Elliot Rodger allegedly killed six people. Four of them were male.
In all the coverage of the Isla Vista murders, I’ve only seen that fact mentioned once.
Instead, what has been discussed in the articles about Elliot Rodger is how this alleged mass murderer somehow displayed an example of “male entitlement” to women’s bodies. How the six “people” that were killed – neglecting to mention the sexes of the victims – is an example of how harmful misogyny can be. And how the Men’s Rights Movement is responsible for the entire thing.
There are lots of causes that would be understandable to promote following the Isla Vista murders; you could make an effort to promote gun control. You could raise awareness about knife crime, as three of Rodger’s alleged victims were stabbed. Campaigns to better understand mental health issues could also be a priority. However, to use a mass shooting (and stabbing) to further your own agenda and take pot-shots at a completely unrelated group is disgusting and twisted behavior — and there are journalists who were likely paid to do just that.
For example, Anne Theriault, writing for the Huffington Post, neglected to mention the sexes of the victims, believes that the Men’s Rights Movement teaches its members to slaughter women and said “we have no evidence yet that he suffered from any kind of mental illness or was under any sort of treatment”, in spite of Rodger’s father’s attorney stating Rodger was “being treated by multiple therapists”.
Writing for The Guardian, Jessica Valenti did not mention the sexes of the victims, argued that the Men’s Rights Movement frequently talks about being the “Alpha Male”, describes American men as being “entitled” to sex with women and glossed over Rodger’s narcissism, jealousy and mental illness combination in favor of blaming the “cultural sickness” of misogyny.
For the New Statesman, Laurie Penny talks about how terrorist acts by “white men” are excused – in spite of the fact that Rodger wasn’t white – and believes that wanting tolerance for men dismisses violence against women and makes you “part of the problem” and, of course, does not mention the sexes of the victims.
Four young men were killed. Three stabbed, one shot. These men don’t matter to people like Theriault, Valenti and Penny, who are happy to ignore these men for the sake of furthering their own agenda.
In case anyone reading happens to think that I’m defending a big, evil, cackling band of misogynists, I should clarify a few things; for one, Elliot Rodger was not subscribed to any men’s rights videos on Youtube. Hadn’t liked a single one. Kashmir Hill for Forbes points out the ridiculousness and rashness of blaming the Men’s Rights Movement for the crime when, in actual fact, Rodger’s main viewing on Youtube was of Pokémon videos…
Don’t get me wrong, Elliot Rodger was a misogynist who described how he wanted to slaughter “stuck-up blonde sluts”. However, he was also a racist, who recoiled at the sight of interracial couples and showed disgust for full-Asian men. Why was that not blamed for his behavior? He also held other men in low regard, describing them as “obnoxious brutes” and fantasised about “a virus that would kill every single man on Earth” except for him, so he could have his pick of beautiful women. So why was Rodger’s dislike of men not considered, especially since, again, four of his victims were male?
It’s actually despicable that writers like the ones above would use a tragedy like the Isla Vista killings to push their own agenda before the victims are even cold.
It’s probably the most blatant and unapologetic example of male disposability that I’ve seen in my lifetime. I can take their petty tarring of all men with same “male entitlement” brush, in spite of the fact that Elliot Rodger is clearly a dangerous anomaly. I can take Laurie Penny’s utterly spiteful and ridiculous claims that I’m part of the same problem that led Rodger to kill people. However, all six of the victims deserve better than to have selfish journalists trivialize their deaths because they want to use Elliot Rodger as an example of how hard women have it.