I debated whether or not to write about this MANIAC, because it almost feels like I’m contributing to his “fame” (infamy?), which appears to be one of the things that he wanted in life. Well, at least I decided not to post his picture here, because I’m getting sick of seeing his smug, entitled face.
When I first heard of this story yesterday, and watched the “Retribution” video, my initial opinion what that he was an evil bastard and an extreme version of one of those deluded “nice guys,” which I’ve written about a few times before. Specifically he sounds like an extreme version of this guy: ANOTHER “NICE GUY” FINISHES LAST…
Then more news started coming out, he left quite an online trail, of posting on various forums dedicated to the so-called Men’s Rights Movement. And that also raised a red flag for me. I figured, well, that explains why he falls into the “nice guy” trap, where he’s convinced that all of his problems are because evil women won’t have sex with him because he’s “too nice.”
And, as a side-note, let me just say that the thing that strikes me about the so-called Men’s Rights Movement is that I have yet to see any man who claims to be part of it that isn’t basically a total nutcase. I mean, every other activist/advocacy movement has it’s share of extremists. That’s just human nature. No matter how noble the cause is, there are some people who will go too far. Whether you’re talking about Feminists, LBGT Rights, various ethnic Civil Rights, Animal Rights, whatever. And I never lump the mainstream activists in with the crazies, that’s not fair or honest. I have encountered women that I believe fit the description of “radical feminist”, but that’s not the women who run NOW or NARAL or other mainstream women’s groups. Just like the Black Panthers and Louis Farrakhan don’t represent the NAACP and other mainstream Black civil rights groups. I don’t blame PETA for the folks who run around throwing blood on people who wear fur. Etc.
But with the Men’s Rights Movement, there doesn’t seem to be any separation between extremist and mainstream. Every self-proclaimed Men’s Rights Activist I’ve ever read or listened to, they’re all extreme. Even if they start off sounding logical, if you read or listen long enough, eventually they’ll show their true colors. They may have some things to say about men often being disadvantaged in child custody cases which you could hear and think “Well, that sounds reasonable.” But the more you read then eventually they’ll start saying outrageous stuff like how you should never get married because women are all gold-diggin’ whores, who get drunk on purpose just so they can have all the sex that the want, and then they’ll falsely accuse the guy of rape just to protect their reputations, blah blah blah. And then I’m like, okay, I can’t take anything this fool says seriously. And check any MRA forum online somewhere, the anti-woman bashing is unrelenting.
And that certainly fits the description of the kinds of things Rodgers was quoted as posting online. But then this morning I read this little autobiography/manifesto that he posted online: MY TWISTED WORLD: THE STORY OF ELLIOT RODGER
It’s not easy to get all the way through it (& I decided not to link to it, I’m not sure he deserves the any more hits, if you really want to read it you can easily find it yourself) but it’s clear that the dude was a few cans short of a six-pack. There’s definitely multiple evidence of his misogyny, and his narcissism, but I feel like most of the news reports and blogs and articles and other online discussions are ignoring his blatant racism. That seems to a fueled a lot of his rage. It wasn’t just women that he thought he deserved, but WHITE women. Specifically White women with BLONDE hair. That was the epitome of beauty that he craved, and felt he deserved. And he was enraged that he couldn’t get those blonde White women, and internalized self-hatred at the fact that he was only half-White himself. He says he couldn’t fit in with “normal” (his word) fully-White people. As a child he wanted to dye his hair blonde just to fit in with the popular White kids.
On his ideal woman: I pictured her in my mind all the time; her cascading blonde hair, her beautiful face, her sensual body… Everything.
Upon hearing that a Black schoolmate in college had lost his virginity to a blonde White girl: How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more. I tried not to believe his foul words, but they were already said, and it was hard to erase from my mind. If this is actually true, if this ugly black filth was able to have sex with a blonde white girl at the age of thirteen while I’ve had to suffer virginity all my life, then this just proves how ridiculous the female gender is. They would give themselves to this filthy scum, but they reject ME? The injustice!
On going out to eat with his father and seeing an interracial couple at a nearby table: The sight of them enraged me to no end, especially because it was a dark-skinned Mexican guy dating a hot blonde white girl. I regarded it as a great insult to my dignity. How could an inferior Mexican guy be able to date a white blonde girl, while I was still suffering as a lonely virgin? I was ashamed to be in such an inferior position in front my father. When I saw the two of them kissing, I could barely contain my rage. I stood up in anger, and I was about to walk up to them and pour my glass of soda all over their heads. I probably would have, if father wasn’t there. I was seething with envious rage, and my father was there to watch it all. It was so humiliating. I wasn’t the son I wanted to present to my father. I should be the one with the hot blonde girl, making my father proud. Instead, my father had to watch me suffer in a pathetic position. Life is so cruel to me.
Seeing an interracial couple talking: I came across this Asian guy who was talking to a white girl. The sight of that filled me with rage. I always felt as if white girls thought less of me because I was half-Asian, but then I see this white girl at the party talking to a full-blooded Asian. I never had that kind of attention from a white girl! And white girls are the only girls I’m attracted to, especially the blondes. How could an ugly Asian attract the attention of a white girl, while a beautiful Eurasian like myself never had any attention from them?
That last quote is notable in that he just saw a couple talking, and then laments that he never “got that kind of attention.” Did he ever try just talking to a girl? This was something I couldn’t help notice in reading his paper. He mentions being “rejected” by girls and women a lot but then never gave any specific examples of actually being rejected. And this is in a paper where he describes in minutia everything that’s happened to him since he was born from going trick or treating in 5th grade, to exactly what video games he liked to play in High School, often giving the full names of classmates and other people he interacted with. But all he’ll say about women is vague statements about how girls just don’t want “guys like him.” Several times he does mention wanting to talk to a girl, but then not doing it because he assumed she would reject him.
I suspect that he didn’t experience any direct rejection. I think he just expected girls and women to flock to him automatically. They should just want him because of how awesome he was. And he couldn’t understand why that wasn’t happening. So just seeing girls he was attracted to with other guys is what he considered “rejection.”
And what did he really want these women for? He repeatedly talks about companionship and love, but look at the comment about where he wanted to make his father proud by being with a “hot blonde girl” In another part, he talks about a Halloween where he walked around Santa Barbara, where everyone else was dressed up and going to parties.
If only I had a beautiful girlfriend to experience such an event with! I would have even dressed up in a costume with her. It would have been so blissful and euphoric, to walk around in all of that excitement with a beautiful girl on my arm, to attend every single party because anyone would admit a beautiful girl into it, to make passionate love to her in my room at the end of the night, to snuggle next to her sexy warm body as we drift off to sleep together. THAT is the life I should have lived. So many other guys are able to experience that, and just thinking about if filled me with extreme agony. Life is not fair
The girl he wanted was an accessory. Someone to get him into parties and parade around so others could see him. That’s the life he felt he deserved. Why? Just because. Rodger totally bought into the idea of White Privilege in America. He wanted that Privilege. And he wanted the ultimate symbol of that privilege: the Blonde White girl, to parade on his arm, and prove that he was worthy of his half-Whiteness. White guys who had what he wanted, he envied. His criticism of them was based on supposed behavior, they are assholes and jerks, and that’s why women liked them instead of him. He was mad that these guys made him feel inferior to them, when in his mind he should be considered just as good as them or even better (despite only being half-White, and not having natural blonde hair). But non-White guys, the Black guys, the dark-skinned Hispanics and Asians, their descriptions were personal. They were ugly, scum, filth, and he still considered them inferior to him, despite having more women than him. So that racist attitude added fuel to his misogyny, because the women who would want those inferior men over him must be mentally deficient themselves.
People have written about Rodger’s attachment to the Men’s Right’s Movement, and how much of an influence that was on his final actions. Did that increase his misogyny or just validate it, in his warped mind? But as Cracked.com pointed out in their infamous article, 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women, you don’t really need to actively seek out misogyny to be influenced by it, it’s just permeates our culture. This quote in particular summarizes Rodger perfectly:
And now you see the problem. From birth we’re taught that we’re owed a beautiful girl. We all think of ourselves as the hero of our own story, and we all (whether we admit it or not) think we’re heroes for just getting through our day. So it’s very frustrating, and I mean frustrating to the point of violence, when we don’t get what we’re owed. A contract has been broken. These women, by exercising their own choices, are denying it to us. It’s why every Nice Guy is shocked to find that buying gifts for a girl and doing her favors won’t win him sex. It’s why we go to “slut” and “whore” as our default insults — we’re not mad that women enjoy sex. We’re mad that women are distributing to other people the sex that they owed us. Yes, the women in these stories are being portrayed as wonderful and beautiful and perfect. But remember, there are two ways to dehumanize someone: by dismissing them, and by idolizing them.
That’s the same with his racism, and internalization of Whitness as the ideal. That’s also an attitude that you don’t need to seek out in any special groups to develop. It’s just part of American society (& other nations as well, as Africans use skin-bleaching cream and Iranians get nose jobs, to cite two examples). The White standard of beauty is overtly and covertly reinforced daily.
Well, I’ll end this post by saying R.I.P. to, and offering my condolences to the surviving family and friends of, Rodger’s victims: Katherine Cooper, Veronica Weiss,
Christopher Michael-Martinez, Cheng Yuan Hong, Weihan ‘David’ Wang, and George Chen.