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Sunday, May 25, 2014

And it's only going to get worse
Posted by Jill | 8:45 AM
We already know that when Barack Obama was elected, this country had a collective nervous breakdown from which it has not yet recovered, and from which it will probably never recover. It won't recover because the 2008 election was a feature, not a bug -- a feature of an America in which everyone now believes s/he should have a stake. Women, immigrants, minorities -- all those who are not white Christian males have stepped up and said "This is mine too." And the men who took for granted their dominance over everything they saw have been saying "Oh now it isn't" for six years now.

>It didn't start with Obama, but reached Peak Crazy during the Obama Administration. It goes back to before the Civil War, but it started to gain critical mass in popular culture and memory when Jack Roosevelt Robinson stepped onto a baseball field to play alongside white players. It's impossible for any sane person to watch Alan Tudyk's masterful, if horrifying, portrayal of Phillies manager Ben Chapman without wincing (and wondering how Tudyk managed to get some of the filth out of his mouth, though he explains how here and you can read it starting on page 75 here). It escalated with the civil rights movement, when white Christian men with firehoses turned them on black people who wanted the same rights as white people. We continued to see it at Kent State, the horrific outcome of a generation of kids saying "No, we are NOT going to go off to war just because you say so." We saw it, and continue to see it, when women say "No, we are NOT going to be subservient to men. We are going to go where we want, wear what we want, do what we want. We are going to run for office and sit in the boardroom and we are not going to be her just for your use and amusement anymore." We see it now when people who are gay are saying, "No, we are NOT going to stay in the closet anymore just because YOU don't want to see a way to live a life that isn't a lie."

It's not exclusively a white man's country anymore. They're going to have to share it. And they do not want to do it.

No one has a patent on the backlash of the right wing, but today I'm posting about women. I'm doing this because today seven people are dead, including three college women, because Elliot Rodger could not find a girlfriend; because Elliot Rodger believed that desirable women were somehow obligated to have sex with him because of his self-assessment as a "nice guy."

As longtime readers of this blog know, I'm not much of one for throwing around terms like "rape culture" and "trigger warning", because I don't believe that defining yourself as a victim forever just because bad things happened to you only empowers those who perpetrated these bad things. I didn't get all up in arms about Jaime Lannister raping Cersei on Game of Thrones because I felt it was in the service of the story (even though it differs from the books, which I have not yet read. Some might call me a tool of the patriarchy, but as someone who DID have something bad happen to me in college and went on to live a perfectly functional life including a marriage of 27 years cut short only by my husband's death last fall, I feel qualified to say that.

But it's impossible to watch Elliot Rodger's horrifying video attempting to justify his actions or even skim his 141-page manifesto/autobiography without wondering if perhaps those bandying about the term "rape culture" aren't on to something.

And so ends another era of my extraordinary and tragic life. I call it the era of Hope and Hopelessness, where I drifted and languished in lonely despair while I lived at my mother’s apartment and attended two colleges. At various intervals, something happened to give me a new hope for my life, only to have it shattered later on. My life had been moving in that same pattern for a long time now, and I was sick and tired of it. All while I was suffering this lonely existence, other boys my age lived their happy lives of pleasure and sex. I can never forgive such an injustice, and it was my bid to overcompensate for it in the future. I had to make up for all the years I lost in loneliness and isolation, through no fault of my own! It was society’s fault for rejecting me. It was women’s fault for refusing to have sex with me. The move to Santa Barbara is the endgame, the ultimate climax of everything. I saw it as a new chance that was given to me to finally have the things I want in life: love, sex, friends, fun, acceptance, a sense of belonging. But I could never forgive the world for denying me such things in the past. I was already turning twenty soon. I had already lost many years of my life. I deserve better than that. I am an intelligent gentleman, and I deserve the love of girls more than the other obnoxious boys of my age, and yet they get girls and I don’t. That is a crime that can never be forgotten, nor can it be forgiven. I always wanted to exact my revenge on humanity for forcing me to live such a life, but I’ve also always had the hope that if I can do things in life to make up for all my suffering, then that in itself would be a form of peaceful revenge.

In truth, the move Santa Barbara was actually a chance that I was giving to the world, not the other way around! I was giving the world one last chance to give me the life that I know I’m entitled to, the life that other boys are able to live with ease. If I still have to suffer the same rejection and injustice even after I move to Santa Barbara, then that will be the last straw. I will have my vengeance.

And then this black boy named Chance said that he lost his virginity when he was only thirteen! In addition, he said that the girl he lost his virginity to was a blonde white girl! I was so enraged that I almost splashed him with my orange juice. I indignantly told him that I did not believe him, and then I went to my room to cry. I cried and cried and cried, and then I called my mother and cried to her on the phone. How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more. I tried not to believe his foul words, but they were already said, and it was hard to erase from my mind. If this is actually true, if this ugly black filth was able to have sex with a blonde white girl at the age of thirteen while I’ve had to suffer virginity all my life, then this just proves how ridiculous the female gender is. They would give themselves to this filthy scum, but they reject ME? The injustice!

Females truly have something mentally wrong with them. Their minds are flawed, and at this point in my life I was beginning to see it. The more I explored my college town of Isla Vista, the more ridiculousness I witnessed. All of the hot, beautiful girls walked around with obnoxious, tough jock-type men who partied all the time and acted crazy. They should be going for intelligent gentlemen such as myself. Women are sexually attracted to the wrong type of man. This is a major flaw in the very foundation of humanity. It is completely and utterly wrong, in every sense of the word. As these truths fully dawned on me, I became deeply disturbed by them. Deeply disturbed, offended, and traumatized.
We'd like to believe that Rodger was an anomaly, a bad apple, someone unusual. But Amanda Marcotte has been writing about what she calls "Nice Guys®" for years, and the Elliot Rodger is yet another one of them. From 2011 in an article about men cornering women in elevators:

Every time I've written about Nice Guys®, I've picked up at least one man who makes a permanent enemy out of me, proving often how "nice" he is by sending me a bunch of nasty emails or blog comments about how I understand how his niceness keeps him from getting laid and women are all shallow bitches that like to be abused. Indeed, the "niceness" I've experienced at the hands of self-proclaimed Nice Guys® has done little to convince me that they're actually nice guys who've been edged out of the sexual market by women's inconstancy and evilness, and has instead convinced me they strike out a lot because their entitlement issues make them irritating to be around.

Elliot Rodger is nothing new. In 2009, George Sodini went into a women's aerobics class at an LA Fitness facility and opened fire. His body count was almost identical to Rodger's: Three women dead, nine injured, and the gunman killed himself. Sodini was 48 years old, and like Elliot Rodger, fancied himself to be a "Nice Guy®", and wrote a misogynistic (manifesto about what he did. Sodini was an equal opportunity basher, excoriating the liberal media that loves Obama and right-wing religious kooks alike.

May 18, 2009:

I actually had a date today. It was with a woman I met on the bus in March. We got together at Two PPG Place for lunch. The last date for me was May 1, 2008. Women just don't like me. There are 30 million desirable women in the US (my estimate) and I cannot find one. Not one of them finds me attractive. I am looking at The List I made from my May 4th idea. I forgot about that for several days. That tells me where I stand. These problems have gotten worse over a 30 year period. I need to expect nothing from me or other people. All through the years I thought we had the ability to change ourselves - I guess that is incorrect. Looking at The List makes me realize how TOTALLY ALONE, a deeper word is ISOLATED, I am from all else.

I no longer have any expectations of myself. I have no options because I cannot work toward and achieve even the smallest goals. That is, ABOVE ALL, what bothers me the most. Not to be able to work towards what I want in my life. I believe I am deserve that. I read recently it is called "self efficacy", but who knows. Is that more psychobable?

May 25, 2009:

I was invited to a picnic, and I went. An older woman there, out of the blue, asked if I liked high school. Then quickly asked if I was picked on very much. Intersting why she would ask that. But, thanks, I already know what the problem is, but a solution eludes me.

May 29, 2009:

Another lonely Friday night, I'm done. This is too much.

June 2, 2009: Some people I was talking with believed I date a lot and get around with women. They think this because I showed an email I got from a hot woman to the department gossip, but it didn't work out. All this is funny. Actually, I haven't had sex since I was 29 years old, 19 years ago. That's true.

June 5, 2009:

I was reading several posts on different forums and it seems many teenage girls have sex frequently. One 16 year old does it usually three times a day with her boyfriend. So, err, after a month of that, this little hoe has had more sex than ME in my LIFE, and I am 48. One more reason. Thanks for nada, bitches! Bye.

[snip] July 20, 2009:

Been a long time since last write. Everything still sucks. But I got a promotion and a raise, even in this shitty Obama ecomomy. No more grunt programming. Go figure! New boss is great. He tactfully says when you did something wrong or complements on good things. Never confused with him. But that is NOT what I want in life. I guess some of us were simply meant to walk a lonely path. I have slept alone for over 20 years. Last time I slept all night with a girlfriend it was 1982. Proof I am a total malfunction. Girls and women don't even give me a second look ANYWHERE. There is something BLATANTLY wrong with me that NO goddam person will tell me what it is. Every person just wants to be fucking nice and say nice things to me. Flattery. Oh yeah, I am sure you can get a date anytime. You look good, etc. Pussies.

Awwww, wait. I can just start being self-righteous and say I live a good, clean life. I am holy, that's all Rick Knapp stuff. Hear that you mother fucker: I Am Just Good!

August 2, 2009:

The biggest problem of all is not having relationships or friends, but not being able to achieve and acquire what I desire in those or many other areas. Everthing stays the same regardless of the effert I put in. If I had control over my life then I would be happier. But for about the past 30 years, I have not

Sodini was 48; Rodger was 22. And yet both men write of the same thing -- sexual frustration and an inability to understand why women aren't interested in Nice Guys® like them. Like Sodini, Rodger was a frequenter of pickup artist sites, trying to find the reason why women weren't attracted to them. These sites prey on guys like George Sodini and Elliot Rodger, and feed their rage. Kate Harding wrote in 2009 after the Sodini shooting:

George Sodini knew he wasn’t really a nice guy. He knew there was something “blatantly wrong” with him. He wished someone would tell him what it was. But who’s going to say, “You seem to have a really deep hatred of women, and some serious rage issues, and a ludicrously overblown sense of entitlement, and I’m guessing you’d need about a hundred years of therapy before you’ll be ready for a healthy relationship”? Certainly not any woman he approached at a bar, who only wanted him to go away as quickly as possible and without incident. Nor friends who, by all accounts, kept pulling away until he had none anymore. Probably not his family, whom he professed to despise. So that left R. Don Steele, whose best advice was, “Nice Guy Must Die.”

Well, this one did, along with three innocent women. As long as Pickup Artists keep conning insecure men into believing that hatred of women is the hallmark of a real man, and women still have reason to feel it’s too risky “to completely and utterly shut down” men who make them uncomfortable, I guess all we can do is hope there aren’t too many more “Nice Guys” out there with guns.

These men know that something is not right with them, but because men in our culture are not supposed to be introspective at all, they cannot fathom what it is. So they frequent web sites that can't help them, and then blame others for their plight. The only difference between guys like Rodger/Sodini and your average white guy looking down the ladder at Latino immigrants and black people and blaming them for their problems while the oligarchs are lifting the last two bucks out of their back pockets is that the average white guy hasn't taken his NRA-sanctioned gun and killed someone -- yet.

But it's coming, and many of the targets will be women. They will be women because access to sex is the primal bastion of White Chriatian Male entitlement. When everything else falls by the wayside, when their jobs are offshored and their homes are foreclosed and their future looks bleak, violence is the one thing they still have. Women are an easy target for their rage. Even right now, there's another angry guy out there, walking into a gun shop, preparing to buy a firearm so that he too can show those bitches who's boss. And there are plenty of right-wing politicians out there ready to blame the dirty sluts for what happened to them. .

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Anonymous e.a.f. said...
Started reading Rodgers ramblings and couldn't stop laughing. It was so funny. Now of course, it isn't supposed to be, but really, this kid just wasn't playing with a full deck, which we know now. It must be something in the California air because at age 64 I've never hear a male utter anything like that. Guys his age, talk, and they all understand they have to do something to earn the priviledge of being laid. Getting laid is not a right, unless you pay some one for it.

Must be an American thing, because we see way more of this in America than in other countries, including the two which border the U.S.A.