On May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree in Isla Vista, CA, resulting in murdering six innocent people, wounding 13 more, and taking away his own life.
You’ve probably already heard of this story whether you saw it on the news, on your newsfeed on Facebook, or on other blogs, but I wanted to take this opportunity and contribute to the conversation.
What most national news outlets don’t really mention or address is the fact that Elliot Rodger is a disturbing misogynistic, entitled asshole with a gun. Oh, I’m sorry, is that too insensitive of a title for you? Most media coverage of this event seriously write him off as a “madman” a “psycho” or a “lonely virgin.”
Um, excuse me, but when was it okay to dismiss this boy’s actions as insane? Whether or not he’s mentally ill is still left up for discussion, but THIS whole song and dance of “boy killing girl because girl refuses his sexual advances” is NOT new. In fact, it’s like one of those overdone pop songs on the radio that you hear at least every hour in one day. Everyone’s fucking tired of this shit.
According to thinkprogress.org, more than one in three women will experience rape, violence, and/or stalking at the hands of an intimate partner in their lifetimes. Eighty-five percent of intimate partner violence victims are women. THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE! This is our culture trying to tell us that there is some SERIOUS issues we need to work out.
Elliot Rodger is the by product of our patriarchal society that normalizes rape culture. Now, what is rape culture?
“Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety,” (Marshall, 2013).
So because we live in a society that pretty much deems it OK to objectify women and treat them like some reward that men are entitled to have, we get people like Elliot Rodger who grow up with this toxic way of thinking. I viewed two of his videos that he uploaded on his YouTube channel before he went apeshit on this massacre, and I honestly couldn’t even finish a minute of them. This boy is seriously just fucked up in the head. And who do we blame? His parents? His roommates? His friends, if he had any?
We should ALL take part in the blame. Because like I said, he is the by product of our twisted misogynistic rape culture.
If this isn’t a wake up call to action, I don’t know what the fuck is. How many daughters, sisters, girlfriends, wives, friends, PEOPLE have to die in order for our society to realize that misogyny exists? Why is it so hard for people to admit that misogyny kills?
I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people that don’t understand that gender is a social construct. WE have the power to change our attitudes about this world and how we see it. No one’s forcing you to follow some imaginary manifesto of how to live your life. YOU decide how to live your life. YOU have the power to change how you view things. And that means that these useless ideas of “what it means to be a boy” or “what it means to be a girl” is GARBAGE! Throw that shit away and write your own story. A story where everyone is deserving of love, happiness, and respect.
The only good thing that has risen from this terrible situation is the fact that women everywhere took to their social media outlets, outraged at all the injustice, and told their stories using the hashtag “#YesAllWomen.” I, myself, participated in this trend and DAMN – that felt so liberating. I highly encourage you to add your own Facebook status or tweet to the discussion. Trust me, this is a long battle that we have yet to win.
And if you’re a man, you can TOTALLY take part in that conversation! This isn’t some Girls Only Club and you can’t sit with us. You can add to the discussion too… as long as you’re an ally. If you’re wondering how you can become one, just stop and think. Think about how you would want your daughter to be treated. Think about how you want your mother to be treated. Think about how YOU want to be treated. Then read these stories and realize this is a reality that every woman endures. We don’t want to put up with this shit anymore than you don’t want to hear it.
Ignorance is not cute. Apathy is so not cool anymore. If you remain passive, you become part of the problem. You want to be strong? Then call that shit out when you see it and become part of the movement.
We get that #NotAllMen are like Elliot Rodger, but you know what? There’s too many of you who are.
A friend of mine once said, “You shouldn’t have to convince people that everyone is deserving of equality. That should be a basic fundamental right.”
I totally agree. So let’s keep that movement growing.