Misogyny Made Elliot Rodger Do It

You can talk about gun laws and mental health (again and again) but when will the dialog turn to the real motive: Misogyny.

Here’s something I just posted to my FaceBook account (I’ve been trying real hard to bite my tongue…obviously, I caved) –

If society only talks about gun laws, they’re only looking at half the problem. Misogyny fueled the killings. The killer was a Men’s Rights Activist. Had a feminist gone on a killing spree, we’d know it. We wouldn’t read articles that avoided the topic of feminism, we wouldn’t read articles that ended “I didn’t know my behavior could have lead her to do that” and we sure as hell wouldn’t be discussing gun laws. We’d just blame the crazy feminist, who as all people know are “militant,” “lesbian,” and “men haters.” It’s ironic (and mind-numbing) you have to prove you don’t hate men in order to stick up for women’s rights…and most importantly, women’s lives.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) wrote about his misogyny – if they found it, why can’t the major newspapers?

Shooting Suspect Elliot Rodger’s Misogynistic Posts Point to Motive

By Josh Glasstetter on May 24, 2014 – 4:24 pm, Posted in Anti-WomanExtremist Crime

…Rodger wrote that incels  [involuntary celibate]must go on offense: “If we can’t solve our problems we must DESTROY our problems.” He concluded with a call to arms against women:

One day incels will realize their true strength and numbers, and will overthrow this oppressive feminist system.

Start envisioning a world where WOMEN FEAR YOU.

ABC news

Santa Barbara Killer’s Friend: ‘I Think He’s a Really Lonely Guy’

Really, ABC? You believe loneliness lead him to kill? Great reporting!

…police interviewed Rodger and found him to be “polite and kind.” He did not specify which law enforcement division conducted the interview.

A social worker also contacted police about Rodger last week, said Schifman.

Schifman said Rodger was diagnosed as being a high-functioning patient with Asperger syndrome and had trouble making friends.

 

US Weekly had this headline:

Seth Rogen, Judd Apatow Speak Out Against Ann Hornaday’s Washington Post Op-Ed on

Suspected UCSB Shooter Elliot Rodger

In her Washington Post essay, Hornaday writes, “As important as it is to understand Rodger’s actions within the context of the mental illness he clearly suffered, it’s just as clear that his delusions were inflated, if not created, by the entertainment industry he grew up in.”

“As Rodger bemoaned his life of ‘loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desire’ and arrogantly announced that he would now prove his own status as ‘the true alpha male,’ he unwittingly expressed the toxic double helix of insecurity and entitlement that comprises Hollywood’s DNA,” she wrote. “For generations, mass entertainment has been overwhelmingly controlled by white men, whose escapist fantasies so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment (often, if not always, featuring a steady through-line of casual misogyny). Rodger’s rampage may be a function of his own profound distress, but it also shows how a sexist movie monoculture can be toxic for women and men alike.”

PHOTOS: Seth’s weight loss

“How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like Neighbors and feel, as Rodger did, unjustly shut out of college life that should be full of ‘sex and fun and pleasure’?” she continued, referencing Rogen’s new movie. “How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, ‘It’s not fair’?”

After being referenced in the piece, Rogen, 32, took to Twitter, “.@AnnHornaday I find your article horribly insulting and misinformed,” he tweeted. “How dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage.” 

PHOTOS: Seth’s wedding

Apatow, 46, chimed in, “She uses tragedy to promote herself with idiotic thoughts.” He later added, “Most of Earth can’t find a mate– someone to love.  People who commit murder of numerous people have mental health issues of some type.”

Will somebody send him a Women’s Studies book or at least a Media Arts one? I guess you would use childish insults (“idiotic thoughts”) and superficial reasoning (must be “mental health issues of some type”) to debate an op-ed written in the Washington Post. (And would he have said the same to a male writer – that she was tying to “promote herself” by coming up with “idiotic thoughts” and personalizing it to only HIM getting girls in movies rather than, as Hornaday writes, the entertainment industry?)

Maybe Apatow should read ABC’s “insightful” article:

Chan said after they saw the 2012 film “Chronicle,” Rodger said he wanted to “dominate the world.” In the film, three high school students gain superpowers and one character – who’s bullied, shy and lonely – eventually uses them in a robbery and in an attempt to kill his father. He dies at the end of the film, killed by one of the other students.

Misogyny in the Manosphere

Someone recently shared this site (Southern Poverty Law Center) with me – it’s current:

Misogyny: The Sites

The so-called “manosphere” is peopled with hundreds of websites, blogs and forums dedicated to savaging feminists in particular and women, very typically American women, in general. Although some of the sites make an attempt at civility and try to back their arguments with facts, they are almost all thick with misogynistic attacks that can be astounding for the guttural hatred they express. What follows are brief descriptions of a dozen of these sites.

Read more here

Sexism sells

Misogyny, made-up facts and more: Working in a News Corp Newsroom (Alternet)

“We were regularly encouraged to refer to women with misogynistic names like ‘tarts,’ ‘slappers’ or ‘hookers’ in our copy if there was conceivably any question mark over their sexual proclivities,” he said.

“We were expected to childishly objectify women. So blonde-haired women were described as ‘beauties’ and generously chested women ‘looked swell’, whether they’d wanted the attention or not.”

Mother’s Day round up

Happy Mother’s Day to all – to those that have children, to those that have lost children, and to those that care for children.

When we hated mom – NY Times article by Stephanie Coontz – provides an historical account of motherhood from a (feminist) sociological perspective. Feminism, Coontz explains, has improved the lives of women (and men) – but, hey, we knew that! Interesting to note, though, society’s disparaging view of protective mothers:

Momism became seen as a threat to the moral fiber of America on a par with communism. In 1945, the psychiatrist Edward Strecher argued that the 2.5 million men rejected or discharged from the Army as unfit during World War II were the product of overly protective mothers.

From the Washington Post, we have an article on racism…onMother’s Day. Granted, I don’t get a home copy of the Post, but this is all I could find in their daily email of headlines. It seems some media outlets would rather celebrate anniversaries (Freedom Riders, David Goldman reuniting with his son) rather than Mothers. I object to racism too, but when can we get national discussions going on sexism? They can even be combined. But, as one writer pointed out, it’s worse to be a racist than a rapist. Both should be despised.

Freedom Riders, 50 years on,  see today’s youth as disconnected from racism

The heartless way Conservatives treat young women who choose to have babies by Amanda Marcotte

Everytime I think the Republicans/Conservatives couldn’t get any worse, they surprise me with their renewed spirit of misogyny. Gotta give it to them for disguising hate with “fiscal responsibility.” There’s always some reason to put women’s issues on the back burner…or to just burn them.

The girls were arrested for holding a sit-in to protest the closing of their school, the Catherine Ferguson Academy, which was established to serve students who are pregnant or mothering.  The school provides day care and parenting classes, and focuses on getting students to college and giving them skills that help future self-sufficiency.  Supposedly “pro-life” conservatives should not only be supporting this school, but demanding that every high school in the country provide these services to teenage mothers.  After all, these girls did what anti-choicers ask of them.  They chose to have their babies.  And now the very same conservatives that wax sentimental about “choosing life” are working to shut down the educational opportunities of young women who did what anti-choicers want, by having their babies.

Don’t forget the women who’ve had injuries or their lives cut short from the men that supposedly loved them and fathered children with them – and, please, don’t forget that it’s more often when these women do the “right thing” that they get injured or killed (far too many people, including feminists, blame the victim for “staying” with an abuser) –

Man charged with ambush slayings of ex, her dad

Orange County prosecutors have charged a 36-year-old man with murdering his ex-wife and her father after they came to his home to take court-ordered custody of the couple’s 7-year-old daughter.

Ex-wife. She left him. They came to take court-ordered custody. Court must have granted dad custody if they came to take her back. It wasn’t enough to kill the ex-wife. He killed her father, too — he shot them both in the backs, the coward.  This 7-year-old just lost her mother (and grandfather) in the week leading up to Mother’s Day. 

Roughly 3 women die every day in domestic violence in this country. This week alone, we’ve lost 21 women, many of whom were mothers.

Candlelight vigil for murdered mother of four

Fresno – Four kids are dealing with the loss of their mother after a murder-suicide in southeast Fresno Tuesday.

The kids were joined about 100 family members and friends Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil.

They gathered on Shields Avenue, the spot where 28-year-old Jennifer Puentes Chatman died, after her ex-boyfriend, 34-year-old Richard Haynes, shot her.

She is the victim of a deadly domestic violence dispute.

This article also ‘blamed the victim’, saying she had chances to leave, but didn’t. But – why didn’t she? Because he threatened to take or kill the kids? Because she feared sharing custody with him or worse, losing custody all together? Because she didn’t have faith in the justice system? Because she feared not being believed? Because women are in greatest danger when they leave?

 Mom with cancer loses custody of kids

This 37-year-old stay-at-home mother lost custody of her 2 children because she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She lives in North Carolina. The father is taking the kids to Illinois. Nice. What a Mother’s Day.

No woman, no cry – Oprah is offering this documentary for free for the next ten days. It discusses death during childbirth.

Mothers rally for fairness in courts

Lori has spent the last eight years fighting the courts for custody of her two children. It began, she said, with her accusing her then-husband of abusing their 3-year-old boy and year-old girl. It ended with him gaining custody and her getting visitation rights.

“He drained me out,” said the 47-year-old Westfield woman, who declined to give her full name for fear it would hurt her future custody chances. She can’t afford a lawyer and has to represent herself after spending more than $100,000 in legal fees over the years.

She was a housewife. He is a lawyer. She has little money. He has lots.

It is a formula that legal experts and advocates say creates a lopsided matchup in the courtroom for custody cases – one in which the mother most often loses.

It looks like HE takes HER to the cleaners – then, why, oh why, does the media portray the opposite?

And, remember, there’s a candlelight vigil tonight from 6-9 pm in front of the White House (see post below).

Happy Mother’s Day to all — Let’s work towards improving the very lives that give us life

Murder as an occupational hazard

I wrote this piece – Murder as an Occupational Hazard – in 2007 when 5 women’s bodies were found in Atlantic City, NJ.  I really wanted to stress how misogyny plays a role in serial killers who target women. Certainly, there are other “vulnerable populations” that these killers could target: runaways, drug dealers on the street, the elderly, the disabled, male prostitutes, etc. — but all too often the common denominator is gender, and profession, although clearly a factor, is secondary.

Recently, the bodies of 10 female sex workers were discovered in NY. Hopefully, it will spur more debate about legalizing (or not) prostitution, a culture that ‘permits’ gender-based violence, devaluing people (for whatever reason), impunity, and making heroes out of serial killers. I just want to add that in this discussion/debate, people need to address the prostitution of minors (johns that use them) and sexual trafficking.

Lust murder: Prostitutes as victims of throwaway capitalism

This is David Rosen’s take:

Many of the female victims of these horrendous murder sprees have been prostitutes. They tend to be young women in their 20s, lost to their birth families and community, and often on drugs. They seem like lost souls who have nothing left but their bodies to sell. They are throwaway living commodities of capitalism.

Getting away with murder on Long Island

This is Nancy Goldstein’s take:

It’s not yet clear whether one killer or multiple killers are responsible. No suspects have surfaced. But that’s not what makes this story really tragic. Some of those 10 people might be alive today if it hadn’t been for the lackluster response of law enforcement and the press coverage of the case — much of it sensationalist and dehumanizing — all because of the first victims’ sex-worker status.

Is gender equality bad for your sex life?

I don’t think so. I think scientists just continue to validate men’s bad behavior – like the reason they seek younger women, put a high value on looks, seek many women to sleep with, etc. (Of course, if they were meant to be with many women, wouldn’t there be a genetic preference for females? It just seems like a lot of subjective “analysis” for nothing more than the boys-will-be-boys credo)

Why feminism is the anti-Viagra – in a Psychology Today blog post 

After explaining how women have trouble getting turned on, have submission fantasies, seek dominant men, and read romance novels with alpha males, he/she (not sure) says this:

On the other hand, most men are aroused by being dominant, as evidenced by the massive cross-cultural popularity of dominance-themed adult Web sites for men. These include some of the most inventive and varied genres of male erotica, such as hypnotism porn (where Svengalis hypnotize woman into having sex), drunk porn (where men trick inebriated women into having sex), sleep porn (where men take advantage of sleeping women), and a wide diversity of exploitation porn (where women exchange sexual favors for school books, a ride, or a rent-free apartment).

Our mammalian brains come wired with very ancient sexual preferences, quite prominent in the most popular forms of male and female erotica preferred by Homo sapiens. Men are aroused by being dominant and by submissive women, women are aroused by being submissive and by dominant men. In the bedroom, inequality beats equality.

So, what I get out of this is: Women – bad. How can you not get turned on by us? Why do you seek out the bad boy? (all my friends date or marry nice guys, so I never did get this). And, men – good. How inventive of you to make porn with drunk girls or rape a sleeping woman.

Umm, “inventive” is not a word I’d use to describe these porn scenarios.

And he says:

If you suspect this is some kind of stealth agenda for justifying belligerent or misogynistic male behavior, read on…

In my opinion, anytime a guy says “I’m not misogynist”, it’s usually followed by… misogyny.

Update: MTV won’t air Kanye’s offensive video

From Care2

A few months ago, a petition was started asking the CEO of Universal Music Group (Lucian Grainge) and CEO of MTV (Judy McGrath) to respond to the leaked video teaser for Kanye West’s hit song “Monster.” Only 30 seconds of the video were leaked, but that was enough time to expose disturbing images eroticizing violence towards women.

Though the full music video had not been released, it was obvious this over-sexualized, violent video should not be made public.

5,000 signatures from outraged Care2 members delivered about a month ago grabbed MTV’s attention and they reacted by saying they will not air the “current version” of the music video. We will soon deliver another 10,000 to MTV to reinforce our stance that the original video would need to be completely disregarded and a new video shot before it is television appropriate. 
We are glad that MTV has voiced their opposition to this over-sexualized, violent music video and we will continue voicing our opinions to them so their stance remains firm.

Tied up, raped, videotaped…and peed on

Okay, this is one of those articles that – if you’re like me – will get your blood boiling. You’ll wonder: Why do women have to suffer like this? When will the world recognize the horrific, often tortuous, treatment of women? When will it come into its consciousness?

Woman says raped by Gaddafi’s men, pleads with media

“Look at what Gaddafi’s militias did to me,” Eman al-Obaidi screamed with tears in her eyes, pulling up her coat to show blood on her upper leg.

After being intimidated by security men and hotel staff, who also beat journalists trying to interview her in the restaurant of the hotel, she was bundled into a car and driven away.

Obaidi said she had been arrested at a checkpoint in Tripoli because she was from the city of Benghazi, bastion of the insurgency against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.

Obaidi, who appeared to be in her 30s and was wearing a loose black coat, slippers and a scarf, said she had been raped by 15 men and held for two days. Her face was badly bruised.

“They swore at me and they filmed me. I was alone. There was whisky. I was tied up,” she said, weeping and stretching out her arms to show the scars.

“They peed on me. They violated my honor.”

Libyan claims rape by soldiers, is dragged away

Guy gamers: privileged and misogynist?

Oh, these games really tick me off and make me feel disappointed in the male gamer population. When I read about this stuff, I wonder: What would they do if it was reversed? Can you imagine the outrage if feminists made a video game where you kicked guys in the balls?

Highly anticipated video game sequel glorifies violence towards women

In the game, Duke — a burly, blond action star-type known for his macho attitude, objectification of women, crude wisecracks and buckets of ultra-violence — faces down an onslaught of alien invaders bent on kidnapping and impregnating every female on the planet.

Even with a story that’s so purely camp, like something ripped out of a bad 1950s movie, anticipation over Duke’s return has reached a fever pitch among longtime gamers. But how will those same gamers feel about glorifying domestic violence?

According to a recent report by The Official Xbox Magazine (OXM), there’s at least one clear point of controversy: In the online “Capture the Babes” mode, if a “babe” can’t take the stress and “freaks out” while Duke saves her from alien rapists, he’ll have to “slap” some sense into her.

Some of the commenters are excusing the misogyny as just “controversy” or some harmful “butt slapping.” While most people see a red flag when misogyny raises its ugly head, these guys just see a women in need of a good f*ck or slap:

Duke Nukem Forever multiplayer replaces replaces flag with capturable, slappable women

Here’s another take on gamers:

Bioware tells straight men to “get over” being hit on by gay men in Dragon Age by Michael Jensen

…one gamer started a forum thread on the Bioware site complaining about having to put up with men hitting on him. Gee, now he knows how pretty much every woman in the world has felt at some point having to put up with unwanted advances from straight men. Poor baby.

Thanks for sticking up for us, Michael Jensen!!

And Bioware staffer responds to the situation:

And if there is any doubt why such an opinion might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as “political correctness” if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They’re so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don’t see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what’s everyone’s fuss all about? That’s the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want.

And ends on this note:

And the person who says that the only way to please them is to restrict options for others is, if you ask me, the one who deserves it least. And that’s my opinion, expressed as politely as possible.

A guy who gets it – a true ally in the human race. Thanks!

And here’s another one – using women to stir up controversy. It intrigues me that companies can use women’s bodies to get sales – but women can’t use their own bodies to get money (then they’re called sluts, whores, hos and/or face disease, abuse and homicide and/or are “asking for it”). And  then the other irony – they can make men money (the use of scantily-clad women in ads to increase sales or as paying consumers of products, services, or medical care) -but when they marry these same men (CEOs or doctors, for example), they can be called gold diggers –nevermind it could have been women who made the man rich.

Racy Serena Williams commercial won’t appear on TV   (this is a commercial for a video game)

New York Times: The Disposable Woman

The Disposable Woman by Anna Holmes

Kudos to the New York Times for getting a conversation started about our apathy towards misogyny.

Here’s the evidence of Sheen’s violence against women:

Our inertia is not for lack of evidence. In 1990, he accidentally shot his fiancée at the time, the actress Kelly Preston, in the arm. (The engagement ended soon after.) In 1994 he was sued by a college student who alleged that he struck her in the head after she declined to have sex with him. (The case was settled out of court.) Two years later, a sex film actress, Brittany Ashland, said she had been thrown to the floor of Mr. Sheen’s Los Angeles house during a fight. (He pleaded no contest and paid a fine.)

In 2006, his wife at the time, the actress Denise Richards, filed a restraining order against him, saying Mr. Sheen had shoved and threatened to kill her. In December 2009, Mr. Sheen’s third wife, Brooke Mueller, a real-estate executive, called 911 after Mr. Sheen held a knife to her throat. (He pleaded guilty and was placed on probation.) Last October, another actress in sex films, Capri Anderson, locked herself in a Plaza Hotel bathroom after Mr. Sheen went on a rampage. (Ms. Anderson filed a criminal complaint but no arrest was made.) And on Tuesday, Ms. Mueller requested a temporary restraining order against her former husband, alleging that he had threatened to cut her head off, “put it in a box and send it to your mom.” (The order was granted, and the couple’s twin sons were quickly removed from his home.) “Lies,” Mr. Sheen told People magazine.

Lies? Why is it the public hates a woman that “slanders” a man’s “reputation” yet allows men to do it – and get away with it, with ease? Holmes, the writer, notes how Sheen is idealized, while the women in his life, who’ve suffered from his abuse, are slandered

This hasn’t been the case with Mr. Sheen, whose behavior has been repeatedly and affectionately dismissed as the antics of a “bad boy” (see: any news article in the past 20 years), a “rock star” (see: Piers Morgan, again) and a “rebel” (see: Andrea Canning’s “20/20” interview on Tuesday). He has in essence, achieved a sort of folk-hero status; on Wednesday, his just-created Twitter account hit a million followers, setting a Guinness World Record.

But there’s something else at work here: the seeming imperfection of Mr. Sheen’s numerous accusers. The women are of a type, which is to say, highly unsympathetic. Some are sex workers — pornographic film stars and escorts — whose compliance with churlish conduct is assumed to be part of the deal. (For the record: It is not.)

Others, namely Ms. Richards and Ms. Mueller, are less-famous starlets or former “nobodies” whose relationships with Mr. Sheen have been disparaged as purely sexual and transactional. The women reside on a continuum in which injuries are assumed and insults are expected.

Gold diggers,” “prostitutes” and “sluts” are just some of the epithets lobbed at the women Mr. Sheen has chosen to spend his time with. Andy Cohen, a senior executive at Bravo and a TV star in his own right, referred to the actor’s current companions, Natalie Kenly and Bree Olson, as “whores” on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on Tuesday.

I couldn’t even fathom hearing similar epithets from a group of women discussing men – first, it wouldn’t get aired; second, if they did it would be rightfully called a man-hating bitch session, to put it mildly. But slam women, most of whom have been victims of Sheen’s own misogyny, and get worshipped. What does that tell you about the climate we live in?

Objectification and abuse, it follows, is not only an accepted occupational hazard for certain women, but something that men like Mr. Sheen have earned the right to indulge in.

Sheen treats women the way he wants – getting his own way and attacking – verbally and physically – those that dare go against his wishes. His backtalk against his bosses is what brought him such media attention, while his treatment of women has gone virtually unnoticed. Even colleges are asking for him to be their commencement speaker. This would never be acceptable if he treated another group like this – it’s time we treat misogyny with the same contempt as anti-semitism and racism.