Seven people are dead today. Some media outlets keep referring to the murderer as a "madman," but he was motivated by rejection and the sense that he had been wronged by women-kind. While Elliot Rodger may be a crazier example, he is far from an isolated madman. Many men share the same toxic philosophy and many men on the web are actually sympathetic to this murderer.
Eliott was 22 years old, a virgin, and very into the Men's Rights Movement and Pick-up Artist ideas.
For those of you who don't know about these ideologies, Men's Rights Activism is a misogynistic movement that works to discredit feminism, discredit claims of victimization despite being backed by mountains of evidence, and promotes the idea that feminism is preventing men from being "real men." They believe that women demanding equal treatment and acknowledgment of our institutionalized sexism is somehow emasculating.
Pick-up Artistry is about the "art" of convincing women to date or sleep with you. The basic assumption held by these men is that women are things (not people) for them to win or be awarded or owed for correct behavior or success. Pick-up Art is founded on the belief that if you follow a ritual of moves women will be tricked/convinced into sleeping with you.
Elliot stated that he was going to murder his victims to prove that he was the alpha male, and to punish these women for rejecting him. He felt that he had done the right moves and that, because of this, womankind owed him the reward of attention and sex. Not every Men's Rights Activist or Pick-up Artist or misogynist is a murderer, but the violence is baked right into these ideas.
Misogyny literally killed yesterday.
If you know somebody who thinks women are things to be picked-up, or feels men are owed sex, or who even just seems prone to not seeing women as equals, take this event and time to dissuade them from this toxic thinking. Challenge them. Do not laugh it off. Do not dismiss it as boys being boys. Call them to the mat.
A worthwhile person will re-examine their thinking and work to correct their outlook. I think people should have the chance to see the evidence, and rethink their choices/
A person who clings to this way of thinking, however, is not worth your time. They do not think of half of the population as real people. People who dehumanize others this way should be exiled from your life until they prove themselves safe. If someone does not see women equals - if they see women as somehow sub-human compared to men - how can you trust them to not hurt those they see as less than them?
Elliot's female victims were not guilty for not sleeping with the man (as some people are suggesting,) but, as a society, we are partly to blame.
Every time we don't call this out, we helping feed the problem that led to this.
We MUST fight back. We MUST not be timid about it. I know I have failed in this before. There have been times that I heard men talk this way about women and I did nothing. This is not excusable. We MUST stand-up to this.
WOMEN ARE PEOPLE. YOU ARE OWED NOTHING FROM THEM. THEY ARE NOT PRIZES, NOR DEITIES, NOR OBJECTS THAT WILL SERVE YOU IF YOU ACT A CERTAIN WAY.
Share this basic truth with anyone you encounter voicing these idiotic ideas. One misogyny leads to another and eventually to violence. Misogyny is violent at its core. Stop it before it grows to the point that it reaches firearms.