“Revenge” shootings in Santa Barbara

[Content Note: shootings, murder, misogyny]

Andie and Donna have both posted links in the Open Thread to news items about the Isla Vista mass shootings, and rather than let this atrocity swamp the social thread I’ve decided to give this its own post.

Andie 2014/05/24 at 11:00 am: Well if this isn’t male entitlement at its most horrifying

Trigger warning, extreme violence, misogyny. It’s disgusting, especially when I know people are going to go on about gun control (which I am all for), scapegoat the mentally ill, but probably ignore the shitload of entitlement, the absolute fucktons of male entitlement to women’s bodies that it takes to feel justified in killing innocent people because you can’t get laid.

Holy shit. My thoughts go out to all of the friends and families of the victims.

Donna 2014/05/24 at 5:32 pm: This story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/05/24/shooter-kills-at-least-six-people-in-rampage-near-uc-santa-barbara/?tid=pm_national_pop

And the transcript of the shooter’s youtube rant: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/transcript-of-video-manifesto-by-suspected-uc-santa-barbara-shooter/2014/05/24/04da4618-e381-11e3-9743-bb9b59cde7b9_story.html

Make me want to vomit. Another mass murder that’s the product of misogyny, carried out by a self-proclaimed “nice guy.”

David Futrelle at We Hunted The Mammoth (the renamed ManBoobz) has a full transcript of the video allegedly posted by the suspected shooter.

As the person who sent this video to me this morning noted, it sounds almost like a parody of the misogynistic beliefs and rhetoric that I write about on this blog. His language and his melodramatic tone both echo the writings of many of those young men who consider themselves “incels.” His anger is the same anger we see from the rejected men who lash out with insults and threats on OkCupid when their often crude advances are turned down. He reminds me of every so-called “nice guy” who is inwardly seething with resentment born of sexual entitlement denied. He even, at one point, calls himself a “gentleman.” He also calls himself an “alpha.”

It is clear that his  resentment at women was stoked by what I call the “new misogyny” and by steeping himself in at least one online community that reaffirmed his exaggerated, unwarranted sense of victimhood. So far we have evidence that he was a commenter at PUAhate, a site ostensibly designed to critique PUAs but which has degenerated into a haven for misogynistic “incels” and angry trolls. I suspect we will find that he was also a reader of, or  a commenter at, some of the other sites I critique on this blog.


It’s obvious that an emotionally healthy individual could not have committed such acts of violence against strangers, but
I ask commentors to avoid speculating about possible mental health diagnoses. What we know as facts is horrific enough.


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155 comments for ““Revenge” shootings in Santa Barbara

  1. May 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    The woman on my Facebook compared this to the Marc Lepine case (Montreal massacre) and it scary how much both cases seem to be borne out of a total feeling of male entitlement.. Rodger because he felt entitled to women’s bodies and Lepine because he felt women were “stealing” the opportunities that should have been his.

    Either way the sheer level of hatred of women is astounding.

    I’m having a hard time processing some of this because I have had friends (and at least one ex) who spoke like this guy spoke, and how these Nice Guys™ and MRA’s and pick up artists talk about their feelings of entitlement when it comes to sex and affection from women. Looking back, some of the conversations I have had were down-right shudder-inducing.

    It’s really really hard not to just hate everything right now.

    • May 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      Either way the sheer level of hatred of women is astounding.

      It’s toxic as hell. I’m thinking back to the girl who was stabbed to death the other week because she declined a young man as her date for the prom. It’s all part of the same entitlement package.

  2. May 24, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Three more bodies have been discovered at Elliot Rodger’s apartment. As part of his “manifesto”, he apparently wrote this:

    “On the day before the Day of Retribution, I will start the First Phase of my vengeance: Silently killing as many people as I can around Isla Vista by luring them into my apartment through some form of trickery.”

    • May 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      Absolutely horrific. :(

    • May 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Jesus. This just keeps getting worse.

  3. May 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Unsurprisingly, disabilist narratives in the media are serving to obscure the misogyny of this mass killer. It’s so fucking appalling. This whole tragedy has really shaken me up and made me worried about whether things will get worse in the future. If society keeps saying that this man was motivated by mental disability and continue ignore his racist, sexist entitlement, who knows how many more threatening misogynists will be automatically granted the social license to harm women?

    • Becky
      May 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Yeah. I heard about this on the CBC and they said he had been diagnosed with a mental illness, but nothing about the misogyny aspect. Demonizing mental illness, check. Obscuring the societal factors that lead to violence against women and other marginalized populations, check. Fuck.

      • rain
        May 25, 2014 at 9:56 pm

        IIRC, CBC said something along the lines of the shooting had sparked discussion of gun control and mental illness again in the US. And also that Rodgers had been diagnosed with Asperger’s. Disgraceful.

        Coincidentally, or not, they also had a repeat airing of a story on a men’s rights group getting charity status.

      • 10G
        May 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm

        Yeah, that’s disgusting…I hope it doesn’t pass.

      • Clytemnestra's Sister
        May 26, 2014 at 12:50 am

        Yeah, because the ONLY possible way one person can be so violent and hateful towards other people is if they have some form of mental illness.

      • Clytemnestra's Sister
        May 26, 2014 at 12:53 am

        Should have put /sarcasm there.

  4. EG
    May 24, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    tigtog, I don’t mean to pick on a throwaway line in what is, I think, an important post, but I’m not by any means sure that an emotionally healthy individual could not have committed such violence against strangers. History is full of people no less emotionally healthy than anybody else doing just that when they felt entitled to do so. Consider lynchings, for instance. I strongly suspect that whether or not Rodger was emotionally healthy has nothing to do with his actions.

    • May 24, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      I was attempting to make a distinction between transient emotional disturbances (especially intense anger) that happen in otherwise mentally “normal” individuals and people with actual mental illnesses (who are far far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators).

      The vast majority of violent acts are committed by people who are mentally “normal” but experiencing a temporary emotional disturbance – this particularly includes all those “normal” citizens whose emotions were disturbed by demagogues so that they committed lynchings and pogroms and other atrocities against othered outgroups and then went back to their mentally “normal” lives.

      I am very open to suggestions for better wording.

      • EG
        May 24, 2014 at 9:11 pm

        Oh, I see. “Emotionally healthy” seemed to mean the other thing to me. Maybe something like “While Rodger would have had to be in an extreme mental state to do this…” That sounds more to me like a description of a transient extreme mood than a general descriptor of mental health, but I may be off.

        Thanks for the explanation. I appreciate it.

      • May 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm

        I’ve edited the post and the excerpt to just ask readers to avoid speculation on mental health.

      • May 24, 2014 at 9:31 pm

        Thanks, tigtog. I really appreciate it.

      • PrettyAmiable
        May 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm

        tigtog – wanted to thank you for that comment in the OP. The US has a shooting-culture, which means every few months we have some new massacre, and every few months I get to struggle with combatting the disablist narrative. This means a lot to me.

        [/all about me]

  5. EG
    May 24, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    I’m deeply but coldly upset by this. Like…I feel like I’m going on automatic here, on Twitter, but I can’t even feel or get in touch with how deeply upset I am. I’m sorry if my above comment makes it seem like I’m not upset or that I’m not focusing on the real issue. I think I’m just not processing this well or completely or something like that. Anyway, I’m sorry.

    • May 24, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      It’s okay. I think the disabilist, misinformed portrayal of this murderer is also an important issue. After all, it is because of society’s willingness to label all violent bigots as “mentally ill” rather than murderous, entitled people that so many of these killers are excused and therefore enabled.

      • May 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm

        “…society’s willingness to label all white violent bigots as mentally ill”

        Because as a few people on twitter pointed out, the affluent white dude is called mentally ill, where a black guy would have been a thug or a brown guy a terrorist.

      • May 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm

        I agree.

      • PrettyAmiable
        May 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm

        Because as a few people on twitter pointed out, the affluent white dude is called mentally ill, where a black guy would have been a thug or a brown guy a terrorist.

        I’m not on twitter, so thank you for sharing that here. Incredibly insightful. All reactions are equally terrible. Seems like, as a society, we should just be happy to label mass murderers as asshole douchecanoes and be done with it.

    • Donna L
      May 24, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      Elliot Rodger may have been mixed-race and identified as “Eurasian,” but he sure as hell internalized white racism and white supremacy, and was a product of it.

  6. Rachel
    May 24, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    As a graduate student/TA at UCSB, and a long time lurker here at Feministe, I am grateful to see this discussion happening in this particular online space. I’ve spent all day online, anxiously waiting for the names of the victims, worrying about my students, both current and former, and painfully aware that even if everyone *I* know is safe, there are many in this community who aren’t. I’m currently standing in the midst of the gathering candlelight vigil on campus, and I’m moved by the sight of all the people coming together in solidarity. I happily welcome any good thoughts the Feministe community can send our way, and I will try to check in with updates as conversations on campus continue.

    • EG
      May 25, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      How terrifying, Rachel. I’m so sorry this is so close to home for you.

      • Rachel
        May 26, 2014 at 12:59 am

        Thank you, EG. One of the shooting victims was in the class I’m TA-ing for this quarter, in my friend’s discussion section, and one of the stabbing victims was in my roommate’s discussion section this term. School – or any other sort of public – massacre always felt like a thing that was awful but happened “somewhere else.” It’s eerie how close to home this is – literally as well as figuratively – and world-shattering, in many ways.

        The candlelight vigil I attended last night was beautiful. Classes are cancelled on Tuesday, but many of us will be sitting on our classrooms providing a place for students to come talk, or just *be*, and we will be having a campus memorial service Tuesday afternoon.

        I’m normally pretty troubled by our school mascot – we’re the Gauchos, which is all sorts of problematic, but that’s not the point now – but I will be wearing my UCSB Gaucho sweatshirt all week in community with everyone I know here.

        I’m sorry if my words seem hard to follow and disjointed – everything still feels extremely surreal. It’s especially odd to have something that happened less than a mile from where I was sitting at the time, watching a performance on campus, be analyzed and argued and reported in international news. Again, I appreciate all the kind thoughts everyone here has, and am eternally grateful to know that I can come to this safe space online. Thank you, tigtog, and others, for keeping it that kind of space.

  7. Donna L
    May 24, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    It looks like he killed at least 9 people, including six he shot and three young men he stabbed in his apartment building.

    • Donna L
      May 25, 2014 at 12:03 am

      I’m sorry; maybe it’s six people including the three who were stabbed, not plus the three. Horrible either way, but I do hope there are three fewer dead than I thought.

    • Echo Zen
      May 25, 2014 at 12:21 am

      Yes, the 3 people he stabbed are part of the body court. So thankfully you’re right.

  8. Echo Zen
    May 25, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Why would anyone assume the shooter had mental issues? He states in his own video the reason he killed women was because… he didn’t like women! And given how identical his reasons for hating women are to why other misogynists hate women, it’s not a huge leap to think he’d feel entitled to perpetrate violence against them, the way misogynists feel entitled to assault women on campus or threaten them with rape on Reddit. It’s not like this bloke was ranting about UFOs or Obama in his video.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      May 25, 2014 at 12:45 am

      Yup. His problem is hate and entitlement. Those two things combined leave body counts.

    • PrettyAmiable
      May 25, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Why would anyone assume the shooter had mental issues?

      Because if it doesn’t get blamed on him being crazy, it means the pro-gun lobby loses a key scapegoat. And it means people are forced to confront the fact that anyone, including themselves, are capable of evil. It’s just easier this way for large swathes of people.

  9. gratuitous_violet
    May 25, 2014 at 1:27 am

    I’ve been sick about this all day. Isla Vista was a really special place to hang out in college because so many of my friends lived there going to UCSB. Despite the bad rap it enjoys it was always warm and friendly and relaxed. This guy knew that people there will just wander from place to place on a party night and not think twice about it.

    Some of my friends who still live there (all ok, thankfully) have talked about how eerily quiet it’s been there today. Which is the closest thing to ripping the heart out of Isla Vista that I can imagine.

    And many thanks for drawing a line under speculations about mental health. I consider myself a perfectly decent person, despite being “mentally ill,” and I’ve never killed anybody.

  10. May 25, 2014 at 7:11 am

    There’s a long comment in moderation which discusses how the commentor really really wishes that mental health speculation was on the table for discussion in this thread. I’m not going to approve that comment, and I’m not going to change that directive, and any further comments wanting to open that side of the discussion will be deleted.

    Let’s concentrate on fact. Hate and anger and resentment cause people at all levels of cognitive function to kill others on a regular and ongoing basis. We have plenty of evidence of the fact of this killer’s hate and anger and resentment of women.

    We have no evidence of any mental illness diagnosis for this killer. Mental illness on its own is not a motive whereby murders take place anyway. As I wrote above – anger and resentment and hate are overwhelmingly the motives for murder.

    It’s a common cognitive bias to seek some sort of Just World explanation for human atrocities which distances Us from Them, and makes us feel that We could never ever do That, [eta] and mental illness is one of those explanations[/eta]. From the relevant research I have read, it is however mostly the simpler choices of angry, hateful and resentful people which drives them towards or away from violence – do they seek out (a) the company of others who approve of imagining ever more extreme scenarios of violent retribution, or (b) the company of others who will talk them down from their extreme emotional state and help them imagine scenarios of self-examination, self-control and self-improvement?

    The problem is that these are often not informed choices – they are choices of habit or chance, depending on the background of the person. Discussing ways in which we might make the (b) choice above more available and more likely to be chosen? That’s a more substantive contribution than speculation about mental health.

    • May 25, 2014 at 8:22 am

      At this point I want to link to Miri’s excellent post at Brute Reason http://freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason/2014/05/24/masculinity-violence-and-bandaid-solutions/

      You will not hear that boys and men are taught to believe that they are entitled to women’s bodies in uncountable ways, every day, in every setting, by their parents and by the media and by everyone else. You will not hear again about the boy who stabbed a girl to death for refusing to go to prom with him, or about this entire list of women being hurt or killed for ignoring or rebuffing men’s sexual interests, or the constant daily acts of violence to which women are subjected for exercising their right to autonomy.

      And before you call Rodger “crazy”: it is not actually “crazy” to believe stuff that’s been shoved down your throat from birth.

    • May 25, 2014 at 8:53 am
    • Disorder
      May 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      I respectfully request that my comment be published. I find it very distasteful and oppressive that feminist censor the issue of male mental health.
      [remainder of comment snipped by moderator: breaches clearly stated content guidelines for this post]

      • PrettyAmiable
        May 25, 2014 at 3:45 pm

        Why can’t you discuss this in any of the million of places people are blaming his mental health? You can critique it through a feminist lens anywhere else.

      • May 25, 2014 at 3:54 pm

        Moderator Note to Disorder: Take it to #spillover or drop it.

      • Disorder
        May 26, 2014 at 4:04 am

        [You have been redirected to Spillover already for this discussion you want to have. Take it there. Do not continue referencing it here. ~ Moderator Team]

    • EG
      May 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      I appreciate your decision not to approve the comment. Thank you, tigtog.

  11. AMM
    May 25, 2014 at 8:52 am

    The “he must have been mentally ill” meme reminds me of the “religion = mental illness” trope that a number of bloggers over at freethoughtblogs.com have been vociferously arguing against.

    Their point is that humans are social creatures whose sense of reality is socially constructed. If everyone else in a particular society believes, for example, that there are witches who fly through the night air on broomsticks, or that that madonna statue is dripping real tears, it is entirely normal for a person in that society to believe it, too. That’s how human beings are built. If you call them “mentally ill,” then you’re basically calling 99% of the human race “mentall ill.”

    I think that applies here, too. In the South (USA), otherwise “normal” people were perfectly willing to torture and kill black people who in the view of their society had failed to “know their place.” They did it because they knew that their society encouraged and approved of it — often the entire town would turn out to watch. They even made postcards of the lynchings. Human history is full of similar things. It doesn’t take “mental illness” (by any reasonable definition thereof) to make people do horrific things, it just takes them being in a culture or milieu where most people approve of those horrific things.

    That’s why the fact that the shooter was steeped in a misogynistic subculture, one which talks in a way that makes one expect they’d approve of his murders, is far more relevant than any rumored “mental problems.”

    And that’s why, if you want to prevent the next mass shooting, or the next genocide, or whatever, it’s far more useful to change the cultural climate that rationalizes or even encourages these atrocities than to put every potential perpetrator into psychiatric treatment.

    • May 26, 2014 at 5:17 am

      Excellent comment on all counts, AMM.

  12. suzy
    May 25, 2014 at 10:33 am

    (With all due respect, admiration and affection for those whose interpretations of religious texts are nuanced and positive.)

    The blogoshpere is blown up with responses from feminists and gun lobbyists and no one I have seen is addressing the thing about this crime that causes me the most distress.

    His venom is presented in the language of religious fundamentalism.

    He is going to be “god” and exact his “retribution” because “humanity is a disgusting, wretched, depraved species.”

    We are so quick to worry about what hatred is spewed in mosques that might insight terrorism, but what about the narrow, literal interpretations of the bible that clearly informed this??

    • PrettyAmiable
      May 25, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      suzy, I’m open to your interpretation, but when I read that part of the transcript, for whatever reason, I pictured Thor – not a monotheistic deity. (I’m an atheist, FWIW, so perhaps that’s why I went that way).

      • PrettyAmiable
        May 25, 2014 at 1:30 pm

        Ah – specifcally his use of “a God” rather than “God” (capitalization per wehuntedthemammoth, linked above). I guess I go Norse (or Marvel) when it’s open to interpretation.

      • suzy
        May 28, 2014 at 9:41 am

        PA,
        I completely understand your response and might have had it if he’d just said the things about god and retribution, but the bit about humanity sounds like so much that comes from the bully pulpits in so-called religious (tax exempt) environs!
        s

  13. AMM
    May 25, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I just looked at the story in today’s (it’s Sunday morning where I am) issue of my local newspaper, and I notice that they, at least, don’t mention anything about mental illness. It’s nice to see that there’s at least one news media outlet that hasn’t (yet) jumped on the “mental illness” meme-wagon.

    The paper is owned by the Gannett chain and the story seems to be a USAtoday story, so it’s probably appearing in a lot of papers that way.

    One factoid I’d missed before: the shooter’s family had seen the video weeks ago and reported it to the police.

    • May 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      AMM, I believe they became concerned over earlier videos. The “retribution” video was AFAIK only posted this week.

    • Clytemnestra's Sister
      May 26, 2014 at 1:17 am

      That bit about the videos…..argh.

      There is a fine, fine, dangerous line between “thoughtcrime” and “censorship” and “violation of civil rights,” and “strong reason to believe something really really bad is about to happen and we need to nip it in the bud right freakin’ now.” Clearly, his parents had reason to believe that something really really bad was going on, and they did the right thing by calling the authorities.

      But the way the law is written, after the police interview, if, in their judgement he is not an immediate danger to himself or anybody else, then that is as far as they can go. Kind of like the man who shot up Virginia Tech in 2007: there were ample warnings of Something Very Wrong, but until he opened fire, no way to actually DO anything about somebody who had been identified as a serious problem.

      I wish there were some sort of way to proactively deal with this–get people into counselling, get people into a place where their issues can be dealt with safely and appropriately, and let’s face it, get them away from the rest of us who would be their victims until things settle down. I don’t know that there is, or rather, I don’t know that there is any force in this society that could be trusted to be impartial, correct, sane, and sufficiently not-corrupt enough for something like that to happen. (Certainly not in the southern USA where I live.)

      • Andrew
        June 3, 2014 at 7:57 pm

        (Note to say that I’m referencing mental health to respond to CS’s questions, not to imply that it was a significant factor in this case.)

        Days late on this, I know, Clytemnestra’s Sister, but there are some existing services like what you describe. Unfortunately, they are few and far between.
        L.A. County has a mental health emergency roll-out team that works both independently and with police on cases like these. Police are not well trained in the evaluation of mental disorders and threats (nor should they have to be), but they are the ones usually charged with making these decisions. Someone does not need to be “mentally ill” for the team to respond; just pose a threat.

        I ran one of these teams in L.A. for years and can tell you they are very effective in providing targeted service for someone in need.

        Steve Lopez (L.A. Times columnist) wrote a very compelling argument on Sunday for expanding these teams throughout CA and the U.S.

        If you’re really interested, call your local mental health department and ask if they have something like this.

  14. May 25, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Yesterday I read some more “men’s rights” stuff, which continues to be incredible (as in unbelievable) and stomach-turning to me. I’ve never read too much of it, as whenever I get a taste (e.g., in comments sections that I shouldn’t be reading) it’s just way too much. So yesterday I was reading an angry “incel” (word I just learned: involuntarily celibate) blog post that was written last year; it said that suicide and murder-suicide are “normal, healthy reactions to incel” — really chilling in light of yesterday’s news.

    I don’t know what I can say that wouldn’t be obvious to people reading this site, but it is astounding and sickening to me that there are people out there who feel so entitled to women’s bodies that they would frame murder as a perfectly acceptable reaction to having that “entitlement” denied. The inability, or unwillingness, to look within, and instead to lash out and blame everyone else, is pretty scary. As is the denial of half of the population’s basic humanity.

    • Clytemnestra's Sister
      May 26, 2014 at 1:19 am

      So yesterday I was reading an angry “incel” (word I just learned: involuntarily celibate) blog post that was written last year; it said that suicide and murder-suicide are “normal, healthy reactions to incel” — really chilling in light of yesterday’s news.

      Because threatening to kill the women who you want to sleep with you but aren’t sleeping with you is such a great way to get them to want to sleep with you, amirite? Wonder how that’s working for them.

    • May 26, 2014 at 5:23 am

      There’s at least one so-called incel (I won’t name him; he has a habit of showing up in threads with his name, and got banned from WHTM years ago for that) who sounds exactly like Rodgers. Women shouldn’t have the vote, women should be ruled by men, his parents should have paid for a prostitute to pretend to be his girlfriend, his mother should have had sex with him, he refuses to work because that’s just supporting feminazi governments that pay women and make it impossible for men to be their providers and thus access the sex they’re entitled to … it sounds bizarre but I’m quoting this little shit, and over at WHTM we’ve wondered more than once how long it would be before he became violent. He’s not that different from Rodgers in his rantings, and the whole incel thing is disgusting.

    • EG
      May 26, 2014 at 8:15 am

      I don’t get that. I have been involuntarily celibate for literally years at a time, and murder never once crossed my mind as a response. What makes these assholes think that their “suffering,” such as it is, is so very special and unusual?

      Can you imagine the carnage in this country if people who were actually lacking in sufficient necessities, such as food and/or health care, started opening fire on crowds? What the fuck do these people think is so special about sex?

    • May 27, 2014 at 4:41 am

      Because they are MENZ! And menz’ sadboners are the most important thing ever, and they will diiiiieee if they don’t get sex from the womenthings of their choice.

      I’ve been involuntarily celibate (because I’m not having sex with anyone but the one person I care about that way) all my life. I’m fifty. But of course that doesn’t count, because women don’t actually have sexual desires – sorry, NEEEEDS – like menz.

      This isn’t any of my thinking; it’s misogynist fare, standard stuff with MRAs, PUAs, incels and so on, and it’s very easy to sum up after reading WHTM so long.

  15. SkyTracer
    May 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I’m not the kind of guy who thinks of women as some sort of fey, superior beings, but sometimes I don’t understand how women can even function in a world that can be so violently hostile to them. I’m sorry you all have to deal with that, on top of whatever other cards you’ve been dealt.

    Also, of course, I would like to express my sympathies to the people personally touched by this situation.

    • SkyTracer
      May 25, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      It looks like this person was also racist too. I didn’t mean to downplay that; I hadn’t heard it yet.

      Nor am I trying to downplay the scapegoating of “Aspergers” by ignorant fucks and revenue-ravenous “journalists”. I didn’t mention it because I happen to have an autism spectrum disorder and I didn’t want to come across as whining about my own problems.

    • lonny
      May 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Just pointing out that most of his victims were male.

      • May 26, 2014 at 5:07 pm

        He wrote very angrily about “full Asian” and other non-white men who had girlfriends while he didn’t. It wouldn’t surprise me if we find that the three young Asian men he stabbed all had girlfriends, and the other man in the deli was Latino, so it’s still all part of him blaming women for choosing other men instead of him.

      • May 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm

        Also, if he’d been able to gain entry to the sorority as he planned, there would be many more dead women. The fact that the women there were used to ignoring imperative knocking on the door from men they didn’t know is the only thing which saved their lives.

      • lonny
        May 26, 2014 at 10:06 pm

        True. He also fantasized about wiping every male off the planet so he could singularly monopolize female attention/affection/possession on a global level. His obsession with ownership is pretty horrifying. I mentioned the majority male victims because it’s really easy to erase and ignore victims without meaning to, and I felt Sky’s comments were (inadvertently) doing just that.

      • SkyTracer
        May 26, 2014 at 5:15 pm

        Thank you for making that clear; I’d hate for my comment to be seen as misrepresenting the truth for ideological reasons. It was really two separate thoughts, only one of which was necessarily related to this particular tragedy.

    • Sharon M
      May 26, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      There was a diary on the Daily Kos about how a guy “got it” about being a woman: he was a Vietnam Vet, and the same “training” and unwritten rules we (women) follow, was exactly as what he’d practiced fighting in Vietnam.

      He said it blew his mind. That having to think ahead before you went anywhere, constantly looking around for danger, having a weapon in hand, being ready to flee in an instant, is pretty much what he was taught, and what we are taught.

      And yes, I saw your comment below: Rodger was a little racist shit also.

      • SkyTracer
        May 26, 2014 at 5:36 pm

        May I bother you for a link to the Kos article? Google failed me.

      • Sharon M
        May 26, 2014 at 6:10 pm

        Sorry. :) Let me try to find it. It may take a bit. brb

      • Sharon M
        May 26, 2014 at 6:25 pm

        Found it! It was a comment in a diary.

        I once ran into a Vietnam war vet who went to a “women’s self protection” class with his girlfriend. The usual precautions were discussed: Never park in a dark area. Carrry your keys in your hand in such a way that you can use them as weapon. Every moment, be aware of everything going on around you. Regard every man you don’t know as a potential threat. Never let someone get close enough to grab you…..on and on and on.

        “It stunned me,” this man said. “It was the kind of thing we were told to do in Vietnam, because you never knew who the enemy might be. But women live with that kind of fear all their lives!”

        http://www.dailykos.com/comment/1216821/50467352#c174

      • SkyTracer
        May 26, 2014 at 6:58 pm

        Interesting, thank you.

    • 10G
      May 27, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Skytracer, you don’t have to think of women as superior beings–I think your words were cool. Thank you. :)

  16. Yup
    May 25, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    The misogyny free-for-all of the internet strikes again.

  17. Donna L
    May 25, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    So sad. They’ve identified the three young men he stabbed to death in their apartment:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/immigration/ci_25834727/three-fatal-stabbing-victims-santa-barbara-rampage-grew

    • Donna L
      May 25, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      I hope people don’t forget that as much as misogyny had to do with this, so did racism. That so-called “manifesto” of his was filled with hatred towards black people and what he called “full Asians,” and the three roommates he killed were all of Chinese background

      • EG
        May 26, 2014 at 8:18 am

        I had no idea. Thank you for telling us. Scum.

      • Sharon M
        May 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

        I read almost all of his manifesto, and yes, he was a nasty little bigot too. This little shit reminds me of the PUA who went on a shooting spree in a gym a few years ago.

        I just need to vent:
        Sometimes I really hate men you know? I want them to live as a woman, the more marginalized, the better, for a year and suffer the indignities and danger of it.
        White men in particular anger me: their screaming about reverse discrimination, their monstrous entitlement minded mentality, and the fact they are committing the majority of these crimes yet get a pass from society.
        This is exactly why I don’t take it personal, and I understand, when POC say they hate white people.

      • May 26, 2014 at 11:10 pm

        This little shit reminds me of the PUA who went on a shooting spree in a gym a few years ago.

        Yes. That would be George Sodini in Pittsburgh

        And before him there was Marc Lepine in Montreal, who specifically targeted feminists (or at least women he believed to be feminists).

        But there was a space of nearly twenty years between Lepine’s misogynistic massacre and then Sodini’s. And now only about five or six years later this shitstain goes on a rampage. The shorter intervals between them is fucking scary to contemplate.

        But there was a gap of almost twenty years between Sodin

      • May 26, 2014 at 11:19 pm

        Oops. That last sentence fragment should have been deleted before posting.

  18. birdie
    May 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    All right, I have to say this. As a bone fide ‘nutcase’ (I am female) I can assure you that under no circumstances does even the worst mental illness justify or cause such violent behaviour.

    • lonny
      May 27, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Justify? Absolutely not. But come on, mental illness absolutely does (sometimes) cause extreme violent behavior, and pretending that it never does is absurd.

      • Ledasmom
        May 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm

        Is it really impossible to say “sometimes people with mental illnesses behave violently; so do people without mental illnesses” rather than “mental illness sometimes causes violent behavior”? The second, you see, implies greater violence on the part of those who have mental illnesses.
        Without a demonstrably greater incidence of violence by those with mental illnesses, harping on that as a factor (even in cases where there wasn’t any mental illness to be seen) is worse than useless; it fastens on the wrong element.

      • EG
        May 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm

        Well, that’s an interesting question. Does anybody have stats on whether the rate of violence committed by people with mental illness is significantly higher than the rate of violence committed by people without? Because mental illness can create the conditions that might justify violence in the mind of the ill person, but that’s not the same thing as deciding to respond with violence. My cousin had a friend in college who was schizophrenic, and when she started having hallucinations ordering her to attack her roommate, she instead got into a car and drove to the nearest hospital. If instead of doing that she had acted on those “instructions,” we could blame the violence on her mental illness. But…she didn’t, which suggests that there’re other forces at play as well.

      • Henry
        May 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm

        “Most individuals with psychiatric disorders are not violent. Although a subset of people with psychiatric disorders commit assaults and violent crimesfindings have been inconsistent about how much mental illness contributes to this behavior and how much substance abuse and other factors do.”

        http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2011/January/mental-illness-and-violence

        Data is inconclusive, mostly I would suggest to you that one cannot draw broad stereotypical conclusions about all the mentally ill. One would have to look further at studies of this subset and if there is any defining characteristic (type of illness, other factors like substance abuse)/whether their rate of violence is higher.

        One study did posit that the higher rate of substance abuse in certain groups of mentally ill patients is a cause:

        “Substance abuse raised the rate of violence both among discharged psychiatric patients and among non-patients. However, a higher portion of discharged patients than of others in their neighborhoods reported having symptoms of substance abuse, and — at least when they first got out of the hospital —substance abuse was more likely to lead to violence among discharged patients than among non-patients.”

        http://psychcentral.com/archives/violence.htm

        So I don’t think the answer is as simple as either side of the debate would say it is.

  19. May 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I believe it is the killer’s parents who are spreading the Asperger’s story. Obviously the media is re-spreading it, but I believe the parents were the ones who fed the story to the media.

    If I was more cynical I’d think they are trying to protect themselves from a potential civil suit.

    • Ledasmom
      May 27, 2014 at 9:54 am

      Oh, feel free to be cynical. I don’t particularly care why the stuff about Asperger’s keeps getting spread; seeing it over and over makes me too angry to talk about it in the way I’d like to talk about it. My two sons and I are all diagnosed as on the spectrum (what used to be called Asperger’s, basically; I still say Asperger’s because most people sort of understand that). I feel that there’s no way to make people see that Asperger’s isn’t connected to violence, when it keeps getting mentioned in the context; there’s all these stories, you see, all the people casually passing the information on, and then there are just those of us who happen to live with it, and there is no way to make people really see us. And that is sad and infuriating. My younger son and I walk to the supermarket every Sunday that we can; he has a distinct way of speaking that we don’t normally notice because we are very used to it, and some mannerisms that are also not the sort of thing that most kids do, and this past Sunday I was very worried about what people might be thinking about him. Normally I try not to give a damn, which is difficult anyway due to anxiety issues, but this Sunday it was hard not to worry.
      My writing’s gone all to crap and I feel as if I can’t say exactly what I’m thinking, but there it is.

      • trees
        May 27, 2014 at 10:19 am

        Ugh, so sorry. This all sounds really frustrating and upsetting.

      • Ledasmom
        May 28, 2014 at 11:54 am

        Thanks. It is frustrating.

  20. xenu01
    May 27, 2014 at 2:33 am

    You know what gets me? We don’t even have to go back as far as Montreal to find a similar shooting. The Collier Township Shooting was in 2009 and we as a nation have already forgotten. That is what scares me the most. The thought that in five years, we won’t even remember this shooting, because there will continue to be so many.

  21. Yup
    May 27, 2014 at 3:06 am

    People also forget the shooting in Germany where the kid was openly misogynistic and targeted female students and teachers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnenden_school_shooting

  22. May 27, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Thanks xenu and Yup. I don’t think I’ve even heard about either of the shootings you two mentioned until just now, which is a pretty sad reflection of how little coverage they are getting compared to shootings like the ones in Connecticut and Virginia Tech – also within the last few years. Not to minimize the tragedy of the latter ones; but it’s almost like people are starting to expect – and worse accept – mass violence against women.

    • xenu01
      May 27, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Yeah, pretty much this is why I haven’t left the house for more than an hour at a time in three days. :/

  23. May 27, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I just can’t get over how logically inconsistent the ‘Nice Guy’ position is. If it’s true that a majority of women in relationships like guys who treat them like shit, (I’m not saying that’s the case, but obviously they think it’s the case,) then a majority of guys like to treat women like shit. Conversely if there is this minority of guys who would treat women well if only given the chance, (again, I’m not saying not that ‘Nice Guys’ would treat women well, just that they think they do,) then surely there is a minority of women who would appreciate that sort of partner.

    • trees
      May 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

      @Fat Steve

      Maybe there aren’t enough “top” desirable women within that supposed minority.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      May 27, 2014 at 11:43 am

      They don’t want women, they’re owed supermodels and cheerleaders. The nerdy, wallflower girl who likes him doesn’t count. They are owed ” quality” p#ssy.

      • TimmyTwinkles
        May 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm

        This.

      • trees
        May 27, 2014 at 3:01 pm

        Yup, I suppose the majority who aren’t “quality” p#ssy don’t even qualify as women.

  24. Echo Zen
    May 27, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I don’t know where the hell this “mental illness” angle in the Stateside media keeps coming from. But a colleague recently posted to her friends this eviscerating summary of the coverage she keeps seeing…


    Elliot Roger: “I hate women. I murdered people because I hate women.”

    Media: “Elliot Roger murdered people because he had autism and mental illness.”

    Elliot Roger: “No, actually, it was because I hate women. I wrote a 146-page essay explaining this to you.”

    Media: “Must have been autism, right? Autistic people are super dangerous.”

    Elliot Roger: “But I didn’t do it because of autism! I did it because I hate women!”

    Media: “Or it could have been because he had depression. People with depression are also super dangerous.”

    Elliot Roger: “No, it wasn’t because of depression! I spent months of my pathetic life writing a manifesto about how much I hate women, so that there would be no question about why I did it. Why aren’t you listening?”

    Media: “What if we took guns away from people with mental illness or autism? Wouldn’t that be a good idea? Or should we just lock Those People away entirely?”

    That is all.

    • trees
      May 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      Pretty damn perfect; thanks for posting this.

    • PrettyAmiable
      May 27, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      I got a much needed (dark) laughter out of this. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Athenia
    May 27, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    His mom is Asian and his dad is white. It’s interesting that he focused his hate on women but ended up murdering his Asian male roommates. Sounds like who he really hated was himself.

    • trees
      May 27, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Yes, he apparently hated POC in general as he hated white women.

    • May 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Sounds like who he really hated was himself.

      Yes and don’t we feel oh so sorry for the poor lil guy?

      I’m sure it wasn’t your intent to imply that, (or, should I say, I’m certainly willing to give you the benefit of the doubt,) but that kind of language does give the implication as if one is trying to apologize for him.

      That said perhaps this line of speculation belongs in spillover as it seems not a million miles away from what tigtog referred to as “speculating about possible mental health diagnoses.”

      • Athenia
        May 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm

        No, I am not trying to apologize for him. I’m noting that for all this hate that he directed towards women, there’s a conversation to be had about internalized racism.

        Intersectionality, yo.

      • Fat Steve
        May 27, 2014 at 4:28 pm

        the head of a giraffe against a bright blue sky: its mouth is pursed sideways

        Athenia on May 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm
        No, I am not trying to apologize for him. I’m noting that for all this hate that he directed towards women, there’s a conversation to be had about internalized racism.

        Intersectionality, yo.

        And I’m noting that this is neither the time nor place for that conversation.

      • May 27, 2014 at 5:35 pm

        Fat Steve, I’d prefer you to send a giraffe alert when concerned than presume to speak for the giraffe, please.

        Internalised racism is not a mental illness. It’s a sociological fact about life for non-white people in a white supremacy. It’s on-topic, especially as Rodger’s manifesto contains many instances of racist opinions directed at “full” Asians and bragging about being part-white and that’s why it’s so unfair that people don’t recognise how this makes him superior to “full Asians”.

      • May 27, 2014 at 5:57 pm

        p.s. that said, “Sounds like who he really hated was himself” is over-simplistic and does edge towards speculation that could be perceived as being about mental illness, so taking the pains to be specific in one’s jargon to differentiate between sociological/psychological etc is advised.

        Let’s remember that despite general human wishful thinking to the contrary, every human brain is a whirlpool of irrational biases about the world and ourselves that lead every single one of us to process some information incorrectly and thus sometimes fail to accurately understand reality. If we start defining every irrational pattern of thinking as a “mental illness” then we are defining every person in the world as mentally ill in one way or another, which would make the concept of “mental illness” utterly useless.

        Rodger’s manifesto reveals many interacting irrational patterns of thinking that drove his grievances and his extreme emotional responses to those grievances. None of those irrational patterns of thinking are however unique to him nor universal drivers of violent behaviour nor necessarily indicative of a diagnosible mental illness.

      • PrettyAmiable
        May 27, 2014 at 4:51 pm

        I mean, Roman Polanski’s wife was murdered, and his parents were killed during the Holocaust. I can say those things without anyone questioning that I hate him for his crimes.

        I don’t think I get your point. I’m also a little uncomfortable, in a discussion thread about a guy who committed crimes largely in line (because of?) deeply seated misogynist values, having a guy shut down a woman’s train of thought. Benefit of the doubt given, but honestly.

      • May 27, 2014 at 5:56 pm

        I’m also a little uncomfortable, in a discussion thread about a guy who committed crimes largely in line (because of?) deeply seated misogynist values, having a guy shut down a woman’s train of thought.

        I agree. I didn’t look closely enough at the name. Apologies.

      • May 27, 2014 at 6:01 pm

        Fat Steve, I’d prefer you to send a giraffe alert when concerned than presume to speak for the giraffe, please.

        Sorry, tigtog, I wasn’t 100% sure I was correct in my reading, so I wasn’t prepared to call it a giraffe situation. I was responding quickly in a doctor’s waiting room (always a mistake.) As it happens, I was wrong, but unfortunately I wasted your time anyway;.

      • May 27, 2014 at 6:06 pm

        Giraffe alerts are always welcome, even if the Moderation team ends up disagreeing with the alertor’s interpretation of the situation. A giraffe alert is not definitively a call for the most drastic moderator intervention after all (that’s the moderator’s decision, not the alertor’s). It’s just a call for a moderator’s eyeball on the developing discussion, just in case. So please don’t ever think that it would be wasting our time.

      • May 27, 2014 at 6:05 pm

        And most of all, apologies to Athenia for not letting you speak. I was not thinking properly.

      • May 27, 2014 at 10:47 pm

        Apology accepted.

        My partner is an East Asian dude so when I saw what this guy did to his roommates, it struck a chord.

    • May 28, 2014 at 3:13 am

      “But ended up murdering his Asian male roommates.”

      I’ve read the thread; I’ve seen how personal this is, Athenia. But don’t forget: part of his racist hatred of “unworthy” men was because he saw them with the women he felt entitled to. His plan was to kill those three men, partly as punishment, partly to stop them preventing his crime, the intent of which was to go to a sorority house and murder all the “stuck up blonde b1tches” (paraphrasing there) who hadn’t fallen into his lap. That he killed more men than women wasn’t down to his wishes; it was down to chance, or his own incompetence.

      Intersectionality, definitely – but this conversation is about misogyny.

      • Athenia
        May 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm

        It sounds like from his manifesto that his roommates were not ladies’ men either and that’s why he killed them–and took enjoyment in killing them too.

        I think this is really important to the conversation because you can’t separate the misogyny from his concept of (Asian) masculinity. His feeling that full Asian dudes were inferior to him and it was even more of an insult when he did see Asian dudes with white chicks.

        Our white patriarchal society sees East Asian dudes as effeminate–I have actually had close female friends say this to me–so unfortunately, if we are talking about misogyny, East Asian dudes occupy this weird place in it.

      • BJ DuVall
        May 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        There is a graphic novel by Adrian Tomine called shortcomings that has this as a running theme. It’s worth a read if anyone is interested.

      • EG
        May 28, 2014 at 7:40 pm

        Also, I think we shouldn’t overlook that he is of Asian descent through his mother, so not to get too psychoanalytic, but I would suspect that he in particular associates East Asian-ness with women. (Tell me how you feel about your mother, she said.)

      • Donna L
        May 28, 2014 at 9:04 pm

        See this column by an Asian-American woman:

        http://reappropriate.co/?p=5755

      • Donna L
        May 28, 2014 at 9:08 pm

        (Trigger warning for some very heartbreaking photos of the six young people — basically children, from my viewpoint — who were murdered.)

      • Donna L
        May 28, 2014 at 6:19 pm

        Kittehserf, I really don’t think it’s up to you to decide that “this conversation is about misogyny” alone and that people aren’t allowed to bring up Rodgers’s disgusting racism. It’s not that easy to pull everything apart.

  26. 10G
    May 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Oh carp, my apologies, I did miss the male killings E.R. included…..FRICK. Again, my apologies….blame it on sheer frustration, and Monday-back-from-vacation dopiness…:(

  27. 10G
    May 27, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Ummm….dear Moderator: I had posted a–large, but I thought not overly–comment that seems to have been taken down (the one where I mentioned that I have to watch how many posts I read because I have BPD–which wasn’t meant to be an insult to anyone because there were MANY positive posts here–and where I asked if swearing was allowed). I tried my best to make that post as benign as possible and I don’t understand WHY it was taken down or what I did wrong. Could someone assist please? Thanks much…..

  28. BJ DuVall
    May 27, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    where to start? I am seriously fed up with guns lately. Entirely. Even the “responsible” gun owners that I know kind of piss me off just because they own one (or usually several) gun(s) that feed the machine. If I wasn’t already fed up about guns, Sandyhook skyrocketed my frustration with them. There is no going back from the fact that we are a nation that let that happen.

    For totally separate reasons, I am hugely fed up with the current rape culture. I have not always been aware of how bad it actually is, until recently. Reading this site and many others has helped me to grasp the bigger picture.

    Throw in some racism, (always problematic) and the “mental health” allegations, his entitlement issues, and this is like a perfect storm of horrible things.

    It all seems so avoidable. Could one reasonable person have just heard him out and talked it out with him at least enough so that he didn’t act out in such a violent way? Is it naive to think that human to human conversation about this stuff could’ve brought him back down to Earth enough that this wouldn’t happen?

    Another dollop of horrible is how the media spins it all, and sensationalizes it. publishing his manifesto, and linking to his youtube videos. Somewhere out there, there is at least one other guy who is thinking “fuck yeah, I was thinking it and then he did it” and is now encouraged. There quite possibly could be more people thinking that than any of use would like to believe.

    • Echo Zen
      May 27, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      I do not have an especially unique opinion on guns, racism or ableism. But I’m frankly thrilled the ugly ideology of misogyny that drove Elliot Rodger and his women-hating ilk is now becoming part of the national conversation, and coming under society’s harsh microscope. We’ve been told for years that women make way too big a deal when they complain about rape threats online, catcalls in public, or sexual assault at university parties. And the media has repeated that line ad nauseam, without a shred of attention to the role of male entitlement in violence against women.

      Now the ideology behind that violence is on display for all to see. And for the first time since Todd Akin said what everyone in the GOP was already thinking about sluts and rape, the spotlight is where it belongs — on the women who have to put up with our culture of gender-based violence, and what they have to say about this ****.

    • EG
      May 27, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      Is it naive to think that human to human conversation about this stuff could’ve brought him back down to Earth enough that this wouldn’t happen?

      I think so. And the onus on–who?–to sit down and talk to this dude, whose own parents were so worried that they called the cops is too much of a burden to put on anybody. I would put cash money down that his parents tried to talk to him, human to human, about how fucked up he was before they resorted to calling the cops. I would strongly suspect that they tried to get other people to talk to him and vice versa. Calling the cops on one’s kid is not exactly the go-to, first resort for most parents. And quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to have to talk to this asshole.

      • BJ DuVall
        May 27, 2014 at 9:32 pm

        very true about the parents. I knew that part of the story but was not remembering it when posting. The cops coming to see him is an interesting part of this, in that it may provide an argument against those who want to call “mental illness”. Now, unfortunately, if someone tries to make it a mental health debate, you could point to this case and say:

        “Elliot Rodger bought guns legally, apparently acing the background checks… and even when his parents thought that something was amiss with his mental state, there was not a worthwhile intervention. The police were convinced that he was not a danger. He was in college seeming to function day to day with no known evidence of mental health issues, and see what happened.”

        As far as who the onus would be on, I suspect that he had to have some kind of support network, as we all should. At least it is somewhat apparent that his parents tried, as you mentioned. I guess I am just thinking that maybe one of the roommates, a friend, a councilor at school, someone might have had a talk with him serious enough to take him off the path that he was on. He might have still been a serious case of MRA nut job… but it’s possible that no one had to die or be injured over it.

        I think there is a lack of ability or rather motivation to help other people. I have a nephew that is underage, and has had some juvenile delinquency issues. I emailed and called a few police officer friends of mine, as well as a city council member in the city where I work (who is known to be an advocate for youth… he has been a volunteer for the BBBS for 25 years and none of his little bros have ever had issues with the law). Anyway, not one of them returned a call or email. I only wanted to know if they had info on programs to help struggling youth. I guess picking up the phone or typing an email is too much trouble. fast forward 5 years or so, my nephew might end up doing something drastic like this guy did. Who knows?

        Regardless, when these things happen, there is really no “understanding what they were thinking” and thank god for that… the moment that you “get” why he (or any of them) did it… that is a dark day for you. And how far off are you from such behavior if you can sympathize with those who do this stuff?

      • May 28, 2014 at 3:17 am

        He’d already lost the few friends he had, because of his extreme misogyny and racism, his utter self-centredness. I do think it’s naive to imagine anyone could have changed this. He had therapy, he refused to take anti-psychotic drugs. He was stewing in hatred.

  29. May 27, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    I would like to suggest that in addition to a culture of misogyny there is also a culture of violence at work as well. It seems to me that both elements co-determine each other through simultaneous interaction. Both are part of the various institutions and relationships which make up the social framework of patriarchy. Taken in concert they determine how different members of society relate to each other and other societies (race, sexual roles, religion, ethnicity, nation, gender, etc.) and the form of the power and authority structures which hold this social framework in place (law, police, state, education, etc.) Taken together, all of these various social constructions make up the totality of patriarchal society as well as the means by which ruling elites maintain and protect their positions of privilege. Thus, when an individual acts out and makes explicit what is implicit in this social arrangement, the cultural custodians do their best to obfuscate the real nature of the outburst. I think we need to be aware that violent misogyny is but one iteration of a hegemonic patriarchy, and that our opposition has to be against the entire framework and not just a specific sub-culture of the kind that the killer was part of.

  30. David Eric
    May 28, 2014 at 2:58 am

    Full disclosure, I’m a male…I have been very interested in the media’s coverage of this horrific and unfortunate incident, especially the misogyny angle. While I agree this disturbed young man had a significant issue with women I believe it is part of a larger frustration with society, not specifically or only with women. He was frustrated that he could not obtain everything he thought he deserved being an upper class white male in America, his peers have it all why can’t he? A huge part of that ideal is the beautiful woman at his side, and a different one when he wanted. Another huge part of that ideal is acceptance among his male peers, invites to parties, knowledge of inside jokes, and simply feeling part of a group. Regardless of your status I’m sure we’ve all felt those same feelings on some level.
    Now why did this person react in such an irreprehensible way? I don’t know, nobody will is my guess. To assign a large portion of blame on a larger issue of misogyny pulsing throughout Americas male youth is too easy, the real answer is much messier and probably hits too close to home for people to be comfortable with. I hope this furthers the discussion

    • Yup
      May 28, 2014 at 6:02 am

      Hi, viewing women as things to obtain other things is misogyny.

    • Yup
      May 28, 2014 at 7:00 am

      Let me put it this way: Say what he wanted in life was to build an orphanage, a worthy goal, and that didn’t happen for him; if instead of figuring out how or why or accepting that life has disappointments or that he’s not owed an orphanage even if he would build a great one or even that he just couldn’t go on in life without building it, he decided women were the scum of the Earth and had to die, it would be because of misogynistic beliefs that allowed him to see it that way. Misogynistic attitudes are reinforced everywhere. That he was disappointed with not getting what he wanted or was unhappy could not become a manifesto like that and a killing spree where he was intent on murdering a whole sorority full of women, without the misogyny. That, and an acceptance of violence as a way to resolve his frustration, is why he killed people.

      I’m sorry kids get left out and bullied (I was one), I’m sorry people don’t end up with the lives they imagine they should have (still am one of these), I’m sorry our social fabric is so frayed and revolves around consumerism and status, but none of that explains why he felt entitled to women who he felt were subhuman creatures from hell intent on destroying men’s lives and why he felt victimized that they (at least the hot ones) were not being controllable need-fulfillers for him and other men.

      • Yup
        May 28, 2014 at 7:04 am

        Shorter: Frustration with his life is why he was unhappy, but misogyny is why he took the actions he did.

      • BJ DuVall
        May 28, 2014 at 8:46 am

        I agree with your take on this. I had a discussion with a friend of mine yesterday about this. My friend’s take on it was that consumerism and capitalism were mostly to blame because of Rodger wanting to fit in and thinking the way to do that was through “status” symbols… of which (in his eyes) an attractive female is one.

        I sort of got his point, but I argued the larger issue of entitlement and rape culture… the fact that he thought it was all of womanhood’s fault that he wasn’t getting laid. And furthermore they all needed to pay for “what they did to him”

        I do think there is a component of him wanting to “fit in” but that was largely tied up with his misogyny.

        Also, he wasn’t a bad looking guy, and he was in college… I think he probably had ample opportunity to find a girl that he could be intimate with. I think his problem was most likely his fucked up personality. He probably radiated ickyness from across the room. He also probably set the bar way too high… he seemed to need to get with a perfect “10” instead of just a regular nice girl. That is why I think a mentor could’ve helped him to act and think a different way, and eventually learn the path of a normal and well adjusted male. (maybe not.. he seems pretty far off from well adjusted)

        My wife largely blames the father for not leading a better example.

      • Yup
        May 28, 2014 at 10:33 am

        Well, I guess the thing his misogyny and his obsession with status have in common, is viewing people/society in very hierarchal way. Instead of seeing it as some people have this or that (thing/achievement/trait) and some people don’t and what they have reflects on what they have but not their value, it’s all ranked extremely shallowly and severely. That thinking is also extremely prevalent, maybe more-so in his age range. I know there are places where he could absolutely find reinforcement on that view, and if he had written a manifesto about “people” and hating the ones who hadn’t achieved sufficient status to be valuable like him and then went after the “losers” in his mind, but also happened to mention his virginity and frustration with it, then I could accept it wasn’t primarily about the misogyny.

        Maybe such a severely hierarchal view of the world fed into the intensity of his hatred (certainly his unhappiness), I don’t know. But his hate still revolved around women and these sites encouraged him to fall further and further down the rabbit hole into totally and utterly dehumanizing them.

        The point people keep trying to dance around is that these views lead to real harm.

      • BJ DuVall
        May 28, 2014 at 11:47 am

        I totally agree with you Yup. And I think it is helpful to hit that final point hard that “these views lead to real harm.” that is point that is not being talked about enough.

        It’s hard. This situation has so much wrong with it.. and too many angles to approach it from. It’s easy to totally ignore the misogyny angle to talk about gun control.. or “mental health” if you are trying to have that conversation… just what a mess.

  31. gratuitous_violet
    May 28, 2014 at 3:11 am

    One of my after-school students burst into tears today. He told me one of the murdered roommates was his “first friend in America.” He goes to the same high school in Fremont that one of the boys attended.

    And then he said “I don’t want to go to college anymore.”

    Fuck this world sometimes.

    • gratuitous_violet
      May 28, 2014 at 3:36 am

      I’m really upset but I want to elaborate. This kid is literally afraid to go to college now. He asked me if “its OK in America to not talk to reporters” and my heart broke. And when I lived in England, and later in Portugal again, I heard the same question from people with alarming frequency: “Do you feel safe? Because I just read about X shooting and…” I sat in a cab in Dublin right after the Aurora shootings as the driver talked about how he was excitied but also scared to go on holiday with his grand kids to Florida, because “what if I want to take them to a movie?”

      This is the price we as a society pay for our easy tolerance of guns. To always wonder if it’ll happen here, at this movie, at this school. And it’s too fucking high. Joe the Plumber can remind us all that those rights trump our dead kids, but some of us aren’t going to forget what it costs. I would like him to have to come to work with me tomorrow, to face the parents and student that I and my UCSB-alum coworker just finished convincing “no, it really is safe” because acceptances came out right around the recent riots and her parents weren’t going to let her go to her dream school.

    • Ledasmom
      May 28, 2014 at 6:47 am

      I don’t know what to say, except that this is heartbreaking.

    • BJ DuVall
      May 28, 2014 at 8:54 am

      This is really sad. Please do everything you can to help your student understand that college is nothing to be afraid of. maybe a trip to a college or talking to some successful alumni that can really make it clear how life changing it is. Hopefully as this tragedy recedes into the rear view mirror for your student, he can decide that he has the courage to go.

    • PrettyAmiable
      May 28, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Thank you so much for the work you do. I feel so badly for your student and can see myself in his shoes were I faced with his life circumstances. Poor kid.

  32. 10G
    May 28, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Weeeelllll, okey dokey; since I can’t get a moderator to answer my original question, I found a great article that I think pretty much addresses most of what I was trying to express! http://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/2014/05/lets-call-isla-vista-killings-what-they-were-misogynist-extremism

    • May 28, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Apologies for not replying earlier, since I was the moderator who binned your original comment. You may well have been intending to express the same sentiment as this New Statesman article, but your comment was intemperate and struck me as too inflammatory in some of the sentiments as expressed by you for me to approve the post (the swearing was fine though). I didn’t snip your comment content and post it with a Disapproving Giraffe because I gave you the benefit of the doubt of being temporarily overcome by reaction in your choices of wording. Now, a day later? If you can manage to discuss these points more in the manner of the NS article, you are welcome to do so.

  33. Henry
    May 28, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Spree killings are a worldwide problem. We just lost 4 more people in Belgium. Taiwan lost 4 plus multiple wounded a few weeks ago on the subway. The motivations in each case differ, but we need to get off this theme that it’s just a US problem unique to us.

    • May 28, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Sounds like you’ve got a whole lot of denial going on there.

      No one ever suggested it’s unique to the U.S; even countries like Canada, U.K, Australia, Germany have had their own mass shootings, even in spite of stricter gun laws than the U.S.

      What you neglect to mention is not only the wide and easy availability of guns in there, coupled with powerful gun lobby groups like the NRA and their overzealous defense of their “second amendment” rights, is preventing any sort of rational debate about the issue, practically guaranteeing more of these tragedies in the future.

      But the gun fanatics, like those who are in denial about cultural misogyny and the huge role it plays in creating guys like Elliot Rodger, would rather keep their heads firmly planted in their collective asses.

    • May 28, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      …and besides that, this happened in the U.S.

      Your comment about Taiwan and other countries is really just a piss-poor attempt to derail the discussion.

      • Henry
        May 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm

        *eye-roll* no, it’s to raise awareness that we need to consider the roots cause(s) of spree killings wherever they happen. If you don’t like the data continue to bury your head in the sand. The perpetrators are almost uniformly (or always?) male and they use the most available weapons to them, usually firearms, and they do it in every culture around the world.

        Figure out why a man could become so alienated from everyone around them that they would seek refuge in a hate-filled culture that propelled them towards mass violence or attempted mass violence against women, minority men and in general men more “successful” with women than him.

        On weapons control, since you bring it up:

        One of the considerations to explore is the worldwide banning of guns all together (i.e. their manufacture) as opposed to crafting tiered ownership schemes (as you can see from other countries) which are not working. This idea we’ll compromise with the NRA and ban X type of gun for Y type of person is a pyrrhic victory – it ignores the general problem humans have with violence – many guns are built for one purpose – killing people (the trade calls it “stopping power”) – think about it. People will just use another weapon/gun they can get to mass kill. Metal detectors at our transit stations and other places with large gatherings would be an improvement too.

      • EG
        May 28, 2014 at 7:38 pm

        Figure out why a man could become so alienated from everyone around them that they would seek refuge in a hate-filled culture that propelled them towards mass violence or attempted mass violence against women, minority men and in general men more “successful” with women than him.

        Because he’s an entitled, misogynist douchebag. In other words, patriarchy.

      • Henry
        May 28, 2014 at 7:46 pm

        If you look at per capita rates for the top 50 spree killings (counting those murdered) by country, the US ranks 13th out of 23 countries. What people are doing in this thread by saying the US has a worse problem than other countries is abusing/ignoring the fact we have a large population and therefore a larger total number of incidents.

        I grabbed my data set from here: http://www.spreekillers.ch/?o=vic You can run your own numbers.

      • EG
        May 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm

        I have to say, that website looks sketchy as hell to me, but leaving that aside, as well as the fact that it isn’t up to date, can you share the numbers you ran?

      • May 28, 2014 at 8:55 pm

        Share them on #spillover, please, Henry. This is getting too tangential.

      • May 28, 2014 at 9:35 pm

        You can run your own numbers.

        From your top 50 list:

        17 occurred in the US
        4 in China
        3 in Germany and Switzerland

        also over half all the gun based spree killings on your list are in the US.

        That’s what you get when you don’t cherry pick the data.

      • May 28, 2014 at 9:36 pm

        oops, I’ll continue this on spillover too…

    • May 28, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      The motivations in each case differ, but we need to get off this theme that it’s just a US problem unique to us.

      The aberrant hatred of some classes of other people appears to be the primary common factor, exacerbated by a history of being bullied/excluded and finding some form of acceptance (often on the fringe) within an extremist community that approves of sharing and repeating fantasies of increasingly violent retributions against the designated scapegoats for their social ills.

      The particular type of extremist bigotry differs (racism, sectarianism, political partisanry) so that means that the designated scapegoats differ, but that seems to be the general pattern.

      • Henry
        May 28, 2014 at 7:47 pm

        on the nose, thank you!

      • May 28, 2014 at 8:04 pm

        Well then, I think at this point your arguments about general trends in spree killings need to be taken to the #spillover thread. You appear to have some very strong opinions about this and a lot to say about them, which is not necessarily a bad thing on matters of general interest, but in my experience often leads to derails of threads which are mainly focussed on other aspects of the topic. The Moderator Team here enforces topicality strongly, so please take your tangent to #spillover and be off-topic there.

      • Henry
        May 28, 2014 at 9:40 pm

        sorry tigtog, please move the whole thing if you desire.

      • May 28, 2014 at 9:44 pm

        WordPress software doesn’t allow us to reassign comments to different threads, so it will stay here. Just continue the discussion there from now on, please.

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