One of the things that some people on the Right have gotten somewhat correct about Elliott Rodgers (for the wrong reason, mostly “it’s all the Left’s fault”)* is that it’s more than just hatred of women that drove him. He didn’t kill four men because he hated women, he killed them because they were in the way of his “rightful” place in life. He viewed half of his fellow human beings as objects (disobedient and disrespectful living currency, an echo of a very old and ugly view), but this had consequences in how he viewed the other half of the human race: as competitors (at best), as thugs, as thieves, or as outright threats. Even his father, who he seemed to both be in fear and awe of, earned contempt from Elliott for raising such a weak son.
Elliott did not just reveal misogyny or misandry*; he was a paradigm of misanthropy. This is what a lot of younger Social Justice people don’t necessarily get, and what most of those who mock Feminism most certainly don’t get. Sometimes calling the systemic poison that ails us Patriarchy is to grant it certain types of power it doesn’t have in our collective imagination. Further than that, it is to understate just how insidiously this hatred of the Other is combined with an Othering of (and hatred for) the self for either never quite living up to its standards, or for just what an amoral and destructive being you become while attempting to enforce them.
Beyond that, I have no words.
Updated: Echidne’s deep dive into his madness is depressing and revealing (and shows great strength of character on her part), though it is a different perspective. Also, I do have more words now. It seems that human beings assume great solidarity among the Other(s), while usually feeling very isolated amongst people we identify with, which is why division between groups has always been easier than encouraging solidarity. Seriously, once you manage to “other” a group, how hard is it to impress a single imaginary organizational framework upon that group? Answer: depressingly easy, especially as compared with the effort it takes to actually organize that group.
Add to that the division between “alphas” (those who should reproduce) and “betas” (those who don’t deserve to), and the ability to cull anyone who shows weakness from the rank of “alphas,” and you have a culture that exists only to feed on itself (which is why I consider it a smaller, more intense version of our larger social culture in the U.S., that encourages men to prey on (or at the very least control) women, and men to poach women from (and ultimately destroy and overcome) other men. There’s no camaraderie, and there’s little or no common humanity, only the shared scapegoat of the moment. If this sounds familiar, it is because it is the classic Feminist description of Patriarchy (and it’s also the idea world of Ayn Rand and her acolytes, go fig). I guess I take it personally in a different way, because I have no choice.
* Roy Edroso’s roundup here.
** I shudder to think of how he viewed those outside that simple binary formulation