I suspect this isn't going to be a popular blog post with a lot of people. But as a feminist I feel it is important to post it anyway.
Recently a deeply troubled young man named Elliott Rodger went on a killing spree in Santa Barbara CA, first brutally murdering his three male roommates by stabbing them to death, and then killing two random young women and a young man in drive by shootings, injuring several more with gunshots and hitting them with his car before crashing and taking his own life. Before going on his rampage he released a 140 page manifesto that details his deeply misogynistic views of women, his hatred for people of color, overall attitude of superiority, and the year of planning he put into these murders.
Many of the women and men I follow on Twitter are writing and retweeting #yesallwomen posts, and pointing to misogyny as the cause of these murders. I disagree.
Misogyny is not why this 22 year old kid went on a killing spree.
He went on a killing spree because he was fucked up bat shit crazy.
He was a deeply meglomaniacal psychotic who planned for a year to kill a lot of innocent men and women, including his own family members.
The fact that he despised women was not the root cause of his behavior. His psychological insecurities and obsessions fed the insanity that made him believe women were evil and he should exact revenge upon everyone who was female or who had ever had more success with women than he had. Misogyny is how he chose his targets, but he could have just as easily focused on racism and targeted people of color or immigrants to America.
Are women harassed, assaulted, threatened, and intimidated by men every day? Yes. #yesallwomen is legit. I can testify to this personally, and it is scary as hell.
But this guy killed because he was mentally unstable, and we as feminists need to stop trying to hijack what should be a serious look at mental health care in this country with our agenda. If you read the manifesto, he was planning to murder his little brother because his little brother was more popular and successful with girls than he was. And he decided that he would have to murder his stepmother to get to his brother, and planned do it while dad was travelling on business because he couldn't handle murdering his father. That isn't about misogyny, that's flat out psychotic. I don't know what sort of therapy he received (and even if he was in therapy he was obviously too smart to tell a therapist that he was planning to murder people), what sort of medication if any was prescribed, or frankly if anything could have been done to help him not grow up to be a mass murderer. I have no idea if there is anything that treats that level of psychosis.
Friends and feminists, please don't get pissed that the media is calling Elliott Rodger a madman, or that people are focusing on the fact that he was crazy and getting outraged over how its no excuse for misogyny. He WAS a madman and crazy. And obviously that isn't an excuse for hating women and disrespecting us as objects for acquisition and control. Yes we need to address misogyny and put an end to rape culture, sexism, domestic violence and discrimination. But we are having two parallel conversations about critical social problems - mental health care and women's rights - and we need to stop trying to drown one out with the other. Both are valid independent conversations.