Monthly Archives: May 2014

A response to “Don’t Use A Tragedy to Further Your Own Agenda.”

Today, I checked my Twitter, tweeted irately about various things, and made an obligatory memorial day status. And as I scrolled down, I saw an article from ThoughtCatalog, entitled “Don’t Use A Tragedy to Further Your Own Agenda.” I already disagree with this statement, because if tragedies don’t serve as an impetuous for change, they’re just a waste. Something bad has already happened, and I’d like to see as much good come out of it as possible – I suppose it’s part of my love for cosmic balance. I think there can be respect and mourning alongside an acknowledgement of what went wrong and how to fix it. 

So, expecting to find an article that I didn’t agree with, but could respect, I clicked on the link. Boy, was I wrong. 

The author chose to attack female activists who responded to the recent Isla Vista murders, saying that the women had failed to check their facts prior to calling patriarchy. Much of the article hinged on the fact that not all of the victims were females, however the article failed to take into account the fact that the first three male victims were Rodger’s roommates, whom he chose to kill due to a misguided desire for revenge. 

The real information that we need to consider – the information that indicated patriarchy and misogyny as perpetrators – existed before the murders themselves. Rodger had a vendetta against women; he believed that they had not paid him the attention he deserved. The women he chose to shoot were random; they were not known to him, and they had not personally rejected him. He killed them because he wanted to “punish” women for not paying attention to him. And in many ways, Rodger is a pitiful figure – rejection can be damaging to a person’s psyche, and information has been released indicating that he was seeing a therapist, and trying to work through some issues he had. 

However, that doesn’t excuse his actions, or the reasons for them. Rodger felt that all women were to blame for his social isolation. He blamed an entire gender for not giving him what he felt he deserved. Rodger felt that he deserved women’s adoration – that, in fact, he was entitled to it. And while not all men go to such extremes, the fact is that we send men that message from a very young age. Men are told – especially when unpopular when young – that someday they WILL be successful, and girls will realize their mistakes. It’s standard rhetoric we feed the bullied, abused, and undervalued. And while this rhetoric comes from a good place, it can lead to a sense of entitlement. If someone equates success with the adoration of women, as soon as a one feels like they are entitled to success, they feel they’re entitled to women as well. It’s troubling, and when we look at the Rodger’s speech and actions in the days prior to the massacre, you can see the evidence of that thinking.

Was Rodger mentally ill? Current evidence points to yes. Was the massacre a tragedy? Undeniably yes. While both of these things are true, the fact is that Rodger’s though processes in the days leading up to the Isla Vista shootings were intensely misogynistic, and his actions – killing roommates who he felt didn’t value him properly, and killing random women to right imagined wrongs – were as well. 

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If you’re curious, here is the original article: http://thoughtcatalog.com/gordon-avery/2014/05/dont-use-a-tragedy-to-further-your-own-agenda/

And if you would like a better researched and less specious source for information, here is this: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/dad-daughter-devastated-named-elliot-rodger-manifesto-article-1.1805983

Onward and Upward?

Whoa baby, it’s been a while! To be honest, I haven’t really been feeling like updating lately. A lo-o-ot of cool things happened in the past month and a half (!!!) that I’ve neglected this blog, but for some reason the general bittersweet feeling of graduation overshadowed everything.

That’s right – I graduated from college. On May 3rd, I woke up late, hurriedly did my hair, donned a cap and gown, and walked across a stage to receive a facsimile of my diploma. And I didn’t really have an “OMG I’m Graduating” crisis or anything like that. But there’s been a sense of melancholy pervading my thoughts on it. I suppose part of it is because I feel like a kite that’s been cut loose – school has always structured my life. If my life were a body, school has been the skeleton. And now it’s gone, really suddenly, and I’m just a puddle of skin and blood and organs. Admittedly, invertebrates can do some really cool things, and I know that I should take advantage of this opportunity, and do cool new things.

I’m really going to miss college; I wouldn’t say it was the best years of my life, because I hope that my life will only continue to improve, but it was a pretty good time. I got this shimmering chance to study, and live closely with other people, and I’ve developed so many relationships over my time in college.

I’m ready to move on though. College was great, but four years is a long time to do one thing; I’m ready for new challenges and adventures. I just need to figure out what.