which is that this was someone who believed he was entitled to women and hated how black men got them all, like they were a gift.

    I can’t imagine the pain of the people who lost sisters and mothers, aunts and daughters, in this massacre, which is why I’m not going to watch the news about it… at least not American news.

    It also made me take a good hard look at myself, about my own relationship with women (or lack thereof) and reconfirm what I’d thought about long ago, which is that I never got a girlfriend because I was a shut in who didn’t go out, NOT because women were all selfish jerks who spurred a poor ‘nice guy’ like me.

    I never want to turn into this guy, and I hope that if anything positive comes of this, it’s that people think really hard about what’s at fault for them not finding love or relationships instead of what society tells them.

  9. Lucy Gillam
    Lucy Gillam August 5, 2009 at 7:33 pm |

    The more I think about this, the more upset I get. The only reason that I am not looking for a convenient island to found Themyscira on is that my husband came home pissed off about this.

  10. BenYitzhak
    BenYitzhak August 5, 2009 at 7:40 pm |

    Agreed Alexis. The name is bad enough, but it gets worse.

  11. amandaw
    amandaw August 5, 2009 at 8:35 pm |

    I was actually shaken up and scared when I first left the house today (… to get away from this story!!) thinking, by way of a handful of miles, it could easily be me. That I could have been one of the women he stared at, fantasized about. And if I lived ten minutes north, I could have been there.

    I was scared of the men I saw, thinking, what else is going on that I don’t know about?

    And the way everyone reacts to it — the predictable blame-it-on-his-mother, the racism, the reliance on mental illness as an Obvious Explanation (because if someone does something violent and wrong, they HAVE to be mentally ill, that’s like the definition donchakno) …

    I can’t help but make the connection to the Big Ben rape accusation, which wasn’t that long ago. (Couple weeks?) I wonder if Pittsburgh realizes that the same attitudes that Sodini displayed were on display by the inhabitants of the city toward the woman who spurned their iconic man. I wonder if Pittsburgh realizes that the same things they said about her are what he was saying about the women he came across… I don’t think anyone will make that connection. They’d be offended, likely. But it’s the same fucking shit. And it tears lives apart — or eliminates them entirely. And I hope everyone is fucking proud.

  12. Rebecca
    Rebecca August 5, 2009 at 8:53 pm |

    Oh my God. I want to throw up after reading that.

    I wonder if this will be called a hate crime.

  13. BenYitzhak
    BenYitzhak August 5, 2009 at 9:22 pm |

    I don’t see how it can be anything but a hate crime.

  14. Icewyche
    Icewyche August 5, 2009 at 9:23 pm |

    But of course, when it comes to men killing women, the corporate media always gets it wrong. Misogynist murder is framed as some personal relationship shit, as if the women who were killed last night all spurned the undying love of this man somehow. It is never understood for what it is: sheer oppressive terrorism—the violation/annihilation of an individual oppressed person in order to send a message of fear and dominance to the entire group.

    YES.

    @Rebecca: No, it won’t.

  15. Zoe
    Zoe August 5, 2009 at 9:35 pm |

    God. That was disgusting. I’m always terrified to read such blatantly sexist opinions. I can’t believe people still think this way.

  16. jemand
    jemand August 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm |

    see, the idiocy of this is that these guys would always fit into the “less desirable” category and yet anything short of an underage playboy bunny is not enough for them. He was rejected by “all the desirable women” oh, so what about all the women you rejected huh?

  17. Sheila Tone
    Sheila Tone August 6, 2009 at 1:15 am |

    Oh, yes, R—-y. “Mr. Hissy.” He’s haunted blogs in the Marginal Revolution neighborhood for a while, fishing out the less intelligent of those readers. He writes like a bitchy fashion critic, but some angry male techie types seem sold on him as their macho avenger. He’s a nerdier knockoff of wittier asshole blogs such as Tucker Max and Roosh. He attacked me personally a few times back when I blogged more often.

    I don’t think he’s really about “game,” or scoring with women. What he does is sell a revenge fantasy to sexually rejected men. His stories give them the hope that the women who turn them down will suffer humiliation at the hands of Mr. Hissy and his ilk. He makes them feel morally superior.

    The irony is that guys like Sodini *are* the rabid fans of “Game,” and “Game”-related blogs. Game Boys rile them up by telling them the reason they’re rejected isn’t because they’re undesirable, but because they’re TOO NICE. They decide they’re being iced out of sex with beautiful young women because they behave morally. They compare their lives to the stories of these Internet poseurs, and feel cheated. They get angrier.

  18. Sheila Tone
    Sheila Tone August 6, 2009 at 1:23 am |

    I saw where he estimated there were 30 million desirable women in the U.S. Let’s see, there are about 304 million people in the U.S. per Google … at least half would be women, so 152 million women, give or take. So, here’s a 48-year-old man finding only 20 percent of women desirable. I wonder what his criteria were, although I can guess.

  19. beth
    beth August 6, 2009 at 3:54 am |

    I just can’t get this out of my head. It’s so horrible. I spent some of today educating myself on gender in shootings. And now i can’t get over the horror of someone shooting women for studying engineering. Why did i not notice this stuff with the virginia shooting, let alone never hearing about that horror in montreal?
    There also seemed to be some idea that you have to pick on one thing that has gone wrong, rather than trying to look at various factors. Prior abuse in peoples lives, racism, sexism, gun culture, and other things can all be culprits in shootings.
    I hate humanity right now.

  20. bp
    bp August 6, 2009 at 4:02 am |

    Well… no. Sodini was clearly an unbalanced and aggressive man who fixated on women and blamed them for his problems. The same cultural misogyny that enabled Sodini to blame women for his own social ineptitude and aggression also underwrites “The Game,” and informs people like Roissey’s interactions with women. It glorifies male dominance and relies on male entitlement.

    I read the shooter’s blog before I read your post. I really think you’re suffering from massive confirmation bias. The shooter doesn’t blame women for his problems at all. He blames himself, his brother, and his father, as the root causes of his unhappiness. He says he wishes that he could go back in time and fix himself. That he could have learned how to interact with women properly. I honestly don’t see a single bit of woman-blaming in his entire blog.

    The shooter honestly and openly realizes that there is something wrong with him, not the “30 million plus” desirable women out there. He was a very very depressed and troubled man, but you’ve really got to be straining to find woman-blaming in his blog. If this were truly the case, there would have been some blatant “it’s all their fault” statements for you to quote. But there weren’t…

    Sometimes reality gets in the way of our script for how women are oppressed. It’s going to do us all a whole lot more good if we are honest and critical about this sort of stuff rather than pigeonholing every story or occurrence into the same boxes, because doing so presupposes the impossibility of change and also causes us to lose credibility.

  21. SunlessNick
    SunlessNick August 6, 2009 at 4:05 am |

    There also seemed to be some idea that you have to pick on one thing that has gone wrong, rather than trying to look at various factors.

    It’s a consequence of the idea that there must be some reason why a man inflicting violence on women “can’t really be like that.”

  22. The Water We Swim In « Kmareka.com
    The Water We Swim In « Kmareka.com August 6, 2009 at 5:54 am |

    [...] IN THE WATER- Feministe has good commentary about the blog left by the latest mass murderer, a man who shot three women to death in a sneak [...]

  23. La Lubu
    La Lubu August 6, 2009 at 7:50 am |

    Misogynist murder is framed as some personal relationship shit, as if the women who were killed last night all spurned the undying love of this man somehow.

    We’re talking about a guy who convinced himself that 30 million women personally rejected him, because he estimated that there were 30 million women in the U.S. he considered physically desirable enough for him to date, and yet none of them were dating him. Guy didn’t have issues; he had subscriptions.

    And I’m going to avoid this fucking story like the bubonic plague from now on, because if I have to read any smartass pundits talking about how this sorry sonofabitch was “driven” to this because he didn’t have a woman in his life—how just one good woman could have prevented these murders (as opposed to one man deciding not to gun some anonymous female strangers down)—-I’m gonna fuckin’ lose it. Bigtime. It’s bad enough we get stories of murdered victims of domestic violence with phrases like “love gone wrong” and references to an “estranged” boyfriend or husband (have to emphasize the previous relationship don’cha know, ‘cuz “nice guys” don’t just beat and kill—the women drive them to it by leaving)…..

    I wish peace and healing to the families of the murdered victims.

  24. Sheila Tone
    Sheila Tone August 6, 2009 at 8:23 am |

    “That “Female Market Value” test made me feel incredibly icky.”

    The negging worked! Go forth now, and offer yourself to a loser commensurate with your appropriately reduced self-esteem. The life you save could be your own.

  25. amy
    amy August 6, 2009 at 8:52 am |

    so yeah the media may frame this as women spurned him so their to blame but they will probably overlook:

    “My dad never (not once) talked to me or asked about my life’s details and tell me what he knew. He was just a useless sperm doner.”

    because u know, its easier to blame teh womenz.

  26. Noli Irritare Leones
    Noli Irritare Leones August 6, 2009 at 9:45 am |

    Nice Guys and Murderers…

    There’s a guy who often comes up for criticism on feminist blogs called the Nice Guy&#0153. The capitalization and trademark symbol are important here; the Nice Guy&#0153 is not a regular old guy who is actually nice. Rather, he is a guy who, f…

  27. Some stuff « Transitionland
    Some stuff « Transitionland August 6, 2009 at 10:29 am |

    [...] has a great post up about how the larger culture of misogyny and dehumanization of women enables men like George Sodini by legitimizing their view that women are things they are entitled to [...]

  28. Marcy Webb
    Marcy Webb August 6, 2009 at 10:37 am |

    Jack and Jill Politics and Ta-Nehisis Coates view the Sodini rampage killing from both the POV of sexism and misogyny and racism. A provocative take. Tim Wise also has an interesting take on his Facebook page.

    Such events leave such collateral damage, for everyone in some way. So many people will be forever impacted by this tragedy, including George Sodini’s family.

  29. Knitting Clio
    Knitting Clio August 6, 2009 at 10:39 am |

    @Beth — you didn’t hear about gender and the Virginia tech shooter because it was overshadowed by gun control arguments and whether schools should profile and expell students with mental health problems. The shooter had been disciplined earlier for misogynist activities, including taking cell phone pictures up women’s skirts and harassing other female students, but this wasn’t considered serious enough to kick him out.

  30. Gidget Commando
    Gidget Commando August 6, 2009 at 11:22 am |

    I honestly don’t see a single bit of woman-blaming in his entire blog.

    He didn’t have to blame them in his blog. He did that part with a gun.

  31. freddybak
    freddybak August 6, 2009 at 11:44 am |

    Jill, this is a paraphrase of a comment I just made on Amanda’s post about this on Pandagon:
    I just want to share one thing. Before I read the
    game, my view of girls was by no means the same as those of Sodini, but just ever so slightly leaning in that direction. Just a little you know? I was unsuccessful and saw the “assholes” getting the girls. Guys whose parents had money or social status. It was reading the Game and then other PU material that made me realize that, ya know, there are certain things that work in attracting sexual partners and those that don’t. I would have to work on self improvement in order to have more success. PU taught me the OPOSSITE of entitlement. No one is entitled to have sex – the right girl isn’t going to fal on your lap. Just like everything, you have to work at it. Instead of entitlement, PUC teaches self improvement, confidence, a variety of social skills. Some of the aspects that get viewed as mysoginist are when people, especially girls, are classified as “targets” in a particular setting. Maybe not the best terminology but all that conveys is that it’s just another person and no reason to make her into some goddess. It helps guys practice separating their success with women from their self worth. It teaches them that women have every right to enjoy the company of whatever men they prefer and it is YOUR job to develop the social skills, personality, interests, looks, or whatever it may be if you want a particular type of woman. It doesn’t ask you to change yourself, but teaches you to leverage the personality you already have. In all honesty, feminist principles were borderline offensive to me until I started learning PU and my mind opened up. You can laugh but there is lot of overlap in what I read on your blog and what I learend in PU. Of course there are plenty of differences as well.

    I see that you are pissed that people say “if only this guy had learned the Game” he wouldn’t have done this. Now, anyone who EXCUSES this act has outrageously fucked up values. But just because some shmuck with a blog calls himself a PUA says this crazy shit doesn’t mean the more intelligent, nuanced and progressive PUA’s don’t have a lot to offer guys like Sodini. Had he been taught how to interact with women, to view them as people, to meet more of them and know that his dreamgirl won’t fall into his lap, to not take rejection personally, to be more assertive, etc etc, things could have been different.

    No question that the dude is evil and quite frankly a terrorist. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t root causes that could be dealt with.

  32. WGFPA
    WGFPA August 6, 2009 at 12:20 pm |

    The Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest PA will be holding a candlelight vigil tonight, Thursday, Aug. 6th at 5:30 p.m. at the City-County Building to offer support and non-denominational prayers to the victims and families of this tragic and senseless event.

    WGF, community organizations and elected officials will be in attendance. All are welcome.

    If you live in the Southwest PA area, please attend if you can. You can also help support WGF in honoring the victims by passing this information to your friends and networks. For questions or more information, please contact WGF info@wgfpa.org.

  33. La Lubu
    La Lubu August 6, 2009 at 12:45 pm |

    I honestly don’t see a single bit of woman-blaming in his entire blog.

    Oh? Did you read it? Did you miss the part about the college-age hotties who dated black men, but weren’t willing to date him (you know, the guy old enough to be their father)?

    Perhaps you missed the line about 30 million women rejecting him? (his estimated number of women in the U.S. physically desirable enough to date, yet he was still single)?

    Maybe you missed the line about how he spoke to a woman at the gym after a class, but instead of staying for an extended conversation, she went home? An event that made him remember how “brutal” young women were in rejecting him when he was young, but now the women are more polite in their rejection?

    His brief description of a date that didn’t work out that led to another launch on how women don’t find him attractive?

    The obsession with the sex that teenage girls are getting, meanwhile he hasn’t had sex for decades?

    “Bitches?” “Hoes?” “Pussies?”

    I know! Maybe you missed the opening lines. They are:

    “Why do this?? To young girls? Just read below.”

  34. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe August 6, 2009 at 12:50 pm |

    Well, at least one (minuscule) good thing here: The bastard killed himself, thus sparing the rest of us the ordeal of listening to his self-pity in the context of an insanity defense.

  35. links for 2009-08-06 « Embololalia
    links for 2009-08-06 « Embololalia August 6, 2009 at 1:05 pm |

    [...] Feministe » More on the misogynist shooting in Pennsylvania What’s particularly irritating about the narrative surrounding these shootings is the idea that the shooter went crazy because he was lonely and women rejected him. The NYTimes story has quotes about how he was a good-looking guy who should therefore have been able to find someone to have sex with him. (tags: misogyny racism niceguys(tm) men crime usa:pennsylvania) [...]

  36. slekker
    slekker August 6, 2009 at 2:05 pm |

    This guy (see reference to article below) has a very insightful take on the fact that this shallow sense of entitlement and “victim mentality” is not new, but is largely ignored.

    http://www.northstarwriters.com/dbl068.htm

    His article is called, “America’s Consumer Culture: Manufacturing White-Guy Madmen” and it’s really spot-on.

  37. Marcy Webb
    Marcy Webb August 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm |

    The thing about this situation is this: The dominant White society is constantly pointing out the pathologies in communities of color, and, to be certain, there are many, and we as people of color in those communities needs to address them and devise solutions for them. That said, life in White America isn’t all that great, either. If George Sodini’s perspective is any indication, it’s pretty damn bad. And yet, we can write off Sodini as a lone, madman, and an isolated case. But, the truth of the matter ism and in varying degrees, Sodini represents the face of many in White American. Therefore, there are plenty of pathologies with which to grapple in that world as well.

  38. Marcy Webb
    Marcy Webb August 6, 2009 at 3:05 pm |

    Wow. I really need to start proofing my posts. My bad.

    The thing about this situation is this: The dominant White society is constantly pointing out the pathologies in communities of color, and, to be certain, there are many, and we as people of color in these communities need to address them and devise solutions for them.

    That said, life in White America isn’t all that great, either. If George Sodini’s perspective is any indication, it’s pretty damn bad. And yet, we can write off Sodini as a lone madman, and an isolated case. But, the truth of the matter is, and in varying degrees, Sodini represents the face of many in White America. Therefore, there are plenty of pathologies with which to grapple in that world as well.

  39. Cassy Fiano » Feminists blame “culture of misogyny” for gym killer

    [...] for the cherry on top of the cake, here’s Jill from Feministe: Sodini was clearly an unbalanced and aggressive man who fixated on women and blamed them for his [...]

  40. slekker
    slekker August 6, 2009 at 6:30 pm |

    Marcy,

    I agree – I don’t know for certain that it’s a white male thing, but it’s hard to overlook that non-white and non-male people aren’t typically associated with the sort of shallow, self-entitled bitter resentment that manifiests itself in mass murder of total strangers.

    I find that my own situation has put me in a strange quasi-unique positition to observe the “disenfranchized white male victim” in action. I’m a lawyer and a woman; I’m biracial but very fair with blonde hair and light eyes. I work long hours in a white-male dominated profession and have caught glimpses of what I think is a really frightening and skewed perception about minorities and women. I wish it were uncommon, but the more I see, the more I’m unwilling to feel any bit of sympathy for these guys.

    I see this loser’s crimes as being explained or justified by the fact that he was sex starved and unloved, but not enough focus on the fact that there is no excuse for this violence. I’m sick of “men” like him who are convinced that it’s their job to punish everyone else because of the simple fact that they are pathetic cowards who never attempted to develop the sort of character that could help them see that there’s nothing wrong with the fact that they aren’t the center of our universe. I just hope the media focuses on the fact that, no matter what, no woman would want to be with someone who marginalizes entire groups of other people and thinks we’re required to overlook his clearly toxic and ugly character because he wants to be appropriately accessorized with a woman. I hope they explain that he hadn’t had sex in so long becasue we are not stupid enough to want to spend time with such a selfish, self-obsessed man who goes to classes to learn a formula for how to capture us. Grrr! I’m so mad that it’s open season on women but the media has the nerve to overplay the fact that he was “rejected” by women – he was never good enough to be considered long enough for us to reject him. Loser.

  41. Lady Raine
    Lady Raine August 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm |

    The simple fact is that men cannot handle the social pressure of not being “loved for being nice” like women can. Clearly, this man (and many men) are finally feeling what we have felt for 100’s of years. Being judged on their money, their looks, and not being “that special”.

    Apparently men cannot handle the fact that they aren’t entitled to sex just because they were born with a dick.

    ALLOW these Misogynists to delight in this. It proves that they are exactly what Feminists say they are. Weak, emotional, lacking in self control, led by their penis’s, and ruled by the pussy. Essentially this guy just handed “the pussy” so much more power. Try to think of it in the positive that these guys are so dumb they don’t realize that they’re lending validity to EVERY Feminist claim no matter how ridiculous.

    They are the permanent “victims” of the world. Men like Roissy need to be completely disregarded because no one takes him seriously, anyway. The PUA community is a joke amongst normal men and women and these are the guys you see sitting at the bar on a Saturday night drinking club soda and talking to the bartender just to feel less lonely.

    They’ll die out quickly and things like this are actually making it happen faster. Anyone who delights in tragedy and pain will reap what they sow. These guys are no different.

  42. ilyka
    ilyka August 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm |

    Essentially this guy just handed “the pussy” so much more power.

    Which pussy? The pussy so inconveniently attached to three dead women? Yeah, see, no, I can’t feel good about this. I can’t feel anything much besides skeeved the fuck out, sad, and enraged.

    Not enraged at you, though. I mean, I think that was a boneheaded, insensitive remark to make at best, but you know what? At least you’re not a dude here to advise all the lovely feminist ladies about some faboo article on this tragedy written by (who else? who better?) some other dude(s), in which the fundamental interconnectedness of capitalism/colonialism/andeverythingbuttheirpreciousdudelyprivilege is centered to explain to the lovely feminist ladies why women are all so goshdarn prone to being maimed/raped/killed.

    Seriously: At least you’re not a dude and at least you’re not doing that. And for that, I thank you.

  43. Eurosabra
    Eurosabra August 6, 2009 at 11:11 pm |

    Ha, LR, are you here too? And you can see some kind of triumph for womankind in this sad bit of suicide terrorism? (As Arpagus sees one for mankind? Ouch. I think a lot of men have that kind of anger and ideation, and yes, the problem is a systemic one of patriarchy, but if you look at Arpagus’s descriptions of his actual relationships, he has pleasant, harmless dalliances whose main upshot is that the women decide he’s good for a night’s fun and nothing more.) So we have PUAs whose ideology, discourse, and emotional investment in male supremacy are not actually matched by their praxis, and Sodini as a malignant, narcissistic hanger-on of one pick-up guru with no real relationships with women. “Hey, d00dz, you are not the kewl haterz you think you are, kthanxbai.”

  44. piny
    piny August 6, 2009 at 11:16 pm |

    What Ilyka said.

    And no, this accusation of power cannot possibly do any woman any good. Claiming that women have a powerful evil hold on men’s souls is nothing new, either. Just ask the women who were burned at the stake for witchcraft.

  45. laprofe63
    laprofe63 August 7, 2009 at 12:03 am |

    I was 13 in 1976, when Son of Sam / David Berkowitz was terrorizing NYC, and I remember thinking/feeling then that being a pretty girl with long brown hair was just too dangerous. That experience of fear marked me and my way of viewing my femininity and males for many years. I came into my feminist consciousness in HS and since then have grappled with trying to understand the long-standing injustice that women have suffered, here and around the world.

    That quest brought me, and for the last 15 years or so, to (academic) work on masculinity. And I’m convinced that none of this will ever improve if we don’t get down and dirty with changing how males are socialized (by males mostly). And it will be a serious fight.

    I didn’t take the time to read Mr. Sodini’s blog, because frankly this man was a psychopath. Who knows what was true, and what were his delusions and lies. He said he didn’t have any sex, but that may simply have been his own way of justifying to himself his plan to murder innocents. Psychopathology may explain some of what brought this man to this act, but it is the (world) culture of misogyny and hegemonic masculinity that gave him a context in which to manifest it.

    I do find interesting that he mentions other males, and implies their responsibility for his “suffering” –because they didn’t teach him right, or in the case of black men, because “they get all the young white girls.” Forget that ultimately it was on him (psychopaths exhibit a strange combination of extreme self-absorption with consistent blame-deflection), let’s take that at face value.

    The question then becomes why didn’t he go on a shooting spree targeting men? Surely there are places where he could have found a room full of men. (Though they too would have died needlessly. Still, we’re just taking this to a logical conclusion- NOT condoning or suggesting anything more.)

    I would venture to guess that women were the target because that still fit into a traditionally masculine framework. He could be the big strong man, but instead of the knight or prince, he would be his evil twin.

    But to target men would have disrupted that traditional order. He would have been overstepping his bounds as a subordinate man (one who doesn’t have the trophy girl at his arm to show off to other, more powerful men -to win their respect and admiration). He would have disrupted the power structure ingrained in masculinity –he would have killed his “superiors” instead of his “inferiors.”

    THIS is why massive work has to be done in the re-education of males. Women will continue to be the target of unjust and tragic violence without it.

    If I were a praying type, I’d pray for the families and the souls of the women killed. But there’s no solace, just sadness, and unfortunately very little shock.

  46. southern students for choice-athens
    southern students for choice-athens August 7, 2009 at 2:53 am |

    This mass killing is such a tragedy that trying to critique it in some novel or hopefully insightful way will likely either be misinterpreted or disregarded.

    One thing though that probably won’t be misunderstood is to point out that, rather than what Jill quoted as an example of a supposedly typical but obviously skewed point of view, that Sodini acted out over “frustration over his inability to find a girlfriend”, Sodini actually wouldn’t likely have been frustrated over an inability to FIND a girlfriend, it was his inability to KEEP a girlfriend that was likely more of an issue. After all, some media reports have said that a former girlfriend of his was among the dead in the shooting.

    It’s important to make that distinction because the supposed “answer” to his problems — successfully becoming a “pick-up artist” (PUA) — wouldn’t have helped in that regard, and actually might have made things seem to be worse for him. Guys try to “pick up” or “hook up” with women for short-term, uncommitted relationships. Sodini had obviously some very profound problems which prevented him from developing long-term stable relationships, but he had apparently been able to have some sort of relationships with women, if only short-term, and some posts have said that he had a son and so apparently a wife or at least a woman who he had gotten pregnant at some point, though some reports have also said that they died about 15 or so years ago.

    We really ought to better research this before throwing out all these ‘maybes’ but the point is that he probably was better able that people give him credit for in forming short-term relationships. The bigger issue is that he had far deeper problems than an inability to “pick up” women, long-term relationships for him were a bigger problem, and probably impossible for him to have due to severe personal problems he had relating to women. If he had been able to see a way out of those personal problems he might not have acted out violently the way he had.

    One has to wonder how good the PUA community is at recognizing and referring guys like this to serious psychological counseling, which might have helped Sodini (one wonders of course what his experiences might have been with that). The PUA community obviously has a lot of flaws, but one thing it might have the potential for is an ability to identify and refer men who are inclined to abusive behavior to serious one-on-one counseling services. Sort of like the men’s growth or self-actualization communities were reputed to have had in the past, a la Sam Keen or Robert Bly, two examples of authors that appealed to a wide range of men, many of whom might have been considered to be liberal or progressive, but not as self-identified as feminist as guys in groups like National Organization of Changing Men.

    Yeah, this is asking a lot of guys who self-describe themselves as “pick-up artists”, but most of what they seem to be about — and we’re certainly no experts on them — seems little worse than what so many women’s magazines in grocery stores promise regarding sex and their/your boyfriends. Occasionally there are worthwhile stories and points made in mainstream women’s magazines. Maybe too, sometime, maybe someday, from the PUA community as well, at least regarding recognizing and appropriately responding to dangerous tendencies in people like Sodini.

  47. redredrobin
    redredrobin August 7, 2009 at 3:37 am |

    Definitely do what Stekker suggests and check out the article “America’s Consumer Culture: Manufacturing White-Guy Madmen”.

    http://www.northstarwriters.com/dbl068.htm

    I’d be interested in what you expert feminists think of this writing by a man!

  48. Lauren
    Lauren August 7, 2009 at 8:33 am |

    Sodini (the government, PUAs, Society At Large) had (has) all kinds of choices, and none of them should have involved a gun (war, rape, rage).

    From events like this, and from ongoing experiences IRL, I think we should set a higher bar in taking down and rebuking revenge fantasy peddlers, full stop.

  49. zuzu
    zuzu August 7, 2009 at 9:13 am |

    I read the shooter’s blog before I read your post. I really think you’re suffering from massive confirmation bias. The shooter doesn’t blame women for his problems at all. He blames himself, his brother, and his father, as the root causes of his unhappiness. He says he wishes that he could go back in time and fix himself. That he could have learned how to interact with women properly. I honestly don’t see a single bit of woman-blaming in his entire blog.

    Aside from what La Lubu said, starting with “did you read it?” let me point out here that when he picked up those guns, he didn’t go kill his father, his brother and himself. No, he walked into a class full of women (twice, actually, though the first time he didn’t pull the trigger) and started shooting.

    So even if we can buy your assertion that he blamed his father, his brother and himself, the people he chose to punish were not his father, his brother and himself; rather, the people he chose to punish were women.

    And let’s look at another bit of his misdirected anger/sense of entitlement here: That 30 million attractive women figure. First, let’s just acknowledge that anyone who decides he’s been personally rejected by 30 million women, most of whom do not live in the greater Pittsburgh area and thus would not have known his name had he not become a mass murderer, is just a wee bit self-involved. But let’s also note that by dividing the American female population into “attractive” and “non-attractive,” he’s making a judgment that he didn’t allow the “attractive” women to make.

    But they never do seem to get that women have their own desires, too.

    @Knittng Clio — oh, gender did get brought into the Virginia Tech shooting, as soon as it became known that the shooter had been stalking someone. She was blamed for not giving him a mercy fuck and turning him away from his mass-murdering ways.

  50. True Forced Loneliness? Women don’t owe you shit. « adrift and awake

    [...] a lot of interesting discussions happening about the Sodini killing spree. And I, for one, will continue to watch how this TFL thing [...]

  51. Man Shoots Women – Just Another Day «

    [...] onto the internet, I had to dig around a bit to find a brief story.  Finally, the feminist blogs I follow had [...]

  52. Nicole
    Nicole August 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm |

    Gotta love how it never occurred to him that he might be giving off a very unattractive/creepy/woman-hating vibe. The ladies don’t much care for that.

    And Wow @ the Female Market Value Test. I especially enjoyed the small penis question: someone is super telling on himself!

  53. slekker
    slekker August 7, 2009 at 6:07 pm |

    Wow – I looked into the TFL (true forced loneliness/too fucking loony) “movement.”. Talk about creepy.

    Apparently their youtube account that posted their video manifestos on how it’s the fault of the entire female gender that they get rejected, can’t get a girlfriend, have no friends and have to die alone.

    On the message board that they shut down last week (see link below), they say the youtube account was cancelled because of “too much truthtelling”. The cached links to their videos show extended hateful rants against women taped from their moms’ basements.

    I had no idea that this brand of crazy (I-can’t-get-a-date-so-you-must-be-punished) actually had a club with baseball caps and podcasts.

    Too. Weird. And. Tragic.

    http://members.boardhost.com/trueforcedloneliness/index.html?1249683919#t_1247173299

  54. Reba C
    Reba C August 7, 2009 at 7:06 pm |

    Wow, that blog about picking up women frightens me. I can only hope the person writing the blog is a child, given his esteem of the “shove her down on the playground” approach to courtship. Even more so considering he assigns a positive value to underage females in his Female Market Value Test. If not he moves from being an emotionally underdeveloped deviant to a statutory rapist.

  55. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 7, 2009 at 7:13 pm |

    If we have so much fucking power, a man in a health club would not have felt free to massacre women because we didn’t hand over the sex he felt entitled to. When someone feels they have the right to take what they want from women by force or punish us for not dating him, that’s not power. Not for women. And I’ll tell you something else–I’ve been harassed and threatened by guys like Douchebag Shooter who felt like I had no right to say no to them. I didn’t feel particularly powerful. I also didn’t feel inclined to change my mind about dating them, though I was upbraided by people for being stuck up and too hard on someone who was obviously interested in me.

    Women go through what he and other men go through, but I have yet to see a woman massacre men because she can’t find a boyfriend or get laid. It must be nice to be so entitled. FFS.

    THIS kind of shit–the entitlement of men who brutalize women and the uninformed inbreeds who defend this shit–makes me want to check out of the human race. It makes me think that I should avoid having much at all to do with men. Because while men complain bitterly about ego-bruising rejection (like the bitches never have to deal with that, amirite), women are often brutalized by some entitled asshate. (And seriously, BP? He didn’t punish the men he supposedly blamed–he punished WOMEN. He killed WOMEN.)

    Women are not property. Women are not things that you have a right to. And if you’re feeling rejected, oh PUA douchebag, keep in mind that there are women who feel just as rejected. The difference is, we aren’t raised with the idea that we are entitled to take what we want or kill men when we don’t get a pony. Here’s another ticket to the cluetrain–no matter how hot the woman, she’s likely encountered her share of negs and rejection. And if you weren’t so fucking entitled, you wouldn’t feel like you had a right to hot women (and unless Brad Pitt is staring back at you out of the mirror, you’d better STFU–live by that standard, die by it cupcake). You fucking shitstains have tried that tired old shtick on me, and honey, let me tell you, it’s tiresome. It’s a turnoff. And I do tend to want to stuff a ball gag in your mouths when you come up to me (and tell you to take off your stupid fucking hat or cape or whatever the fuck you’re using to jackrabbit). Get the fuck off the planet.

    PS–Sodhini and other douchebags like this only want hot young women. Maybe if they broadened their search and actually looked beyond someone’s hotness, and dropped the entitled misogyny, they’d find someone.

  56. ilyka
    ilyka August 7, 2009 at 11:01 pm |

    From events like this, and from ongoing experiences IRL, I think we should set a higher bar in taking down and rebuking revenge fantasy peddlers, full stop.

    But Lauren, they are VERY HURT and in A LOT OF PAIN from BLUE BALLS and PUSSY DEPRIVATION and besides, WOMEN ARE SUPPOSED TO BE NURTURING. Not that any of that nurturing womanliness should stop any very hurt and in a lot of pain guys from shooting the bitches, though. I wouldn’t want to impinge on a dude’s right to feel his feelings!

    No, I don’t want to do that at all. I would just like dudes to reconsider acting on those feelings in ways that leave women maimed/raped/killed by ‘em. WOW THAT IS LIKE SO RADICAL.

    Apparently their youtube account that posted their video manifestos on how it’s the fault of the entire female gender that they get rejected, can’t get a girlfriend, have no friends and have to die alone.

    Of course they do. Full up on the toxic, though, so I’m gonna have to miss that special little detour to the corner of Sick and Wrong.

    @redredrobin: Obvious troll is obvious. Lemme know when some fella feels inspired to write “Ten Things Men Can Do To Combat Misogyny,” or actually even five things, or three, or ONE, and you can drop that link over at whenhellfreezesoverorthesungoessupernovawhichever.com. Thanks!

  57. Georgia
    Georgia August 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm |

    re: The Game saving lives

    If we were to call shit like this, gender terrorism, than saying The Game can save lives would be just live saying that the Taliban won’t kill Americans if we all do everything they say. WHY? There are other ways.

    Before we ask, whether sacrificing a woman could save other women from the rage which would be vented solely on teh sacrificed woman, plus children they have, why not ask;
    – how about we try preventing these assholes from becoming assholes to begin with?
    – how about we put these assholes down before they can harm?

    I find shooting these assholes down a much more human solution than giving him a private woman to torture.

  58. But wait … there’s more! « A Grand Mute Proof

    [...] comparison, here’s Jill at Feministe: Sodini was clearly an unbalanced and aggressive man who fixated on women and blamed them for his [...]

  59. Jaleko
    Jaleko August 13, 2009 at 8:03 am |

    One thing I never got was… How did we get the idea that the best response to misogynists who became misogynists because of (perceived) rejection is to criticize them, berate them, make fun of them and insult them for being a misogynist?

    I mean sure, it feels good, and it feels like the right thing to do. But does it remove these people’s misogyny or actually increase their perceived-excuses for having it? Let’s be real here.

    Now, when I talk to men who have the issue, I EXPECT the man to take full responsibility for the misogyny and over-come it. I never not once mention the women, but the onus solely on HIM, and re-educating him.

    I don’t blame him, insult him, shame or berate him, but explain how patriarchy has brainwashed him… And that actually works most of the time in completely rebirthing a man and removing all of the misogyny. It doesn’t feel as good as berating him, but his misogyny is gone forever.

    Don’t expect me to oversimplify the issue to just one factor and “Oh, he should just HANDLE IT” (which he should).

    But I will tackle another factor, whether you like it or not, it exists, and its objective.

    When a boy get a little bit of initial misogyny installed in him… (from the patriarchal media)… The very first thing that happens… is that now, when he tries to talk to a girl he has a crush on… For some reason, she treats him like dirt [in his perception] where in truth she was just reacting to his misogyny.

    The misogyny grows a bit more (he’s reaffirmed his misogynistic beliefs through his “bitter experience”)… So his misogyny is now even greater… He interacts with a few more women, and they (for some reason unknown to him) act cold, distant and as if he were somehow defective (what he doesn’t know is, that they’re doing so because of his now increased misogyny, which creeps in so subtly in his psyche, that he doesn’t notice it).

    Guess what, now he has a ton more “evidence” for his warped belief-system. After all, all the women he talks to are “mean, rude and cold for no reason”… or so he thinks. (remember, his ego-defense-mechanisms prevent him from seeing his own misogyny)

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

    The point is… Its a loop. Misogyny creates more misogyny, which creates more misogyny, which creates more misogyny, which creates more misogyny.

    The loop has to be broken at some point. It can either be some sort of catharsis where he gets it by some miracle. It can be a male mentor (ex misogynist) who can mentor him/educate him away from it. Or a woman who does such.

    Now… What I am going to suggest is not going to be popular, but deal with it, its just objective truth that it can help.

    Don’t ASSUME that if a man acts misogynistic around you, that he’s a lost case, and all you can do is berate him for it (which feels right, but doesn’t work). Again, I realize this is an unpopular idea… but… I’m going to utter it again.

    Consider actually educating him. No, not trigger all his ego defense mechanisms with “you hate women”, “you should just treat women like humans”… etc.

    It doesn’t work. At least not without an introduction. Help him understand how the patriarchy is hurting him, and how he’s affected by it… then explain objectification.
    =================

    Again, not going to be a popular statement, but I shall utter this as well, as its an objective assessment.

    Most women (huge percentage) will not bother to re-educate him, but will simply berate him and move on… letting him move on to the next woman with even more misogyny.

    Why should I bother? Its his fault if he has it… and so he moves to the next woman…

    Remember: Most misogyny is broken by such a guy having the luck of meeting either a male mentor or a woman who re-educates him for the benefit of all socieity.

  60. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers August 13, 2009 at 10:06 am |

    While i don’t inherently dispute your idea, Jaleko, the problem is that women cannot do it.

    When a woman attempts to educate a man on misogyny, one of several things happens:

    — “what are you, a ball-busting feminazi?”
    — “isn’t it cute how I can wind you up and make you angry just by saying some things?”
    — “chill out, it was just a joke”
    — “I know *you’re* not like that! I’m talking about those *other* women, they’re bitches”
    — “men are suffering too!”
    — “you can’t imagine how hard it is to be a man”

    and so on.

    Only men can train men not to be misogynists because misogynists will only pay attention to men. The whole *essence* of misogyny is that you don’t think women are human, so when a woman stands up for herself, it does not invoke the necessary empathy he would need to feel in order to acknowledge her point. He just feels like she’s challenging him undeservedly, because women should not challenge him, and he will either get super-defensive or he will patronize her.

    When my three-year-old gets mad because she wants something RIGHT NOW! and it’s totally unfair that she can’t have noodles for dinner every day, I patronize her. I say she’s fussy and I laugh. because she’s three and her issues, while they may be important to her, are objectively totally trivial. What misogynists often do is to take the genuine anger women feel at being treated as subhumans and treat it the way I treat my three-year-old’s anger. Because, see, we’re not fully adult humans, and therefore our anger can’t be important.

    Women do try to have this conversation. I’ve tried, with male friends who put me in the “honorary guy” category. It doesn’t help; I’m still female. The education of men about misogyny *must* come from men because misogynists dismiss everything women have to say.

  61. George Sodini Videos « Robert Lindsay

    [...] to this ridiculous over the top feminist blog, appropriate titled Feministe, the PUA artists try to teach guys who are AFC (average frustrated [...]

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