Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Masculinity, Misogyny And Murder: Unpacking A Killing In California (On Point w/ Tom Ashbrook)

I have already commented on this tragedy in two different posts (here and here), as well as sharing a collection of links devoted to this topic (here). I don't really have too much to add, other than to reiterate that these killings cannot be simplified into a single cause or target of blame.

In Elliott Rodger's actions there are a whole collection of factors, most prominent (as if often true and overlooked) is the delusional and grandiose thinking that justified these actions in his broken mind. It's easy to blame guns (he owned all of his weapons legally), or misogynistic, toxic masculinity (he followed men's rights activists [MRAs] and pick up artists [PUAs] on You Tube), but they are only part of the story - they are shadow elements of our culture that rarely get examined in the light of day unless we are forced to do so by some atrocity like this one.

Masculinity, Misogyny And Murder: Unpacking A Killing In California

A vicious, deadly rampage spurs a new look at misogyny and why it matters.

May 28, 2014 | Tom Ashbrook

People gather at a park for a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of Friday night’s mass shooting on Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Isla Vista, Calif. Sheriff’s officials said Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara, stabbing three people to death at his apartment before shooting and killing three more in a crime spree through a nearby neighborhood. (AP)
What’s in a killer’s heart? We know in the case of last Friday’s Santa Barbara massacre. Because the killer wrote about it at length. He despised women. His unrequited desire turned into a furious hatred. And a plan to kill. A plan he carried out. An overwhelming response followed. A Twitter flood – the #yesallwomen hashtag – women sharing their own stories. Concerns that hatred, entitlement, towards women is woven widely into our culture. Not creating killers necessarily, but haters. Is this true? Where’s the line? And what’s to be done? This hour, On Point: Misogyny. Assessing the damage.
– John Donvan


Soraya Chemaly, activist and writer. Her work has appeared in the Huffington Post, Salon, the Guardian, CNN and in other publications. (@schemaly)

David Futrelle, freelance writer who blogs at “We Hunted the Mammoth,” a site that tracks the “Men’s Rights” movement online. (@DavidFutrelle)

Dr. Robert Heasley, professor of sociology at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Former president of the American Men’s Studies Association.

From The Reading List

Slate: The Pick-Up Artist Community’s Predictable, Horrible Response to a Mass Murder – “I do not blame the Pick-Up Artist community (or its somehow even more deeply tortured counterpart, the Anti-Pick-Up-Artist community) for the deaths of seven people. The man who committed this horrific crime is responsible for this heinous act. But I was interested to see how these groups are reacting to the news. It is disturbing, if not surprising, that they are using these murders to reinforce their hatred of women and “Beta” men, and to cement their own status at the top of the pyramid.”

The Guardian: Elliot Rodger’s California shooting spree: further proof that misogyny kills — “Rodger was reportedly involved with the online men’s rights movement: allegedly active on one forum and said to have been following several men’s rights channels on YouTube. The language Rodger used in his videos against women – like referring to himself as an “alpha male” – is common rhetoric in such circles. These communities are so virulently misogynist that the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks hate groups, has been watching their movements for years.”

Washington Post: In covering Elliot Rodger, writers aren’t shy about blaming misogyny and the groups that perpetuate it — “people have embraced the term ‘misogyny’ to describe Rodger’s online screeds against women, and they've been more receptive to treating Friday’s killings as a hate crime, the way McDevitt suggests. Sunday night, Gawker’s Jordan Sargeantnoticed that Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam posted incendiary annotations to Rodger’s 141-page manifesto. The manifesto had been uploaded to News Genius, Rap Genius’s sister site which aims to annotate and explain the news. Moghadam said Rodger’s manifesto was ‘beautifully written.’”

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