Last Friday, a 22 year old man attending UCLA shot and killed six people, injuring a further thirteen before turning the gun on himself.
Among the victims were his roommates: Cheng Yuan Hong, George Chen and Weihan Wang – killed in his dorm – and Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, Katherine Breann Cooper and Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, who were killed in and around the campus. What I find important is not to mention the name of the killer, which would grant him the attention that the media has beautifully provided, but to focus on the victims of such a deprived attack; thought to be due to frustrations by his apparent entitlement to the attention from women.
Apparently upset by his romantic struggles, the man wrote a 40 page long manifesto and a YouTube video, outlining his reasons for such an attack. Mentioning it stemmed initially from a crush of a girl when he was ten, whom he proclaimed was an evil b—- and a bully for rejecting his advances. He outlines his disdain for the men who are “chosen” over him, regardless of their apparent inferiority – he once called himself the perfect gentleman and an “alpha male”. Not only does this reek of misogyny, but it drives home the fact that for some men, women are paradoxically sluts and loose, but also heartless and shallow when they do not supply interest to the man in question.
This has created a rallying cry by feminists and outraged women in general on Twitter to start the hashtag, #YESALLWOMEN. The tweets with the hashtag attached, generally outline the injustice that many women have had to face such as rape-shaming and male paranoia. To a large extent, their worries are justified, but I feel this is a blanket stereotype of all men as rapey and sees all men in general, as horrible people. The world is filled with suck. 40% of domestic abuse victims are male but many feel the need to play it down or keep it secret in fear of being ridiculed for not being seen as masculine enough and fighting back. Just as no man should feel entitled to a woman that he likes, it should be vice versa for women. The hashtag, #NOTALLMEN, which suggests that cases like these are not normal, has been suggested by some to undermine the #YESALLWOMEN campaign, but I feel it supports the movement; we should not be condoning such misogynistic behavior, it is not normal to say objectifying is okay on either side of the coin.
The media as a whole have started poking holes into the murderer’s backstory and once again, movies and games have taken the brunt of it. Washington Post’s Anne Hornaday recently wrote an opinion piece, citing Judd Appatow’s films as one of the contributing factors to such male misogyny.
She wrote: “How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, “It’s not fair?” I feel this is blatantly unfair to both sides. She is suggesting that women will only date buff, Hollywood-looks men, that women are shallow and will refuse to date the perceived ugly guy. It adds that “ugly” men are given hope and their disappointment when attractive women reject them is what leads to violence.
In the end, at the root of the problem, it is about a man who desperately needed attention that he felt he was unjustly deprived of. It didn’t just strictly apply to women; he also wrote that he pondered about killing both his stepmother and younger brother due to their show business careers which would put them on a higher perceived status than him. He wanted to be noticed by the opposite sex, but he also was driven by jealousy, like a child, if he couldn’t be happy no one could. This goes beyond superficial misogyny, we should focus more on the fact that he had mental issues that were sown deeper than hatred and were layered with an “everyone but me” attitude.
It is another sad story in which people have suffered for it, they deserve the attention not him.