I’m beginning to wonder whether the Elliot Rodger story, in the long run, might be a more important moment for men than for women. I don’t mean to devalue or diminish the collective display of female outrage, and female solidarity, that we have experienced in the aftermath of the Isla Vista shootings. Quite the opposite. But it is overwhelmingly – indeed, almost exclusively – men who commit mass murder of this kind and on this scale, and the poisonous misogyny of Rodger’s worldview is a distinctively male phenomenon. Is it possible to find women who genuinely hate men? No doubt it is; our culture is a big place. But I am unaware of any Internet communities where women gather to demean and stereotype men in the most vile and reductive terms, or openly indulge in fantasies about raping, humiliating and enslaving them.
All men are implicated in a culture of masculinity that allows such things to happen. It’s a culture that looks away from misogynistic crimes, or proclaims them to be isolated and untypical events rather than extreme examples of things that happen every day. It’s a culture that does not ask whether it’s our responsibility to love and nurture our sons and brothers such that they grow up knowing that women and girls are not the enemy, not an alien species, not vessels for their lust or displaced self-loathing or misguided veneration but complicated and wonderful and exasperating human beings not unlike themselves.
Just my opinion….I think the Elliot Rodgers story is more about what chronic rejection and loneliness can do to a person a long with perhaps the psychiatric drugs he had taken. Elliot Rodgers was angry…angry at everyone. Angry at his father for not guiding him, angry at his step mother for saying mean things, angry that he didn’t have a friend and finally, angry at women for rejecting him sexually. They guy felt totally alone and probably felt like he had zero support. In his videos he mentioned he had felt this way for years. Mix that with the drugs and perhaps you get violence.
Keep in mind he killed more men than women in his rampage. Innocent men. Four to two. He was very indiscriminate in his killing…he just wanted to hurt others.
I think the story is also a story about our society and how hard it is to be an outsider. If one person showed they cared, perhaps he wouldn’t have acted out.
Of course none of this made what he did excusable but I think it was the main factor. Again, it just came out he was on psychiatric drugs and this is a common link for this type of violence…especially with young men.