Parents, You Have To Speak To Your Sons About Elliot Rodger And Misogyny
It’s another sort of Memorial Day today, where in addition to remembering the brave service men and women who have died protecting our freedoms and defending our nation, our thoughts are overcome with the horrific reality that on Saturday a heavily armed, mentally disturbed 22-year-old went on a killing spree in a California college town. Elliot Rodger fatally stabbed three of his roommates, shot two women to death in front of a sorority house, shot a man to death inside a deli, exchanged gunfire twice with police and injured 13 people as he drove around, his thoughts consumed with the hatred he felt towards women. Women who rejected him or ignored him since, in his own words, he “hit puberty.”
There are a lot of different aspects to this case, a history of mental illness, anger over his parents’ divorce, but at the very center of this, included in a seven minute YouTube video and a manifesto totaling 137 pages – is the belief that Rodger held, that :
“All of those beautiful girls I’ve desired so much in my life, but can never have because they despise and loathe me, I will destroy.”
On saturday, Jessica Valenti wrote in the Guardian that:
According to his family, Rodger was seeking psychiatric treatment. But to dismiss this as a case of a lone “madman” would be a mistake.
It not only stigmatizes the mentally ill – who are much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of it – but glosses over the role that misogyny and gun culture play (and just how foreseeable violence like this is) in a sexist society. After all, while it is unclear what role Rodger’s reportedly poor mental health played in the alleged crime, the role of misogyny is obvious.
In Rodger’s own manifesto, it begins:
Humanity… all of my suffering on this world has been at the hands of humanity, particularly women.
He mentions frequenting websites like PUAhate.com , where men could share their woes over not being able to pick up women and engage in misogynistic attacks on women. He rants about how women are evil and sadistic, and they need to realize the gravity of their crimes by not giving him the attention he felt he deserved.