I had to start writing as I found out why everyone is posting about #YesAllWomen . I watched the video, read some articles, read some tweets. I began writing. Commenting on the falseness of his speech style, I wrote, ” “If I can’t have you, girls, I will destroy you [laughs].” How is that not a line from Mojo Jojo to The Powerpuff Girls?” He was a malformed, incomplete, possibly unloved, man-child, refusing to take his meds, with no positive attachments. Enter Hollywood and Sexism.
There is a surprisingly enraging, Angel episode, (yeah, sorry, going there. had to.) “Billy” written by Tim Minear. A young, attractive, wealthy, white boy has the mystical power to pass on his deadly misogyny to other men, by touch. “Nice guys” start attacking and killing the women in their lives, after a brush with the Billy. Television has Shero moments and happy endings.
Elliott Roger was not a nice guy and there is no happy ending. He was both the messenger and the weapon of Sexism. And the real-life threads of support from other hateful men, are similar to the fictional spread of misogyny by touch. Because, regardless of his mental health, positive attachment or his access to weapons, it was Sexism that framed this act. His delusions could have manifested in some other way if he did not believe he was owed sex and love from random women.
Through his delusions, Elliot picked up a real message in our society; the pressure on boys to lose their virginity and become sexually active is real and strong. If they want to be seen as “men” by their family, friends or themselves, they must “man up”. Plus, Elliot, of red carpets and lavish dinners alone, may have eventually aimed for a trophy-wife. And the blond, sorority-type would be on Elliot’s list, along with a fast car and a beach house. He had no understanding of women at all, that we have more qualities than possibly breast feeding, cooking, putting band-aids on things and sex. He and others like him, think we were made, after all, to provide men, specifically, with, “sex, love, adoration”.
I once hung out with a dude who cried for almost an hour, like, hard, because he “still” hadn’t slept with a white woman. He was, like, 20. There was so much insult in what he was crying about, to every woman he had slept with, to all brown women everywhere, to white women with supposed magical vaginas. But his sobs were heartfelt. He wasn’t a murderous human but he shared that same societally informed desperation for Caucasian vagina that Elliot had for sex and girls in general.
The message they both received was clear; you’re not a man or worth anything until you have sex and if you’re brown, you’re not a man until you’ve had sex with a white woman. The psychological injuries of racist beauty standards and viewing women as property and breeders for heirs, continues to affect white, mixed, brown and black American men (and women).
Two intertwined histories of oppression against various ethnicities and women in general, Sexism affects everybody. The violence and murder at UC, Santa Barbara is one extreme example. When people say, “sexism does not affect me/men”, they accidently admit to denial. A poor father is angrily asking why his son is dead, after this shooting (and stabbing) incident. In his grief, he blames the NRA and weak gun laws specifically. And that is definitely part of it.
But this is what I see, in the bigger picture: Sexism killed your son. Attachment and Mental Health were the incubators. The car, gun and knife were the tools. Sexism/Misogyny/Patriarchy was the killer.