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.
When I was a freshman, my sister was in eighth grade. There was a boy in two of her periods who would ask her out every single day. (Third and seventh period, if I remember correctly.) All day during third and seventh she would repeatedly tell him no. She didn’t beat around the bush, she didn’t lie and say she was taken—she just said no.
One day, in third period, after being rejected several times, he said; “I have a gun in my locker. If you don’t say yes, I am going to shoot you in seventh.”
She refused again, but right after class she went to the principal’s office and told them what happened. They searched his locker and there was a gun in his backpack.
When he was arrested, some of my sister’s friends (some female, even) told her that she was selfish for saying no so many times. That because of her, the entire school was in jeopardy. That it wouldn’t have killed her to say yes and give it a try, but because she was so mean to him, he lost his temper. Many of her male friends said it was “girls like her” that made all women seem like cockteases.
Wouldn’t have killed her to say yes? If a man is willing to shoot someone for saying no, what happens to the poor soul who says yes? What happens the first time they disagree? What happens the first time she says she doesn’t want to have sex? That she isn’t in the mood? When they break up?
Years later, when I was a senior, I was the only girl in my Criminal Justice class. The teacher, who used to be a sergeant in the police force, told us a story of something that had happened to a girl he knew when she was in high school. There was a guy who obviously had a crush on her and he made her uncomfortable. One day he finally gathered up the courage to ask her out, and she said no.
The next day, during an assembly, he pulled a gun on her in front of everyone and threatened to kill her if she didn’t date him.
He was tackled to the ground and the gun was taken from him. When my teacher asked the class who was at fault for the crime, I was the only person who said the boy was. All the other kids in the class (who were all boys) said that the girl was, that if she had said yes he would’ve never lost it and brought a gun and tried to kill her. When my teacher said that they were wrong and that this is what is wrong with society, that whenever a white boy commits a crime it’s someone else’s fault (music, television, video games, the victim) one boy raised his hand and literally said; “But if someone were to punch me and I punched him back, who is at fault for the fight? He is, not me. It’s self-defence. She started it, so anything that happens to her is in reaction to her actions .It’s simple cause and effect.”
Even though he spent the rest of the calss period ripping into the boys and saying that you are always responsible for your own actions, and that women are allowed to say no and do not have to date them, they left class laughing about how idiotic he was and that he clearly had no idea how much it hurt to be rejected.
So now we have a new school shooting, based solely on the fact some guy couldn’t get laid, and I see men, boys, applaudin him, or if they’re not applauding him, they’re laying blame on women as a whole. Just like my sister’s friends did. Just like the boys in my Criminal Justice class did.
This isn’t something that’s rare. This isn’t something that never happens, or that a select group of men feel as if they are so entitled to women that saying no is not only the worst possible thing a woman can do, but is considered a form of “defence” when they commit a crime upon them (whether it be rape or murder-as-a-reaction-towards-rejection).
Girls are being killed for saying no to prom invites. Girls are being killed for saying no to men. They are creating an atmosphere where women are too scared to say no, and the worst part is? They are doing it intentionally. They want society to be that way, they want women to say yes entirely out of fear. Even the boys and men who aren’t showing up to schools with guns are saying; “Well, you know, I wouldn’t do that, but you have to admit that if she had just said yes …”
If you are a man and you defend this guys’ actions or try to find an excuse for it, or you denounce what really happened, or in any way lay blame on women, every girl you know, every woman you love, has just now thought to themselves that you might lose your shit and kill them someday for saying no. You have just lost their trust. And you know what? You deserve to lose it.
Can we take serious steps to stop this men’s rights activism thing now? It’s not just a dumb thing on a corner of the internet to poke and laugh at, it killed seven people. Seven women are dead because of this entitlement bullshit. Seven women aren’t alive any more because nobody sat this scumbag down and said, “Nobody owes you attention or sex or anything and people have a right to not want to sleep with you.”