Another day, another mass killing in America. At least that’s what the headlines seem to say to me. It’s almost what is expected on a day to day basis. Every day I see another person against gun violence. But the latest shooting by Elliot Rodger has brought something else to the forefront. Not just violence but violence against women. Elliot Rodger, who went on a shooting rampage due to his “sexual frustration,” killed 6 people injured 13 and eventually went on to kill himself.But why is this a big deal?
Well for several reasons. For starters people are dead. Many prayers to those who lost and were lost.2. There needs to be a huge conversation surrounding mental health in the US. This young man had made several YouTube videos which were cries for help, including one in which he stated “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,” about women who had rejected his advances or were not sexually attracted to him. Oh and he wrote a manifesto if you’re interested. How did we miss this?
3. With known mental instability, how and why did this young man have access to fire arms?
4. Lastly, and what I find most importantly is the conversation regarding misogyny that has come from this shooting such as theWhen Women Refuse tumbler and the #YesAllWomen trend on twitter. Why do people feel so entitled to women’s bodies? Not only men, but some of you women too (yes I am looking at you, the one who over criticizes women for their bodies/clothes/ other unimportant things). It seems that while women’s rights have been “improving” the removal of the cloak shows that incidents like these are way too common. A quote from my sister sums it up best, “If we have sex, we’re sluts. If we don’t we get shot.” There is no winning. But how/can we change this?
I write this piece not just to inform you of this tragedy, but to also start a dialogue on the freedom of women’s choice and what that means in today’s world. Don’t get me wrong, I understand there was a history of mental illness and clearly privilege (he was a rich kid) but there is a bigger picture. What do you think?