Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree in California.
Before he did, he released several videos. The only one I watched can be found on this page. In it, he talks about how he is the perfect alpha male. He has mentioned elsewhere how he doesn’t understand why women won’t date him, and that he’s a virgin, despite being beautiful, perfect, and fabulous. In the video I linked to, he says he will slaughter all those girls he desired so much.
In the end, he carried out something similar to what he said he would. He stabbed his three male roommates and then went on a drive-by shooting spree. Six people died, seven were wounded. He headed for a sorority house like he said, but when he hammered on the door no one answered.
As this Guardian article states, to label him as a madman is ableist and completely wrong. The mentally ill are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. Not only that, but it negates his sexist language, and the way he talks as if he was entitled to the attention of the opposite sex. It is easier to dismiss him as a madman that to introspectively look at our culture and how it can breed someone with the views Rodger had of women. There is no mental illness which makes a person hate women – that is a learned thing from society. To say that any mental health problems he had pushed him to what he did implies that he had a condition that made him hate a gender, which simply does not exist. While it’s not to be argued that he may very well have had mental health problems, and they may have played a part in what he did, his conditioning to hate women did not stem from them.
Not only that, but with people reacting by saying the women should just have said yes to Rodger this reinforces the beliefs that he had, which included his feeling that he was entitled to the attention of women (Youtube screencaps 1 2 3). If we analyse his behaviour as an alienated young adult, we are close to placing the blame on those who did not include him, rather than his severely aggressive and ultimately fatal view of how society functions.
Business Insider claims he was a part of an MRA-esque (Men’s Rights Activist) website where men could talk about how they were rejected by women, identify as “incels” meaning “involuntarily celebates”, and where some posts fantasise about violence against women. This Forbes article states that men he conversed with there were equally as put off by him as women were, but he clearly found solace in the MRA movement as he frequented several of their online bases.
As this article points out (with evidence), over the last 30 years, all mass murders apart from one in the US have been carried out by men. As pointed out, gender is often negated in reporting of these events, but if it were a woman, you can be sure gender would then come into play. Rather than acknowledge that it could very well be male violence against women (MVAW), instead what is often talked about is mental illness, despite the society we live in where MVAW is common. The article also talks about how 90% of these people are also white, and how race comes into play.
Women are twice as likely to be targeted in these events than men. 15 of these events have been studied and it was found that it’s not uncommon for females to be targeted who have rejected the shooter in the past. The article goes on.
Was there a mental health problem in Elliot Rodger? Probably. But to ignore his actions leading up to that point makes a mockery of those who suffer from mental illnesses. It wasn’t that that caused him to hate women. Just last month, a girl was killed because she turned a boy down over a prom date. There is a culture where male violence against women is rampant, and it has many faces. Elliot Rodger clearly felt entitled to the attention of women, was convinced that he was somehow a perfect guy, a good guy, yet reacted to rejection by saying he would slaughter people. And he did.