Elliot Rodger and the Price of Toxic Masculinity

Friday night, May 23rd, Elliot Rodger stabbed three men to death in his apartment. He then got behind the wheel of his BMW and proceeded to murder three more people and injured thirteen others before dying of a gunshot wound to the head. He did this because he was a virgin. This isn’t speculation. In a blood-chilling video entitled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution”, (link includes a transcript; the video itself is incredibly hard to watch) the 22 year old delivered a long rant about being a virgin, about how since he hit puberty he has been afflicted with unfulfilled desires.  He was 22 years old and had never even kissed a girl. In college he felt as though he were surrounded by a world that he was not allowed to participate in, a world of sex and desire and love that he was cruelly excluded from. He wanted sex, but women refused to be attracted to him. He complained that it wasn’t “fair” that everybody else got to experience “sex, fun and pleasure” and he was left out.

Elliot Rodger (credit: Gawker.com)

He couldn’t stand how women would snub him, a self-proclaimed “supreme gentlemen”, while throwing themselves at “obnoxious brutes”. For these crimes, in his words – “the crime of living a better life than me” – they deserved to die. Because they supposedly forced him to suffer, they deserved to be made to suffer in return.

And so he killed six people and sent thirteen more to the hospital.

I wrote a little about this on the NerdLove Tumblr on Saturday when things were still fresh, but there’s still a lot to unpack here – about virginity, about society, about entitlement and – most of all – about hatred and pain. This isn’t a simple issue and we shouldn’t let it be. Because it’s about so much more than just one lone nut killing people. It’s about what it means to be a man.

It’s Not About “Game”

Elliot Rodger thought a lot about sex. More specifically: he thought about the sex he wasn’t having. From his final video:

For the last 8 years of my life, ever since I’ve hit puberty, I’ve been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires. All because girls have never been attracted to me.

Girls gave their affection, and sex, and love, to other men but never to me.

I’m 22 years old and I’m still a virgin. I’ve never even kissed a girl.

I’ve been through college for two and a half years, more than that actually, and I’m still a virgin.

It has been very torturous.

A lot of people have used this to complain about the “cruelty” of women for denying men sex. Even more disgustingly, several PUA “gurus” have used this as a way of advertising their services. A site Strategic Dating Coach plugged themselves repeatedly in the comments of Roger’s videos as a way of “preventing” this tragedy.

You’ll pardon me if I never stop throwing up now.

I suppose I should pause to examine the irony about a dating coach complaining about other dating coaches pimping their wares – after all, part of the purpose of this site is to help people date better. But by focusing on the fact that Elliot Rodger was a virgin is missing the point. Because his crime was never about sex, not really.

Let’s go back to his statement about how he’s been denied sex. On the surface, this isn’t very different from the complaints that a lot of men have. In fact, I hear similar laments from men all the time; they’re still virgins at 20, 30, 40, even 50 or older and they believe that this means there’s something inherently wrong with them. They’re legitimately in pain, feeling anguish and torment over the fact that they’ve never had sex, never seen a woman naked in person, never felt bare skin against theirs or the sweetness of somebody else’s lips. But there’s a critical difference.

And that difference is all about entitlement, pain and hate. You see it all over the language in Roger’s rant; he complains about how he’s been snubbed, about how he’s been “denied” sex, about how he’s been judged “unworthy” despite being “the supreme gentleman” and a “true alpha male”. He says that if he can’t have them, then the only thing left to do is to destroy them. In other videos from his YouTube channel, he complains about how unfair it is that women don’t like him, despite all the effort he’s put in:

“I don’t know why you girls are so repulsed by me. I do everything I can to appear attractive to you. I dress nice, I am sophisticated, I am magnificent. I have a nice car, a BMW. . . I am polite. I am the ultimate gentleman. And yet, you girls never give me a chance. I don’t know why.”

He’s mystified that women are going for men who aren’t as “magnificent” as him:

“I deserve girls much more than all those slobs. . . . I should be the one with the girls. I mean, look at me? I’m gorgeous. But you girls don’t see it.”

The subtext is clear; he’s got all the surface signs of being an “alpha”, a true “high status man” in PUA terms; therefore women should be falling all over themselves to fuck him… and yet they aren’t. It mystifies him. And yet, he barely sees women as being people. He betrays his true feelings when he says

“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.”

One. Not “her”. Not someone specific. Just “one of them”. They’re not individuals, they’re objects. And worse, objects that aren’t responding the way that they’re supposed to and giving him the sex he’s owed.

It’s critical to note: he’s pre-emptively judging women for not just giving the sex to him. He doesn’t seem to have actually approached anyone. In fact, he’s said in a few places that he didn’t so much as talk to a woman before he was 20. He’s literally expecting sex to be thrown at him, with no effort on his part. Because he’s Elliot Rodger, the Supreme Gentleman with the Beemer and the $300 sunglasses.

But it wasn’t just that he wasn’t getting laid; it was the fact that women were giving his sex to other men – especially minorities. Roger regularly complained about seeing white women with Asian, black and Indian men, calling them “disgusting” and “undeserving”.

Rodger’s murderous rampage had nothing to do with sex or his lack of social skill with women. He clearly was a disturbed individual… but even just labeling him as “crazy” isn’t quite right. In fact, it misses the point entirely.

Elliot Rodger’s Toxic Manhood

Right now there are a lot of people who are going out of their way to paint Roger as “sick”, “unhinged” or “mentally ill”. They want to make it a story about how he had a head full of bad wiring. And to be fair: it’s very tempting to let the narrative end there. It’s very simple and clean: he was a nut. He snapped. If it hadn’t been a lack of sex, it would’ve been power lines or chem-trails or something else. Do some hand-wringing about the state of mental health care in this country and call it a day.

But we shouldn’t let the story end there. We can’t let it end there. Not because we know or don’t know that he was suffering from any sort of mental illness, no. Roger was clearly disturbed – there’s no real question there. His videos plainly show someone dealing with depression and mental anguish. According to his family, he was seeing several therapists. We know he was given at least one medication that apparently he refused to take. His parents called the police after seeing some of his videos; the police let him go, saying he was “polite and kind”, seeing no reason to hold him further. Many people have seized onto the fact that the family lawyer made a statement that Rodger had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

But that doesn’t actually mean anything. Asperger’s Syndrome isn’t a mental illness, it’s a neurological disorder that makes it hard to connect with people or to read social cues. It has nothing to do with violence; people with Asperger’s aren’t “out of control” or prone to hurting others.

Maybe he was dealing with some sort of mental health issue. Maybe he was a sociopath. Maybe it was both. Maybe he was a skilled enough manipulator that he was able to tell the therapists what they wanted to hear. We don’t know. We may never know. But in the end, that’s not an explanation. That is just a way of compartmentalizing him, separating him out from the rest of the male population. A systematic “Not All Men”, as it were. It does far more harm, increasing the stigma of people who do suffer from mental illness and – more importantly – glosses over the real issue.

Regardless of whether any theoretical mental illness had anything to do with his rampage, it doesn’t negate the fact that he was part of a culture that promotes an incredibly toxic form of masculinity, one that encouraged and promoted his belief in his entitlement to women’s bodies and his unmistakable hatred for women as a whole.

Elliot Rodger was interested in the Men’s Rights movement and involved in sites like PUAHate – a gathering place for the incel or “involuntarily celibate” community. PUAHate is a deeply mysoginistic congregation, indulging in self-pity and ranting about the duplicity and cruelty of women. On its surface, PUAHate is about criticizing the PUA community. However, the reason for the anger towards PUAs isn’t because of the misogyny and poisonous attitudes towards sex, but because the forum members tried it and didn’t get laid as promised… and they blame women for this. Rodger himself believed that there needed to be an armed revolution against women:

One day incels will realize their true strength and numbers, and will overthrow this oppressive feminist system.

Start envisioning a world where WOMEN FEAR YOU.

His long, rambling manifesto is full of similar rants about the duplicity of women and how they needed to be put in their place. He believed he was entitled to women’s affections and to women’s bodies – and that being “denied” what he thought was his due meant that the best thing he could do is go murder as many people as he could to punish them. Because that was exactly what he was doing: punishing people for the crime of not fucking him. They were forcing him to be an “incel”, forcing him to be a virgin, making him less than a man. And he was spending his time in online communities and YouTube Channels that encouraged and promoted that view.

Because that is exactly what the cultural narrative of masculinity says: that manhood is inherently tied to sex. A man’s “coming of age” is linked to becoming sexually active – as early as possible. In fact, the idea of “man as sexual being” is so ingrained that a man who was sexually assaulted as a child is seen as being that much more manly and potent. If Chris Brown can get laid at 8, what does that mean for you if you can’t get laid at 15? At 17? At 20? The older you get, the more terrifying it becomes to reveal that you’re a virgin – surely this means that something’s wrong with you, right? It becomes a self-reinforcing loop of negative feedback – you’re still a virgin because you’re inherently damaged somehow and therefore other people won’t sleep with you so you stay a virgin for longer. And as a result: You’re not a man. You’re defective. The Red Pill forum of Reddit is all about dividing the world up into “alphas” – people who’ve taken the Red Pill, who’ve woken themselves up to the manipulations of women and have taken back control to prove that they’re real, virile men – and “betas” – sexless losers who suck up to women in hopes of getting a whiff of sex. PUAHate is full of men raging because they’re “incomplete”, about how they’ll never be “real” men because of how women deny them what they’re due.

This is the message we’re sold over and over again: A woman who is a virgin is a prize beyond rubies, holding her “special gift” for a “special person”. A male (not a man, a male) is a failure. He is a boy, not a man. He is a failure, despite being wealthy, despite being privileged (in every sense of the word) because masculinity is rated on two axes – in our capacity for sex and our capacity for violence. These are the two ways that men establish our masculine credentials: by being a stud or being a bad-ass. By murdering those people, Elliot Rodger was accomplishing two goals: reclaiming his manliness through the only venue left to him (violence) and “punishing” the women for daring to choose who got to have sex and who didn’t.

Elliot Rodger wanted to prove he was “alpha”, to prove his manhood. He couldn’t fuck his way to manliness, so he decided to prove it by murdering people.

That toxic view of of manliness: of men and women inherently in opposition to one another is deeply ingrained into our culture and reinforced by groups like the Men’s Rights Movement and many Pick-Up Artist communities. It reinforces the antagonistic, marketplace view of sex – that women “control” access to sex and men have to meet their “market price” to gain access to it. It puts women in the position of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” Men are taught that women are bad for not having sex with them when they want, and that they’re bad for doing it too. It sets up the field nicely for men: we want to fuck them and we judge them for letting us fuck them.

We call them sluts when they say “yes”. We complain about the Friend Zone when they say “no”.

This is the stew that Rodger matured in. The MRM and the PUA scene aren’t causes, they’re symptoms of how our culture views masculinity. They’re just concentrated, purified examples of the toxicity of what men are taught to believe.

This is what encouraged Rodger’s hatred. This is what spurred his belief that he was owed sex. This is why he believed that the only things he needed to do were hit the check-marks in order to get sex. “Fancy car: check. Money, check. Expensive sunglasses, check. Nice GuyTM: check.”

This is what led him to commit murder.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Elliot Rodger’s crime is heinous, but unfortunately, it’s not unusual or even rare. Last month, Christopher Plaskon stabbed Meran Sanchez to death for refusing to go to prom with him. In 2009, George Soldini killed four people (including himself) and wounded nine others; like Elliot Rodger he complained that women wouldn’t fuck him. And then there are all the others:

This is what happens when we grow up in a culture that teaches men that hypermasculinity is what defines them. It tells them that they’re only as good as the sex that they’re having or the ass that they’re kicking. It teaches them that being rejected isn’t a sign of a lack of compatibility or a need to improve but a referendum on their value as a man. That they’re being robbed of what they’re owed. And – critically – it teaches that men cannot show weakness. To show weakness or emotion makes you less of a man; it makes you a pussy. Not even a woman, just a partof a woman, something to be fucked by “real men”.

There’s no question that Elliot Roger was in deep, emotional pain. But our culture tells men that they keep that shit inside. You don’t let that out. You don’t let it show. You hide that shit. Because real men don’t hurt. Real men don’t cry and they sure as shit don’t ask for help. You can see in his videos: Rodger was hurting. He was lonely. He was in pain. But he didn’t think there was something wrong with him, he thought there was something wrong with the world… because it couldn’t possibly be something wrong with him.

The MRA community that Rogers was attracted to talks about how they’re trying to “help” men. But that “help” consists of berating and insulting women and talking about how women “manipulate” men and how women are men’s “natural enemy”. They’re obsessed with being “alpha”, with being “real men”, not “manginas”. They’re all about asserting manhood by force, “showing” women and punishing them. Manhood by violence. Manhood by force. Manhood by sex.

This is the world that Roger was drowning himself in.

It’s too late for Elliot Rodger. But it’s not too late for the other people out there who feel frustrated, who feel hurt, who feel lonely and lost and afraid, if we can just reach them. If we can change the narrative that says they’re not allowed to ask for help. That they’re not allowed to be inexperienced. That there’s only one way to be a “real man”.

Let’s just imagine a world where being a virgin wasn’t stigmatizing, where men didn’t fear being inexperienced or unsure around women. Where their value isn’t in the number of women they fuck or don’t fuck. Where they don’t believe that sex is something owed to them or negotiated for but a collaboration between equals. Where they’re not shamed for not having sex and women aren’t shamed for doing so. Where women aren’t “the enemy”, the “other”, our antagonists, our inferiors.

Let’s just take a moment and imagine a world where someone feeling as hurt and lost as Rodger did goes to somebody – his father, a therapist, a priest, somebody – and said “Help me. Please. I’m hurting. I’m scared. I need someone to help me right now” without fearing that this made him weak. Without believing that this made him less. Without believing that the answer to feeling weak was to try to reassert himself through violence and pain.

Imagine if we had that world even a week ago. Maybe seven people would still be alive right now. Maybe thirteen more wouldn’t be in the hospital.

It’s on us to admit the truth: this wasn’t because Elliot Rodger was crazy. He wasn’t a “lone nut”. He was a young man in pain, who stewed in a culture of hate and resentment and entitlement. He didn’t murder those people because he was crazy, he murdered those people because he wanted to punish women for not being what he demanded they should be.

It’s on us to change the dialogue.

It’s on us to look at the price of the toxic version of masculinity we peddle to ourselves and to our children and finally admit that it’s time to change.

  • ytre

    People should also read these: http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2014/05/26/miso

    • Been following and reading you for quite a while now and I love everything you have to say. This article especially! You are so right on with everything you have to say here. I actually had no idea about these other websites – and honestly not sure that I'm happy knowing about them now. We absolutely must learn to teach our young men (and women) that there is much, much more to life than just sex…there is much more to loving someone than just sex. And having just sex does not make a man out of someone. Thank for you for such an insightful article!

  • LTP_aka_TheWisp

    Wow, this is not what I was expecting out of you on this, DNL… bravo. You are spot on.

    One quibble, though. On the issue of virginity being shamed, I absolutely agree. However, it is very easy to tip to the other extreme, and shame men who want sex but aren't getting it for feeling sad and/or frustrated about it.

    • It's okay to feel sad and frustrated. It's not okay to feel entitled. I've seen a lot of guys on this site think they're expressing the former when in fact they're expressing the latter. I also see a lot of guys take any criticism – even if it's of larger cultural trends – as "shaming." Finally, I think that there are people who have heard so much entitled bullshit that they can't listen with compassion anymore. I'd suggest looking carefully at your own beliefs, listening to criticism with an open heart, and choosing people to talk to about this who you think are empathetic and trustworthy.

      • Kylroy

        Yeah, there's a whole mess of issues at play here, but the one that makes it a murder is entitlement. Remove that, and the worst case we have I'd a deeply unhappy young man.

      • FortyYearOldVirgin

        "I've seen a lot of guys on this site think they're expressing the former when in fact they're expressing the latter. I also see a lot of guys take any criticism – even if it's of larger cultural trends – as "shaming.""

        These are two interesting statements. The first one indicates that group a they're expressing "frustration" while group b perceives they're expressing "entitlement". At the same time group b believes they're expressing "legitimate criticism" while group a perceives that as "shaming".

        Without a point of reference, how do you decide who's right and who's wrong here? Your advice is good – I'd suggest looking carefully at your own beliefs, listening to criticism with an open heart, and choosing people to talk to about this who you think are empathetic and trustworthy – but it of course applies to everyone in both group a *and* group b.

        • Guest

          Men here have literally said they are owed sex. That it should be distributed evenly among men. That it's not fair other people get sex when they do not. That is all entitlement. Group B isn't inferring. It's reading the words that other people are writing.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            I'm sure you're right about that. But my point is that we don't really have a common vocabulary when it omces to such matters. Venting frustration easily sounds like entitlement to someone else but it may not necessarily be intended that way. Similarly, criticism may be based on the best of intentions and still be considered shaming. And everyone can be right and wrong at the same time, there's just no way to decide these things without a point of reference – and, of course, one of those points of reference is that no one owes sex to anyone. But beyond that, I think a lot of the problems in online gender discussions come from not really understanding each other, and – that may be partly different on here – not really caring about understanding each other.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Seriously, dude, go back and read some of the more highly commented articles. We do indeed have a common vocabulary. Terms like owed, denied, robbed. Phrases like "women are the gatekeepers". These are pretty straight forward demonstrations that someone feels entitled.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          Without a point of reference, how do you decide who's right and who's wrong here?

          Frustration = I am upset because I can not seem to get into the type of relationship I'm looking for.

          Entitlement=I have been robbed and/or denied the type of relationship I am looking for and that is wrong.

          • bloopbloop

            Also, an easy way to tell whether it's entitlement or frustration–if someone is rejected by a woman they are interested and they are either 1) angry at/blaming the woman because she doesn't want to sleep with him or 2) angry at/blaming women in general for not sleeping with him, yeah, that's definitely entitlement.

        • thathat

          I will say that when I read someone talking about his "frustration" regarding his lack of sex-having, I get antsy. I know it's a legitimate term, and yeah, many of us have felt that frustration. But when it gets to be a constant refrain–as I have noticed that it is for some folks here–it gets worrisome. It may mean nothing. It may mean nothing but, "ugh, again? So tired of this." But…it makes me worry. Because a constant state of frustration, constantly dwelling on the frustration…it just seems lie a recipe for bitterness. And bitterness leads to a feeling of being owed, even if you catch it and go, "but I know I'm *not.*" It's still a feeling that seeps in. Like many feelings, positive and negative, it gets stronger with "practice."

          Maybe it's also that to me, "frustrated" isn't just tired or sad. It's an emotion bordering on anger that the world isn't working out the way that it should.

          It's not the same as entitlement. But unchecked and nurtured by dwelling, it seems like it can easily grow into entitlement.

          • Ethyl

            I feel like that is totally true. It's not a red flag, more like a yellow flag, that says you should keep an eye out for resentment, dehumanization, etc.

  • Maximilian

    As I've posted on your tumblr via the "Ask me Anything" service Doc, the response by the usual suspects in the media, continuing lapped up by society and cultures across the globe to this tragedy terrifies me, as someone with a near perfect copy of life experiences to Elliot.

    I cannot see how anyone can justify the default "nobody worth your time will care about you being an older virgin" anymore. "The Killer Virgin" "Virgin Killer" scream the front pages of newspapers & rolling news headlines around the world. We've all seen how similar labels or groups that cold-blooded murderers have associated with themselves, be it a social or interest or a religion, leads to those umbrella terms being almost irreparably tainted.

    Hollywood, TV writers and stand up comedians have been using "older virginity" as the butt of jokes for probably longer than I've been alive but it definitely seems to have increased in the last 10 years or so. Does it hurt? It absolutely used to, but I'm almost used to it now – due to a long list of lies to friends about my sexual experience and almost poker face reaction to jokes about 20+ virgins.
    If, as the media is seemingly directing this tragedy, outright fear is added to this, I don't see how to get beyond it. It's all well and good fixing any personal viewpoints on my virginity – no longer seeing it as proof of personal failure for example – but what good does it do in the long term if the label still carries so much 'baggage' for other people?

    • Maximilian

      Thanks for the thumbs down folks, already 3 in the 2 minutes after I posted this.
      Which bit(s) exactly did you disagree with or did you, as I imagine, just get as far as "Maximilian"?

    • "If, as the media is seemingly directing this tragedy, outright fear is added to this, I don't see how to get beyond it. It's all well and good fixing any personal viewpoints on my virginity – no longer seeing it as proof of personal failure for example – but what good does it do in the long term if the label still carries so much 'baggage' for other people?"

      Speaking as a larger woman who gets the exact same treatment in society and the media (the butt of jokes, the "disgust" other people express as the idea of me actually being able to get laid, the headlines proclaiming over and over and over that people like me are responsible for all of society's ills), you move past it by calmly replacing hyperbole with fact.

      Yes, some people's views are never going to change. Those are the people you ignore and move past. You put truth out into the world enough (virginity in men is not some sign of dysfunction, sexuality and body shape are not excuses for social shaming) people's attitudes will eventually start to transform.

      Look at the gay community. Yes, homophobia still has deep and dark roots in our culture. There's still a long road ahead. But in just the last decade, how many states have come to embrace gay marriage? How many folks have begun seeing homosexuality as nothing to be ashamed of, just a way to live?

      We should take heart from this. Strip away the bitter and anger from the truth, calmly speak the truth, and people will begin to eventually listen. Embrace the truth in yourself ("My body shape/sexuality is not something to be ashamed of") and people… good people, the people who belong in your life… will accept it and eventually incorporate it into their own world views.

      • Maximilian

        But for every positive example you can think of i.e. the decrease or education regarding homophobia you can cite multiple examples at the other side of the spectrum.

        Just this weekend, Europe has politically lurched to the right, particularly in the UK where a party who's entire existence is based around blaming "foreigners" for the country's ills made massive gains and cemented their place as a "mainstream party" in local and European elections.

        Or the number of incidents of racist and homophobic abuse in sport, particulary football in continental Europe seemingly increasing year on year.

        Or how the first port of call following every incident that leads to multiple deaths is to throw the word Muslim at it and see if it sticks.

        These are just 3 examples of hatred/persecution that go back centuries that are still prevalent and in these cases having a revival of sorts at the moment.

        • Guest

          But what's your point then? Just sit and let things be what they will be? It's an option, and if it suits you fine. But things still actually ARE better than how they used to be. I'd argue that one of the reasons things are shifting around is because people aren't hiding their sexuality anymore. It's in your face, which scares a lot of people. The fact that women do have much more of voice now, have more power than they ever did (though it's still nowhere near on par with the power men have – I'm talking CEO and political power), that's what I believe is causing these MRA groups to spread their hate in the first place. If women were back to being second class citizens who were only seen not heard, who were property to be distributed to men, there wouldn't be such anger by some men aimed at them.

          Things are changing, but things don't just change like that or even easily. We have come a long way from separate water fountains and seats on the bus, but African Americans are still being attacked for the colour of their skin. Nothing happens easily, but things are happening.

          In any event, you can find the slowness of change frustrating, you can hate it, you can think it's not worth your time as things likely won't shift that much in your own lifetime (re: society's ideas of masculinity). Or you can care about the future men, the men you don't want to feel how you feel right now. You can think outside yourself and work for general improvement that might not actually improve your life right now.

          It's your choice.

          • Maximilian

            "In any event, you can find the slowness of change frustrating, you can hate it, you can think it's not worth your time as things likely won't shift that much in your own lifetime (re: society's ideas of masculinity). Or you can care about the future men, the men you don't want to feel how you feel right now. You can think outside yourself and work for general improvement that might not actually improve your life right now."

            Why are they separate choices?

          • How are in the world are you supposed to think something isn't worth you time and yet work for general improvement? They're separate choices because they follow different actions (do nothing vs. do something.)

          • Guest

            What Marty said 🙂 .

          • Maximilian

            Why is finding the slowness of change frustrating and hate it equal to not thinking it's worth my time to work on changing it? That is what the first "choice" is described as in the post I was replying to.

            From there how is finding the speed of change frustrating equal to not thinking about "future men"?

          • Guest

            What else does "you can think it's not worth your time" mean to you then?

            When I wrote I meant there were two choices:

            1) It's too hard, I'm not going to do anything.

            2) It's really hard, I'm frustrated, but I'm still going to do something.

            That's all I meant. If I wasn't clear, I'm sorry. I have now clarified my point. I hope this helps.

          • Maximilian

            In that case I agree, thanks for clarifying.

          • Guest

            My pleasure 🙂 .

        • Well, sure, who ever said life was going to be perfect and we're all going to live in a progressive utopia? But don't make Perfect the enemy of Good.

          Yes, this sort of hatred and persecution goes back centuries. But if you're a reader of history, you know that pendulums swing in both directions, and it's a rare era for a pendulum to swing to such an extreme end. Nazi Germany was an anomaly in human history; that's why we're so fascinated by it.

        • enail0_o

          I think the analogy to homophobia is a useful one here. Here's what you do as a gay person: You recognize that the world is a dangerous place and that there are people who will mock you, hate you, fear you – and you realize that you don't have to live in the whole world and you don't have to deal with all the people.

          So you do everything you can to be in a safe place and find safe people. It might take effort, sacrifice, risk. It's worth it. And you fight to make your corner of the world safer, with big political acts or with quiet words, and you celebrate victories when they come, you celebrate them hard.

          And if you are lucky enough to have found a place that's safe enough and people who are safe enough that you have some extra resources and strength and courage to look beyond your corner of the world, you try to spread that safety outwards to the next corner or to the world at large, to make big changes or to help individual people who are struggling to find safe places and safe people.

          • Maximilian

            Thats what I'm saying, there are communities and support groups/organisations for LGBT, ethnic minorities and most of the oppressed social groups designed entirely to protect people who identify that way and to try and make the world a better or safer place for them and it is still prevalent in society.

            As far as I'm aware there is no such thing for people like myself and I have no idea how one would even work if there was. The more the media continues to pile on the ridicule and jump on these tragedies the less likely people are to get any closer to making it happen. I know that personally, after reading the comments on the news articles and blog posts about this story, I'm considerably less likely to "admit" to being a virgin now than I was on Thursday.

          • enail0_o

            The only reason there are communities and support groups for LGBT people is because they created them , formally and informally. Because people who read horrible comments about people like them, who were ridiculed and blamed for problems and threatened had the courage to 'admit' to it anyway. No one's going to fight for you until you start fighting for yourself.

            And my point was that, for your individual life and happiness, how prevalent problems are in society at large tends to be less important than how things are in your region, your community, your small social circle. The persecution of gay people in Uganda, as horrific as it is to me, makes less difference to my daily life than the legalization of gay marriage in my country. Homophobia in football makes less difference to my daily life than the acceptance of my friends and small-scale community. When you're thinking about your personal happiness and safety, it doesn't always make sense to focus on the big picture.

          • Maximilian

            If this tragedy signals the end of the media using older virgins as the punchline to their jokes then I agree that creating a group would be beneficial. Maybe it will be, I guess only time will tell.

          • enail0_o

            I think again you're missing my point. It doesn't work to wait for the media to stop making fun of you. The media stops making fun of you when enough people like you stand up for yourselves as human beings deserving of dignity and respsect that the media has to start taking you seriously. Forming the groups comes first. Reaping the rewards comes later.

          • Maximilian

            What could any group possibly do to attract national and international attention to the matter more than Elliot did? If ever a reason to stop the mockery was in the forefront of the world stage it is right now and just take a look at the news headlines and the nickname given to Elliot, they're doing it more than ever.

          • enail0_o

            If you sincerely think that this one news event means older virgins are being demonized more than gay people have been, you really need to spend some time on LGBT history. Gay people have been called child molesters, insane, sensationalized in murder cases and so forth.

            I'm not quite clear if I'm understanding you correctly on one point: are you saying that, because one man committed mass murder because he was angry about being a virgin, therefore one might expect the media to decide that it's a bad idea to make fun of virgins and stop? If so, I think you have a rather inaccurate idea of how media works and even more, how minds are changed.

            Change is slow. It requires many people to speak out and challenge many, many terrible messages, over and over again. It requires many people refusing to be ashamed about who they are, refusing to hide, even if it means mockery, threats, harm. It requires many people having the chance to get to know 'people like that,' to realize that their prejudices are wrong. It requires many people writing their own stories, putting out their own messages out there, fighting to be seen.

            It happens in the face of resistance, not because of lack of it. The media doesn't start it. You do.

          • Maximilian

            "If you sincerely think that this one news event means older virgins are being demonized more than gay people have been, you really need to spend some time on LGBT history. Gay people have been called child molesters, insane, sensationalized in murder cases and so forth."
            Are you seriously suggesting I think this?! Wow. Just, wow. Theres no other word for it.

            It isn't one man though is it? The Doc put a bunch of examples in the article and there have been others posted in the comments.
            Look at the number of copycat killers you get in the days and weeks after a high-profile case where the second killer associates with the first in some way. (this video explains it better than I could ever – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PezlFNTGWv4) – this guy didn't live in a vacuum, presumably even from his position of privileged he still lived in the society Doc talks about that promotes virginity beyond age X as something to be ridiculed.

          • enail0_o

            I thought you were saying that the way the media talks about cases like this means that it's impossible to change the message; since we were using LGBTQ acceptance as a comparison, I took that to mean that you thought virgins must be more demonized since it hasn't proven impossible for LGBTQ people. Apologies for the misunderstanding.

            Even if it's not one man – and I'm definitely not disagreeing that society at large does promote the negative stereotypes – I think my point still stands that these things can be changed, but it's unlikely to happen unless the people being stereotyped speak out.

          • Maximilian

            I see it as impossible for one person or a handful of people to change the media or society as a whole's perspective on any issue. The media, be it news, TV writing, films or stand-up comedians have too big a grip on the world for any campaign that doesn't have their backing to get off the ground.

          • enail0_o

            It starts as one person, handfuls of people here or there. At that point, yes, it's impossible. But once one brave person is out there, it takes just a little less courage for the next person to be out there too, so there are more and more people. And the more people, the more people they influence, so it can snowball.

            And the media and society aren't monolithic, so individual voices with different messages start to break through; first maybe it's just a popular twitter feed or a post that goes viral, and then it's a novel with a cult following, then the occasional tv show with a character who is more than just a joke, and then it's a celebrity talking about it in an interview, and then it's a lot of places. Not everywhere, maybe never everywhere. But enough places to make a difference.

          • Maximilian

            If the first brave person is some already public figure I agree. Even then it doesn't guarantee anything, Tina Fey "coming out" as someone who lost their virginity at 24 certainly hasn't changed anything around the perception of 'late bloomers'.

          • enail0_o

            In the gay riights movement, the first brave people most certainly weren't public figures. Celebrities don't join in until the fight's practically already won.

            And no, one person 'coming out' will not have immediate effects like that – it seems like you're looking at it as if it's either quick&easy&absolute or totally impossible, and I don't think that's the case.

          • Maximilian

            Oh I know it isn't going to change quick enough for me to not be considered weird by a lot of people. If it changes at all, it'll start from the younger age and progress from there until it reaches a place where progression stops.

          • enail0_o

            I don't think it's impossible that it could change quickly enough to benefit you to some degree. But I'm not seeing much in the way of people willing to start the ball rolling, so I wouldn't hold my breath on a big societal change. I'd suggest instead following the other bit I mentioned that LGBT folks do, seeking individuals and small pockets of safety and doing what you can to build from there.

          • Maximilian

            The longer it goes, the less likely I am to be a part of any change that takes place regarding the perception of my "community". The "socially accepted" age will get older slowly, it won't suddenly skip to 30 or 35.

          • enail0_o

            I would think that any useful change would be less about increasing the 'socially accepted' age and more about unlinking the stereotypes from virginity or treating a wider range of experiences and approaches to sex as valid overall.

          • lurkergirl

            I grew to adulthood in a culture where being gay was a bad joke. Now, the barriers to same-sex marriage are falling state after state. The military makes accomodation for same-sex couples now. People who gay-bash are ridiculed in popular media, not lauded. Change does happen.

          • Joy

            "No one's going to fight for you until you start fighting for yourself."

            Yes, this. We live in a world with lots and lots of issues that need addressing. Know which ones are most likely to be addressed? The ones where there is a vocal group of people saying, "we're here, we care about this issue, we'd like you to help us and here are some ways you can do that, but regardless of whether or not you do, we think this is important enough that we're not going away."

            I'm happy to stand *with* you. I'm not going to stand *for* you.

          • Maximilian

            I don't expect anyone to care, let alone demand they stand with me on this issue. I've heard "get yourself a hooker" too many times to expect anything else.

          • Noelle

            So what would you do if someone did care and demand they stand with you on the issue? Would you welcome the support?

          • nancylebovitz

            "No one's going to fight for you until you start fighting for yourself. "

            Not really true– any number of people have fought for me, one way and another, and some of them were doing it before I was born.

            Still, it helps quite a bit if people fight for themselves, especially if they've got an issue that hasn't registered yet with the public.

          • enail0_o

            Yes, true. I also have benefited from a great number of people standing up to fight long before me, for various issues that affect me. I meant it in a looser sense, that someone with a particular issue is almost certainly going to have to be the first to take the stand on that issue, that it's pretty much pointless to sit around waiting for groups contributing to the problem to decide to solve it. Sometimes I get too into rhetorical flourishes and clarity is lost…

  • mizahnyx

    Have you read the manifesto? If so, what do you think of it?

    • Rachel

      I scanned over parts of it. And I don't even know where to start.

      I ranged from "saddened" to "WTF" to "I almost laughed because he sounds like a b-grade movie villain" -seriously, some of his stuff made him sound like Anakin Skywalker from Ep. 3. Except then I remembered that this guy is real.

      I think what baffled most was his honest-to-god, genuine expectation that the universe would drop everything he wanted into his lap. He goes on at length about how multiple times, he poured a bunch of money into lottery tickets, and how he waited, quivering with anticipation, because the jackpots were so huge, and how he had a glorious destiny to fulfill, and how part of that destiny was becoming fabulously wealthy…thus clearly it was inevitable that he would win this giant jackpot. and then he lost and threw temper tantrums because the world was so cruel and unfair. All because he needed to get fabulously wealthy, but oh no he couldn't do something like WAIT, he needed money NOW.
      And he treats women the exact same way. It was bizarre, he didn't even approach women…He goes on and on about giving the Universe "another chance" and placing himself out there…and just sitting there, in a bar or cafe or whatever. He sits there, expecting women to come up to him and recognize him for his magnificence without him approaching them or speaking to them or anything. And then he was enraged when no one payed any attention to him sitting quietly in a corner. In fact the only times he seemed to approach women at all was to go throw a drink on them when his ire got the better of him.
      He expected glorification when he *walked through the doorway of his classroom*, but when none of his (hot blonde) classmates even looked up, this was the universe rejecting him.

      He never lifted a goddamn finger to improve his own life. He constantly blames the world for ignoring him, but the few people who pay attention to him or try to help him (i.e. his poor family) he dismisses and criticizes. He wanted friends and girlfriends, but then talks about how "of course" he shut himself away (from X social situation) because he didn't want to deal with any losers.

      I just….rrrrfLAHLDKHIKJDFOKHOEI!!!!!

    • Shajenko

      Seriously, when someone says the word "manifesto", can anything good be coming?

      • Guest

        Marx and Engels wrote a good one.

      • StevieC

        Regarding manifestos, and whether anything so titled can be a good thing? Yeah, actually and it’s not hard to find examples. Slightly off-topic, but here’s a one great example. http://www.ifixit.com/Manifesto

    • beloiseau

      I have just finished reading it. My feelings were a mixture of horror and amazement that someone could be so monstrously spoilt and not even realise it (I get the impression that his stepmother did realise this, which is why she tried to rein him in) but also sadness and pity because he was so obviously lonely. Although he has had a privileged upbringing his life seemed very unstable, with his parents splitting up and moving house so much. But, gracious me, I have never seen anyone so totally self-absorbed. He is capable of good feelings towards others in his life, but otherwise it is 140 pages of "me, me, me".

      With regard to sex, my sense from reading this is that he was physically mature but nowhere near ready in emotional terms. I got the sense he had been afraid of sex since puberty – he was always socially awkward but at least was happy as a child, then puberty happened and his life careered onto a totally different track where he had no understanding and no control. And, to make it worse, he was growing up in the most hyper-social, hyper-sexual society on Earth. I think many of us would face challenges in that environment.

      He seemed to have no sense of how to be a human being or how to become an adult. Part of that, I suspect, was from him being so cosseted and protected from the realities of earning a living etc. (Witness his distaste at being asked to apply for "menial" jobs in the service industries.) But another part was about him really having a block to do with relating to others – whether friends or romantic companions. He didn't seem able to reach out to his parents, but from his very full account I would not blame them – they seem to have done the best they could for him, although they really did not understand what they were dealing with.

      This was an extended kiddie tantrum. His pain is palpable – he spent so much of his life in tears – but his solutions for the pain were very ominous, even from a young age. Most disturbing was his plan to kill his younger brother because the boy was already starting to surpass him in social skills. And the other solutions besides violence were just as worrying because they involved childish fantasies – winning the lottery, having a "hot blonde" (as though she were a smart car or the latest computer game, perhaps) – in which he didn't have to do anything but the goodies just fell into his lap.

      I don't know what the solution to his problems might have been. I can see, though, that his anger was fanned by the pornography and PUA stuff that he saw on the internet. If we can do nothing else for the Elliott Rodgers of this world, we can at least take a long hard look at these issues.

  • This post is needed so much. It's also the biggest point of truth I've seen on this entire matter, thanks Doc. As a guy, this is VERY chilling, and very disturbing.

    Thankfully I changed my views on my virginity and lack of experience. I'll use this as a reminder as to what I could turn out like.

    • The best lovers I have EVER had, were men who did not lose their virginity til later in life. They tend to be much more sensitive and attuned to women's needs. Men who lost their virginity at a young age seemed to get stuck at a teenage level of lousy insensitive sexual behavior. Late bloomers bloom best! You will make a woman (or several women) very happy one day. Keep focused on that math!

    • The very fact that you recognize this tragedy as a cautionary tale means that you will not turn out like this man. It's actually disingenuous to suggest (as this article does indirectly) that every man is capable of violence if he is a lonely virgin and buys into male entitlement. Not every lonely misogynist resorts to violence- only those with deep psychological issues (pathological narcissism, detachment from reality, etc.) could be capable of this. "Toxic Masculinity" was most certainly not the cause of Rodger's crimes (as is claimed in this article), but it surely was the vehicle to channel his many internal issues. To be clear, yes, there is absolutely a problem with misogyny and uber(pseudo?)-masculinity in our society, but to claim that we're all a few "no"s away from violence is absurd and irresponsible. Every interview given by people he wrote about or mentioned all say the same thing- that he never spoke and was always very distant (or that they hardly knew him at all because he was so insular)- his entire life- even before he was ever rejected by women or had any interest in them. Was he a misogynist? Absolutely. Was that the cause of his violence? No. There were much larger and more complex issues, and misogyny was his poison of choice to act out his "revenge" on the world.

      • ajamjar

        "to claim that we're all a few "no"s away from violence is absurd and irresponsible."

        Is anyone claiming that though?

        I'm repeating myself here, but you don't have to murder someone to do them harm. That's the extreme. Most woman haven't been shot at, but I'm quite sure Rodger's sense of entitlement is familiar to us all. Many of us have suffered at the hands of someone with a similar outlook. I have.

        And, while these 'lesser' misogynists may not be potential murders, they created an environment which validated and encouraged Rodger's violence.

        If he'd written a manifesto about hating Jewish people and wanting to round them up in concentration camps, if he'd targeted a synagogue instead of a sorority house, we'd (rightfully) be having a conversation about anti-Semitism.

        (On the same day, a gunman did shoot dead four people at a Jewish Museum in Brussels. This has widely been condemned as an anti-Semitic attack. No-one has piped up "Not all Belgians!" yet.)

  • OtherRoooToo

    Let's Call the Isla Vista Killings What They Were – Misogynist Extremism

    Further Proof that Misogyny Kills


    there hasn't been such a high-profile attack that is categorically rooted in an anti-woman sentiment since maybe the École Polytechnique Massacre in Montreal in 1989, in which a 25-year-old man killed 14 women in a crusade against feminism and the feminists he felt were ruining his life

    A fan of the Japanese girl band AKB48 attacked two members with a saw today. That's the band where they're not allowed boyfriends because it ruins the fantasies of the fans (they were notorious for a head-shaving incident last year). There are rumours around on the internet that he was disappointed that he would never be able to have a relationship with any of them.

    48-year-old Scott Township resident George Sodini (September 30, 1960[6] – August 4, 2009), a systems analyst at the law firm of K&L Gates.[7] On a website registered in his name,[8] Sodini chronicled over a nine-month period his rejections by women and his severe sexual frustration. "Who knows why? I am not ugly or too weird. No sex since July 1990 either (I was 29)," he writes. "Last time I slept all night with a girlfriend it was 1982. Girls and women don't even give me a second look ANYWHERE." About his problems with women, he wrote: "Women just don't like me. There are 30 million desirable women in the US (my estimate) and I cannot find one."

    What is so stunning about Rodger's manifesto is how much similarity it bears to other, similar screeds posted throughout the "manosphere." Your so-called everyday sexists are a daily threat to women, their lives, and their livelihoods in the form of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and yes, murder.

    The difference between Rodger, who killed. and the "everyday sexist" who slaps, grabs, and berates is a difference of degree, not of kind."

    Any questions?

  • fivethreemidget

    Fuck you Elliott Rodger.
    If you are tall, rich and handsome and still cant get laid, then maybe the problem is YOU.

    Try being 5’3 in your next life, bitch.

    • …. Do you not see the supreme irony in the fact that someone murdered a bunch of people because he felt "powerless" and felt he was more entitled than other guys? And now you post about how you somehow have it worse than him?

      I've dated short guys. So maybe height isn't the problem either. Seriously dude.

      • FortyYearOldVirgin

        It's likely not the *only* problem, but it is *a* problem, for sure.

        Just last week a very good friend said how she liked being called "a bad girl" by some guy. I said, wait, I can do that for you, and she said, "nah, you're 15cm too short for that to work." To say that this doesn't limit the dating pool (just like being too tall limits the pool, particularly for women, in that case) is ignoring reality. Being short limits your dating pool as a guy, it makes it *MUCH* harder to project masculinity if you don't have the body for it (like projecting femininity is hard for women who don't have the body for it). Yes, short men do also get dates, but their height certainly matters – women do by and large feel attracted to men who are taller then they are. It's a fact of life. Doesn't mean being short implies dying alone and lonely, but it does imply that the pool of women who will be physically attracted is significantly smaller.

        • If that's how you're categorizing height (as a problem because it limits your pool), absolutely everything about a person is potentially a problem. My brunette hair limits me from dating guys who like blondes. And if I dyed my hair blonde, it'd prevent me from dating guys who like brunettes.

          Yeah, some girls don't like short guys. But there are also women who don't enjoy dating guys who tower over them. There are girls who don't care about height either way.

          A guy's height only matters when it comes to what pool he is fishing in. Yes, it might limit him-but absolutely everything about him means he's incompatible with someone. There is not a person on this Earth who is compatible with everyone. If you aren't compatible with the group of folks you're around, you pack up and find the group you are compatible with, just like you do with any other trait.

          My guess is the girl who made the comment was not saying you're too short to date. She's saying, essentially, you're not compatible with her because she enjoys a certain kind of banter and fantasy play. My guess is, if you had some other element that played into that fantasy, she would disregard your height; it's just an easy trait to point to for compatibility, because probably she isn't even aware of what specifically about the fantasy trips her trigger.

          Yeah, the pool might be slightly smaller for shorter men. Oh well. It's gonna be smaller for *lots* of different traits, and latching onto height as some kind of "Gotcha" of incel is completely ignoring the fact that compatibility and attraction play on lots of different traits.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            I agree entirely that it's not the only reason (in my case it's certainly only a smallish reason, if that), but it certainly is one aspect. And I would disagree with the "slightly", at least if we're talking about about men who are seriously smaller than, say, 5.6/5.7. I once saw a scientific study about relativ dating pool sizes based on relative attraction to height, and men in the 6.0.-6.7' range had the biggest pool by far. It became less below 5.7 rather quickly – in North America and Europe. It's different for other ethnic groups given that average heights are different there as well. So, yes, you're right that everything about a person makes that person attractive to some and less attractive to others, but I think height, for men, is a bit more important than hair color for women – just like really tall women have a very hard time finding a guy, because they, too, not rarely want one with the same relative height differential, which makes it really slim pickings except for the NBA draft pool, I suppose 😉

            "My guess is the girl who made the comment was not saying you're too short to date. She's saying, essentially, you're not compatible with her because she enjoys a certain kind of banter and fantasy play. My guess is, if you had some other element that played into that fantasy, she would disregard your height; it's just an easy trait to point to for compatibility, because probably she isn't even aware of what specifically about the fantasy trips her trigger."

            Yes and no, again. I think that height is an easy way to project the kind of thing she finds attractive. Which is why is said above that it's really a lot harder to project masculinity if you're physically small. It also has a couple of advantages – being smaller also makes you less intimidating, which helps with approaching, for example. But projecting masculine sexual energy is a lot easier when you actualy have a frame that can give her that feminine feeling. And again – not all women are looking for that, but a lot, if not most, according to my admittedly very subjective statistics.

          • SPS

            I'm 5'5" and have slept with some very attractive women. My brother's 5'3" and dated one of the hottest girls I've ever met.

            Height is a convenient scapegoat for short men who lack confidence. Does height matter to women? Absolutely 100%. But EVERYTHING matters.

            Is it true that a man who is 4 feet tall is going to have an immensely hard time attracting women? Probably. But it's still up to him to do everything he can to make it happen and make himself attractive in every other area of life.

            The reason short men struggle so much with their height is because they know that the majority of women are immediately attracted to men who are tall and handsome. Short men want to be able to do that as well, and they're frustrated that they simply can't. They aren't interested in finding a "niche" of women who are attracted to them…they want to be physically handsome to MANY women in the same way tall men can be.

            And that's where maturity comes in. These insecure shorter guys refuse to get over certain realities of life and become emotionally mature enough to handle hardships and do the best they can with what they've got. They want to have it easy, like they perceive the taller guys do. That's not the way it goes, and it takes a lot of wisdom and emotional maturity to know how to deal with that.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            I completely agree, but why can we not just state that, yes, taller guys have it easier then?

          • Kylroy

            Sure. We agree. Did you really need to belabor the point this long?

          • SPS

            I *did* just state that. My question to you is, why does it MATTER to you so much? People who were born into extreme wealth will have it easier than people who were born into poverty… People who were born with an extremely strong aptitude for chess will have an easier time with it than people who don't have that natural ability… People with amazing voices are more likely to succeed in music than those who don't… It's all about seeing the bigger picture, and it sounds like you're placing a huge priority on attracting women and the role height plays into that. So what if height tends to be a dealbreaker for a lot of women? Who cares?

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            I don't know, I suppose my reaction has a lot to do with an internalized voice that polices male desire – guys are generally being attacked for having physical preferences and usually male preferences are discussed as social pressure on women to conform to something or another thing. Here's a pretty clear cut case where there's a female physical preference that is simply discriminatory based on height and I guess I just want that acknowledged. Feels actually good to hear that being accepted.

          • HermitTheToad


            "So what if height tends to be a dealbreaker for a lot of women? Who cares?"

            I care. If my height makes me repulsive to many, then I absolutely would care (Yes, I realize it's unproductive TO care). If people say belittling things because of something I can't change, I would care.
            And it's not just my height. It's my ethnicity and character flaws along with my height that make me holistically unattractive. Because, it's hard enough for people to find what they're looking for and now I think, "Shit, am I gonna be put down for having desires?" I care because apparently, I'm not supposed to expect much.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Yes, taller guys have it easier. That has absolutely nothing to do with your issues. Younger, taller, more muscular guys have it more easy than me but acknowledging that does nothing to help me get a date.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Well, I said myself I think it is only a minor reason for my situation, if that. But as I said above, it feels good to hear that, for once, there's something that's beyond my control, that, when it comes to height at least, I'm not responsible (for my misery for once).

          • Gentleman Johnny

            You take one extra step in the parentheses that I don't agree with. You're not responsible for your height. How you react to it is something you can take responsibility for. Your reactions, your emotions, they're yours to change. I'm not saying its your fault that you're miserable. I'm saying you can take charge and work to change that.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Oh, sure. I don't know how to explain this. But it's part of the weakness thing DNL speaks about. It's about being in control of life, of your decisions, of your fate. You're asking to take charge of that. Sure. I do. I know that there are productive ways to deal with this. And yet it does feel good to occasionally just blame the world for the bad wheather or women preferring taller guys.

            Look, you don't know me. I am the guy you referred to below when you said there's productive ways to deal with such a situation. But it's exhausting. And while that Elliot Rodgers car-video was creepy as shit and made me want to hide all women I know in all southern California, and I hope I will never succum to *that* much self-loathing and entitled self-pity, sometimes it just feels good to blame something you don't have control over because otherwise it's constantly, always, your fault. And sometimes, hearing that I'm not responsible is really relaxing. Tomorrow I'll be back up on high energy trying to react as productively and smiling as I possibly can as a 40yo (technical, though debatably involuntary) virgin, and I'm usually very good at that. Nobody would ever suspect it.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            I don't know you but I do know me. I get overwhelmed all the time. Once every couple of weeks, I just have to hide in my room for a couple of days and not deal with the world. I've been going to therapy every week for nine months, notebook in hand with a list of goals and walking out with things to do. It feels like carrying a heavy burden that you're not allowed to set down and there's no end to the trail you have to walk. If you slip for a day, you wake up the next day with twice the ground to cover.

            It doesn't matter what part of where I am is my fault or not. All that matters is I can keep walking that path or set my load down and take a break. Yeah, I take my breaks but its still not fair to blame anyone else for that. It might feel good to put the responsibility on someone else but its a comforting lie in place of a hard truth.

            So yeah, take the day off, man. You've earned it. But go ahead and own that choice, too. Its not your fault. Its yours to change. If that's too much to ask today, let it slide and go do something else.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Thanks mate =)

            I don't know if I've earned it, but I've done it anyway. Still, you're right:

            " If you slip for a day, you wake up the next day with twice the ground to cover."

            Now imagine slipping (in that one particular area) for the last, let's say 20 years. That's a lot of ground to cover, could make the ground to cover impossibly big. I don't know. I haven't given up yet. But I for sure need a change of pace and strategy.

          • Skada

            I'll tell you one thing you can do, if you have the financial means. Get on a plane to Las Vegas and go to the Bunny Ranch. The people there are professionals and part of their job is providing services to people in the situation you are in.

            I mean this with the utmost respect, and I am very, very serious.

            It may help you to have a mental script for this: "It is not "cheating" or "not good value" to have my first sexual experience with a professional sex worker. It is me taking control of my life, and taking a concrete step towards turning into who I want to be, and recognising that I do not have to keep doing things that do not work."

            I have a friend who, while in the process of dealing with His Issues, went to professional sex workers to take care of that need. It helped him be able to be in the right headspace to deal with himself. And things got better for him.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            You're very kind.

            I've thought about some such thing, including sex surrogates in the US and the Netherlands, where there are specialised services for this kind of "technical" problem. Actually, I've tried some workshops there without going through with "it". General body issues workshop, being in bed with a woman, being naked, aroused, petting, dealing with having an erection, not having one, etc. – like actual hands on sex education with someone who knows that stuff and actually cares about you.

            These have been generally very postive experiences, but I – at least for the time being – couldn't bring myself to do "it" with that kind of professional help. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it's at least partly an ego thing. I want to lift me up myself, even though I realize it may not be the most clever thing in terms of the time I have left if I want to find a wife and have a family.

          • Amy

            this whole article deals with misogyny and how that guy felt entiteld to women's bodies and you guys talk about buying the bodies of prostitutes? my god, do you really think your dicks are that important? i just want to puke reading this bullshit.
            maybe the reasn why you couldn't get yourself to do "it" is because you still think of women as human beings and not as fuck toys. so please hold on to that and don't become one of the countless assholes out there who only care about themsleves and their dicks.

          • Guest

            Amy, they're sex workers not chattel. It is much more demeaning to refer to prostitution as "buying women's bodies" than it is to seek out their professional services. This may shock you to know, but I am a sex worker. If my clients were simply paying for the view, warmth, and heat they would be buying my body. But many of them are respectful of the fact that sex work is what I do, it's not who I am. They're paying for the human connection as well as the sex. Some of them even ask me the sex questions they're too afraid to ask their girlfriends/wives/lady friends. But to imply I'm just there to have a pulse is what's really insulting.

          • Skada

            There is something a hell of a lot more honest in looking for a sex worker than being a pickup artist, or just trolling. If a person goes out looking for a sex worker, then (a) that person is being open and honest about what they want, and (b) that person is also acting with the understanding that getting what they want ain't gonna magically happen: they have to find a sex worker, book the sex worker's time, and there is a cost to the experience. Not, I walk into a bar and the hotties fall all over me!…but, this is a professional who will provide me this experience that I am looking for.

            You will notice that I used gender-neutral language there. I did that for a reason. Sex workers are not just cis women, they are not just fuck toys, and they are people too. There is also a massive difference between ethical sex work–which is why I suggested the one legal brothel in the US–and sex slavery. I want sex slavery to die in the fire of a thousand suns, and ethical sex work to be legal, regulated, and destigmatised.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Small nit-pick, there are lots of legal brothels in the US but they are all in the smaller counties of Nevada. In the interest of contributing to the overall discussion, these women are all independent contractors who get regular STD and pregnancy tests, condoms are required and every client is visually inspected for signs of STI's before being allowed to have sex.

            The brothels themselves have regular inspections and have to pass rigorous standards for health and the treatment of their contractors. These women are not under any coercion, may refuse any client or particular type of service and most of the brothels help them invest their money so that they can retire and never have to work again a day in their lives.

            I happen to know one particularly successful sex worker who decided that the job and its pay were preferable to being a waitress and trying to pay for college. She'll retire after about five years on the job sufficiently wealthy to live in comfort the rest of her life. That's her choice and I would not more get in the way of her making that choice than I would her having stayed a waitress. She's not successful (just) for being attractive. Looks will get someone in the door but personality gets repeat customers.

          • reboot

            The Nevada brothels are where most of the men from my high school lost their virginity. And it was a pretty open secret.

            Wendover and Wells hold many a Utah boy's v-card.

          • Dr_NerdLove

            Also worth noting that sex-work encompasses more than just escorts; you have everything from dancers to BDSM practitioners to full-body sensual massage to sexual surrogates.

            In fact, for some older virgins, a sexual surrogate might be a better option than visiting the Bunny Ranch or hiring an escort. Not that those are *bad* options, but surrogates are specifically trained to help people with their issues.

            Kendra Holliday – who I believe lurks around here occasionally – has an excellent blog about her life and work as a sex surrogate, for those who'd like to check it out. http://thebeautifulkind.com/

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            This is a link to the first part of the Channel 4 documentary about older virgings and surrogates called "virgin school". The "school" portrayed is this http://www.surrogatepartner.nl/

            This is a British Surrogate Practice – http://www.icasa.co.uk/surrogate-partner-therapy….

          • FortyYearOldVirgin
          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            The documentary is NSFW in some parts…

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Amy, life is a lot more complicated than you make it sound like. If you ever get a chance, watch the movie "Paradise:love" by Austrian director Ulrich Seidl, which is about female sex tourism in Africa. Fascinating movie. Here's a trailer with English subtitles – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4mDMI1uULQ




          • Skada

            Fair enough.

            Are you comfortable getting physical intimacy? Not just sexual intimacy, but physical touching? And are you getting regular physical touch? Massage therapy, for instance?

            What I am getting at here is that there's more going on than just not having had PIV sex. If you have the opportunity, and you are waiting for something special (like a girlfriend), then recognise that this is a conscious choice on your part, and own it. If you are making the conscious choice to not take an obvious and accessible option for having PIV sex, and yet you are describing yourself as "defective" like you did downthread, then that is a serious cognitive dissonance on your part that you might want to address.

            That's why I reframed the thought about seeing a professional from "there's something wrong with me if this is how I have to have my first PIV experience" to "this is something I can consciously control, and although it isn't how I would prefer to go about it, it is important enough to me and my personal development to take the logical and obvious option in front of me."

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Hey Skada,

            thanks for your concern =). I'm dancing a lot including what most people would call sexualised dancing – grinding etc. I'm cuddling with a lot of women, usually dressed, though 😉 But I've occasionally also done undressed petting and dry humping 😉 It's certainly not as regular physical contact as being in a relationship would imply, but compared to a couple of years ago I am doing ok-ish in this respect now. More would certainly be welcome, but it's ok at the moment.

            There is definitely more going on than just not having PIV sex – which is why I talked of "defective". That was probably a poor choice of words given that *other* people read it who'll read something else into that word than I would like, but, to me, my inability to go through with "it", to take that leap of faith and trust women *and myself* is defective. I definitely still have issues with sexuality that I need to mentally work through even more, most of them centered around notrions of how male sexuality is inherently problematic and violent. I've come quite a way, but I'm not there entirely.

            It's not exactly a conscious decision to wait for someone special, it's one that is driven by fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of my own sexuality, fear of how I may realize that it's really not so special, fear of having missed out on so much pleasure.

            There's definitely going on more than just not having had sex, which, again is a very good reason for women to be careful…

          • Skada

            Good on you for your work on it, and I hope you continue on a forward trajectory.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Thanks, Skada =)

          • stubbikins


            My brother's wife is a foot taller than him, he has never been single for more than a few weeks. He is 5' 2"

          • Varnol

            I am 5 cm taller then my girlfriend, and you know what? We can't even start proper sex if she is wearing high heels and stands next to me. It just doesn't work out for either of us, because she expects me (really, it turns her on) to be somewhat domineering, and that is not an easy thing to achievewhen you have to look up to meet the eyes.

          • thathat

            A) That sounds unfortunate.

            B) I'm 5'5". It is possible to be dominant even when you're smaller than whoever you're dealing with if it's a mindset y'all are both willing to be in (which, if it's her turn on, sounds like it is). It's not even all that tricky with a bit of practice.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Half of my cast is taller than me without heels. thathat speaks the truth.

          • fakely_mctest

            Frankly, it's pretty hard to be intimidating in heels. I know that those shiny, black stilettos were pretty much industry standard in movies and in comics from a certain era (coughBalentcough) as a signifier of "strong female character" but, apart from making people taller, they also throw your center of gravity way off.

            There's a reason why dancing heels are built so differently from your regular run of the mill heels.

        • Max

          Being anything limits the dating pool. Being white limits the dating pool (not everyone likes white guys), being tall limits the dating pool (some women are put off by overly tall guys), heck, being a man limits the dating pool (straight guys and lesbians usually don't go for men). You only really need one person out of the millions of people on Earth to like you.

          Being a cool, interesting person, however, will always, always widen your dating pool. Focus on that.

          • Mr. Gray

            I think he’s talking about societal beauties. You know like if you go up to any news stand And see a man with no shirt, washboard abs and probably over 6feet tall. But what he needs to remember is that even though You may not get many stares when you walk in the room, then you want to be the guy who can make any girl smile/laugh/aww whatever. Attraction > good looks

          • Guest

            He's also forgetting that women also have his problem but in reverse. Tall women are intimidating to many men, especially tall not model thin women (think Brienne of Tarth from GoT). They aren't considered feminine enough just as short men aren't considered masculine enough. So both genders do reinforce systemic gender expectations. The cool thing is that people are individuals, not systems, and people find people. Not genders finding genders. Not groups finding groups. Individuals find individuals.

          • shaenon

            I'm tall and have a thing for short guys, but no guy shorter than myself ever wanted to date me. Short guy friends used to complain to me about girls not giving them a chance because of their height, but they still wanted to date only women shorter than themselves. (Yes, I was cruelly Friendzoned!)

            And yes, short guys on this thread, I'm sure you personally would be happy to date an Amazon. But there are men–a lot of men–who are uncomfortable being with a woman taller than themselves. Especially, as Guest says, if they're not model-thin to apologize for taking up extra vertical space.

          • fakely_mctest

            And even then! I had a friend in grad school who was six feet tall and, while she wasn't model thin (very few are), she was built quite similarly (small chest, narrow hips, slim limbs, blonde hair, blue eyes). She got a lot of attention but it was almost exclusively from creeps who basically fetishized her for her height and didn't give a rat's ass about her personality or interests.

        • eselle28

          I'm not going to deny that height is a factor in dating, but I don't think that's what went wrong in that interaction. If your very good friend who you're not sleeping with is talking about something sexual she enjoys, it's generally not a good idea to volunteer your services.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            She knew I was joking, but she was just being honest. I told her later that it hurt me, because it did, precisely because it's such a tough thing to overcome and I've worked hard to project positive masculinity precisely in situations like that.

          • eselle28

            Still, it's kind of an awkward joke. If someone made that comment to me, even jokingly, the best I could probably do to respond would be to grab onto the first reason I could think of that that wouldn't be happening (if I were feeling nice…in a not so great mood, that would be an "I'm not hanging out with you anymore" trigger).

            She confirmed to you later she was being honest?

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            I don't know you or your friends, but no, there was nothing awkward about this, not even after she said it, and I was hurt. We talk about this stuff. It was a funny situation, for all the way, she laughed at the 15cm, and I only told her later that I didn't find it funny. Other people around thought it was a reference to penis size, which was also funny. I told her over coffee two days later that it hurt me because, sometimes I wonder if size isn't actually more important than I know…

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Honestly, don't joke about something that involves you and a friend of the preferred sex engaging in something sexual unless you've already established that you'd both be comfortable doing that thing. Otherwise it comes off as a back handed "kidding. . .nut not really" attempt to hit on someone.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Sure. But we're both *really* comfortable doing this, for years. Don't you worry about that. I just felt bad to be reminded of the height thing and made me wonder if there's not possibly more to that aspect that I "rationally believe".

          • thathat

            I hate to say it, but I can't think of a good response to a friend who would say that to me except some kind of, "oh, but not you." (I'd be uncomfortable as hell and trying to shut that down quick.) If you were joking, then that means that the offer was not one that you meant seriously, that you knew that there was no way she'd take you up on it. So…unless you want to hear the first, flippant reason a woman can come up with to not take you up on a sexual offer, maybe don't jokingly offer?

          • Mr. Gray

            Am I the only person who makes sex jokes with friends? These are the people I trust enough to talk about sex at all with. Hell I don’t even flirt because I’m uncomfortable talking with a stranger that intimately.

          • eselle28

            I make certain kinds of sex jokes with certain of my friends, but this is an area where nuance really matters. Joking about sex as a general concept is the least risky kind of joke, and joking about sex with third parties can generally be pretty harmless as well. Joking about a friend who's of your preferred gender having sex with you is the riskiest sort, doubly so if you have any level of attraction to them (and I think a lot of women are similarly on edge about this, given that guys using the Platonic Friend Gambit tend to do this quite a bit). Given that the response wasn't to return the teasing, it sounds like this is one of those cases where it wasn't a good joke to make.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            There's sex jokes and there's "hey, I'd do that". Yes, I absolutely make sexually charged jokes with women who I absolutely know will be comfortable with it and will take it in the spirit its intended, whether that be semi-serious or not at all serious. Its very easy to misjudge that and turn an offhanded comment into an awkward moment. One of the other guys in my circle of friends is not so good at calibrating such things. Not a one of the women would hang out with him one on one precisely because he takes the joke too far and makes it awkward for everyone.

          • eselle28

            Yeah, "Hey, I'd do that!" might be said facetiously, but what's really the joke there? If the thing being highlighted is that he really would be happy to volunteer and that he's perfectly aware that she isn't interested in him for whatever reason, that's an awkward-making joke. The good sex jokes I hear generally have some other funny component to them, or are absurdist because the disinterest is mutual and everyone knows it.

          • thathat

            There are friends that I trust enough to talk–and sometimes joke–about sex with. Part of BEING that comfortable is being aware of the reasons that I'm not gonna sleep with X and that Y isn't into me so that when it's brought up–as a joke, which it sounded like an honest joke on her part–we're not gonna be hurt about it.

            Don't joke on a personal level if you're not willing to get a little of that back, is what I'm saying.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            No, everyone knew it was a joke. Her statement could also have been a joke, so everyone was laughed. It just hit a sore spot, and she was actually, while joking, telling the truth.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            And were you not? I guess this is my point. You were both kidding-not kidding and you both knew what the serious answer was.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Hmm. Not with her, for me it was, like, "whait, let me show you, I have that masculine performance you're describing down by now" and her statement said "no, you don't, because you can't, because you're not tall enough." It wasn't really about her lack of attraction to me personally, it was a performance thing that felt independent of our relationship. I don't know how to put this better. It was like saying you can try as hard as you like with your acting lessons, but you're never gonna get that part, the casting agents look for something else.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Let me try it a different way. What would your reaction had been if her response was "oh really? Prove it."

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            I did. I gently pushed her against the wall and said "you're a very bad girl", in a very sexy voice. And then we both laughed.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Officially too complex to post-mortem in text. 🙂

          • You're disgusting.

    • Max

      If you look closely, just next to Jupiter up there in the sky, you can spot the point of this article passing directly over fivethreemidget's head.

      • enail0_o

        All the pluses!

    • Try being 5'3?

      Try being black. Try having people think you're nothing but a thug and gangster no matter how hard you work and how much educated you are and how much you don't portray stereotypes.

      I've had close friends and numerous girls say they won't date black guys, or that their parents won't approve. Oh fucking well. That just means my dating pool is smaller and they're not worth my time then.
      I can put a whole lot of other traits that make a dating pool smaller. It's up to you to making your dating life work in spite of them.

      As Marty said, any number of traits can limit your dating pool.

      • OtherRoooToo

        " any number of traits can limit your dating pool. "

        You'd better believe it. Especially if you're a woman of color who keeps running into men of color who think "women" = (all)white.

        "I've had close friends and numerous girls say they won't date black guys, or that their parents won't approve. Oh f*cking well. That just means my dating pool is smaller and they're not worth my time then. "

        This all sounds fine … unless you are, ipso facto, deliberately de-selecting women of color from your dating pool.

        Because then – especially as a woman of color (and especially as one who looked up your rather impressive pedigree online and doesn't know anything about robotics but could probably match you move for move in a chess or Scrabble tournament, if either of those is your thing) – your upset sounds a bit too eerily much like mixed-race Elliot's complaint that "hot blondes" wouldn't have him for my taste … if you know what I'm talking about, and I think you do.

        Penso che sia una vergogna. Ero stato ansioso di fare la vostra conoscenza (I received one of my degrees in DC).

        • I've had the discussion on de-selecting women of color before. I myself don't de-select them. I know multiple people that do, and we've got into a ton of arguments.

          But I do see your point. I made another comment earlier here that I see some scary similiarities to Elliot, which I'm working on. Too similar to where I won't sleep comfortably.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            That''s not an easy thing to admit and kudos to you for owning up to it. If there's anything we can do to help, let us know.

          • OtherRoooToo

            “I've had the discussion on de-selecting women of color before.”

            I’m sure you have – of course I know well how most of those chapters and verses go – but given that then, I’m sure you’ll understand how (especially to me or someone who looks like me – and that’s a wide spectrum of ladies) very much more “WTH did he just say – and why TH did he just say it???” it makes your first “who has it worse”-esque comment sound.

            ProTip: If one doesn’t want to be treated like a thing, perhaps it’s best to make people who might resemble one an awful lot not feel like things either.

            Just because one is a scientist and we’re all carbon-based lifeforms, it doesn’t make us feel any less like objects.

            And also, just like slimmer women of good character don’t tend to date men who openly express fat hate and ridicule their larger friends … well, you’re a scientist. I assume you’re highly proficient in both inductive and deductive reasoning and as a result you’d know where I’m going with that.

            “I know multiple people that do”

            I wouldn’t want those people in my own dating pool in any event, but personally I hope Jason Sanchez isn’t one of them. Si no está casado, le digo una señorita cariñosa que habla su lengua manera y está impresionada con su trabajo le gustaría mucho a su encuentro uno de estos días. 🙂

            PM me on the forums if you’d like. I know a lot of people in DC Metro. If you’re not meeting anyone you particularly like, perhaps we try and could help one another.

          • Haha I'm a scientist in training (still working on my bachelors, but thank you 🙂 ), but your point definitely resonates and is very very true. I'll keep that in mind even if I'm married to my future career.

          • OtherRoooToo

            Well, the offer is open (at least for the time being).

            It's obviously an issue that's spent at least some time occupying your brainspace,and it's never too early to network (no matter how much time one *thinks* one has to "take care of that later").

            AMOF, I've observed that the subcultures of folks who are most successful at preserving their heritages, in general, seem to be the ones who start the earliest with that kind of networking and are consistent with it — as well as the obverse, and I think you know what I mean by that too.


          • Poor you.

            Men are a disease.

          • Dr_NerdLove

            Slow your roll or you're going to make the auto mod list in record time.  —Sent from Mailbox

          • Conreezy

            Oh, do I get to be a virus or bacteria?

            Well, body hair is protein, so I guess that could be considered a capsid…nevermind, I figured it out.

      • Same boat, brother, same boat. I also agree with the responses.

        Sometimes, we forget that many qualifying (or disqualifying) factors in dating, sex, and attraction includes race. Keeping it limited to black men (because black women have their own challenges, white people in America are numerous, and other races have similar troubles – but I can only speak for myself), the constant social pressure to be this and how you "don't act black" (whatever that means…) can be frustrating. Like we said, it just shortens the dating pool, because we'd all like to find the right ones, and is she really the right one to date/sleep with if she has a problem with your skin color? Hell no.

        Does it suck that many people claim their (lack of) attraction to "black guys" has much to do with the stereotypes and how well you (don't) follow them? Yeah. But soldier on, treat everyone well, don't look at women as objects, don't be ashamed that you're not having sex (enough), and be the best damn guy you can be. I'm doing what I can to improve my life, too. Let's prevent another Elliot Rodger story in this world.

    • LeeEsq

      There are lots of people who possess certain physical traits that make the entire dating process more difficult. Short men, tall women, overweight people of both genders, and people with various physical handicaps. It sucks. I feel the same way at times but you can't make people date who they don't want to date. To do so otherwise would be really sick. People have the right to like what they like. Is there any physical trait that you find so unattractive in women that it would act as deal breaker for you? If the answer is yes than women have a right to reject you because of their deal breakers.

      • Frank

        "Is there any physical trait that you find so unattractive in women that it would act as deal breaker for you? If the answer is yes than women have a right to reject you because of their deal breakers."
        And they still have that right even if the answer is no. (Not implying you were saying otherwise, just emphasizing)

    • HermitTheToad

      To the shorter than average men with toxic attitudes on this thread,

      Thanks for being the poster children for every negative stereotype about how shorter men have complexes. Truly, it makes it easier for the rest of us to be seen in a positive light….NOT.

      • thathat

        Truthy fact–I tend to be attracted to shorter guys. Truthy fact the second–but that attraction fades in a quick-fast hurry if they seem bitter about it.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          I sense great truthiness in this one.

        • HermitTheToad


          I'm sorry to read that the men you were interested in thought you were intimidating for your height. Personally, I feel it's silly; as if a woman's height and/or weight is threat to MY masculinity!

          • HermitTheToad

            Shit, that comment was @shaenon upthread. Sorry.

    • Stubbikins

      I know men shorter than you that have no problem.

      You are blaming some shallow trait as if women are all THAT shallow and stupid (and as if the only thing a woman exists for is to get you laid).

      Millions of women are shorter than 5'3" and have no issue with height. Your mental issue with your height is what is unattractive, not your actual height.

  • FortyYearOldVirgin

    Doctor Nerdlove,

    "And that difference is all about entitlement, pain and hate. You see it all over the language in Roger’s rant; he complains about how he’s been snubbed, about how he’s been “denied” sex, about how he’s been judged “unworthy” despite being “the supreme gentleman” and a “true alpha male”. He says that if he can’t have them, then the only thing left to do is to destroy them."

    I totally agree with your point about the toxic stew.

    But to make this crime mostly about structural narratives instead of one person's mental problems to adequately process social narratives, is, I believe, as understandable as it is wrong. We need to talk about toxic masculinity more, but even in a world without misogyny there would be mentally ill people running amok. I mean you answer that question yourself: Take the quote above.

    If there *were* indeed such a strong social imperative to develop such a crazed entitlement and act on it based on one's genitals, I suppose that I, as an almost 40yo 'almost (involuntary is debatable) virgin" should have certainly developed one. And yes, there were times when I blamed women for my misery, then my height, then x, and then y. People need explanations when things don't work out the way they're supposed to.

    And of course, being a 40yo incel *does mean that I am defective* in some sense, it means that women would be rightly concerned about what that means psychologically if I let them in on the secret and if they let me into their lives. Of course that's not normal, of course that's course for concern, of course that's not making things easier. To pretend that this doesn't matter is absurd. Things don't magically don't matter because we don't want them to not matter. At least not in the real world.

    Of course, I am *my problem*. Rodger's problem was that he couldn't see that he was his – and that he murdered people because of his inability to deal with it. But *that* is not a structural social narrative of masculinity, it's some kind of narcissistic personality trait, potentially a disorder.

    I like what you said in another post on tumblr-

    "So like I said: imagine a world where you didn’t grow up with that message. Where sex was just sex,a way of connecting with people, instead of the measure of somebody’s worth."

    I'd like that very much. And I think it's the core problem of masculinity more than femininty. Nobody ever asks: what makes a woman. It's much harder for men. We don't have that much beyond "being wanted" that defines us *as men*. Sure, if you're a happy *person* and you have a lot things going on in your life, you may be able to deal with that. But it will still hurt, and it will still leave you with a feeling of sexual (or genetic?) worthlessness – even if you understand social dynamics, even if you are popular with women except sexually, even if you read blogs like DoctorNerdLove.

    I don't know how to fix this. I certainly know – and I fundamentally believe – that a feeling of sexual worthiness is important. And given the way male and female desire are layered onto our social reality, that means that developing that worthiness as a young man, as man of any age, independent of success with women, is very, very hard, if not outright impossible.

    I would say that the entitlement that is apparent in our culture and so much more in Elliot Rodgers videos is a consequence not so much of cultural misogyny but of that lack of male sexual self-worth. Since that lack is very common in men, I am glad that very, very few men become as driven by their lack of self-worth induced hatred as Elliot Rodgers.

    Certainly, these crimes happened against a social background. But it's not a crime that happened *because* of it. Also, I am a little sad that the general narrative of "he hated women" also leads to the male murder victims being hardly mentioned in any of the articles, because so many people are using this atrocity for their own spin.

    PHMT, I suppose?

    • Maximilian

      "And of course, being a 40yo incel *does mean that I am defective* in some sense, it means that women would be rightly concerned about what that means psychologically if I let them in on the secret and if they let me into their lives. Of course that's not normal, of course that's course for concern, of course that's not making things easier. To pretend that this doesn't matter is absurd. Things don't magically don't matter because we don't want them to not matter. At least not in the real world. "

      Thank you for putting this infinitely better than I ever could.

      • Max

        The problem is that guys focus on the virginity, and not on the underlying cause of being a virgin. Virginity at older ages isn't a disease, it's a symptom of a huge variety of things, a lot of which we don't have control over.

        • Maximilian

          It isn't a disease no, but it has a similar stigma surrounding it.

          • Max

            Then change the stigma. Be that over-20 virgin who's also a totally a cool fun guy and doesn't have any entitlement or misogynistic issues at all.

          • Maximilian

            Cool fun guy is open to interpretation to be something to actively aim for but I'm certainly not entitled or misogynistic.

            I'd go as far as saying I'm the complete opposite of those two terms, it doesn't change the response when people find out I'm 25 and a virgin from laughing or treating me like an even bigger invalid.

          • thathat

            Maybe you're just hanging out with crappy people?

          • Maximilian

            Quite amusingly the people I used to hang around with before I turned myself into a shut-in are now all married/engaged with their own houses and kids.

            Its just the way society is these days, people are having kids younger and younger (certainly not always a good thing) so it's making the fact there are people like myself out there, stand out that much more.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Over the last three decades, women have been waiting longer to start having children. In 1970 the average age of a first-time mother was about 21. In 2008 the average age was 25.1

          • Maximilian

            Not where I live, GJ. Granted, that means sod all when it comes to DNL but there you go.

            Jeremy Kyle's pension relies on teenage mothers. Shall I break it to him or are you going to?

          • Gentleman Johnny

            The plural of anecdote is not data. The fact that there are enough teenage mothers to supply a talk show proves nothing about overall trends.

          • Maximilian

            And overall trends, particularly American ones, prove nothing in relation to the life I have lived and continued to do so.

          • enail0_o

            I think location is relevant to a lot of circumstances and attitudes one encounters. The good part of that is that moving to somewhere different can make such a difference in terms of the kinds of people you meet, what is considered 'normal' and so forth. The bad part, of course, is that moving can be a pretty difficult goal to achieve.

          • Maximilian

            They told me that would be the case when I went to University.

          • enail0_o

            It is for many people; that's too bad that it wasn't for you. Even with a different location, sometimes it takes some effort and/or luck to meet the right people.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            They also say that the only thing all your experiences have in common is you.

          • Maximilian

            And that they can be brushed aside if they're different to person X's.

          • And that seems to have been true for Mr. Rodger. Any kind of change of location seems to have thrown him into pretty major turmoil, at least temporarily.

          • thathat

            I've known plenty of people who get happily married and have kids and houses, but are still jerks.

          • Maximilian

            Really? Blimey, how pitiful must I be? Luckily the kind people of DNL frequently tell me so I'm sure they'll be along shortly to settle this one.

          • thathat

            Gotta admit, buddy, my feeling is that the playing field started level, but you brought your own shovel.

            I mean, I'm fairly new here, but a lot of your comments seem to be spiteful, whiny, and full of sarcastic self-pity. You obviously believe everyone here hates you and that you're unjustly maligned. You rarely seem to want to talk about what everyone else is talking about, and somehow pull most threads into a discussion of how mean everyone is to you. I don't know what the deal is, but I know who looks less like the person I'd want to have a conversation with.

          • Maximilian

            Thanks. You're too kind.

          • thathat

            Look, I just don't get you. I don't get your comment. What does "how pitiful must I be" even mean in this context? Because until that, I wasn't saying anything about you being pitiful or not. You said the people in your life treat you badly because you're a virgin. I said they must be crappy people, because that's a lousy reason to make fun of someone. That's not on you, that's on them. You responded by saying that they're married with kids and houses as if that somehow makes people not jerks.

            I don't get it. Not being married or having kids or a house doesn't make anyone pitiful. The world doesn't balance, and thinking that those things go only to the deserving, and that everyone who can't manage that at the very least must be lesser than the people who get it is a dangerous line of thought that, frankly, is a little too close to the sort of thing that starts the whole mess of "Why those a-holes and not me?!" rage.

          • Maximilian

            You're the one that called them jerks, ergo you have the problem with them not me.
            I know why I am in the position I am, I offer nothing to anybody. It isn't an a-hole's fault, or a woman's fault, or the fact my legs don't work – it's on me.

            I don't live, I exist. Thats the one bit BiSian got wrong when they said I lived a "sad and pathetic life" – the last word. Doesn't apply.

          • thathat

            I don't have a problem with them. I don't know them, and I don't want to know them. But you keep talking about people mocking your for not having had sex, and I'm saying the people who do that are not very good people or good friends. That's on them, and you're the one talking about the negative crap they bring into your life.

            I feel like you're always having a conversation that is slightly to the left of what everyone else is talking about.

          • Maximilian

            You realise this is an article about people/society mocking others for not having had sex right?

            I don't know them anymore, like I've said I'm a shut-in. They're happily married with houses and kids on the way, why would they bother with me. The world won't miss me if I don't wake up in the morning.

          • thathat

            Then be the sort of person the world will miss. You don't have to leave your house for that. That's kind of the beauty of the internet–even if you can't leave your home, even if physically doing things is difficult for you, you can interact with other people, share jokes and insights, listen to them, comfort them, make them laugh, talk about nerdy shows and great books, share stupid gifs and profound stories.

            But again with a slightly-to-the-left comment. That's not what this article is about. This is an article about a young man who felt so entitled to being given sex that, when sex did not just come to him, he went out and took actual human lives. He wasn't angry because people made fun of his virginity–he felt that the world owed him a girlfriend and that women were mocking him by simply not having sex with him while having sex with other people.

          • Ethyl

            That is really not what this article is about, nor is it what the perpetrator described in his voluminous internet presence leading up to the tragic events this weekend. But nice job turning yet another thread into The Maximillian Show.

          • shaenon

            "You realise this is an article about people/society mocking others for not having had sex right? "

            No it's not. And the fact that you think it is–that your takeaway from a horrific real-life murder spree committed by a guy who felt the world owed him pussy is, "Aw, poor dude, isn't it sad how he felt sad about not getting laid? Everyone feel sad for me too!"–is fucking scary.

            Not pitiful. Scary.

          • enail0_o

            "I know why I am in the position I am, offer nothing to anybody."

            Is that something you'd want to change?

          • Maximilian

            Yes, but not in the way you'd want me to talk about.

          • enail0_o

            Okay, just thought I'd ask.

          • Maximilian

            I don't begrudge you that.

          • Max

            Do you think you're a cool fun guy? Don't think about what other people think of you, how do you think of yourself?

          • Maximilian

            Useless sack of manure on wheels was my last self-synopsis.

          • Maximilian

            Why is this getting thumbed down? I thought you all agreed with me on this one.

          • enail0_o

            I don't know about the thumbs-downers, but for my part, I'd describe you as deeply focused on your own unhappiness, resentful and sometimes frustrating to talk to, which is fairly different from thinking you a useless sack of manure on wheels. I'd guess others feel that as well.

            Though I see very little of you here, and much of that does not strike me as your best, I think there's definitely evidence that there's more to you than you think there is. I'll take your word for it on the wheels part, though.

          • Maximilian

            The thumb-downers don't make their true feelings known, but others on here have and it isn't any higher than my own

          • enail0_o

            I think you may be wrong about that. Your feelings about yourself are pretty extreme, I'd be surprised if many people here, even ones who dislike or are annoyed with you, felt that negatively about you.

          • Maximilian

            "Self-absorbed wretch pity troll" and "sad and pathetic life"

            Yeah, its pretty close.

          • enail0_o

            I don't know. I'd put my estimation of someone I thought was a useless sack of manure below someone I thought was a self-absorbed wretched pity troll and far, far below someone I thought had a sad and pathetic life.

          • Maximilian

            Oh well, they all mean they don't want me around.

          • shaenon

            Then stop being unpleasant to be around.

            Look, I've struggled with depression all my life. I know how easy it is to get into these loops of self-loathing. And I've learned from bitter experience that barging into conversations and trying to rope people into playing the "convince me to stop beating myself up while I argue and insult you and get increasingly angry at you for not being able to stop me" game is not a good way to make friends. Nobody enjoys that game.

            Learn from my experience. Save these conversations for your therapist. With other people, maybe talk about something other than yourself.

          • dddd

            If people ind out you're 25 and a virgin and they laugh at you, then fuck them. So you're a virgin/? So what? They are jerks. First of all, you can definitely find people who wouldn't care. You could also hire someone to have sex with you.

    • You know what, I had a whole diatribe about how offensive this is, but I'll leave it at this, because I am so angry I can hardly speak coherently.
      Your misogyny-denalism is offensive because this man murdered 6 men and women /because he hated women/. It happened /because/ he lived in a culture that encouraged and supported that hatred of women.
      Your ableism is offensive. People who are mentally ill, who have disordered, are /less/ likely than "normal" people to be violent, and more likely to be victims of violence. Stop trying to separate this guy out from the rest of us with mental illness. It's gross, and only perpetuates [preemptive] violence against the mentally ill. He wasn't crazy, he didn't have a disorder, he just absorbed the lesson that women are holes for him a little more strongly than the average man.
      And you know what's really offensive? How you're trying to turn this into how badly men have it. Like, seriously, " We don't have that much beyond "being wanted" that defines us *as men*"?????? Like, for thousands of years, "being wanted" has been the only thing that defined women. Like, "being wanted" was literally the only thing women could aspire to, and it was the only power we had and once that was gone, or if we never had it, we were screwed. To this day, elderly women are the most in need of social care because an ugly woman who can't support herself is /really/ in trouble. Like, you want to turn this into "poor men", who need to be made to feel even more special about themselves than they already are made to?? WTF is wrong with you?

      • FortyYearOldVirgin

        Sadly, Kathleen, your reaction, though maybe understandable, is reinforcing the very stereotype you appear to believe is part of the problem.

        Kathleen Henry-

        "Like, you want to turn this into "poor men", who need to be made to feel even more special about themselves than they already are made to?? WTF is wrong with you?"

        Doctor Nerdlove (http://drnerdlove.tumblr.com/post/86730939831/shame-virginity-mras-and-the-uc-santa-barbara)

        "And – critically – men cannot show weakness. To show weakness or emotion makes you less of a man; it makes you a pussy. Not even a woman, just a part of a woman, something to be fucked by “real men”. There’s no question that Roger was in deep, emotional pain. But our culture tells men that they keep that shit inside. You don’t let that out. You don’t let it show. You hide that shit. Because real men don’t hurt. Real men don’t cry and they sure as shit don’t ask for help."

        • Dr_NerdLove

          You're confusing someone getting annoyed at derailing a topic with shaming a man for having emotions.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            No, I'm saying that *that* is part of the topic, even if it's not entirely congruent with the current specific narrative about "misogynist extremism". If *that* is already considered derailing, then I really don't know.

          • Kathleen Henry

            Uh huh. Yeah, you missed the point. The point is not that you should feel bad for having emotions. The point is that there is a time and a place. This is a conversation about how women's lives are in danger. Constantly. Because men rate their emotions as more important than the rights of women to safety, and autonomy.
            And you're trying to turn it into a conversation about how important men's feelings are. Gross. Really gross.
            If you want people to respect your feelings, learn to express them in respectful and respect-worthy ways, /just like every one else/. /no one's/ feelings re more important than the safety of others.

          • Maximilian

            But isn't the article itself about men?

          • Yeah, and also how society teaches men that they are entitled to women. No one is saying that it's not okay to feel bad if you can't achieve whatever standard means "I am wanted" to you. What I am saying, is that in a conversation that is at least in part, centred around the danger men pose to women because of their attitudes, turning the conversation into being about how men's feelings need to be catered to – in lieu of learning how to deal with them in the same way women are expected to "deal with it" when our emotions are inconvenient to others – instead of calling out and recognizing attitudes that actively promote harm to others is gross.
            That's what FortyYearOldVirgin's premise was. That it's not hatred of women – that it's not a society that promoted and encouraged that hatred of women – women being killed by men who feel rejected is because men do not have their self-esteem sufficiently propped up. In short, it's not that we live in a society that devalues women, it's that we don't live in a society that doesn't sufficient value men. That's gross.

          • Maximilian

            "how society teaches men that they are entitled to women"

            I agree with most of your comment but disagree on this bit. Society teaches males and a number of females that a male not to be having or had sex beyond age X isn't normal and makes them lesser to people who are. Where those males take that is down to both them and the people/places they find their personal 'solace'. Some, like myself, take it down the route of self-hate and believing I'm not worthy for reason X, Y and Z.
            Elliot obviously took it down the route of blaming the world and society rather than anything he was doing, until it reached it's tragic conclusion.

          • Yeah, and I'm pretty sure that commercials like this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtN5RsBUx8M, like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndV_TDHQ3sw, and oh, every action movie in which man saves woman, woman falls head over heels for man, speak otherwise.
            We live in a society that teaches young boys that "getting the girl" is a reward for completing x action, where x = basically everything not related to putting the work in. "personal growth" gets the girl (Ted), lying about who you are gets the girl (the dictator), saving the world (half of all action movies ever), saving the girl (the other half). Basically, everything except showing her that you'd be a good partner (in non life-threatening situations), building chemistry, and, crucially, being respectful of her autonomy and treating her choices as valid. Sometimes, the love interest doesn't ever get asked out, just swept into the hero's arms and kissed.
            That's literally building an expectation that non-relationship related actions will lead to relationships, that personal growth (or the facsimile thereof) will be "rewarded" with relationships.
            So, yeah, you can disagree that it exists, and yes, the rest of everything you said /also/ happens, but your disagreement or agreement doesn't actually affect what's out there.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Not disagreeing – but here's how you can also look at that: Guys learn that they aren't (sexually) valuable on their own, but only through the stuff they do. Which is basically rephrasing what I said about lack of male self-worth.

          • No. Feeling entitled to someone's else's body, and believing that that person is not actually a person with the same right to autonomy and choice of partner that you are is not the same thing as not having esteem without a partner.
            Yes, we live in a society that devalues men and some without partners. But your initial position that men are more greatly devalued for not having partners than women are is complete bs. and gross bs at that.
            And again, "you are nothing without a partner" is not the same as "you deserve to have a partner for [wearing this hairspray/lying to her about who you are/giving yourself internal validation/getting up in the morning and putting pants on]"

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Sorry, but what are you talking about? Did you actually read my comment?

            "But your initial position that men are more greatly devalued for not having partners than women are is complete bs. and gross bs at that."

            Not that it is particularly relevant to my point, but I've also not said this. I've said that defining oneself (probably) harder for men than it is for women because masculinity seems like a much more complex and fragile social construct than feminity.

            "And again, "you are nothing without a partner" is not the same as "you deserve to have a partner for [wearing this hairspray/lying to her about who you are/giving yourself internal validation/getting up in the morning and putting pants on]""

            And yes, again, I don't know which of your buttons my comment pushed, but I really don't understand what your point is. Everyone agrees entitlement is bad. The only question I'm wondering about is: where does it come from, and how to avoid it: My suggestion: Avoid entitlement by helping men have more (sexual) self-worth. How? I don't know. But saying (like you do) that guys are raised to expect something for *DOING* something, and not for BEING themselves is basically saying what I'm saying: that men need a way to feel good about themselves independent of external (female) validation. And when you're saying that not having that social discourse would help reduce "entitlement" then we're basically making the same point, except you insist on everyone using your wording…

          • Maximilian

            I pretty much repeated what the Doc says in the article, yet I get 2 thumbs down for it.

            This place is ace.

          • eselle28

            You can't really expect people to give a thumbs up to your statement that self-hate is the way to go, no matter what else the comment states.

          • Maximilian

            What? I didn't say that in the slightest!

          • eselle28

            "Where those males take that is down to both them and the people/places they find their personal 'solace'. Some, like myself, take it down the route of self-hate and believing I'm not worthy for reason X, Y and Z."

            I suspect if you'd left this bit out, people wouldn't object to your comment.

          • Maximilian

            What, if I didn't speak from experience?

            At no point in that do I say its the correct route that everyone should take as you're implying.

          • eselle28

            Comparing it to the choice made by a mass murderer and leaving out other possible options tends to suggest that, as does your general commenting history. I am going to say that, yes, your comments are judged more critically because they're by you and you have a history of asking people to agree with your negative take on the world (and complaining loudly when people don't). But I also think that if you made comments that omitted your self-loathing more often, or even considered contributing on subjects that didn't relate to you at all, people would have a more positive opinion of you.

          • Maximilian

            Nowhere in that comment did I say my choice was a good one and nowhere in that comment did I say it was the only alternative to the one Elliot Rodger took. No matter how much you seemingly want to imply that I did.

            I have no experience of those topics, so I make no comment on them. Me commenting on the Doc's articles about sex would be absolutely pointless because I have no experience of it and have nothing to say on the matter.

          • eselle28

            I read it as such, and again, that's in part because you regularly make similarly negative comments. I wouldn't be surprised if others read your comment the same way.

            It might be worth considering joking around with people or joining in when topics digress to pop culture. I've found that people who make controversial comments whose posts are still generally read with an open mind tend to do that.

          • Maximilian

            People don't read my comments, they read what they want into my comments, as you yourself just admitted.

            The majority of people who post on here live completely different lives to me and have no interest in finding out what I've got to say, they've already decided. So I'll stick to topics I know about and post my experiences of them, what people read into them and decide they know about me is up to them.

          • eselle28

            I'd say it's more that writing always ends up being interpreted, and someone's general worldview and past history will generally be part of that interpretation.

            Fair enough. I only mention this because you seem to be unhappy with the reactions of other commenters to you. (Seriously, if you're leaving it up to others, why even bother complaining about getting downvotes?)

          • Maximilian

            Oh of course, it helps when its being interpreted by someone who wants you to say something and will twist the words to make it so.

            I'm not complaining I think it's brilliant, because when I'm repeating the article they're all praising I find it highly amusing that I get abuse for it. Like the other article where I broke down Forever Alone, got a ton of thumbs down and then people actually read the comment and apologised to me.

          • eselle28

            You repeated it and then decided to insert your usual cry of despair. That bit wasn't in the original article

            For whatever it's worth, I think you deserved those down votes in the forever alone discussion, for yet again taking a comment about something that didn't have much to do with you and turning it to your pet subject. But enough of your derailing. An article about murders shouldn't turn into one about how poor Maximilian's comments aren't received well on a discussion forum that's basic point of view is completely different from his own.

          • Maximilian

            For "cry of despair" read my experience. As someone I'd consider closer to the target audience of this article than most of the people on this website, I figured my experience might be worth posting. Apparently not. Again.

            Wait, breaking down a term used twice by the emailer and once again by the Doc himself was making it about me?

            In fact I didn't mention my experience in that comment at all, it was literally the dictionary definitions of the 2 words and a comment saying something along the lines of "Good news, you're not forever alone"

          • eselle28

            Except that you're not the target audience of this website. This is an advice site. You don't want advice because you don't want to change. That's the basic reason why you keep butting heads with everyone else here.

            It was making it about your pet issues, yes.

          • Maximilian

            I said this article not this website. I know that 95% of this website isn't aimed at me, the articles about 20+ year old virgins and the perception of them in society, they are. Hence I used the words "this article"

          • eselle28

            I read the article more broadly than you did. As I said above, interpretations vary.

          • Maximilian

            Very true. For example I didn't read the bits about male entitlement in any great detail because [[life experience you don't want to read about]]

          • I am surplus to requirements.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            I used to read what you had to say, MM. In fact, when you first started posting, I tried to engage you on the exact issues that you brought up. You made it clear very quickly that you weren't interested in doing anything about them, just expressing your bitter resignation to them. So now if I engage at all, its to point out to others that while yes, your feelings are common, there are things people who feel similarly can do besides self-loathing.

          • Maximilian

            Thanks for your input.

          • Maximilian

            Oh hang on its GJ! The person who read my posts and tried to engage with me so much that he later accused me of being entitled, until it was ably pointed out that I blamed the fact I was a useless sack of manure who offered nothing to anyone for me being where I am today.

            I didn't realise it was you as the comment was attributed to "undefined" when I replied but I stand by my point of thanking you for your input.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            I'm sorry, but that comment makes it even less understandable to me how you would arrive at your interpretation of what I wrote.

            a) I agreed with the "toxic stew" of masculinity, including the entitlement aspect. So we agree on that, I suppose.
            b) I said that the biggest problem of Rodgers was that he didn't understand that *he was his problem" – which I by and large consider to mean "deal with it" (as you put it)
            c) I believe that we live in a society that devalues women, *AND* part of that is that we live in a society in which men don't feel sufficiently valued. It's not disagreeing with the observation, but adding a causal argument as to *why our society devalues women". And yes, I think that male lack of self-worth (particularly sexual) is a reason why patriarchy works the way it does.
            d) I did not ask anyone to prop up male self-esteem as you seem to imply. I said I have no idea how that could happen, but I do think it is an important *reason* for a significant part of the problems we usually talk about with respect to feminism and gender justice.

          • "But to make this crime mostly about structural narratives instead of one person's mental problems to adequately process social narratives, is, I believe, as understandable as it is wrong. "
            "It's much harder for men."
            "I would say that the entitlement that is apparent in our culture and so much more in Elliot Rodgers videos is a consequence not so much of cultural misogyny but of that lack of male sexual self-worth."
            "Certainly, these crimes happened against a social background. But it's not a crime that happened *because* of it."

            Own your words.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Three of those quotes support my point and the last comment I made, with the third one being slightly sloppily phtased, one is taken completely out of context.

            "Nobody ever asks: what makes a woman. It's much harder for men." [to define themselves as men]

            I don't know what your point? Are you arguing about marginal differences in wording? Are you angry that someone is reading this article differently and not entirely agreeing with your take?

          • Dude, please don't pretend that all positions are equal. I'm angry because your "reading" of the article is gross. The fact that you – like so many others have done in the past – are more concerned with distancing yourself from superficially similar attitudes and beliefs by denying that they are a wide-spread problem that needs a wide-spread solution than you are with actually working towards that solution, or even just further deconstructing the problem.
            You took special time to make it clear /you're/ not like him, but nevertheless, it's not the problems DNL talks about that are the cause of his behaviour, it's the same problems /you/ face that are the problem.
            My point is that your point – that misogyny isn't the problem, men's self-esteem is the problem, and this guy is really an isolated incident – is gross. Really really gross. I'm arguing that your what your wording expresses is gross, and I'm angry that you seem to think paying lip-service to the real problems that women (and yes, men, if were going to treat this shooting as an isolated incident) are being /killed/ over is sufficient.

          • [reposting for typo edits, and better summation]

            Dude, please don't pretend that all positions are equal. I'm angry because your "reading" of the article is gross. The fact that you – like so many others have done in the past – are more concerned with distancing yourself from superficially similar attitudes and beliefs by denying that they are a wide-spread problem that needs a wide-spread solution than you are with actually working towards that solution, or even just further deconstructing the problem, is gross.
            You took special time to make it clear /you're/ not like him, but nevertheless, it's not the problems DNL talks about that are the cause of his behaviour, it's the same problems /you/ face that are the problem.
            My point is that your point – that misogyny isn't the problem, men's self-esteem is the problem, and this guy is really an isolated incident – is gross. Really really gross. I'm arguing that what your wording expresses is gross, and I'm angry that you seem to think paying lip-service to the real problems that women (and yes, men, if were going to treat this shooting as an isolated incident) are being /killed/ over is sufficient.

            basically, I'm angry that your reading of this article, and the position you take on it, is "solve my problem first".

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Please don't Dude me.

            You're right that not all positions are equal, yet subjectively equally valid. Which is really the only reason why I can't tell you that you're completely wrong about what you read into my comment. I can, however, tell you that I can't follow your characterization of what I've said.

            My point is that lack of male self-esteem is *a reason for misogyny. That misogyny doesn't drop out of the clear blue sky, that there's a reason and a history, and that one of the elements, certainly one misunderstood and not sufficiently considered elementes thereof is the lack of male self-worth.

            I haven't asked anyone to solve anything. I'm merely saying that I believe it *is* a problem that is often overlooked, which, in a way, you're confirming.

          • Okay, there's an article basically every week about men's self-esteem, and how it needs to be separated from sex and violence. The subject comes up pretty regularly, so if that's your only point, you didn't need to make it. The connection between violence and men's self-esteem has never been ignored here, and I, frankly, have no trouble finding conversations about it elsewhere.
            I, however, am taking objection to your method of making that point, which was to devalue the importance of practical reinforcement of misogynistic behaviour and the devaluation of women as whole in perpetuating misogynistic behaviour, perpetuate the "it's not a cultural problem, this guy's just crazy" trope that contributes to discrimination and violence against the mentally ill as a whole, and just generally – whether you meant to or not – make the conversation about you, and how hard it is for men like you instead of -god forbid- acknowledging for one second that other people might actually be getting a shorter end of the stick than you and men like you.
            I understand your point. I object to and am disgusted by your choice of how to make it.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            [sarcasm]Well, sure Doctor Nerdlove is a pretty representative example for the way gender is discussed in America [/sarcasm]

            I said: "Certainly, these crimes happened against a social background. But it's not a crime that happened *because* of it."

            If you find that disgusting, be it. However, if at any point in the future, you may wonder why there is no real debate about all this gender stuff, it may be because the first thing you tell people is that you find their position disgusting, apparently without being able to adequately grasp it. Asking for empathy without being willing to even marginally demonstrate it, is rude. Of course, you'll think the same of my comments, but that's why it's probably best to end this conversation here.

          • If at any point in the future, you wonder why it is that society is exactly the same, it may be because people like you by deny that, in fact, the problem is caused by how society conducts itself.
            You have a nice day, now, and good luck with learning to express yourself in less gross ways.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            I'm sorry Kathleen, but, to me, this is a conversation about the reasons for the atrocity in California, and to which extent gendereed social narratives played a role in bringing it about That's the topic I replied to, and to which I contributed what I think is missing in the debate about "entitlement".

            So we appear to be in two different conversations, which explains why we're talking past each other. Something I do not agree with, though, is someone claiming to be able to decide what a conversation is about or isn't about. Texts are created not only by authors, but also by their readers – hence our two very different understandings. I'm not telling you what you're supposed to read into the post, or into my comment, although I certainly wonder about why you would read into it what you seem to have read into it. So please don't tell me that my interpretation is any less subjectively valid than yours, even if you don't like it.

          • See above.

        • OtherRoooToo

          "your reaction, though maybe understandable, is reinforcing the very stereotype you appear to believe is part of the problem. "


          Irony much?

      • dddd

        You know what is even MORE fucked up? Yeah, women can be defined by more than how we are wanted. But, even now if we are wanted that is the prime way women are defined. Like, ok, she has her PhD, but she doesn't even have a boyfriend – poor woman. But no GED and she has a boyfriend, well, it's ok then.

    • Mengsk

      "Nobody ever asks: what makes a woman. It's much harder for men. We don't have that much beyond "being wanted" that defines us *as men*. Sure, if you're a happy *person* and you have a lot things going on in your life, you may be able to deal with that. But it will still hurt, and it will still leave you with a feeling of sexual (or genetic?) worthlessness – even if you understand social dynamics, even if you are popular with women except sexually, even if you read blogs like DoctorNerdLove."

      It might not be as salient to you because you've never had to deal with it, but I guarantee you that women have to put up with a lot of the same shit– norms about what it means to be a "true women" that are conflicted and damaging. Though that said, I think that masculine norms (in this culture) are generally more isolating that feminine norms, though there are probably also circumstances where the opposite is true.

      I also disagree about the lack of sexual self-worth bit. It seems to be more general self-worth, or the fact that men feel like they can only secure it by having a certain kind of sex (the kind that happens with hot, young, non-"slutty" women).

      • FortyYearOldVirgin

        OK, but even if it's general self-worth, how would you address it if it comes from that certain kind of sex you mention and that is not readily available to most men?

        • Max

          The issue is that that is a terrible, awful place to get your self-worth from. I agree that the media tells us the opposite, which is why it's so important to speak up against it.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            I think we all agree about that. But where do we go from here? I mean, it's like telling a depressed person to "light up, the sun is shining." How do you help people feel good about themselves when they feel there's this gaping hole in their life, psychology, worldview? I mean, I'm sure that's possible in individual therapy, to a degree, but as a social narrative? I think this is really the black hole of all "masculinity" discussions – as soon as we go beyond "person" or human being and wonder about gendered identities, there's really nothing but gendered interaction that defines it, don't you think? What else is there for a social narrative, really, I'm asking?

          • Mengsk

            You lost me towards the end there, but my impression is that there are actually a lot more ways for men to achieve self-actualization (or whatever you want to call it) than you'd think. There are a lot of competing cultural messages out there. For example, despite the fact that religion is often associated with traditional gender roles, many religious communities allow people to ground their self conception through acts of charity, compassion, and piety. That might not be your flavor of self actualization; my point is more that it is one of many alternatives to the whole "become a man by penising something" narrative that dominates mainstream culture. And the nice thing about culture is that we can create and change it by making contributions to the communities that we're a part of. Or if that sounds too hard you can join a different community whose values you find more healthy and who will give you healthier (and more realistic) paths towards self-worth.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            No, I don't think you really lost me, I think you got that quite right. I agree with what you say about self-actualization – actually, it's what I said, I suppose: Each individual can find ways to feel valuable in one way or another. But again – once you introduce gender into this, once it becomes not only about feeling valuable as a person, a human being, but about feeling valuable *as a man* or *as a woman* what options are there for affirmation beyond *gendered/sexualised interactions*? Particularly with respect to social narratives – I mean, I suppose someone could also find their calling as a male in a religious chastity ritual, but that's not somethign I'd say has much potential as a helpful social narrative about masculinity? I mean, I'm really asking? What is masculinity? In the end it's a set of collectively agreed behavioral patterns that are defined by being a) not part of the agreed upon set of "femininity" and b) considered to be by-and-large sexually attractive to heterosexual women.

            I mean, I think it makes (logical, not factual) sense to say: let's not have gender roles, let's not have masculinity or feminnity, lets not be defined by genitalia or our sexual desire at all. That certainly won't work, but it's a logically consistent position. But how would we define our gender without it being about *gender* is where I get lost. Because *that* is not a logically consistent position.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          By decoupling your sense of self worth from your ability to engage in sex and violence.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Yeah, again, I suppose that's possible on an individual level. But as a social narrative? I think this is really the black hole of all "masculinity" discussions – as soon as we go beyond "person" or human being and wonder about gendered identities and how people want to live a gendered identity, there's really nothing but gendered interaction that defines those identities, don't you think?

          • That's why you work to change it and educate people.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Given for a moment, that's true: why not a model of being a "real man" that's based primarily on being a decent human being?

            If you absolutely must have something gendered, what about the duty of the strong to protect the weak?

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Sure, I think that does exist to some degree – "women and children first".
            Of course masculinity is defined in part about sacrifice. I think this does work better in societies that do need more protection or where there is social unrest or there are more spiders to kill. We have a state ensuring that with a standing army and police force and a "monopoly of violence". But yes, that's certainly one aspect that might work.

          • eselle28

            Perhaps a first step to that would be defining those in need of protection and the kind of protection they might need in some other way? There aren't so many women who are being physically attacked who you'll encounter on a regular basis, but there are plenty who are being harassed. There are also all kinds of other oppressed groups who might welcome an ally.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            It doesn't have to be just jumping in physically. As a man, you have a position of privilege. You're in a position to stand up and be listened to where others are being ignored. You're in a position to say "hey man, that shit's not good" and people will listen. When someone else is getting shit for being a virgin you can even stand up and say "dude, leave him alone'.

          • FortyYearOldVirgin

            Sure. I've never *experienced* someone getting shit about that directly. Including myself. It's more a concern about the guy's personality, weakness, lack of masculinity that is expressed behind the respective person's back. And it's rarely *men* doing that. So sure I can say something about, but I might not be willing to out myself. Doing that hasn't had horrible consequence for my social life, except that it fundamentally turned off women who were very interested before. Regularly. So, I'm going to be carefuly in that respect.

          • dddd

            Whoa. I really hope I'm misunderstanding here, but are you saying that if something must be gendered then we can talk about the strong protecting the weak, meaning strong men protect weak women?

            I hope I am wrong in my interpretation of your words. Men are generally physically stronger than women. It doesn't make women weak or men strong.

            Anyway, if things must be gendered then it could just be about men learning to listen. To each other, to women, to children.

          • Maximilian

            And what do you do for the other millions of people your age who have been brought up to think sex (or lack thereof) is what makes a man and continue to use virgin as an insult?

            Drop in the ocean springs to mind.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Slavery, women voting, integrated schools. They all started with that drop in the ocean.

          • Maximilian

            Yes and there is nowhere near the number of people persecuted by this ridiculing of males for being virgins at age X to have any sort of movement, so the comparisons are meaningless.

            If a guy killing 6 people isn't enough for society to start a debate on this socially accepted bullying, what grand gesture would be?

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Except its about more than being ridiculed for being virgins. There's a whole list of toxic expectations of "real men" that deserve to be challenged.

            And dude, look around, this is starting exactly that debate. It takes more than a weekend.

          • Maximilian

            The converted preaching to eachother isn't a debate. Its an echo.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Yeah, you have a point. If only there were people reading this who felt the same frustration this guy did. If only there were people willing to examine their own attitudes and see where this toxic bullshit has infected them. . .oh wait, there are.

            I wasn't really talking about just DNL, though. I'm sorry no one approached you personally about participating in the larger dialogue.

          • Maximilian

            There's the patronising bastard GJ, I know and love!

          • Dr_NerdLove

            Remember why you got that enforced time out? Dial it back.

            If you don't want people reacting to you the way they do, you can start by not being an asshole in the comments.

          • Maximilian

            Does that count for everyone or just me?

          • Dr_NerdLove

            That's on you. GJ gets considerably more leeway from me because he's been a valued contributor and – critically – doesn't crawl up on a cross to yell at people who've been trying to help him.

            Like I said: you don't want people to assume the worst about you? Quit giving them reason to. People have been giving you tips on how to do so. I suggest you listen to them.

          • Maximilian

            By giving them reason to do you mean post comments that they, by their own admission, don't read properly and then have to apologise for giving me crap because they didn't?

            Genuine question.

          • Dr_NerdLove

            The reason why people assume the worst is because you've been giving them reason to.

            Change how you behave and people will change how they react to you.

          • Maximilian

            At least we're now clear that the playing field is not level, the amount of freely accepted abuse I got in the thread before my little recess should have been a give away but thanks for clarifying.

            Now, back to abusing people and it's detrimental affects.

          • FLionJ

            This is really old but I will comment anyways. He means that you should be a "good poster" and agree blindly with each of his articles. Do not dare to post an opinion that slightly disagrees with him or any of his cult-following-fanatics. Really telling of his character. I mean, there you have this guy who offers advice to nerds about how they can develop character, yet can't take people having different opinions. Reeks of white knight, too.

          • Max

            The ocean is made up entirely of drops.

            You stand up for virgins being made fun of. You educate people. You live as a defining example that sex isn't what makes a man a man.

          • Maximilian

            And then what? Hope the next blockbuster movie with a socially awkward virgin character bombs rather than be quoted for the next 5 years?

          • Max

            Yup. And also you can not see that movie, and educate people around you about why that portrayal is hurtful.

            Or you could wallow in self pity and whine. It's never worked before, but maybe you're the exception.

          • Maximilian
    • dualityheart

      I met my husband when he was still a teenager (15). He was already convinced that he would "never have sex" because he didn't have many friends, was very shy and otherwise having trouble fitting in with his peers. I'm not sure what would have happened if I hadn't met him and (like the dominant type of person I am), initiated a relationship with him. He was interested in me, but his ways of showing his interest were so subtle that they were pretty much unnoticeable, like standing near me all the time while in a friend group or offering me something that I like that he just "happened" to have. Of course, I also made things for him, because in my experience, that's what friends do for one another (there is not power imbalance or "owing" someone). He might have grown out of it, he may not have. But even so, I've seen him grow into a good, well adjusted adult, husband, father, etc because he had a meaningful relationship with me where he could not find that anywhere else with peers.

      I think that when it comes down to it, a big thing that no one talks about in society is that heterosexual men not only are expected to "get" a woman, but she's basically his entire social and emotional support network. Women are encouraged (and start out early) to create extended social networks of other women to commiserate, care for one other, look out for each other, etc. This is historically because of the large amount of vulnerability that women had simply for being female in public, and even today, we still see it a lot.

      It's also why elderly men who lose their wives tend to die soon after if they don't find someone else. It's why men who are single tend to recover more poorly from a break up than women. It's why single men live shorter lives than women. It's not because a man deserves a woman to look after his mental health but the mental health and physical wellbeing of men is tied to using a woman as his singular outlet for emotional and psychological connection. This is not only unfair to women, but it's incredibly toxic for men.

      Men need positive, emotionally deep relationships with other men. Men NEED to have friends that they can rely on, who they don't just use as "wingmen" and do stereotypical dude things with, but who they can also discuss important stuff and lean on each other for support. They need relationships with other men that aren't singularly focused on "getting women," hating on women for not fucking them or sexual conquests.

      Some men have positive homosocial relationships, but so many more men do not, and they suffer greatly for it.

      I think that in the end, MRA communities often TRY to create "man friend" spaces, but they do so by bonding through misogyny and sexual frustration, which can only go so far- it creates superficial friendships (if you can call it that).

      • dualityheart


        Our society loves to glorify the man on his own, carving his own path and controlling his destiny (and the people around him) with a girl on his arm (whatever flavor is popular this month because she's a status item with a +50 sexual desirability stat, not a person), but the reality is that men and women are more than just characters in a show or tropes in a video game. We're flawed, complex and deeply emotional creatures with a thirst for social connection. The proliferation of gender roles, the dichotomy of behaviors assigned to our physical sex and the social stigmas attached to following or not following "the rules" should not be as important or tied to someone's inherent worth as they currently are. My personal dislike of wearing high heels shouldn't be a reason to get rid of that footwear (nor should my dislike of wearing high heels be seen as an argument against high heels for others), but I still shouldn't be shamed for not wearing them because of social conventions saying that women must wear high heels, nor should men be shamed if they enjoy wearing red stilettos. They're fucking shoes. That should be the end of it.

        So yeah, this rambled a bit. But I see my father, a man in his sixties. He has a core group of dude friends who he spends time with, who he goes backpacking with, who he goes out for a beer with. This kind of ongoing dudely friendship seems uncommon in men who are in their 40's and younger nowadays. There was this shift to hyper individuality and now I see heterosexual guys with maybe one or two friends who they rarely see once one or both get into a relationship, and they often end up drifting because of it. My female friends do not do this.

        So when it comes down to it, I really think that we need to create some kind of actual way to dismantle this complicated shit cake of shit. Because I'm fucking tired of having to worry that my children will be raped or that they will be rapists. That some man might see me walking down the street and think that my presence is proof that "all women don't want him" and then kill me or rape me or hit me with his car. That some woman I know might be raped or murdered because some guy was told that she belonged to him simply because he wanted her. That some man might commit suicide because he was told that either he was going to have a Manic Pixie Dream Girl mysteriously appear and fix his life or he'd die cold and alone, and that it was told to him like a mantra that became every bit a God Given Truth as the sun rising or the rain falling.

        So many of us were told that we were the chosen ones, that one day the magic sword or the damsel in distress or the world ending apocalypse that only we could deliver this world from would come and it would be "our time." Too bad the truth of the matter is that "our time" is now, and there is still so much to do and so much we can achieve even if it doesn't follow the storylines we're all used to.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          Not that it applies to your post more or less than anyone else's, but I'm going to go on a huge geek tangent here.

          Anyone here keep up with Green Lantern? They rebooted the DC Universe just as this whole huge arc with a full rainbow of lantern colors was wrapping up a major plotline. It was such a big thing, they ported it all to the New 52. For those who don't keep up, it goes something like this:
          Red – Rage
          Orange – Greed
          Yellow – Fear (more abut causing than feeling)
          Green – Will (roughly determination and/or self directed action)
          Blue – Hope
          Indigo – Compassion
          Violet – Love

          The current definition of masculinity is roughly that the middle is the ideal. Now the GL corps are generally portrayed as heroic but there's some obvious issues to "I will achieve my will without concern for anyone else". In fact, the current (as of a year ago) plotline involves the danger of basing an interstellar police force with an ultimate weapon on hyper individualism. There's no guarantee that a person of great will is going to be particularly heroic. Just being a pro-active "alpha" type isn't in itself enough to be a good person.

          The more important point is that in the view of masculinity espoused in the corners of the 'net that this guy hung out in, the first three are considered acceptable while the last three are considered weak.

          • dualityheart

            Weakness is having a definition of worthiness that totally crumbles under any deviation from strict norm and pecking orders. Weakness is telling people that if they don't adhere to these standards even ONCE that they're no longer allowed to be part of their sex/gender. They get kicked out of being a man (how can that actually even occur?!).

            As a woman, I cannot understand the idea of casting men out of their gender identity because of the "crime" of something as simple as showing emotion other than anger or aggression any more than I can understand the idea of women being cast out of being a woman for not being feminine enough. This is what toxic masculinity does. This is what the increasing level of gender role division between women and men does.

            And as far as I'm concerned, all of those ideas of what we "ought" to be can just go to hell.

    • Cat

      "Nobody ever asks: what makes a woman"

      I LOLed at this one. Seriously, they don't have to ask, we already know- just open your eyes when you check out at the grocery store, or watch the commercials on TV. Or the pink aisle in the toy story.

      I was blessed- I was raised by two feminists (three of you count my Grandmother). Some of the girls I work with do not have this blessing and I know thy feel alienated from their gender (public performance of chromosome type) because they do not fit the tiny norm forced down our throats of late (though admittedly the norm was never much wider most of my life)

      • Kazhulhu

        Same here. That sentence got me like nothing else.

        No one is asking, oh so philosophically, "what makes a woman" because men* don't care what makes a woman. They already "know". A collection of physical parts that they find appealing. Society as a whole (like you said) reinforces this everywhere we go. There is no escaping it.

        *This is a hyperbolic generalization of men, I don't think all men think this way. Normally, I wouldn't bother making this small footnote, but as of late it seems necessary with derailing topics on other sites and I have no expectations of this site being any different.

  • Regina

    People like this guy are actually a huge part of the reason that women are very hesitant to break out of the sexual gatekeeper mode We’ve been put into. it really makes you think twice about hopping into bed with someone when you realize that the guy with the nice car and polite manner might also be the guy who Kills 7 people and injures 13 others a couple days later.

    speaking for myself, I don’t hate men. I don’t like being put in the role of gate keeper. I don’t like denying sex to people who want it. But I have to protect myself, both my reputation and my physical body.

    honestly, people like this very broken man, would get farther if they would start playing the role of the protector and defender of women. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m far more likely to go home with the guy who stopped the people who are heckling me than the hecklers themselves

    • WaywardSon01

      On the other hand there's going to be a fine line between protector/defender and white knight. I I'd like to be the former, but I also know I can slip into the later. That's how my first, last, and only relationship ended VERY badly (though it also STARTED badly, even though I didn't see that at the time)

      • Sansa

        I don't know where this obsession with not beeing a white knight comes from…
        If you do a girl a favour because you wanted to do it, it will always be a good thing and most likely be perceived as such. But if you do a fovour because you are hoping to get something in return*, it will be the exact opposite and come off as needy and selfish… Most people sense wheter the former or the later is the case…
        *doing a favour because you think it's expected can lead to a similar effect I guess

        • WaywardSon01

          It's just whenever I hear words like "protector" or "defender" of women, it sorta brings to mind the douchebags like the Islamic fundamentalists who force (not advise, FORCE) women to wear burkas because it's the only way to "protect" them from the lusts of men or Christian fundamentalists who argue against proper sex education to "protect" women from the dangers (real, exaggerated, or totally ridiculous) that come with premarital sex. That it's just shifting from treating women like prey animals to treating women like chattel animals.

          And when I used the term "White Knight" I mean in the same sense the good Doctor uses here: http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2012/01/white-knigh… or how the protagonist behaves towards Hanako in her storyline in the "Katawa Shoujo" visual novel, either hyper-idolizing or patronizing women by acting as a hero or protector when it's really all about boosting his own ego at the cost of treating her like a child.

          I will admit that far too many men, especially online, take the opposite track and throw out the term "White Knight" to refer to anyone who treats women like people. And that is just plain bullshit. I'd like to think I try to treat women with respect because I want to be treated with respect and I want a world where people were kinder to each other in general. "Be the change you want to see in the world," and all that.

          I just sometimes worry that my own self-esteem issues might make me be the bad kind of white knight rather than the good kind. Like I said, patronizing my ex was part of the reason our relationship fell apart the last time. Goodness knows people can be very good at making selfishness look like altruism (for more on this watch "Puella Magi Madoka Magica.")

    • dave

      Ms. Regina- Nice try, but "white knight" acts come off as "trying to get in her pants" and phony, or else straight to the "dreaded frienzone"! Nice try,though!

  • Sorry Doc, people who are mentally healthy but frustrated about being virgins don't go around killing people for it. You might be taking the Doctor nickname a little too seriously, but I think you're off your rocker with completely throwing out mental problems as a reason for KILLING PEOPLE. Exceptions (men killing women for rejection) do not make the societal rule.

    • devicat26

      I think it's a great deal more complicated than 'HE WAS CRAZY'. If you read the article more carefully the Doc said while there certainly was sometime going on mentally it can't totally be summed up as HE WAS CRAZY because he wasn't. I think he got sucked into a cult-like mentality and got to a point where he couldn't take it.
      Every person that kills, and there are a lot of murders in a single day, are they crazy and that's that, no other reason for killing? Nice to know life is so black and white.
      Bonus: pulling the HE WAS CRAZY card tarnishes everybody who deals with mental illness. I deal with agoraphobia and panic attacks and I've never once thought everybody should die because they're living their lives free of constant terror unlike me.

      • There is a cult-like mentality with some, not all, but some MRA and PUA groups; although you should remember that he hated and wanted to kill men just as much as he hated and wanted to kill women. He said wanted to take revenge against humanity, not just women. Crazy people can seem very very sane. The reasons for the killing can trigger whatever mental illness they are suffering from. As someone who has mental illness, you should know much better than me that not all mental illnesses are created equal. It is a gross over simplification to say Rodgers did what he did because toxic masculinity due to societal virgin shaming. I know many older frustrated virgins, no thoughts or red flags or warning signs that they want to start killing people. If you really thought it wasn't black and white, you wouldn't flock to the idea that it was only the virgin shaming that made Rodgers do it.

        • Kathleen Henry

          Dude, 1) go back and review all those links about men killing women for rejecting them. If the cause of all that is "crazy", then we need to start talking about how our society encourages "crazy" in men, and masquerades it as "logical". These actions didn't happen out of nowhere. They're just at the extreme edge of a sliding scale of men's entitlement to treat women however they want. More moderate actions on the sliding scale include breaking things at a person, threats (online or in person), that thing guys do where they touch you where they want to touch you and expect you to stop them if you're uncomfortable, rather than asking first, and vilifying women who reject them (calling them "b*tches" etc).
          2) Seriously, you went from saying "you can't blame mental illness" to "it's mental illness' fault!" I'm seriously beginning to think you're just a person who can only argue, not dialogue.

          • devicat26

            yeah, don't. He's chosen his world-view and nothing is going to change it. Don't engage the troll.

          • Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I'm not dialoguing. I absolutely did say you can blame mental illness, mental illness is an extremely broad term and not all of them are created equal. The sort that sets you off killing people, just as example, is not the same as say forgetting the members of your family. My armchair thinking is that something else would have triggered the killing had Rodgers been successful in the areas he wanted to be. The links you refer don't prove anything in your favor, exceptions don't make the rule. Frustrated virgins normally don't talk about literally leaving mountains of skulls and rivers of blood in their wake.

          • devicat26

            No honey, because you've got your head up your ass and refuse to listen and apparently lack the ability to comprehend what words mean.

          • Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I'm not listening nor does it mean I can't comprehend what you're saying. You're too used to talking only to people who agree with you.

          • Max

            I'm starting to think it's time to give you the old Paul Rivers approach, aka ignoring your posts because it's always contrarian, and you defend your poorly-thought-out points to the death. It's not interesting anymore.

        • GagReflux

          Did you really just "NOT ALL MRA/PUAS/INCELS" this conversation? Lord almighty.

          • Yeah I did, I'm sorry the 'Not All' words raise your blood pressure, but it really is such an extreme case that to attribute this to all MRA's and PUA's in general (not the same thing btw) is just stupid and childish and isn't giving the situation the respect it deserves.

          • I should add that it's not like I'm saying that the toxic ideas inherent within the communities Rodgers immersed himself in can't be blamed for being catalysts mind you, I'm NOT defending toxic MRA"s and PUA's here Toxic mindsets set out by unspoken social rules obviously can and should be blamed, but they need to be put into perspective too.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Not all white supremacists kill people either. When one does, its maybe a good time to re-examine the toxicity of even more veiled "heritage" groups.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            I just woke up and read that as "not all marsupials". I'd use that as a new umbrella term but I'm afraid I'd wind up in a kangaroo court sentenced to trial by combat.

          • devicat26

            I'd pay to see that

          • solindiges

            Trial by wombat.
            /I'll get my coat/

        • Max

          You seem to think you know a lot about psychology.

          • Probably no more than you or Harris/Nerdlove know.

          • Max

            If you don't know anymore than me, then you shouldn't be talking about it like you do know, because I don't know shit.

          • chinchilla

            There is an easy solution to this. Read what the experts have to say. And have been saying. Every fucking time this happens.

            Mental illness, on its own, is not a cause in and of itself of violence. And definitely not of the video making, manifesto writing variety. Don't forget Anders Brevik is as sane as anyone.

            Calling behaviour we don't like 'mental illness' is a cop-out, because, as a group, society can shrug, say 'crazy people, what can you do?' and never bother to address the root causes of the behaviour.

            Not to mention the only people who get the 'he must be mentally ill with some undefined murderer syndrome' work-over are white males; everyone else gets to be a terrorist or black or evil.

          • Mentally healthy people don't write what Rodgers wrote in his manifesto. Reboot said it somewhere else, it's not as simple as to say he was crazy, but at the same time it's also not as simple as to say it was culture either. I'll read up some of your links.

          • Guess you have to pay for more than the abstracts on some of these.

            Your first link on personality disorders:

            Personality disorders. Borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, conduct disorder, and other personality disorders often manifest in aggression or violence. When a personality disorder occurs in conjunction with another psychiatric disorder, the combination may also increase risk of violent behavior (as suggested by the CATIE study, above).

            Your fourth link's results:

            The review of the literature suggests that only a small minority of hospitalized patients, typically those suffering from acute psychotic symptoms, are involved in violent incidents. Formerly hospitalized patients are at a higher risk of committing violence if they are not properly treated and are experiencing threat/control-override psychotic symptoms.

            Rodgers didn't take the medicine prescribed to him (AFAIK) and your fifth link suggest a relationships between medication non-compliance and violence (though they also examined this in conjunction with substance abuse, which I'm not sure if Rodgers was doing or not).

            Your other two links' abstracts fail to mention which mental illnesses where in question, though I'm guessing they did a broad study.

          • Devlin_Mor

            The first link was referring to some personality disorders in a list of things that are not mental illness but may be a better risk predictor for violence than mental illness.

            Personality disorders are included in the DSM and often treated along with mental illnesses, because people with personality disorders often have trouble coping with everyday life – but they are not actually delusional (unless they also have a mental illness).

    • Max

      "Mentally healthy" kill people all the time for dumb reasons.

    • Gentleman Johnny

      Let's take it as read that this guy would have found some cause to justify his frustration and give him an excuse to go on a rampage no matter what for just a second. The fact is that he still chose this cause and he's not alone in it.

      Now let's look at why his frustration reached the point of murderous anyway. Its because the narrative of what it takes to "be a man" in the culture he was learning from defines it by sex and violence. Its because he was getting a constant narrative that women were deliberately preventing him from being a real man. So you can shift the blame to mental illness all you want. It doesn't change the fact that the narrative he was being fed, the model of manhood that he was working from, was not just the cause he listed. It was also the source of his anger and unhappiness because it is a culture rooted in anger and unhappiness rather than one rooted in support, engagement and improvement.

      Go look up a list of the signs of psychopathy (its ok, I'll wait). How many of those are signs of a "real alpha male" in MRA circles?

      • I saw his videos and I read some of his manifesto. I have no doubt that the narratives that he was subjecting himself to was what triggered his actions. However, lots of people listen to those same narratives and are just as frustrated as he is (if not more so, since they're not as rich as he was), and don't go on killing sprees. I don't think you can say what he did was soley because of the toxic things he was reading, if it were, I think we'd have more instances of it than we do. I'm not saying the toxic things he was looking at are not problems, I'm saying you're wrong about why he did what he did and I'm saying you're wrong to have such confidence in your conclusion.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          I think you're missing the point of the article here. No, not all men who are exposed to that narrative go on killing sprees (fucking DUH!) but that narrative is toxic to everyone who internalizes it.

          • Donna Gratehouse

            Yeah, it seems really important for some people to focus on his possible mental illness and not the community of angry misogynists Rodger was part of. It’s almost as if they feel invested in the continued existence of the MRM, for some reason.

          • Maximilian

            Without the social detriment of being a virgin beyond age X, these people would be bitter or hate-filled enough to start these groups.

            Doesn't excuse them but if we're looking for the root cause of these things its far above some guys posting on a website.

          • Devlin_Mor

            Oh rubbish – not everyone in the MRA is a virgin, or even currently single. Reading Paul Elam from A Voice for Men fantasise about and justify domestic violence while knowing he is being supported by his wife is truly disturbing. And when they did the Reddit survey of the Men's Rights subreddit, it turned out that most of them were still at University – so surrounded by a lot of other virgins who managed not to join bitter, misogynistic forums.

            Besides – while there is a lot of social cruelty and mocking of virginity in men, its not exactly like being black, or gay, or a woman, or disabled. You are not visibly singled out or identifiable by behaviour – its one point in time in a person's life and a somewhat self-defined one at that.
            Most of the mocking of virgins is done in adolescence, by people who are virgins themselves, and insecure about their sexuality, and stupidly believing that the majority of their peers have gone through this magic experience. Nobody knows how sexually inexperienced another adult is.

            OK – sometimes virgin is used as a pejorative shorthand for a type of social awkwardness in adults- and that is cruel. Its telling someone that they think they are so odd they are unattractive. But I don't think that the people using that label think that their targets are actually virgins, or care, anymore than when people tell women that they are too ugly to fuck seconds after being rejected.

          • Errrrr

            "Reading Paul Elam from A Voice for Men fantasise about and justify domestic violence while knowing he is being supported by his wife is truly disturbing."

            And also fictitious. Provide some links and quotes. or else stop lying about someone.

          • It's not a fucking duh kind of thing when people are making the leap of logic that:

            we don't know if he had a mental illness –> therefore –> no mental illness –> why? –> manosphere

            I'm not saying the toxic material he was absorbing had no effect, I'm saying its more likely that it set off a bomb that was already there. That doesn't make them or Rodgers guilt free.

          • reboot

            You are correct, but from your earlier posts it was hard to tell what you were trying to say.

            Lone wolf, ideology based killers find groups to validate their preexisting beliefs.

            After finding such a group they tend to start taking more overt and extreme acts because: 1) they found their "tribe" and feel safety in numbers 2) they have an audience to impress and perform for.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            I'm taking it the other way around. I'm not saying "the manosphere made him do it". I'm saying "the manosphere's toxic attitudes are having a detrimental effect on lots of non-murderous people who have internalized them, not just this guy AND the manosphere dialogue gives people like this guy the space to hide their murderousness in plain sight while they poison others with this tripe."

          • reboot

            And an audience to perform for and impress.

    • dddd

      I think you missed his point. He was saying that misogyny and entitlement are the reasons why this man killed all those people. Obvously he was not emotionally well or none of this would've happened. But without th misogyny, he wouldn't have killed those people.

    • Kazhulhu

      Plenty of perfectly sane people kill people. It happens all the time. If there's anything that I've learned in my life so far, it's that assuming that every sane person thinks the way you do and reacts to stress and societal factors the way you do is not only foolish, but dangerous.

      Regarding his mental state? I don't feel like it's important compared to the societal implications and the wide spread belief among men (some men, most men? doesn't matter, a large chunk of men) that women's bodies, minds, hearts, and all other aspects of themselves are owed to them specifically. I think it's long past time that we stop throwing mentally ill people of various sorts under the bus to protectively blanket the men who think and act just like he did before he "snapped".

      Even ignoring all that, what kind of meaningful conversation can be had on this man's "insanity" if he was without knowing what he was suffering from, how severe it was, and the circumstances he was actually under? At best, it's wild speculation that brings us nowhere. Mentally ill people everywhere of many different personalities and walks of life with different mental illnesses, go about their lives without this sick fascination with the objectification of women and distaste of men of color being near white women, who do not go out and murder men and women because of a sick sense of entitlement to other's bodies and relationships.

  • The further you dig, the more the kid seems like a toxic cocktail of millenial problems: the stuff in the article above goes hand in hand with self-absorbed obsession with projected image(liking his own Facebook posts, vlogging his rants), videogame addiction(WoW isolated him early on), disconnected parents, holding on to wealth and skin colour as an identity in an ever-shifting world(he constantly called himself Eurasian and classy) and the expectation that therapy and pills will solve everything without making other changes to your life. He wasn't the first, he probably won't be the last.

    • Mortimer Daley

      I agree with you. It may not be as simple as "he was crazy" but it's also not as simple as "he was a woman hater". This was a toxic mix of mental health and environment. He was angry, unstable, and without tools to deal with his frustrations.

    • embertine

      I know this is only a tiny part of the issue, but the idea that WoW is an isolating factor for some makes me sad. It also makes me want to log on, to tell my guild that they are awesome people and that I'm glad to know them.

  • crommunist

    This chilled me:

    "Start envisioning a world where WOMEN FEAR YOU."

    Don't we already live in that world? Haven't we for pretty much most of recorded history?

    • WaywardSon01

      I think he wanted women to fear HIM specifically.

      Rodger apparently adhered to the idea that it is better to be feared than loved.

    • thathat

      Honestly, out of everything DNL quoted here (I don't have the stomach to read the whole thing) the bit that gave me chills was: "I want one for a girlfriend.”


      It's less overtly menacing than most of his rant, but far more sinister, like women are just goldfish in a bowl and you pick out one to take home and that's it. It is so so so deeply creepy and upsetting.

      • WaywardSon01

        Rodger should have listened to a great poet and songwriter…

        *Sings* "You can't always get what you want…."

    • StarlightArcher

      How's the adage go? "Men's greatest fear is that women will laugh at them, women's greatest fear is that men will kill them"

      The more I read about this guy, the more and more I feel that DNL's incredibly kind. Because he isn't a man, he's a child having a tantrum in public. An adult throws their hissy fits in private. To the audience of close friends or educated specialists. An adult doesn't paste them into the public domain for all eternity. Of course, I'm also a woman and a feminist. Which to this little boy's mind made me the enemy. And I'm almost vengeful enough to pray to whatever divinity can hear me that in his next life, he comes back as a woman.

      • Gentleman Johnny

        Guys, take note. This isn't evil, gate keeping feminist women saying "men suck". They're saying "stand up and act like an adult."

        • username_6916

          Am I the only one who caught a whiff of "man up" in that? "Acting like an adult" often seems to mean hiding your emotions, to not express fear, doubt, anger or frustration about courtship in public.

          And, no, I very highly doubt that StreightArcher was referring to murder here either. That parsing doesn't even really make sense: Why would killing innocent people public be better or worse than killing innocent people in private?

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Only a whif? Let me try again. Man up. Take responsibility for your own emotions and issues instead of blaming women for them. There are healthy ways to express your frustrations and your issues. Youtube videos blaming women you never approached for deliberately denying you what's rightfully yours is not one of them. If you act like a spoiled child who's having your toys taken away, expect to be treated like one.

          • username_6916

            It seems that you are simultaneously condemning the idea of locking men to a definition of masculinity that demands stoicism of men while also calling on that very ideal to demand stoicism of men. It is a contradiction.

            It also seemed that the poster in question was in fact condemning *any * public complaint on the matter. How are to question any our ideals and norms regarding courtship when any such thoughts from a man are immediately dismissed as entitled whining?

          • Maximilian

            "It seems that you are simultaneously condemning the idea of locking men to a definition of masculinity that demands stoicism of men while also calling on that very ideal to demand stoicism of men. It is a contradiction."

            Oh, bravo!

          • Gentleman Johnny

            You're certainly welcome to that interpretation. In this case, the distinction I'm drawing (I won't speak to the intent of the post I was replying to) is "boy", who throws a public temper tantrum when he doesn't get what he wants, you know like women are expected not to vs "man" who can deal with things rationally in the public square and is capable of dealing with his emotions in a healthy way through a support network and whatever other help he needs. . . you know, like women are expected to.

            Does that mean that no one should ever have an emotional outburst? No, or at least I acknowledge that people can and do. If you've got a long running problem, though, that outburst should be the smallest tip of the iceberg of how you're dealing with it.

            Talk about your troubles with dating all you want. Ask for help with getting better at it. Just don't go on a long rant about how its not fair because you're a good guy who deserves plenty of sex but all of those gold digging bitches never give you a chance. It doesn't prove what a great guy you are. It just makes you sound like a child.

          • Kmr

            There is a difference between public discussion of cultural norms and courtship hopes and expectations in a venue designed for that conversation and public RANTING about perceived wrongs.

            Public discussion: you go out, meet and have a great conversation with an awesome woman. At the end of the night you ask her out and she turns you down. You accept her answer, maybe express some disappointment, tell her it was nice meeting her, then go to a trusted group of friends or come to a place like this to ask about if there was something you could have done differently and think about the responses (e.g. "Nah, she just wasn't interested. Nothing you could do." or "Just remember don't be a dick if you run into her again." or (ridiculous example) "well, did you do that thing where you pick your nose and wipe it on the bottom of the table?"), think about what the source of your disappointment is. Are you sad about losing the opportunity to spend time with the person or mad and having the perception that you got cut off from sexual reward? If it's the first, you'll probably find support. "Yeah, she sounds great. sorry it didn't work out." If it's the latter, you're going to get feedback on letting go of thinking about sex that way.

            Public ranting: same situation but when she turns down your advance for a future date you call her names, accuse her of leading you on and become enraged over the fact that you "wasted your time" having that awesome conversation because it wasn't a stepping stone to a sexual encounter. You stop treating her like a person and start generalizing out insulting not just her but all women for being teases who don't appreciate a good thing when it's right in front of them.

            The first option here is what I think GJ is saying by "Man up" it's owning your experiences and knowing that there are right and wrong places, times, and ways to vent your frustrations, disappointments, and worries. It's learning to respect people's agency and and choices, even when they sting. It's not taking your disappointment out on the world in anger.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            The first option here is what I think GJ is saying by "Man up" it's owning your experiences and knowing that there are right and wrong places, times, and ways to vent your frustrations, disappointments, and worries. It's learning to respect people's agency and and choices, even when they sting. It's not taking your disappointment out on the world in anger.

            Emphasis mine because yes, there are right times, places and ways to deal with your frustrations. The world isn't black and white, totally open all the time or totally closed off.

          • Whoah

            "Man up. Take responsibility for your own emotions and issues instead of blaming women for them."

            I notice how you direct that only at men. Would you care to suggest to women that they, too, "man up" (or maybe they should "Woman up"?), and stop blaming al their dissatisfactions and unfortunate experiences on men?

            "Youtube videos blaming women you never approached for deliberately denying you what's rightfully yours is not one of them."

            You mean, just like there are countless videos on YouTube (as well as various media sources like TV, the music industry and movies) where women complain about the fact that men seem to like TnA, instead of valuing the things that women think men should value, and be attracted to? Don't they always shame men for being unsophisticated or even sexist, for fining attractive the type of things women (or at least, feminists) think men shouldn't be attracted to?

            Aren't they basically demanding that men give the 'proper' levels of attraction, courtesy and respect that men typically give only to the women they want to have sex with? Aren't men shamed for only wanting sex to begin with?

            Methinks you just think men should have to abide by women's desires, but women should not have to do the same for male desires. Which makes you a hypocrite, but also a few nasty names, too.

            " If you act like a spoiled child who's having your toys taken away, expect to be treated like one."

            I agree entirely. And if women, bless them, ever act like that, then they too should be treated like that, right? I mean, you wouldn't give them a pass or anything, would you, just because they're women, mere victims of male agency and influence, or something?

            I bet you would, actually. 😉

            tl;dr: you're just blowing hard about how much men should satisfy women. Men do not owe this to women, any more than women owe it to men. Welcome to 21st Century thinking, my friend. It's an upgrade on your 18th Century chivalry.

          • ajamjar

            I could type out a long, thoughtful reply, but I'd be wasting my time.

            No-one has ever started a sentence worth reading with "methinks."

          • username_6916

            Wow! Such argument! Very Logic! So topical! Wow!

          • Gentleman Johnny

            False equivalency much?

            To answer your question, yes, I think adults should act like adults. I think men are shamed for only wanting sex a lot less than women are. I think both sides should be treating the other like human beings. I'm saying if you want to have a relationship with someone, anyone, it helps to not demean them by assuming that they aren't capable of real emotion, whether that be because they're men, women, black, white or Vulcan. Even Vulcans are capable of emotion.

            Will no one speak up for the Vulcans?

          • username_6916

            Downthread, you seem to be supporting feels "entitled" to male platonic friendship and blames men in general for her feelings of bitterness about such rejections. So, why don't you ask her to take responsibility for her own emotions and know that the people around her are not obligated to maintain a platonic friendship with her any more than she is obligated to give them romance?

          • username_6916

            And, typoed, again: Downthread, you seem to be supporting someone who feels "entitled" to male platonic friendship and blames men in general for her feelings of bitterness about such rejections.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Huh, I must have missed that. Can you be a bit more specific?

          • username_6916

            It was a post in reply to devicat26 in the thread right below this one.

            Although to be fair, I think I misread your reply to Max as a reply to devicat26, which does change the meaning a bit.

          • StarlightArcher

            It's disheartening that we have to carefully parse out what being an adult and having an adult response to disappointment and rejection actually means. Because here's the thing, I'm an adult with lots of emotions and honest reactions to those emotions. I also have friendships I've cultivated and a therapist who I pay to watch me throw a tantrum when I have that need.

            DNL and Gentelman Johnny have got the right of it. Own your feelings, feel them to the Nth degree. There's a lot of maturity in being able to say "this is happening and I don't like it" or "when this doesn't happen, I hurt" but the red hot second someone beings to scream "I am owed this", "it's not fair", or "everyone is out to get me" is the threshold where an honest emotional moment becomes a tantrum. Entitlement is not an emotion, it's a paradigm. Voicing that entitlement is not something any adult should do.

            Everyone has tantrums, and sometimes they can be emotionally healthy to vent that frustration. But it's like the 1st Amendment; just because you're guaranteed your right to say what you like doesn't mean other people have to listen (or take you seriously). So indeed, tantrum away. Just realize that those things are off-putting and are sexy to no one. Like I said in my earlier comment, an adult knows the difference between an emotional moment and a tantrum, and knows that one can be had in plain view in front of God and small children; while the other should not. And that works for both genders and the variations thereof.

      • vibrissimo

        He wasn't a child. He was a man who did what too many other men do. Men write these rants, men carry out this violence. Sodini, Lepine, Ball … were they tantrum-throwing children, too?

    • CornedBee

      Right now we live in a world where women are wary of men.

      The idea of a world where women *fear* men scares the hell out of me, and that's without even considering women's feelings in such a world, just my own. If simply seeing me would inspire fear in half the world population I would feel absolutely horrible.

      • vibrissimo

        We do live in a world where we fear men. Sometimes it's just wariness, yes. But ifI'm walking down a street and a man's too close, or worse, there's a group of men taking up the pavement, or men shout at me, leer, sit next to me in an empty train carriage – then it's fear.

        And I'm one of the lucky ones: I've only been assaulted once.

    • JClark

      Yes. This. 100% this.

      We are already in that world.

      Imagine how much more sex we would ALL be enjoy in a world where women didn't have any reason to fear men.

      • Kmr

        This comment really bothers me.

        A world in which women have no reason to *fear* men is not going to automatically result in any change to the amount of sex anyone is getting. "Lack of fear" is not a positive inducement to sex. And I'm not sure if this was an attempt at a joke or not, but even if a woman doesn't fear men there are hundreds of reasons she can choose from to not want to have sex.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          The positive inducement to sex is already there. Its called sex. Women who enjoy sex (ie the vast majority of them) who had nothing to fear from any man would have more sex because they could walk right up to any attractive stranger and say "hey, let's have sex" without fear of being slut shamed, yelled at for daring to go outside their gender role, stalked, harassed or being killed and eaten after going home with the guy. Notably, in a world where women didn't have to fear those things, men could also be more open about their interest because the first hurdle (is he a psycho killer?) has already been cleared.

          OK, really, "let's have sex" might not be enough but it would at least skip right over the vetting and to the building attraction.

          • Kmr

            I tried to reply to this via email first, but it doesn't look like it came through. Apologies if it comes through as double post.

            Possibly i should have started with a note that I am, in fact, a woman. Fear of rape, shame, and retribution are not the only reasons women choose not to just have sex willy-nilly. And even if we could magically create a utopia without ANY of the issues women fear, which is a very tangled web that also includes STDs and unwanted pregnancy, it still wouldn't necessarily make for a completely sexually free environment in which everybody just says yes to anyone who approaches them for sex. In fact, in a world without coercion and intimidation, some women may say no MORE.

            If all social conditioning about "correct" and "careful" sexual expression were to suddenly disappear, there would still be a range of sexualities and personal choices about how to enact those. And most importantly, no magic wand is EVER going to ensure that sex is dispensed evenly to everybody who wants it in the way they want it from who they want it. Rejection would still exist.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Oh, absolutely.

      • Ummmmm

        "Imagine how much more sex we would ALL be enjoy in a world where women didn't have any reason to fear men."

        The reason women fear men is because you THINK you have a reason to do so. How about stop thinking of men as the potential rapists, vicious wife-beaters and murderers, who make up only a thin sliver of the male population.

        Your fear keeps the circle going round.

        • ajamjar

          You're looking at it from the perspective of "not all men." Look at it from a perspective of "yes all women."

          Because all women experience sexism in their everyday lives.

          They may not have been shot by a misogynist narcissist in a BMW. But most women have encountered Rodger's attitude of "I want to fuck you and you should let me fuck you because I want to."

          Sometimes our peers make excuses for it ("he's just socially awkward") or encourage it ("you should go out with him,he seems like a nice guy, and you're not exactly a nun anyway.")

          And if we are assaulted or raped, the onus is on us to prove we weren't "asking for it."

          It doesn't have to be extreme violence (like being shot) to cause harm.

          When women share their experiences, it's not an echo chamber of MEN SUCK! It' not creating unnecessary hostility and fear. We relate to those experiences because we *already* have experiences of our own.

          You'd do well to listen.

        • vibrissimo

          Women are raped and murdered by men every damn day of the week and you think we just "think" we have reason to fear you?

          Tell me, how do we tell the rapists and murderers from the nice fellows? How do we know an abuser when he's in his charming mode, before he's got us involved, financially dependent, and in danger of our lives for leaving him? Do these men suddenly have signs on their heads, so women know who they are on sight and need not fear the guys who would never do that?

        • Gentleman Johnny

          Not all men are potential rapists, vicious wife-beaters and murderers.
          Yes all women have had to deal with harassment or assault.

          If 1% of M&M's were explosive, like blow your head off if you put it in your mouth explosive, how many would you eat without checking inside them first?
          M&Ms example earlier.

          • thathat

            Now I'm thinking of some kind of social experiment with dudes who are allergic to peanuts and a bowl full of mostly-regular-but-some-peanut-butter-M&Ms…

          • celette482

            Half the bowl is M&Ms, half the bowl is Skittles.

            CHOOSE, FOOL! CHOOSE!


          • Gentleman Johnny

            That is a most excellent illustration of the principle.

          • ajamjar

            I sometimes wonder if the guys who make these arguments ever think about hitch-hiking across America.

            That sure sounds like fun.

            And it'd be an insult to all the truck drivers who didn't want to sodomise them not to do it just because a few might.

            (You said it in a nicer way.)

          • Gentleman Johnny

            As someone who hitchhiked across America for two years, there was a profound (and appreciated) lack of sodomy in my experience. One guy who gave me a ride did try to convert me to Islam, though. That was a pretty cool conversation.

          • ajamjar

            That's actually really cool!

        • celette482

          Hell, the guy who assaulted me didn't even bother to ignore my no. He didn't even bother to ask. He just took what he wanted when I wasn't looking.


        • thathat

          Holy cats, talk about missing the point.

          Hey, ladies, it's all on us! Man, aren't we stupid to be scared of all this potential violence and assault that hardly even happens at all, and certainly not to, like, 1 in 4 women, nope.

          • celette482

            And that's *JUST* rape. Once you start adding in street harassment and a little butt-grabbing between party goers, it jumps up to… oh everyone?

          • Gentleman Johnny


          • celette482

            Yes. Yes, all women.

          • celette482

            and that is f*cking depressing

        • shaenon

          Really? This is your response to an incident in which a violent misogynist went on a murder spree that started with an attempt to shoot up a sorority house and ended with him spraying bullets into crowds in pure rage? That it's just those silly ladies overreacting again?


        • dddd

          No, the reason women fear men is because it is impossible to know if any one man is ok. He might be, or he might not, and it is safer to proceed with caution.

          And the fact of the matter is that while the vast majority of men are not rapists or violent, the vast majority of rapists and violent people are men.

          Add to the fact that I guarantee you that every guy who's ever yelled at me, 'hey baby, suck my dick'" did not think of himself as a dangerous guy, or a potential rapist. Maybe those guys have loving wives or gfs. But I was terrified each. Damn. TIME.

    • chelseaxavier

      Which makes me wonder why we're not calling this terrorism.

      Wondering rhetorically, I mean. I'm pretty sure I know why a white guy who justifies his killings with fanatical ideology doesn't get labelled a terrorist.

      • username_6916

        Elliot Rodger's aims aren't as clearly political as, say the person behind the 2011 Norway attacks, or even the attacker behind the École Polytechnique shootings. I'd argue both of those have a clear political aim, and target a civilian populace, making both of those attacks terrorism.

        The attacker here seems to ramble between misogamy, misandry, racism and possibly quite a few hateful ideologies without any real connecting theme beyond a very personal sense of desiring revenge. This doesn't seem to be about advancing anything other than this attacker's personal rage that happens to be directed at… well… almost everyone it seems. Hell, he'd probably kill too me because I dated a mixed-race woman once.

        • chelseaxavier

          I guess a precise definition of terrorism is hard to pin down, but one of the key elements is always going to be the goal of inspiring fear on a large scale, and I think it's a pretty clear example of that. Sure, it's not a goal that involves a political structure, but it's still what I'd call an act of terror.

        • CornedBee

          Terrorism need not be political, it's just the most common motive. But there's also eco-terrorism and cyber-terrorism, which are more often ideologically inspired. There are terrorists in most race-based conflicts – the KKK for example is classified as a terrorist group.

          "In the international community, terrorism has no legally binding, criminal law definition. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts that are intended to create fear (terror); are perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal; and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (e.g., military personnel in peacetime or civilians)."
          — Wikipedia

    • Kazhulhu

      It was a very chilling statement. It still is.

      How someone can be so self absorbed is beyond me. One of my earliest memories is rooted in a fear of men. My girlhood was plagued by a fear of men. The fact that I have never been brutalized by a man physically and yet I still can't talk about my own experiences without shaking and crying should say enough of my fear. It scares me that he thought that adding more fear to women was the answer to his problems.

      The fact that he was so self absorbed that he didn't realize that many women may have over looked him or others because they DID fear already and were not willing to take a chance on him because of it. It was that very line that makes this such a raw subject for me and why it took me so long to even discuss this tragedy in the first place.

      It's extremely hard for me to react rationally, to think logically and thoroughly with my blood boiling with rage and fear. It scares me how quick some people are to react with violence or imaginings of violence, myself included.

      I can't remember the last time I felt quite so undersieged by men in particular in my entire life. I can't tell if I'm more aware of it now then when I was younger, or if it's worse now then before. If the latter, I hope it's merely the case of "it gets worse before it gets better". I am very tired of being frightened.

  • LeeEsq

    I think this incident is also about the poor state of mental healthcare in the United States.* According to the New York Times article on the Santa Barbara massacre, Rodgers suffered from mental illness his entire life. A high school class mate of Rodgers stated that everybody thought he the potential to really freak out and explode one day and bullied him accordingly.** If this is true than if Rodgers didn't grasp on to women and romantically successful men as a subject for his uncontrolled rage than there is a good chance that he would find another target. Most of the massacre killers are very mentally disturbed people regardless of how this illness expresses itself. Even without toxic masculinity, the mental illness problem will still exist.

    *Of course getting people who need mental health to get the treatment they need is notoriously difficult and riddled with ethical problems. Regimes of involuntary treatment aren't that great and have a history of horrific abuses.

    **Besides the immorality of bullying, I am not sure why anybody would want to taunt somebody they know is ticking time bomb.

    • Niteynite

      It's also about the gun. Sorry, I hate to get political, but after all the red flags about this guy's mental state, even the police taking notice of his bizarre rants, he was still able to purchase these firearms legally.

      • Gentleman Johnny

        Guns don't kill people. People kill people. That's why we don't send guns to war, just bare handed soldiers. More seriously, I don't think this particular incident would have gone down much differently if he'd had a knife. Some guns make effective force multipliers, allowing one person to kill more people faster. That's a more nuanced debate for another time, I feel.

        • Niteynite

          I love all the advice you have given GJ, even the bits aimed directly at me, but I'm going to wildly disagree with you here.

          This animal had so many things wrong with him, all documented, and he still legally purchased these guns. If he could not have bought them, he probably would have used something else (which he did, including a knife). I wish he only had a knife, as it is so much harder to kill than a with a gun.

          I think this fits perfectly into Lee's comment, as yes, healthcare is a issue here. But it's also a gun control issue. But it's hardly a dating issue. I know plenty of people who were virgins well into their 20s. They never killed anyone.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Like I said, my opinions on guns are quite nuanced and wouldn't fit here without becoming a huge tangent. Feel free to take it over to the forums, though,.

        • LeeEsq

          It would have gone down very differently if a knife was used. Unless your really good at wielding a knife, knives don't allow for instantaneous kills in the way that guns do. That meant his victims would have been a great amount a pain but if medical aid arrived fast enough they would of had a better chance of survival. Its also easier to get closer to a knife wielder and stop them or to get away from a knife wielder than it is from a gunman. If Rodger was wielding a knife he would have been most likely captured alive and subjected to the justice system.

          • chinchilla

            You know the first three people he killed were stabbed to death right?

          • LeeEsq

            Yes. I'm not saying its always the case but knife wounds do tend to be more survivable than gun wounds. The first three people were killed in private and presumably Rodgers made sure they were dead before running amok in public. In public his progress would be slower with a knife.

            There is no reason for modern America to have less gun control than the Wild West. People do not need to own small arsenals. Giving people the ability to do violence easily does not end well.

      • Maximilian

        From what I've read I find it utterly ludicrous that somebody who was prescribed medication for a number of psychiatric issues, that would put him and others in danger, was seemingly left to his own devices to take them (or not in his case) completely unsupervised and unrecorded.

      • LeeEsq

        Guns don't help. People go on rampages in countries with strict gun control but the weapons that they can get a hand on tend to limit the damage. China has been experiencing a series of rampages but the weapon used tends to be a knife. This meant that in the period between 2010 to 2012 the combined number of fatalities for all the rampages were 25. In Sandy Hook the number dead alone was 26. Guns allow people to kill quickly. Medicine can usually prevent most deaths from knives or other sharp objects if administrated fast enough, Its also a lot easier to take down a madman with a knife than a madman with a gun.

    • eselle28

      Is it, though? I can see an involuntary hold being of use in this case, but Rodger was receiving mental health care treatment (and, as far as I could tell from his writings, didn't particularly seem to object receiving it).

      • LeeEsq

        I know that Rodger was receiving mental health treatment but somebody at his level needs a bit more than the ordinary therapy and drugs.

        • Maximilian

          Exactly and he wasn't even taking the medication he was prescribed.

          • LeeEsq

            Many people who really need mental healthcare tend not to realize it. Thats one reason why providing it is so difficult beyond the fact that its also very expensive because it can be years or life long treatment. From what we know of Rodgers he seems to be have been a particularly unstable individually mentally. I'm pretty sure that even without toxic masculinity he would still not be entirely there and something else could have set him off.

    • thathat

      The mental illness was a factor, but I think even more horrific is the fact that his family contacted the police, who said he seemed polite and nice, even–presumably–after viewing his videos and seeing his rants. I'm sure that his therapists also got to hear his rants.


      Because "boys will be boys." Because "stupid sluts giving it up to dumb jocks and not me" is such an accepted way for men to feel and such a normal thing for them to say. It's just white noise; it doesn't even register as something to be monitored because, well of course he felt that way, he was a red-blooded college male not getting any. It's nothing to worry about. Boys will be boys.

      • Gentleman Johnny

        Much like the creeper articles, that's because the volume of the narrative camouflages these people. It gives them a place to hide in plain sight.

      • LeeEsq

        The cops are technically bound by the law in what they can do. Unless they had a somewhat specific idea when and where Rodger was going to act they can't arrest him. A mental rant about wanting to kill random people might not meet the standards enough. Something for specific like mentions of going to this place on a particular date to do certain acts might be needed.

        • dahllaz

          Yeah, But saying "our hands our tied and what he's done is worrying but enought to arrest him" is far FAR different than "he seems like a perfectly nice gentleman".
          Which is what has been reported was the police response after the family called concerned about his videos.

  • Izzie

    Women didn't ask to be the gate keepers of sex. We never asked for sex to be so central to men's ability to stay attached or fulfilled in a relationship. We're put in a position where our sex (and attractiveness) are higher than our other traits in value to many (most?) men. We're put in a position where we are expected to offer frequent and gratifying sex to our partners but at the same time be "virginal and pure".

    The obsession that men have with sex and women is astounding and terrifying. I feel like I have to be on the defensive about it. I hate being asked "how many partners have you had?" "did your ex have a bigger d*** than me?" etc. Or being called a whore and slut for NOT SLEEPING WITH SOMEONE.

    And then, of course, there's the women who are outside the diagram of acceptable sexual partners who are largely ignored. If you don't fit in the pretty, slender / fit, Europeoan, fair skinned, successful but not enough to trump your partner mold, and you have a hard time dating or finding men who want to sleep with you, you're shit out of luck. You're not even talked about, like MRA's or the "neckbeard nice guys." You are invisible. Nobody can even see you. You are tied to a life of cats and tumblr.

    I hate the hypocricy and one-sidedness and danger of this thinking.

    • This. Just so, so, so much of this. Being on various dating advice forums, I've run into so many incel/neckbeard guys who go on and on about how women are denying them sex, and how women get ideas "above their station" (aka, female hypergamy) while simultaneously talking about how they just can't force themselves to be attracted to "fatties" and how "only ugly/fat women want to date them."
      (There is a Tim Gunn gif for all occasions.)

    • devicat26

      Upsetting and pisses me off. The greatest disappointment I ever had in my life was when in my teens I came to the realization that my male friends, and men in general, didn't give a shit about my accomplishments, didn't give a shit about my individuality, my intelligence, my humor, anything that made me me, but came to realize the only reason they were my friends was because deep down they wanted to fuck me.

      This happened all throughout my teen years and in college; there would always be a conversation, usually late at night after hanging out, of why won't you fuck me??. The last time that happened I lost a really good male friend whom I had known since I was fourteen because I finally made it clear we were never going to date. He married my best friend and I wasn't invited to the wedding. This is the world we live in and its hard not to be embittered by it.

      • Max

        Instead of responding with a NOT ALL MEN comment like I first wanted to (then realized how pointless that would be), instead I'm going to say that I'm sorry that happens and that sounds awful. I'm going to try and make sure I never do this to any of my female friends.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          Its pretty easy to avoid. Be honest about your interest. Take rejection gracefully and don't let it interfere with being friends.

        • devicat26

          The Not All Men thing is hard because I KNOW not all men are like that – I have wonderful men in my life, I know the majority of men are wonderful – its just there are still plenty of men that ARE like this, and it makes things…sad, upsetting, frustrating. Its neither black nor white but somewhere in-between. I still miss him to this day and have to remind myself that real friends wouldn't have done something like that.

          • I don't frickin' care that Not All Men Are Like That. I care that it happens, and keeps happening.

          • Donna Gratehouse

            That’s what’s so infuriating about the Not All Men thing to me. It presumes that I haven’t spent a considerable amount of my life interacting with men and even having deep personal relationships with them. Protip for the Not All Men crowd: women already know it’s not all men. We learn early on how to tell the genuinely nice ones from the Nice ones. It’s you guys who seem to structure with that.

          • Max

            I think the issue is that the meme is "NOT ALL MEN are rapists/misogynists/shitty to women, so stop complaining" when it should be "NOT ALL MEN are satisfied with a culture that is crappy towards women, and NOT ALL MEN aren't willing to help work to fix it."

          • Donna Gratehouse

            That’s what’s so infuriating about the Not All Men thing to me. It presumes that I haven’t spent a considerable amount of my life interacting with men and even having deep personal relationships with them. Protip for the Not All Men crowd: women already know it’s not all men. We learn early on how to tell the genuinely nice ones from the Nice ones. It’s you guys who seem to struggle with that.

        • username_6916

          How about instead saying that she shouldn't feel entitled to friendship that she should woman up and take responsibility for her emotions rather than blaming men in general.

        • physicsnerd

          That's why the hashtag of #yesallwomen is trending.

          It's certainly not all men. Women end up falling in love with men, raising men, having men as relatives, and having men as friends, so it's pretty rare to find a woman who believes something is 'all the men'. However, being treated as a sexual object or being harassed or ignored entirely because she lacks the appropriate sexual appeal happens to almost all women. Sort of like how many rapists and stalkers have multiple victims until they're finally put away, making the list of victims much larger than the list of perpetrators. It isn't all men committing these acts, but it is all women suffering the consequences. And the thing is, I don't even know how to explain that to a guy, because the only way he becomes an automatic target for this sort of toxic behaviour is based on status of being a minority and even then, that's not on the same scale.

          It's good that you realize it's pointless. It helps. Sometimes it's the most frustrating thing to hear brought up, because the response is "I know, if I thought you were a horrible person why would I engage in conversation with you on a personal topic like this?"

          But thing I realised, when seeing a guy friend post on Facebook his surprise about the 1/3 of women being stalked, abused, or assaulted in their lifetime, was that whenever these conversations come up, men become so focused on how it's not them, on informing women that it's not all men, that they never get to thinking about the actual feelings of women who are these alarmingly high statistics. They never get around to listening. And it's sad, because if a man is hearing this personally from a woman, and it's not an accusation about specific actions on his part, then chances are, she's logically already categorised him as 'not one of the perpetrators'.

          Personally, it's really hurtful as a woman to be explaining something that actually happened that was intended to make me feel inferior, afraid, or ashamed, and then have the entire conversation switch to soothing someone else's feelings when I never accused or even thought of him as being a villain in the first place, and actually thought he was an ally.

      • WaywardSon01

        That sounds like it really does suck. It's hard for me to get close to someone, but at least when I can I know that it's because they like my intelligence or my sense of humor or something like that, and not my looks (although those are rather meh to be entirely honest. If I had to rate myself on the 1-10 scale, I'd give myself a 4.) If I only was ever praised for looking good I'd feel really bad that nobody would care about me for something other then my superficial exterior.

      • fitted

        I think you got it correctly. “This is the world we live in”. If you are in the diagram of potential sex partners and simultaneously fulfill criterions of a good friendship, the “deep down they just wanted to fuck me”-statement is just the logical consequence and part of (hu)man nature. They not only want to fuck you, but, if you are attractive, this allways plays a role, more or less. The good men you still know either are gay, you do not fit into their diagram or they can handle or hide their “deep down”, but it still exists and will always play a role as long as you are 26, attractive, intelligent and have humor. Can I get your number? just a joke, it is not funny if you lose friends that way. Regarding this issue: Is it possible that he really loved you? In that case I understand his whish to not see you during his marriage. Back to topic: your story is a good indicator how large the influence of sexuality is in human society and nature. Elliot is a terrible example of bad circumstances (in obviously all fields) catalysing sexuality-driven psycological and social extremes. I guess he never loved a woman, just the projection of them on his internal 1D narcism screen. And no, killing people is, of course, not exclusive for “crazy” people, but doing it for the reasons he did needs also mental, not only cultural, “negative” background.

      • Meyer N Gaines

        As Dr. Nerdlove would put it, "The genitals want what the genitals want."

        None of us men want to be so looks-minded, but we're forced into it. 🙁

      • dave

        Ms. Devicat26 – Thanks for your honesty, as i hope that other women can also understand what YOU seem to understand. The guy who married your friend did NOT see YOU as his friend. Men are taking classes, this very minute, in how to AVOID the sucker "friendzone", where women seem to like this kind of "friendship".
        The culture we are all talking about, re this Rodger fellow, forces men to have "conquests" and not friendships,
        or you get all kinds of static and insults. Maybe it is YOU and your female friends who will begin to value the "boring"(?),and not so forward, "nice guys" who will then participate in this "game".

      • eugene

        Devicat26 – Let me guess.You think that young women VALUE men for their accomplishments, their individuality, their humor, or things that make them "them", as they reject them? Maybe your malw "friend" did not think that YOU were such a great friend. But we all do know from YOU, that it was all HIS fault,

    • Monica

      Izzy, you put it so well. “The gate keepers of sex” I have always felt like I had this “control” in the relationship. All tied to, whether I put out or not. Most of the time I just gave it away (and felt like I had no worth or value), just to get the monkey off my back. Lol.

    • carlo

      The one sidedeness of this thinking is that while Elliot Rodgers and society is held accountable for what he did, there's not a single hint in your post on women having, you know, some kind of responsibility whatsoever for the state of things. Things are only done to women, eh? Ah women, all pure loving angels victim of us men, unable of any wrongdoing in life. Answer me this: if mother is the most important figure in the life of a humans, as women pride themselves to be, how come we are all so fucked up?

      • Dr_NerdLove

        Well I see you've shown you're surplus to requirements. Bye bye now Carlo!

    • vibrissimo

      Well, I don't use tumblr, but CATS, YAY!

      Never understand why owning cats is supposed to be bad.

  • Cactus

    There were probably plenty of homely down-to-earth women who were probably keen on dating him yet he was holding out for the impossible beautiful women in his life.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if things started out that way, but once he started down the woman-hating incel vlogging rabbithole, even those of us who he wouldn’t have given a second glance to would have likely stayed faaaar away.

    • Skada

      Yes, because threatening to kill a potential partner works SOOOOOO WELL at turning them from potential partners into real ones.

    • chinchilla

      Me and my fat ass would have a fled far, far away regardless that there's probably no way he'd look at me twice.

      • StarlightArcher

        In many way this guy reminds me a lot of that Romeo Rose fellow of general net infamy some months back. Just with a lot more hatred. I don't care if this Rodger was Tom-Hiddleston's-Better-Looking-Brother gorgeous. An attitude that poisonous can't be hidden, and it drives away even the most saintly and tolerant people. I guess the thing I'm most curious about is, did this guy have no one he communicated with in meat-space? Were there no acquaintances who could've (might have) thrown the "dude check your 'tude" flag? Or was this guy buried so far up his ass that the only people he spoke to were in the echo chambers of internet hate? Ultimately I guess I'm wondering is, was there ever a point where a little rationality could've derailed this tragedy?

        • Talon

          His manifesto delves into that a little, but it's all written from his POV so it takes some interpreting. He was aware that his views frightened "normal" people and would avoid discussing them with most. When he opened up to his best friend about it, his friend became scared and tried to calm him down and inject a little rationality, but he simply saw his friend (who was in the same virginal position as he was) as a "weaker man" for just taking what was in his mind the insult of happy couples existing. After a while, his friend just cut contact entirely (out of fear would be my guess).

          It's possible that if he'd opened up or asked questions at a much younger age, or had early education from his parents or his school, these views would never have had time to really grow, but by the time he had developed them to the point of expressing them, they had festered so long that he talked himself around any rational input from his peers, therapists, or mentors.

          • Talon

            As an add-on, it probably didn't help that he had support of his views from similar dialogue on sites like PUAHate, which makes it easier to rationalize your views as the right ones even if they start isolating you from the few people you know and care about.

            The most chilling thing about that manifesto was the similarity to dialogue I've run across all over the internet. There is far more support of his viewpoint online than there ever should be, as evidenced by the disgusting responses to his YouTube videos. While not everyone who holds these opinions have the violent inclinations or abilities that he had, that doesn't mean we need to put up with the toxicity or give people who do have the violent inclinations more validation than they can make up in their own heads.

          • StarlightArcher

            That's kind of what I was assuming had been the case. That by the time anyone really realized something was wrong it was too late to affect much change. It's a depressing notion that in the world we inhabit this tragedy was probably inevitable, but I think it's also true. Because even if he'd gotten a fuck-toy, he wouldn't have been happy. He would've been as full of rage and hatred as he was before. Only the media would likely be asking "what she contributed to their problems" at this moment, instead of just calling him a lone nut. The whole thing makes me mad, disappointed and tired.

        • AstralDazzle

          Coming from an immediate family with two members who often fly into scary rages at someone offering even a hint of this kind of rationality or request that respectful language be used, I learned eventually that the safest choices were to keep quiet or stay away. How I wish there was a therapy that could heal this kind of rage.

  • nonA

    Starts to tail off towards the end.

    This feels less like "guy beats up girl who didn't go out with him", and more like the actions of a James Holmes or a Seung-Hui Cho. The girls seem almost incidental to the power fantasy.

    There are several discussions we could have if we look for patterns in these killers. (Most importantly, why there are enough of them that we can start looking for patterns.) Trying to build a case out of Rodger's case as the sole data point sounds crass and opportunistic. Feels too much like when were told that Klebold and Harris were set off by violent video games.

    Although if you really want to go down the rabbit hole of toxic masculinity, look at the planning that went into this and similar spree killings. One gets a sense that the killers felt like if they backed down from their plans and didn't slaughter a bunch of innocent people, it would be just another failure in the string of failures they defined their lives as. Think about that, think about suicide statistics, and some really uncomfortable thoughts start to come out.

    • Go back and look at all the screen shots of men who killed women for rejecting them. Go look at statistics of male violence against women. This is not a single data point, and trying to treat it as an isolated incident is gross and crass. Feels too much like every time we're told that society at large has nothing to do with white men learning to be violent towards others.

      • >white
        He's mixed, though(and hates it if his rhetoric is anything to go by). Diagnosing it as privileged entitlement would be in the same category as blaming it on identity issues due to multiple heritages(ie, it smacks of the same racial essentialism the perp subscribed too).

        • Kathleen Henry

          Yeah, saw that after I posted this. Seriously, though, given that the vast, vast majority of mass murderers recent US history are white, and white murderers are never racially profiled, are only ever treated as isolated cases, it really, really, annoys me to see people blatantly ignoring the evidence that this is not an isolated case, and trying to tell people to treat it like that.

          • But racial profiling is unproductive regardless of which group it's used on. The pic at the top of the article says it all: http://bossip.com/698648/race-matters-study-claim

            Arabs as automatic terrorists is dumb, PoC as thugs is stupid, and whites as committing to spree killings because they're overprivileged and entitled is equally stupid. Indeed, terrorists, rampage killers and career criminals much more in common with each other: the lone wolf who feels slighted by society, is hotboxed on whatever Kool-Aid is available(be it by religion, ideology or a need for vengeance on the system) and goes through the motions with regards to social relations while never feeling like he belongs.

          • I disagree. I think regardless of race, those who feel entitled to what others have will use whatever power they have to obtain it. Of those who can't, some will go to even further lengths, and some will stew in the unfairness of it all. It's not about racial profiling, it's about keeping in mind among whom those entitled attitudes are engendered, and who are the people with the power to act on their feelings.

          • Sadly, among the US, the "people with power to act on their feelings" is just about everybody, but it's pretty much only straight, cisgendered, white men who are tacitly sold the lie that they are entitled to women, to success, to happiness.

          • You forgot able-bodied, middle-and-higher class and allistic.

          • Very true, that I did. Thanks for saying so.

          • username_6916

            The majority of the US population is white. Spree killers in the US so far seem to be about as diverse as the male population of the United States.

            So, nope.

    • Max

      While I agree this is definitely all about the power fantasy, I think you'd be wrong not to link that power fantasy to toxic masculinity.

      • Gentleman Johnny

        The very idea that violence in its own right is a valid power fantasy for men, as opposed to violence as noble last resort, is pretty toxic. So the link is there.

  • Hannah

    I've had such a frustrating time trying to hammer into people that having Aspergers (This was on facebook..so yeah people are..not the brightest on there.) doesn't make you a killer or isn't the only and sole cause for someone to kill people. My partner has Aspergers, and he was seriously pissed that he was being lumped with Elliot Rodgers. I know that he was diagnosed with Aspergers and was having treatment. But I get the feeling that was the kind of "safe diagnosis", and there was WAY more to it.

    I read enough of his manifesto (Can you even call it that? It's just him bitching about not being able to play WoW, being racist and hating women.) to notice that his issues started to crop up more, or make a first time showing. When his younger sister was born. Major resentment there. Also by going through his speech aswell, such a huge narcissistic, grandiose view of himself, with some psychopath traits thrown in there. I think if he hadn't been into the whole MRA group, then probably he would have lived his life with very very bad interpersonal relationships or no relationships at all. But MRA/PUA basically fed into his fantasy and confirmed how he thought of himself.

    I mean, it's amazing how he had no self-awareness. Maybe just maybe people avoided him because he glowed the creepy-I-will-wear-your-skin aura. It's sad that bullies pushed his buttons, knowing that he would snap. But I'm not surprised. I was friends with a girl from my secondary school who was molested by her step-father, our whole year knew this and knew she was fragile, they had fun tormenting her and pushed her over the edge mentally, then laughed when she had mental breakdowns in the classroom. Amazingly nobody was ever punished. Kids can be really REALLY cruel.

    Anyway, I just find it so annoying that people are STILL going "BUT HE WAS CRAZY!", even you show actual facts and statistics that people with mental health issues: a very small number of them actually act out violently. More of the general population will carry out acts of violence than those with mental health problems.

    • Hannah

      OH. When I mean't "safe diagnosis", I'm comparing it to where small children who have behavioural problems in school are always diagnosed with Dyslexia, without actually going indepth why they have behavioural problems.

    • I read the whole 140 pages of his autobiography, or manifesto, or whatever you want to call it. I would not reject entirely the possibility that he was on the autism spectrum, given what looks like an inability to understand what people were thinking or feeling, and his self-stated cluelessness about how to go about making friends. You're correct that Asperger's/ASD can't be the sole explaining factor for why Rodger did what he did. I have several friends and acquaintances who are on the autism spectrum, and can't imagine any of them becoming mass murderers.

      If he was on the autism spectrum, that's but one of many, many issues he pretty clearly had–and not really one of the more dangerous or frightening ones. This thing is, as M. Scott Peck said years ago, "overdetermined." There are many, many factors feeding into why Eliot Rodger became a young man who thought his only option was mass murder/suicide. Perhaps early intervention and therapy might have unraveled some of it so he could have at least been able to function. Maybe not. I'm not sure we'll ever know… which is terrifying in itself.

      • Devlin_Mor

        He did have early intervention though. His parents thought something was wrong a long time ago, engaged a lot of psychological help, and paid for him to be in semi-sheltered housing. Its impossible to insulate someone from society though, and no matter what his therapists were telling him the misogynistic groups he was following were telling him he was a victim of injustice with a cause, which I bet sounded a lot more attractive than working on his issues.

    • Kailinne

      "he glowed the creepy-I-will-wear-your-skin aura."

      This right here. I watched as much of his video as I could stomach and that was definitely the vibe I felt. Even in his body language. If I saw someone at a party or club who projected that image I would stay far, far away.

      • Gentleman Johnny

        But he's really a great guy once you get to know him, I mean except for the skin wearing thing. That's just something he does. We're all used to it. You should give him a chance. He's just socially awkward. 😛

  • Nemo

    Outside of the conflation of men's rights, red pills and pick up artists it's a great article.

    Manhood academy/red pills – crazy fuckers who have taken things to the next level of seeing men and women as natural enemies. I equate them to the radfems that suggest eugenics are the answer to men.

    PUA – People that are still playing the gender role game, attempting to exploit it so they can fulfill their personal stereotype. As you pointed out, they aren't necessarily the cause, more like a symptom.

    Men's Rights Advocates/Movement – Individuals who are attempting to deconstruct the male gender role. Yes, this does lead to some headbutting between it and feminism. Yes, this leads to a vocal group that spend far too much time trying to lambaste feminism. Can you really blame them when the community that they are told is in "charge" of sexism discussion tells them they are the oppressors and that their issues are secondary, ripple effects. However, I don't think they are a symptom of the toxic perception of masculinity addressed in the article. They want to get rid of it as much as anyone else. I'd consider them distant allies to feminism.

    • RKMK

      Individuals who are attempting to deconstruct the male gender role (positively) are called feminists, not Men's Right Activists.

      • Nemo

        Why not both?
        Both groups are attempting to deconstruct the male gender role, but doing it from two different perspectives. Feminism is doing it from the female perspective, how men are perceived and affect women. They do so from the equally important outsider position.

        Men's Rights Advocates attempt to deconstruct the male gender role from the male perspective, how men perceive themselves and others.

        You need both as a check and balance, a complete revamp the system. If you modify the male gender role solely from an outsider perspective you can really only effect symptoms. You'll end up with a model that is selfless and clean on the outside, but rotting in the core.

        • RKMK

          Because all the noble things that "Men's Rights Activists" claim to be working towards are already the concern of feminism. Please see A) http://jezebel.com/5967923/fuck-you-mras and B) Part Four of: http://jezebel.com/5992479/if-i-admit-that-hating

          It would be equally ridiculous and offensive to claim oneself a "White's Rights Activist" in a world where white people are hardly persecuted for the colour of their skin. They're white supremacists, and MRAs are male supremacists, because they really really don't like women and the feeling that they're less powerful than they used to be, and want to turn back the clock.

          • Nemo

            The comparison to race issues is not adequate per your own statement. White people are indeed hardly (I'd say "not") persecuted for the color of their skin. On the other hand, men do indeed suffer from oppression based on their gender as this very article states. It's not they want to go back to the way things are, that wouldn't make any sense considering they perceive their gender roles as destructive. They want to go forward as well, they just want their own voice as to their part in that process.

            Sorry, I have no interest in responding to the part from Jezebel. I find their click-bait tactics and terrible articles do a disservice to the feminist movement.

          • RKMK

            "On the other hand, men do indeed suffer from oppression based on their gender"


          • Nemo

            Did you just completely ignore Doc Nerdlove's article?

          • RKMK

            No. Just because patriarchy backfires on men, it doesn’t mean they’re “oppressed.” They’re still the ones holding the proverbial (though, frankly, oft times literal) gun.

          • Julia

            My reaction to anyone whining about how "patriarchy hurts men, too, you know" has always been "Why are you hitting yourself?"

        • Gentleman Johnny

          I feel like this is the theory but not the practice. My brief forays into the MRAverse show the community to be pretty rotten to the core with a veneer of working for positive cultural change.

          BUT. . .

          I tell you what, then. Let's start by fighting for men's right to be defined as a "real man" outside their capacity for sex, violence and accumulating wealth.

          • Barretts_Salt

            The accumulating wealth bit hits unpleasantly home — I've watched three of my nearest and dearest destroyed by that one. One suicide, one now homeless, and the other vanished.

            And I couldn't get through to them that the reduced money and position really and truly did *not* matter to me.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            It bugs me because I've watched Silicon Valley nerd culture become incredibly culturally important. These are the guys who pioneered the open source movement, who want to build a techno utopia. At the end of the day, though, their status still comes down to cleverness instead of violence, sex and wealth. Now its no better or worse than Wall Street.

          • Maximilian

            Money, its a gas.

          • username_6916

            But, at the end of the day, the Google reciting pitch isn't "make more money than god", it's "do interesting things that matter".

            Cleverness has always been at the core of the 'hacker'/open source/free software movement. What is so bad about that?

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Nothing on its own. Linux was a great contribution to society as a whole. Except that's no longer the execution. Google has been illegally using municipal bus stops for years and when they got caught THEN negotiated to pay a penny on the dollar of the usual fines going forward but not counting backwards. Zappos is redesigning downtown to fit the perfect hipsterville so that if employees do have to leave the corporate cult, they have a nice little creche of businesses catering to that same style. Lyft did an end run around taxi laws without properly vetting its drivers. In each case, a private company is rewriting the public rules to benefit its shareholders without regard to the other citizens. They're doing it deliberately and with profit aforethought because they know damn well that the wheels of bureaucracy turn slower than a database query does so they can always outrun the law and beg forgiveness later.

            TL;DR – cleverness is fine. Cleverness plus greed, not so much.

          • username_6916

            It's funny that you first complain that Google broke the law by using the bus stops (as if no taxi or private citizen ever did that), then complaint that when Google complied with the law that they didn't pay enough. State law prohibits Muni from charging more. And, why would they? Their private bus service is a conurbation to society as a whole bunch of vehicles off the road thus increasing available throughput for everyone else and allows their workers to be more productive. Who's the looser here? Muni and Caltrian and the road network gain free capacity, Google employees get an easier commute and Google gets more productivity.

            Who's the looser when a private company buys private property for private redevelopment? It's a trade between willing parties who both agree because what they are getting is worth more than what they are giving up. Why is this a bad thing?

            Lyft, if anything seems to be an example countering the very trend you describe: A small group of politically connected people (taxi company owners) using the law (taxi medallion laws) to keep competition out out of their business and profit margins while hurting consumers. Isn't the new competition a good thing for consumers? Who, besides the politically established incumbent cab companies who are the beneficiaries of regulatory capture is the looser here?

            The fact that a database query is faster than the wheels of bureaucracy speaks to the value of private industry, and the value it provides to those around it. This is a benefit to society, not a determent.

            Want to complain about greed? Find someone who is actually acting unethically and causing harm to people or the market. Like how the major tech companies conspired to keep wages down in the industry. Talk about regulatory capture and how broadband providers want to hold last mile traffic hostage. Talk about the copyright cartels and their influence on congress to the determent of the public good. Absent that sort of harm, I believe that greed can be a good thing in the capitalist system.

            TL;DR- Greed is good. Greed and political power, not so much.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            No, they didn't pay $175 per violation. They agreed to pay nothing backlog and $1 per stop going forward. The private bus is not a contribution to society. Its a contribution to Google employees, a private perk for a private company for employees who are already near the top of the food chain compared to their neighbors. As someone said "You know how in Mario Kart, the closer you are to first place, the less useful your power ups are? Life should be like that". Instead they get a deal that small businesses can't.

            Who loses when private development comes in? Renters. The property owners wants to sell. The property buyer wants to buy. The people who could afford to live there get displaced. Zappos decided "we live here now and will offer money to people who want to build in our image" because they feel like the money gives them the right and legally it does. Does that make it ethical?

            Is new competition a good thing? Sure. Is new competition that gets to do an end run around the rules everyone else has to compete by? No.

            I actually agree that cleverness is a good thing but Google, Zappos, Wal Mart and others have become de facto governments in their home towns. The problem with that is that they're a government that answers to their shareholders first, employees second and the governed not at all.

            Yeah, there are other problems, even other IP problems. The fact that I have a problem with the way our feudal corporate overlords have decided to reqrite (actually displace) society in their image in no way prevents me from having other problems. Just like my having a problem with entitled guys doesn't take away from my ability to contribute to problems that guys face.

          • username_6916

            So, would society be better off if the Google employees in question used the Bay Area's underbuilt freeway network in private cars instead? And, the companies hired by Google to run these things are themselves relatively small businesses. I'm not sure I see any other business being excluded from this deal either.

            Landlords have no obligation to renters beyond the terms of their rental agreement. Rentors and landlords also have their own mutually agreeable trade of money for the use of land and buildings. Should one side be forced to continue this trade even if they don't want to? Would you feel the same way if a landlord could obligate a renter to extend their lease beyond the originally agreed term even if the renter doesn't agree?

            Is Lyft the only group to do this? Is there anything stopping someone else from doing the same thing? Are the even technically breaking the law? Is that law even just, given how it came to be?

          • Gentleman Johnny

            So the only solutions are for Google employees to drive or Google buses to break the law until they're caught then make a token offer?

            Is the law even just? Well, isn't that something for a court to decide?

            The issue in both cases is that neither company made any attempt to be in compliance with existing laws, which they knew they were breaking or explotiing fairly dodgy loopholes in, until the government stepped in and threatened legal action. At that time, rather than becoming fully compliant, they each negotiated a private agreement, one not available to other citizens who might have wanted the same accommodation. In essence, there are two sets of laws, one for people and one for companies with several million dollars on the line. Now that's a problem of government on one hand. On the other hand its a problem of the attitude of people who feel entitled to ignore the law until it inconveniences them then pay for a private deal. Having the money to accomplish that does not make it okay. It just means that the tech nerds getting bullied in school now get to bully other people.

          • username_6916

            More to the point, in my view an individual's status is still measured by their contribution to their own community. Google Busses and corporate campuses and whatnot don't really figure into someone's estimation of someone else's worth as developer. In software nerd circles, I still think 'being a Linux kernel contributor' ranks more highly than 'worked for a trendy web/mobile/social startup', particularly when that startup is just another CRUD app and not everyone who worked there is even technical.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Which really doesn't have much to do with anything except the argument of whether starting a bus to your community so that Google employees will move there counts as a contribution. If they're just using The Mission (for example) as a wage slave storage facility, that's not a contribution. If those employees are getting involved with their local community (which, by and large they're not) then more power to them. There's a difference between buying a space in a community and being part of it.

          • username_6916

            What? Okay, I'm now a bit confused here. At one point, you seem to complain about how silicon valley nerd culture has become obsessed with accumulating wealth over technical prowess. My argument is how about, when it comes to technical individuals at least, the things you complain about aren't really relevant.

            Now, we have this post which seems like a complete non sequitur. What does living in the mission have to do with technical prowess or contribution to your community? Is that the thing about open source, and software in general: You can contribute from anywhere?

          • Gentleman Johnny

            I use The Mission as an example because:
            1. Its where the Google buses run.
            2. Three or four years ago, it wasn't a hub of tech culture but
            3. Tech workers decided they wanted to live somewhere trendy. So they began displacing the current residents, who mostly lived and worked locally. They are not known for participating in the vibrant, decades old community there. Instead, they consume the vibrant culture while making sure that no one who produces it can afford to live there. Its the same thing that happens to every arts neighborhood in New York, so its not tech specific, its feeling entitled because you have money specific. There's more to being part of a community than paying rent and/or offering financial incentives for the type of businesses that you want to see to move there.

            So by all means, write code and contribute wherever you want. Once you've picked that spot, though, don't think your startup funding entitles you to rebuild wherever you are in your own image. You're likely to get pushback from people who actually live there.

          • CornedBee

            Stand up for your right to cry when you're sad!

            Stand up for your right to hug (not brohug) your male friends!

            Meh, can't think of any other good ones right now …

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Stand up for your right to. . .

            have a bowling night with the guys.
            go to therapy without shame.
            have emotions that take more than one word to describe.
            accept gay people as your friends.
            study bonsai and/or flower arranging.
            show compassion to those less fortunate.
            walk away from a fight.

            The list goes on.

          • CornedBee

            Also, Wednesday's letter gave me an idea.

            … not have sex on the first date even if offered.

          • username_6916

            "I tell you what, then. Let's start by fighting for men's right to be defined as a "real man" outside their capacity for sex, violence and accumulating wealth. "

            Okay sounds great! But, you do realize this involves asking women to change their behavior and attitudes as much as it asking asking men to?

          • reboot

            Women changed the definition of femininity largely without the support of men and often in direct conflict with male desires. Men will have to do the same.

          • username_6916

            If that's so, this is a task that can't be left to feminism. That is yet another reason we need a men's movement.

          • reboot

            I agree. My biggest complaint about the current species of men's movements is that they focus on trying to turn back the clock and change gender roles back to the (from their perspective) good old days. That horse has left the barn and ain't ever coming back. They are more focused on changing women than changing the outdated definition of masculinity.

            A men's movement that focused on modernizing masculinity and tossing the messed up bits, I could be an ally of a movement like that. Fighting for paternity leave, workplace attitudes that do not punish men for equally shouldering child care responsibility, support for stay at home husbands, better mental health care for men especially re: depression, recruitment of men into traditionally female jobs (e.g. nursing, teaching, social work) etc., there are many battles than need a men's movement.

      • devicat26

        A world full of WHAT. 'Can you really blame them' yes. yes I can. We're going to get a shit storm of MRA apologists in this thread aren't we… also, 'leads to some headbutting with feminism' ? uh, one group systematically treats women like meat filled sacks to inject semen into and the other wants social equality. HMMM WHICH GROUP TO SIDE WITH.

        • Emotionally charged caps locked witch hunting and smear campaigns isn't going to change anyone's mind for the better.

          • thathat

            Yes, how dare anyone get emotional about this.

          • reboot

            Yeah hate crimes (in this case hate for women and for nonwhite men who dated (presumably) white women are obviously not worth being emotional about.


    • Max

      You're thinking of MRAs as they should be, which is a small subsection of feminism that pops up and says "Hey now" every so often, not MRAs as they actually are, which are just a bunch of angry men posting on the internet about how much they blame women for their problems (and are directly and stupidly in complete opposition to feminism).

      • reboot

        Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes MRA as a hate group and I have to agree. Swap out woman for black or Jewish or Muslim in their writing and it is pretty obvious.

        Because I love to torture myself, I actually went through and mapped some of the language about women controlling sex to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It was scary.

        • username_6916

          " Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes MRA as a hate group"

          That's absurd.

          First because there is no one MRA group at all. I can no more call the President of Men's Rights any more than I can call the President of Feminism.

          And that report goes off and talks about everything from /r/theRedpill to certain neo-traditionalists… Only a small subset of them are MRAs.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Dig around, its not the only decentralized movement that SPLC defines as a hate group. Feel free to look up their criteria for classification while you're at it.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Did your homework for you. My dad was a career cop and used to get print copies of the SPLC Intelligence Report back before the Interwebs were a thing. Before anyone thinks to rip into the SPLC for bias, consider that this is exactly the publication that police forces including the FBI use as a who's who of hate groups.

            So I figured I'd take a peek since I'm pretty familiar with their format. SPLC has in fact not qualified MRA as a hate group.* The article's from 2012 and is in response to the response to another article on some MRA leader committing suicide (linked in that one). The Hatewatch blog front page is full of stuff about Elliot **. There's a rather interesting read entitled "Misogyny: The Sites" ***. While they haven't listed the entire amorphous manosphere as a "hate group" (likely for, as you say, not really being a group), they do call it out as being a space known for misogyny. Make of it what you will.

            <a href="http:// *http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2012/05/15/intelligence-report-article-provokes-outrage-among-mens-rights-activists/" target="_blank"> <a href="http://*http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2012/05/15/intelligence-report-article-provokes-outrage-among-mens-rights-activists/” target=”_blank”>*http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2012/05/15/intelligence-report-article-provokes-outrage-among-mens-rights-activists/

            * <a href="http:// *http://www.splcenter.org/blog/" target="_blank"> <a href="http://*http://www.splcenter.org/blog/” target=”_blank”>*http://www.splcenter.org/blog/

            ** <a href="http:// *http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/misogyny-the-sites" target="_blank"> <a href="http://*http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/misogyny-the-sites” target=”_blank”>*http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/misogyny-the-sites

          • reboot

            Thanks GJ, I was being sloppy with my language. It would have been more accurate to call MRA a philosophy of hate, not a group, like white supremacy.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Its ok, I found an article on Radfem that said the same thing. I spent quite a bit of time poking around their list of roughly 1,000 hate groups and of hate leaders trying to make sure I didn't miss it. Amusingly, the edges of the convervosphere have called them out as unreliable for not including this or that feminist group in their list while putting various stripes of "conservative Christian" ones on there.

    • trixnix

      PUA: One or two decent folks inside a world of insecurity, toxic masculinity, a misunderstanding of science and a striking inability to make actual friends or connections with people.

      MRA's: largely tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theory believing lunatics trying to protect the rights of individuals who largely have enough protection for their rights and even if they don't wouldn't want rabidly angry guys who hate women sticking up for their rights in the first place. A group that does nothing to further the rights of men and actually gives men a bad name.

      They are not interested in getting rid of toxic masculinity. They simply are toxic. Part of the problem not looking to solve it.

    • Iarnsaxa

      Just fyi, the Men's Movement and the Men's Rights Movement are two distinct things.

      • LeeEsq

        And the MRA is not the something as the Men's Rowing Association. The latter are just men who like boats.

    • chinchilla

      Hahahaha no.

      Kindly recently summarised: http://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2014/05/25/for-new-

    • LeeEsq

      Nemo, there is a lot of overlap between the three groups. I've seen MRA activists use the term red pill and I can't quite take people that get their intellectual lexicon from the Matrix seriously. The MRA is in no way trying to deconstruct the male gender role because what they rant most about is how feminism and other factors of modernity are preventing them from fulfilling the prerogatives of traditional male gender roles. Mainly that of man is breadwinner, lord, and master of the house. Most MRA relish the traditional male gender role.

      • reboot

        Just like white supremacists relish the days when nonwhites and Jews knew their place and white men reigned supreme.

        Extremists scare me.

        • LeeEsq

          White supremacists were at least honest about what they wanted. You can't even say that of MRA.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Not anymore. Now they use terms like "heritage" and "state's rights".

      • username_6916

        Chances are, if they are identifying themselves as "taking the Red Pill", they aren't what I'd classify as MRAs at all.

        Over on Reddit, we have a subreddit called /r/theRedPill, which seems to be the hive for this particular offshoot of the whole PUA/Seduction subculture, but it's hardly the only one. Unlike any Men's Rights Movement, they don't really seek to change the world, or change law or policy. As far as I can tell, theirs is an extension on certain parts of PUA theory, particularly those about how women only value the so-called "Alpha Male", and how men should try to emulate these "Alpha" behaviors. Even here, there's some variation. On one hand, we have blogger Atoll Kay who advocates a mix of "Alpha" and "Beta" behaviors to create a happy marriage between a Husband who is the "Captain" of the relationship and the Wife as the "First Mate" of the relationship. On the other hand, we have folks who insist that you have to be "Alpha" as possible, who eschew marriage, and suggest that women are incapable of true love.

        While not all red piller's are misogynist in their views, they do tend to lean in favor of enforcing traditionalist-ish gender roles, but usually with more casual sex for the men (but not for the women. Not quite sure how that's supposed to work). I would also argue that some of the more 'dominant' aspects of masculinity are also emphasized by this group.

        Most Men's Rights groups I see are organized to oppose anything they see as harmful to men and masculinity as a whole. Most MRAs I see are in favor of greater freedom within gender roles. Many MRAs consider the Feminists to be actively working to hurt men and masculinity, which explains a general dislike of the label and those who actively identify with it. (I personally think this can go overboard a lot of times, but, I'm not all MRAs.)

        The key difference here is that the MRAs see themselves as advocating for some particular changes to law or culture. The RedPill crowd simply accepts their view of society as simply how things are and not worth changing. Instead, they hold that men should adapt and become "Alpha".

        Most folks who are part of the Red Pill crowd make it a point of not being called MRAs. Most folks who are MRAs make it a point to try to avoid being conflated with the Red Pill crowd.

    • Jenn

      You do realize that MRA's feel that rape shouldn't be treated as a crime, that a man beating his wife, or girlfriend, or female children is something the celebrated right?

      Hell I saw MRA's rag on a guy for getting injured protecting his daughter from a gang beating because she deserved it for having a vagina? And no the daughter was not involved in any illegal activity, they just came across a group of people and asked what they were doing.

  • adamhunter1223

    DNL makes really good points here, two in particular really stuck with me. First: "Let’s just imagine a world where being a virgin wasn’t stigmatizing, where men didn’t fear being inexperienced or unsure around women"

    That hits the nail right on the head. The root of a lot of the misogynistic entitlement bullshit that gets thrown around is FEAR. Guys are afraid to admit they're wrong, afraid of being seen as 'lesser' or 'defective', afraid of 'failing' to find a woman and just afraid of being afraid. It's not surprising that when you put people in a position where they're constantly scared they're going to lash out, not that their behavior is excusable. That lashing out takes a lot of forms, PUAs, Nice Guys(TM), and then unfortunately there's watershed like Rodger who took things to a whole other level. As long as the subconscious fearmongering continues we're going to have this bullshit continuous cycle. Here's hoping that we as a society will get over this crap eventually, but I'm not holding out for it in my lifetime.

    The second point I wanted to hit was this: "But that doesn’t actually mean anything. Asperger’s Syndrome isn’t a mental illness, it’s a neurological disorder that makes it hard to connect with people or to read social cues. It has nothing to do with violence; people with Asperger’s aren’t “out of control” or prone to hurting others."

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH. This is one of my biggest shit buttons. I have Asperger's, and I've been through special ed since elementary school (short bus and everything, trust me, it's twice as humiliating as it looks) and 99% of my friends in school were either on the Autism spectrum or had Asperger's themselves, and you know what? None of us were anything close to violent. We got attacked, verbally and sometimes physically, but none of the special ed kids I knew with one exception ever attacked anyone.

    • Exactly! I'm just barely on the spectrum and have many friends who are, and that kind of casual ignorance makes me ragey. A processing disorder does NOT make you go out and kill people. It can make it harder to form social and partner relationships, but that can be worked with/around.

      • adamhunter1223

        Preaching to the choir man. Unfortunately, the news media resembles nothing so much as a bunch of sharks, and slapping Asperger's or Autism onto someone in the news is a cheap and easy way to add controversy and thus up their viewership numbers.

      • WaywardSon01

        I've got a mild case of Asperger's myself and it has enraged me to no end to learn that the Elliot Rodger killings show that using Autism to justify oneself has moved from the internet to real life and has increased in bullshit levels from trying to justify acting like a douchebag to flat out trying to excuse MURDER. I may have trouble understanding and trusting people, but I'm under no delusion I can treat people badly or hurt them because I "can't help it do to having bad wiring" or some other garbage like that.

      • Having read this guy's screed, I think it's possible that he may have been on the spectrum. He spoke at one point, for instance, of his stepmother wanting him to go make friends with some neighbor kids, and his recognition that he had no idea whatsoever how to do that.

        However, I do NOT think that's what made him a killer. Not even a little bit.

        I'm not a psychologist, nor do I play one on TV, but my suspicion is that he had a narcissistic personality disorder. Reading his words you can see both crippling insecurity and an over-inflated sense of entitlement and specialness. I also saw delusions of grandeur. He repeatedly said he was "destined for greatness," oftentimes justifying his inability/unwillingness to take and keep a job if it seemed too menial–it's entirely possible, though, that all of that was covering up his anxieties about the whole process of applying and interviewing for employment, which even to a mostly NT person like myself seems arcane and painful.

        What I have read about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (and its close relative, Borderline Personality Disorder) indicates to me that these are the people who oftentimes become abusers, and it's not a big step from that to what Elliot Rodger did, if it's coupled with the raft of issues it appears he may have had. If his only problem had been being on the autism spectrum, early intervention might have put and kept him on the right track. But that didn't happen; nor was an autism spectrum disorder the only thing he had to deal with. Had it been, most likely we wouldn't be here talking about this.

    • Swinton

      As I keep telling people, over and over – people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders are many orders of magnitude more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. And in extreme cases, autism – and the idea that it's so hard for NT people – is used to excuse the perpetrators of these crimes.

  • devicat26

    is there a reason why this thing won't post?

    • devicat26

      goddamnit there it goes.

  • Under_Orange

    To say this attack was the result of mental illness and only mental illness carries the implication that its totally normal to want to kill women and that only someone who was crazy would actually do it.

    And I really… I really just cannot express how that isn't comforting in the slightest.

    • Wanting to kill people in general due to rejection isn't normal at all.

      • Under_Orange

        That wasn't the impression I got when so many people rushed to sympathize with this weeks misogynistic murderer.

        • There were people defending on lots of fronts, it's absolutely a big problem.

      • vibrissimo

        Have a look again at those headlines in the article. It may not be "normal" but it is very, very common for men to do that. Yes, some women do, too, but this type of violence is overwhelmingly male.

    • There are also a whole lot of comments I'm seeing that if he had been a brown dude with a beard the narrative would be all "terrorism religious extremist" etc, but because he's a white dude "he must be crazy". There is a lot of truth in that – because it's comforting for other men to think that he was somehow "different" from them, and thus they have no connection to or association with some of the things he said.

      • Sorry, but Rodgers IS disconnected from most men. Mentally healthy people do not kill the people who reject them, regardless of how much manosphere literature they read.

        • Under_Orange

          The general point is that nobody is doing any good claiming 'not all men' are like that because they are only doing it to distance them from the crime and make themselves feel better. In doing so, they're making it easier to chalk it all off as a one-off and forget about it in a week.

          It isn't a one-off. There are loads of links in this article and its comments alone to prove that. Claiming "not all men" is officially derailing the point for your own benefit. If you really do care about the safety of women I recommend you stop.

          • I don't feel better or worse, I get no benefit, and I'm not derailing. I'm not saying it's a not a problem that should be addressed, I'm just one person disagreeing with the cause of the problem.

          • Joy

            That's a good point. I wonder if the reason our social narrative is what it is–brown people with beards are terrorists, white dudes are crazy–is because of our need to distance ourselves from the perpetrators. That person is clearly nothing like us or anybody we know; therefore, we are not at fault and we are safe. Since I'd put money on the largest demographic represented by media creators being white men, any white man who does something like this *must* simply be irredeemably broken or otherwise strongly differentiated from us and our friends and families; no further examination of ourselves or our culture necessary.

        • Max

          The issue is that he really isn't disconnected from most men. It's only a difference of degrees. You can't tell me that his writing doesn't sound exactly like some of the comments posted here.

      • The Rain Dog

        I’ve been thinking a lot about that as well, and also another mass murder comparison. Anders Breivik killed 70 kids after writing his bizarre white supremacist manifesto, and most seemed to blame his toxic ideology. Yet so many seem dismissive of the ideological component in this case and intent on writing him off as an isolated psycho.

        I truly wonder why that is.

  • Skada

    So, all the men that will inevitably come in here and start on with the NOT ALL MEN!!! song and dance:

    Can it. Now.

    We KNOW that Not All Men are like that. We KNOW in our bones that Not All Men are like that. Men are our brothers and our fathers and our uncles and our coworkers and our spouses and our friends and our soccer team partners and all that. We KNOW, and we get it.

    So every single time you pull the Not All Men card, and then either deny, deflect, dismiss, or derail the topic, you are providing cover for those men who DO pose a danger to other people. (See what I did there?) You are providing cover to the ones who would, actually, commit murder. The ones who would, actually, commit sexual assault, or catcall, or grope, or even make it so that when you go to the sci-fi convention, that cosplayer who did an amazing job of making her costume won't even look you in the eye.

    And meanwhile, those men are hurting YOU. This idea of entitlement and power and dominance is hurting you. Quite literally, in the case of the three men that this jackass stabbed to death.

    • Nemo

      Consider how you are approaching individuals directly affected by the issue we are trying to deconstruct.

      "To any individuals who have grown up living these gender roles and feeling defensive, shut up, the adults are talking"

      Every group does this same song and dance. Look at how muslim-americans reacted after 9/11. You want to distance yourself from those individuals of your social order who have done something terrible.

      Telling them to shut up is not going to help. Instead, ask them to join the conversation. What -else- do they have to say?

      • Skada

        If they join the conversation to LISTEN, and to LEARN, and to really pay attention to what the Doc is saying, or what the women here are saying, or what some of the more enlightened and nuanced-worldview-having people of all points on the physical/gender/sexuality spectrum on this board have to say, then by all means, they are welcome to the conversation.

        If they are going to deny, dismiss, derail, berate, diminish, belittle, or hand-wave away the legitimate concerns of other people, on an issue that is very literally life and death for the young man in question, the women who he murdered, and the men who he murdered, then yeah, they need to go somewhere else, because they are not adding anything to the conversation. Instead, it's the same old knee-jerk baw-haw sad trombone we've all heard before, and the Doc has spent hours and hours and heaven only knows how many pixels trying to educate people about.

        As for the not-all-muslims? That's actually a fair point, and it in no way diminishes mine: that unless and until the Not All Men can get over the knee-jerk reaction and get on with making shit better, then keep quiet. Same with me being a white straight person listening to the very legitimate grievances of black people in the US and the remedies the people experiencing these issues propose: shut up, listen, learn something. Or taking my well-meant and heartfelt desire to post a "no, really, things will be okay!" thing to the It Gets Better Project–it's not my place, it's not my role, and the best thing I can do is sit back and shut up and offer support to any young QUILTBAG people who come to me for it.

        So, yeah, Not All Men. When they're ready to join in in a constructive manner, welcome. Until then, be can it.

        • 'If they join the conversation to LISTEN, and to LEARN, and to really pay attention to what the Doc is saying, or what the women here are saying, or what some of the more enlightened and nuanced-worldview-having people of all points on the physical/gender/sexuality spectrum on this board have to say, then by all means, they are welcome to the conversation.'

          People can listen, learn, pay attention and not agree. People are allowed in conversations and not agree with the popular dialogue.

          • Skada

            That is true and that is not the issue here. It's the deny, dismiss, derail, belittle, berate, diminish, and otherwise distract from the topic at hand that is the issue here.

            Not All Men! is a diminishment. It takes the very legitimate concern of men and women alike, that there are people like Rodger who are extremely dangerous, and dismisses it, because not all men are like that, don't you know?

            Not All Men! is a denial. Not all men are like that, and we men who are not all like that grew up not like that in spite of this toxic mess of entitlement and power and control that the Doc is talking about! So if we grew up Not Like That, it's not that bad a problem. (This falls into the same poisonous mindset as, so it's only two miles to walk to the grocery store, person without a car, so get off your lazy ass and go! Oh, wait, what do you mean it's two miles' walk along a busy six-lane road with no sidewalks and your leg and your left arm were blown off in Iraq, and you live there because that's the apartment you can afford on disability?)

            Not All Men! is a derail. We are talking about a very specific thing here: this particular toxic mess of entitlement, power, control, and the definition of masculinity, and how it tortures and kills men and tortures and kills women. Every time somebody Not All Mens, it sends the conversation off into the wild blue yonder never to return until a moderator drops a hammer on it. Constructive discussion gets dragged off into the wild blue yonder with it.

            That is what we want to avoid, and if that is the best a poster can do, then yeah, they need to sit this one out.

          • 'because not all men are like that, don't you know?'

            ' Not all men are like that, and we men who are not all like that grew up not like that in spite of this toxic mess of entitlement and power and control that the Doc is talking about! So if we grew up Not Like That, it's not that bad a problem'

            You're putting words into people's mouths. That's not what anyone is saying.

            'Constructive discussion gets dragged off into the wild blue yonder with it. '

            That depends on what you define as constructive discussion.

            A bunch of yes-people spouting this! this! this! so much this! Isn't constructive discussion IMO.

            If you want to have constructive discussion, then have it. What can be done to stop this sort of thing assuming your view is the correct one?

          • I'd say:
            *More holistic approaches to therapy that involve school and other relevant institutions
            *Hands-on parenting that limits monomanic behaviour(game time only after chores, and at the same time encouraging the kid to turn solo hobbies into something social) or else lob a personal coach on it if you don't have the time but do have the dosh
            *Instilling a work ethic and a pro-active approach early on in life to prevent affluenza
            *Offering versatile models of masculinity away from the claws of narrow-minded interest groups

            Basically, fighting social atomization.

      • Gentleman Johnny

        "To any individuals who have grown up living these gender roles and feeling defensive, shut up, the adults are talking"

        we know you didn't kill people. Now step back and recognize that these roles are toxic and dangerous to you personally. You have a support network right here that doesn't need you to be "strong' or "manly" 24/7, that won't shame you for being a virgin over the age of 15. You have a group here that, like you, is looking for an alternate, non-toxic definition of manhood. Yes, this guy is totally to blame for his own actions. Now step past that and take a look at how those same attitudes are holding you back in your own life.

    • devicat26

      Batten the hatches; this is going to be a rough ride. By the end of the day this article will have attracted a vast majority of all the NOT ALL MENSSSS!!! and MRAs and all the creepy crawlies that live to tell the internet how wronged men are and how women are to blame. I almost want to take a bet on the numbers but it would be too easy….

    • I'm a man who's "not like that." And you know what? I'm pissed too.

      These guys are ruining it for the rest of us – I'm a single "nice guy" or "beta" and I've had PLENTY OF HOOKUPS. The dichotomy is false and it seduces impressionable men into misogyny. It's taking men's normal, healthy desire for sex and intimacy and turning it into a sick, unfulfilling mind-game. It's not fair to women OR men. And it's pretty much all men's fault.

      When some girl "Gives" you sex because of your car/status/money… where's the fun in that? Where's the chemistry? Where's the sense of adventure? It's just something you do to fulfill your quota to avoid shame. We have to take the shame out of the equation just like DNL says.

      I'm preaching to the choir here, but for any guys on the fence. The worst thing you can do is make your sexual inexperience an object of obsession. Nobody cares. It's a numbers game and nobody ultimately cares. I hope everybody has a rich sex life but there are many things that get in the way, and our cultural fixation on it is driving men and women insane.


      • Gentleman Johnny

        Beta males unite! Also, I don't think you're using Nice Guy in the way Doc defines it. By all means, though, let's show a positive model where hypermasculinity isn't some snake oil cure-all.

      • Maximilian

        How do you explain this guy being labelled "Killer Virgin" and virgin continued to be used as an insult if nobody cares?

        Genuine question.

        • Great question, Max!

          I do think one of the reasons he was labeled "killer virgin" is that he himself made SUCH a big deal about it in his videos. But the stigma DOES need to end. A little empathy would go a long way.

          My point is that people can always find something to make fun of. But let's say one is a virgin – gets insulted for it. Then he/she goes out and loses his/her virginity. That was my story. Guess what? Nobody cares. Yes, the little insults went away, but my life wasn't measurably better in any way.

          If you get hung up – as perhaps this destructive young man was – on the worst thing people can think about you, you're condemning yourself (As I did in my early 20's) to a shit life. This only encourages people to further insult you, as they notice that your behaviors confirm their attitudes.

          • Maximilian

            True enough. Empathy doesn't and will probably never get as many laughs as McLovin or Andy Stitzer though.

  • Meyer N Gaines


    I just looked it up, and honestly, I'm a bit surprised that people set up a website devoted to "hating" PUAs.

    Though I did read more into it, tbh it seems like just a depressing circle jerk of the same 5 topics (basically: A is a fraud, I can't get laid because of B, C, D, E).

    • trixnix

      PUAHATE is a god awful place of circle jerk madness that spent a lot of its time trolling the mentally ill, the bullied, women, men and those who found it hard to get dates. They trolled forums where men and women reached out to ask for help in their dating and social lives. They bullied people with BDD. The trolled women online on dating sites.

      That site had very little to do with hating PUA type people. The most popular section on it was about hating women.

    • LeeEsq

      Most of the internet consists a lot of circle jerking. The really great thing about the internet is that it allows a lot of wrongfully isolated and ostracized people to find each other and form communities. The really bad thing about the internet is that it allows bad communities to reinforce each other. PUAHate is a good example of the latter.

  • Leila

    Never commented before, but this is part of the reason why lots of women are so wary of pick-up artist techniques. Even with the argument that 'sometimes they're helpful, sometimes they give awkward-but-essentially-good guys confidence' . That may well be true, but they also allow people on this guy's woman-hating spectrum to learn how to hide how angry, entitled, and dehumanising they are. That is, if they can make it more than twenty minutes before revealing how much they despise you as a woman.
    I like to be able to spot my psychopaths.

    • Meyer N Gaines

      To be fair, Rodger was more involved with PUAHATE than PUA though.

      • sunflowerpower

        Guys, please let it go. Rodgers was gay, closeted and self-hating. The fact nobody seems able to voice out loud that gay men very much can envy and hate women and be as misogynist as their straight counterparts is the very ugly elephant in a very small and ugly room here. What he thought of women is irrelevant. Fact is, he joined PUAHATE to connect with men and try to convince them in writing they found him beautiful (read his postings).

        He wanted a woman as a side piece and trophy to convince himself peen wasn't the answer. Gay. Hated women, killed women. Gay men do it too. End of speech. Full stop.

    • nonA

      I can't help but wonder if PUA would have in fact been good for him.

      Maybe the empathy module in his brain was busted, and the best we could have hoped for from him was not being too destructive. But if you look at the average guy who tries PUA techniques, something interesting does happen. Being face-to-face with real live women is one of the best ways to start seeing women as actual people.

      There's a part of me that's heartened by this. It's always nice when the law of unexpected consequences spits out a benefit.

      • thathat

        I think PUA would have still taught him to think of women as a commodity that he was eventually entitled to if he just put enough work in.

      • Mengsk

        I dunno, there seems to be something profoundly perverse about the idea that PUA tactics are the only reason why he might have face to face interactions with "real, live women". I'm kind of with you on the idea that it's easier to get over toxic/unhealthy notions about sex and romance if you've had experience with sex and relationships, but one would hope that he could find occasions to interact with women that didn't involve trying to psychologically manipulate them into sleeping with him.

      • Furious Styles

        I usually am quick to defend the "good things" I've gotten out of PUA. But the brand is destroyed by the entitled angry "element" that invariably find their way there. And as pointed out by Doc, too many of their "products" are predicated on the commodity model, the idea that women are desireable unknowable aliens that need to be tricked into sex, and that your worth is tied to your ability to do so. These assumptions are baked into the cake already. What's f'ed up about PUA is what's F'ed up about society, and until society's assumptions change, that brand of PUA probably won't…despite the few reformers out there.

      • Gentleman Johnny

        Clearly he already had entitlement issues around "I followed steps A, B and C. Where's my pussy?"

        • trixnix

          Him and a lot of the others on PUAHATE thought that was what was wrong with PUA. I followed this step and that step and no pussy? Must get angry!!

          Elliot's entitlement issues were huge by the sounds of things. He seemed to think a woman was some kind of accessory rather than a person.

      • eselle28

        I don't really think so, after having read his manifesto. This wasn't your hypothetical guy who's too shy and awkward to figure out how to talk to a woman. This is a guy who was kind of a whirlwind of prizing his own whiteness and wanting to be more white than he was, prizing his own class status while wanting to be richer than he was, and prizing his own masculinity while wanting to be more manly than he was. I think sexual frustration gave him something to direct his rage at, but I don't think getting laid now and then would have helped things. There are other hateful ideologies out there, and I think he would have found one of them, because this isn't just a single point of entitlement. If he hadn't found anything at all to point all that rage at, I think he might have been comparatively low-harm, with or without success with women.

        • nonA

          Fair. And fully agreed on all counts.

          I was thinking more the general case than the narcissistic sociopath case, and was a little keyed up from the whole THESE THINGS ARE ALWAYS EVIL kerfluffle on the forums.

      • etherealclarity

        After reading his manifesto, the conclusion that I came to is that even if he got laid, even if he managed to snag the perfect, blond, tanned girl that he felt that he deserved who would have sex with him daily (all of those are his words btw), that when he was inevitably disappointed by reality he would still have been a very destructive person. If it wasn't mass murder, it could very easily have been serial rape and/or domestic abuse.

      • dave

        Please keep in mind that 2009 mass murderer George Sodini had just taken one of the PUA courses to improve his chances with women before he committed the acts.

        • Dr_NerdLove

          Time to pick an identity "Dave", before I pick one for you.

    • WynneL80

      Now, Leila, that's actually an insult to psychopaths, many of whom are non-murdering functional members of society, like politicians and lawyers. No, seriously. Not all psychopaths become murderers or even bad people in any sense. They're just less in touch with their emotions.

      I think his antisocial personality disorder was comorbid with narcissistic personality disorder and Asperger's, not to mention unhealthy family and social dynamics. I mean, that's just a mess of problems right there. Makes you wish we had more psychological screenings of schoolchildren–maybe he could have been helped.

  • devicat26

    I'm going to go with….no. The vast majority of PUA techniques make women out to be hunted deer/sperm receptacles NOT actual people. Also, I wouldn't arm-chair psychology this guy – you don't know him, you don't the circumstances that made him and unless you have various degrees in criminal behavior and psychology you can't say for certain what made him go boom.

    • I'm not sure but I don't think you know 'the vast majority of PUA techniques', I think your parroting what you've heard on here about the subject.

      'Also, I wouldn't arm-chair psychology this guy – you don't know him, you don't the circumstances that made him and unless you have various degrees in criminal behavior and psychology you can't say for certain what made him go boom.'

      That goes both ways.

      • devicat26

        Oh God, your funny. Fly away troll, fly away no ones interested here

        • Very mature rebuttal. I'm convinced now.

          Trolls don't fly, we lie in wait under bridges.

    • Colin

      Also, is it really such a good idea to focus so much on the killer and his motivations? There are plenty of misogynistic "men's rights" assholes out there, no need to give extra publicity privileges to the ones who happen to be murderers as well. I do wonder sometimes how often spree killers with some sort of ideology to promote are actually motivated by the intense media coverage that follows such an act.

  • Stealth

    The problem is that he was crying out for help. And people heard it – there were online people even on his hard-core groups that were begging him not to carry out his plans. But when his videos were reported to mental health, by his own family, nothing could be done. California, as I am told, has very intricate mental health laws, and he could not be hospitalized without his own consent because he was over 18, unless he made a specific threat against a specific person. Because his threats were all over the place, and because he could lie so smoothly when it suited him, he was able to escape that. His own doctors and therapists didn't pick up on how badly off he was, and THIS happens to – the Aurora CO Batman Premiere shooter was also being seen by therapists and there were running concerns about him too, but nothing could be done legally about it. It's the LEGALLY that needs to be changed AS WELL AS socially, and I'm not talking about gun control, because this guy was going to kill one way or another – knife, car, gun, whatever he could get his hands upon and in the most visibly violently way possible.

    • Gentleman Johnny

      The thing is, he went to multiple therapists. If you don't want to get better, if you don't have goals and work to achieve them, there's not much they can do before you become an immediate threat to yourself and others. I'm not sure what the right answer is there. If he seems like he might have violent tendencies, do you involuntarily commit him/ For how long, life?

    • ajamjar

      I have a hard time interpreting his videos and whatever else as "a cry for help." He wasn't crying for help, he was shouting I'M DANGEROUS!

      What you are talking about – hospitalisation – would be being confined and supervised until a time when he didn't present a danger to himself or others, which isn't the same thing as being treated.

      Mostly it just rubs me up the wrong way because, well, Laurie Penny puts it better than I can:

      "as a mental health activist, I have no time for the language of emotional distress being used to excuse an atrocity, and as a compassionate person I am sick of being told to empathise with the perpetrators of violence any time I try to talk about the victims and survivors."

      • Stealth

        By the time he was making the videos, he was far too gone, I agree. From his manifesto, I think the cries for help were at an earlier age, but were mostly about I-Can't-Get-A-Girlfriend and How-do-I-deal-with-sex and he WAS ashamed to ask for help about them and didn't know how. By the time he got to the point where he was talking about killing and his hatred, he didn't WANT help. He wanted approval and backing and agreement and people who said they felt the way he did, or that he THOUGHT felt the way he did. He was looking for justification, no matter how vague.

        I certainly am not trying to empathize with him. I am horrified by his thought processes. The whole time I was reading his manifesto, I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn't a badly written piece of horror fiction, that it was real. I don't want him excused away, I don't want him felt sorry for, I don't want him approved of. But I think the writings should be… preserved, studied. So many times, we ask "Why did this happen?" and now we have an answer… somewhere in this writing. Most of us aren't qualified to figure it out, but there are people who ARE, and I hope that some good comes from this type of study and analysis. I don't want this to be forgotten when the next big headline comes up. And when the next person posts videos or chats about how he wants to kill, I hope the people who see it are able to do more to prevent it. I hope that much change comes out of this.

    • Mengsk

      This was something that bothered me too, because it seemed like everything that the citizens were supposed to do to prevent this sort of tragedy was, in fact, done. His threats were reported to the police. His mental illness was receiving treatment. And yet, here we are.

      • ajamjar

        Just read this piece in The Atlantic on this subject http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/05

        "Involuntary commitments are not the silver bullet some want them to be in dealing with mass shooters. People who are involuntarily committed frequently leave psychiatric institutions little more stable than when they arrived …

        The public assumes that there is some life-changing intervention that happens inside psychiatric units after someone is committed, that leaves them permanently fixed after 72 hours. In fact, it’s more typical receive little more than observation to make sure one doesn’t harm oneself while on the unit …

        This is why Elliot Rodger likely would have still committed murder even if the Sheriffs had detained him on the day they visited him. A 72-hour stay on a psych unit might have done little more than but make him more determined."

  • Spot on. Except the part about glossing over Asperger's Syndrome. Once it's considered that he suffered from untreated Apsberger's his pain and view point of women makes sense. If indeed he suffers from Asperger's and was never brought up in programs that teach socializing skills then he lacks the ability to see women as anything more than an achievement. That's not misogyny. A misogynist can read between the lines, pick up social ques and realize that it's a certain type of women he's attracted to; namely women already involved with other men and hate the women for it. This kid felt in competition with a type of male. If this guy has Asperger's he likely lacks the ability to tell which women are desirable other than the women who are already shown a great deal of attention. He wants badly to belong and he lacks the mirror neurons that tell him he belongs. So he chooses a logical pattern. People with nice things, Beemer, cool shades are accepted in high regard. These people get hot chicks. That is this kids existence and it's very real and painful to him. Even though there are 4 to 5 examples of this type of violence, I still believe this is rare. There are millions of active dating men and women that do not result in this type of tragedy. This type of tragedy is rare. I think less extreme tragedy's go on in greater numbers and with more frequency then we know of because they are not extreme enough to garner media attention. All of this is fueled by extremes around what makes men ideal and women get held to extreme high standards as well. Most of us are very aware those standards are extreme and ridicules and we rebel against it. We find people attractive who are our equals in physical beauty, social status etc. We have mirror neurons that fire and give us a sense of belonging and connecting even if we are not in with the popular cool kid crowd. Someone with Asperger's doesn't have that ability. Someone with Aspberger's needs to be taught social ques with a more direct teaching method.

    • Meyer N Gaines

      Just a nitpick, but the mirror neuron deficit –> autism hypothesis is just a hypothesis, as of now there's not enough evidence to say one way or another.

    • Arwind

      His hatred against women is real.

      Yes, you are right, since he's an Aspie, he lacks social skills and the cues don't sink in naturally. He had to be taught directly. That's it.

      the problem is the lesson itself.

      He's getting "lessons" on women/relationships from MRA, pick-up artists (hate) and other people who are grumbling about not getting laid.

      Unfortunately, that formed his social skills – as you've mentioned his patterns: buy fancy shades A, get nice car B -> get the girl/girls fawned over you -> if yes, pattern successful -> if not, those sluts suck and must die.

      My point is we can't blame asperger's for this. There are a lot of aspie's there, but they don't go around killing people after breakup. Why? Because they are taught differently.

  • Andrew

    I honestly don't know what to say to this. Not really the article, which pretty well seemed to hit the nail on the head, but the situation in general. I think the crime has really bothered me more than I initially thought. Especially since I saw the video Rodgers posted before his rampage. I feel a deep sense of sadness when I think about it. The whole thing was such a waste. Several people died because of what? A guy couldn't get a girlfriend? On the surface anyway that seems to be the case, and that's probably how it will be remembered. Like the Doc pointed out, this kid was in a lot of pain. It's a damned shame that nobody could seem to help him.

    I can't help but think that everyone, even Rodgers, died over something basically pointless. We suffer so much because of all of these bullshit ideas that keep us from expressing ourselves as we are. And that's all they are: ideas. Concepts. Thoughts that we all give life by believing them to be real, when the reality is that we are all people. Regardless of race, gender, class, or any of the other arbitrary concepts we put up between each other, we are all people. We all want the same things: to be happy and avoid to suffering (of course, usually the pursuit of these basic desires actually leads to more suffering, but I'm not going to launch into a lecture on Buddhist ideas of suffering and how to break free of it right here).. I think admitting these basic facts is a start at least. It's a way to see that, regardless of the configuration of our genitals or the color of skin, we are basically the same.

  • wysewomon

    I am truly frightened by how many people are unaware of the toxicity of the concept of masculinity many men subscribe to, and the undercurrent of misogyny every man is exposed to on a daily basis. Many of my friends never even heard of this until I started posting about this crime. And I had an extended discussion–okay, an argument–with another woman in which she said straight out that as a mental health advocate she could not classify this crime as stemming from misogyny or violence against women, because Rodgers "fit the profile" of a spree killer. In her world view, if it hadn't been women it would have been someone else, and the fact that he stated outright that he hated and wanted to kill women meant nothing. She told me "when men in India throw acid at women who reject them, it's a hate crime, but this isn't." I asked her what makes this crime different and what makes it different when a boy murders a girl who turns him down for a prom date. Numbers? Having a specific target? And she actually deactivated her Facebook account rather than answer me.

    I don't know what else to say. I could discuss this for a long time and not know what to say. Thank you for being one of the good guys. It must be an incredible amount of work for any man to examine his own privilege and the toxicity of learned beliefs in a culture that promotes them in so many ways. To do that shows true strength.

    • OtherRoooToo

      That woman you talked to? There absolutely are overly-male-identified women who will basically defend and make excuses for every negative thing men ever do. And the whole "let's displace American multicultural problems on an entire country that isn't us" part? *shudder*

      People like that are going to be suffering so much cognitive dissonance — because part of them is more than well aware that what they're excusing and justifying stinks to the moon — that they will do some really bizarre-looking irrational things rather than respond to someone who is actively querying them on the cr*p they are spewing. I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

  • Chris

    I don't know you, but this is the best analysis I've ever read on this subject.

    Thanks a lot

  • eselle28

    I went down the rabbit hole and read his autobiography. I think it should be noted that his mental health problems weren't being left untreated. He'd been seeing various counselors for years. I think it's fine to make it about the gun and fine to make it about the police's dismissal of his parents' call to them, but there's more going on here than a lack of access to health care.

    The other thing that his writings flagged for me is that this isn't just about his views toward women because of his virginity. He felt entitled to the bodies of women who he didn't want to sleep with as well. As an example, he repeatedly pressured his mother to marry for money because he felt she owed him that kind of lifestyle.

    • Andrew

      I think you touched on something that gets lost in these debates. We talk about mental health care like its some sort of silver bullet. It really isn't. I mean better mental healthcare would probably prevent tragedies, and it would certainly relieve a lot of suffering among the general population, but I don't know that people realize how little we understand about certain types of mental illnesses. Sometimes, we just don't know WHAT goes wrong. And, as with Rodgers, some profoundly ill people can masquerade well enough to make even professionals believe they're no danger to themselves or anyone else.

  • HeadingNowhere

    This story reminds me a lot of Marc Lépine and his killing spree at the École Polytechnique de Montréal (a.k.a. my home town). If I remember correctly, Lépine wasn't as financially advantaged as Rodgers was, but the differences end there: their rhetoric was pretty much, if not exactly, the same. We're not just dealing with the lone case of a guy with mental problems or whatever we want to pin the blame on. Both cases involved men who embraced the same ideas as the likes of Paul Elam and others. Unless we start teaching a healthy, positive view of masculinity and gender relations, that kind of thing will happen again.

  • trixnix

    I'm told (unconfirmed) that the shooter was someone I may have encountered on an online forum. I don't think we ever spoke or interacted and it's hard to tell because people aren't there under their real names. It wasn't PUAHATE. I used to read PUAHATE but not participate in it and I read it because those guys trolled dating advice sites, dating support forums, mental health forums and even online dating sites. I saw them bully a woman with BDD. I saw them troll women on online dating sites and I did what I could to report them for their trolling and behaviour. If you were knee deep wading through that place and actually believed what was said there, you'd be exposed to incredibly toxic stuff. A horrible, awful narrative that could easily colour your relationships with human beings.

    I believed none of it and yet being there coloured me to some extent. Add to that the MRA lot and the shooter's whole environment seems to have been full of toxic crap. The narratives he exposed himself to were harmful. His actions will forever be his fault and his responsibility. We already know that it's not all men, not all frustrated men, not all men who have social problems, trouble dating etc. I have difficulty sometimes asking women out. You won't see me killing or hurting anyone. We know this. But cultural hypnosis in the form of dark and toxic narratives is a serious problem.

    Mental health wise, I dare not speak of it because I can't diagnose from a distance and I can't talk about how good the shooter's therapists were or weren't. A therapist cannot stop someone doing something like this however good they are at their job but it's possible someone dropped the ball on this one. I don't know. I agree the media will use his mental health, social problems and lack of success with women to pain this news story a certain, less than helpful colour but that is the media for you.

    I don't usually bring religion into my comments but in the name of the Goddess, I'd just like to offer up a prayer for the families of the victims of this incident. May they find peace, support, love and guidance if and when they need it.

    • Skada

      I believed none of it and yet being there coloured me to some extent.

      It's very brave and honest of you to admit that.

      We are all products of our environments, for better or for worse.

  • trixnix

    Elliot's manifesto reads like a deranged David Copperfield (the Dickens character not the magician). The world very much seems to be just there to focus on him. I will admit that I write about my life as if it's a narrative for an audience but that's mostly because I'm trained to do that. I used to write professionally. I am used to coming up with stuff to appeal to audiences. I don't think I have anywhere near as much of an ego related problem as Elliot seems to have had. The way he writes about his own birth when he can't possibly have known much about what actually happened is quite telling. It's almost as if this is the birth of some really important figure that we all need to take notice of.

    As a therapist, reading that is enough to make me seriously concerned. I dislike that it's made its way into national newspapers here in the UK because the portrayal of this guy as an anti hero isn't going to do much good at all.

    I can't get inside the mind of someone like this. I wanted to go on a date with the med student I met. It didn't happen. I had no desire to go kill people in revenge. I have no desire to force women who don't want to sleep with me to sleep with me. I have no desire to harm. I was the "weird kid" at school who got bullied and laughed at a lot. One of the most hurtful things were comments about how I'd one day go nuts, hurt people or that the only way I'd get sex with a woman is if I raped her because I was so ugly. Those hurt. But I wanted them to stop. I didn't want to kill the bullies.

    I've been hurt. A lot of times by women. My former friend hurt me bad and I hurt her bad too I think (not gonna speak for her feelings) Still no desire to hurt her or cause her pain. I have anger sometimes. I have aggression and I have an ego. And I dislike not having had a girlfriend in a long, long time. I dislike never getting the courage to just ask the woman I clearly fancy out. I get frustrated at all of that and my worries and my insecurities.

    But I never want to harm anyone. And thankfully, I'm not alone. The reason I mention this is that whilst we understand the toxic masculinity narratives, I doubt any of us can relate to a mind that exposes itself to such harmful things and comes up with such harmful things in the first place. And if we cannot relate then how can we stop it. How can we best help someone we cannot talk to because we are so different? How do we block the harmful narratives from someone who simply uses them to reflect back his own personal, angry beliefs about the world?

    I'm not interested in a gun control debate. But I will ask how someone already being seen by therapists and already being a cause for concern has such relatively easy access to fire arms? I'm not interested in who should or should not have a gun. Just how the hell did he get hold of one so easily when you could see the red flags from space?

    • Maximilian

      I agree with every word of this. Unfortunately you've made this topic about you so you'll be getting some negative comments for this in due course.

      • trixnix

        Maybe I will. And people are free to be giving me negative comments. It's happened before. I mentioned myself in comparison to Elliot because I too struggle with dating things. And because I wanted to highlight the fact that people could possibly get through to a man with my beliefs but possibly not to someone with a mind like Elliot's. And i mean beliefs and ideas not whether he had a mental illness. I've talked about my beliefs here in the hope I might be wrong. Elliot seemed to be quite sure in his beliefs and attitudes. It's important that we reach across to people who could become like Elliot. It's important that we have some way of disconnecting them from the narratives they are exposing themselves to.

        Geek reference: it's a bit like Dark Willow in Buffy (spoiler if you've not seen season six of Buffy but for goodness sake where have you been 🙂 )

        Willow was responsible for her actions. And there were also dark powers using her as a conduit into the world. Very nasty things speaking and acting through her.

        • Hm, I'm a little uncomfortable with making the comparison to Dark Willow. I mean, I get where you're coming from, but I frequently see abhorrent actions being related to supernatural explanations as a way of excusing the role society plays in creating and perpetuating such actions – 'demonic' or 'vampiric' Nazis, 'possessed' murderers, etc.
          Obviously, that's not what you're doing here, but it does kind of make me uncomfortable to start drawing comparisons to supernatural explanations, because they tend to let the real world reasons off the hook.

          • trixnix

            I agree with what you said. And I'll explain a bit further:


            Willow was in pain. Serious, angry, emotional pain. And this provided an opportunity for some really bad stuff to use her as a vessel. Didn't mean Willow was not responsible for her actions. She was. Just that other stuff was using her to give itself a presence in the world. To express itself through violence and anger and hate.

            Elliot was in pain. He is responsible for his actions and his emotional state/mental health is not an excuse. But he is also a vessel for the toxic, dark, extremely arrogant and entitled narratives about masculinity in our society. Those narratives expressed themselves through Elliot just as Elliot expressed his hate and revenge fantasies through his actions.

            The whole Buffy thing was an allegory for the real world (the Willow storyline) with things like drug addiction but you could easily substitute that for addiction to places like PUAHATE, MRA sites etc.

          • … yeah, I can see that. Still makes me a bit uncomfortable – probably I grew up with some people who literally used supernatural explanations for not-bad-just-inconvenient behaviours.
            So, yeah, my issue, rather than anything you wrote, but I've just seen too many people stop at "[he] did it because [he]s evil," and look no further into how those toxic narratives came to be, and how they came to be known.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            You know, I'm almost ok with that because these issues are not the person. Its not factual but that doesn't mean it lacks an element of truth. Some of your born again faiths and lots of tribal people will say that all sin is caused by possession as a way of externalizing and dealing with the issue. Dexter has his Dark Passenger and I definitely externalize my own issues to make them easier to identify and overcome. Play along for half a second here. If this guy was possessed, what's the cause and what's the cure?

            Well, at its very roughest, there's two things going on in this "posession". One is an inernal, physical thing, at least in theory. There was something wrong with this guy's brain (not Asperger's, a chemical imbalance requiring meds). This caused an obsession building up over time, whispering in his ear and cutting off productive ways of dealing with problems. Anyone who's ever had suicidal thoughts knows what its like to have that knot in your brain that causes your thoughts to circle until you just can not see a way forward. The other is exposure to a narrative that's telling him that women (and whatever else) are the cause of his problem, giving him an external target for those frustrations.

            One part of the exorcism in our modern world involves drugs, drugs that he wasn't taking. In a more primitive society it might involve turning those impulses in a direction that benefits his community. It might involve an exorcism or initiation where he feels reborn and allowed to leave his past behind and chart a new course forward. The other involves exposing him to a new culture, stories that help him understand and make peace with those feelings and move forward as a productive member of society.

            I'd sooner he blame demons than women, at least then he'd want help. Its the same problem without the stigma of it being your fault that you're not OK.

          • reboot

            If he blamed demons it would have been crystal clear that he needed help. In our culture, blaming women is too normalized to stand out, but demons? That would ping.

          • thathat

            That's…wow, actually, that stings for it's truthfulness.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Its. . .like I feel like we tripped over something here and I'm not sure how to articulate it without sounding completely loopy. Because you're right, that would ping as "crazy" and dude would get help. If he was thinking "this voice in my head that wants to kill women for not sleeping with me, that's The Devil!" then he would have wanted help and been able to distance himself from his own broken wiring. In our current society, though, there's no process for him to create that mental separation, no narrative that wouldn't sound to him like he's crazy or weak.

            And this is the crux, right here. Instead of having a narrative that said "this shit ain't right. I need to get it fixed", he had a thousand voices going "yeah, dey's all bitches".

          • The Rain Dog

            …that is seriously terrifying.

          • reboot

            I think I have successfully freaked myself out

          • Gentleman Johnny

            For what its worth, I have this recurring image now of two guys (one young, one old) in monk robes traveling the country casting out the demons of entitlement. just call me "the douche whisperer".

          • reboot

            I need this to be made into a comic NOW

            If I could draw…..or write…..or had a microgram of creativity

          • Gentleman Johnny

            I could probably script out a four page but I'd need an artist.

          • Yeah, that explanation mostly works for me. Just mentioned above, I think it's more my own issues than anything trixnix said… knowing that a former friend's grandparents exorcised her when she was three, because she enjoyed having the nickname "bug" a little too much, and had a little too much energy… I'm just really wary of supernatural buzz words, and their use, because I know very well that they aren't allegorical to some.
            (I'm not even in the Bible Belt! Neither the US, /nor/ Canada!)

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Its something we're not well trained to in America, having a narrative that we know is not factually correct while still being able to recognize it as true. Its caused us to lose control of our own mythology. Interestingly, there are several groups using ancient mythology around warriors (eg the Trojan War) to help PTSD sufferers. I like the idea simply because externalizing the problem removes the shame of admitting that you have a problem. I don't care if its demons, thetans or class five full roaming vapors, there's great value in being able to look at part of your own thought process and go "this is not who I am".

    • username_6916

      "But I will ask how someone already being seen by therapists and already being a cause for concern has such relatively easy access to fire arms?"

      As it is, I fear that a therapist already has far too much power to deny someone their civil rights regarding this issue in California (I haven't looked up the laws for other states). As a result of this and a whole lot of other issues, I'm extremely reluctant to seek anyone in this field for any reason.

      In California, if your are committed to a 72 hour observation hold, you cannot purchase or posses a firearm for 5 years. Any therapist or psychologist can commit someone to a 72 hour hold on the sole basis of their own thoughts that this person is a threat to themselves or others. This is, to my understanding, regardless of the outcome of the hold, or the professional determination of anyone else you bring in. This is without any finding of a court of law. That is a bit scary to me. At least there, I have the recourse of suing the therapist, although (I think) I have to prove malice which is difficult.

      If you increase the power any given therapist has to deny the right to keep and bare arms, you make it so that fewer people are willing to seek a therapist. Which ultimately harms even more people.

      • trixnix

        I'm not entirely sure that a psychologist (I take it you do not mean a medical doctor which would be a psychiatrist) has as much power as you but I don't know for sure. It is an add system indeed if that is how it works.

        I'm also not convinced of your conclusion that "increasing the power of a therapist to stop people owning guns" (which I'm also not convinced about) makes much of a difference about who is and who is not prepared to seek a therapist/professional help.

        I honestly do not think that anyone who is a "cause for concern" should be allowed a firearm. Basic common sense that seems to go right over the heads of the gun lobby in the USA. It's pretty clear and evident that people who are severely troubled can easily get hold of a gun and use it for the purpose of hurting others. Other people having guns does not stop or prevent this.

        In the UK, we have strict laws over guns and nobody has the right in law to own one. You can be a member of a gun club but boy does that take a lot of paper work and you can own guns if you want but you're not entitled to them and the police in our country only carry guns if something serious is going on. Your everyday policeman is not armed.

        And we don't have the kind of shootings that we see in the US. We have the toxic narrative. We have disturbed individuals. But no mass shootings like we see in the US. Not anymore. Not since our strict laws on hand guns in particular.

        Whenever you try and talk about this, the gun lobby goes nuts and starts talking about revolutions live on TV and how if they didn't have their guns then the government could just invade the streets. Erm….the government has tanks. Your pistol is useless. Think about it gun lobby. The fact of the matter remains that Elliot should not have had access to a fire arm. With the money he had I'm sure he could have bought one illegally if the laws were different but that should still have been monitored.

        I know I'm shouting into the wind on this one because owning guns is part of American culture. But the controls on them need to be tightened. People with angry revenge desires get hold of them too easily. That needs to be stopped. And I'm pretty sure right thinking gun owners will agree on that.

        • username_6916

          I see it completely differently. Owning a firearm is a civil right as much as freedom of speech and freedom of association. It should not be denied without due process of law. You wouldn't deny someone the right to vote, or to freely associate, or their freedom of movement without some review from an independent judiciary. We don't want a world where someone can just declare someone else as 'showing cause for concern' arbitrarily. How could anyone justify treating firearms ownership any differently?

          • I can justify it because this "civil right" causes people to die. Pure and simple. It's time to reevaluate our priorities.

          • username_6916

            The same argument can be made for skipping a criminal trail in the case of violent felonies and simply sentencing the accused to prison. In fact, the argument is even stronger there. Most people who are put on trial are in fact guilty, after all. By allowing those accused to possibly be acquired, or be released on bail while awaiting trail, we are causing people to die after we release "known criminals" into society.

            And, yet, we don't do that. Because it violates individual rights.

            We have some darn good reasons for limiting institutionalization to cases where cases where someone is a clear and immediate threat to themselves and others. There are darn good reasons we make a (supposedly impartial) judge look things over if it's going to be more than 72 hours. Taking away someone's freedom isn't supposed to be easy. We don't want to declare someone insane and have them shipped off for supporting the wrong politics, like in Soviet Russia. Or, the wrong sexuality, in the past in certain developed Western nations.

  • s.s.t.n.

    Im a 20 years old kissless friendless virgin. How am I supposed to ask for help when I never even learned how to have a conversation? My own father is long gone, and I cant afford a therapist. I don't hate women, women have never hurt me, well how could they when I'm unable to talk to or even pay attention to them, and I'm definitely not going to murder anyone, but anyone who says that having had no contact whatsoever with the other gender isn't a bad thing at post puberty age is a liar. It's painful and I know that because I'm feeling that pain every day. I feel it in the chest and in my throat, it makes my mouth go dry and I want to throw up because I'm disgusted with my own helplessness. This guy was a disgusting psychopath and I have no sympathy whatsoever for him, but trying to spin this into a political statement to push your own views and ask for power is cynical. I can't respect anyone who's so quick to take advantage from the backs of the dead.

    • Gentleman Johnny

      Check you local university. A lot of them have counseling/therapy services that are cheap or free. Get on meetup and find some cool things to go to. You might not meet the woman of your dreams but you can at least meet people and that's the first step to making friends.

    • devicat26

      Also – burn this in your brain, you are TWENTY YEARS OLD. you are going to have a LIFE TIME of learning and experience and figuring out relationships. Take some of the pressure off yourself and remember sex DOES NOT make or break you as a person. Read through the archives here and yes, finding someone (counselor, pastor, someone) to talk to will help. you are just beginning your life, don't feel like it all has to happen at once.

      • ajamjar

        "burn this in your brain, you are TWENTY YEARS OLD. you are going to have a LIFE TIME of learning and experience and figuring out relationships."

        I regret I have but one 'like' to give this. Srsly, this is the best piece of advice.

        I was ill when I was a teenager and I missed all of high school. No prom. No graduation. No friends. No first kiss. No magical summer under the stars. None of that. When I recovered, I was DESPERATE to catch up. And – I'm trying not to sound patronising – when I look back on it now, it seems silly because it's not as if you turn [legal age in your area] and start having sex. Sex and relationships are not like jobs. You don't build your résumé like that.

        Hopefully, your first kiss will be delightful. Hopefully, sex will be special. But these things won't change who you are.

        I agree with the other comments that suggest you focus on making friends because kisses, sex, girlfriends, what have you, will come as a natural consequence of building good relationships with people and feeling happier in yourself.

        It's a bit like losing weight … I could say "I want to be a size 4" and go on some crazy cleanse where I'd set myself up for failure. Or I could say "I want to eat healthily and exercise regularly" and have that as a goal in itself. The latter requires a lot more commitment (a lifetime's worth), but it's ultimately both more rewarding and more realistic. And true story: I lost a ton of weight.

    • Skada

      Here are three things you can do. Both of which are inexpensive and within the scope of a person not in professional counselling. They don't deal with women specifically, but they will work on your communication issues.

      Caveat: with the first one, you may well trip on something that WILL need professional assistance to sort out.

      1. Buy a copy of "Feeling Good" by David Burns. http://feelinggood.com/
      This is cognitive behavioural therapy. You keep a journal of your thoughts and emotions, and your reactions to them. Then you step back and come up with a non-destructive reply to the destructive ones, and an analysis of what went right. Over time, you will start to learn what your emotional weak spots are, and learn how to correct them. This is not a quick fix, and it requires patience and dedication on your part. It's worth it, though.

      For me, when I was having serious depression issues related to a particular situation I was in, I found that one of my massive depression triggers was exhaustion. Part of my bad situation involved 6 hours of sleep a night on average, and some nights as few as 4, for months on end. Once I got enough sleep, things got better. I found that doing certain physical activities made things worse, and other physical activities made things better. I learned how to put my emotions "in a box," as it were, so that while the emotions were in the box and still there, I could open that box and deal with them when I was ready to, instead of overwhelming and all at once. I still put my emotions in a box for being dealt with when I am darn well good and ready, 15 years later.

      If you do find out something about yourself that trips up all kinds of problems, you may need professional help. You may never have this happen. You may find out something that throws you sideways. You don't know until you begin. Don't let that scare you off–because if you didn't want to change, you wouldn't be here–but I would rather you go into this with a reasonable expectation of what you can expect.

      2. Go to Toastmasters. The whole point of Toastmasters is to learn to talk to people, and interact with people. It is hard to learn to communicate with people, especially strangers. The Toastmasters teach you how. Also, everybody else there is there for the same reason as you.

      3. Go back to the Doc's post about male intimacy, and read it, top to bottom. You said "friendless" as well as "kissless," and your words are aching with loneliness. Loneliness HURTS. If you are looking for emotional intimacy and you have none, then, the plain and uncomfortable truth is that you will not be able to fix this simply by getting a girlfriend.

      What happens in real life is that you end up using your girlfriend for all of your emotional support, and it will drag her down. It's happened to me, twice, and both times it was a miserable experience. And when I inevitably broke up with them, because it's not my job to be a therapist as well as a girlfriend (and oh by the way, one of those relationships was very controlling and emotionally abusive), the loss of the intimacy gutted the men. Bad news all around.

      Instead, focus for now–for now–on finding friends that you do NOT want to fuck. Dude friends, women that you are not interested in, married friends, just people that you meet from time to time. Get to where you are comfortable having friendships first. In the meantime, if you are desperate for human touch, find a massage therapist or get a long pedicure: you can get good touch in a non-sexual area, and a good massage therapist may be able to work through some of that with you. The fact that you're going to a professional bodyworker does NOT mean you are defective, by the way–it means that you have taken control of fulfilling a need you have (to be touched) in a safe, respectful way. YOU did it, you are in control.

      Check in with us, please? Let us know how you're getting on.

      Good luck.

    • Rachel

      Seconding Skada, have you checked out the Doctor Nerdlove blog at length? He has many articles with advice on how to improve your relationships, whether it's making yourself more appealing to women or just how to improve social skills in general. Heck, you could even write in to his Wednesday column for advice.

      And I know how much loneliness sucks, although I'm coming from a "had a bunch of good friends and then I moved to another state" perspective.

      Are you currently in school? If so are there clubs of activities you enjoy that you can join?

      And if anyone makes fun of you for being a virgin, fuck them. Your sexual experience, or lack thereof, is not a measure of your worth.

      This stuff does need to be talked about at large though. Men will stop demanding sex of women when men no longer feel their value is determined by how many women they've had sex with, and when they stop being spoon-fed the lie that women owe them sex. They're two sides of the same awful coin.

      And you're right, it's not healthy for the sexes to be separate in my opinion (this is why I get annoyed whenever someone suggests re-sex-segregating schools to solve rape problems), but I don't think that's what the Doc was saying.
      What he's trying to say is that people shouldn't feel bad for being virgins at X, Y, or Z ages, because it's all arbitrary, and it's terribly unhealthy to ascribe worth or respect to people of either sex on account of their sexual activity.
      (If it makes you feel any better, I'm 26 and still a virgin).

      • thathat

        "And if anyone makes fun of you for being a virgin, fuck them. "

        Well, don't actually… But yes. There are way more people who are virgins out there than most people think. Heck, sometimes there are folks who are dating and all coupley and what-not and they *still* haven't had sex. Folks who seem like they totally would, and they haven't. Because in reality, you can't actually tell who's had sex and who hasn't.

        Thirding Skada. Especially adding the massage thing. If you can afford it (and check to see if there are schools or tech institutes, because a lot of them will have cheap weekends when the students work), it's worth it. I lived by myself in a strange, not-touch-friendly country for just six months, and the depression hit me in a way I didn't even understand until I got home. People need touch, and a good massage therapist can help with that. It sounds silly, but it's very true.

        I would really suggest, if you're in school, finding out if they have counseling offered. It sounds like you need someone you can talk to in person about these feelings to help you get to a place where you're more comfortable in you skin.

        • s.s.t.n.

          Cynical advice. I know you are probably envisioning me as some kind of overweight, terribly neglected freak, who stays inside all the time. I didn't spend my teenage years in a vegetable state before turning 20 and deciding I was miserable, I spent those years watching everyone around me engaging in activities and having fun with fellow humans, something I was never able to achieve myself. So I decided to change myself, more than once, and while I was once a shy, insecure lonely weirdo Ive managed to transform myself into a fit, good looking lonely weirdo. I read your useless advice books, I took seminars at uni specifically designed for people like me, I am by all means an outgoing person just like the rest of you, and yet there's no torture to me like being forced to communicate with another person. Things weren't always like this, they were looking better at other points, but in the end introversion always got the best of me again. Advice like this isn't helpful, I can tell you that because I tried and experienced first hand how much worse it can make things many times, it teaches you to act like a robot, interacting with other robots. If that's the price I'm supposed to pay so I can pretend to be, I'll gladly stay on my own for the rest of my existance.

          • Skada

            I know you are probably envisioning me as some kind of overweight, terribly neglected freak, who stays inside all the time.

            Actually, no. That thought didn't even cross my mind. What DID cross my mind is, wow, this person is obviously hurting and came to us asking for help. So I offered my two cents.


            Every goddamn thing you do on this planet will take PRACTICE. You didn't learn to walk without falling on your bum a hundred times. You didn't magically know how to write the first time you picked up a pencil and you didn't know how to swim the first time somebody plopped you in water and you didn't know how to speak French the first time you looked at a textbook. With ALL of those things, if you start and practice and keep going, you get to where it does NOT require flailing around, or ink splotches all over the page, or losing your balance and landing on your bottom.

            So why is communication between you and other people somehow magically different? That because you know how to SPEAK, and you know how to WRITE, you know how to communicate, and communicate well and freely? Because if you are saying this:

            "there's no torture to me like being forced to communicate with another person"

            and this:

            "it teaches you to act like a robot, interacting with other robots"

            then something is WRONG. (And I don't mean wrong with YOU, but something here is not right.) And there is a fix–the book I recommended is NOT a fluffy-bunny feel-good book (despite the title), it's a lot of bloody hard work and frequently painful–and it's called counselling, therapy, and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

            I'm sorry, but there is absolutely NO substitute for getting out there and practicing, just as there is no substitute to getting physically fit except exercise. You will sound and feel like a robot. It's because you are LEARNING what to do. You are LEARNING to look for body language cues. You are LEARNING to listen for inflection in the tone of voice, and you are LEARNING how to pick up on contextual things. That takes PRACTICE and frankly, one semester of 1 hour a week in a uni seminar (was it even that long?) is NOT ENOUGH PRACTICE.

            Do you have experience with either horses or dogs? Because if you do, then something you can do that works and works WELL in terms of learning non-verbal communication without the pressure of dealing with people is to go volunteer at an animal shelter or a therapeutic riding centre. You can learn how to read and look for body language and nonverbal cues in a low-stress environment (puppies!), the animals will not judge you, and because their ears and tails move, it's easier to learn what the animal is thinking. In becoming a handler, you will also learn safe, healthy ways of interacting with them–such as, no, horse, you do NOT get to shoulder me to the side as you walk into the stall–and what you learn with the animals will carry over into dealing with people.

            Another thing about working with the animals: if you need professional therapy (which honestly you do, and I was trying to help you find ways to do that that suited your budget), it's not fair and it's not reasonable to expect other people to be your default therapist. Practicing normal interaction in social settings, yes; helping you work through your personal growth issues, no. The animals? You'll learn on them, and they don't care. You're Dude With Food Bucket, or He Who Throws The Ball.

            Again: good luck, and check in with us.

          • Skada

            One final comment, about learning how to read body language cues from animals and then moving on to people.

            The more I think about it, the more your "robot" comment jumps out at me. What it's saying to me is that you are not processing body language. At all. I also suspect that your body language is not saying the same thing as your verbal language, and the end result is robot. (It's also probably why the uni seminar and the self-help books didn't actually help you–they were not addressing that.)

            The differences in posture and body position are so subtle that unless you have practice, and unless you know what to look for, you will miss them. A head tilt here, hand position there. And people will not always tell the truth….especially women who are feeling threatened or scared. Their mouths will say nice, pleasant, non-commital things, while their body language is screaming GET ME OUT OF HERE. If you don't know how to look for subtle cues, and you don't know how to recognise dissonance between verbal language and body language, you're going to have a lot harder road to hoe. Similarly, if your body language and your verbal language do not match, people you are speaking to will back away, because they don't know which one to believe.

            Going back to women: this can be a self-perpetuating cycle. You are anxious with body language of anxiety, and, separately, you miss important signals. The women you are speaking to see the anxious body language and the missed signals, and they react defensively. For them, this is a rational choice: they don't know if you are missing signals because they went right over your head, or if you are a danger to them, and with no other context they MUST for their safety assume you are potentially dangerous. The defensive reaction makes you more anxious, and so on. It all comes back to body language and reading nonverbal communication properly.

            Here is an example of looking for subtle cues and contextual cues in nonverbal communication, using horses. All four of these horses have their ears facing backwards. In most books, they say if an animal has its ears back, it's in a bad mood. That's not always, or even often, true–but I, as a rider, have to be able to look at their ears and their heads and their bodies and know if I'm about to get bitten or not.

            #1) http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2007/12/04/maja
            #2) http://th08.deviantart.net/fs46/PRE/f/2009/171/a/
            #3) http://www.boblangrish.com/images/galleriesimages
            #4) https://shoestringstable.files.wordpress.com/2011

            Of these four horses, the one who is angry and dangerous is #3. That mare is about to take a piece out of the photographer.

            For an example of subtle cues, look at #2 and #4. #2's ears are back, but the opening of the ears is pointing directly at the saddle, rather than down by the neck (as in #1 and #3). A horse's ears point at what it is paying attention to….so by pointing at the saddle, it means the horse is actually listening to its rider. #4's ears are down, but flopped to the side. #4 is actually asleep.

            For an example of contextual cues, look at #1 and #3. Both mares have their ears flat to their skull, their heads out straight in front of their necks, and their mouths in line with their heads. The difference between them is that Miss Andretti, the racemare, is working very hard, that position of her head is how she is balancing herself at a gallop, and her ears are pinned because she is concentrating. You wouldn't want to get in her way (500kg animal at 50kph) but she is not in a bad mood. The mare in #3–look at her eyes. She is making a head threat gesture, and she is making eye contact with the photographer. She is also between her foal and the photographer. That's context: the exact same posture and exact same expression in two wildly different circumstances means totally different things.

            I'm using horses as an example because I learned how to really parse human body language after working with horses. You get used to looking for those cues, and then boom, human body language got easier. It's not magic, it's not a quick fix, it took me a couple of years, plus horses and dogs aren't people and you do need to learn a separate set of cues for people. But it does work, and it gets you into a place where you can practice the skills you need to know without pressure.

          • devicat26

            very quickly – the 'Feeling Good Handbook' was something my therapist made me buy and I still have it almost a decade later. Yes, buy it. Anybody who is having a hard time with anxiety should buy it. That is all.

          • thathat

            If you really are feeling that level of disconnect, then I can't suggest trying to find a therapist highly enough, although that alone can be a struggle, because finding a *good* therapist can take a bit of trial and error (especially out of college counselors). If it "didn't always used to be this way" then it's just like any physical ailment — something has changed, and it could be your brain chemistry (which does *not* mean that you would automatically need meds, but you might need to find/make new paths in your mind), and it is a good idea to get a professional's help, just as you would if something physically hurt.

            You say there's no torture like being "forced to communicate" with another person. Do you mean having to make small talk, being more or less forced by situation to talk to someone you don't want to? Or interacting at all?

            I can honestly say I didn't and don't really have any image of you in mind beyond "vaguely human shaped." The internet doesn't lend itself well to more than that. I don't think anyone's advice here is very cynical–it's all coming from the idea that there is hope, but that sometimes improving (especially improving a situation that *feels* hopeless) is a long slog that takes awhile before you see visible change. It's like shaping a bamboo plant–takes months of training the light just so before the leaves even *start* to grow in the direction you want.

          • Catiline

            Don't know if this will help, but I had huge problems learning to interact with other human beings (introverted, intensely shy, and with no understanding of how conversations even operated). And, yes, I feel you – when I first started learning and trying out techniques, it did make me feel a bit like a robot repeating a set of prescribed actions. I still found it difficult to actually connect beyond a superficial level.

            But over time, once I really got the basics down, I eventually developed the skill and confidence to improvise, to allow a bit more of myself each time to come through in my interactions (while still using the essential techniques for How To People that I'd learned). I ultimately found it to be like dancing, or at least dancing for someone who (like me) has a lousy sense of rhythm: It started with years of keeping my head down, looking at my feet, counting beats in my head, and not really enjoying either the music or my dance partner, but I eventually reached the point where it's automatic, allowing me to listen to the music, look my partner in the eye, and enjoy their company.

            For me, personally, it was part practice and part taking the risk of deviating from the social techniques I knew worked (a risk I could only take after LOTS of practice).

            Either way, this is tough stuff, and you're not alone.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            I just wanted to add that everything I learned about dealing with people came from learning discrete, one off techniques (in this situation do X, in that situation do Y) until I had enough of a shape of how things should go to fill in the rest myself. I learned a lot of them (Mad will love this) by studying magicians and con men because these guys had to be extra good and extra conscious of what they were communicating. After that I payed attention to leaders, both the ones I could get access to personally and great orators like Reagan and Clinton. Every leader I met in person was a mixed bag of "do this" (generally around their leadership skills) and "don't do that" (generally around using your position for ego gratification).

          • Skada

            This idea comes from the same general place as my suggestion about using animals as a learning tool….you wouldn't actually USE the things stage magicians do in real life to communicate face-to-face with people, same as you wouldn't actually use the things you know to effectively communicate with a horse (snapping your fingers at its face until it backs up, for instance) to communicate with people*. But it does get you used to looking at nonverbal communication cues in a non-confrontational way.

            *I will say that on a few occasions where people I know well (usually male coworkers) are being pushy and rude and not listening to me, I will snap my fingers in their face and back them up, just like I'd back up a horse, until they start behaving respectfully.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Yeah, actually I do use quite a few of them. The key difference is that performers will study these techniques to hide what they're actually doing rather than to highlight it.

        • Rachel

          Oh goodness O_o…not sure how I overlooked that given the topic we're on, but thank you for pointing that out. I meant "fuck them" in the "don't pay any attention to them" sense. My apologies.

          • thathat

            I was just giving you a hard time. In context it made me chuckle and I couldn't resist. Sorry. 😉

    • vibrissimo

      "but anyone who says that having had no contact whatsoever with the other gender isn't a bad thing at post puberty age is a liar."

      You're erasing everyone who isn't heterosexual with that remark. Asexual people exist. LGBT people exist. So do heterosexual people who don't indulge in a pity party despite being fifty years old and having no sexual contact ever.

      Live your life. Do things that interest you, and stop obsessing about sex. Whether or not you have a relationship isn't the only thing to life. Get into interest groups or volunteer groups or whatever – you'll meet people with similar interests that way. You might make friends, which is worthwhile in itself, even if there's never any sex involved.

      As for "asking for power" I have no idea what you're talking about. Given that men hold almost all the power in the world, if you're addressing that to women, please remember that we would really like power over our own bodies, for a start, and that's what men like Rodger would deny us.

      • Gentleman Johnny

        I disagree here. I think that was contact in the larger sense. Even homosexual people are missing out on a lot if their entire life experience is of a single gender because they're eliminating half the people in the world from their pool of experiences, not sexual experiences just experiences. I understand that some people might have very good reasons why they feel that they need to do this but life is a richer tapestry for including more types of people in it.

  • WaywardSon01

    Sad to say Rodger is a rather frightening glimpse of who I might have ended up if my life had taken a different direction as a young man. I remember being that angry at everything, particularly women. I even checked out a few PUA sites and tried out some of the less misogynistic techniques (mirroring body language) until I gave up in frustration. I'm only glad I projected my anger inward instead of outward. It's caused me massive depression, but at least I haven't gone on a murder spree, and never intend to. Once I realized that it existed, I've grown to vehemently hate the "A Man Is Not a Virgin" trope. Now I hate it even more that I have some rather vivid examples of it leading to full-on violence.

    And while I am willing to accept the argument that ultimately the problem may have come down to that he was a deeply troubled individual and would have found another extremist ideology to latch onto if it wasn't the "incel" or "MRA" causes, though I agree with Dr. Nerdlove that it's just an excuse to let the culture that promoted this off the hook, I am not willing to accept the really f*cking annoying "he had Asperger's" excuse. As someone on the Autism spectrum myself, I am under no impression my wiring would even justify rudeness (even though I have sadly fallen short of being a truly courteous individual many times before) let alone MURDER! Putting the blame on his Asperger's may be a reassuring excuse to his family and those who don't want to think "there but for the grace of being raised right goes my own kids," but it will only create fear, hostility, and a lack of understanding to people on the Autism Spectrum.

    P.S. On a note of more uncontrolled anger…FUCK STRATEGIC DATING COACH! FUCK EVERYONE WHO RUNS THAT SITE ON A JUDAS CRADLE! Sorry, as someone who had family living only a few blocks from the WTC when the towers hit and hearing Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson blame it on "ebul liberalz" like me and my family, I have a deep seated personal hatred for all those who dare to exploit terrible tragedies, especially those that involved people dying.

    • Maximilian

      I echo your first paragraph, though I'm not sure whether the fact my decision to take it out on myself rather than the world was not a concious one is something to be pleased or worried about as it seems to make the line between myself and Elliot that bit narrower.

      • WaywardSon01

        In the same sense that we are all puppets but the way to freedom is to be able to see the strings, I would have to say that it may be troubling to recognize that there's only a narrow line that separates one from evil but being able to see it, clear as day, makes it much more likely that you avoid crossing over.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          Seeing the strings is the first step. Deciding which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of is a lifetime process.

          • WaywardSon01

            Never did like those lifetime processes. I'm a procrastinator at heart. Still, better carry on with it, hopefully they'll be peace when I am done.

    • Jim

      That first paragraph was eerily relatable to me. Verily, fuck that poisonous trope. Early 20s would have been infinitely more fulfilling had I not viewed the dating arena as some sort of Darwinian Thunderdome for sorting "losers" out of the gene-pool.

      • WaywardSon01

        "Two virgins enter, one virgin leave! Two virgins enter, one virgin leave!"

        Yeah it seriously is just like that though. And like Tina Turner I gotta ask…

        Can't we all just get beyond Thunderdome? 😀

  • OtherRoooToo


    For those still vigorously opining that "toxic masculinity has nothing to do with it" ….

    what are those of you going to say if this guy turns out
    – not to be on the spectrum (and/or suffering from any other neurological or developmental irregularity or impairment or mental illness – did I get all the "excepts" there?)
    – not to have been on drugs
    – not to have been alcoholic
    – not to have been from a troubled and/or overprivileged home
    – not to be *non-white*


    Did I leave anything out …??

    Has it even been a week?


    ETA: Apparently there are three men involved, and the lady(ies) in question refused sex with this man *and* his friends. It is also not clear if any of these men were/ are mixed-race or of color.

    Can't wait to see how the rest of this narrative is going to turn out.

    • Toxic masculinity has something to do with it, it's overly simplistic to say it has everything to do with it.

      • OtherRoooToo

        Chucky, please just stop.

        I don't like talking to you, and you don't like talking to me. Are you just commenting here because I'm the only person left on the thread you haven't antagonized with your atavistic argumentative kneejerk-contrarian stimming today?

        Please take it somewhere else. Right now I am in the precise opposite of the mood for your …commentary.

        And for the record? I didn't say it had "everything to do with it", so you can pack up your "overly simplistic" and put it … well, where I'd prefer you put it wouldn't be nice to say. To quote you back to you, "stop putting words in my mouth".

      • vibrissimo

        Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, eh, Chucky?

        • OtherRoooToo

          Shhh. He's piped down. Don't start him up again.

    • enail0_o


      I should be able to post something more meaningful than a sadface, but holy shit I am just too tired of this.

      • OtherRoooToo

        It's exhausting to the point of being debilitating, y/y?

        I remember the first time someone used the phrases "racism fatigue" and "sexism fatigue" with me and I was like "What are those?" And then I learned for myself what they were.


  • g123b

    This is an interesting blogpost that apparently inspired the yesallwomen hashtag on twitter http://ginadenny.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/yesallwom

  • johnnight

    This article is just stupid. You are peddling your pet theory of Toxic Masculinity, but your solutions are unworkable. Your Utopia can not be brought about.

    One, sex is a biological urge and need for men. Two, you can not through a change of culture prevent the alphas from teasing the incel guys with how much pussy they are banging. They will laugh at all your attempts at this.

    Elliot was in a world, in which everyone around him was having what he was STARVING for. He was told how wonderful sex is. He dreamed about it. He could not understand, how and why he is being excluded from this Paradise of Sex. He asked for answers.

    So his desperation and hate grew and he became Evil. A Luciferian Fallen one. Isn’t this the oldest story?

    • nonA

      Just once, can we pay attention to the actual story instead of shoehorning our own narratives onto it?

      Dude was a narcissist and a psychopath who crawled too far into his own fantasy world. The women were just props to him, to prove his superiority.

      Why that frustration was allowed to curdle into such a miserable state, despite him having every opportunity available to him. That's a question worth asking. Why these guys are so prone to exploding in a mess of random gunfire, instead of some other grand suicidal gesture. That's a question worth asking too.

      But I guarantee you that simply having sex wouldn't have saved him. Maybe delayed the explosion a bit, but the same narcissistic urges would leave him feeling unfulfilled unless he had hot and cold running pussy from whatever woman suited his fancy.

      And if my options are consigning all women to be sex slaves to whoever dangles the threat of violence or living with the risk that some nutcase might open fire in a public place, my playing bullet-lottery is easily the lesser evil.

      • reboot

        Well said Mr. A, well said.

      • Stealth

        Agreed, having sex wouldn't have saved him. Because eventually, the girl would have wanted to leave because of his controlling ways, a relationship never would be lasting, and he would have started the killing spree with her and anyone she cared about as well. Or if he felt inadequate in the sexual act? Or felt that she was making fun of him somehow during it?

        And could you just imagine if he HAD gotten up enough nerve to ask someone out and that girl said no?

        Since he never EVER asked anyone, he justified his anger to himself by deciding that all women were the way he already believed them to be. Why bother even trying?

        And as one commenter pointed out already, this was not just the way he treated possible girlfriends. He hated his step-mother for daring to be a parent to him, for showing authority over him when he was the "first born son" and all things (like the house) belonged to him, not her. And to his own mother, who was "selfish" for not marrying someone rich and thereby solving all his problems because then HE would be rich and could buy his way out of his misery. He hated his sister for having sex with someone "inferior" and at a younger age than he was.

        Sex wouldn't have solved anything. It might just have made the killings worse.

    • trixnix

      The alphas from teasing the incel guys about how much pussy they are banging? Sounds a lot like PUAHATE. They thought life was basically a really dodgy high school TV drama with "alphas" and "incels". And that's another thing: those forums like PUAHATE spoke about "incel" not as something someone was currently going through but as an identity. They acted as if people were born or created "incel". As if the world could be divided into "alphas" and "incels"and they were fixed.

      Elliot had barely spoken to women. Yet he seemed to "know" all about how they went with "alphas" and not "incels". And that very much was the language of PUAHATE. Getting angry at imaginary "alphas" and identifying with "incels" as if an incel were born and not simply something someone was experiencing.

      There are no "alpha jocks" spending their time laughing at "incels". At least not how PUAHATE thinks. There are just people getting on with their lives.

      • Gentleman Johnny

        I'd just point out that if you're not approaching women, that is voluntary celibacy.

        On a personal note, its good to hear you saying this, Trix. Remember it the next time you're encouraged not to cut off a conversation with a woman any time a good looking guy shows up. 🙂

        • trixnix

          Thanks. Having great conversations with women these days. Not good at asking them out though.

          • Maximilian

            What is your secret?

          • LeeEsq

            Having something interesting to say.

          • Maximilian

            Oh well, I'm sure I'm not missing much.

          • LeeEsq

            Many people are actually very interesting. They might not be the most elegant speakers and there somethings that drive me batty like inspirational quotes, which are usually wrongly attributed, but not many people are that dull and boring.

          • Maximilian

            All evidence leads to me being one of the few.

          • LeeEsq

            I doubt that.

          • Maximilian

            A 25 year old "KV" shut-in with no friends, job or social life?

            I'd hate to meet the poor sod considered more dull and boring than me.

          • LeeEsq

            Than lekh-lekho.

          • Maximilian

            Oh I'm going, don't worry.

          • LeeEsq

            I meant out of your apartment. I'm glad you knew what I was referring to though,

        • OtherRoooToo

          A lot of people seem to be missing that part — all that roiling, and he ever even approached.

          (He did smile at those women who didn't smile back and then he circled back in his Beamer to throw coffee on them for not having acknowledged his magnificence, though. *sigh*)

          • etherealclarity

            In his manifesto he mentions that once passed a beautiful woman on the beach who did smile at him, and it made his day. Then he started to hate her too because he "realized" that she too would never ever have sex with him even if he had approached her.

      • LeeEsq

        Incel sounds like some devise designed to handle our energy crisis. "Honey we can't go for a drive in the country because I forgot to put a new incel battery in our Tesla." I really think that a lot of the problems that people like Rodgers have come from overthinking things and trying to come up with elaborate theories on why they are having trouble getting what they want complete with tribal names.* I've done a little bit of this but generally know that there isn't really a conspiracy and life is a bit of random chaos. Being from a group that is a favorite target of the conspiracy minded helps. Maybe the best way to help men in such situations is to get them not to think about it so much.

        *I'm really not fond of calling this thought process thinking because it is not exactly deep analysis but I'm limited by the English language.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          Being from a group that is a favorite target of the conspiracy minded helps.

          I'll bite. Jewish, Freemason or government employee?

        • Drungarios

          "Incel sounds like some devise designed to handle our energy crisis. "Honey we can't go for a drive in the country because I forgot to put a new incel battery in our Tesla.'"

          Not gonna lie, that comment may have made me cackle madly and wake up my housemates.

        • trixnix

          All they really did on PUAHATE was come up with mad theories (and I mean "mad" here as crazy and insane not mentally ill.) theories about how women were, why they had not succeeded with women etc. They had names for everyone: "incel", "vocel" (what they mainly called women since they did not believe that women could be incel), "sloot" (their name for women and a reference to "sluts"), "alphas"….it was like reading through a fantasy of life as written by a very bad Hollywood film maker.

          Unfortunately, you can't get someone in that situation not to think about it so much. They are looking for answers and unfortunately, there's very few good places for them to go. Seeing a therapist seems to be hard in certain countries and most of the websites out there designed to help re-enforce the toxic narrative stuff.

          Very few of the online communities designed for "support" actually have support in them. Love-shy.com has a small section on recovery but it's barely used. And PUAHATE never even talked that much about how to change their situations. They'd bully women online but never really talk to them in real life. They'd idolize serial killers of women and sometimes even bully each other. But never really work towards making changes in their own lives. Never really worked on taking personal responsibilities or seeking help.

          When you're already suspicious of PUA, where do you go to get help? There's not much good stuff out there isn't either toxic/PUA or both.

          They didn't speak to women so they didn't get to know them as individuals and just saw them through the lens of MRA's and PUAs who spread lies that women hated men, saw men as clowns jumping through hoops to get their attention, were stuck up etc.

          Being there coloured me and I believed none of it. I have female friends. I can talk to women. Maybe not well but okay ish. I went there to keep an eye on them and it still seeped into me a bit.

          Besides this site, where can people go to get help?

          • dave

            Mr. Trixnix – Great essay! As a member of the "loyal opposition", guys who live this life,fairly invisibly,( never seen at dances, proms, weddings, parties,etc.) I would like you to know that you probably would not notice any of us unless you happened upon a co-worker who always seemed to be by himself. never mixing with female employees at all.
            You happily live this life, hurting exactly NO ONE, expecting nothing from anyone, especially women, having no female friends at all. The whole world, and people who care about you, are always trying to change you so that you do not appear to be gay ( another insult added to those who might be gay).
            Since we never approach women,(if we are so wonderful,then they can approach us) we are not in this group that threatens, invades the space of or bothers women at all. There is no place to get "help", but we are harmless, and generally helpful in communities where we live. Thanks for saving the insults.

          • One_True_Guest

            May I ask why you never approach women, even as friends? This is a sincere question as as a woman I cannot fathom why a human being would not want to be friends with half the world's population. Is friendship completely out of the question to you? Are women so unlike men in your estimation that we have no other value than a romantic one? (I realise that sounds like a harsh question, but it is once again a sincere one)

            You also say if you are so wonderful we would approach you, but wouldn't that also work in reverse? Again, I really truly mean these questions sincerely. I'd love to hear your perspective on this. I hope I haven't offended in my question.

          • Guest

            Why wouldn't you want to put a woman through as few interactions as possible with someone who, to her at that point, is apparently another potential rapist?

            Seems, to me, like a choice that benefits women more than most that get recommended on sites like this one.

    • thathat

      …Well, that was terrifying.

      Sex isn't a need. The sex pollen from Star Trek isn't a thing. You might really want it, but it is not, and never has been, an individual need.

      • Look up Maslow's hierarchy of needs and tell me where sex is.

        • thathat

          Because it's not possibly for philosophy from the 1940's to be flawed, especially in regards to sex, and it's not like that's the most criticized part of the whole thing. It may be a *species* need, but it isn't an individual need. You will not die without sex. Sex is not a need that you need to fill before you are capable of higher contemplation.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          Go without food, water, shelter and sex until you pass out. When you wake up, I promise the doctor won't be saying "you lost consciousness due to a lack of sex".

          • thathat

            Or if s/he does, then you are in a very specific sort of movie.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Well if that's the kind of doctor that's going to wake me up, I might be willing to try!

    • Steve

      Sex may be a biological urge and need for HUMANS, but it is not a THING. It's not a mere physical resource or commodity to be controlled and consumed. You can't just shovel a pile of sex into your sex hole like it's food or water or oxygen.

      Sex is a collaborative performance, not too dissimilar from actors improvising a scene or musicians playing in a band. You and your partner(s) create it in the moment. No matter how strong the urge to create, nobody is guaranteed membership in a band or an improv troupe, but you can increase your chances by developing skills, figuring out how to find compatible collaborators, and not being an insufferable tool that nobody enjoys working with.

      Stop thinking of sex as a THING, and stop craving the approval of assholes who won't like you no matter what you do anyway.

      • reboot

        I must admit that I snorttled at piling sex into a sex hole.

      • yutolia

        "Shove a pile of sex into your sex hole". That was awesomely phrased. Also totally agree with everything else you said. TY!!!

    • LeeEsq

      Sex might be biological need but we really can't ensure universal access because it takes to tango. Would you like it if you were told to have sex with a person you weren't genuinely attracted to or even repulsed?

      I'm really not sure that Rodgers would have been a better person if he got laid. There lots of people with just as bad if not worse sex lives that don't run amok. My feeling is that Rodgers wasn't that mentally stable to begin with and his insanity manifested in the form of toxic masculinity. It could have easily been another group he blamed all his problems on depending on various input features. To this extent I disagree with DNL.

    • vibrissimo

      This isn't DNL's pet theory, or anyone else's. It's real.

      You're talking garbage with this "biological urge and need" stuff. You are, basically, denying women's sexual desires while framing men's in such a way as to justify rape.

  • Pingback: Dr. Nerdlove is peddling his fallacious theory of Toxic Masculinity in re Elliot Rodgers | John Night Writes()

  • Maximilian

    As I can't post on the forums, thanks for starting this thread Glides.

  • Brandon

    This article is inspiring me to really think long and hard about just what it really is that makes a person valuable/not valued to others and the opposite sex (or whomever you're interested in sexually) in particular when it comes to personal relationships and why we think they value the things they do. The more I think about that, the more I understand why/how/if those things matter and realize it's ok to let go and not worry about those things (like height, ease of getting sex partners, status, standards, etc.)

    The real shame is to believe you are powerless and hopeless because your self worth is misplaced in some status about you, whether it's being a virgin, height, body, job, education level, or anything else. Toxic beliefs of masculinity robbed this young man of his true self worth. Don't let it happen to you.

  • snackynak

    I don't know. I think after reading some of his "manifesto", posts, and watching some of his videos, I wonder when we can start calling this sort of thing "Terrorism". It seems to me to be very ideologically and community driven.

    • Maximilian

      Well, this did take place in America, where Terrorism is quickly becoming slang for "A Muslim was involved"

      • devicat26

        I…am not seeing anywhere in the comment the mention of 'Muslim'. Terrorism existed before 9-11 you know.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          And for a while there, everything was terrorism. Hackers were terrorists. People who put photos of bridges online were terrorists. Accurate definition or not, the common use in the news is terrorism=Muslim violence. Even the 90's term "domestic terrorism" to refer to right wing American terrorist groups has fallen by the wayside.

    • LeeEsq

      Indeed. Your a very brave person for reading this manifesto. I have no stomach for madness.

    • myfearfulsymmetry

      There's a short story by Racoona Sheldon called "The Screwfly Solution" which is about a kind of mania that takes over men and makes them kill women. It contains the memorable line:

      "When one man kills his wife you call it murder, but when enough do it we call it a lifestyle."

      What's really scary is that the story was published in 1977. It's taken us more then 30 years to even consider the implications of that line.

  • CornedBee

    Random aside: You can tell how upset DNL is at a topic by the ratio of images that have alt text.

  • Rachel

    Dear DNL, I hope it's okay for me to say that I hope the Universe doesn't drop anything else in your lap for a while. This whole situation is just awful -_-. (That said, thank you for the post).

    I can't stop thinking about Roger's parents…

  • Chris Smith

    I was the fattest nerd ever. But now women won't see me differently from that aggressive jock because I have a penis. I was hoping interacting with women would be easier because they were supposedly more understanding but now I am just another potential rapist.

    I guess it's for their safety. Oh well.

    • Rachel

      With that attitude, no, you're not going to get anywhere with women. The reason we won't see you any different from that jock isn't because of your penis, it's because (based on this post, granted) you don't seem particularly concerned about women's feelings in all of this.

      Yes, it is for our safety. We tend to avoid guys who care more about what their dick wants than treating us like people.

    • thathat

      Wow. That is a fantastic example of deliberately missing every single point this website ever made for the sake of pretending that gender are monolith and that women are unreasonable beings who also see men as a singular entity. I don't even know where to begin, so this'll be an all-over mess of a response.

      Women make up 50% of the population. You want to interact with them, interact with them–as PEOPLE, not as something Other, a supposedly "more understanding" (whaaaat?) kind of human. Just… interact with people. And some of those people will be women.

      EVERY unknown man is a potential rapist, potentially violent. This schmuck didn't do a thing to change that concept–he's shocking a lot of guys, but for most women, the only surprise is that it's not all that surprising. Yes, for "their safety" women generally have to be cautious about meeting new men, as friends or romantic partners. But oddly enough, that really doesn't stop men and women from interacting. Even "fattest nerds ever" (which…yeah, no. Hands up everyone who knows an obese nerd with a significant other.)

      "But now" nothing. You need to ditch the attitude that for some reason women should be less afraid of nerds than jocks–that has nothing to do with this article for one. For another–THERE ARE SOME TERRIBLE PEOPLE IN THE NERD WORLD. Paying attention to the buzz lately? The way that almost every woman who frequents conventions has at least one story of sexual harassment? The way a former DC editor got rape threats for critiquing a comicbook cover? "Aggressive jock" is just another crappy stereotype. Plenty of non-nerds into sports (plenty of nerds into sports or fitness too) who are perfectly nice people. Plenty of nerds who are vile and dangerous when their concept of gender roles is challenged. People are people.

      I don't know what you believe women are supposed to be "more understanding" of. Being overweight? Being a nerd? Either way, "women" are not a monolith–some are understanding and nurturing, some are not. Just like men. But it sounds uncomfortably like you've bought into a story of a woman who looks past all of your flaws without any effort on your part and Makes Everything Better. And, honestly…that's a lousy story.

      You were hoping that interacting with women would be easier…that's a confusing statement too. You were hoping interacting with women would be easier than interacting with men? You were hoping that interacting with women would be easier because you are a nerd? You were hoping interacting with women would be easier…but you have presumably reached adulthood without having tried? I don't even know how to read that.

      Believe it or not, women don't view all men as a monolith. Women might see you as no different from an "aggressive jock" if you express attitudes of one (considering all women to be of a single, shallow mind is one of those attitudes). Women might be nervous around you if you act kinda creepy–fortunately this site has lots of VERY GOOD articles on how to check potential red-flag behavior and attitudes.

      This guy, sadly, changed nothing. Most women know already that a guy, nerd or jock or whatever, can be dangerous. We take precautions. Fortunately, for most women, those precautions don't include: "Never speak to or interact with anything with a penis again." But if you want to have a defeated attitude about it…yeah, well, that's a self-fulfilling prophecy, amico.

      • dave

        Ms. Thatthat – I suppose I knew that there would be insulting responses from you and Ms. Rachel when Mr. Smith made his comment. There are a LOT of guys out there who are TRYING to play this game ( granted, they are not doing it well) without being an Elliot Rodger. Maybe you can get out there and insult some more guys who are not "up to snuff". You better hurry!

        • But you're not trying, right? You said upthread that you don't approach women, even for the purpose of being friends.

        • Aside from what Thathat described in her comment, I was also pretty upset with the OP's comment for another reason: that what he took from this atrocity was, "Great, now it will be even harder for me to get women." It just comes across as self-centered to me.

  • LeeEsq

    My feeling is that there are many more late virgins in the United States than most people think. There are over 300 million people in the United States and if even a fraction are losing their virginity later in life thats still a lot of people. Late term virginity also gets easier to deal with as you grow older because romance and sex usually while important don't possess the overwhelming presence in older people's lives as they do for teens and twenties because the other parts of life like your career raise to dominance. You also have more things to be satisfied with and find accomplishment in.

    • Maximilian

      Roll on 30! Not that I'm going to make it that far, I'm sure.

      • LeeEsq

        It gets more tolerable after you get a job or more particularly a career. There lots of things to find in accomplishment in. Besides Casanova and porn stars nobody is really famous or infamous for sex. We remember them for other things like conquering the world or finding cures to disease. Man does not live by fucking alone.

        • Maximilian

          Anything has to be better than this.

          • LeeEsq

            I hate my lack of sex life to and God knows that people with really good love and sex lives are annoying but there are plenty of other good things in life besides sex. You can read all the books you want or watch all the TV you want or hang out with your friends when you want. Your free and your own person.

            You should remember two things. First having a partner doesn't mean that you have good sex life. There lots of other factors that get involved. Many couples are miserable and only stay together because they can't comprehend being single even if they don't do anything romantic or sexual at anytime. The other thing to remember is that if sex was a good as they say, would they need to advertise it so much?

          • Maximilian

            What friends?

          • LeeEsq

            Make them. Very few people are so intolerable that they aren't liked by somebody. I prefer having a few close friends to many not so close ones but others like having wider networks. If you can't have friends than you aren't ready for girlfriend. If people don't like you on a platonic level than why should somebody want to be with them romantically?

          • Maximilian

            The friends I did have through school wanted rid of me as soon as partners came along. I can't be offering too much to stick around for.

          • LeeEsq

            People that limit their social interaction to their partner need to get out more. Your partner should accept the people you like. They don't have to necessarily like them but they shouldn't tell you to stop associating with them. Thats controlling and worse bad manners.

          • Maximilian

            They don't limit their interaction with me, they clearly just have lives that they don't want me to be a part of. Jobs, houses, kids, partners – why would they want to have me ruining all of that?

          • reboot

            Lee, you are on fire today with good thought. I like you like this!

          • LeeEsq

            Thank you.

          • Maximilian

            Thanks for trying Lee, but I'm too far gone. I'll leave you to work your magic on someone who still has hope, 'cause mine died a long time ago.

          • TheWanderingDude

            So why are you constantly posting here then?
            Still trying to get our validation that your life is indeed worthless?

          • Maximilian

            Oh don't worry I won't be posting here anymore.

          • TheWanderingDude

            That wasn't my point.
            I am curious about it, you seem to not be enjoying it but keep posting.
            And everything is filled with negativity about yourself.
            To me you really do sound like you're just trying to get us to agree to your negativity. As if you really need our validation on that for some reason.
            Something like, if we agree with you it gets you off the hook from working on making things better.

          • Maximilian

            This was the one place I had where people read what I had to say and replied, was being the key word.

            People already agree with what you call my negativity. I'm a self-absorbed wretch, a pity troll and someone with a sad and pathetic life (and thats just the public comments, some of the forum PMs can't be repeated)

          • TheWanderingDude

            So you're posting because you're lonely and get interactions that way? Sorry to hear that.
            So why didn't you choose to have more positive interactions with others? Then you could still have them.
            If you're aware you tend to push your negativity why not make a conscious effort to keep it in check?
            I don't expect it to be easy, but it would give you more of what you're seeking.

          • Maximilian

            Oh I tried and got more abuse than ever because people read into it what they wanted.

            It's just me, I repel people and I've been doing it without even trying. Lets call it a life skill, I'll put it on my CV.

            Lets not pretend this place wouldn't be infinitely better with me off of it.

          • enail0_o

            Have you sincerely not at any point been trying to provoke negative responses? I'm finding that a little hard to believe.

            And I really do think you still get could get good-faith responses if you were willing to try; not from everyone, probably, but from some people. It would probably require a certain amount of patience with misunderstandings and people tending towards negative interpretations before you can reset peoples' expectations, though, which I don't get the impression is something you'd consider worth it.

          • Maximilian

            You mean like the comment I left on the "How long do I wait?" column? That went well.

          • enail0_o

            I don't remember the specific comment, but like I said, I think it would require a fair bit of patience, as well as effort to communicate clearly and constructively, consistently over a period of time, before you see much in the way of results.

          • Dr_NerdLove

            Once again: dude, you complain that people are reading things into your posts that aren't there. This is entirely because you have spent the last several months being resolutely negative about *everything*.

            If you want people to react differently, then you have to behave differently.

            To give an example: both Trixnix and LeeEsq have butted heads with a sizable number of people on here. Despite exasperating many people, people are engaging with them today. Lee especially has been on fire and getting positive reactions from people.

            Why? Because he's behaving differently. He's contributing. He's making some excellent insights and some good zingers. And people appreciate that.

            If you want people to not keep downvoting you or misreading your comments, you need to make a conscious and concerted effort at dialing back the negativity. Because despite your ongoing pity party, a LOT of people here have gone out of their way to try to engage you and help you. And you've been consistently pushing them away. And frankly I'm finding it very hard to believe that you've been doing this unconsciously.

          • Maximilian

            Unfortunately for us all, I woke up this morning.

            You contradict yourself. The thread that you banned for me started with me making a point about the term you and the email writer had used not making any sense using dictionary definition terms. In reply number 1, I was a self-obsessed wretch pity troll. However many hours later, the person who said that apologise for not having read my comment properly.

            You must have read it, it was the time you banned me – while completely ignoring the abuse I received.

          • Max

            This isn't a high school debate.

            And you completely ignored the fact that people assumed you were being negative, because you are literally always negative.

    • Rachel

      26 and counting ;). Granted, I have an unfortunately medical issue that prevents it, but frankly even if I took that out of the equation, I'm 95% certain I'd still be a virgin anyways. While the medical issue upsets me, the not-having-sex part doesn't.

      Then again, I'm a woman and thus "virginity until marriage" is the BS ideal state I'm supposed to be in.
      And I do think you're right Lee, that there are many more virgins than one would suppose. (I'm thinking of that rabbit video of "everyone else has had more sex than me").

      • thathat

        Yup, I think of that video often (especially when my roommate and his gf get loud). Closing in on 29, myself. Just never really met anyone that I felt like tearing the clothes off of and having squishy fun with. Yet.

        I may need to move.

        • LeeEsq

          I've been trying to get to California where my brothers or parents are for years but trying to move without a job is terrifying prospect. Being unemployed is no fun and worse that not having a partner.

          • thathat

            Every now and again, I think about moving to the northeast, but, eh, I've got a pretty good thing here, with friends and family and a job. It's just kind of a wasteland for dating (especially if you're not really a fan of traditional gender roles in relationships). But, hey, that's what the internet and conventions and networking and maybe just some dumb luck is for.

            Moving without any job prospect is kinda scary (the sort of thing I did when I was fresh out of college, but not these days). But heck, if you're really into the idea (instead of just kicking it around as a what-if like I do), that, too, is what the internet is for.

          • LeeEsq

            I'm not really sure that the North East or at least the New York City area is the best place for people not in traditional gender roles. It might not manifest the same way as in other areas but the New York City area is probably one of the status obsessed parts of the country and that creates a certain drive towards some rather traditional behavior in relationships.

          • thathat

            Well, there's nowhere that it's "easy" really. But a cosmopolitan area has to be a bit easier than the south in huntin'-and-fishin' land. And a bigger city has more people, so…more chances? The older I get, the smaller this town is, and at some point you realize you can play three degrees of separation with every nerd in a 50 mile radius.

            Plus, I really do just miss living in a big city. Even if I wasn't dating anyone the last place I lived, it was still fun and fascinating place where there was always something interesting to do, evening if it was just "walk around and look at the architecture" or "find a park and feed the ravens." …I don't miss living in a shoebox, though, so there's that.

    • TheWanderingDude

      Yeah, I was what you would consider a late bloomer too.
      I had my first kiss at 27, and first sex the same year with my first girlfriend.
      It only lasted 6 months and didn't fix or change anything in my life.
      But it did wake me up to the fact that it wasn't a miracle cure I figured it would be, so I set out to just enjoy my life and improve it as I wanted.

      After that it would be 5 years before my next girlfriend but it's so much better. And I honestly have no regret and don't feel I missed a thing because everything that happened before led me to where I am now.

  • celette482

    I can't, guys. I just. Can't.

  • This is an excellent article with some great points about the problems in our culture and the destructive attitude that so many have around sex and sexuality. Ego is so tied up with sexuality for both men and women, in different ways. Issues of entitlement, pride, ego, self-esteem and self-image all play a role here.

    However, to ignore the role of mental illness is naive at best. The mental healthcare system in the US is terribly defective, and has been since the 1970s. See this enlightening article on how far we have fallen in this country: http://www.salon.com/2013/09/29/ronald_reagans_sh

    We see the consequences of defective mental healthcare with so many mass murders.

    All mentally ill people are certainly not mass murderers, but almost all mass murderers are mentally ill. (Asperger's seems to be a common syndrome for many of them.)

    So there are three main elements to look at. First is the overall culture and prevailing attitudes about sex and manhood. That creates the climate and the backdrop that create a universe of "reasons" or "motives."

    Second is the mental healthcare system that did not take care of this guy adequately (administering medicine and so on).

    And third is the easy access to guns (itself related to mental healthcare–someone who has mental problems should not be able to get such weapons).

    All of these play a role, and none can be ignored.

    There is a clear difference between a premeditated, carefully planned massacre of this kind (and of the kind we saw at Virginia Tech, in Connecticut, and others), and a short-term outburst of rage and violence when a guy gets dumped by his girlfriend.

    Yes, the cultural climate relating to sex and masculinity is common in both scenarios. No question. But only when we add mental health and easy access to firearms to the mix do we begin to have a complete explanation of the mass murder.

    • OtherRoooToo

      "However, to ignore the role of mental illness is naive at best."

      And you know what's interesting?

      Neither DNL in his OP nor anyone in this thread is doing that.

      Try to read to the end next time *prior* to beginning your Lecture to the Populace; how about that?

      • I could tell you the same thing. DNL said, and I quote:

        "But [his mental issues] doesn’t actually mean anything… Maybe he was dealing with some sort of mental health issue. Maybe he was a sociopath. Maybe it was both… But in the end, that’s not an explanation… It does far more harm, increasing the stigma of people who do suffer from mental illness and – more importantly – glosses over the real issue."

        No. Elliot's mental health is absolutely part of the real issue. It absolutely "means something." And it does help us explain his actions. To diminish it is extremely dangerous.

        • OtherRoooToo


          • LOL. Your debating skills are awe-inspiring.

          • OtherRoooToo

            Thank you. I was just warming up — in addition to giving your steady droning away from the point the treatment it really deserved.

            I'm also guessing you decided to bestow that lovely compliment after full review of the seven-article biblio I offered to people unfamiliar with the complexity of the situation earlier today.

            Here's your coda — just for fun:

            Your “logic” … isn’t.

            One time, slowly – what is required here is a multifactorial analysis, because there is a multiplicity of issues at play. One of the issues – the misogyny in the propaganda in which the perpetrator routinely immersed himself — is one which gets routinely excused away by mental illness when things (plural) like this happen

            You also appear to have completely blown right by the part where there are some authorities – several of whom were treating him, none of whom are you – that maintain that he was suffering from AS, which is a neurobiological difference and *not* defined as a mental illness by medical authorities.

            Irrespective of any of that – none of that can be pointed to as the sole causative factor here, and DNL has chosen to focus the majority of his analysis on the factor that is routinely de-emphasized, rationalized, and excused away – all too frequently by Lecture-ish Dudes just like you.

            If you have yet to wrap your head around that, perhaps it’s best to spare your “audience” your pedantic yappetry until you do.

            Done here. You have yourself a nice day.

          • "I was just warming up"

            Mmhmm. Sure you were.

            Since evidently you can't separate substance from snark and emotionalism, I will reply just for anyone else who is interested. I doubt you are actually interested in a real conversation.

            "what is required here is a multifactorial analysis, because there is a multiplicity of issues at play."

            Exactly what I said in my original comment.

            "One of the issues – the misogyny in the propaganda in which the perpetrator routinely immersed himself — is one which gets routinely excused away by mental illness when things (plural) like this happen"

            The misogyny is routinely ignored in certain quarters, yes. But just because some people use mental illness as an excuse for this or that does not mean that it had nothing to do with this case.

            "You also appear to have completely blown right by the part where there are some authorities – several of whom were treating him, none of whom are you…"

            And none of whom are you either… but continue…

            "…that maintain that he was suffering from AS, which is a neurobiological difference and *not* defined as a mental illness…"

            I consider this semantics. But fine, let's talk about mental "issues" or "problems" instead of "illness." Whatever you call it, this dude was messed up. And not just because of his sexism and hatred of women. There was more to the story.

            "Irrespective of any of that – none of that can be pointed to as the sole causative factor here"

            Once again, you're agreeing with me. There were multiple factors and it's a complex story.

            "and DNL has chosen to focus the majority of his analysis on the factor that is routinely de-emphasized, rationalized, and excused away – all too frequently by Lecture-ish Dudes just like you. "

            People in lecturing glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

            This is nonsense. Where did I dismiss and excuse away the sexism/ masculinity factor? I said precisely it was the backdrop and the climate in which Elliot was immersed, providing a breeding ground. Or were you just picking and choosing, looking for a fight.

          • The conversation here is about the backdrop that surrounded Elliot, not about whatever mentally hindered him. I think ORT was just asking you to stay on topic and not derail the conversation.

  • Only have one criticism and it could just be the result of ambiguous wording.

    Could you not call Asperger Syndrome a mental illness please. it's a Disability.

    I feel somewhat qualified to talk about this having to live with it my entire life and all.

    • thathat

      I think DNL made that point as well. It's mostly the media reporting that have been calling it a mental illness–and it's entirely possible this guy suffered from mental illness as well. DNL made the distinction.

      But yeah, it is a good distinction to make sure people are aware of.

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  • Meyer N Gaines

    I see a lot of people criticizing PUA here (and getting heavily upvoted for it), but not a lot of alternatives being put forward…

    • reboot

      Is anyone talking about PUA? I thought it was all MRA and PUAHate being discussed?

    • enail0_o

      Reading this site, no dating advice columnists come to mind? Isn't there some guy called, what is it? Mister GeekKiss? Sir BrainiacDate? DweebRomance, PhD?

    • LeeEsq

      Being a worthwhile person to date so you can get them honestly?

      • enail0_o

        Lee, you are on fire today!

      • thathat

        *bing bing bing* We have a winner.

        • LeeEsq

          Do I get a Marvel No Prize?

          • thathat

            Chyah, you wish. Those things are spendy these days, what with Stan's Soapbox not still being around. How 'bout a laurel and hearty handshake?

    • Gentleman Johnny

      You're reading one of the alternatives.

    • vibrissimo

      How about trying the mind-bending idea of treating women as people, not sex-vending machines you need a cheat code to access? Y'know, acknowledging that we have our own lives, are the protagonists in our own stories, and don't exist to service men's boners.

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  • username_6916

    " One day incels will realize their true strength and numbers, and will overthrow this oppressive feminist system. Start envisioning a world where WOMEN FEAR YOU."

    Wait, what? He *wanted* that? He wanted to take what was already the trying, troublesome and downright frightening process of courtship make it somehow worse than it already is? To what end could creating a world where women fear the 'incels' benefit anyone? In what world does one think it would somehow be a good thing if they could intimidate someone into having a relationship them?

    What the hell is the point of all of this without some level of mutual trust in a significant other?

    • thathat

      I keep seeing the word "incel" but I'm seriously afraid to google anything that might be related to his line of thinking right now. What the heck does it mean? Rejected dudes?

      • Dr_NerdLove

        "Involuntarily celibate"

        • Gentleman Johnny

          For some definition of involuntary that doesn't involve actual taking any action to change it.

        • thathat

          Oh for the love of… Yup, I knew finding out what it stood for was gonna make me slam my head into the desk.
          It really does sound like a computer part, though.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            We can't make it work without the crucial incel circuit to the oscillation overthruster!

          • username_6916

            I hadn't seen that before, but it does sound a bit like a certain semiconductor maker that is named "Integrated Electronics" or Intel for short. The strings only differ by a single letter.

          • Brooke

            It’s not that bad. There are safe forums dedicated to the subject. It is not, as far as I know, an MRA or PUA term.

            The forum I saw had a few toxic people, but they were toxic in a self destructive way rather than the “wimmin are evil” ways of the red pill crowd.

      • guest at behest

        As I recall, the term was coined by a female Canadian feminist in the late '90s. The 'involuntary' part was intended to distinguish it from people who made a deliberate choice to be celibate, via religious vows, asceticism, straightforward asexuality, or the like. In those days, it was something of a "problem that has no name", so this was an effort to give it one.

        "Love-shy" was an earlier term, but that was more narrowly defined as a subset of adult male virgins with approach anxiety. Gilmartin was blatantly sexist in deliberately excluding women from his definition, as he held to the BS notion that all women can get sex whenever they want. He also piggybacked a lot of kooky ideas onto the concept, and the term never really got out from under that.

        An incel community started up via an email listserv, and IIRC that group was the primary study source for the 2001 Donnelly paper that may have been the first outside use of the term. That group later migrated to the first of about a half-dozen iterations of an online forum, and the term gradually percolated into the interwebs from there over the next decade.

        • Gentleman Johnny

          To me, even in an academic context the term is a bit misleading. I get that some people are deliberately celibate. We'll just remove them from the list. Of the remaining people not having sex regularly you have a few types:
          1. People who would like to have sex but can't for various medical reasons. These people are truly involuntarily celibate.
          2. People who would like to have sex but aren't despite the fact that they are putting themselves out there and trying to meet members of the preferred gender to have sex with. This is, I think, what most people assume you mean by "involuntary celibate".
          3. People who would like to be having sex regularly but aren't because, for whatever reason, they make no effort to find a partner. I think this category is the one most likely to apply the term to themselves but also the one I feel like its least accurate in describing. Its like being in a jail cell with an open door. If you stay in the cell, you can't say you're being involuntarily detained.

    • trixnix

      A lot of the time, guys on PUAHATE rarely left the house never mind talked to people. They believed things about the world from MRA sites and had some crazy feminism related conspiracy theories going on in their heads.

      The both desired and feared women. So they never approached. Never talked to women. Never met them on an individual basis and just took the MRA line about how women were, what women thought etc.

      They wanted women to fear them. Instead of recognizing their individual fear of interaction, they created an imaginary group called "incels". They meant it in terms of identity. As someone born incel. Not how it is used to recognize someone going through something. They defined themselves as incel as part of their identity, saw themselves as a group punished by the "ALPHAS" of the world and wanted a world where women feared them.

      All of this comes from intimidation. PUA seeks to manipulate and intimidate or "trick" women into bed. MRA sees it as a conquest over the feminists. None of what they were exposed to actually taught genuine connection with other people. It was all about conquering, aggression, getting what they wanted. What they felt they had been robbed and denied of by THE ALPHAS.

    • Jenn

      Actually women do fear guy like this, it's part of the reason why they can't find a partner. Most people don't want to date a hateful jerk who views them as an object.

    • vibrissimo

      He wanted most women dead. He fantasised about having us put in concentration camps to starve.

      He didn't want a relationship. He wanted a trophy, a fuckdoll, something to validate him, worship him, service him, make him look the Alpha Dude he thought he was in other men's eyes.

      • OtherRoooToo

        And he's not the only man who thinks like that, which is a big point a lot of women weighing in on this are trying to make.

        (And being shouted down.)

        I'm fully well aware NOT ALL MEN think like that.

        The point is that enough men do that women are afraid.

  • Magnificent Jesus

    When I judge groups of people I make sure to do it based on what the mass murderers among them think.
    That is why I am sure Muslims hate America.

    Great article as usual Doc.

    • Gentleman Johnny

      When I judge groups of people, I certainly take a moment to consider how the mass murderers among them sound compared to the rank and file. This guy sounds frighteningly similar to the community that he comes from. As a rule, you won't hear the congregation at your average mosque extolling the glories of martyrdom.

      See also: white supremacists and militia movements.

  • Lucy Lastic

    A quote from Margaret Atwood that I found while reading about this the other day … scared of being laughed at, versus scared of being killed. Says it all.

    “Why do men feel threatened by women?” I asked a male friend of mine. So this male friend of mine, who does by the way exist, conveniently entered into the following dialogue. “I mean,” I said, “men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power.” “They’re afraid women will laugh at them,” he said. “Undercut their world view.” Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, “Why do women feel threatened by men?” “They’re afraid of being killed,” they said.
    Atwood, Margaret, Writing the Male Character (1982) (reprinted in Second Words: Selected Critical Prose from a Hagey Lecture on February 9, 1982, at the University of Waterloo)

  • HermitTheToad

    Was watching a segment from one of Elliot's videos on the news yesterday. Couldn't really understand the thought processes behind what he said. Couldn't understand how someone could be so…brazen!

    Kind of a sad and pathetic commentary on cultures that insidiously encourage toxic behaviours in men. I wish I had the courage to not regress to the kind of person Elliot became.

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  • WolfHeart

    New poster here..Dr. NL nailed this assessment, and I could not agree more.
    One thing I have not seen mentioned so far-Rodger was a gamer (WOW). I recognize a phrase in his video about reducing the women who rejected him to "mountains of skulls and rivers of blood" as coming from the Hellscream fight in SoO. It makes me wonder if I ever crossed paths with him…
    I truly pity his family, having tried to seek help for him, and knowing the failure cost the lives of 6 innocent people.

  • varnol

    “Help me. Please. I’m hurting. I’m scared. I need someone to help me right now” – this is not something a young man can say. Not human male, not on Earth, never, not untill there are no genders at all.

    That would be, basically, denying a manly social role, abandoning it because of weakness. Sure, you can show "a soft side" once you've proven yourself, but not when you are struggling to define your place in society. A man is only allowed to cry for help when he is about to die, really. Anything else (especially if there's no visible damage done) is a sign of weakness, and really, why shouldn it be? Girls are taught it is okay to cry – and we often see woman getting hysterical over some minor issues. Boys are taught to "be tough" – and we actually learn it (most of us anyway).

    It might seem stupid and outdated but that's the way it is – you don't ask for help with your emotional problems if you're a boy. You learn to deal with it, find inner strength to do it – and this is exactly that makes you a man – the ability to step over your weakness. If you don't, if you come running for help everytime you're hurt – you just never mature.

    • Gentleman Johnny

      Which is exactly why we're saying that model is dangerously flawed and needs to be revised. Worth noting, though, there are plenty of human males who have support systems that they can go to. Its just uncommon in english speaking countries and America in particular.

    • Brandon

      The only thing that enforces this belief are the people who choose to. It is by no means an immutable law of nature. Elliot was not a better man for not asking for help and support with the problems and issues he was struggling with. The people in my life know they can come to me if they ever need help and support with anything. It is neither intelligent, nor mature to pretend you're fine when you're not or withhold help from someone who needs it. Those decisions will always adversely effect yourself and those around you and the only purpose it serves is to maintain your own perception of what is manly and live in complete denial of what is reality.

    • etherealclarity

      "this is not something a young man can say. Not human male, not on Earth, never, not untill there are no genders at all. "

      You are speaking of this as if the issue is inherent to gender, when in fact the issue is with rigidly enforced and toxic gender roles. We can definitely work on changing the latter, the former would be a much tougher challenge.

    • thathat

      You say it's stupid and outdated. I say that historically speaking it's a relatively recent development, and not even a worldwide one, since there are plenty of cultures where there is no taboo against men displaying emotions.

      Sounds like you've internalized some seriously toxic ideals and you do need help. I don't know how many times people can say asking for help is not weakness–it's a frightening experience that takes great courage. But I'll say it again.
      And a massive side-eye to "women getting hysterical over some minor issues." Son, there are no wandering uteruses here. (And seriously, watch ANY sports game if you want to see men "getting hysterical over some minor issues.")

  • http://www.dvcrimewatch.org/

    How many times do we need "one guy being violent" to consider that there may be a pattern?

  • trixnix

    The guys on PUAHATE both feared and loathed the objects of their desire. Huge internal conflict and we all know from YODA that fear leads to anger, anger leads to…

    Right now there are god awful PUA guys talking about redpill, how Elliot should have "learned game", how more people are going to die if men don't have sexual options and how one particular PUA who I want to smack in the mouth talks about how he would have explained the truth to Elliot that women see men as clowns there for their attention. Yeah, way to be part of the problem.

    Nobody on PUAHATE really sort to actually connect with women as human beings. They didn't see individuals and what worries me is it's far easier to shoot at someone you've already spent years dehumanizing. It's like computer games where you kill NAZI soldiers. You're not seeing them as human beings but as some enemy you have to be the hero and kill. Save the world by killing the evil enemy. Regardless of whether the soldier actually is a Nazi or just got pressured into this on threat of death. Regardless of the family and loved ones he has. Regardless of anything.

    Women are obviously not like the Nazis. But some men clearly do see them as a kind of enemy. And that starts by fearing them.

    And I have feared women before in my life. I fear talking to women sometimes. I fear asking women out and not just because she might say "no". A quick rejection would actually be fine to be honest. I don't want anyone doing something they don't want to do. What I fear more is awkwardness,conflict and upset. Bad feeling between us. Loss of friendship. Or creeping her out by accident. Being regarded as someone who "bothers" women. Or looked on as a player.

    And yet, as pointed out above, it's very unlikely a woman can harm anything more than my ego. I am physically stronger than her. I would survive her rejection. I've been through far worse stuff than rejection whether it hurts or not.

    Right now, I got on well with one woman and I still fear asking her out. I fear asking for another woman's number. I fear saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing and losing a socially popular position I've never really had in my life.

    But it stops at fear. It never moved to anger at women or hate. I don't even hate my former friend who really hurt me.

    Point being: I can be reached. Some things I listen to. I still try new things. I get frustrated but I'm willing to give new things a try and I'm not interested in listening to people who hate women.

    I can be reached. Elliot couldn't. The guys on PUAHATE were not interested in being reached or getting help. Sometimes they reluctantly went to therapists but that was ridiculed or scorned. When you hate an entire gender, things have really got out of hand. But fear can be dealt with. If people find the right resources to deal with.

    • vibrissimo

      Rather than say it's like shooting Nazis in computer games, it'd be more to the point (at the risk of Godwinning) to refer to the dehumanisation Nazis and so many other groups have done to their victims. It's standard practice to make out "the other" as less than human, vile, awful, deserving punishment at best and genocide at worst. That's exactly what Rodger did, and so many of the manosphere do; mainstream misogyny differs only in degree, not kind.

      • trixnix

        I agree and what you said is slightly different to the point I was making. Yes, the Nazis and other hate groups dehumanized people. And I agree the manosphere does exactly that.

        What I'm getting at here is that Rodger had a certain world view where women were seen as accessories, things owed to him and not people. This world view was re-enforced to a large extent by PUAHATE.

        When playing a computer game full of Nazis, it's taken as read that the Nazis are the enemy. You're meant to kill them regardless of the fact that each one of them is a human being who may or may not be fully signed up to the Nazi worldview. You're killing individuals but you're meant to act as if you're not. You're being the hero by killing the enemy and some lunatics have reacted to what Rodger did by calling him an "incel hero" and acting as if he is some sort of hero for going out there and killing women, the enemy.

        If you can keep in people's heads the essence that we are all individual human beings, you have a chance of stopping shootings like this because you make people think more about what they are doing. You make people see people as human beings. PUA and MRA both try to stop people thinking of women as individual human beings and one good way to tackle all of this is to keep recognizing the humanity in all of us. That we are individuals with names and not part of some enemy.

  • Billydee 2.0

    Very interesting blog post. Thanks for posting this. I agree with 95% of what is said in there. I definitely think there a huge dose of narcissism or sociopathic qualities in this kind of guy. I've seen it before.

    The one area that I might quibble with is the full-on broadside on this "PUA" community type of thing. I definitely think large swaths of that community are quasi (if not downright) sociopathic and sexist, and only view women as objects to be obtained. In that sense, part of that community can be very dangerous and the criticism the blog lays out is definitely merited. It's basically handing over technology to deeply insecure individuals that simply enables them in their habit–in this case, validation from the opposite sex in order to provide a temporary fix for their persistent and deep seeded insecurities. But I also know that there are at least some "sane" sections of that PUA community who have a healthy dose of humility and honesty in what the true problem is for most guys–themselves. In the unhealthy "PUA" world, it boils down to "how to get yourself laid." In the healthier "PUA" world, it boils down to "how to be a more fun & enjoyable date for the opposite sex." A FAR different perspective and approach. One is totally self-centered, the other–if done correctly–improves everybody's lives. Not only the guy who is seeking it, but for his future significant other as well.

    It is not a simple "check the boxes/paint by numbers" solution like this sicko and many others like him think it is. I suppose if somebody is a sociopath only looking to hook up with the opposite sex, they could do that "paint by numbers" approach and perhaps have some preliminary success if they can manage to fake sincerity and humaneness for long enough. But they're going to find similarly dysfunctional people to hook up with and/or leave a string of ultimately superficial, unsatisfying, and personally damaging relationships in their wake. That's because at some point, the preliminary dating dog & pony show ends, and real life begins. True meaningful relationships require an element of vulnerability and warmth, and at some point the narcissist or sociopath won't be able to pull it off.

    But if somebody is looking to fix themselves so they can being to have meaningful & hopefully lasting relationships with the opposite sex, it can be a god-send. In essence, this segment of the "PUA" (god I hate that term) community acts almost as a 12 step program not unlike AA. People show up trying to fix something that is in actuality a symptom of a deeper underlying issue. People show up to AA to learn to stop drinking, but instead end up looking at themselves in an open & honest way and–if done right–end up being better & happier versions of themselves.

    Same holds true with the more "sane" segments of this PUA community. Guys wash up on their shores and want to know how to get laid, pure and simple. And yes, basic personal hygiene and some element of style helps. But if the guy is wise, honest, and humble enough to recognize good advice when he sees it, he'll realize it's his own psychological issues that are causing most of the problem, and that his lack of success on the dating scene is merely a symptom of deeper issues.

    But unfortunately, some lost souls wash up on the wrong shores–the more sociopathic precincts of the 'PUA" community who's one and only goal is the symptomatic fix rather than the root cause fix. And even if a guy is lucky to stumble upon the enlightened version of this "PUA" community, some of the true sickos like Rodger are either too lazy, too ego-centric, or too impatient to do the true personal house-cleaning that's required to do it the right way–EVEN IF the more experienced guys are trying to tell him to do the right thing and adjust his own attitude first. So, they go for the quick superficial fix, hoping it will solve their problems because it's psychologically easier to do and it's what they want to hear. But eventually the games and BS gimmicks run out, they have to be real again, which is when the wheels come off the bus yet again unless they get their own personal shit together first.

    And in Rodger's case, it seems like his issues were SO deep, that even the "checking the boxes" approach wouldn't even work for him temporarily. He was so mentally ill and fragile that even that setback sent him off the edge. To this bastard, killing himself and other people was easier than actually being honest with himself and doing the difficult yet necessary personal inventory and emotional house-cleaning required to truly fix his problems. And so the monster killed 6 people.

    • Gentleman Johnny

      I like the washing up on a desert island metaphor because it makes it easy to touch on something I want to address here and its nicer than "did you really just use Not All PUA". So lonely guys sometimes wash up on PUA island. Its a nice little tropical island in the middle of a lonely, lonely sea. Its also an island inhabited by cannibals. These cannibals make canoes out of coconut trees so that the worst of them can paddle out to MRA and Red Pill island, too. So there's a lot of trade and transport back and forth.

      Now some of the tribes on PUA Island aren't cannibals. They took the lessons that the cannibals taught them and use them for more acceptable forms of hunting. If you wash up on PUA island, you might find one of these tribes but you're as/more likely to wind up in a tribe of cannibals. Either way, you're still living on an island full of angry cannibals and they're going to color the discussions of even the non-cannibal tribes. Like any cult, they start out promising an answer and going soft on the crazy rhetoric so they can ease you into it.

      So welcome to Nerdlove Island. We've got hunting lessons and women who want you to get better at them.

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  • Guest

    "loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires"

    He lists loneliness AHEAD of "unfulfilled desires" – which desires may include things other than sex, or course.

    "Girls gave their affection, and sex, and love"

    Again he lists "affection" ahead of sex.

    Yet, you base your exceedingly long screed on the thesis that he only wanted sex.

    • Gentleman Johnny

      No, he bases it on the thesis that this guy felt entitled to something that he wasn't even willing to pursue.

    • Rachel

      Scanning through the manifesto, I got the distinct impression that mostly he just wanted people to bow to his unexpressed whims. That's not to say he wasn't feeling lonely, but dammit, he states multiple times how people tried to include him on social events, in which he either rejected and went off to be alone and sulk, or he went to said event and spent the whole time fuming to himself about how he didn't have a hot blonde on his arm and how "humiliated" he was because of it.
      When his family reached out to him, he blew them off. There are times when they tried to help him out, and at best he blatantly ignored their concern.
      While I really don't like to say "he didn't mean what he was saying"…I don't know how else to convey what was going on. Because as far as I can tell, he expected that women should be hopping right onto his dick merely due to his existence.
      More importantly: He NEVER cares about what anyone else feels, says, or does, except when it directly affects him. He sees women as props/objects/status symbols, and on more than one occasion directly equates affection with sex (like after he got beat up he says he was wronged because a woman not only never offered to help him, but never offered to have sex with him to make him feel better).
      I don't think he actually knows what affection is, especially from women. He continuously thought that the attention he "deserved" from women should be sexual in nature.
      Thus, I don't think the Doc is wrong in assuming that he only really wanted sex.

      • nonA

        If he only wanted sex, he easily had enough money to hire someone for a night.

        Everything else you said is spot-on, the one point just raises a whole slew of social narratives. People say "sex" when they mean a whole slew of other things. (E.G: Elliot Rodger saying "sex" when what he really wanted was a hot status symbol girlfriend to complement his delusions of grandeur.) You see a lot of the symptoms of that crop up here; guys who only think that physical contact only counts if it's of a sexual nature (and where it counts more the more sexual it is), girls who say "only sex" to cover a whole host of issues where they feel taken for granted, and a whole host of issues because the concept is used to cover so much beyond the act itself.

  • carlo

    When I read your post yesterday, I thought that, among good points, was fundamentally wrong. It was wrong for the "entitlement" bit. In my guts I knew it but could not put it into words, other than angry words. I think your post actually fuels acts like this. Your stance is just the other side of the coin, only that your one is the "good" side of it. I report here an article which puts into word why your post is wrong: "as a society, we have to take mental illness seriously and quit blaming straw men we can so easily prop up and knock down." You make good points in you blog Doctor, but you display resentment and anger rather than compassion more often than not. And you do it exactly with the pool of guys you once belonged to. Any feelings you are not dealing with and trying to push away from you as much as you can?

    Anyone can become an Elliot Roger, but it's easy to say they have self-entitlement issues so you don't have to face that side of you. C.G. Jung once asked: why a whole nation was ready to follow Hitler?

    I am not different from Elliot Roger, neither are you. We are just luckier. But what angers me is you are taking merit for being lucky.

    • Catiline

      I actually think that the question of "why a whole nation was ready to follow Hitler" is exactly why articles like this are needed. I don't necessarily agree that we all have the potential to become Elliot Rodger, and I definitely don't agree that there's no difference between him and me, or Dr. Nerdlove, or most people in the world. But other commentators, here and elsewhere, have argued that nothing can be learned from Rodger's killing spree, because it was an isolated incident (basically, the "Not All Men" argument). However, what Rodger did is actually a) more common than we'd like to believe, as the article points out, and b) the extreme face of a set of attitudes that are pretty engrained in our society.

      Now, I'm taking a different slant on this than you are: I think you're arguing that the fact that Rodger's views are recognisable should make us sympathise with him, while I'm saying that should make us horrified at the way those views exist in milder forms. But, yeah, Rodger wasn't a unique and alien case. That's the point.

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  • Last week, someone I knew in high school (25 years ago) told me that it was MY fault he never found a satisfying relationship. It was MY fault that he'd nursed a crush for years without ever bothering to tell me about it. It was MY fault he never asked me out.

    I told him that if he had bothered to ask, I would have said yes.

    It scares me how entrenched this thinking is in our society.

    • ajamjar

      Does someone like this even want a relationship? I doubt they're capable of it. I think they must prefer to project their bitterness and resentment onto other people instead of addressing their own feelings of failure and inadequacy. It's a choice they make.

    • thathat

      Woooooowww…. that is some kinda messed up. Why the heck nurses a grudge-crush for 25 years?

      People like that are scary. I would've been seriously scared to have someone tell me that.

    • devicat26

      that… is kind of astounding. it almost deserves some kind of medal. Longest Grudge Held or something. Seriously, who does that?

    • Toysoldier

      Yet Marna, it never occurred to you to ask him, did it? I do not mean that as an attack. I am asking that genuinely. Did it ever occur to you that he was interested in you?

      • eselle28

        I'm going to say there's a pretty good chance it didn't.

        Either way, I'd say she's better off not having asked out a man who holds grudges for 25 years. Turning this into something about women not making the first move doesn't change that.

        For a completely different data point, I had no idea which guys were interested in me in high school. I would have accepted a date from any of them (err, okay, excepting my bullies A, B, and C and this guy D who scared the crap out of me), because no one at all asked me out at that point in my life and I would have liked to go on a date. As for the guys who I actually liked enough to have considered asking out? Yeah, I totally should have said something, though I suspect many of them would have said no. But I'm not bitter they didn't make my move for me.

      • thathat

        What on earth does that have to do with literally anything?

        • Jenn

          It's important to make it All Women's Fault so men don't have to face or deal with their hard issues.

        • Toysoldier

          The reason I asked the question is get feminists to realize a basic point: look at your own actions. Every time someone mentions shy men, feminists absolve themselves and women of any responsibility for those men's rejection. If the men were rejected, they deserved it and have no right to feel hurt by it.

          Let us assume that this guy, like Rodger, was too shy to approach women. Let us assume that he, like Rodger, expected that women interested in him would approach him. Let us also assume that this guy, like Rodger, thought that his interest in women was obvious.

          If we assume all those things, then we have this scenario: this guy, let us call him Paul, sees Marna and likes her. He wants to talk to her, but he is too shy. So instead he always sits in her line of sight hoping she will look up one day, see him, and come and talk to him. Marna does see him, does look at him, does sometime smile at him, but never approaches him. She never talks to him. She never even asks about him.

          From Paul's perception, she has just rejected him. And before anyone argues, "That's in his mind," Paul did the exact same thing countless girls and women do. And by that metric he was rejected.

          It is not a matter of it being "the woman's fault." It is matter of women often ignoring obvious male interest. I will hazard a guess that Paul never made his interest known. However, it is also possible that Marna knew about his interest and simply did not like him, and because he never directly approached her she never had to directly reject him. Yet it is also possible Marna knew about the interest and was so turned off that she intentionally ignored him. It is also possible Paul was more overt in his interests and Marna ignored or rebuffed that as well.

          The idea that the man is always to blame for his misery and that women play no role in his hurt feelings simply does not hold water.

          There are not that many people who hold grudges for unfilled crushes. My guess is there is more to this story.

          • ajamjar

            Stop right there in the first paragraph.

            "Every time someone mentions shy men, feminists absolve themselves and women of any responsibility for those men's rejection. If the men were rejected, they deserved it and have no right to feel hurt by it."

            It's OK to hurt. Rejection hurts.

            But you have to own that hurt. It's yours. If Dick has a crush on Sally but Sally doesn't feel the same, Sally isn't responsible for him feeling bad any more than Sally is responsible for him liking her in the first place.

            Let's hope Sally was sensitive to Dick's feelings (that sounds wrong) when she rebuffed him because we should all, men and women, be sensitive to each other's feelings. But how many times am I going to have to type this? WOMEN DO NOT EXIST TO CATER TO MEN'S FEELINGS.

          • Toysoldier

            According to feminists, it is not okay for men and boys to hurt.

            To "own the hurt" implies that the person is responsible for their own pain. I realize that is the feminist position. Feminists hold the same view when it comes to abused men and boys. I also find it a truly stupid view.

            If you reject someone, you do bear a responsibility for how that person reacts because how you reject will affect how they react.

            You also cannot have it both way. Either a woman should be sensitive to a man's feeling or she should not. No one gets to claim to be sensitive, then treat someone insensitively, and when called out on it cry "women do not exist to cater to men's feelings."

            That kind of response is precisely why some men become angry. You claim to care about their feelings, but blame for feeling bad, and then smack them down when they talk about their feelings. That will only breed resentment.

          • ajamjar

            Feminists, just like women, are not a monolith. I have no idea where you're getting your ideas from.

            Feminism is, generally, a very helpful model when it comes to any kind of abuse, particularly sexual, because it teaches that we all have autonomy over our own bodies and that it's our right to say no – women, men, boys, girls.

            Back to Sally and Dick, how can Sally say no without hurting Dick's feelings?

            She can't. The only way she can avoid causing Dick any hurt or discomfort is to date him *and* be everything he ever wanted in a girlfriend.

            Does that sounds reasonable?

          • Toysoldier

            Feminism is generally helpful to women and girls. As it applies to men and boys, the message is either that men and boys cannot be victims, that they are responsible for their own abuse, that abuse does not count and is not that bad, or that it rarely happens. There is no recognition that men and boys have autonomy over our bodies and have the right to say no.

            As for your analogy, you argued that we should hope the woman is sensitive to the man's feelings, not me. Being sensitive to a person's feelings does not mean that one will not hurt those feelings. It only means that you should not go out of the way to hurt a person's feelings or ignore that you can hurt their feelings.

            Your response implies that have zero responsibility for how they reject men. Instead, the responsibility lies with the rejected men. If they are hurt, it is their fault.

            Does that sound reasonable?

          • ajamjar

            You're arguing that no-one should ever hurt anyone's feelings. This is not an argument you're ever going to win.

          • Toysoldier

            No, you want to me to argue that because you are trying to win. This is not a game. Real people are affected by these kind of things. If you think there is something wrong to consider the feelings of the person you intend to reject, I think that says more about you than you intend.

          • raindancing

            So you are saying that it's okay to reject someone.

            Are you still saying that women have to figure out whether a man is interested, or is it okay to wait until he actually asks them out?

            Because I just don't see a pre-emptive rejection going well.

          • ajamjar

            Srsly, how is "consider[ing] the feelings of the person you intend to reject" different from "we should all, men and women, be sensitive to each other's feelings"?

            But considering the feelings of someone else, and being sensitive to them, *is* different from being responsible for them.

          • Toysoldier

            There is no difference, which makes it all the more curious that you seem to have a problem to with the notion that people ought to consider the feelings of those they reject.

            Let me ask you a question: if I call you a name and that hurts your feelings, am I responsible for hurting your feelings? Let us say I invite everyone to a party except you and that hurts your feelings. Am I responsible?

          • eselle28

            In the first situation, you're initiating contact and you're doing so in an unkind way. You've done something wrong, though it's still my responsibility to deal with my feelings about it. If you invite everyone (everyone? you invited the entire planet to your party?) to a party except for me, you're merely choosing not to interact with me. There's nothing wrong with that, and you shouldn't have to have me at your party if you dislike me. My feelings might be hurt by that, but no one's at fault.

          • Toysoldier

            I did not ask for a set-up or context. I asked only if I am responsible if your feelings are hurt if I call you a name. Am I responsible?

            You say that no one is at fault for excluding you from the party that everyone (and let assume the entire human population) else was invited to. Again, let us not add context. All we know is that I did not invite you. No one is at fault?

          • eselle28

            Both people are responsible. You're responsible for your actions. I'm responsible for my feelings and how I behave in response to those feelings.

            No one is at fault.

          • Toysoldier

            So if I understand correctly, a person is responsible for his actions but not the consequences of his actions? So Elliot Rodger is responsible for killing and injuring people, but not for the pain and suffering caused by those deaths and injuries? If the families of the victims respond in anger and lash out at Rodger's family, Rodger had nothing to do with it?

            That sounds quite illogical.

          • reboot

            Sigh. Let's break this down into simple terms so you can understand Marna's situation.

            I punch you. I am responsible for your pain and feelings.

            You want me to punch you but do not ask me to do it and get hurt and angry when I do not punch you. I am not responsible for your pain and feelings.

          • Toysoldier

            We lack enough information to understand Marna's situation. All we have is her limited version of events. That is why I asked the question. We do not know her actions or inactions, we do not know how met again, or what prompted the conversation.

            If the situation were as you posit, then Marna would have no direct responsibility.

          • eselle28

            If families choose to lash out at his family, then yes, I hold them responsible for those actions. People can choose how they respond to their feelings.

          • ajamjar

            To clarify, I don't have a problem with people considering the feelings of those they reject. I do have a problem with people projecting their feelings onto other people.

            And what eselle28 said.

          • Toysoldier

            Ajamjar, if you have a problem with people projecting their feelings onto other people, then you have a problem every social movement feminism to the Tea Party.

            However, your argument is illogical. If someone hurts you, you are not projecting your feelings to say they hurt you. You are simply stating they hurt you. They can be unaware they hurt you, but they did hurt you.

          • ajamjar

            If someone punched me and I said "Ow! You hurt me!" then the puncher might be expected to apologise and make it up to me, maybe by buying me an ice-cream.

            If someone wasn't romantically interested in me and I said "You hurt me!" what am I expecting him to do about it?

          • Toysoldier

            The same thing I do when I reject feminists' advances: say "I'm sorry, but I don't feel the same way about you that you feel about me."

            Sometimes letting go of your ideology makes it easier to see this.

          • ajamjar

            "I'm sorry, but I don't feel the same way about you that you feel about me."

            is the answer to

            "I like you. Do you like me?"

            If you say "I'm sorry, but I don't feel the same way about you that you feel about me."

            to me and I reply "You hurt me!"

            And you say "I'm sorry, but I don't feel the same way about you that you feel about me."

            And I reply "But you hurt me!"

            And you say "I'm sorry, but I don't feel the same way about you that you feel about me."

            and I say "BUT YOU HURT ME!"

            I think you'd be justified in not talking to me any more.

            And, on that note, I'm bowing out of this discussion. Guys, who knew? All this arguing was really repressed sexual tension all along! 😉

          • ajamjar

            And if you're arguing that it was wrong of a teenager, those most thoughtful creatures!, not to magically intuit that another teenager had a crush on her and respond with due care …

            what about the feelings of grown-ass Marna receiving a vindictive e-mail from a grown-ass man she hasn't spoken to in 25 years?

            If you're going to hold a teenage girl responsible for someone else's feelings, feelings she didn't even know about, why aren't you judging the actions of an adult man who very purposely did something quite unpleasant by the same standard? Instead of making excuses for him and imposing hypothetical arguments on someone else's lived reality.

          • Toysoldier

            I realize teenagers are not the most thoughtful creatures. It would help if feminists realized that applies to both sexes in all situations, not just the ones that you can use to make teen boys look bad.

            As for Marna's feelings, I am sure she did not like being told that she effectively ruined some man's potential relationships. Depending on how he told her, it could be a terrible thing. I think that man is responsible for how he made Marna feel, even if he were polite. However, he does have the right to tell her she hurt his feelings.

          • reboot

            I think he is responsible for ruining his own romantic life. He had a crush and never said anything. She did not know he had a crush.

            She did not do anything except fail at mind reading. He let an unrequited high school crush blight his romantic life. It was on him to deal with his feelings and not stew on them for 25 years.

          • raindancing

            So if I reject someone as kindly as possible, and they flip a table over, I'm responsible for the broken dishes? Interesting perspective.

            Also, which feminists say that it's not okay for boys and men to feel pain? I'm not aware of any.

          • raindancing

            Oh, wait, it's probably these: http://www.harkavagrant.com/?id=341

          • ajamjar

            That's a very funny link! I lost it when she threatened them with her legs. <3 Kate Beaton.

            Anyway, he's conflating the pain of abuse with the pain of rejection, which, no, not the same thing at all.

          • Toysoldier
          • raindancing

            As far as I can tell, the claim you're discussing there is that men can't be raped by women (a claim that I — and the vast majority of feminists that I'm familiar with — find abhorrent, by the way), not that they shouldn't be allowed to feel pain.

            Does Dan Savage consider himself a feminist? I've never heard him described as one.

          • Toysoldier

            I do not know if Savage considers himself a feminist. I do know Jill Filipovic does and she agrees with Savage.

          • raindancing

            She says it's possible Dan is right and the guy is a manipulative jackass, but she thinks not. I would have worded it stronger than that, but I don't see how you're getting agreement from that.

            She ends with "it also doesn’t make him not-violated or not-raped just because she didn’t mean it." I truly do not get your reading of her. But also, if I'm honest, I'm not interested in discussing this further. Too far off topic.

          • Toysoldier

            The part before that selective quote was "It doesn’t make her a bad person or a rapist (she was awake and reasonably believed he was awake and consenting)." Keep in mind that when ask for examples of feminists discounting male pain, I will show it to you.

          • raindancing

            Whether or not she is a bad person is irrelevant to his pain. She could be a great person, and cause him unbearable pain, or she could be the embodiment of evil, and cause him no pain at all.

          • Mel_

            It sounds to me as thought you're defining rejecting someone (in any way, including simply not asking them out because you don't psychically realize they want you to) as "treating someone insensitively". So the only "sensitive" way to respond to someone who wants to date you is to agree to go out with them, even if you're not interested in them that way? How is it kind to pretend to like someone you don't and to mislead them about your feelings?

            Not to mention, how on earth can you suggest that Person A is responsible for Person B's feelings when A doesn't even know B thinks they're being rejected? Sensitivity doesn't even come into that situation–Person A doesn't even know there is a situation in the first place.

            Anyway, I'm not aware of any feminists who think it's not okay for men and boys to hurt. They just don't think it's okay for men and boys to take out their hurt on other people who are simply going about their own business (and yes, ignoring someone you have no reason to notice or politely* turning down someone who asks you out is going about one's own business–having feelings for someone doesn't give you a claim over their time or energy or mean they're betraying or attacking you if they don't return those feelings). And guess what? They also don't think it's okay for women and girls to take out their hurt on people who are simply going about their business.

            No one here thinks a woman should hold some guy who didn't ask her out in high school responsible for her never finding a satisfying relationship. No one here thinks a man who politely turns down a woman or doesn't ask out a woman who has a crush on him is being "insensitive". You're trying to make this gendered, but we expect the same behavior and the same taking responsibility of one's emotions from both genders.

            I'm curious, do you apply this same logic to both genders? If you turn down a woman who's interested in you (by saying no, or ignoring her crush, or not even realizing she has a crush), are you being insensitive? Would it be okay for her to blame you for somehow screwing up her entire romantic life?

            *Obviously if someone–of either gender–is needlessly cruel in their rejection, the rejectee has every reason to feel hurt by that and to be angry at the rejector for being cruel. I don't think anyone here would disagree with that either. But the solution is not "no rejecting!", it's "reject politely"… which most people do.

          • Toysoldier

            Mel, I did not define rejection at all. I asked whether Marna considered asking the guy out. That prompted hostile retorts about men's feelings, completely ignoring the possibility that Marna and other women could be cruel in their rejection of men and ignored that Marna could have asked the guy out. She says she did not know he was interested. That is possible. It is possible she did know he was interested and thought by ignoring him she would not have to deal with him.

            That is why I asked the question. I find it difficult to believe that women and girls are so oblivious to men and boys that they fail to notice male interest. Some women? Yes. All women? No.

            I do not buy into the "no feminists I know are like that" trope because it sounds like what it is: complete and total nonsense. I also do not buy into the "we'd say the same thing to women" trope because feminists often do not. Likewise, I never stated the solution was "no rejecting." I argued that it is ridiculous to assume one's rejection plays no role in how a person reacts. It is cruel to reject someone by treating them like they do not exist. It is equally bizarre to think that would not have a profound impact on the rejected person.

            There is no nuance your positions. Either women get to reject men with zero consideration for men's feelings or "it's insensitive to say no." I am sorry, but you are responsible for how you treat people. There is no "needlessly cruel." There is no need to be cruel. It is unavoidable that you will hurt someone's feelings by rejecting them. Yet arguing that they are to blame because you hurt their feelings is as ridiculous as holding a 25-year because someone never asked you out.

          • eselle28

            Ignoring someone's interest in you is one of many perfectly acceptable responses. It's a perfectly fine way to subtly reject someone, and it isn't mistreatment. Mocking someone's interest in your or insulting them is what counts as showing zero consideration. That's not what happened here, however.

          • Toysoldier

            I think ignoring someone's interest you is a rather cruel, albeit accepted response. It is treating that person as if they are not even worthy of notice. That is a terrible thing to do to someone.

          • raindancing

            But if they don't ask, what are you supposed to do? Go up to them out of the blue, and say, "I can tell that you're interested in me, but I don't feel the same way"? That strikes me as crueler. And kind of gross.

          • Joy

            Not to mention, extremely awkward if you are misreading the situation and the other person is *not* in fact interested in you.

            Basically, if you have feelings for someone, the onus is on *you* to act on those feelings (or not). It is not on the other person to psychically intuit those feelings and act on them for you. Note that there is no gender specified in these statements, because it doesn't actually matter what gender either party is, my response is still the same.

          • Toysoldier

            I would say that would be an odd thing to do. A better thing to do, which should be obvious to mature adults, would be to ask the person if they are interested in you.

            This is really sad. I understand the feminist position is that women can do no wrong no matter what — from rejection to rape — yet to pretend to be this socially inept is laughable.

          • raindancing

            So I go up to a guy, ask him if he's interested in me, his heart soars, he thinks his dreams are coming true, and then as soon as he admits his long-secret feelings, I crush him.

            Dude, that is the most cruel of all.

          • Joy

            No kidding. If we're flinging around accusations of being socially inept, "Hey, are you secretly interested in me? Yes? Well, just to let you know, I'm not at all interested in you" strikes me as *extremely* socially inept and just a downright mean thing to do.

          • eselle28

            Yeah, I'm actually in the situation we're talking about right now. There's a specific guy I'm thinking about who I'm pretty into. I thought about asking him out and decided that the odds of him saying yes were approaching zero, that I liked socializing with him, and that I'd rather keep on being able to hang out with him without awkwardness.

            If he made a point of seeking me out to preemptively reject me, I'd be incredibly depressed, both because that's really mean and because I'd be worried that my interest was too obvious and potentially inappropriate or creepy.

          • Toysoldier

            If you did it like that, it be quite cruel. That is precisely why I only stated that the better thing to do would be ask the person if they are interested in you. Depending on their response, you can tailor your response.

            Again, I find it laughable to pretend to be this socially inept. Are you doing that just to win an argument?

          • raindancing

            No, frankly I think you're the one who is socially inept, if you want to call it that.

            I think the natural thing to think when your crush asks you if you're interested in them romantically, is that this is a prelude to being asked out. Do you think that most people would interpret that as an abstract question that's not going anywhere? I think most people would get their hopes up, only to be devastated when it turns out that their crush just wanted to reject them.

            And even if they don't get their hopes up, I think it's like eselle said: you're forcing them to experience a rejection that they wanted to avoid.

          • Toysoldier

            It is natural to assume that your crush is going to ask you out. That is the nature of a crush. However, that does not mean that if you know someone is romantically interested in you that you should avoid the topic.

            Again, few people are this socially inept. Do you honestly think any rational person thinks the immediate response to "Are you interested me in?" "Yes" is "Well I don't like you?"

            Other than feminists, who would be that callous?

          • raindancing

            Fuck it.

            Dude, I am sorry that seriously shitty things have happened to you, but I am done having a conversation with someone who insults me in every post.

          • Joy

            "It is natural to assume that your crush is going to ask you out. That is the nature of a crush."

            Actually, no. I have never assumed a crush would ask me out. Crushes are not automatically reciprocal.

            "However, that does not mean that if you know someone is romantically interested in you that you should avoid the topic."

            And for the reasons Eselle posted, among others, it also doesn't mean that you should address the topic. Again, someone may have very good reasons for not coming forward with a crush, and it may be unkind to force them to talk about it with you.

            "Do you honestly think any rational person thinks the immediate response to "Are you interested me in?" "Yes" is "Well I don't like you?" Other than feminists, who would be that callous?"

            I'm going to ignore the sniping and the stereotyping of as broad a category as "feminists" as being callous, because clearly nothing productive can come from jumping down that rabbit hole.

            But where else can that conversation *go* other than "sorry, I don't feel the same"? "Oh, just wondering"? Because I would find that super strange.

            And I have in fact had that conversation, as the person being told by a friend that he didn't like me (when I had quite purposefully *not* brought the subject up, because I already pretty much knew he didn't). He did so as tactfully as he could manage, but it was still an awkward conversation, and one I'd rather not have had. We are still friends years later, but I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable around him for awhile, which I wouldn't have if he had not felt the need to make really sure I knew he wasn't interested.

          • eselle28

            Yeah, that seems like a strange interpretation of a crush. I can imagine that perhaps some shy people are very interested, think the interest is reciprocal, and assume a request for a date is forthcoming, but far more of my crushes have been either ones I strongly suspected were one-way or were inappropriate to pursue for various reasons.

            As the crush-haver, I can't imagine any situation in which being informed the guy wasn't interested would do me any good, and the only one I can think of where it would do any good at all is if for some reason my interest was annoying or disturbing to him and he wanted me to stop behaving in certain ways around him (in which case, it's definitely good for someone to lay out their boundaries, but isn't very close to the situation we're discussing).

          • thathat

            You SHOULD avoid the topic. Because the only answer you CAN give them is "I'm not interested, sorry."

            If they have a crush on you and aren't asking, the only thing you can do by bringing it up, if you're not interested, is make them feel bad. They probably already know you're not interested. Now you're calling attention to it, calling out their feelings and making them say it out loud (or else feverently deny it)–you're embarrassing them. It's mean.

            'Do you honestly think any rational person thinks the immediate response to "Are you interested me in?" "Yes" is "Well I don't like you?" '

            Seriously, then, dude, what? Maybe not the exact words "Well, I don't like you" if you want to be pedantic. But if you say, "Are you interested in me?" and they say "Yes," and you aren't interested in them…now what? Because the only reason I can think of for calling them out in the first place it to let them down about it. And while you don't have to say it mean, it really doesn't matter. There is no way of saying "I'm not interested in you" after YOU bring the subject up, that doesn't make the other person feel bad, no matter how delicately you do it.

            Honestly, with any of the crushes I had, I would have been MORTIFIED if they'd asked me point blank. I'm sure some of them knew–I'm terrible at being subtle, and my face goes bright red very easily. But they weren't interested, so they didn't press it. And I was glad they didn't, because the only thing that would've happened would've been me feeling embarrassed and pathetic for being so very blatant that they had to ask (especially because people usually only ask–if they're not interested–because you have made them so very uncomfortable that they're willing to break the social code just to get it out and away).

          • Toysoldier

            If you are uninterested in a person, the only answer you can give them in any situation is "I'm not interested, sorry." Most of those situations will be awkward. Most will make the person feel bad. After all, it is embarrassing to approach someone in public and confess your interest only to have them publicly turn you down. That is mean as well. There is no way of saying "I'm not interested in you" after THEY bring up the subject that does not make the other person feel bad no matter how delicately you do it.

            I am sure you would have been mortified if your crushes asked you point blank if you were interested in them. I am also sure you would have been mortified if they publicly rejected you after you summoned the courage to express your feelings. What I find curious is that the latter is acceptable (albeit only when women reject men) while the former is beyond the pale. Honestly, that makes little sense.

            No matter what you do you are going to hurt their feelings. Since the concern is over dealing with grudges born from pent up resentment over tacit rejection, would not the simplest solution be to inform the person of your lack of interest before it gets to the point they would hold such resentment?

            It seems like people are going a very long way to remove any proactive response from women.

          • Joy

            "After all, it is embarrassing to approach someone in public and confess your interest only to have them publicly turn you down….I am also sure you would have been mortified if they publicly rejected you after you summoned the courage to express your feelings."

            Which is why most people don't run around confessing feelings or rejecting people in public, but do so in private.

            "There is no way of saying "I'm not interested in you" after THEY bring up the subject that does not make the other person feel bad no matter how delicately you do it."

            So why on earth would you *preemptively* reject someone who has not expressed interest and may not ever be planning to?

            "Since the concern is over dealing with grudges born from pent up resentment over tacit rejection, would not the simplest solution be to inform the person of your lack of interest before it gets to the point they would hold such resentment?"

            Reasonable people do not hold grudges because another person did not psychically intuit their unspoken feelings and handle those feelings with perfect tact and finesse. And you only reject people who are interested in you; there is no "tacit rejection" if nobody is expressing any interest.

            "It seems like people are going a very long way to remove any proactive response from women."

            The one who is *constantly* bringing gender into this conversation (and doing so in a very condescending and disparaging way) is *you*. I notice you completely ignored all the posts where people explained why it's a bad idea to be "proactive" about this (including an example where it was the guy preemptively rejecting me, so this is not the heavily gendered thing you're making it out to be) and instead turned this into another example of Women Are Lazy Malicious Entitled Feminists and Cause All Problems. It would be really nice to be able to have a conversation without being insulted a minimum of twice in every statement you make.

          • Toysoldier

            Some people express their feelings in private. Some do it in public setting. It depends on when and how they want to ask.

            As for your question about preemptively rejecting someone, as I asked before, since the concern is about grudges born from pent up resentment, would it not be easier to tell the person you are not interested? As has been stated several times, a person is not responsible for what someone feels as a result, so what is the issue?

            I agree that reasonable people do not hold grudges for 25 years over an unfulfilled crush. That is the reason I think there is more to the story. As for tacit rejection, I mentioned it because some people feel that ignoring unwanted interest was an acceptable response. Ignoring a person is indirect or tacit rejection.

            The strawmen and projection are unnecessary. Marna was specifically making a point about men using her experience as an example. I asked whether she considered asking the man in her example if he was interested her. This prompted several responses that gendered the discussion, to which I replied. I have not ignored the other posts. I simply do not think anyone would have made those comments if I did not suggest a proactive response from women.

          • SpiltCoffee5

            "I mentioned it because some people feel that ignoring unwanted interest was an acceptable response."

            This seems to imply that you think it isn't. If this is indeed the case, may I ask why? I happen to think that ignoring is a perfectly acceptable response.

          • eselle28

            That sounds pretty terrible too. If I'm interested in a man and haven't asked him out, one of the main reasons for that would be that I don't want to deal with being rejected. It doesn't seem mature at all to seek me out and insist I experience rejection anyway.

            Moreover, many people who fear rejection will have the incentive to lie and say they're not interested, so it's not as if this resolves anything.

          • Mel_

            Ah, so "the feminist position is that women can do no wrong" is your idea of a "nuanced" position on the subject of feminism. Got it. Don't see any point in continuing to talk to you.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Hey Toysoldier, I just met you and this is crazy but are you interested in me? I mean, I just want to make sure I'm not missing some sign that's obvious to you and going to give you a 20 year complex.

          • Toysoldier

            I do apology, but I do not share your interest. It is a nice complement, but I think our politics and my prior experiences with feminists would prevent this from ever working.

            As for giving me a "20 year complex," another feminist attempted to that about 28 years ago. She failed to give me a complex, although she succeed in fulfilling her desire to have sex with me. To avoid the complex you mentioned, I have refrained from having sex with feminists for the last 20 years. Quite the feat considering I will turn 31 in a few weeks.

          • raindancing

            I am very sorry that you were sexually abused as a child. That's a horrible thing to have to experience.

          • Toysoldier

            Your… apology is unnecessary. I did not ask for pity. I simply responded to the comment in a way that is accurate to my life experience.

          • eselle28

            I also regret that you experienced childhood sexual abuse, but I fail to see what this has to do with one teenager having a crush on the other and the second teenager not noticing. You're really derailing here, and it seems like you chose Marna's post to get up on your soapbox at random.

          • Toysoldier

            Your regret is unnecessary, and I fail to see what a person asking me if I am interested in them so as to "make sure I'm not missing some sign that's obvious to you and going to give you a 20 year complex" has to do with one teenager having a crush on another who says she did not notice. That is derailing and also a petty personal swipe, both of which seem acceptable as long as I am on the receiving end of it.

            I also find it quite amusing that despite the regret and sympathy for me about my past, the comment was downvoted.

          • Maximilian

            Welcome to DNL, Toysoldier. On the off chance that the choice of username comes from the Small Faces song, kudos on that.

          • thathat

            Holy cats, that is a crappy thing to do. Runs the gamut from cruel to potentially dangerous. (Hey, another reason that women ignore unspoken crushes from people we're not interested in–sometimes those things turn out physically or socially dangerous for the woman).

          • eselle28

            I don't think it's terrible at all. If I was interested in a man but chose not to ask him out (because I thought he'd say no, because I wasn't interested in dating anyone at the moment, for any reason really), I'd hate it if he approached me to announce that he wasn't interested. It would be even worse if a man I wasn't interested in felt the need to announce his disinterest because he'd interpreted the situation incorrectly.

            If you want an answer, the burden is on you to ask the question.

          • Mel_

            Interesting. You're so very concerned about the feelings of this guy who isn't even commenting here and how he hypothetically might have been treated hurtfully, while you seem to think it's totally reasonable and respectful for you to repeatedly suggest that a commenter who is here is lying and may have actually been cruel, to call my experiences with feminism "nonsense", and so on. And when people call you out on saying things they find hurtful, that's their fault for having "hostile reactions". So… when these hypothetical guys have hostile reactions to women who reject them (no matter how), it's ridiculous to think the women aren't to blame, but when actual women are having hostile reactions to you doing something they find hurtful… that's the women's fault. Hmmmm, I think I know the answer to those questions of mine you failed to answer.

            If you're so worried about people not taking responsibility for the hurt feelings they cause, maybe you should start by looking at your own behavior. Just a thought.

          • Toysoldier

            It is also interesting that you are willing to assume the worst of a man who is not commenting here while taking the word of someone who could easily misinform you about the events.

            I understand your reasons for resorting to strawmen, but it does not help you. The double standard does not help you either. When actual men have hostile reactions to women doing something they find hurtful… that is the men's fault. That has been the feminist response here and on every other feminist space I have seen. Even when presented to hypothetical examples here, the reaction is still "that's men's fault for being hurt."

            If you are so worried about PEOPLE not taking responsibility for the hurt feelings they cause, you should look EVERYONE'S behavior instead of trying to win an argument. I am not interested in "beating" you. I want you to actually see it from the other side. I highly doubt you will do that, yet you are still capable of showing empathy.

            Instead of trying to be "right," try looking at it from a different perspective. It may help you understand why someone would hold a grudge for 25 years.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Dude, you've gone from a simple "if i had known he was interested, I would have gone out with him" to some complex situation where she actually did know and didn't do anything about it. This isn't just not in the text or the subtext, its in direct contradiction to it. This conversation has been circling the drain since it started. We're either all discussing hypotheticals here or we're discussing the actual situation. If its the latter, there's less than zero basis for the viewpoint you're taking.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            According to which feminists? And someone can still be sensitive to your feelings while not wanting to date you.

          • thathat

            Actually, no. The only one responsible for how a person reacts is the person reacting.

            And yeah, you can "have it both way." It's possibly to be sensitive to a person's feelings without having to bow to those feelings. A guy can be rejected in a nice way and still feel really crappy about it, and there's nothing the rejector can do about that, unless you think they should "just give him a chance" even if they're not into him and know they're not into him, because otherwise he will be sad.

            I never get how people read these things and thing "You're against men's feelings!" No, man, your feelings are your own. You actions are a problem. And when those feelings become a vile, swirling cesspool of bitterness and resentment…that's actually on you.

          • Toysoldier

            No one is arguing bowing to anyone's feelings. It is simply acknowledging that your actions can hurt others. When I reject people, I am fully aware that may hurt their feelings. Not because I am trying to hurt them, but because I rejected their interest. That does not mean I have to date or have sex with them. It only means that I accept that if tell them "I don't like you that way" it may make them feel bad.

            I do not see the problem with this.

          • ajamjar

            I don't see the problem with it either.

            But here's where we seem to differ – I can recognise that the other party may feel bad, but I don't think that justifies them lashing out, whether it be by sending a shitty email or going on a shooting spree.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            OK, but failing to notice someone's "obvious interest" is not rejection. M. either didn't notice or she is lying to a bunch of total strangers on the Internet about it.

          • eselle28

            I don't even know how we ended up going down this path, because Marna both didn't notice the interest and said that she would have accepted if he'd asked her out. It takes a lot of twisting to turn that into her cruelly ignoring his obvious signs of interest because she doesn't feel the same way.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Your "obvious interest" is often someone else's "huh"? This is why you need to learn to use your words. If you're too afraid of rejection to even ask, that is no one else's fault. People aren't mind readers. Hell, I missed some fairly obvious (to her, not me) cues from someone for abut two years once.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            From Paul's perception, she has just rejected him. And before anyone argues, "That's in his mind," Paul did the exact same thing countless girls and women do. And by that metric he was rejected.

            What those girls and women don't do is spend the next 25 years pining for the guy who never asked them out to the point that it interferes with their ability to form other relationships.

          • ajamjar

            You buy Paul's story? I don't.

            I don't believe for a minute not being asked out by a girl in high school had anything to with his inability to form healthy relationships. He's just looking for someone to blame.

          • Toysoldier

            There are scores of books, articles, TV shows, and countless feminists who disprove that. It is also interesting how this "use your words" metric never applies to women.

          • raindancing

            Wait… what? I'm confused now. What exactly is your claim?

          • Joy

            I think he's claiming that women get to hold grudges and hold men responsible for our relationship failings but that the reverse is not true; that we expect men to read our minds; and that all or almost all women are magically able to discern whenever any man is interested in us, even if he expresses that interest solely by occasionally placing himself somewhere in our line of sight. Also most women are feminists and most feminists agree on everything. And most feminists (and therefore most women) are hypocritical and wrong.

          • eselle28

            Which is just bizarre, because a 40-something woman who was stewing about a man not having asked her out in high school would be painted as a deranged cat lady.

          • reboot

            Ehem. Deranged dragon lady because well……dragons

          • enail0_o

            I think she'd actually be a crazy wedding dress lady, who shows up to her high school reunion in the wedding dress that she'd always imagined she'd wear for her wedding to that guy and probably stars in a horror movie.

          • Toysoldier

            That is a very poor strawman. The only element that is true is that feminists hold men to a different standard than they hold women. According to feminists, women have no responsibility to voice their interest. Indeed, "patriarchy" prevents them from doing so because it "punishes" women who are perceived as "too aggressive." When you reverse the situation, however, it is always the man's fault. No matter his circumstances, his insecurities, or how others perceive him, if he fails to "use his words," that is solely his fault.

          • thathat

            You…really don't know what feminism is about, do you. I mean, clearly you think you do, because somebody who called themselves a feminist did something terrible to you, but…dude, no. Just no.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Oh no, it applies to women, too. If you're interested in someone and they don't know it, its on you to change that. Use any two genders you want.

          • eselle28

            I'm a woman who was never asked out by a guy in high school. I both view that as being somewhat rejecting (shyness aside, I suspect if anyone had really been interested, he would have made the first move) and recognize that my inaction played a role in the outcome (if I'd prioritized dating and made a point of getting to know and asking out the sort of dorky boys likely to return my interest, one or two of them probably would have said yes). The difference between me and Paul is that second part…and the fact that I got over it a few years after high school graduation.

            I'm going to guess there's more to the story too, and I think the more to the story is that Paul is a dysfunctional person who has never learned to take responsibility for his own feelings and actions. I mean, good grief, even if Marna had turned him down flat, that's not a normal thing to be upset about 25 years later.

          • Mel_

            Seriously. I'm a woman who not only was never asked out in high school, I *did* pursue more than one guy only to have them not be interested in me. And yet somehow I accepted that they had a right to not be interested, felt sad without seeing them as the villain, and moved on to other guys.

            It's not as if we're expecting something from "Paul" or guys like him that we don't engage in ourselves.

          • Toysoldier

            I completely agree it is not normal to feel that upset 25 years later. That is why I think there is more to the story. I am not going to take Marna's side because I do not know what the full story is. It is possible that things happened as she claimed. It is also possible she treated him horribly, which would explain why he would still be (justifiably) upset 25 years later.

          • eselle28

            The facts as presented are that Marna had no idea he was interested. How is there room for horrible treatment in that?

            I think you're missing a fairly obvious more to the story here (that this guy isn't normal or reasonable) because you're eager to shoehorn someone else's experience into some theory about mean women cruelly refusing to notice men's interest and preemptively ask them out.

          • SpiltCoffee5

            "Let us also assume that this guy, like Rodger, thought that his interest in women was obvious. "

            "It is matter of women often ignoring obvious male interest."

            It's… not actually that obvious. It's a common thing that humans do, where we assume that others can easily read and understand our intentions, when really others have no real clue as to what you're feeling or thinking if you're not directly telling them. http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/07/14/the-illusi

            Additionally, in all three of the alternative possibilities you provided, unless we're assuming Marna was exceptionally rude in a possible rebuffing*, none of them really explain someone having a grudge for that period of time. Dealing with emotions that other people give you includes taking responsibility for them. Socially, I've observed some kind of grace period where people will permit someone pointing and blaming their negative emotions on others, such as the emotions during a break-up, but ultimately the responsibility of dealing with these emotions is with the person who has them.

            If Marna DID rebuff this guy, I would stipulate that the guy would have the room, socially, to be frustrated and hurt by the rejection, but not for a huge amount of time such as 25 years. After a couple of years, tops, yes, it does become that guy's responsibility to deal with those emotions.

            *which I honestly doubt even occurred as I take her post at face value, with maybe some exaggeration on how long it's been from frustration, but the time wouldn't be too far off the mark and would still be considered excessive by most.

          • "If we assume all those things, then we have this scenario: this guy, let us call him Paul, sees Marna and likes her. He wants to talk to her, but he is too shy. So instead he always sits in her line of sight hoping she will look up one day, see him, and come and talk to him. Marna does see him, does look at him, does sometime smile at him, but never approaches him. She never talks to him. She never even asks about him.

            From Paul's perception, she has just rejected him. And before anyone argues, "That's in his mind," Paul did the exact same thing countless girls and women do. And by that metric he was rejected. "
            One, if Marna smiled at him, that means she was at least MILDLY interested/attracted to Paul. She didn't turn away or give a "go away" look or anything like that. Paul made a good first step by doing a little something to get her to notice them, and that's all fine and dandy…now FOLLOW UP on it. Since you're all about the hypotheticals here, to HER it could have just been common courtesy from him, a friendly acquaintance that you see from time to time.Holding a boombox outside her window blasting In Your Eyes is obvious. Simply smiling from across the room isn't. It's his fault for making incorrect assumptions about Marna's mind-reading abilities.

            This situation could easily be avoided if Paul went over and talked to her instead of waiting for her to do the heavy lifting, just so he could get VERIFICATION as to exactly what's going on between them. No guess work or "oh but from his perspective it seemed like…" assumptions necessary; if nothing more seems to be happening with Step One, go to Step Two and see what happens.

            "Oh but that's so unfair on men for us to have to be the ones to approach her, why can't they approach us, waah waah waah"…if YOU'RE the one that is actively seeking some sort of kinship with someone, you're gonna have to be, ya know, ACTIVE, instead of having a Mexican Standoff and waiting around for something to just happen out of thin air. If nothing is happening and you're wanting something to happen, MAKE something happen and go from there. Yeah, I get he's shy, trust me, I've been there. But the only way to overcome something like that is to have the courage to just take the risk anyways. The only way to overcome whatever fears you have is to face it head on, and the more you face it, the less it scares you and the braver/more confident you become. There's something to the old cliche "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"; think of it like gaining body muscles in the sense that you have to work at it to get them stronger and better than before. It's the same with your social skills. The more you work at them, the better you'll be at them.

            If you're interested in someone, LET THEM KNOW and get an answer directly instead of pussy-footing around the issue because of your fear of rejection. Hell, it's better to just get it over with if it's gonna happen than to give yourself even more stress/anxiety by deliberately keeping yourself in the dark.

      • Gentleman Johnny

        You know, I've often found that people who speculate on motives of someone not present in the interest of playing devil's advocate often use it as a screen to avoid taking responsibility for what are actually their own opinions.

    • Gentleman Johnny

      Dear Zod! Tell me that's not normal. I mean, I can think of a few women from my past who I keep in touch with and kind of think "if the time and place were ever right, I'd still like a chance. . ." but certainly not to the exclusion of my ability to find other relationships. That's not normal. . .right?

      • OtherRoooToo

        I don't know how "normal" something like that has to be in order to qualify as "normal" in your lexicon, but I can offer a little anecdata.

        I had a bit of a spat with someone on a Friday. We didn't talk that Saturday, because I'd been told by every "fount" of male wisdom I'd ever sought out — because, as you all remain somewhat impenetrable to me WRT your reasoning on how you proceed in relationships that I have an ingrained habit of doing that — that "you have to let the man cool down after a fight". Plus, I had, you know, some actual life stuff to do.

        That Sunday, I heard from him that he was still upset with me because I had not reached out to him that Saturday.

        I asked him how, given the fact that he had not told me via any mutual communication parlance we'd set up that that was what he wanted, how I was supposed to know he wanted to hear from me. I did not receive an answer.

        I asked him the same question again some weeks later.

        I have yet to receive an answer.

        (I strongly suspect the subconscious answer is "Because I (man) expect you (woman) to read my mind", but … *shrug* 🙁 )

        • Gentleman Johnny

          To be fair, that one goes both ways. I know plenty of people who expect the other side to know "the rules" without being told. Apparently using your words is hard.

          • OtherRoooToo

            I have to tell you when I see a comment that starts with "to be fair" in a context of human heterosexual relationship interactions, I'm prone to giving it a bit of a side-eye because all too frequently I see people trying to apply "rules" to relationships that really only work for board and videogames.

            (Plus, "She does it too!" never strikes me as terribly responsive to whatever topic is on the table.)

            I have to say I'm … particularly unimpressed with that when I read whatever comes after "to be fair" and not only does it not apply to me generally, it specifically does not apply to the way I behaved in the fact pattern I took the time (and, not too unimportantly, emotional vulnerability) to lay out for someone else to put their eyeballs on.

            I'm afraid I have to share that this is one of those times.

    • OtherRoooToo

      … *speechless*

      Did he have any additional data for you on "WHY" any of that might be?

      How he'd reached the (egregiously erroneous) conclusion that that was your fault …?

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  • Meyer N Gaines

    Ok, I watched the dude's videos. Now I'm a bit scared, he sounds a lot like me (except that I don't have issues with racism/classism/entitlement/narcissism/murder/etc). I too feel kinda bad when I see couples walking around and stuff.

    • Brandon

      I too used to struggle with feeling like shit when I'd see couples going around or get jealous when I'd see other people succeeding. Then just randomly I tried employing the "killing with kindness" technique where I find something nice to say/think about them. It's empowering. You should try it.

      • thathat

        I'm gonna second that. Even, or especially, if the couple in question involves a person you've got a crush on–if you can practice being happy for people who are happy, it really does help train you out of bitterness. But you do have to actually practice it. The human brain is weird.

    • LeeEsq

      Its a common feeling and human nature. Millions of people feel that way.

      • Georgia_D

        I realise that some people feel this way, I don't believe that millions do, although if you have studies to back you up I'm happy to be proven wrong. Certainly, despite being single for most of my life I don't tend to notice couples all that much and am happy for the ones that stand out enough that I do notice.

    • trixnix

      I talked with my ex about this and she said: "stop comparing yourself to this guy. Yes, dating hasn't always been easy for you but that's really where it stops. You're not him".

      And she had a point. Feeling bad when you see couples walking around is kinda okay. Throwing coffee at random women who don't do what you want is certainly not okay.

      Just because you see something that you recognize in Elliot's behaviour doesn't mean you are or could ever become him.

      It's important to reach out to guys and others to stop the power of such toxic masculinity but that does not mean that we think the guys we're reaching out to are potential killers/shooters. Just that you deserve the chance to define your own masculinity and not have it be defined by toxic shit.

      • ajamjar

        I, too, think it's important to distinguish between unhealthy feelings and abnormal behaviour.

        Jealous of other people's perceived success or happiness? It's not healthy, but it's pretty standard.

        And it's not just guys. I'm a woman in her 30s and last weekend a friend of mine posted some loved up pics of her and her new (very attractive) boyfriend in a hot tub on Facebook. As much as I wanted to be happy for her, I got a sad for myself because I don't have a boyfriend or a hot tub.

        These unhealthy feelings? Usually the person they are hurting most is YOU.

  • inertia19xx

    Actually most of us are too smart for that… your skewed perception.

  • Gentleman Johnny

    Dumb troll is dumb and a troll.

    • enail0_o

      And also a troll? Who has dumbness? And trollishness?

    • thathat

      Thing is, you do have to wonder.

      Not about the dumbness, but about the troll.

  • Jenn

    The 'ban' button must be getting a workout today.

    • OtherRoooToo

      One can only hope.

  • Rachel

    Pfft. He never ONCE tried to please a woman. No, really…he would go place himself in public, then expected that somehow sitting quietly in a corner would allow women to notice him. Oh, except when he got mad, then he would go throw drinks on them. Y'know, be an asshole.Can't imagine why that never worked.

  • trixnix


    The trolling is strong with you. He didn't try to please women according to the evidence available. He just assumed he was so magnificent that women should throw themselves at him. He barely approached and just bought into the PUAHATE crap of dehumanizing women.

    If being a complete asshole was the only way to "bang American women" then most of PUAHATE would have been very successful with women because a lot of those guys were awful people whether they had other disabilities or illnesses or not. They behaved in bad ways towards other people to the extent that their conditions could not excuse their behaviour.

    Elliot did not approach and then he got angry when women didn't stop their daily lives to pay homage to "how amazing he was".

    And if you're a troll from where I think you've come from, reflect very deeply on what role such trolls might have had in all this.

    • thathat

      I think that's the scariest thing about the idea of trolls who "don't believe this stuff" but are saying it just to provoke a reaction–not everybody knows they're trolls. They're spouting ideas that some very damaged people believe, and making those people feel justified in their beliefs.
      That's why I have such a hard time writing off posts like that as just a troll. How can a thinking human being not realize what he's doing?

      • celette482

        It's like when other guys don't say anything or laugh nervously to rape jokes. The guys making the rape jokes think you agree with them!

        Tacit approval.

        • ajamjar

          Are you in the UK? Did you watch the recent Kirsty Wark programme? There was a study featured that proved exactly that – if someone laughs at sexist jokes, even if he himself is not sexist, he is validating the sexist beliefs of men who are.

          • celette482

            I'm familiar with that study! I wish I had the reference on hand, but I don't.

  • Gentleman Horndog

    I'm sorry, did you say something? I'm afraid I can't hear you over the awesome women I've gotten into my bed by enticing them with an honest, respectful, and mutually beneficial relationship.

    • celette482

      Better than how I get guys (via a commandeered fishing net)

      • Gentleman Horndog

        Have you tried baiting it with steak? Dudes LOVE steak.

        • celette482

          *nonchalantly fires up a grill*

        • fakely_mctest

          Oh shit is that my problem. 🙁


          I did have a guy make me dolmades the other day so maybe everything's coming up Millhouse after all?

          • enail0_o

            Not sure where to put this, but you guys are all so awesome. This little subthread just may have salvaged the internet for me.

      • Gentleman Johnny

        Do you hang it out the passenger's side of your BMW and just drive down the street then throw the women back?

        • celette482

          The worst is when you get snagged on a bus stop. Damn benches.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Woman. . .child. . .woman. . .marsupial. . .bus bench. . .ah, here's one!

      • thathat

        I've heard good things about bolas

        • fakely_mctest

          I prefer a straight-up Amazonian truth lasso.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            That tends to draw a type of man with rather specific interests.

          • thathat

            I am surprisingly okay with that…

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  • Gentleman Johnny

    You know, as I was about to leave the house, something else about the "not all men" argument jumped up and bit me. Felt like I had to share.

    Not all men are dangerous proto-rapists who could go on a killing spree.
    But all women are hypergamous bitches who only care about money and status.
    Amirite, marsupials?

    • celette482


      • Gentleman Johnny

        Drop bears are ruining it for the rest of us. #notallmarsupials

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  • Lone wolf

    Say you turn up to class and everyone has a lolipop, you don't see what methods they use to get one. They just have one. Naturally you will want one, it's the same for relationships. Why are men attacked (by men especially) for feeling entitled for something 96% of humans have already? except them. They don't exactly know why they are denied. They think they are like everyone else but they don't have a relationship, it makes no sense to them. Listen, it's only natural to feel left out and entitled when everyone else has something. I used to think there was something wrong with me because of my failure to get a relationship, it's BS! there is nothing wrong with them, I needed someone to tell me that.

    Anyway, the fact is humans ARE entitled to "a mate" no matter if they are out going, shy. It is needed to be healthy. To deny it, is to deny healthy living, and this stems back to bad parenting from a society who shuns sexual relations and forces kids to learn from porn.

    We/they are marshalled to pages similar to this to hear "I have a girlfriend, so does everyone around you. but. your not entitled to one. run along now and go work on all those "issues" you were born with whilst we have sex, k?" that is not helping anyone only compounding the problem, even though many guys lap up the fact they are "broken" like I used to.

    I'm sorry, it's not fair that someone has to life live without a partner, it's NOT. it's also not there fault either. Society and parenting has let us down. Hear me out, we do not have the right to have any woman, you do not have the right to harass any woman. BUT all of us DO DESERVE a partner, without one you can't function properly and can't be truely happy.

    Here out my solution to stop depression, suicide attempts and horrible incidents like this one occurring. It starts with the parents, boys are just left to do what they want, they just "have it" or they don't. They ether get a "high school sweetheart" or they don't. This is not right, all guys should be TAUGHT how to get girls to like them from a young age.

    What will help you more in life, algebra? or learning how to not live the rest of your life in rotting loneliness and depression? sex education is nothing and even that sucks. We should teach our boys how to talk to woman. That's what's really important in their lives. Teach them to respect woman, to be nice to them and how to have interactions with them. For dads who don't know how there should be counselling available from the age of 13 to help teach these boys and keep them happy.

    In turn we get rid of the poisonous media potral of the alpha white male and instead add diversity. Our boys will have more role models to look at. Learning how to start relationships during high school is incredibly crucial, so that even if they choose not to have one then they can get a girlfriend later in life, RESPECTFULLY. The parent support group should remain there at all times especially in case of repeat rejection, the parents will offer them un breaking support with hugs and cookies and talking, tell him to keep going and that there is nothing wrong with him.

    The same applied to the girls with all the appropriate changes. As in teach more girls to not only look for "prince's" all this stuff is pre conditioned, remove it and they suddenly become open to more types of attraction.

    Will the world change? no. Our world is so utterly disgusting many people will die from starvation whilst I type this message, do you really think the people in power will do anything to help loveshyness? no! never, no one cares, however I really want to have my own son one day and make sure he has a far, far,far better life than mine. It's up to you to do the same. I may never even get my son so I rely heavily on you, all of you, to raise your sons in this way and make for a happier world in the future. Thank you.

    • eselle28

      Ah, yes. Relationships are objects to be given out, not something people build collaboratively. Only the pain of someone wanting a relationship is mentioned, not the possible pain inflicted on those who end up in unwanted relationships with poor relationship partners. And, of course, men should be taught how to pursue women while women should only be taught to settle.

      It looks like you've covered all the points in the Standard Rant, though brevity and a bit of panache would help make your point.

      7/10 on the Troll Scale.

      • reboot

        He would make someone take a lot of shots with this one.

        On a more serious note, I love that women are just something to be doled out (like lollipops). I swear if there was a movement to reintroduce slavery trolls like this one would be out campaigning for it :/

        • Lone wolf

          I'm the troll. What would you call your two bit and a half comment then? one an relevant note. Anyone can see it's just a comparison, it's the same feeling of missing out. No where have I said anything should be "dolled out" just that all boys should be encouraged learn about girls and vis virca. Getting into healthy relationships is important and we should help our kids, tell me what's so difficult to grasp about that and why is my post getting marked down.

          • thathat

            Ah, yes, compassion. That thing we're supposed to have for people who feel so entitled to another person's body and life that they do something horrible to get it.

            Your post is getting marked down because it's a complete misunderstanding of how human beings work, a tasteless attempt to justify the killer's feelings (including: women are a commodity, I want one), and is just gross all over.

            I can have empathy for lonely people. But when people talk about "compassion" in this case, it's "hey, why COULDN'T some woman just, y'know, give him sex so he wouldn't do this."

            And then I need to go throw up.

          • reboot

            I am someone who has not had the best luck in relationships. I do not sit there and envy people that have relationships. Humans are not "entitled" to a mate no matter how much we want one. No one is entitled to having someone else in their lives or to have a role in someone else's.

            And yes you are the troll. People are not lollipops and objects one can be entitled to.

          • ajamjar

            You know, I think it's natural to feel envy sometimes. Maybe not healthy, but natural.

            If Lone wolf had said, "I'm lonely. Sometimes it feels like everyone around me is in a relationship and I want what they have." I might have felt some sympathy. I have no sympathy for a child screaming, "I WANT A WOWIPOP! HE GETS A WOWIPOP! IT'S NOT FAIR!"

            (It might be time for me to step away from this discussion and look at pictures of kittens.)

          • enail0_o
          • eselle28
          • reboot

            Exactly. And yes, kittens, puppies, bunnies, anything cute.

          • eselle28
          • ajamjar

            Thank you guys! I literally went "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeee!" XD

          • thathat

            …I just now realized that "wowipop" is supposed to be the way a little kid says "lollipop" and not a brand name.

            Mildly upset that there is no such thing as a "Wow-i-pop."

      • Lone wolf

        Obvious the pain of unwanted relationships would be talked about in the active parent support system I mention. listen I couldn't cover everything in the post. I was talking from one particular angle. That's why only the pain of being left out is talked about, cus well that's the main point of the comment and what were talking about here, the murderer who couldn't get a girlfriend and all the men in similar situations to him. I can only speak from my own experiences and suggest ways to improve the life's I and others have suffered

        No, Il make that sentence clearer. Woman and Men would both moulded and taught so they can discover what they want in a relationship and recognize good partners early on, thus improving there lives in the future.

        Both Boys and Girls should be taught to look beyond looks from an early age as well, this would probably need to be supported by the media, with less Brad and Ange looking protagonists. To clarify, neither boys or girls should be looking for the perfect look in a man. Men should also be taught not to look for princesses too.

        Finally yes a relationship is build by two people but they only have a chance of starting, normally if the boy does something. Shy people, such as me do not do this, that's why I suggest teaching our sons form a young age how to get a girlfriend, using further counselling if needed. It's an important part of their life's and can't be left to chance.

        2/10 response for ignoring points and failing to understanding what I'm trying to say, If you want a serious discussion on my comment I welcome you to try again.

        • ajamjar

          "what were talking about here, the murderer who couldn't get a girlfriend and all the men in similar situations to him."

          It's BONE CHILLING you think he killed because he couldn't get a girlfriend. Oh poor boy!

          He killed because he had a fucked up sense of entitlement to women.

          If he had a girlfriend, she'd have been the first one he would have killed.

          • celette482

            Yes. 40% of women murdered are murdered by their romantic partners.

        • thathat

          The murderer didn't *try* to get a girlfriend. He assumed it would just be rewarded to him. Although I'm willing to bet that most women avoided him because these attitudes of his? Yeah, they're not that easy to hide–women can be pretty perceptive of this crap. Especially, oh, driving around to throw hot coffee on women for the crime of not paying attention to him.

          This guy wasn't a shy, sweet fellow crushed by a lifetime of rejection. This guy was a raging a-hole who was mad at the world in general and women in particular. He did not want a relationship. He wanted to own a person. He didn't want a woman in his life as a person–he held women in deepest contempt.

          We understand what you're saying. It's just that it's crap we've all heard before, couched in "but won't somebody think of the killer's feelings?"

          • username_6916

            "Especially, oh, driving around to throw hot coffee on women for the crime of not paying attention to him. "

            Err… What?

            I started off feeling for this guy,and I guess some ways I still do. But… I can't stand this "If I can't get what I want, I'll just blow it all to hell!" attitude. Like this Lone Wolf poster, I don't really like the word 'entitlement' in this context, but at the same time I've got to wonder about why anyone would think that answer to his or her pain is to hurt someone else.

            This guy is starting to sound more like an old fashioned bully the more I hear about him.

          • Lone wolf

            "crap?" you know what f***K you. I don't even care, crap!!!! what the f***k! your probably some stupid entitled woman with on clue what there talking about.

            Idiot. F**K OFF

          • Dr_NerdLove

            And we're done here.

          • thathat

            That's an interesting berserk button.

          • enail0_o

            Well, the start was rambling and a bit banal, though it covered a solid set of the Standard Troll Concerns. But then that unexpected finish, so rage-filled and sudden, and the brevity contrasts nicely with the original post. And then it ended with a ban!

            What do you think, guys, does this take it up to 8/10?

    • raindancing

      You know how I'm teaching my son to get these healthy romantic relationships with girls? By teaching him that girls aren't lollipops.

      • reboot

        I have an image of you using flashcards to do this and it made me chuckle.

        • raindancing

          Happily, no flash cards are required. The hardest part at this point is dealing with other people saying gross things like "Hey, in a few years, people will need to lock up their daughters around you, little guy!"

          • eselle28

            Wait. People say things like that to a little boy?

          • reboot

            My nephew gets the same: ladykiller, hide your daughters, you'll have to beat them off with a stick, ladies man

            I will have you note he is still in preschool

          • eselle28

            Gross! I'm glad my niece is still a little too young for that yet.

          • raindancing

            Yeah, that started when he was an infant. It's like some people can't compliment him on his looks without adding something about how he will be able to leverage that sexually when he's older.

      • Lone wolf

        it's a comparison!! get off your high horses! I'm f*****g sick of it now! are none of you capable of dam conversation?

        It's. the. same. feeling. of. missing. out.

        • raindancing

          What we are saying is that it's a REALLY gross comparison. The fact that you are capable of making this disgusting comparison shows that you don't really see women as people who are the protagonist of the story of their own life, they're an object to you.

          I believe you are capable of changing that mindset, but until you do that attitude will leak out, and women will avoid you like the plague.

    • thathat

      A) Everyone does not have a lollipop. Not even 96% of people have a lollipop.

      B) You do not actually need a romantic or sexual relationship to be happy or healthy. You need human interaction and friendships. But you do not need a Relationship.

      C) Even if you did, nobody is obligated to forgo their own wants and needs to give it to you just to make you feel better.


      • eselle28

        All of this a million times over. And a million more times over when it's applied to a racist, elitist, misogynistic murderer. Who the hell wants to be the lollipop assigned to him?

      • Jenn

        And what guys who want relationships with other guys or girls who want relationships with other girls? Or people who want relationship without sex or people who don't want relationships at all? Why are none of these brought up or acknowledged?

      • Lone wolf

        So what are you saying? then boys who can't make friends which is kinda the same thing since making friends leads to relationships.

        I want to teach boys how to make friends and thus get a girlfriend so they can live happy lifes. I never got taught this. So, how I cannot live a normal live because I can't acquire human contact, how is that fair?

        It's not.

        • thathat

          You don't actually need a girlfriend (or a boyfriend) to live a happy life.

          That's really the first thing most people need to learn. Because believing it's a requirement leads to all manner of badtimes.

          But if you're having difficulty sussing out healthy human interaction, this page has plenty of articles. The comments section has plenty of people. And the second thing you need to learn about human interaction is that when you say a thing and a bunch of people say, "Wow, that was kind of a gross/terrible thing to say" you need to figure out WHY what you said was gross/terrible to those other people, because people generally won't interact with folks who say things they find to be gross/terrible.

          We get that you made a comparison. It was a bad one.

    • Jenn

      There's a lot wrong here. I don't know where to start . The assumption that anyone who's in a relationship was given it by the relationship fairy? The idea that people may have put a lot of time and effort into getting and having a relationship is ignored. That everyone wants a het relationships, if you're not straight you don't count. That having a relationship is necessity. It's not, it really isn't.

      The only thing I can agree with is that we feed a lot of bullshit when it comes to romance. Such as relationships are the be-all end-all of life, and that women are objects that need to be taken not people who get to choose.

    • ajamjar

      Genuine question coming up.

      I found the ideas expressed in this post, at best, misguided. Expressed in a conversation about a man who murdered 6 people they became offensive.

      And, to be honest, after battling days of "not all men" and "poor guy, if only women had been nicer to him" and "he it's disgusting you're using this tragedy to push your feminist agenda" etc. my patience had worn thin and I was very short and snarky with him.

      The question is do we do a guy like Lone wolf any favours when we tell him to buck up his ideas? I'm not for a minute suggesting women have a duty to make men feel better about themselves, fuck that noise. But *this* is a site primarily for young men to get dating advice.

      I'm guessing to Lone wolf it just felt like a bunch of angry women piling on him. If only there had been a class at school and parental support to learn how to deal with it! I'm making light, but the fact that he kept referencing parental support suggests that he doesn't have a lot of it.

      The fact that he's so distraught at not having a girlfriend at 19, for goodness sake – dude, you and most 19 year olds – and that he can't imagine being friends with a girl without it leading to sex … He never even stops to wonder if girls get lonely or want boyfriends; they're just lollipops. It all points to a deeper loneliness, a more profound disconnect, than just being unlucky with the ladies.

      So what is the right way to respond?

      • ajamjar

        To be fair, he didn't come here asking for help.

      • Gentleman Horndog

        I'm as vocal an advocate as anybody for cutting guys slack on this site, and for trying to draw a line between "malicious" and "misguided." But in this instance, I think you summed it up perfectly:

        "But *this* is a site primarily for young men to get dating advice."

        Dude wasn't here for advice; he was here to get his rant on. Did yinz pile-on a bit? Eh, maybe. But honestly, when somebody makes it clear they're only interested in shouting and aren't inclined to listen, I suspect it stops mattering how polite you are. It's all going to get lumped under "But I'm right! Why aren't you affirming that I'M RIGHT?!?!"

        I get the impression that the guy is in real pain, but until he's prepared to actually do something about it, this isn't the place to help him get better. Trying to walk somebody out of a destructive mindset isn't easy even when they are in a place to listen; I'm not going to judge anybody if they're not willing to devote that energy to somebody who's giving no indication it's going to matter. And if that means that this is the kind of place where Ranty McRantersons wind up getting roundly mocked, I am totally cool with that.

      • thathat

        I feel bad for him, but short of going through the archives and compiling a list of the articles that specifically apply to him and his situation…I dunno. There's help here, on this site. There are oodles of articles about how to prepare, how to approach, how to interact, and how to date.

        I'd feel worse if he hadn't gotten so angry so quickly, I guess. But he did, and that says a lot about his mindset. Do I think he's hurting? Yeah, absolutely. But I think a lot of that pain is coming from the fact that he seems to be viewing girlfriends like a commodity that everyone but him has. That's not atypical of a 19 year old (I remember those depressed, angry college days), but it's an attitude that does need to be checked,

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  • Ciconio

    Thank you very much for this article. I appreciate your acknowledgement of sexually frustrated men, which is quite rare to encouter in the reaction to this case, which makes what you are suggesting—a positive, non-violent approach to dealing with sexual frustration—even more difficult.

    There is one tiny bit in your argumentation that I find a bit critical: “He doesn’t seem to have actually approached anyone. In fact, he’s said in a few places that he didn’t so much as talk to a woman before he was 20. He’s literally expecting sex to be thrown at him, with no effort on his part.” This sounds to me like it is people’s own fault if they cannot find a partner because they are not extroverted or don’t have a good social environment. I believe there are two societal problems in place here that should not be forgotten: First of all, we live in a society full of violence, and it is no wonder people grow up with social anxieties because of this. I also barely talked to women before I was 20, and it was certainly not because I felt like it was their responsibility to approach me, but it was because I was shy and scared of them because of the way that I grew up. Second of all, it is a problem of our society that women grow up with sexism and violence and are raised to be scared of approaching men. In a society where all people felt the confidence to make the first step, shy men wouldn’t end up in this situation of loneliness in the first place (not to defend Rodger’s actions, but this also applies to people who are sad and not aggressive about their sexual frustration).

    • Jenn

      I sympathize with the shy,