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.

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.

Gender in the news

I think this is a great post:

Teaching boys feminism by Ileana Jimenez

My dream as a result? That whole generations of young women and men will never experience and/or perpetuate everything from street harassment to rape; frat boy misogyny to workplace discrimination; bullying of queer kids to the banning of LGBT soldiers in the military. All of these issues connect along lines of gender and sexuality, power and politics. If we teach gender justice to all young people, we might just make lasting institutional change

How’s this for a headline?

How Disney invaded American childhood to shill worthless crap to our kids

Kinda interesting – but I thought it was more interesting for the visual differences…it allows you to mix and match boys and girls ads:

Gendered advertising remixer application

Julia Child forced to eat at Hooters

Communications professor Susan Douglas, the mother of a 22-year-old daughter, compares popular culture targeted at young women to junk food. “I feel like Julia Child forced to eat at Hooters,” she writes in her new book Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message that Feminism’s Work is Done.

Isn’t that a great line? It’s a quote taken from this article in Macleans today:

Outraged moms, trashy daughters

Enlightened Sexism charts how the wedge between mothers and daughters increased during the first decade of the 21st century as so-called “millennials”—girls born in the late 1980s and early 1990s—became the most sought-after advertising demographic in history. The desire for power and change that coursed through Douglas’s generation was recast for their daughters as “empowerment” through conspicuous consumption and sexual display, she writes. Activist outlets like Sassy magazine, published from 1988 to 1997, and “riot grrrl,” the feminist punk movement of the early 1990s, were eclipsed by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess, along with a tribe of female action heroes. These “warriors in thongs,” as Douglas dubs them, paved the way for the retro “girliness” championed by Legally Blonde, Ally McBeal, and Bridget Jones’s Diary. And from there it was a heartbeat to reality shows like The Bachelor and Say Yes to the Dress, which depicted young women as obsessed with boys and getting married when they weren’t engaged in catfights with one another.

With all the news about women’s gains, the media choses to highlight women’s catfights and marriage “obsession” rather than our triumphs. And Jennifer Pozner says:

“If you did not know anything about American culture or American life other than what you saw on reality TV, it would be extremely easy to believe that the women’s rights movement never happened, that the civil rights movement never happened, that the gay rights movement never happened,” says Jennifer Pozner, the director of Women In Media & News in New York City, whose book Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, is to be published in November. “Reality TV producers have achieved what the most ardent fundamentalists and anti-feminists haven’t been able to achieve,” she says.

“They’ve concocted a world in which women have no choices and they don’t even want choices.”

More on Douglas:

Douglas says she was inspired to write the book after noticing what seemed to be a glaring disconnect between the prime-time shows aimed at her generation—Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, The Closer, all featuring tough-talking, assured women who don’t use their sexuality to get what they want—and the programming aimed at her daughter. Eventually she came to believe both kinds of shows were perpetuating the myth that feminism’s work was over: “both mask, even erase how much still remains to be done for girls and women. The notion that there might, indeed, still be an urgency to feminist politics? You have to be kidding.

Yet, as Vonk points out, female progress at top levels has not moved markedly in 20 years, Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated run for president notwithstanding. Certainly the numbers reflect this: in 1980, women held approximately seven per cent of the legislative seats across Canada.

Ten years later that number had risen to 17 per cent. But between 1990 and 2010, that percentage rose only six per cent—to 23 per cent. (According to the Intra-Parliamentary Union, Canada ranks a pathetic 50th on the world scale of women’s participation in politics, behind Rwanda, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates.) Women’s presence in top-tier corporate jobs is even lower. According to Catalyst, an organization that tracks female advancement, women head only 3.8 per cent of FP 500 companies in Canada, and make up a scant 5.6 per cent of FP top earners, 14 per cent of board directors and 16.9 per cent of corporate officers.

The notion that the workplace is an equal playing field is a myth, says Susan Nierenberg, Catalyst’s vice-president of global marketing. The first study to look at the impact of the recession on high-potential women found those in senior leadership positions were three times more likely to lose their jobs than men. Another Catalyst study published last February tracking 4,500 M.B.A. graduates in their first jobs found that women begin at a lower level than men and earned $4,600 on average less. “And more importantly, they never catch up,” says Nierenberg

Violence and “art”

The article in the New York Times today should make the anti-feminists happy. In it, the author blames feminism for women’s access to power (because in a “normal’ society, women wouldn’t have such access?!?). This access to power, the authors asserts, is why women are becoming as violent as men. In the last sentence, he states that women are just as violent as men – and where is the evidence for this? Sure, there are 200 or so self-report studies that have shown women to use Common Couple Violence (throwing things, hitting, slapping, etc.) – but these studies don’t pick up severe violence or homicide. We also know (from research) that women are more apt to admit using violence while men are more likely to deny or minimalize it.  So, where exactly is the evidence that women are just as violent as men?

He doesn’t bother to talk about how “art” has glamorized violence against women either – in films, porn and TV (America’s Top Model shot poses of “dead” women in the back of car trunks – as have advertisers).

Seems he just wants to ease his conscience about violence against women – just as the media did when it highlighted the woman’s aggression in soccer – while the same behavior is virtually ignored in men. Nothing wrong with pointing out women’s use of violence – but his statements lack depth, knowledge and accuracy.

Violence that art didn’t see coming 

Religion and women

Here’s Nicholas Kristof again writing about religion and women in the New York Times (with a quote below from Jimmy Carter) –

Religion and women

“Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths, creating an environment in which violations against women are justified,” former President Jimmy Carter noted in a speech last month to the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Australia.

“The belief that women are inferior human beings in the eyes of God,” Mr. Carter continued, “gives excuses to the brutal husband who beats his wife, the soldier who rapes a woman, the employer who has a lower pay scale for women employees, or parents who decide to abort a female embryo.”

And, hey, the Dalai Lama is a feminist!!!

The pendulum and the patriarchy

Has the pendulum swung too far away from our patriarchal roots? That’s the opinion of some.

Here’s Barbara Kay, up in Canada, talking about the so-called gender wars:

End of the gender wars

I contacted her by email. For one who riles against ideology, her beliefs are are rooted in it. She’d rather believe 200 studies (self report, with limitations) on mutual domestic violence paint a better overall picture than the 1000s of studies that exist on domestic violence that find men are more often batterers (women use common couple violence, but they are not likely to be batterers who use physical violence, coercion and threats).

Here was the letter to the editor I wrote:

Dear Editor,

It would be pointless to call those who advocate against child abuse “adult-bashers.” And it would be ridiculous to call animal rights activists “people haters” and make them state that “not all people abuse animals.” So too would it be ludicrous to call women’s rights advocates “male bashers” or “man-haters”, yet it happens, as Barbara Kay reminds us in “The End of the Gender Wars.” If the so-called gender wars are to truly end, men would provide “equal parenting” at birth, not at divorce. And, together with women, men would denounce domestic violence – not refer to it as an “industry” or say that it punishes “innocent men” or claim that women are liars (because they are against stereotypes as much as we are). They would recognize that domestic violence has no place in a healthy family unit. They would stop attacking the field of domestic violence and start understanding abuse and working towards ending it – because abuse cannot exist in a society that values women, men, children and family units of all shapes and sizes. The gender war has only begun to heat up with the recent attacks on domestic violence and family court issues. Destructive rather than constructive methods like these will continue to fuel it for years to come. Those who call an end to war must first put down their weapons.

And here’s a letter that got printed – I didn’t write it:

Feminism: It’s needed now more than ever

Here’s another article about the pendulum swinging too far towards feminism (isn’t that scary – I mean, wouldn’t it be just horrible if we had an equal society?!):

Open call response: I am a man and I don’t apologize for it

I don’t recall feminists ever asking for an apology or for half the population to feel guilty. Feminists wanted equality, respect, independence, credit for hard work, etc. We are not responsible for bias towards men who take care of children – if anything feminists have helped create this atmosphere where men are encouraged to take on childcare and household responsiblities. 

In one of his comments, he says the “pendulum has swung too far.” Really? We still have: unfair pay and promotion, unbalanced childcare and household responsibilities, sexual harassment, sexual trafficking, rape, impunity for celebrities & athletes, domestic violence, battered women losing custody, being the target of serial killers, whorification in the media, hypersexualization of women and young girls, porn culture that may use violence/drugs/minors, etc. etc. etc.  THIS IS EQUALITY?! This is the pendulum swinging too far? You gotta be kidding me.

And here’s another one – this article is really more about including young men in the feminist movement – but it annoys me because it sounds like feminists should overlook sexist jokes and change OUR approach because it’s humorless and unattractive. Really? Does one have to laugh at misogyny in order to make feminism attractive to young people? Like, hey, I know you’re sensible enough to realize the objectification of women in that magazine – and hey isn’t it just great you support the publication? Isn’t it terrific we have billions going into porn? It’s not like that money could be going to better use, right? I don’t know, I don’t get it. (and, for the record, I’m not necessarily against porn, I just wish like all things it was created for both women and men in mind).

Give young men a sporting chance