The ten most asinine things about it.
What annoyed me was the assumption that I was unaware of this sort of thing until that Twitter storm, and having gained the knowledge, I’d somehow become more enlightened and…do something different.
From toxic misogyny to toxic feminism:
four of the six people Rodger actually killed were men: his three housemates, whom he stabbed to death in their beds before embarking on his fatal journey, and a randomly chosen young man in a deli. Assertions that all men share responsibility for the misogyny and male violence toward women that Rodger’s actions are said to represent essentially place his male victims on the same moral level as the murderer—which, if you think about it, is rather obscene. And the deaths of all the victims, female and male, are trivialized when they are commemorated with a catalogue of often petty sexist or sexual slights, from the assertion that every single woman in the world has been sexually harassed to the complaint that a woman’s “no” is often met with an attempt to negotiate a “yes.”
A common theme of #YesAllWomen is that our culture promotes the notion that women owe men sex and encourages male violence in response to female rejection. (It does? One could much more plausibly argue that our culture promotes the notion that men must “earn” sex from women and treats the rejected male as a pathetic figure of fun.) Comic-book writer Gail Simone tweeted that she doesn’t know “a single woman who has never encountered with that rejection rage the killer shows in the video,” though of course to a lesser degree.
Actually, I do know women who have never encountered it. I also know men who have, and a couple of women who have encountered it from other women. I myself have experienced it twice: once from an ex-boyfriend, and once from a gay woman on an Internet forum who misinterpreted friendliness on my part as romantic interest. There was a common thread in both these cases: mental illness aggravated by substance abuse.
Yes, which is generally the common factor with all of these spree killings. And unfortunately, probably the hardest to deal with. Ultimately, we have to accept that in a free society, we are not ever going to totally prevent these things. As I note in my book, in a different context, there is no “safe,” this side of the dirt.
[Update a while later]
Could Rodgers have been stopped? New gun laws aren’t the solution. And of course, the first three victims he killed with a knife.