I feel a remarkable need to point out the disturbing way in which people have utilized these events to discuss the politics of gender discrimination, which really, the shooting has nothing to do with. The reality is that, Rodger’s actions weren’t uniquely the result of, or about, women. It is naive to think that is the case. His issues were about loneliness, acceptance, and a need for love. I am not excusing his actions. There are plenty of people who feel rejected but don’t go on killing sprees. And yet, there are also plenty of people of who do. The point I want to make is that Rodger was not a misogynist, and trying to paint his actions in that light to promote some sort of feminist agenda or make a point about gender does tremendous violence to the psychological health of our society.
Imagine if you get a cut. If you take both sides of the cut and keep pulling them apart from each other, the cut will never heal. That’s what this nonsensical “engenderizing” of non-gender events and issues does. It rips society apart after it has suffered a deep cut. It corrupts minds, incorrectly influences the thinking of young adults, and diminishes progress that could be made toward gender equality.
Everyone who thinks this is a gender issue needs to shut the fuck up, and here’s why.
Rodger’s words indicate a clear ostracism that he felt. Alienation, not being accepted, and rejection are very common feelings, especially among college males. They are particularly prevalent among college students. Having an active social life is a necessity for emotional health. In some individuals, feelings can result in violent actions. The reasons for that are unclear. Some argue that certain individuals are predisposed to violence, others argue that it’s the availability of weapons that results in violence, and still others contend it’s the lack of effective medical care. The jury’s out on a definitive cause, and it’s likely a combination of many factors, but that’s not the point. The point is that the feelings which lead to the violence are not a matter of debate. They are not unclear, and they are not misogynistic.
This video clearly shows the emotional issues that affected Rodger. It’s so clear, that it’s astonishing how anybody can argue that this guy thought women owed him their bodies or that he thought women were beneath him. This video expresses that point even more.
Those who think this is the women’s fault are also terribly wrong. All the tweets and Facebook posts that say this is reason women should put out are nonsense. A woman has the right to say No for whatever reason she pleases. That being said, the response of women, and the feminist community, has not been a good one, and has been just as damaging as the comments which sparked it, if not more.
A Huffington Post article highlights an analysis from Professor Mary Anne Franks in which she says that Rodger was clearly a misogynist and that sexist attitudes like his are harmful to society. Let me start by saying that Franks should immediately be fired because she is clearly a moron. There is little, if any, evidence that Rodger felt entitled to a woman’s body, or felt that women owed him something. Instead, the evidence in his written manifesto and videos indicates he wanted affection, belonging, and yes, sex. He wanted to have sex, like most college guys. However, he never felt that anybody owed him sex, as is evidenced by him never raping a woman. He did not murder because he wanted a woman’s body; he murdered because he hated everyone, and everything, which made him feel alone. There is actually no difference between Rodger’s feelings toward men and women. The only reason Franks thinks there is one is because Rodger was a heterosexual man. If he was a woman, the situation would be completely reversed. He felt hatred toward couples, men, and women alike because they had the belonging, love, and affection that he didn’t.
The only power in examining this as an issue of sexism is the power of destruction. Women are influenced to alienate men and create a divide because men apparently have very sexist attitudes about women, which is not the case for most men. Sexism exists, undoubtedly. The way to combat it, however, is not to paint a picture of a starkly sexist world where man is the enemy, and every man who wants a girlfriend has a misogynistic view of the world. Take a situation for what it is, and be honest about it. Do not use it to further an agenda to you think is correct. If you are in a position of influence, you have a responsibility to appropriately educate the people you influence. Every time you make an unfounded claim about important issues, a claim that causes people to feel and speak out, you are damaging the future of this nation. You are damaging the health of our society.
Shut. The. Fuck. Up.