If you don’t know who Elliot Rodger is, you can google him. But he’s the guy who this past weekend shot a bunch of people in Isla Vista because he felt alone and unloved and had never had sex, while lots of other “less deserving” people were having sex.
The following rant—like the one earlier today—comes mainly from my comments on a facebook post by a friend of mine, partly in response to other people’s comments.
To say this guy is a psychopath (or crazy, or whatever) absolves the rest of us of guilt, of responsibility. It makes it easy for us to go about our lives feeling okay about ourselves. Maybe he was a psychopath, but saying that like it's the answer to the question of "What the fuck happened here?" ignores the much greater danger. (And we are awesome about ignoring greater dangers.) This guy's ideas about women and sex and all that didn't just develop on their own inside his head. They came from a culture that taught him to expect certain things--women, sex, adoration.
Sure, this guy seems to have had some serious brain issues. Reading a little of his plans and watching a little of his videos was very disturbing. It seemed oddly like he was almost playing the role of the villain in some drama/action/adventure thing. I couldn't read or watch all of it. It was too much. But what I saw there is that he hates himself and blames his pain on a lack of sex. Somewhere (or everywhere) he's picked up the idea that we all deserve to get sex "just because". And that somehow having sex would fix all his problems. That's nonsense. Nonsense that he learned from TV & movies. It’s a general sense that’s just “out there” in our culture. It's absolutely one of the stories we tell nowadays.
Dismissing that because he's crazy or disturbed is much the same as what gun rights activists say: it's not that guns are dangerous; it's that these individuals who went on a killing spree are disturbed, or that those individuals whose kids accidentally shot someone weren't acting responsibly with the storage of their weapons. But it's both: guns ARE dangerous, AND these people are disturbed and those people were irresponsible.
In this case, this guy was disturbed, AND there are serious dangerous problems with our attitudes about sex and gender...and violence. Yet we just ignore that later part. It's easier and more comfortable, and that way none of us are responsible.