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Trigger Warning: Violence against Women

Last Night in Santa Barbara California, a Gunman in a BMW opened fire on students near the UC Santa Barbara campus in Isla Vista. Seven are dead including the gunman, with a further seven injured.

The Gunman's Name is Elliot Rodger. Last night, he posted a chilling manifesto to youtube. Announcing that he is a 22 year old Virgin who has never been kissed he says:

"It's not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don't know why you girls have never been attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it. It's an injustice, a crime, because I don't know what you don't see in me. I'm the perfect guy, and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men, instead of me, the supreme gentleman."

"I will punish all of you for it," he says again, and then he laughs.

"On the day of retribution I will enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB, and I will slaughter every single spoiled stuck up blonde slut I see inside there. All those girls that I've desired so much, they would have all rejected me and looked down upon me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them. While they throw themselves at these obnoxious brutes. 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."

The true Alpha Male. What those who call themselves the Mens Rights Movement aspire to be.

The "Men's Rights Movement" as they call themselves is a nebulous group of pickup artists and misogynists who've found each other on line, and are attempting to create a movement based around their hatred, disdain, and fear of women.

We know for a fact that Rodger was influenced by this movement, as he is subscribed to multiple "pick up artist" or "mens rights" channels on YouTube. (For those here that don't use YouTube, when a user subscribes to a channel, they receive notifications when that channel posts a new video.)

They include:

"The Player Supreme Show" which rails against the feminization of men and talks about how to pick up women.

"RSDfreetour" which is a series of self-help seminars run by RSD Nation, a "pick up artist" site.

There's also a user called McHenry Cruiser who in addition to being a pickup artist is a comedian who has some kind of beef with Louis CK, and another called "Squatting Cassanova," who seems to be your average PUA.

I'm still digging through some of the folks he's subscribed to.

He is what the Men's Rights movement calls an "Incel" which is short for involuntary celibacy. It's a hot topic in various parts of the manosphere.

Rather than seeking mental help for some obvious issues, he sought out the Men's Rights Movement. He watched their propaganda. He internalized their hatred of women. (There's no shortage of anti-woman rhetoric and nonsense. For some of the worst of it, check out The Red Pill's "Pussy Pass" forum, where they take isolated incidents, remove them from any rational context, and blow them way out of proportion.)

He listened to these guys talk about being hard, and tough, and true alpha men. He did what they told them, and began lifting weights. We know he had an account on body building forum which was recently deleted by their moderation team.

So this kid who needed some serious mental help sought out the destructive, BS views coming from the men's rights movement. He felt entitled to sex with women. He blamed women for not providing him with sex. He exposed himself to hateful rhetoric about women.

And then he acted on that hatred, and targeted college girls for a drive-by shooting, killed six, wounded seven, and then shot himself.

I don't think we should be at all surprised that when hateful rhetoric is trained on any group,  lone wolves like this guy get triggered.

Sun May 25, 2014 at  8:08 AM PT: Update:

When I wrote this post yesterday morning, I had no idea it would receive the kind of attention it's receiving now.

Since posting this, I've read Rodger's entire 137 page manifesto.

In it he mentions multiple councilors, Psychologists, therapy sessions, and even being prescribed Risperidal, an antipsychotic medication, which he refused to take. His family hired professionals whose advice he says he disregarded. They attempted to move him to Morocco, thinking that a change of environment might help him. They refused to allow him to sit at home and wallow in despair, forcing him to get a job or go to school. They even called the police, and had them visit him at his home, in reaction to the videos he posted online.

But despite every attempt that was made to help him, he routinely refused their help, seeking out the manosphere instead. In that environment, with its hatred of women and its sometimes-violent rhetoric, he refined his ideas.

Forbes, and others, have called me out for claiming that Rodger was not receiving mental help. That's not what I claimed. I claimed that Rodger was not seeking mental help.

And that's basically what Rodger himself says in his manifesto. His own claim is that he was doing everything he could to refuse the mental help his family was forcing him to receive. He refused to accept their advice as valid. He refused medication. He even Refused his parents attempt to help him with a change of scenery. They took the extraordinary step of bringing him to live in Morocco. That change in culture may have done him some good. But he refused to cooperate. "This is where my fight is," he wrote,  "right here in the U.S., and nowhere else."

My claim was that instead of seeking out therapy, he sought out the manosphere. That claim is still correct.

Another criticism of my post is that "He hated men, too."

Sure, we can admit that we hated men, but only if we accept that his hatred for men stemmed from his feeling of entitlement towards women. This is something he makes clear online and in his online manifesto. Quoting him, he says that he's furious at men because:

"I saw other boys who had inferior cars driving around with hot girls in their passenger seats. I have a BMW and never had any hot girl in my passenger seat. Not once. It only made me fume with rage. Santa Barbara was such a beautiful town, but I could go nowhere without being insulted by my enemies. The mere sight of them enjoying their happy lives was an insult to me, because I deserve it more than them." (Emphasis his.)

He hated men because of his feeling of entitlement to women.

And he's not alone. There are plenty of folks who think he's heroic for this, and I'll have a post up on them, soon. [Edit: I decided not to write about a small group of people in a dark corner of the internet. Sometimes, paying attention to these folks makes them money, and wins them influence. I decided, ultimately, not to give in to click-baiting.]

I've also been accused of conflating various different parts of the manosphere with each other.

To men's rights activists everywhere: when you stand right next to rape apologists, to men who call women animals, and when you allow groups like reddit's "The Red Pill" to stand with you, when you scream about false rape claims as if all claims of rape are false, it invalidates everything you might be trying to accomplish. I have a laundry list of my own regarding the ways that men and boys are discriminated against in this country. The prime example is the way that our shelter system rips homeless families apart. Because there are so few family shelters, and so many shelters for single mothers, men often choose to be homeless so that their families can have a roof over their heads. This is an issue I've worked on, and that I care about. But I've never seen you folks mention it. Probably because it has to do with socialism, poor people, and people who might not be white. Instead, you yell about false claims of rape. Even if this is an issue you care about, it's being drowned out by all the rape jokes you've been posting on your cute little forums.

When you stand shoulder to shoulder with the worst that the manosphere has to offer, don't be surprised when you all get painted with the same brush.

Despite your protestations to the contrary, I cannot tell the MRAs apart from the PUAs from The Red Pillers and Incels and all the other disparate groups. And that's your image problem for failing to make yourselves distinct from each other, not a problem with our perception.

And as far as the claims I'm making here about the Manosphere, and Rodgers? I'm far from alone.

The SPLC has a post up about Misogyny being the motive for this killing.

One of the major critics of the Manosphere, David Futrelle, writes in his post

As the person who sent this video to me this morning noted, it sounds almost like a parody of the misogynistic beliefs and rhetoric that I write about on this blog...

It is clear that his  resentment at women was stoked by what I call the “new misogyny” and by steeping himself in at least one online community that reaffirmed his exaggerated, unwarranted sense of victimhood.

If you don't believe me on these points, take a look for yourself. Read his manifesto for yourself and compare it to the rants produced by redpillers, MRAs, PUAs, and others within the manosphere. A great starting place would be to read what Futrelle has been archiving over at his blog.

Originally posted to Writing by Will McLeod: A Better World is Possible on Sat May 24, 2014 at 07:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by This Week in the War on Women and Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism.

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