“YesAllWomen” is trending at the moment because of Elliot Rodger – who fatally stabbed his three roommates and shot three more in the streets of Isla Vista – and I wanted to take a moment to say what I find unsettling about it without sounding completely anti-feminist.
Rodger blamed women for everything, and justified his crimes because of the way they treated him. Already rich and shallow (he was openly obsessed with his Gucci sunglasses and expensive car), he felt entitled to more. He wanted admiration and attention in the form of sex.
In a world where so many women with low self-worth throw their bodies at men in a misguided attempt to feel better about themselves, we forget that men sleep around for the same fundamental reason women do.
Elliot Rodger thought having a girlfriend would make him happy, and while I’d like to believe that there is a magical “cure” for people like him, there is no known treatment for sniveling little sh*t syndrome. The girlfriend/boyfriend-happiness equation is partly society’s fault. When we don’t get what we think we need, we feel worse.
These days, when I see ads featuring half-naked supermodels eating hamburgers on luxury cars, I just want a burger, but that wouldn’t have been the case when I was younger.
While a little awareness never hurt anyone, I’m against the fear aspect of #YesAllWomen.
Elliot Rodger described the “reasons” and events leading up to his killing spree in a chilling 137-page document that I recommend you all read. In it, he waged what he called a “War on Women,” but it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see that he was equally enraged with men.
The Second Phase will represent my War on Women. I will punish all females for the crime of depriving me of sex. They have starved me of sex for my entire youth, and gave that pleasure to other men. In doing so, they took many years of my life away.
I cannot kill every single female on earth, but I can deliver a devastating blow that will shake all of them to the core of their wicked hearts. I will attack the very girls who represent everything I hate in the female gender: The hottest sorority of UCSB.
In a BodyBuilding.com forum comment, Rodger blasted an “ugly Indian guy driving a Honda Civic” for having a “hot blonde girl in his passenger seat,” something he felt he deserved (seeing that he was white and drove a BMW?).
It’s pretty clear that Rodger stabbed his three male roommates because they got laid and he didn’t. In the grander scheme, he did it because he felt bullied and was very lonely. (A common theme in most shootings and suicides.)
His thought process was very frightening and extreme, but he was a killer, and I want you all to keep in mind that not all men are killers. That some killers are women, and that when we say that Elliot Rodgers was an irrational and psychotic individual, the key word is individual.
Of course it doesn’t hurt to be cautious, but his actions and thoughts are not specific to one gender or race, and while I know that #YesAllWomen stems from a good place, it feels like a blame game. Like every man is either a rapist, violent, or out to degrade us in some way. If we were going to learn anything from Rodgers’ “Retribution,” I thought it would be that finger-pointing is dangerous.
I can’t help but remember the time a friend – after almost being beat up in a mall bathroom – decided she hated all black people, or the time an ex said that all Hispanic men are horndogs because one whistled at me. Hell, when Steve Irwin died, a bunch of his fans starting killing stingrays.
The way I’ve been treated by other women has been just as damaging to my psyche as being called a whore by men for sleeping around or a prude for saying no. Narcissism is a common trait in people. It’s very unattractive and the most likely reason for Rodgers’ “involuntary celibacy.”
Elliot Rodgers killed more men than he did women (two women and four men), but that isn’t what matters. With six victims, six deaths and countless lives affected, I’m sympathetic to the hardships women endure, but I’m more sympathetic to the hardships of all living things. We can’t prevent every tragedy, but we can remember to be kind and compassionate because suffering knows no gender.
Finally, to my fellow ladies, I urge you to share your experiences and learn self-defense if you feel the need, but also try your best not to develop an overly fearful mentality and judge all men based on the actions of a few psychopaths.