Saturday 31 May 2014

Elliot Rodger and Toxic Masculinity

I’ve read the news reports. I’ve seen the video. I’ve gone over the details of what happened and I’ve found further articles describing the life and times of this young man. I’ve perused the so-called manifesto. I am disturbed. I am frightened. I am perplexed. The hatred, the distorted view of reality, and the misinterpretation of the facts stuns me beyond belief. This man’s rage was so deep, so extensive, I feel apprehensive and out of sorts even though I am far away on the other side of the continent with no personal ties to anybody involved in this story.

We are all going to analyse the protagonist, dissect his life, and attempt to uncover all the telltale signs of the impending disaster. Will any of this matter? Will any of this make it any easier to detect and stop the next incident? Out of the seven billion plus people on the planet, things fall through the cracks. Bad happens. Bad is unavoidable. Statistically speaking, the collective we is doing all right. Or is it?

An iceberg supposedly shows 10% of itself out of water. The remaining 90% is hidden. If Elliot’s misogynistic rant against the world is the current headline, what else is going on in the world I am unaware of? The Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen (Washington Post) has produced an outpouring of stories about an inexplicable and shameful attitude of some men towards women. I say some men because #NotAllMen are like Elliot. We are the fathers, step-fathers, grandfathers, and uncles plus the husbands, boyfriends, and lovers including friends, colleagues, acquaintances and total strangers who look upon women with appreciation, admiration, and most of all respect. How could any man hate a woman just, so it seems, for being a woman? Where did this hatred of women come from?

The following article is a must read. I wish I had written it myself. The author Harris O’Malley has captured exactly what’s wrong with the male animal who subscribes to a patriarchal politic of entitlement. If ever there was a demonstrable example of the objectification of women, this is it. It is sickening.

Please read this entire article now.

Paging Dr. Nerdlove - May 26/2014
Elliot Rodger and the Price of Toxic Masculinity by Dr. Nerdlove
This is the message we’re sold over and over again: A woman who is a virgin is a prize beyond rubies, holding her “special gift” for a “special person”. A male (not a man, a male) is a failure. He is a boy, not a man. He is a failure, despite being wealthy, despite being privileged (in every sense of the word) because masculinity is rated on two axes – in our capacity for sex and our capacity for violence.
Elliot Rodger wanted to prove he was “alpha”, to prove his manhood. He couldn’t fuck his way to manliness, so he decided to prove it by murdering people.

The Pick-up Artist
I vaguely remember hearing this term, PUA, years ago but recently had my eyes opened to this sub-culture of the MRA, Men’s Rights Activism or MRM Men’s Rights Movement. The objective is to have sex with a woman. Yes, that’s it. In God’s plan, the grand scheme of things, the entire purpose of the male animal is to copulate with the female. It is our raison d’être. The sum total of our existence is how many times with how many women we can insert our penis and ejaculate. There is no fatherhood, creativity, higher learning, morality, belief, or wonder about the world, science, philosophy, music, etc.; there is merely this single primordial destiny of copulation. And as a consequence, the rules of the game are that the PUA can lie, cheat, and steal in order to win. He can trick a woman, fool her, and do anything he could possibly think of as long as at the end of it all he succeeds in having sex. Women are not people; they are sexual objects. They are things. Women are not to be loved, cherished, and respected; they are to be used and discarded when one is finished with them.

Wait. What?

What was the point of me going to university? What was the point of reading a thousand plus books? What was the point of bettering myself, studying music, taking some French, travelling, keeping up with current events and even spending time learning about all things sexual including female sexuality so I could hopefully be a better more satisfying partner? What’s the point if life is really about the three F’s : Find’em; fuck’em; and forget’em?

Is this where I break into my best Peggy Lee imitation, “Is that all there is?”

I am sitting here with my mouth open. This is truly jaw-droppingly crazy. The definition of a man is not who he is, it’s the sex he has. Don’t get me wrong, sex is important in life but I like to think when I come to the table, I am more than that. My being, my ego, my manhood is more extensive, more complicated than something as simple as the sex I have. Am I prepared to die over sex? Am I prepared to kill over sex?

Lacie Green - May 26/2014
Elliot Rodger: More than a madman
Elliot's actions are a part of a broader pattern...and not enough people are talking about it.

What the f**k is going on?

The Guardian- May 31/2014
Fifth arrest over gang-rape and murder of two cousins in India by Kevin Rawlinson
Two girls aged 14 and 15, were raped, killed and hanged from a mango tree in a small village in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

There have been protests against the perceived police inaction and two officers have been arrested, with two more having been fired for failing to investigate when the father of one of the murdered girls reported them missing. But in a country with a long history of tolerance for sexual violence, the Uttar Pradesh state's top official mocked journalists for asking about the attack. "Aren't you safe? You're not facing any danger, are you? Then why are you worried? What's it to you?" the state's chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, said.

Paging Dr. Nerdlove - Apr 28/2014
Understanding The Dangers of Dating
On April 25th, Chris Plaskon, a junior at Jonathan Law High-School in Milford Connecticut, asked Meran Sanchez to go to the prom with him. She turned him down.

So he grabbed her by the throat, pushed her down a flight of stairs and then stabbed her repeatedly in the face, chest and throat. By 7:43 that morning, she was pronounced dead at the hospital. Because she didn’t want to go to the prom with somebody who was by all accounts a popular and well-liked student at her high-school.

But it’s even more subtle than that

NBC News - May 30/2014
Altered Yearbook Photos at Utah High School Spark Controversy By Elisha Fieldstadt
A Utah high school's decision to airbrush yearbook photos of girls who were “in violation of the dress code" has students, parents and rape-recovery advocates dismayed. The photos of at least seven girls in Wasatch High School's yearbook were altered without notice to add sleeves to tank tops, raise necklines and in one case, cover up a student’s tattoo. No portraits of male students were doctored, The Associated Press reported.

Toronto Sun - May 29/2014
Teen girls sent home from Labrador high school for visible bra straps by Sheena Goodyear
Dozens of teen girls were sent home from school in Labrador City, N.L., for violating the school's dress code...for having visible bra straps... Maddie Pynn, 16, was wearing a summer dress and alleges she was told "if one gust of wind came you'd see everything underneath." Pynn said teachers have told her the dress code exists because teenage boys are easily distracted by girls' bodies.

"A shoulder shouldn't make anyone uncomfortable, and if it does, you're the problem," she said, adding the school is "teaching us how not to be distracting" instead of "teaching boys to have more respect towards women."

"I was talking to a few boys and they even said they are offended because the school is making them out to be uncontrolled horny monsters," Pynn said.

my blog: No leggings, girls. You’re driving us boys wild. - May 15/2014
Haven Middle School in Evanston, Illinois school published a dress code as of March 26, 2014 which reads in part: "If leggings are worn the shirt, sweater, or skirt must be a minimum of fingertip length of a straight arm extend on the leg." (copied on May 10, 2014)

Email from parent to principal: "We are frankly shocked at this antiquated and warped message that is being sent to the kids. Under no circumstances should girls be told that their clothing is responsible for boy's bad behaviors. This kind of message lands itself squarely on a continuum that blames girls and women for assault by men. It also sends the message to boys that their behaviours are excusable, or understandable given what the girls are wearing. And if the sight of a girl's leg is too much for boys at Haven to handle, then your school has a much bigger problem to deal with."

my blog: Boys Will Be Boys (or However We Make Them) - Jan 9/2014
In 2014, documentary film maker Jennifer Siebel Newsom is going to release the film "The Mask You Live In" which asks the question "As a society, how are we failing our boys?" She makes the following points.

Compared to a girl the same age, a boy in late adolescence is 7 times more likely to die by his own hand.

Boys under 17 drink more heavily than any other population group.

Boy in the U.S. are 30% more likely than girls to flunk or drop-out of school.

Where is this s**t coming from?
Boys are less aggressive when raised by a lesbian couple: As reported by the University of Southern California, a study of children raised by gay parents showed differences in their behaviour from those raised by heterosexual parents. For example, boys raised by lesbians appear to be less aggressive and more nurturing than boys raised in heterosexual families. While the aggressiveness of males may be attributed in part to the genes of the species, is aggressiveness also a learned behaviour? A study showing that lesbian parents have less aggressive boys would seem to point out that if Junior's a tough guy, he may have gotten that way from imitating dear old Dad.

Hatred: Hatred of women, of men, of blacks, of whites, of any colour of skin, of Jews, Muslims or Christians, of any belief, of gays, of LGTBQ, etc. is taught. There is nothing, absolutely nothing innate to the human gene which determines hatred for another group of people.

Final Word
Final word? I’m going to give a final word on all this? *facepalm* Gee-sus H. K. Rist. What a glorious cluster f**k-up royale. I stand back and look at all this and see that we, yes we as in the collective we, are one hundred percent responsible for the mess we’re in but either don’t realise it, refuse to admit it, or look away out of the naive hope it will all go away and as a consequence, are actually perpetuating the problem. We teach girls how to avoid getting raped but we don’t teach boys not to rape. We avoid sex education sometimes even banning it then wonder why the sexual state of the world is - if you’ll forgive the pun - so f**ked up. My God, we are so cruel to one another. Yes, there is a great deal of human kindness in the world, generosity and sharing, but every once in a while a dramatic even such as Elliot Rodger comes along to remind us that there remains so much to do. And the more subtle messages such as altering Facebook photos, sending girls home for violating dress codes, etc. are perpetuating a culture we seem to know is wrong but are incapable of changing on an individual basis since so many are doing absolutely nothing about the status quo.

A long time ago, somebody pointed out to me that humanity has improved very little in the past two thousand years. Yes, we have cable TV; yes, we have mobile devices connected to the Internet, but overall we remain an undisciplined bunch of selfish individuals who philosophically and morally leave a lot to be desired. We know so little but don’t even know it.


Wikipedia: 2014 Isla Vista killings
On May 23, 2014, a killing spree occurred in Isla Vista, California, United States, starting with a stabbing attack at an apartment, and continuing with a series of drive-by shootings and vehicular attacks near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara. Twenty-two-year-old Elliot Rodger killed seven people, including himself, and wounded thirteen others.

TIME - May 30/2014
India’s Rapes Too Often Excused as ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ by Mallika Dutt
Let’s stop saying that half the human race is inherently aggressive, predatory and incapable of transformation.

my blog: Steubenville Rape Case: It could be your daughter. - Jan 13/2013
The media is filled with the back and forth debating of whether the boys are guilty or not. ... The bigger issue is what's going on in our society. This type of situation has cropped up so many times that anybody who stands back and looks at the big picture has to ask themselves whether or not we fully grasp what's going on in society. You go to a party and see a girl who has made the mistake of drinking too much. What do you do? Try to help her out by sobering her up. See if she has a purse and try to find the telephone number of her parents and call them. Pull off her panties and insert your fingers in her vagina.

my blog: How to avoid sexual assault: Don't dress like a whore - Aug 30/2012
Krista Ford is the niece of Rob Ford, the current major of Toronto, Canada's largest city. ... Around 6pm on Wednesday, August 29, 2012, Ms. Ford tweeted some advice on how to avoid sexual assault: "Stay alert, walk tall, carry mace, take self-defence classes & don’t dress like a whore. #DontBeAVictim #StreetSmart"


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