A deadly shooting and stabbing rampage in California has sparked a renewed debate on mental wellbeing and gun control in the US. But many are blaming misogyny in US mainstream culture for propelling the killer to commit the horrible crimes.
Elliot Rodger, 22, who killed six people before apparently shooting himself near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus, on May 23, made misogynous comments in videos and his lengthy manifesto.
In one YouTube video, Rodger talked of “loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires” and blamed women for throwing themselves at “obnoxious brutes” but rejecting him, “the supreme gentleman”.
The word “misogyny” originates from Greek and literally means women hating. In real life, it manifests itself as an attitude toward women, treating them as objects of sexual desire instead of thinking individuals. In Rodger’s twisted mind, says an Atlantic article, women are not people, but trophies through which men show their power and worth. Rodger felt worthless because no woman was attracted to him, therefore, he resorted to extreme violence to prove his power and worth.
In an opinion piece in The Boston Globe, Alex Pearlman points out that Rodger is not alone in his hatred for women. There are plenty of like minds on the Internet.
They populate so-called “Pick Up Artist” communities, where men share tricks on how to get women to sleep with them. Rodger himself belonged to a website called PUAHate, dedicated to exposing not the pick up artists’ misogynous behavior, but their tricks, which sometimes don’t work.
Angry young men go to rail against women on this website, says Pearlman: “The users constitute a hive mind of twisted self-victimization that only gets amplified with every post.” These sites reflect “an attitude that blames women — never themselves — for the collective misery and loneliness of the members of the group.”
Emily Lindin is a graduate student from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She also says Rodger and others like him are dominated by a misogynous mindset. They believe that women are prizes to be won, says Lindin, not actual people who can make decisions about their own bodies.
Laurie Penny, from online comment site New Statesman, says the ideology behind Rodger’s rage and other violence toward women is simple: Women owe men. In the misogynous extremist view, women, as a class and as a sex, owe men sex, love and attention.
在线评论网站New Statesman的Laurie Penn认为，Rodger的愤怒及其对待女性的暴行背后的意识形态十分简单：女人亏欠男人。在极端的“厌女”主义者眼中，女人不过是一个应满足男人欲望、给予男人爱与关注的物种或是性别。
“We owe them respect and obedience, and our refusal to give it to them is to blame for their anger, their violence. Most of all, there is an overpowering sense of rage and entitlement: the conviction that men have been denied a birthright of easy power,” writers Penny.
(Translator & Editor: 21英语 Jocelyn AND Sara)