I’m not gonna pretend I know all the details of this Elliot Rodger thing because I was watching TV and Mario Lopez was reporting on it and so it just seems to be something that’s not in my world. It does however make me think of a lot of things that have been on my mind for a while. A lot of things that have to do with boys and men and how we relate and perceive the opposite sex. It makes me think about the role played by the media in creating expectations in males about what they can get from females or rather more specifically what they think they deserve. I can write these things because I, like any man, have experienced frustration in my relationship with the opposite sex so I think I can see where the type of attitude that leads to the Elliot Rodger incident can come from. In knowing this though I can tell you why it’s so wrong and can only lead to more psychological, emotional and physical suffering for both sexes but unfortunately more so for women.
Traditional patriarchal society, though often said to be dead, continues to have effect on the way males are told they should approach women. Films, TV, books etc., continue overwhelmingly promote the idea of the male as the subject who pursues and women as the objects to be pursued. It’s the classic story of boy meets girl. Think about that phrase. It’s the boy who meets the girl. Not the other way around. The male is the one who acts and the female is the one who is acted upon. That’s the way the story is told time and time again so it’s not surprising that a certain expectation has been created in the male population. If they try just hard enough they can get the girl they want. If romantic comedies are to be believed the boy can get with the girl, act like an asshole and then make a big embarrassing declaration and she’ll go back to him. He doesn’t necessarily stop acting like an asshole, he just says that he did and that’s seen to be enough.
In real life sometimes a boy will pursue a girl and that girl will find that boy to her liking and decide that she is cool with that. This is both sexes coming together because they are mutually interested in each other. They are equal players (hopefully, though often assholes will still get great women or a good guy will go with a terrible woman with, in either case, some kind of abuse taking place). More often though, a man will be interested in a woman who does not reciprocate his interest. That’s just the way the world works. More people don’t want to fuck you and/or spend time with you than do. A mature, well adjusted man will understand this and move on with his life. They will know that eventually someone will reciprocate. This may take years and some major life adjustments but it will happen. The problem is that many men don’t understand that.
It’s my opinion that the major issue in these men is that they don’t realize an important and, one would think, obvious fact: women are fully formed human beings with their own likes and dislikes and tastes and turn-ons and, well, everything else that makes a person a person. I feel silly writing that sentence but it really seems that many men in our society and, if the news is any indication, around the world don’t get this glaringly obvious fact. It seems crazy but if you think about it it’s not surprising. As I said before, we are taught from very early age and throughout our lives that men are the ones who act and women are the ones who are acted upon. Even though it’s a stupid and outdated way of seeing the world it’s not hard to see where it comes from and the harm it causes is all to real and pervasive.
Men who don’t fully recognize the humanity of women are the ones who just don’t get why they are being snubbed by them. Because of the way they have been socialized they think they deserve to be with who they want. They feel entitled. They don’t get that, in most cases, for a woman to reciprocate the feelings and desires of a man, that man has to elicit them. They don’t get that just as they observe women, those women are observing them. They don’t understand that both sexes are the actor and the acted upon, both are the subject and the object. Elliot Rodger killed those people and blamed society because he couldn’t understand why a miserable weirdo didn’t appeal to the majority of the women he tried to pursue.
It’s even more fucked up when you consider that against all odds there probably were women or at least a woman who was probably interested in him and tried to show it at some point in his short life. Because he couldn’t understand that women could have desires of their own and could also take action he probably never noticed. He was probably blind to it because he was just so upset that the women he thought he should be with didn’t see things the same way he did. How dare they have their own ideas about who they should share intimacy with?
Guys (and by “guys” I mean men) I’d like to talk to you directly for a moment. If you find yourself striking out with the ladies all the time you have to eventually understand that it’s not them, it’s you. Something about you is just not working. Think about it this way, if you were trying to answer a trivia question and 99 people you asked for help gave you the same answer and 1 person gave you a different answer, you would probably choose the answer that everyone is telling you. Well, all the women are telling you’re not deserving of their interest and you’re the only person who thinks you are deserving. That should tell you that instead of lashing out and blaming everyone else you should probably take a good look at yourself. Don’t just look at yourself for one minute or an hour. Look at yourself for a long time. In fact, stop even thinking about approaching women for a while. Maybe try instead to focus on some goal you always wanted to achieve and just throw yourself into that. It may take months or even years but eventually something unexpected might happen, women will start being interested in you. They’ll see something in you that wasn’t there before. It will be a passion or a skill or just a love of life or all three. Just like you are looking for something in women, probably something very superficial, they are looking for something in you. They don’t want some sad, angry, ignorant, asshole. Trust me, you could be with the hottest chick and if she’s a sad, angry, ignorant, asshole you’d eventually run away too no matter how superficially appealing she is. Women are like you. They choose things and want things. If you ain’t got shit then don’t be surprised if women don’t see shit in you.
Anyway, just my two cents because this whole incident made me really angry. I know there are details of the case I missed so I expect comments about that. There’s so much more to say on the subject though. I didn’t even touch upon how not realizing women are human beings can lead to so much other abuse from men. Like, what’s the deal with dick pics? You think just by showing you have a dick that will get you laid? No way. Is all you’re asking for a vagina? In that case just buy a fake one and leave women alone.
Later. I’ll write more about music next time.
PS I chose not to put a picture of that kid because I’m not glorifying this incident which is what I think is actually happening when someone like fucking Mario Lopez reports on it. He’s not asking the tough questions.