Elliot Rodger Is The Hidden NormalA column article, Manifesto by: Steven Savage
Editor's note: We generally have a policy of only covering comics related news on Comics Bulletin . The news of the horrific shooting in Santa Barbara, California, however, prompted our writer Steven Savage to share some thoughts that we wanted to run here. Steve welcomes your comments on his post, below.
You’ve heard about Elliot Rodger, the man who essentially went to murder a bunch of women because he felt rejected by women overall and decided to take his revenge. It’s horrible, and his 140 page manifesto reveals a narcissistic, self-centered, entitled person who literally felt justified in killing people because of their gender because someone wouldn’t date him or sleep with him. He was a person who had adsorbed toxic faux-masculinity of the MRA and PUA world. He was in short, a horrible person.
He’s also far, far too common. There are plenty of could-be Elliot Rodgers out there, plenty of people who are like him but just haven’t picked up a gun yet, too many people who regard women as property they’re entitled to.
Women face this all the time. There’s plenty of people like him. You can find the extreme “manosphere” documented at WeHuntedTheMammonth (which does so with humor -- probably as the only other reaction is horror). You can read about how women face hatred for their gender and disregard for their gender in the #YesAllWomen hashtag.
Elliot Roger wasn’t as out there as we think. That’s hard to cope with because we like to think we’re good.
You hear his whining voice in every guy who thinks “women” are to blame for everything. You see the gleam of hatred in the eye of every overpaid pundit who talks about women as another species. It’s in Steubenville, it’s whenever the media write off some rape case involving a popular media figure.
You hear it when you talk to your female friends and relatives. It’s everywhere. Are you the “person who hears it all” in your group of friends? Then you know how bad it is with the certainty of a sunrise.
Right now bad treatment of women is far too normal in our society.
It’s just we don’t admit it, even though we know it is.
It’s sick, bizarre, disgusting, and beneath us. It’s horrible, it’s human, it’s degrading. It’s wrong in a way that’s hard to express.
But people are trying to express it. It’s time to solve it. To fix it. It’s time to not let this fade into the background and scrubbed-away bloodstains and a bad television movie.
Right now Elliot Roger is out there in a way, his hatred and self-centeredness was a manifestation of the larger problem. There’s another Elliot Roger in the head of a guy who thinks women should date him as he’s so great, he’s in the voice of someone casually calling women “bitches.”
He might even be in your head or that of your friend or family. Or you.
So it’s time we exorcize the sick son-of-a-bitch.
Get him out of your head. Work to overcome any misogyny you picked up in the culture. Don’t accept hateful behavior and call it out. Raise awareness of things. Donate. Make a difference.
Or we’ll do this all again, mourn again, and write it off again the next time there’s a horrible killing. Just like little bits of hatred-of-women are written off all the time.