Yesterday at work, I sat at my desk and watched on the muted TV as news unfolded about another shooting in America. Seven people were dead, said the BBC news headline, including the shooter. Seven more people had been injured. The only things that really crossed my mind were “wow, another shooting?” and “I bet you anything that the shooter was a young, white male.” I had no idea that across the world, people were discovering that the shooter, now revealed to be 22-year-old student Elliot Rodger, was not only young, white, and male, but was also involved in a movement that all feminists detest and decry – the men’s rights movement.
His internet history reveals a lot about him. He was a member of an anti-woman forum called the ‘Anti Pickup Artist movement’, which focussed on “the scams, deception, and misleading marketing techniques used by dating gurus and the seduction community to deceive men and profit from them“. Some of their posts include: “Are ugly women completely useless to society?” and “Have any hot women ever committed suicide?” He was a frequent poster on several men’s rights activists forums. He was a member of a bodybuilding forum, and in one example created a thread entitled “I’m tired of seeing losers with hot chicks“, in which he posted “Seriously, today at my college I saw this short, ugly Indian guy driving a Honda civic, and he had a hot blonde girl in his passenger seat. What on earth is up with that?!?!? I would climb mount Everest 10 times just to have a girl like that with me. I drive a BMW coupe and I’ve struggled all my life to get a girlfriend. What’s wrong with this world? Does anyone else get disturbed and offended when you see sights like this? Someone make sense of this ridiculousness.” Later on in the thread, another member mentioned that the topic seemed racist, and he responded with “Well, I find it unjust that a white girl would choose him over me.” Another member mentioned at one point, “ I see you got rid of those serial killer-esc videos on Youtube.”
He joined YouTube, where he was subscribed to several MRA channels as well as ones that gave advice on “how to be a pick up artist”, and in the space of 3 months had uploaded 21 videos, all of which consisted of rants about women and debates about why they didn’t like him. One, entitled “Why do girls hate me so much?”, describes his loneliness and misery, and blames it on the fact that the women of his university aren’t interested in him. “My problem is girls,” he says. “There are so many beautiful girls here, but none of them give me a chance, and I don’t know why. I don’t know why you girls are so repulsed by me. It doesn’t make sense. I do everything I can to appear attractive to you. I dress nice, I’m sophisticated, and magnificent.” In another, he uses a phrase that has been the subject of debate amongst young feminists for years, that has its own meme, and that has basically become the catchphrase for MRAs: “I’m such a nice guy, why won’t you give me a chance?“. But the most significant video is the one that has been circling the internet for the last 24 hours, the one which he opens by stating that it is his “last video”.
“It’s not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls have never been attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it. It’s an injustice, a crime, because I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I’m the perfect guy, and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men, instead of me, the supreme gentleman. I will punish all of you for it. On the day of retribution I will enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB, and I will slaughter every single spoiled stuck up blonde slut I see inside there. All those girls that I’ve desired so much, they would have all rejected me and looked down upon me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them. While they throw themselves at these obnoxious brutes. I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am in truth the superior one. The true Alpha Male.”
This 22-year-old student went out with the intention of murdering girls from his university because they wouldn’t sleep with him. He felt that it was justifiable for his to go and take the lives of innocent women because they didn’t flirt back when he tried out “pick up techniques” that he’d learned from the internet. He felt so entitled to sex and to love that when he didn’t get it, he felt that it was necessary to seek revenge. He felt that those girls owed him. He felt it was acceptable to punish anyone who wasn’t interested in him. And if this isn’t an example of male entitlement at its purest, then I don’t know what is. He uses language that permeates the forums of MRAs every day. “I am… the true Alpha male”; “I’m the perfect guy”; “the supreme gentleman”.
We need to talk about this. The Men’s Rights Movement has gone beyond a running joke now, and has become a serious sociological danger. There are entire communities online focussed on teaching men that women are the root of all their problems, and that women are the reason that they are unhappy. There are forums founded on the idea that men are the dominant class and women are subservient, and that men are entitled to women’s bodies. They preach that women are liars and cheaters and tricksters. They teach men to be degrading and hateful towards women. They are real, and they are out there, and if this horrific killing spree should teach us anything, it is that the words “nice guy” and “friendzone” are not trivial or humorous: they are dangerous.
We are living in a world where women are increasingly becoming more powerful. We are the majority when it comes to university admissions. We are racing ahead of men on the career ladder. We are sexually independent, make choices about our own bodies, and, for the most part, are no longer tied down to 19th century patriarchal male dominance. Men do not make our decisions for us. And as we become more independent and free-thinking, men are increasing their attempts to control and dominate us. Through the power of the internet, they are influencing the thoughts and opinions of younger and younger men. Websites that are aimed at the younger generation, like Reddit, 4Chan, and UniLad, are filled with rape jokes, derogatory humour, and degrading images. “If the girl […] won’t ‘spread for your head’, think about this mathematical statistic: 85% of rape cases go unreported. That seems to be fairly good odds” read one joke on the UniLad website. Just a few weeks ago, it was in the news that a 16-year-old student was choked and stabbed to death by a fellow student, for turning down his prom invitation. In 2010, the NUS report “Hidden Marks” revealed that 68% of respondents had faced one or more kinds of sexual harassment at university as a student. And, sickeningly, there are even people in these MRA communities that are defending Rodger’s actions. “Well girls, keep that in mind the next time you friendzone somebody!” writes YouTube user overgamer13. “See girls, this is what you get for treating nice guys like shit” reads another YouTube comment.
So why are so many news reports describing this killing spree as the act of a madman, and not a rampant misogynist? Why are so many networks failing to even mention that Rodger had a video, let alone talk about the content within it? Yes, he may have been mentally unstable. But in his video he literally talks about the fact that his motive is his loneliness, which he blames on the women of his university. He talks about how he intends to “slaughter every single spoiled stuck up blonde slut”. How is this ok, and why aren’t more news channels talking about it? Why are people purposefully avoiding the subject of violence against women? How has this turned into another debate about gun laws and mental health?
And, in case you weren’t sure about whether or not a couple of videos prove that this murderer was a women-hating, entitled misogynist, here’s an extract from a piece written by him that has just been leaked on the internet:
“The ultimate evil behind sexuality is the human female. They are the main instigators of sex. They control which men get it and which men don’t. Women are flawed creatures, and my mistreatment at their hands has made me realize this sad truth. There is something very twisted and wrong with the way their brains are wired. They think like beasts, and in truth, they are beasts. Women are incapable of having morals or thinking rationally. They are completely controlled by their depraved emotions and vile sexual impulses. Because of this, the men who do get to experience the pleasures of sex and the privilege of breeding are the men who women are sexually attracted to… the stupid, degenerate , obnoxious men. I have observed this all my life. The most beautiful of women choose to mate with the most brutal of men, instead of magnificent gentlemen like myself. Women should not have the right to choose who to mate and breed with. That decision should be made for them by rational men of intelligence. If women continue to have rights, they will only hinder the advancement of the human race by breeding with degenerate men and creating stupid, degenerate offspring. This will cause humanity to become even more depraved with each generation. Women have more power in human society than they deserve, all because of sex. There is no creature more evil and depraved than the human female. Women are like a plague. They don’t deserve to have any rights. Their wickedness must be contained in order prevent future generations from falling to degeneracy. Women are vicious, evil, barbaric animals, and they need to be treated as such.”
Here’s a link to the full piece [click].
This should be a conversation about violence against women, male entitlement, and misogyny – not a debate about how we should feel sorry for the poor little lonely privileged white boy.