This Week in Misogyny: UCSB Shooting

By now you undoubtedly know more than you ever wanted to know about Elliot Rodger and his misogyny-fueled killing spree. We already covered quite a bit of the story in this week’s Dispatches from Ladyblogland, but of course we’ve learned more in the interim. So much, in fact, that the rest of this week’s misogyny news and recommended readings will be getting their own post.

Perspectives on the shooting

  • Why is it that when white men go on shooting sprees, even when they publish manifestos and post videos explaining why they’re targeting a particular group, we hesitate to call it terrorism? And much as blaming all acts like this on mental illness is problematic, why don’t we ever do it when the perpetrators aren’t white Christian men?
  • A closer look at Rodger’s internet commenting history reveals that he wasn’t only a raging misogynist, he was also a racist.
  • The Onion continues its streak of being scarily on point.

This is how you respond to tragedy if you’re a complete asshole.

  • Joe the Plumber went off on a Second Amendment rant and told grieving parents, “Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”
  • Tea Party idiot Todd Kincannon tweeted “No idea how my son will die, but I know it won’t be cowering like a bitch at UC Santa Barbara. Any son of mine would have been shooting back.”
  • Fox News contributor Erick Erickson wrote that the shooting was because of our “war on masculinity.”
  • Tabloids have tried to find the most sensationalist possible angles on the story. The Daily Mail gleefully dubbed Rodger the “Virgin Killer,” which (aside from making it sound like he was killing virgins) gives equal importance to his virginity and his killing spree. Quite a few papers, including the New York Post, have released the name and current pictures of the girl who he described as an “evil bitch” who rejected him when she was only 10 years old.
  • RooshV, writing on PUA site Return of Kings, wrote that the real problem was that Rodger didn’t have “game” and that “more people will die unless you give men sexual options.” He then apparently decided that wasn’t absurd enough and wrote another post claiming that Rodger was “the first male feminist mass murderer that we have seen in America” and other hateful garbage I don’t even want to quote.
  • Exiles from the now-closed PUAHate forum once frequented by Rodger have moved to a new forum to continue their misogynistic screeds, praise him as a “hero,” and threaten to make copycat attacks.
  • CNN’s Deborah Feyerick tried desperately to prevent panelists from discussing gun regulations in favor of solely focusing on mental health. She also praised Rodger’s manifesto for being “really well written” and compared it to David Copperfield.
  • Psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig went on Fox News to ponder, was Rodger “trying to fight against his homosexual impulses?”
  • Ken Blackwell of the NRA and the Family Research Council blamed the attacks on gay marriage and crumbling morals.
  • Punk rocker Exene Cervenka from the band X has been tweeting conspiracy theories that claim the shooting was a hoax and that Rodger was an actor hired by the government.
  • California congressional candidate Tony Strickland’s campaign ran a pro-gun robocall the day after the shooting. When confronted, his spokesperson said that it had been prescheduled and that they “didn’t have time” to cancel it.

And this is how decent people react.

  • Richard Martinez, whose son Charles was one of the shooting victims, made an emotional plea for change and said that “My kid died because nobody responded to what occurred at Sandy Hook.”
  • Phil Plait provided pretty much a perfect example of how men can talk about stories like this without becoming defensive or mansplaining.
  • Alan Alda says, “We could eradicate polio. I don’t see why we can’t eradicate misogyny.”

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[E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

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