Trigger Warning: graphic descriptions of misogyny and violence towards women
Elliot Rodger killed six people at the University of California Santa Barbara on Friday (23 May, 2014). Prior to the shooting, he had been posting videos and statements for weeks announcing his intentions. In his disturbing, slickly-edited video diaries, he says he’s been thinking about “how unfair his life has been because girls haven’t been attracted” to him. He very clearly says he intends to make women pay for the lack of attention they’ve shown him:
“You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me. But I will punish you all for it. It’s an injustice, a crime, because I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I’m the perfect guy. Yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men. Instead of me. The supreme gentleman. I will punish all of you for it [laughter].”
“On the day of retribution, I am going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB [University of California, Santa Barbara], and I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blonde slut I see inside of there. All of those girls that I’ve desired so much. They would have all rejected me and looked down upon me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them. While they throw themselves at these obnoxious brutes. I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am in truth the superior one. The true Alpha Male.”
While Elliot didn’t make it into the sorority house, the killings that did take place are a gender-based hate crime. He describes women in the general: one woman rejects him, and any woman must pay for this – through punishment, and with her life. The entitlement that Elliot felt to women’s bodies and sexual attentions exists in a continuum with the entitlement felt by those who rape, assault and harass female students on campuses. We think this tragedy has to be addressed as one that reflects the sexism of our society and of our campuses.