A gunman methodically and systematically killed seven people (including himself). The victims were all women. The gunman went on a massive rant about women before committing the acts of violence.
Now, normally, the above comment would be something about an historical event that took place at École Polytechnique de Montréal when 25 year old Marc Lepine killed 28 people (mostly women) including himself. Feminist groups and public officials have said the shooting and mass murder was anti-feminist. The anniversary of the shooting has been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
But the above comment isn’t about Marc Lepine, it isn’t about Ecole Polytechnique massacre. It’s about the shooting of seven women and the suicide of the gunman, Elliot Rodger, at UC Santa Barbara.
This has zero to do with mental health issues. It also has really nothing to do with gun laws. It has everything to do with a culture that makes men’s entitlement a priority. A society that says the sexual nature of a woman is a commodity that should only exist for the consumption of men.
It goes even further than that, however. Because when we discuss things that happen, like what happened at UC Santa Barbara, there’s a common thread. Wade Michael Page shot six people and himself in 2012 at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. James Eagan Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 at a theatre in Aurora, Colorado. Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Karl Pierson killed himself after leaving a girl in a comma after he lost a spot on the debate team at a school in Colorado.
The shootings were all committed by white men, and all showed something that is overlooked by media. More than whether or not the gunmen were mentally ill (as put forward in the trial for Holmes), or whether there is a need for more strict gun laws, this all points to entitlement and those who live in a world that feeds them this every day.
In the case of Elliot Rodger, the doctrine of MRAs feed his violent actions. That losing his “virginity” or having sex during college wasn’t just something that happened, it was his god given right. Women were nothing more than objects he could end up consuming. Was Rodgers mentally ill? Maybe, but that doesn’t detract from the real issue.
Rodger was fed a string of garbage that he believed. He believed he was entitled, that women should have been flocking to him. Sex was the ultimate motivator in this crime. It’s the usual call of Men’s Rights Activists, who use cyclical arguments to shut down the stories and experiences of women, who will often use the statements of “men get raped too”. “not all men”, and have taken to the term “friend-zone” as though its worse than the plague. This isn’t mental illness, per say, but it is massive entitlement and privilege that white men feel. One that’s fed by the media, even in entertainment.
Become the hero, save the world, get the girl. Every story has that series of events in it, and its something that’s continued today. We don’t find out what happens after the hero gets the girl, we just know she’s the reward.
For men like Elliot Rodger, they fed into that story, and lashed out when reality didn’t mirror it for him. Rodger never once considered that women are human beings, who have their own authority over their bodies, over their sexuality, and have the right to say no.