I was on Al Jazeera’s The Stream to talk about Elliot Rodger and the #YesAllWomen hashtag.
The first video is the AJ one, watch that if you can. If it’s blocked in your country I mirrored the video in the second link, though I’m not sure how long it will stay up.
I didn’t get to cover everything I prepared, so I may add to this blog later.
Things I didn’t get to cover in the panel:
The Rodger Shootings
Lest we forget, besides Katherine Cooper and Veronika Weiss, Rodger also killed James Hong, George Chen, David Wang and Christopher Michaels-Martinez. He also killed himself, his final victim.
His ‘manifesto’ was not political, it was an autobiography as a rambling justification for his hatred. It was a narcissistic hate-bubble.
Calling what he did ‘terrorism‘ is utterly irresponsible and unforgivably inaccurate. His agenda was personal revenge. Not political change. Calling it terrorism legitimises it, fixating upon his genuine, mentally ill misogyny and calling it something broader is also irresponsible. People like to blame things, but it’s not that easy.
Rodger was not a men’s rights activist, he was not a MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) nor was he even a Pick Up Artist. He was a member of an anti-Pick Up Artist group. The manner in which people have conflated all these things and then tried to associate them with Rodger is unethical opportunism.
The bad reporting appears to have directly contributed to actual terrorist threats of violence and disruption being made against AVFMs conference.
Blaming Rodger’s actions on Men’s Issues is like blaming Valerie Solinas’ or Aileen Wuornos’ actions on feminism – which I feel would be dishonest. Unlike these two I have not seen anyone seriously raise Rodger’s actions as laudable and I doubt his manifesto will become a standard ‘masculinist’ text in the way SCUM has.
Men are the majority victims of violence. Men are far more likely to be attacked, randomly, in the street than women are – yet are less afraid. Men are 40% of the victims of domestic violence (according to Parity). Men are the majority victims of rape – if you include prison rape and ‘made to penetrate’. Men get equal abuse to women online and the peak target of online abuse and cyberbullying is the 19 year old male – according to Know the Net and Ditch the Label.
Genuine Men’s Issues
The Men’s Movement raises genuine issues, amongst them criticism of the dominant feminist narrative in media and academia and the problems it creates. Outside of that, other genuine men’s issues include, but are not limited to:
- Work safety.
- Medical funding.
- The justice system.
- University courts.
- Child custody bias.
- Military service & the draft.
- Mental health issues.
I hope I’ve shown that a more reasonable approach can be more effective and that my desire for conversation and dialogue will be reciprocated by reasonable people on the other side of the divide.