When Words Become Bullets: Elliot Rodger and the Patriarchal Id


In the wake of the mass shooting in Isla Vista this past weekend, which claimed the lives of seven and injured 13, a flood of feminist commentary has issued forth, offering a strong corrective to the business-as-usual cycles of editorializing that usually follow such atrocities. The usual handwringing about whether “guns kill people” and the “state of mental health care in this country” has been shocked by the forceful reminder by many—women and men alike—who refuse to downplay the role of misogyny in the killing and who have drawn attention to the profound hatred of women that caused the 22-year-old Elliot Rodger to feel that women’s rejection of his sexual advances was casus belli for slaughter.

Why did this shooting stir up such a critical mass of comment? It might have something to do with the way this case sits at a terrifyingly violent intersection of sexism, racism, ableism, and a universe of online commentary that stalks far too many women, cis and trans, queer and straight, and of all races. It was a case of cybersexism made real—along with cyberracism, if one wants to be accurate about it. It is a patriarchal id, online, that voices all the often hidden subtext of gender and race relations.

The hashtag #YesAllWomen has sprung up in response to the plaintive wailing of those who claim that Rodger is neither representative of all men, nor that he is anything but a “mentally ill,” “deranged” “madman” who is solely responsible for his actions, by elaborating on the daily realities of womanhood in this society.

But with all mass killings, “insanity” becomes the go-to ableist fairy tale that our society uses to brush its pathologies beneath the rug of ceremonial angst. We say that the killers were clearly crazed, and that only the “mentally ill” could commit such crimes—the revelation that Rodger may have been on the autism spectrum has been seized upon greedily by a media hungry for exoneration and collective catharsis. Never mind the slander this perpetrates on the millions of people who are somewhere on that spectrum.

If he’s “crazy,” it’s nobody else’s fault; furthermore, this ignores how Rodger and many other mass killers were raised in a society that exalts violence as the epitome of masculine expression.

Such acts only enter a person’s universe of possibility at all because of the culture in which they stew. They do not spring suddenly from fevered dreams and alien logics. As abhorred as many of us are, Rodger’s actions have a chilling rationality to them in the terms of our gendered society, which makes objects and possessions of women, and rapacious, status-conscious animals of men. Whatever else Rodger’s crimes are, they are not unintelligible; they merely wrote in blood what too many of us hear, see, and say every day.

This is why this crime horrifies us to the extent it has, why it prompted a mighty surge of comment, particularly from feminists—men and women alike. We looked at the news and found ourselves peering vertiginously into a black hole of intersectional ruin. We looked at Rodger’s actions and saw a thousand tweets and online comments take life and murder men and women for all the reasons that flood YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and news website comment sections on the daily. We saw the terrifying apotheosis of online racism, sexism, and raw hate, as it assumed a profoundly physical reality that was woefully impossible to meet with the whimper of “but it’s just words.”

We saw the patriarchal id assume a shape and actually kill.

We saw words become bullets.

It isn’t that Rodger’s murders were especially unique. Mass shootings have been committed before, often as a form of masculine protest—a terrifying symptom of what sociologists Rachel Kalish and Michael Kimmel call “aggrieved entitlement”—some have had explicitly racist dimensions, as we saw in Wisconsin with a neo-Nazi (who was fond of online rants) targeting Sikhs, or in Kansas when one man (also a frequent forum ranter) killed three people at Jewish centers. Other killers wore their sexism on their sleeves, like Anders Bering Breivik’s murder of 77 people—mostly teenagers—because he saw himself as an anti-feminist, anti-Islam, anti-immigrant crusader who would save Norway by slaughtering some of its brightest and most civic-minded youth.

This is not new.

But Rodger’s atrocity shook us from a torpor because of how unambiguous he was—a Southern Poverty Law Center research team was not necessary to draw the link between his online rants, so thoroughly indistinguishable from that of many other anonymous, faceless men, and the mass murder he ultimately perpetrated. It also frightens us because it drew a panoply of prejudices together.

Much ink has been spilled, thankfully, on the misogyny of all this, but less attention has been paid to the role of Rodger’s racism in his crimes. One cannot make sense of the misogyny without the racism, and vice versa. His self-loathing as a biracial child in a white supremacist society, and the way he externalised that hatred onto men of color who he viewed as “inferior” and “lesser,” whose existence doubly affronted him when they dated the white women he so longed for, are all important elements to note here.

As writer Jeff Yang notes at Quartz:

Rodger’s murderous rage was rooted in an obsessive self-hatred, born from his belief that he was entitled to, and thwarted from obtaining, a trifecta of privileges: Race, class, and gender. He saw himself as not quite white enough. Not quite rich enough. Not quite “masculine” enough.

This is, whether we as feminists own up to it or not, part of why this case has so frightened us: To look into it is to see an abyss where racism and sexism are a double helix binding us all together, painfully. It is everything all at once; it tells us why four young men of color died along with two white women.

Ask yourself honestly what Rodger meant when he lamented that he could not be a “normal, fully-white person”—then hear the anguish of countless people of color who learn to loathe the hue of our own skin, our eyes, our hair, and how biracial people of color are often made to feel rootless or exoticized.

These notes provide, at best, fitful outlines of what we may call “the patriarchal id,” but Rodger’s crimes have, in much the same way earthworms surface after a rainstorm, revealed so many people willing to fill in that sketch for us.

The never-ending rivers of chatter comprising the Internet’s infinite tributaries are polluted with the most vile kinds of racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, and on and on and on, leading ever onward like the River Styx into Hades’ depths. Rodger’s killings have drawn that commentary into sharp relief.

Four comments left on the YouTube video of Rodger’s now infamous rant-cum-manifesto, filmed in his BMW:

“Well girls, keep that in mind next time you friendzone somebody!”

“See girls, this is what you get for treating nice guys like shit.”

“I hope you women see this as a lesson stop being so stuck up an give that one kid some pussy who never gets shit and you might save a life…”

“I don’t blame guns, I blame blondes for this one.”

It should not surprise us that the website Strategic Dating Coach also commented on Rodger’s video. With an ad. “Don’t let this happen to you,” it seemed to say.

These comments grant utterance to the cultural subtext that has been etched into every successive generation of women: We must either fuck men or incur their wrath. If we do not sleep with a man, he may kill us. Or he may kill our friends. Or his friends. Or people we don’t know.

Such comments, and thousands of others like them, are the cultural swamp out of which a mass killer like Rodger will arise. They can take a lonely and troubled young man and give him an ideology that justifies mass murder as an antidote to his maladies.

But then there are those with somewhat less sympathy for the killings. You’ve all seen them, I’m sure. Men and women alike posting something to the effect of “well no wonder he couldn’t get a girlfriend!” Comments abound about his appearance, or about the fact that, in truth, his heinous killing proves he’s a “beta male” or even “omega male,” not the macho pack leader he envisioned himself as. Each, in different ways, turns the implements of Rodger’s own misogyny back on his ghost, using the same tired sexist logic he employed so that they might revenge themselves on his corpse in a Huffington Post comment.

What links them is that such comments do not challenge the economy of women’s bodies that underscored this crime. They do not challenge the very notion that a man’s worth is judged by the number of women on his arm, or that women are obligated to “hook up” with “good guys.” Instead, they seem to say, “It’s OK ladies, he’s clearly terrible. But you’d better sleep with an actual nice guy. Just sayin’.”

The comments on a different reposting of Rodger’s video make for equally sobering reading:

“Full blown autism.”

“LOL what a faggot.”

“it seems that this is likely a psyop to gain more ground for gun confiscation. I don’t believe this for a second. they should have involved race so it could distract more….HA.”

“don’t know if any of you femicunts are aware of this but 5 out of the 7 victims who died from this incident were men and two were women. So I am not sure how this correlates to the mens rights movement to be blamed for this.”

Each, in its way, tries to discipline this tragedy into a comforting cultural legibility, making sense of what happened in a way that does not disrupt existing beliefs. Each comment sloughs off some bit of collective responsibility, each tries to push Rodger into the realm of the alien and monstrous. The latticework of ableism-fired denial and macho defensiveness is terrifyingly impressive.

This is merely a brief sampling of the different genres of commentary occasioned by this shooting. But the ordinary world of women and people of color online is just as toxic. Elliot Rodger is frightening because so much of what he said looks suspiciously like things that are said to us or about us on a regular basis by many more people, mostly men, than can be reasonably counted.

This is why these crimes are acts of terrorism.

They are the supposedly “one in a million” events that keep us all fearful of which Twitter user or Facebook commenter or hate-mail-sender will be “the one” who makes good on their vile threats—if not to us, then to someone else. Rodger is the empirical reminder that this is possible.

Whether it’s feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian being called an “ovendodger” for critically commenting on video games; fantasy writer N.K. Jemisin being called a “half-savage” by a white male sci-fi writer who resented her challenge to racism and sexism in genre fiction, and whose defenders proceeded to send Jemisin racist/sexist threats; writer and feminist activist Laurie Penny, who receives heaps of rape threats as part of the occupational hazard of being a woman who holds her opinions publicly; or someone like myself who has had to deal with stalkers, transmisogynists, and hate mail from people using similar kinds of language.

Getting my first rape threat was a terrifying rite of passage I shared with almost every other woman I know.

But a crime like Rodger’s, or George Sodini’s or Marc Lepine’s, remind us that sometimes a man means it when he says he wants to kill us. Or, we see too often nowadays, that men mean it when they say they want us to kill ourselves. The river of the patriarchal id overflows its boundaries regularly.

That Stygian flood gets into all of our lives eventually, desensitizing us, robbing the world of its color and life, deadening us. For too many of us, it feels like only a matter of time before it consumes us whole, another sacrifice to an eternally vengeful socio-structural god.

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  • CJ99

    This puts a few things in my mind, namely as mentioned the “normal news” outlets too quickly blame mental illness or in this case autism for these crimes. Those are not the cause, the cause is what I call the unholy trinity of Greed, Lust for Power, & Lust for fame. in this case the killers appetites to be “famous” with the opposite sex and blamed women for his own inadequecies. Another thing that will get ignored is that many with mental illness are not rampaging murderers but people with unseen injuries who are quite often already stigmatized and who will be further stigmatized by these murders.

    Another news report I saw this week reported the killer was “a known participant in violent videogames”. I play quite a few games myself and I don’t own a gun, baseball bat, an axe or the other commonly used tools for comitting murder, nor am I a killer. Though it’s easy to blame games for murder its not totally realistic but there is a problem. In what passes for “gamer culture” there is an attitude of white male entitlement where sexism, racism & other things like homophobia does exist. And almost universally what passes for “gamer news” either ignores the problem or defends it. This should not be. We as humans shouldn’t be tolerant of hate filled cliques in what should be a harmless hobby. Nor should we tar those who do participate but abhor the hate filled shitheads.

  • Kaitlin Powell

    Perhaps the most biased missive ive read. The internet lives on – you will considered a bigot for writing this in the not so distant future.

    • Alex Hunter

      How? I’m seeing criticism of both sympathisers and vilifiers.

      • Kaitlin Powell

        With the apex of blame being masculinity. The bashing has gone on for 50years. Its not working – actually, the shaming of men card has been played so much, that doesn’t work either. Quoting Kimmel and the SPLC means you are coming from a patently bigoted feminist side. Yes, feminists are bigoted when the narrative continues to be women good, men bad.

        • Jennifer Starr

          No, sorry– I don’t see any bias here. This is a very balanced article, and the SPLC is a worthy organization.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            No, sorry, but the feminists most closest useful idiot the “nice guy” (ie.the likes of Mr. Kimmell) has turned out to be a mass murderer – the feminists look not at the actions of Elliott, but cherry pick from the manifesto – Reality: Elliot hated women in jr high, then adored men who could get them, then hated men that could get them, then determined that HE was NOT human – then he went on a rampage – This is not something worthy of an indictment against the “nice guys”. It is mental illness and a hate of all humans, not terrorism. To say anything else is a slip of bigotry – The author and the other gender bigots are losing control of masculinity – at least the ability to shame it.
            Read Dworkin, McKinnon and Solaris – much of the work of the college academia feminism preaches much of the same things as Elliot – Dworkin – wanting to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp – McKinnon – “all men are rapists and that’s what they are”, the SCUM manifesto – until the Feminists stand up and say NO MORE! Expect the backlash against 40+ years of hate to continue –
            With porn and the hookup culture – the Victorians are out – the anti sex aspect of Feminism is losing ground.. Current trends and the new generations will not allow for shaming men – this approach will NOT work anymore – the fabrications and rationalizations to turn this into a SHAME ON YOU MEN – is falling flat imho.

          • Amanda Lynn Larson

            Yeah. Read A Voice for Men. A notable Men’s Right’s Activist website. :) And the manosphere. Since *you* are agenda free, I’m sure you address hate equally right? You call out the manosphere too?

            And since I can go back to Aristotle and find hate against women, yeah. Not really impressed here.

          • Guest

            Have fun with your victim status – get cats – lot of them. If you are going to try to say that you are a victim? If you make more than 34,000 USD per year, you are in the top 1% earners on the planet. You are not a victim – get over yourself – bigotry is bigotry! If you think the last 50 years of bigotry is acceptable, have a great time!

          • Jennifer Starr

            Fifty years of bigotry against whom?

          • Amanda Lynn Larson

            Dworkin and some others were awful, but that magically translates into everyone, every time, 50 years and other craziness. lol.

          • Amanda Lynn Larson

            Ha ha ha. MRA troll on cue! How goes it? ^_^ *hands fedora*

          • fiona64

            Actually, he probably wears a trilby …

          • Amanda Lynn Larson

            *lol* You win at life. :)

          • Arekushieru

            Yeah, everyone has privilege over someone else except for the people on the lowest rungs of the ladder. Already knew that. So what’s your point? Using bigotry to defend the right to use bigotry still makes you a bigot. So sorry.

          • goatini

            //the last 50 years of bigotry//

            It would be SO, so hilarious, if it weren’t so pathetic, that 50 scant years of women’s rights as fully equal citizens, fully participating in all parts of society, out of 5000+ years of institutionalized patriarchy and misogyny, gets MRAs SO, so wound up and impotently angry.

          • fiona64

            Yes, the poor men have had it so hard, haven’t they? What with the centuries of discrimination against them, laws being made that said they were not legal persons (coverture), having to fight for their right to vote, being catcalled on the street (positively or negatively), being told they don’t “need to” have equal pay for equal work, having others make reproductive decisions for them …

            Oh, wait.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            You are right! Institutionalized bigotry for men! Thats the way!

          • fiona64

            I know; the poor dears have such a struggle, what with being at the top of the privilege ladder and all. Let’s all feel sorry for them, shall we?

          • Kaitlin Powell

            If you are a white female, you are only one rung down! privilege is privilege.. Its funny how white women want to make their brothers and fathers the problem with their lives.

          • fiona64

            No, m’dear … but thanks for demonstrating that you don’t understand how privilege works. Men of color actually have more privilege than Caucasian women … unless they’re gay men. Only in that case do they come lower than white women … but they’re still above women of color.

            I suggest reading the works of Tim Wise before you come back and demonstrate your ignorance any further.

          • Amanda Lynn Larson

            I’d respectfully argue it depends. Men of color face sentencing disparities, the drug war and things I’m not at risk for as a white woman. I’m also likely to be get paid more in some circumstances. On the other hand, there are definitely societal benefits to being male, as you noted/realize.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            I agree with you on that one.. She needs to really check her privilege. OMG!!

          • A. T.

            You told me and I quote ‘I have value as a white woman’. You’re just creepy.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            You said it yourself and I have it also. You dont want to engage, only be critical.. Being white gives you societal privilege and value. Tacitly and factually. Accept it.

          • A. T.

            Well. Yes. It’s still creepy to have it put like that. >_o Society does value white lives and white women over others, without question.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            It may seem creepy, but i think we all have to absorb our privilege before we can affect change. I see too much looking at what i call “Apex Fallacy” – ie. nice picked cherries that dont really characterize privilege. As a white women – and attractive ( i think anyway) – i have tremendous societal privilege. Men may have a bit more, but I know im waaaayyyyy up there – when compared to hmm.. pretty much everyone on the planet that is not in a western country.

          • A. T.

            Sure. We’re better off than many and it’s great to be grateful. And to not equate my experience with women of color in this country. Racial profiling and other fun things won’t apply to me, so that’s important for me to remember and to trust other people’s experiences when they talk about it.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            I think that is a very healthy approach! I agree with you completely!

          • A. T.

            Aw, thanks. :)

          • Arekushieru

            Nope, you’re the one who needs to check her privilege. You think that men are the persecuted ones. Women who ascribe to that theory are usually generally treated better than those who don’t. Oops.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            I never said that – but i believe the white female and white male societal treatment is very close to parity.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            Men of color have it over white women !?!?!?!?!?!??!?! Bahahahahahhahahahahahahah!!!! Slavery for 200 years vs. being societies housecat? Good luck with that missive – where is your privilege that you can find the time to post 12,000 times. Gay men have less privilege than African Americans? Im going to cut/paste what you said.

          • fiona64

            Men of color could vote and own property long before women could, sweetie. You might want to visit a magic place called crackafrigginbook.com and learn something.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            I don’t know who you are, but if you are a white woman, you are the most elitist and possibly racist person i have met on the internet. Cute snippits of offense “smart aleck” thing slike crackafrigginbook.com sounds like a white girl thing. I would love to see you stand up at Howard University and say how hard you poor little white woman has had it. Good luck with that.

          • fiona64

            You’re right … I’m so racist that I suggested you go read the polemics of anti-racist Tim Wise and learn something before you mouth off any further. @@<– those are my eyes rolling.

            You rock on with your delighted ignorance, though. It makes me smile, because you remind me of my favorite quote by playwright Oscar Wilde: "I am no longer young enough to know everything."

          • Kaitlin Powell

            http://www.furiousandbrave.com/2013/08/9timwise.html
            Sure did – white women have a much higher privilege that any other minority group. One rung lower than white men. Anti-racism from a white guy? Please – recognize that if YOU are a white woman, your privilege allows YOU to sit on this planet and comment 13000 times on silly articles.

          • fiona64

            You found one contrarian personal website and think it has value over the actual work of someone who studies and writes about privilege? Yep, you’re still ignorant.

            I’ve been using Disqus for years, across numerous websites. Not that it’s any of your business. Futhermore, if the articles are so “silly,” why are you here.

            Face it; you’re not an honest interlocutor. You’re just a little girl who thinks she’s “all that” and should be accorded adulation merely for existing.

            Learn to live with the disappointment. I’m done with you.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            White guy talks about white privilege – gets paid for it (irony?). White crowd applauds in auditorium of a white campus. Nothing else happens. Congratulate yourself.

          • goatini

            //you are the most elitist and possibly racist person i have met on the internet//

            Says one of the most fake “females” I’ve seen on a feminist site in the past week or so.

          • Arekushieru

            Women have been considered nothing more than breeding stock for THOUSANDS of years. Yes, that includes women of colour. Please DO ask yourself why it is that that does include them, if the lines of privilege between white men and white women are virtually non-existent? I mean, how can ANY disparity exist between men and women of ANY colour if the experiences that contributed to them between men and women of one specific race and/or colour are relatively similar? illogical much?

          • goatini

            //white women (are) societies housecat//

            Thanks for proving you’re a MAN.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            Really? You may want to look at me on youtube – and btw, i got the societies housecat that from Chelsea Fagan’s blog… how saying negative things about white women is not necessarily anti-feminist., but ok – contrary opinion cant come from me. fine… i dont exist. LOL

          • Amanda Lynn Larson

            Kaitlin: Which country is this? How do we get there? I want to see this all female congress, female led wall street, female CEO’s, female venture capitalists and more. Please reveal this secret country to us, so we can go there! :)

          • Kaitlin Powell

            It doesnt exist poor baby, but that is because women need to do more inventing, finance, run for congress and risky investing! Once this is done, you will see women at the top 1%. But wait? Why dont women do this? What keeps them from risky investing? Venture capital (aside from Spanx) – what is it holding them back? When women run for office – they have been shown to have about a 50/50 chance as men – geez.. Are we not running? Beyond that – is the top 1% what you are complaining about? I see most feminists extolling the virtues of socialism – so the things you mentioned above are to be taxed heavier – So what do you want? Other than being critical or men, which is easy and gets you nowhere – do you want a few super wealthy women or a change in the tax structure and redistribution? – I know along the way you want to smash the patriarchy, but there is a lack of consistency… Capitalism or socialism – lets start there – what do you want. You describe capitalist goals above – sounds like you are fitting into the capitalist approach. if so, women need to divest themselves from the current programs they choose – education (unless you want that to be measured so there can be stratification of teachers – careful now, the teachers union hates that) care (nursing/preschool, etc) – which only has limited economic value – im a nurse, we cant even define our function in a measurable term, also – care can be imported cheaply from other countries – once care from a white woman is diminished (as it probably will be soon) then the values in the care industry will go down to something lower – like what you see in nursing homes. So what is it you want? You have value as a white woman – actually pretty good privilege. What do YOU want that YOU are missing out on. Oh, dont give me the catcalling bs – we both know that ethnic for the most part.

          • Amanda Lynn Larson

            So the institutionalized bigotry toward men comes from…? Not a place of power, clearly? There isn’t a fantasy world that females rule, so where exactly is this oppression coming from? I’m interested in how your fantasy world works. :)

            Where does the evil feminist superpower that oppresses men get its power from, if it doesn’t hold the power?

          • Amanda Lynn Larson

            And this is really crazy, but it may be that I don’t want women of color to be at a disadvantage to me.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            Women of color in the US or across the globe? Would you institute a global tax? remember, if you make more than $34,000 USD, you are in the top 1%. Perhaps a 60% tax rate on the rich in a global tax?

          • A. T.

            Both. But it’s much within my power to effect the US, as I don’t have a magic wand or billions of dollars. And you’re throwing out tax rates because….?

            There are solutions such as fighting school segregation (that is occurring now), not cutting food stamps, actually funding our schools, put money that is spent in foreign aid/wars back into America and much more that are common sense solutions.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            Fair enough – i think you have some good ideas! However, you are limiting your privilege to the US borders – just remember that when you complain about the white male close to you – you are that same person to the literally billions below you on the planet.

          • A. T.

            I think you’re making some assumptions about what I think. I don’t think the lot of a white American female is remotely the most tragic on the planet. I do think that there’s some disadvantages to being female (it’s certainly much better), but compared to being a female of color or some other places? I’m certainly lucky and aware of that. It just doesn’t make bad things that happen in the US okay. ‘So there’s bad violence here, so domestic violence in the US is okay, because it’s worse over here.’ <— No.

            My main issue with white men is when certain (not all!) white men get whiny and say racism is exaggerated, sexism never happens, and everyone is SO mean. If white men are not doing this things or even expressing an occasional critique, I have no more issue with them than anyone else. But if you're a white man that thinks you're oppressed by people of color? Yeah.

          • lady_black

            Citation needed for being in the top 1% if you make more than $34K. Really.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            We dont even realize how good we got it. I could be a smarty pants and say google it, but here you go.

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2082385/We-1–You-need-34k-income-global-elite–half-worlds-richest-live-U-S.html

            We white western women are the recipients of the past slavery, imperialism and war – because our white males controlled and won. Now, we as a collective turn and point to men today and say – “You are the problem” – I say no – “We were the victors” – what are WE going to do? Complain that we dont have enough female CEO’s? Really? We are the worlds CEO’s.. We have tremendous power and proxy violence – voting for war. We ARE the elites. Dont point to the nearest man and exclaim “HIM !!!!” The patriarchy! When we are all the worlds monarchy.

          • lady_black

            Um, NO.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            Thats all you have? Blind to you privlege? Ok..

          • lady_black

            I happen to live in the USA where making $34K doesn’t make one “elite.” In fact, it’s barely sufficient, and you know it. It would be really great to work here and use the money to live in some third-world country, but the commute is a killer. Your post is only reality if one compares the USA to less-advanced nations. It’s not an equitable comparison. And you know THAT, too

          • Kaitlin Powell

            Sufficient – as a very rich person in the world – thats all im trying to say – we are arguing about our seat in a Limo – and saying what is putting us down is the Man next to us – in the LIMO – White women are not without substantial privilege and economic benefit – for being simply white women – Society reacts very quickly when we are in harms way – and keeps us out our harms way.

          • purrtriarchy

            Wtf are you smoking?

          • Arekushieru

            You are so illogical it’s not even funny. Cites for your claims, please, specifically the one that concludes that women have a 50/50 chance of succeeding in political office as the men do and that catcalling is mostly ethnic.

            Why can you NOT answer the question as to WHY more (white) women aren’t running for political office? Because it would prove OUR point? That our patriarchal society expects even white women to take on certain roles and shames and stigmatizes them for stepping outside them? That this so-called shaming of men is merely outlining the differences between a cultural NORM that arises, and the one backlash effect that men experience, from the institutionalization of misogyny. For example, rape. Rape is all about power. And since men are the ones that typically commit the crime, that power is all about masculinity being perceived as strength and femininity as being weak. If a MAN is raped by another man then it is seen as a demasculinization of the man. Therefore, the man was feminized and became weak. You do know what femininity is most often associated with, right? It therefore means, of course, that the target was NOT actually the man but the idea of feminizing the man, thereby making him ‘weaker’ than the other. (Which equals institutionalized misogyny.) But MRAs would prefer to twist the narrative in the same manner you have done and claim that the ‘lack of attention’ given to these men’s issues by feminists is a result of MISANDRY when feminists point out that these have actually DOMINATED the CULTURAL framework (for that very reason). The feminizing of men (a backlash effect of institutionalized misogyny) is far more important and tragic than the concentration of power within the masculine sphere, after all.

            Also, expecting those who didn’t create a problem to fix it is victim-blaming and bigoted. Which is why Fiona’s remarks resemble racist comments far less than your own do. So sorry.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            Google “Girls just wanna not run” Its a comprehensive and current report (2013) that outlines the data – I cant give you a link as it links to a pdf – I know I don’t want to run – my life and happiness would not be predicated on political office (like most women – its MY choice). As far as patriarchy religion – I am actually an atheist, so nope don’t buy it.. Trying to shame me on the Fiona thing – the feminists are developing a narrative where women are more disadvantaged than blacks? Sorry hunny, but that comment with my response and your followup saying im more racist – Lets present that at Howard university and see who gets the applause – you are a gender bigot and racist all in one when I don’t fall into your dogma of “poor me white woman” aka Societies Housecat.. Im very confident my assessment would be seen as more enlightened. The “poor white woman” boo hoo is not really my thing. Heres the bottom line – feminism has been about middle class and upper class white women…. Actually, I just read through some of your comments – I know from your photo, your sexual market place value is in the bargain bin, and therefore you don’t like men – but the “A fetus is parasitic” comment you made on another post could be the title of Casey Anthony’s memoirs

          • Arekushieru

            Removing bigotry is not bigotry. Poor dear, you are SO confused.

          • Arekushieru

            No, shaming and stigmatizing those with mental illnesses when it has been PROVEN that people who are mentally ill are more commonly the VICTIMS of a crime is the sign of a true bigot. AW.

            Contexts for all your claims would be nice even at least ONCE in awhile, peeps. People like you seem to have SO much difficulty with that, however. That INCLUDES your claim that Elliot hated all men who could get the women he wanted. I mean, did he write all of that down in the same manner that he wrote that he wanted to get revenge on the women who rejected him even though he was such a ‘nice guy’? Oops.

            Most feminists are not anti-sex. In fact, anti-feminists such as yourself generally tend to be anti-sex. Oops, again!

          • Kaitlin Powell

            LMAO – I have amazing sex and LOTS of it – if that picture is you – I don’t even want to think about you and sex – ugh gross… Elliot and Jodi Arias are the blue and pink within the same boat of mental illness and instability. Elliot wanted control at the point of getting sex, Jodi wanted control at the point of getting a relationship – they used violence as a means to “get even”. Elliots spectrum of those that he hated was himself (or his Asian half) thus killing his roomates that he droned on about hating as they were (Sterotypical Asians – per his missive) then went afeter the unattainable women aspect – that only women seem to care about, which reveals a streak of collective narcissism – but I digress – Jodi had wild crazy sex with her victim – stalked him, slashed his tires and harassed his girlfriends – she exacted revenge at the point of her losing control (trying to get the relationship) the spectrum of Elliots hate was wide and Jodi’s were focused, however – they represent the same drive – lack of control, mental instability and narcissism that resulted in violence.

        • Arekushieru

          You don’t understand the way privilege works and the main point of the article obviously. FEMINISTS aren’t saying that all women are good and all men bad. Patriarchy is saying that all men are good and all women are bad.

          • Kaitlin Powell

            The Patriarchy theory is unfalsifiaible. By definition, the practice of declaring an unfalsifiable theory to be scientifically true is pseudoscience. Therefore, Patriarchy is pseudoscience – aka Religion. If you want to be religious, fine, but Im atheist and deal in falsifiable tenents (aka reality) – this site is reality, so lets deal with that. Think about yourself and your spew – i read your comments – they are profoundly angry – anger comes from fear – externalizing that fear is anger (menz for you) internalizing your fear is depression. I find that patriarchy pseudoscience followers fall into one of these two camps. Just reflect and consider – oh you can post on and on about your feminist tenents, even pick some nice cherries for me if you will, but the fundamentals wont manifest themselves, and fear will only lead to anger or depression.

            With men, however, i do agree with Kimmel on one point – when men are fearful, they go to action. As women, i think we need to be cognizant of this as we start to hold more power – we may not like power, but we have to be smart enough to wield it. Feminization of men will not work – men without purpose are very dangerous – look at the african american community in the US. We are winning – exercise caution – slow down on the broad accusations – the men next to us are allies – not enemies. They love us dearly, just be nice to them, they will be amazing back. Warmest Regards, Kaitilin

        • goatini

          I was just about to order Kimmel’s book, “Angry White Men”. Now I’ll definitely buy it today, based on your opinion of Mr Kimmel. If an MRA with a fake “female” t!ts-out-for-the-lads avatar doesn’t like Kimmel, then I know he (Kimmel) hits not a few nerves with the MRA crowd. Thanks!!

          • Kaitlin Powell

            I would never say dont buy a book – if you like it, by all means go ahead!

  • Alex Hunter

    There is just way too much cruelty in the world. Fred Phelps was just the tip of it.

  • DorisPB

    As Jesica989 points out, the author has no understanding of psychology or abnormal psychology. That’s probably something you should check out before you start making sweeping statements about what is and isn’t symptomatic of mental illness.

    Most of the internet/Tumblr/pop-feminists I know also consider themselves allies to the neuroatypical. It’s extremely irksome, therefore, that many of them respond to suggestions that this was a result of severe, untreated mental illness with some variant of “It’s ableist to say that mental illness is what causes people to kill!”

    Uh, are you sure you guys know what mental illness is? It actually causes people to have urges to kill/hurt themselves/others with ALARMING FREQUENCY. (Rodger’s parents requested a wellness check two weeks prior because they thought he was at risk for self-harm.)

    If the next Rodger is following this story, they’re certainly seeing a lot of narratives about how people expressing urges like the one’s they’re experiencing, are evil in a wholly self-aware way, rather than sick. They aren’t hearing about how proper diagnosis and medication might have prevented Rodger’s illness from dominating his entire psyche (and yes, manifesting as intense, violent misogyny). And if they don’t have that information, their mental illness might do the same, and this will happen again.

    If you’re willing to make up a tidy fiction about the nature of mental illness, and call it ableist to say that common symptoms of mental illness are, you know, symptoms of mental illness, you’re doing an enormous disservice to the people struggling to stay afloat above urges that are not something they experience voluntarily. You may get pats on the back from fellow less-than-bright pop-feminists, but you are a spectacularly terrible ally.

    • Amanda Lynn Larson

      If you look up the research, you find it quite clearly documented that the mentally ill are far more likely to be victims of violence than to inflict violence with different numbers for different disorders. Have you researched aspergers? Schizophrenia? Others? There are specific numbers, even. If the author hasn’t done her homework (I’d argue that), you don’t appear to have either. Nor are you helping people that aren’t neurotypical by spreading this rubbish. (For the record, I’m not neurotypical, though the specifics are not your business. I also did my research around his disorders, possible and confirmed.)

      In other words: Do your own research or at least note in your post, because you definitely didn’t.

      Also? Entitled abusive people, mentally ill or not, don’t care. Most batterers are not mentally ill, no more so than the normal population. They do not batter women because they are ill. They batter women because they are abusive. Rodgers could quite easily have been one of these, especially as he had that level of entitlement.

      Also, Rodgers had access to medical care (high quality) from the get go). What are you basing the theory that lack of medication or improper diagnosis was his issue on? It’s possible, but far more likely for others with far less access to care.

  • Arekushieru

    YES. This is why mental illness (like A.T. I am not neurotypical, and not just either healthfully or developmentally) can be a mitigating factor in sentencing. This is the ‘role’ I believe discussions of mental illness should play. Not in generalizing that all people with mental illness are violent but in pointing out how some people are more susceptible to the precepts of a culture of violence than others and how that same culture then turns around and puts the blame/onus/responsibility on THEIR shoulders. Ugh.