Earlier this month, Elliot Rodger (22) made a short video and wrote a 137 page manifesto before going on a killing spree in Santa Barbara, killing six people before dying himself.
Rodger is variously described as a geek, a gamer, and a sexist. And you know? None of those are of any importance in Rodger’s case. The fact is that Elliot Rodger was such a dysfunctional, broken individual that none of the rest of it is even relevant.
That Rodger hated women? That he did, but it is no more than one tiny symptom, neither relevant nor important to what happened.
According to his rambling autobiography, Rodger hated pretty much everything that wasn’t Rodger, most of the time. Ultimately, Rodger could not abide anything or anyone that made him feel like he wasn’t the most important person in the world.
When faced with any inadequacies on his own part, he always ultimately rationalised his inadequacies to be someone else’s fault. Anyone else’s fault. Everyone else’s fault.
Now, misogyny is terrible (and so is misandry), but Rodgers was not in any significant way either a misogynist or a misandrist (though he expressed both). What he was was a time-bomb.
You may or may not be sexist, but in either case you don’t think that murder is a good solution to your problems with other genders. Rodger… well, he did. He actually thought genocide was a good solution to his problems, that mass-murder (of either men or of women) would bring him status and respect, even posthumously.
That’s badly, badly broken thinking. So badly broken that it is quite astonishing that he did not get detected (or come to ruin) much sooner than he did.
The world, Rodger thought, owed him. It owed him acknowledgement as the only person on it worth living.
According to his writings, Rodger couldn’t accept compromise. Couldn’t accept second-place. Couldn’t grasp relationships (how they worked, why they happened or how to participate in one). Couldn’t handle rejection. Could not see people as anything other than objects meant to support him. That’s not sexism. That’s completely defective.
Rodger talks about women, and that his only interest in them was their function as a status symbol for superior males. Since he viewed himself as the most superior male, he knew that he deserved that symbol, even though he was not interested in women or men in any other capacity.
So, no. Rodger wasn’t sexist. His ramblings about hating women (and men) reflected an alien way of thinking, not any specific bias of gender. His thoughts, writings and actions have no bearing on feminism (radical or otherwise), on sexism, on the gender-divide or gender-inequity. For Rodger, no form of ‘equity’ could ever exist.
People to him were (disposable) objects that stubbornly refused to be arranged the way he wanted them to be.
He thought that murdering a bunch of them would fix that and make the world then naturally arrange itself to his liking.
That’s just fucked up, and that’s all there is to it.