I am a lesbian woman of Color whose children eat regularly because I work in a university. If their full bellies make me fail to recognize my commonality with a woman of Color whose children do not eat because she cannot find work, or who has no children because her insides are rotted from home abortions and sterilization; if I fail to recognize the lesbian who chooses not to have children, the woman who remains closeted because her homophobic community is her only life support, the woman who chooses silence instead of another death, the woman who is terrified lest my anger trigger the explosion of hers; if I fail to recognize them as other faces of myself, then I am contributing not only to each of their oppressions but also to my own, and the anger which stands between us then must be used for clarity and mutual empowerment, not for evasion by guilt or for further separation.
********I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. And I am not free as long as one person of Color remains chained. Nor is anyone of you.***********
When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. “This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar” she explained. She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. ‘My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.’
It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions?
TRIGGER WARNING …
So, by now you have all heard of 22 year old Elliot Rodger who went on a killing spree in Isla Vista, a community in Santa Barbara, California. One Friday night, Elliot shot and killed 7 people, including himself, close to the University of California Santa Barbara campus.
Prior to his violent shooting rampage, Elliot recorded a video titled, Day of Retribution in which he states, “college is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. In those years I’ve had to rot in in loneliness, it’s not fair.” and “you girls have never been attracted to me, I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it”.
About a month ago, after seeing some of Elliot’s YouTube videos, his family contacted authorities. Law Enforcement interviewed Elliot and said they found him to be a ‘perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human’ and took no further action.
Now we have media outlets labeling Elliot as a “mad man”, “spoiled brat”, “misunderstood”, “good human” etc and continuing to file this mass murder under mental health.
Understand that no one is saying that he did not suffer from mental illness, I’m sure he does. But we CANNOT ignore the fact that this mass killing was rooted in his hate of women (misogyny) and inability to properly deal with rejection. There is much to unpack about this incident, how it was handled and how it will be portrayed in the media, but for now I’ll post some tweets from those of us responding to the shooting on twitter.
For more info about the shooting: http://bit.ly/1mjerdo
Elliot Rodgers, Day of Retribution video: http://youtu.be/FWWGtee14pA
Elliot was also racist: http://bit.ly/1h0BniC
Three more bodies found at Elliot’s apartment: http://bit.ly/RnzYWP
Elliot Rodgers 140 page manifesto, My Twisted World: http://bit.ly/1nGaWwX
not everyone who is mentally ill kills women, and not everyone who kills women is mentally ill. the illness is not the common denominator here. hatred of women, viewing women as subhuman, feeling entitled to controlling and getting attention from women: these are the common denominators. mass murdering women is not a mental illness problem. it’s a hating women problem.