In the wake of the mass murder in Isla Vista, California, the massive amount of content left behind by Elliot Rodger — and its frequent and angry usage of Men’s Rights and pick-up artist (PUA) terminology — has sparked a massive conversation across the social web under the hashtag #YesAllWomen.
Rodger’s murderous rampage and creepy videos have ignited the standard blame deflection of all cited issues connected to the massacre, including Men’s Rights, PUA rhetoric, mental illness, gun rights, and every other possible related factor. But one of the most read and most horrifying PUA blogs has bypassed deflection and instead used Elliot Rodger’s words as proof that men are tired of being denied sex, and that murder is the natural result of such a grievous crime against humanity perpetrated by women who callously have sex of their choosing and imprison men in the friend zone with impunity.
The killer’s sprawling manifesto has been quoted and re-quoted across the web, and in many parts, his objectification of women and entitlement are laid bare. In one relevant and oft-cited bit, he fumes:
“I feel so invisible as I walk through my college. Your revealing shorts, your cascading blonde hair, your pretty faces. I want one for a girlfriend… I am polite. I am the ultimate gentleman. And yet, you girls never give me a chance. I don’t know why.”
Most of the reaction to this lengthy video diatribe and arduous manifesto recognize Rodger’s feelings as what they are — deluded, magnified to him through the lens of rampant online misogyny, and potentially a marker of a narcissistic delusion.
But the PUA blog mentioned above (to which I will not link, ever) has framed the young man’s actions differently — as the predictable outcome of men being “denied” sex. Despite Rodger’s desperate longing not only for “one” girl (his language of “I want one” has been highlighted as specifically objectifying) and his stated desire for affection and adoration, the blog blames the criminalization of prostitution for murderous rages like his.
The blogger explains the manosphere’s view of this crime chillingly:
“We live in a society where being shy, normal, or a little awkward is duly punished by entitled American women who have been encouraged to pursue exciting and fun casual sex in their prime with sexy and hot men as a way of ‘experimentation.'”
If you’ve been exposed to the rhetoric of this area of the internet, you’ll recognize the reference to a common idea repeated in it — that women “give” sex to “alpha” men while their “sexual market value” is high and they are young, before selecting a provider after they’ve been “used” by better/alpha males while their going rate was at its peak. The toxic idea is rife on sites like Reddit’s r/theredpill.
Pause for everyone to projectile vomit.
Raw Story selects a few tie-up quotes from the post-shooting manosphere analysis, in which the author warns initially:
“More people will die unless you give men sexual options.”
Because, apparently, divesting males of the idea that killing people because you’re sexually frustrated is crazy talk, am I right? It’s far, far easier to make sex available to men who cannot otherwise obtain it than it is to firmly insist that “involuntary celibacy” is not a vicious act perpetrated by women at men?
Also to blame according to the manosphere: anti-rape initiatives at colleges. This is what men’s rights activists actually believe.
The post adds:
“Until you give men like Rodger a way to have sex, either by encouraging him to learn game, seek out a Thai wife, or engage in legalized prostitution—three things that the American media and cultural elite venomously attack, it’s inevitable for another massacre to occur. Even game itself, as useful as it is on a individual level, is a band-aid fix upon a culture which has stopped rewarding nice guys while encouraging female whoring to benefit only the top 10% of alpha males, all in the name of societal progress.”
Seek out a Thai wife? Ugh, ugh ugh.
Of course, “red pillers,” men’s rights activists, PUAs and their ilk are not fully to blame for the issues that drove Elliot Rodger to his bloody tirade. But it’s still a very good reason to examine whether this coagulation of male entitlement is something that does and may in the future catalyze another socially impeded man induced to believe he has been denied the sex he’s owed.