A 48-year-old US man who opened fire in a Pennsylvania gym, killing three women and himself, appeared to have written about his plans for the attack.
Sodini appeared to have planned the attack since at least November 2008, the Associated Press reports. Other entries on the blog described struggles with alcoholism and an inability to form relationships with women.
There’s been quite a lot revealed already about how this man felt about women not wanting to be with him. Deep resentment that built to murderous rage. Because dammit, he deserved a womanthing. Why weren’t the womanthings doing what they were supposed to do, which was make him feel good by being available to him? Stupid womanthings. Thinking that what they wanted (men who were not him) mattered when he was all lonely and he could see them all around his neighborhood taunting him with their unavailable womanthing bits.
There’s been some feminist commentary on tumblr as people react, and there’s been some kickback. Pandorasmittens quotes three tumblrers who talk about how the shooter’s feelings of sexual entitlement are normalised for men in our society, so that it’s hardly surprising when the occasional bloke reacts with deadly violence to women not giving him what he wants – all his life he’s felt safe expressing the opinion that women owe men attention and companionship just because that’s what women are for, so that it’s obvious to him that if he is not getting attention and companionship from women it’s because the women are defective and broken, and defective and broken things should be trashed. It is noted that already news stories are focussing on his isolation and loneliness because that’s relatable and sympathetic, instead of examining how he ended up hating women enough to cold-bloodedly kill them. “Because, in the end, it is easier to hate and blame women than to hate and blame yourself.”
Pandorasmittens then says:
It’s easier to blame anything or anyone, than yourself. Women just happened to be the recipient of this man’s ire.
I’ve bolded that sentence because it leaped out at several other tumblrers too. Their reactions:
Re: the bolded part. I don’t think it’s accurate to say that women “just happened” to be the recipient of his ire. Misogyny is cultivated in our society. It is rewarded and encouraged and normalized. Men are taught to feel entitled and they are taught to get angry at women when women don’t fulfill their expectations. Nothing accidental about this.
Our society tells men that women exist for men’s purposes. Our society tells men that violence is an acceptable means of achieving their goals, asserting their dominance, establishing their identity.
Domestic violence is the prime example: you can’t say it’s just bad apples. Because women die every day because of this entitlement. Women suffer violence every day because of it.
We don’t tell men: “It’s ok to beat a woman.” But we do tell them: “She probably provoked it. She shouldn’t have dressed like that. She shouldn’t have mouthed off. She shouldn’t have rejected you. Who does she think she is? She’s just after your money. Stupid bitch.” And we tell them: “You aren’t a real man if you don’t present as tough. If you aren’t willing to fight. You aren’t a whole person if you aren’t a ‘real man.’ You have to perform violent masculinity if you want to be taken seriously and retain control over your own life.”
And then we act surprised when men take 2+2 and end up with 4.
Amandaw’s comment was reblogged at tumblr by sylviasrevenge, who tweeted it, which made me go and read the news pages and find out about the shooting and then go and follow the tumblr trails above.
I could have had better news to wake up to when I get up early to take my kids to a day full of Rock Eisteddfod. It’s this shit that makes me just want to run away to the mountains with them and keep them away from our fucked up society entirely.