When Women Refuse, a new blog started on Monday by author Deanna Zandt, aims to show that Isla Vista mass killer Elliot Rodger was not unique, but in fact just one example of a horrifying worldwide wave of violence against women who spurn male sexual advances, or otherwise hurt their feelings.
Rodger, a disturbed 22-year-old college dropout, posted numerous YouTube videos and also wrote a 141-page autobiography in which he spelled out his motive for the massacre that he carried out last Friday. He was a virgin who felt overwhelming anger at all women for not having sex with him.
“One of the things we’re hoping people take away from this, however they’re coming to the conversation, is to understand that these are not isolated incidents,” Zandt recently told The Huffington Post. “These things happen way more than our cultural consciousness [will recognize].”
Interest in the blog immediately ran high. In the site’s first 24 hours online, When Women Refuse received 204,572 page views from 71,010 visitors. The site also had, during that first full day, a “bounce rate” of only 39.43 percent, indicating that users had higher than average interest in the site’s subject matter, violence against women.
“Bounce rate” refers to the rate at which visitors leave a site after viewing just one page. Lower bounce rates indicate higher interest and an average bounce rate in around 50 percent.
Among the chilling stories already documented on When Women Refuse:
• A 23-year-old Ottawa man, Tony Roach who “hunted down and killed his ex-girlfriend,” 21-year-old biochemistry student K’Leigh Cundall, “in cold blood.”
• Lauren Astley, whose boyfriend became depressed after their breakup. When she attempted to check on his well-being, rather than thanking her, he killed her.
• A man who cut his girlfriend’s nose almost completely off when she refused to have sex with him.
• Andrea Roan, a 27-year-old elementary school teacher in Colorado who was fatally shot in the head by her boyfriend after she broke up with him.
And many other true incidents of violence against women who have either ended relationships with men or simply declined their requests for sex.
“There’s been a really positive reaction from both men and women,” Zandt said. “I think it’s been really eye-opening for many people. The most common response has been — ‘Oh my god, I had no idea.'”
Zandt sees the high interest in the blog as a sign that despite the prevalence of anti-woman violence, exemplified by the Elliot Rodger mass killing, popular culture is now more ready than ever before to discuss the issue.
“We’re in a different place than we were five years ago. We’re creating a space for these discussions,” said the When Women Refuse creator.