… I bring this up not to detract from the misogyny that was at the heart of the killings, but to show how deep it goes: Rodgers’s hatred for women was inextricable from his hatred of Asianness, which he considered a mark of effeminacy, a lack of masculinity…. And Rodgers’s disdain for this supposed Asian lack-of-masculinity included a hatred for blackness, and other non-whiteness as well.
For some time now, misogynist extremism has been excused, as all acts of terrorism committed by white men are excused, as an aberration, as the work of random loons, not real men at all. Why are we denying the existence of a pattern?
… I make no apologies for the fact that this piece is full of rage. When news of the murders broke, when the digital world began to absorb and discuss its meaning, I had been about to email my editor to request a few days off, because the impact of some particularly horrendous rape threats had left me shaken, and I needed time to collect my thoughts. Instead of taking that time, I am writing this blog, and I am doing so in rage and in grief - not just for the victims of the Isla Vista massacre, but for what is being lost everywhere as the language and ideology of the new misogyny continues to be excused.
Why can we not speak about misogynist extremism - why can we not speak about misogyny at all - even when the language used by Elliot Rodger is everywhere online?We are told, repeatedly, to ignore it. It’s not real. It’s just “crazy”, lonely guys who we should feel sorry for. But as a mental health activist, I have no time for the language of emotional distress being used to excuse an atrocity, and as a compassionate person I am sick of being told to empathise with the perpetrators of violence any time I try to talk about the victims and survivors.
… I know for sure that just by writing this I will have exposed myself to more harassment, more threats, more verbal assaults. The comments below this piece will be stuffed, as they always are, with rank sexism, along with by a few brave souls trying to counter their arguments or maintain some pretence at tolerant, adult debate. I have clear memories of a time when I really looked forward to engaging with people who commented on my blog, even when we disagreed, when online politics was an exciting, dynamic space of living conversation. I remember it, and it’s in the cache, so it must have happened. But many young women at the start of writing and digital careers today have no such memories.
We have been told for a long time that the best way to deal with this sort of harrassment and violence is to laugh it off. Women and girls and queer people have been told that online misogynists pose no real threat, even when they’re sharing intimate guides to how to destroy a woman’s self-esteem and force her into sexual submission. Well, now we have seen what the new ideology of misogyny looks like at its most extreme. We have seen incontrovertible evidence of real people being shot and killed in the name of that ideology, by a young man barely out of childhood himself who had been seduced into a disturbing cult of woman-hatred.
Our society pits men against women at every turn. It teaches men that they are the natural better of women; that she belongs to him. That he is her ‘natural protector’ and therefore entitled to her body.
To be sure, many men will fight tooth and nail to defend the existence of these unequal social relations. For many men, this society truly is the best of all possible worlds from their vantage point, and they have little to gain and much to lose in the event that women win true social emancipation.
However, there are far too many other men who are themselves exploited and oppressed by this society and have every interest in seeing its downfall, and yet buy into the notion that their supremacy over women translates into their own liberation within the status quo; that their emancipation is predicated upon the oppression of women. To these men I say, what emancipation? What liberation? What grand set of conditions which prevail under the status quo are you defending?
If the oppression of women was necessary for your liberation, then why do you remain, under present social conditions, mired in poverty, ill health, low wages, police brutality, imprisonment, alienated and unfulfilled labor, war, environmental catastrophe, and a host of other cultural norms which suffocate you in a rigid cage of artificially-constructed “masculinity”?
No. To quote the great revolutionary socialist, Helen Keller, “Workingmen suffer from the helplessness of working women. They must compete in the same offices and factories with women who are unable to protect themselves with proper laws. They must compete with women who work in unsanitary rooms called homes, work by dim lamps at nite, rocking a cradle with one foot. It is to the interest of all workers to end this stupid, one-sided, one power arrangement.”
"The laws made by men rule the minds as well as the bodies of women. The man-managed state so conducts its schools that the ideals of women are warped to hideous shapes … Nearly all the opportunities, educational and political, that woman has acquired have been gained by a march of conquest with a skirmish at every post.
"We shall not see the end of capitalism and the triumph of democracy until men and women work together in the solving of their political, social, and economic problems, [and thereby] hasten the day when the age-long dream of liberty, equality and brotherhood shall be realized upon earth."
We truly need to destroy contemporary U.S. society in all of its wretchedness in order to create something better; just as the caterpillar must be destroyed to make way for the butterfly.
A society so horribly corrupted by a history and legacy of misogyny, racism, slavery, genocide, xenophobia, bigotry, inequality, and white male supremacy is fundamentally irredeemable. Humanity today has as little use for the prevailing institutions of capitalist society as the American slaves had for the politico-juridical infrastructure of the Antebellum South.
We must burn misogyny to the ground in the same way that slavery was burned to the ground by the likes of Sherman and Sheridan.
A much better is world possible than this Hell on Earth we call “modern civilization”. But it will not come about without the storm and stress of revolutionary rejuvenation; without a vicious and merciful onslaught on the very root conditions which make capitalist and white-male supremacy possible.
#YesAllWomen #YesAllThingsMustChange #YesAllOppression #YesWeNeedRevolution
Lest we forget, the vigilante misogynistic violence of people like Elliot Rodger is NOT an isolated incident. Just last year, a jury in Texas acquitted a man for the murder of a woman who refused to have sex with him.
The fact is, violent misogyny is actually structurally encouraged by a society which oppresses women at every turn and generally treats them as inferior to men.
A Texas jury acquitted a man for the murder of a woman he hired as an escort, after his lawyers claimed he was authorized to use deadly force because she refused sex.
Misogyny is an American problem, not an “isolated aberration.”
There was another shooting this weekend by men who didn’t get sex, according to reports.
What we need is a war on misogyny. Not a racist “war on drugs” or imperialist “war on terror”. We have politicians and media pundits hashtaging for the rights of women in far away countries. What about the rights of women in this country? What about the right to live one’s life without being constantly in fear of rape or violence at the hands of misogynists like Elliot Rodgers? The right to live as an equal member of society in all matters economic, political, and social?
The fact is that men have killed more girlfriends/wives in the last 12 years in the US than the total number of Americans who were killed on 9/11, in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Approximately 3 women in the U.S. are killed every 24 hours by a spouse or a known intimate. And nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. have been raped at some point in their lives.*
"Men’s rights" activists are the gender version of white supremacists. It is extremist hate masquerading as a "legitimate" political movement. And it is criminal for any political or media figure to describe these sexist hate-mongers as anything less than an unqualified danger to humanity.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill Tuesday that will allow criminal charges against women who struggle with drug dependency during their pregnancy.
maybe it’s because our entire society treats sexual violence as ‘normal.’ from university administrators, army officers, police, judges, politicians, media figures, etc., etc.
How does a crime committed against nearly 238,000 women a year go unreported 60 percent of the time? According to a new report, many victims of sexual assault may not actually see themselves as victims. Heather Hlavka, a sociologist at Marquette …
this guy needs to be taken off the airwaves like yesterday. he should literally only be allowed to share his views with those in earshot of him as he yells his inanities from a rocking chair on his front porch [like all other self-respecting crotchety old bigoted white men].
Fox News’ resident expert on women, Bill O’Reilly, never ceases to amaze me. Neither does Stephen Colbert. See 1:40 for O’Reilly’s latest winning thoughts on whether a woman can handle the U.S. presidency. The best part is Kirsten Powers’ reaction at 1:57. Watch all of it for Colbert’s hysterically deconstructive response.
Misogyny = terrorism.
A Connecticut high school went on lockdown early this morning after a female student was stabbed to death by a classmate, reportedly because she rejected his request to go to prom with him tonight.
Students demand right to safety from sexual violence and access to mental health resources.
Trigger Warning: The following content discusses specific cases of sexual assault.
“I don’t trust the University to take my experience or my safety more seriously than they take their own public image.“– Cami Quarta, Columbia survivor and complainant
THE STATE of Tennessee is about to establish a dangerous new precedent in the war on women.
Both houses of the state legislature recently passed SB 1391, a bill that would sanction women’s arrest and incarceration on the basis of the outcomes of their pregnancies. If Gov. Bill Haslam does not veto the measure, it would be the first law in the U.S. to criminalize pregnant women for the use of illegal or prescription drugs.
Supporters of reproductive rights are trying to pressure Haslam into stopping SB 1391 from becoming law.
Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, hundreds of pregnant women have suffered unwanted medical interventions, arrests and incarcerations, based on a range of flimsy assertions about the health of their pregnancies—very often without legal or medical grounding for the claim that the women were responsible for harming a fetus or newborn.
National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) compiled a groundbreaking report showing how these cases amount to what NAPW Executive Director Lynn Paltrow has termed the “New Jane Crow”—a reference to author Michelle Alexander’s best-selling book on racism and mass incarceration, The New Jim Crow.