When Misogynist Violence Makes Headlines, Part 1 October 9, 2006Posted by angryscientist in Feminism, Uncategorized.
Part 1, Connections
This was posted on a popular feminist blog, cited from Wikipedia for analogy to these recent incidents of suicidal attacks on female students. Look up Marc Lepine or Ecole Polytechnique Massacre for more info. If you are here to make trouble, you have no cause to hound feminist blogs about what I say. Though I cite one here and another elsewhere, I am solely responsible for the opinions I express here on this blog, and elsewhere. If your post doesn’t show up right away, it means you triggered a moderation alarm, so after I look it over, it may go through. Since I am actively inviting hostile attack on this and the next post, it probably will go through unless you are so far outside the rules I must censor you anyway. On other posts not inviting hostile attack ( Rape, Camp Trans, Sadism Unmasked are also open) the rules stand; violators will be yanked or banned without notice.
He first went into a mechanical engineering class, forced the men out at gunpoint, began to scream about how he hated feminists, and then opened fire. Lépine continued his rampage in other parts of the building, opening fire on other women he encountered. He killed 14 women (12 engineering students, one nursing student and one employee of the university) and injured 13 others (including at least 4 men) before committing suicide.
Born Gamil Gharibi, Lépine had a very troubled childhood, including an abusive father. During his parents’ divorce, his mother told the court at their divorce hearing that her husband, an Algerian immigrant, “had a total disdain for women and believed they were intended only to serve men.” After the divorce, Gharibi legally changed his name to Marc Lépine. He developed a lasting hatred toward women and had left a note blaming feminism for all the failures in his life, including his aforementioned rejection from the engineering school. (Note: The article explains his coursework didn’t meet requirements.)
There are obvious differences, on the level of age difference, since a child molester is not quite on the same page as a humiliated peer, but I say, the spirit of Marc Lepine lives again. This was a man blaming his misfortunes on feminism, sacrificing his life for revenge. One can argue about whether this was aberrant mental illness, or these latest suicide attacks on girls in school. Mental illness is way too vague for me. Those guys knew what they intended to do, carried out elaborate plans. This was not just out of control suicidal mania. Lepine focused on murdering his female peers, while these latest men consumed by hatred of women wanted to rape, kill, torture girls, because this represented dying to get the worst revenge on women.
What would drive a man to this? What drives men to batter women? What about rape? What about all the relatively mild insults, harassment, condescension, discrimination, not giving women credit as due? I think the answer is clear, though multifaceted in its expression. Men like to think women are somehow beneath men, not as capable in ways that matter, therefore men should make important decisions, while women should support men. Some believe this kind of malarkey more openly than others. Some men flaunt this on web sites anyone can read, where all the ills of society are blamed on women, or feminism, as if women drive men to irrational explosions of violence. In that case, men who commit suicide attacks on girls would be martyrs in this war men as a group wage against women as a group. Many men support this war blindly, though they shrink from such blatant manifestations, not realizing the attitude culture fosters toward women, in men and women both, is so poisonous, so biased in favor of men that without challenging it up front, it is bound to twist male perspective and behavior into familiar realms, cultural norms oppressive to women.
Women who go along with this are not unscathed, though in business and politics, they are more likely to get favorable attention from men in power than rebellious women. That offer to collude, at least in the political arena, is a tempting trap, dangling a taste of power at the cost of selling out her principles. Examples of powerful women going along, not challenging enough to rock the boat, would be Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton. Probably the only rebellious woman of the past most men would recognize by name is Susan B. Anthony. Some modern activists have considerable notoriety, such as Jane Fonda and Cindy Sheehan. So the idea that feminists have ruined society is a sick joke. Feminists have made a lasting impact, but more on the barriers to women’s participation in man’s system than on how the system itself operates. If feminists are so powerful, why is abortion a choice men think is their business to strip from women? Women were legally male property in this country not so long ago. On that sort of thing, feminism has made a big impact, but what really bothers average men about feminism, I think, is women looking out for each other. That could snowball, so men do their worst to divide and conquer women. I think that’s a good thing, women rebelling, working together, looking out for each other, but I’m weird that way.
Guys who hate women, that may be legal, but it sure does not speak well for your rationality or perspective capacity. You think women should defer to their betters? Why? You learned to believe that, a baseless, but convenient myth. Women are at least as capable as men, in every way that matters, except maybe to guys who worship sports heroes. The problem is not feminism. You have no idea what that means anyway. Women are not the problem. Women have almost no influence on politics. If you resent your woman’s influence on you, or some nasty breakup, you are missing the forest for the trees. For one thing, women are all different, in ways you’d never imagine as well as the obvious, and besides, we all got big problems with Uncle Sam and that insidious wrecking crew in charge, and I don’t mean white knights on donkeys are coming to the rescue! They come, not to rock the boat, but to promote their own agenda they call reform, better way, competent war on terror, oversight, middle-class tax relief, ad nauseam, after letting Alito and Roberts get confirmed and lots of other issues slide through without much of a fight. But that is another topic entirely.
So, guys who hate women, you vary in your expression of that hatred, but fundamentally, you believe women deserve hatred, and how far is that from extremes like these? Maybe you restrict yourself to verbal violence, maybe you get off on cruelty, maybe you have fantasies like these latest incidents, but think only crazy men act on them, while you are in control, know how to keep your violent feelings in check. I hope at least that much is true, but have to wonder what happens to that control when men get drunk, mad, or both. I have my own theory of male behavior. My book delves into some of these issues. I analyze the problem, from my theoretical perspective.
Some incidents, like these invasions of schools by predatory men on suicidal vengeful missions to terrorize girls, most men prefer to denounce, evading how it fits right in with belief systems underlying this culture. Basic to those belief systems is some variation on the theme, women exist to serve men. A man who believes any variation on that theme, which encompasses most men across cultures, will find his ways to oppress women, keep them down in their place. This manifests in a wide spectrum, from relatively mildly crude or obnoxious attitudes to incidents like these. Men may deny holding such a belief, but I hear men talking behind the backs of women. The Bible story of Adam and Eve says she was created to help him. What a crock. Talk about illogical. Man is not half as logical or clever as he thinks. Scientists are supposed to be independent of religious biases, but look at how popular Freud was. Freud, notorious for his penis envy theory, comparable nonsense about how women would be happy if only they would accept their submissive role. Psychology is a social science at best, not a science that could stand up to standards of rigor, or scrutiny of many of its diagnoses and treatments. Though people have predictable tendencies, this does not make us necessarily predictable. Male theories of women are by definition suspect, though men can understand women to some extent, if motivated to make an effort.
On one side of that spectrum I’d put more commonplace male behavior, like putting women down behind their backs, being condescending or chivalrous, staring at breasts, wolf whistles, milder forms of harassment. On the other side, sadism, battering, child molesting, rape, murder. Ranging in between, buying sex or pornography, Camp Trans, harsher forms of harassment. All variations on that theme, differing in particulars, degree of viciousness, how the law views the act, how men justify themselves, such details. Logically, the principle of subordination can explain these incidents, not as aberrations but as a predictable extreme variation on that theme men seem so cavalier about. This is why I’d never argue these men are so out of the ordinary. Men have a really dangerous dark side, and who knows how much brutality women suffer silently. Most women dare not report to authorities, or not to anyone, because that is how the man wants it, usually reinforced with dire threats.
I don’t need to get into things women I know have gone through, but theory aside, I have to say, brutal male aggression against women is far more common than men like to admit. As long as men feel justified in hating women, some will choose to end their lives in such a way. Some will try similar things and hope to get away with it. The point is that hating women is not a simple matter of free speech. There is no exception saying hate speech is free speech if directed against women. Violence against an oppressed group is no less hate crime when directed against women, no matter how mad or humiliated a man claims a woman made him. That’s called ducking his responsibility for his actions. No man can expect to justify violence against women by claiming he had no choice but to act the way he did. That only applies to self-defense. Men also have other choices of feelings, and I don’t just refer to love, lust, or milder forms of resentment to substitute for hate. Genuinely friendly interest, for instance.
It’s a male bonding ritual to put women down, which may seem harmless to men. To some extent this is whining, men feeling inadequate or resentful in the face of women not acting according to male fantasy plans. This is what these guys call women castrating them. Disillusionment is part of growing up, guys. So is rejection, disappointment, having to face personal demons and other aspects of reality, taking responsibility for your life, actions, beliefs. So convenient to blame your woes on women, or feminism. You know nothing about either besides your tinted impressions of how women react to you.
Women are diverse, perhaps more so than men, at least in my impressions. Generalizing women for the purpose of justifying hating them is not just illogical. I find it a disease, spread by culture deliberately, maliciously. Some men deny infection, but still view females with distorted lenses reinforcing male ego. The virulence of the infection may vary. Men like to conflate not wanting to be like women with not wanting to like or respect women. A man will never be exactly like a woman no matter what he does to himself, so this is merely a convenient device to rationalize the contradictions of male ego. Being like women has a connection with liking and respecting women, but not what most men would think. Understanding women has a tighter connection, or appreciating women. Men evade the matter by thinking, we’re men, we don’t want to be like women! That would mean we were gay, or bisexual! That is not the issue, not even close. For one thing, some men with no attraction to males are androgynous.
That may be hard to believe, but I should know. But the issue I’m raising is why male animosity towards women is so prevalent. A man need not be androgynous to find another way to relate to women. If a man had a truly open mind, which is only possible through unlearning just about everything men learn to believe about women, and most of what men learn to believe about men, then a man could see the magnitude of what women give men. That’s nothing to sneeze at, though men learn to take all of what women give in relationships for granted, thinking it’s their due as men, finding fault wherever possible, inventing fault to justify abusing women.
Ah, I know, you feel women don’t appreciate what men give. What exactly is that you feel is underappreciated? The breadwinner argument is nonsensical. Men have to work to live, not just to support the family, especially since most women bring in their share plus more than their share of housework. Sex? That may be the most laughable argument. If you are good at sex, women appreciate that consideration. If not, she is giving way more than you. In general, women give far more time and energy than men realize, but it’s so convenient for men to ignore what women sacrifice caring for men they try to love, despite all the roadblocks men throw up to intimacy and partnership. When a relationship busts up, blame flies around, but since there is plenty of that to go around, what is the point of blaming women in general, or feminism? Gets you off the hook? Not really, but you can fool yourself into thinking it does.
Women give men so much, and what does it get them in return? Some combination of scorn, sweet talk, lust, rants, contempt, abuse, beating, conciliatory words, and rape, if they are not lucky enough to find a man who knows a little about appreciating a woman. This is a matter of degrees, depending on factors average men find uninteresting, unmanly, or unimaginable, but they could think about all the ways the women in their lives give their time and energy to make men’s lives work. They may prefer to think this is all about sex, more convenient repression of reality. Women’s sacrifice of time and energy for male happiness and convenience goes so far beyond sex. Men who have lived on their own have some experience of the tedious chores of living, but no idea of what it’s like to be pregnant, give birth, or be a mother. Women go through all this partly to express their profound feelings for men. Some men are responsive to those feelings, and that is also a matter of degrees. Other men take all this for granted, and wonder why women want more. The emotional energy women put into making relationships work is almost incomprehensible to men, but men should think about that too before calling women names. Relationships can be so close, passionate, intimate, rewarding, teaching, exquisite, but only when women feel they can trust a man enough to let her hair down, not when men have rotten attitudes. Is it that women generally place emotional significance and value on sex, so men have to earn the privilege, that makes you guys call women whores? No, whores are mostly desperate women who cannot afford to feel any such significance, so in order to survive they sell the privilege.
Men traditionally place no economic value on what they consider women’s work, another way to evade the value of women’s sacrifices. Men are just lucky women are willing to put up with and clean up after men. Think of the chaos if women organized a sex strike, or no women showed up to work for a day. Men are so lucky women go along with all their crap. Women really don’t have to. They could be self-sufficient, continuing the species with sperm banks. Technology is nowhere near the point of replacing women’s role in reproduction. So men, count your lucky stars women do not hate men, are not even mad enough to rebel except in little ways, so far. You really have no business resenting women for looking out for themselves. The way average men feel about women, it’s no wonder women are wary of trusting men.