Elliot Rodger, Misogyny, Entitlement, and Why #YesAllWomen Matters


TRIGGER WARNING for this entire story. Everything about it is misogyny, rape culture, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, entitlement, murder, and more. Please be wary read through this.

As most of you know by now, on Friday, May 23, Elliot Rodger stabbed three men in his home, shot two women outside a sorority house, then shot a fourth man at deli, before apparently shooting himself, in Isla Vista, California.

One only need to read through his manifesto, watch his videos, and read his social media posts to get his fully-spelled-out motivation: misogyny.

Pure. Unadulterated. Misogyny.

He hated women. Hated them to the very core of his being. He hated that, at 22, he was still a virgin. He hated that he couldn’t get laid.

Look at this:

I was desperate to have the life I know I deserve; a life of being wanted by attractive girls, a life of sex and love. Other men are able to have such a life … so why not me? I deserve it! I am magnificent, no matter how much the world treated me otherwise. I am destined for great things.

Rodger splashes coffee and tea on two couples during a jealous rage in separate incidents in July of his first summer in Isla Vista, according to his writing. He became “livid with envious hatred” at the sight of a young couple “kissing passionately” at a Starbucks, he wrote.

When they left the store I followed them to their car and splashed my coffee all over them. The boy yelled at me and I quickly ran away in fear. … I had never struck back at my enemies before, and I felt a small sense of spiteful gratification for doing so.

The incident made him realize he “was capable of killing them,” he wrote. “I wanted to kill them slowly, to strip the skins off their flesh. They deserve it. The males deserve it for taking the females away from me, and the females deserve it for choosing those males instead of me.”

Rodger wrote that he splashed two “hot blonde girls” with his Starbucks latte at an Isla Vista bus stop after they “didn’t even deign to smile back” after he smiled at them.

“How dare those girls snub me in such a fashion! How dare they insult me so! I raged to myself repeatedly. They deserved the punishment I gave them. It was such a pity that my latte wasn’t hot enough to burn them. Those girls deserved to be dumped in boiling water for the crime of not giving me the attention and adoration I so rightfully deserve!”

Rodger wrote that he attempted a “last ditch effort of desperation” just days before his 22nd birthday “to live an enjoyable college life” in Isla Vista.

“I was giving the female gender one last chance to provide me with the pleasures I deserved from them.” The night ended with his leg broken.

College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. But in those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness. It’s not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me. But I will punish you all for it,’

‘I’m going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoilt, stuck-up, blonde slut that I see inside there. All those girls that I’ve desired so much, they would’ve all rejected me and looked down on me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them,’

‘I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one. The true alpha male …

And he said so much more.

And so he went on his rampage.

It fascinates me that there are those trying to blame what happened on anything other than misogyny, but it’s so obvious. Rodger makes it very clear that his motivation was his hatred of women (literally the definition of misogyny) and the fact that they wouldn’t sleep with him, and yet people still want to ask “why” he did it.

These people who want to avoid blaming misogyny? They want to blame mental illness. But Miri Mogilevksy (I will avoid saying that she’s always right this time, but I will note that I still agree with everything she’s written so far… :p ) rips that apart quite nicely.

So it becomes clear that Roger was motivated by misogyny, and fueled by toxic masculinity, more than anything else.

And this is not the first time misogyny has motivated violence and murder.

A boy stabbed a girl to death in Milford, CT because she refused to go to the Prom with him.

George Sodini murdered three women and wounded 9 in an LA Fitness outside Pittsburgh before killing himself back in 2009.

There’s the Montreal Massacre in 1989, committed by a man who claimed he was “fighting feminism”.

It’s common enough that there’s even a name for it: Femicide.

Domestic violence against women is terrifyingly common.

1 in 6 women have been or will be sexually assaulted/raped in their lifetime.

And every single woman the world over has experienced dehumanization, sexual harassment, and worse.

It is that last link I want to talk about.

#YesAllWomen

“No, not all men channel frustration over romantic rejection into a killing spree. But yes, all women experience harassment, discrimination or worse at some point in their lives.”

That is the point of #YesAllWomen. That is why the hashtag exists.

I cannot convey with words how important I think this hashtag is. I don’t have the words for the emotions I feel every single time I read through that hashtag… how many times I want to respond with “I’m sorry”; how many times I want run outside and just scream and yell because it isn’t fair.

I can go on a walk in many, if not most, places in this country at any time of day or night and not feel threatened. I don’t have to wear headphones or bring a book when I take public transportation. I don’t have to include, in my plans for my day, steps of precaution and self-protection because I’m afraid of the world around me. I am remarkably privileged in these regards.

I remember a couple semesters back, when we got into a debate about feminism and rape culture in one of my classes (the debate was wildly off the topic of the class… but two specific men refused to let it go). I finally snapped, stood up, and ranted at these two men. And then I said something I actually regretted afterwards.

I told them to count up the men, and the women, in the room. Then I gave them the numbers:

1 in 33 men have experienced or will experience sexual assault/rape in his lifetime.

1 in 6 women have experienced or will experience sexual assault/rape in his lifetime.

Which meant that in this class, at least one man and four women had been or will be raped in their lifetime. That ended the debate, because no one could say anything else.

After class, literally every single woman sitting at my table, as well as a few others in the class, told me about their experience with harassment, assault, and rape.

It was heartbreaking.

And it continues to be heartbreaking.

Look at that last tweet. Read it.

Read it again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

Until it sinks in. Get it. Figure it out.

Learn it.

And that is why #YesAllWomen matters. It makes plain the fact of the matter that we still, even here in 21st Century United States, do not see women as equal people. We do not treat them as people. Of course, women are people. They are human beings, entitling them to all of the rights and privileges that the other half of the human species enjoys, and that includes bodily autonomy and the right to say “no”.

And that brings me to something that terrifies me. It’s sparked by a double standard. Men like Rodger insist on having women like supermodels. They have very high standards for what kind of women they want to be with. And that is perfectly fine. I have standards myself. Having standards is perfectly normal.

The problem here is that they don’t allow women to have standards. Women, in their minds, shouldn’t be allowed to choose whom they have sex with. They believe something rather terrifying; that women should be required to have sex with men.

At the end of his manifest, Rodgers said this:

“Women should not have the right to choose who to mate with. That choice should be made for them by civilized men of intelligence.”

It’s not the first time I’ve come across this. Ever heard of Governments Gets Girlfriends, now known as That Incel Blogger? I’ve written about him before.

In his own words, he believes that “governments have to help certain people obtain a girlfriend.”

Neither he nor Elliot are rare. Many amongst these groups of men do indeed hold similar ideas, that women should essentially be… obligated… to give men sex. By law, if necessary.

To me, that is too much.

I find honest, enthusiastic, happy consent to be a wonderful thing. Obligations ruin that, as far as I’m concerned. So no. This is not okay and I don’t support it. And I hope you don’t, either.

About Nathan Hevenstone

All this is stream-of-consciousness. See my "About" page to find our more about me...
This entry was posted in Activism, Autonomy, Bigotry, Bullying, Feminism, Misogyny, Rape Culture, Sexism, Social Justice, Trigger Warning and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Elliot Rodger, Misogyny, Entitlement, and Why #YesAllWomen Matters

  1. Nate,
    I’ve read so many of your comments at FtB for years. I think we share many of the same views on a wide variety of subjects. We are *definitely* in agreement on this post. like 1000% agreement. I can’t find anything in this post that I don’t wholeheartedly agree with. I ‘liked’ it on FB too.
    The part that really got me, even though I knew, I *knew* what you were going to say:
    “After class, literally every single woman sitting at my table, as well as a few others in the class, told me about their experience with harassment, assault, and rape.”
    I nearly cried. It burns me up. I’m almost in tears right now. In part because of sorrow, but moreso because when I get angry enough I cry. And I get angry at misogyny. I hate that women have to deal with this shit day in and day out. I hate that women speak up about sexism and get rape threats and death threats. I hate that there’s so much damn sexual objectification in the world. I hate that they deal with microaggressions every day. I think about this shit in public, at work…everywhere. I’ve looked around in a crowded restaurant and counted the women, just like you did in class, and was dismayed to think that many of them had likely been the victim of sexual assault. I’ve been in a grocery store and walked by women without saying a word or even looking at them, all while realizing that some asshole at some point probably whistled at them, or commented on their appearance.
    I’ve done some consciousness raising. I’ve talked to people I work with. I’ve introduced people to the concept of Rape Culture. I’ve discussed sexual harassment. I’ve believed and supported women who were sexually harassed. I’ve shut my mouth and listened when women were talking. I’ve talked about consent. I’ve told people that if you were intoxicated, you couldn’t consent to sex. I’ve told people joking about rape isn’t cool. I do little things like saying “women and men”, rather than “men and women” when talking about people.
    I don’t say any of that to brag. Just the opposite actually.
    I say all that bc I wish I could do more. I wish women didn’t have to put up with so many entitled, misogynist men. I wish that every woman on the planet could live their lives free of this shit and I wish I could help out and do more. I wish more men would speak up, bc unfortunately, when women speak up about this shit, they get rape and death threats.
    Once upon a time I thought I didn’t have any sexist beliefs, bc y’know I’m gay, so obviously I don’t harbor any ill thoughts about women. No stereotypes in my head. Boy was I wrong. It took actually *listening* to women. It took educating myself. It too reading the links people provided. It took accepting that I’m a human being like everyone else, and that I held fucked up beliefs. It took me looking in the mirror and realizing that I held sexist beliefs about women. Getting over those took time and I’m sure there’s still some lingering.
    So like I said, I completely agree with you. This shit angers me. I know that bc of my privilege, I can go through my day and not have to worry about being sexually harassed. I don’t have to worry about walking to my car at night and worry about the guy 50 feet behind me and run through a risk assessment about him. I can go home at the end of the day and not have to give one thought to the microaggressions I dealt with that day, or the sexist email chain I was part of. That privilege is one reason I routinely comment on FB about sexism and misogyny. I could choose to live my life and not give one thought to the shit women go through. Women can’t go a day in their lives without sexism or misogyny of some sort. They can’t because of asshole men and how they treat them. I make it an effort to pay attention to this shit, because while I may not go through it, my heart goes out to women and dammit! They deserve to be treated like human beings.

  2. Harlon says:

    I am enjoying reading what you have to say. Great voice!

  3. Pingback: From Toxic Misogyny to Toxic Feminism | pundit from another planet

  4. Yukimi says:

    This post is awesome and you are great Nate.

    Paula G V aka Yukimi

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