As the bloodied bodies of seven slain victims lay warm in Santa Barbara, it was not long before shoddy feminist pontificating began, as female commentators eagerly attempted to score political points. They argued that the deranged videos and writings of Elliot Rodgers, 22, who murdered six people in Santa Barbara, California on Friday night, was a result of a society that hates women.
It wasn’t long before an article appeared on the Guardian, titled ‘Elliot Rodger’s California shooting spree: further proof that misogyny kills’, written by their American columnist, Jessica Valenti. The piece published on Sunday was subheaded: ‘Attributing the rampage in Isla Vista to ‘a madman’ ignores a stark truth about our society.’
Valenti was eager to dismiss any claim that Rodgers may have been insane and instead insisted that: “Rodgers, like most young American men, was taught that he was entitled to sex and female attention… He believed this so fully that he described women’s apathy toward him as an ‘injustice’ and a ‘crime’.”
As the commentator Brendan O’Neil pointed out on the pages of his online magazine Spiked, this style of argument is indistinguishable from the highly conservative notion that graphic films and pornography turn innocent men into violent sexual predators. This idea not only suggests that all human behaviours are a direct consequence of their surroundings rather than their own autonomy, but second, that the misogynistic forums and websites which Rodgers accessed bear direct responsibility for his actions.
The cultural critique of misogynistic society by an array of feminist commentators was accompanied by the viral Twitter hashtag #YesToAllWomen.
Feminist keyboard warriors pointed out all the terrible injustices experienced in Western society, providing, reader, what I’m sure you’ll agree to be a fascinating insight into what it means to be an oppressed woman in a patriarchal society.
Interestingly, most of these tweeters and feminist commentators seem unbothered by the incredibly racist and indeed generally anti-human ramblings that are also clearly evident in Rodgers’ 140-odd pages manifesto and infamous video.
Perhaps the hashtag #YesToAllHumans would have been too inclusive to men, y’know? A similar problem also arises with the hashtag #YesToAllRaces.
Yet it is telling how little has been uttered by these supposedly radical feminist campaigners on an episode of appalling misogyny that happened this week.
Indeed, on Tuesday, a woman was stoned to death for marrying a man her parents did not consent of. In Lahore, Pakistan, Farzana Parveen – who was three months pregnant – had her face was smashed in with bricks for fifteen minutes by her father, brothers, and former fiancé, while the police and a crowd of people looked on outside the High Court of Pakistan.
But hey, as long as Western feminists keep typing out those tweets, it really doesn’t matter that in Pakistan some 869 women were murdered in similar “honour killings” in 2013 alone.
Nor does it matter that the nastiest import of multiculturalism has been that according to some estimates 12 “honour” killings happen in the UK every year, whilst thousands of women are attacked in “honour” related incidences.
As long as white middle-class feminists have a chance to tweet in unison, then who really cares that the hashtag has “all women” in it?
And who really cares that it is a nasty response to shoddily try and score political points to further your aims after a tragedy?