Misogyny, Guns, Rape and Culture..

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bells, Jun 2, 2014.

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  1. Bells Staff Member

    When Santa Barbara police arrived at Elliot Rodger’s apartment last month—after Rodger’s mother alerted authorities to her son’s YouTube videos, where he expressed his resentment of women who don’t have sex with him, aired his jealousy of the men they do choose, and stated his intentions to remedy this “injustice” through a display of his own “magnificence and power”—they left with the impression that he was a “perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human.” Then Rodger killed six people and himself on Friday night, leaving a manifesto that spelled out his virulent hatred for women in more explicit terms, and Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown deemed him a “madman.”

    How was it missed?

    This is something that will be asked quite a bit in the coming days, months and years.

    Perhaps the question should be "Why was it missed?"..

    As some of you are now aware, I am personally going through a personal crisis. I was attacked in my own home by a man known to me and my family. Twice.. In fact, he is the father of my nephews. Long story short, several weeks ago, he attempted to sexually molest me while our children were in the next room after supposedly suffering a severe mental breakdown and a couple of weeks ago, he broke into my property while I was having a nap on my couch in my family room while sick with the flu.. and he raped me. One minute I was feverishly asleep and the next, a man was on top of me, biting into my breasts as he penetrated me and then he started to punch me when I tried to scream and fight him off. I eventually succeeded and ran for help. He was eventually found and arrested, charged, but has subsequently been released due to mental illness while his lawyers do their best to get him off. While his ex wife, my former sister-in-law, are convinced mental mental illness may very well be a factor in all of this, some things were not normal well before he fell ill.

    But I read something today which struck a chord.

    Another rude awakening played out on social media this weekend as news of Rodger’s attack spread around the world. When women took to Twitter to share their own everyday experiences with men who had reduced them to sexual conquests and threatened them with violence for failing to comply—filing their anecdotes under the hashtag #YesAllWomen—some men joined in to express surprise at these revelations, which amassed more quickly than observers could digest. How can some men manage to appear polite, kind, even “wonderful” in public while perpetuating sexism under the radar of other men’s notice? And how could this dynamic be so obvious to so many women, yet completely foreign to the men in their lives? Some #YesAllWomen contributors suggested that men simply aren’t paying attention to misogyny. Others claimed that they deliberately ignore it. There could also be a performative aspect to this public outpouring of male shock—a man who expresses his own lack of awareness of sexism implicitly absolves himself of his own contributions to it.

    But there are other, more insidious hurdles that prevent male bystanders from helping to fight violence against women. Among men, misogyny hides in plain sight, and not just because most men are oblivious to the problem or callous toward its impact. Men who objectify and threaten women often strategically obscure their actions from other men, taking care to harass women when other men aren’t around.

    For quite a few years, I had told my husband that his sister's husband made me feel uncomfortable. He would stare at me. Drop by for bizarre visits when I was alone at home. Comment on my clothes, my hair, keep seating himself next to me at family gatherings. Make lewd and rude jokes and comments while staring at me, my breasts, my legs when I was wearing a skirt. In short, I always used to tell my ex husband that I thought he was creepy. And my husband never saw it. He never noticed any of it. Hindsight is an amazing tool. My husband never saw it because it never happened that much in front of him and if it did, it was voiced and acted in a way that made it appear oh so innocent. And no matter how many times I would tell him that I did not feel comfortable, he would always dismiss it and say that he was just joking or perhaps my job was making me antsy. So much so that I had started to believe that was actually the case.

    Clearly, I was not wrong.

    One of the most astounding things I have noticed since Elliot Rodger went on his killing spree and his horrific manifesto was the reaction to women explaining their experiences.

    Over the weekend, as the discussion across Twitter turned to these horrible events, a lot of men started tweeting this, saying “not all men are like that.” It’s not an unexpected response. However, it’s also not a helpful one.

    Why is it not helpful to say “not all men are like that”? For lots of reasons. For one, women know this. They already know not every man is a rapist, or a murderer, or violent. They don’t need you to tell them.

    Second, it’s defensive. When people are defensive, they aren’t listening to the other person; they’re busy thinking of ways to defend themselves. I watched this happen on Twitter, over and again.

    Third, the people saying it aren’t furthering the conversation, they’re sidetracking it. The discussion isn’t about the men who aren’t a problem. (Though, I’ll note, it can be. I’ll get back to that.) Instead of being defensive and distracting from the topic at hand, try staying quiet for a while and actually listening to what the thousands upon thousands of women discussing this are saying.

    Fourth—and this is important, so listen carefully—when a woman is walking down the street, or on a blind date, or, yes, in an elevator alone, she doesn’t know which group you’re in. You might be the potential best guy ever in the history of history, but there’s no way for her to know that. A fraction of men out there are most definitely not in that group. Which are you? Inside your head you know, but outside your head it’s impossible to.

    This is the reality women deal with all the time.

    Before what I’m saying starts edging into mansplaining, let me note that also over the weekend, the hashtag #YesAllWomen started. It was a place for women to counter the #NotAllMen distraction, and to state clearly and concisely what they actually and for real have to deal with. All the time.

    This is the reality for women.

    Unfortunately men saw the #YesAllWomen as being an attack on their sex. And the reaction was at times, hateful, sexist and yes, deeply misogynistic.

    And it is this misogyny which many never see, yet always act surprise when it manifests itself in ways that few want to even think about.

    To put this into some perspective, one only has to look at the current gun debate in the US and its disgusting foray into the vitriolic hatred towards women.

    Texas has recently seen a surge in protests by gun owners, who turn up at family frequented shopping malls, restaurants, and other stores with all of their big guns on display, in protest against their inability to openly carry handguns in Texas. While they can openly carry loaded long guns, handguns cannot be openly carried. A group by the name of Open Carry Texas is leading the charge. However groups that are against their form of protests are seeing a rise in threatening behaviour, intimidation, and overtly sexualised responses to their carrying big guns around everywhere while marching in large armed groups. Women who protest against the open carry protesters in Texas have found themselves the target of exceptional misogyny, threats of violence, threats of having their names and addresses made public, of being stalked and harassed, , threats of rape and death. Jennifer Longdon, a victim of gun violence, has had men show up at her house, has had her address posted on gun forums and on anti-women sites, has had a man show up at her house at night with a fake gun to intimidate her. One group against the gun extremists, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, have also had similar experiences. The men who stage these protests against laws that prevent them from openly carrying a handgun are now going after women. This was made quite clear when they posted a video of their target practice:

    Open Carry Texas takes pains to convey a clean, friendly image in the press. Last November, the group made national news after some 40 members armed with assault rifles showed up outside an Arlington, Texas, restaurant where four women from Moms Demand Action were having lunch. The group released a statement saying it was being misunderstood: "In reality, the peaceful gun owners were posing for a photo." After a rally outside Austin City Hall this April, Grisham told the Texas Tribune, "We're not out there to bait police officers or to scare the community. We wave, we smile, we hand out fliers. If we see someone who seems really nervous, we’ll talk to them."

    What the group hasn't publicized are some of its members' more degrading antics. In March, a group of them held a "mad minute" at a firing range, pulverizing a female mannequin with a hail of bullets. They positioned the figure with her hands raised in surrender, naked from the waist up. Afterward, they posed with the bullet-riddled mannequin, her arms blown off and her pants down at her ankles. "Mad minute" is a military expression referring to a burst of rapid fire, and Open Carry Texas members have often referred to Moms Demand Action as "mad moms."

    Four of the men who shot up the mannequin were present at the Arlington restaurant, including one listed by Open Carry Texas as a board member and the group's Director of Operations.

    Grisham said he was not part of the group at the gun range, but when the mannequin video was posted on Facebook, he commented: "Warms the cockles of my heart." Recently he called women from Moms Demand Action "ignorant, retarded people," and last fall he referred to them as "thugs with jugs."

    "My purpose with language like that was to draw attention to the hypocrisy," Grisham says, noting that opponents have used similar invective. "A lot of times when I make these statements, I'm making them in jest, based on language that's being used against us. I've since decided that it's petty, it's childish, I'm not going to play those childish games anymore, so you wont catch me using 'thugs with jugs'. I've moved on."

    They show up in groups of a few dozens, all carrying very large guns, and simply flood into eateries at lunch hour where families, women especially, are eating out with their kids. If these women protest or complain, they are threatened and harassed. Their tactics are now so bad that the NRA has asked them to stop and with good reason. For the NRA, this has become a nightmare for political reasons. However the NRA never addressed the fact that the open carry protesters are targeting and harassing women and men for that matter. Instead, they are asking them to stop because it makes gun owners look weird. They are not seeing the outright misogyny of their protests. No words were written against their threats of rape, sexual assault, stalking and harassment of women. The misogyny remains unseen and unnoticed.

    When Elliot Rodger went on his killing spree, it opened a lot of eyes. For some, not for the right reason.

    Rodger belonged to several men's rights sites which focus on the denigration of women. There is a culture that focuses on hating women. As Phil Plait explains, this culture exists and instead of men trying to do something about it, the response is to go on the defensive and say 'not all men are like that'.

    The murderer was active on men’s rights fora, where women are highly objectified, to say the very least. They are seen as nonhuman by many such groups, and at the very least lesser than men—sometimes nothing more than targets or things to acquire. What these men write puts them, to me, in the same category as White Power movements, or any other horribly bigoted group that “others” anyone else. While it may not be possible to blame the men’s rights groups for what happened, from the reports we’ve seen they certainly provided an atmosphere of support.


    We need to change the way we talk to boys in our culture as well as change the way we treat women.

    And one final word on this. As a man, having written this post I expect there will be comments insulting me, comments questioning my manhood (whatever twisted definition those people have of such a thing, if it even exists), and so on.

    But you know what there won’t be? People threatening to stalk me and rape me and kill me for having the audacity to say that women are people, and that we should be listening to them instead of telling them how to feel. Yet that is precisely what every woman on the Internet would face if she were to write this.

    Just as the police failed to notice the blatant misogyny of Rodger, just as the NRA failed to address the open misogyny of some of its members and gun rights activists.. The culture of misogyny continues because people just don't see it. Perhaps it is something they are used to? Perhaps they just don't know where to look? The more it is ignored and disregarded and laughed at when a woman comments on it, the more it will continue. Only now, the language has taken on a sinister tone. Will people start paying attention? Will people stand up to threats of rape and abuse and sexual harassment? Or will they just claim that 'he seems like a normal and polite man to me', despite his mother's concern and what she clearly saw was a danger? Or will people continue to defend themselves and keep reminding us that not all men are like this? Or will it just be ignored, like it has been with the NRA? Misogyny hurts. It hurts women physically, mentally and emotionally. So why do people still not see it? And why do so many keep doing it? For example, I have seen some people go off at me and about me, for example, in ways that are deeply misogynistic. When confronted with this, I was told that they were angry and just letting off steam.. This apparently excused the misogyny.. Since when was it acceptable to let off steam by directly making gender based sexualised attacks about and against others?

    After I was raped, my former sister in law accused me of ruining the lives of her sons. Apparently I should not have called the police and I should have tried to handle it within 'the family'.. That I over-reacted to it. That I was being silly.. That I should have known better than to fall asleep with the back sliding door leading out to my deck unlocked while the backyard was overly secure (front yard is fenced with security gates, side gates are also high security gates).. That it was just sex.. And now I ask myself, what kind of message does this send to the boys in our family? And how can she not see what was plain to see? How can she defend it?
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  3. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

    Hi Bells. Just want to say that perhaps no one is responding to your thread is that you argued pretty convincingly that there is no need for us men to defend ourselves, and that it's pointless to do so. You're right. I would like to express some sort of apology or sympathy, but we all know that will do not a bit of good either. Nevertheless, I think I can safely say on behalf of the other guys here that we do feel for you, and hope your situation will improve. It's a shame that men are as so many of us are and that the world is as it is. I hope it all works out for you. We have learned much from your thoughtful post. Keep fighting the good fight.
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The guns, in category with the beating sticks of Saudi Arabia, the stones of western Africa, the acid bottles of Pakistan, the dunking stools and horsewhips and cords and belts and plain old fists of the compass 'round, look coincidental to me.
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  7. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    A terrible and disturbing story, I hope you are OK considering.

    I had my own experience with guns, rape and mental illness, except in my case, I was the rapist. About 17 years ago I was dragged away at gunpoint from my home property to an upstairs bedroom of a next door residence. In the bedroom was a naked 50 year old man held at gunpoint on the floor, on his hands and knees. With a gun to my head I was instructed by the gunmen to anally copulate with the man. When the gunmen were sufficiently entertained I was released and told never to report the incident to police or my family would be killed.

    Guns, rape, and now for the mental illness component. The above account is the recollection of my then 50 year old neighbor, the one on the receiving end of my alleged unwanted sexual advances. The memory of the incident surfaced in his mind some five years after its occurrence while serving a ten year prison sentence for voluntary manslaughter. I was made privy to this repressed memory when he was released from prison five years ago, along with scores of other delusional interpretations of past and present. Prior to his incarceration he displayed an odd mix of reclusiveness, belligerence and creepy intrusiveness, but our infrequent interaction kept his apparent psychosis under my radar. He was a self styled gun dealer, and unbeknownst to me, claimed to carry a two shot derringer on his person at all times, which was likely a major factor in the altercation that sent him to prison. At the time of his conviction I was sympathetic to his claim of self defense, but after his release and the opening of delusional floodgates, I have serious doubts.

    There are no doubt countless such individuals in possession of firearms and other weapons whose psychological incompetence is masked by their apparent social functionality. Effectively exposing such conditions and controlling their outcomes would seem to be a monumental task.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Captain Firearm Will Set Us Straight

    And I think we'd all be a lot less horrified if Elliot Rodger had gone around punching a bunch of blonde women for failing to recognize his perfection.

    And many people would probably be less inclined against firearms apologism had Iowa state Senator Joni Ernst (R-12) not made the point of calling the shooting rampage an "unfortunate accident" in defending gun rights against the spectre of yet another mass shooting.

    I would ask you, though, to consider the gun question in another sense. In what other consideration is so central an element of the situation supposed to be disregarded as a matter of obligatory courtesy? I still remember Stockton, a quarter century ago. We've been having this argument at least since then, but it really did seem in full heat when I became aware of the issue.

    But let's go with that quarter-century, because we've been making excuses left and right in this country to exclude the guns themselves. Make it harder for the mentally ill to obtain and possess weapons? Yeah, that's worked. Especially considering the number of "illegal" guns that were "legal" until they were stolen or otherwise obtained from friends and family.

    Seriously, an illegal immigrant with a known criminal record is not detained for the violation after being repeatedly arrested, including for stalking and threatening his ex-girlfriend. In the seventeen hours following Jonathan Rowan's release from police custody, he obtained a .357, tracked down Rebecca Griegio at the University of Washington, and shoots her to death before taking his own life.

    Two questions in that domestic-violence catastrophe that never really were answered:

    (1) Why was Rowan not held on the immigration violation? The answer is somewhat bureaucratic and unclear; there wasn't enough pressure on anyone to actually give a coherent answer, so we don't really know.

    (2) How did he obtain the gun? Well, he stole it. But that's the thing: nobody was going to make a gun issue out of this, because, well, guns. You know, the poor, defenseless things that never did anything to harm anyone.​

    That second question doesn't even register because, well, the discussion has to literally be forced there by mass shootings carried out in the name of insanity. And then, of course, there are the faithful, who are legion; people like you who want us to look away from the guns. What has happened in the wake of Aurora and Sandy Hook is simply that people are starting to wake up to the idea that these blithe prescriptions about mental health and databases really isn't worth its weight in spent air. We've been at this for a quarter of a century, at least, and made exactly zero progress. And people are kind of onto the problem; to the one, there are the gun rights advocates who go on about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, while to the other there are the gun rights advocates who complain about how such ideas hurt law-abiding, responsible gun owners. Well, the law-abiding, "responsible" (chortle!) gun owners have run this one to pushing up the daisies. The longstanding argument of keeping guns away from criminals and the insane is failing in part because society cannot produce an affirmative result.

    In a way, this distraction in favor of guns is kind of like the whole Not All Men phenomenon. Indeed, some would see an unfair generalization at play in the smackdown against the Not All Men interjection. To the other, though, some would argue customary obligation in terms we see described even in the topic post for the present discussion:

    "After I was raped, my former sister in law accused me of ruining the lives of her sons. Apparently I should not have called the police and I should have tried to handle it within 'the family'.. That I over-reacted to it. That I was being silly.. That I should have known better than to fall asleep with the back sliding door leading out to my deck unlocked while the backyard was overly secure (front yard is fenced with security gates, side gates are also high security gates).. That it was just sex.. And now I ask myself, what kind of message does this send to the boys in our family?"

    This, unfortunately, is not an unusual situation. And you know how the discussion goes.

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    Matt Bors, Daily Kos, 28 May 2014

    Furthermore, regardless of where you would fall on such a map, you are well aware that there is tremendous Venn overlap between certain ideologies. This would, abstractly speaking, be an impotent point except for the proximity and magnitude of its influence.

    Rape culture is very closely knit with ownership culture.

    Arthur Chu, reflecting on a bizarre nexus of The Big Bang Theory (his originally intended topic) and the Isla Vista shooting (the news of the day):

    The overall problem is one of a culture where instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories just like we are of ours, men are taught that women are things to "earn," to "win." That if we try hard enough and persist long enough, we'll get the girl in the end. Like life is a video game and women, like money and status, are just part of the reward we get for doing well.

    Compare that, for instance, to Michael Reagan:

    As per usual following a mass killing, the news media reacted in the usual knee-jerk fashion, focusing on the killer's life story and guaranteeing that he'd achieve his desired 15 minutes of underserved fame.

    Experts who study mass murder know that future crazies — and they are out there — will take note of the attention mass murderers get from the irresponsible media and will be encouraged to go on their own killing sprees.

    A friend of one of the victims had it right when he complained to the Los Angeles Times that it made him "sick seeing those videos over and over again. By continuously showing the videos and stuff, you're putting the limelight on him and not the people he killed .... I want to remember Chris."

    The mass murder in the beach community of Isla Vista also instigated the usual knee-jerk reaction from the anti-gun lobby.

    Some anti-gun politicians in Sacramento reacted to the shootings by proposing new laws to make it harder for potentially violent individuals to buy or own guns.

    One of their solutions would be to create a "gun violence restraining order" like the one used to get restraining orders from judges in cases of domestic violence.

    But there's already a law in California designed to prevent mentally ill people from obtaining weapons. It's an involuntary psychiatric detention called a "5150."

    That existing law didn't prevent the horrible events in Isla Vista from happening. No new law could have thwarted the crazy killer, either.

    You know, because that's the really important thing, here: Save the Guns!

    After all, as he notes, "in a country of 315 million people and nearly as many guns, 'crazies happen' — and there's nothing we can do to stop them".

    And then there is satire to be so damnably offensive as to make the obvious point:

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    And just to drive that nail:

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    Yeah, that's real, bad typing and all. And, apparently, the Isla Vista shooter participated in the PUA community.

    But what we're dealing with here is a nexus of pathways. Guns are a particular concern because, while any of us can assert that we would disrupt domestic violence if we saw it, this is an instantaneous form of violence that can't always be disrupted, and on those occasions it is successfully disrupted there is a propensity toward a high cost. There is, for instance, a reason the White House Press Secretary never actually briefed the press between April, 1981 and the end of his tenure in January, 1989.

    Elliot Rodger's one great contribution to society will come at high cost; he is a crystallization of this nexus of ownership culture, rape culture, and violence as socialization. We are supposed to be a civilized society. We do not piss all over ourselves and then butt heads out in the yard for an hour in order to decide who gets to fuck the girl. Well, at least, we're not supposed to, but, you know, metaphorically at least, old habits are hard to break. And it is a controversial contribution that, if history holds true, will be pissed away.

    Tony Perkins of the FRC wants us to blame Hollywood and Obamacare. FOX News wants us to blame homosexuals. Firearms apologists want us to leave guns out of the discussion.

    Guess what? Meet tomorrow, same as it ever was.

    And just like Not-All Man wants to waste the rape discussion proving his non-rapey (but not too anti-rapey) goodness, the Innocent Defenseless Guns want to waste a hate crime massacre proving their non-dangerous (but not too anti-dangerous) goodness.

    How can we look at the whole picture if we spend all our time striking elements from the list to accommodate all the special interests whose most important sentiments on what any civilized society can only consider an atrocity that there is nothing left to look at?

    Not-All Man is of exactly zero comfort to a rape survivor, and exactly zero functional value to women.

    And Not All Guns, the motto of Captain Firearm, is of exactly zero comfort to the dead. Who knows, though? It might have given some comfort to a woman who was dead before she knew she was in danger.


    Bors, Matt. "Your worst fear". Daily Kos Comics. May 28, 2014. DailyKos.com. June 3, 2014. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/28/1302462/-Cartoon-Your-worst-fear

    —————. "Today in social media marketing". Twitter. May 24, 2014. Twitter.com. June 3, 2014. https://twitter.com/MattBors/status/470341908405817344

    Chu, Arthur. "Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds". The Daily Beast. May 27, 2014. TheDailyBeast.com. June 3, 2014. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articl...er-castle-misogyny-entitlement-and-nerds.html

    Reagan, Michael. "Mass Murder Knee-Jerks". The Cagle Post. May 28, 2014. Cagle.com. June 3, 2014. http://www.cagle.com/2014/05/mass-murder-knee-jerks/

    Hartsell, Carol. "'The Onion' Weighs In On UCSB Killing Spree With Haunting Headline". The Huffington Post. May 28, 2014. HuffingtonPost.com. June 3, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/28/the-onion-ucsb-shooting_n_5403643.html

    Stoeffel, Kat. "Q&A: A Reformed Pickup Artist on Elliot Rodger's Anger". New York Magazine. May 30, 2014. NYMag.com. June 3, 2014. http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/05/reformed-pickup-artist-on-rodgers-anger.html
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    NRA gun nuts are upset with Texas gun nuts!

    Wow..Maybe they should have a big shootout and see who is the bigger man!

    NRA Calls 'Open Carry' Rallies 'Downright Weird'

    HOUSTON June 3, 2014 (AP)

    By JUAN A. LOZANO Associated Press

    Associated Press

    "Companies, customers and others critical of Texas gun rights advocates who have brought military-style assault rifles into businesses as part of demonstrations supporting "open carry" gun rights now have a surprising ally: the National Rifle Association.

    The advocates' actions in restaurants and other public places — part of a push for less restrictive gun laws, including legalizing the open carry of handguns — have prompted public criticism.

    The NRA has long been a zealous advocate for gun owners' rights. But the group's lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, has called the demonstrations counterproductive to promoting gun rights, scary and "downright weird."

    The NRA said the demonstrations have "crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness."

    "Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners. That's not the Texas way. And that's certainly not the NRA way," the NRA said in a statement posted on its website Friday.

    The president and vice president of Open Carry Texas, one of the groups behind the recent demonstrations, did not return emails seeking comment late Monday.

    But in a statement posted on its Facebook page, Open Carry Texas criticized the NRA, saying if the group doesn't retract its comments, Open Carry will have to withdraw its full support for the NRA.

    "It is unfortunate that an organization that claims to be dedicated to the preservation of gun rights would attack another organization fighting so hard for those rights in Texas," Open Carry Texas said. "The more the NRA continues to divide its members by attacking some aspects of gun rights instead of supporting all gun rights, the more support it will lose."

    Texas has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country, but openly carrying handguns remains illegal. Long guns like rifles can be carried openly but must be done so in a way that does not cause alarm. But gun holders can be charged with disorderly conduct if anyone around them feels threatened.

    The activists' demonstrations, while peaceful, have upset some witnesses.

    The Chipotle restaurant chain asked customers last month not to bring firearms into its stores after members of Open Carry Texas brought military-style assault rifles into one of its restaurants in the Dallas area."
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    And we'd be somewhat more horrified had he thrown acid in the faces of a bunch of blonde women, or got his buddies to help him gang rape them and beat them to death with rocks, or kidnapped them and raped them and tortured them do death with knives and buried them in the desert along the Mexican border, and so forth and so on around the global realm of misogyny.

    The guns derail matters, IMHO. As evidence, read the posts - this isn't the only nation where "this" regularly happens, it's the only nation where the guy committing "this" normally uses a gun. Is that really the primary, significant issue here?
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Who Needs Shame If They Have a Gun?

    And I'm certain you'll be trading out your piece for a bottle of acid.

    Make sure you let me know when a bottle of acid that can only be opened by its owner violates your constitutional rights.

    You cannot rely on an appeal to aesthetics on this one. The fact that ownership rape cultures exists in a society does cannot remain isolated from the fact of a burgeoning, enthusiastic, irresponsible gun culture in that same society when those elements intersect.

    Gun manufacturers, sales firms, owners, and enthusiasts have failed to provide an operating framework for a society that both protects their freedom and prevents them or anyone else from accidentally endangering other people.

    I don't know, Ice, maybe if gun owners and the political movements they support hadn't stalled every attempt to deal with runaway firearm violence our society has undertaken over the last couple years, perhaps other people would me more sympathetic to the poor, defenseless, innocent guns that were created specifically for the purpose of killing. But we know that "responsible gun ownership" is just a political slogan. We know that the alternative methods proposed by gun owners to curb firearm violence as a response to actual gun control aren't things they will support when it comes time to vote. What we can observe is a striking, consistent outcome in which the bottom line is that we must do whatever we can to not only empower a domestic civil arms trade, but also to make sure people can shoot one another for as many reasons as possible.

    The balance of evidence speaks against the integrity of the gun manufacturers' lobby and their millions of American lap dogs. If we cannot expect gun manufacturers, sellers, and users to take the problem seriously, the rest of society will eventually step up and settle the issue.

    Death tolls are a significant issue. At least, they are when one's primary focus isn't advocating deadly societal irresponsibility in favor of one's own right to feel macho.

    Whether you like it or not, the lethality of violence is a powerful influence in choosing whether or not to address that violence.

    And for some reason, when it's people who beat, rape, or kill women, there is always someone else we need to stop and think of before we consider the victims.

    And I would offer my apologies, except, frankly, I'm not all that sorry that this time we're not going to elevate to such primacy all the emotionally insecure, selfish gun owners whose commitment to safety is just a pile of morbid lip service.

    Not ... this ... time.


    Tomorrow, Tom. "The lethal confluence". This Modern World. The Daily Kos. June 2, 2014. DailyKos.com. June 3,2014. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/02/1303177/-Cartoon-The-lethal-confluence
  12. Bells Staff Member

    Just as those in countries where acid is used as a weapon against women who reject men, or gang rape is used as a tool against girls and women or where families attack a woman in their family in front of police officers and literally stone her to death in the middle of a busy city would be horrified if a guy went on a killing spree with a gun and knife, killing women who won't sleep with him.

    In other words, stonings, acid attacks.. that's not how things are done in the US, just as a mass shooting spree against women and the men who sleep with them is not how things are done in countries like Pakistan, India and Sudan, etc.

    The overall affect, however, is the same.

    As is the cause.

    I would say the gun is just as important of a tool as the vial of acid or the stone or brick when it comes to misogyny.

    If you look at the open carry protest groups in Texas, for example, and their response to the women who protest against their actions, it is distinctly misogynistic.

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    The female mannequin used in the mad minute fun shooting spree, where they posed a mannequin without a top on and then afterwards, decided to drop the mannequin's pants and have a few more goes at shooting this female figure naked.. Other videos have been posted of shooting at female targets with 'happy mother's day' and other snide and offensive remarks being made at the camera.

    When the NRA initially complained about the open carry protests in Texas, it was not about how they were targeting women with their abuse, threats, threats of rape and assault. It was because they were making the NRA and gun supporters look weird. Nothing was even mentioned about the very open hostility these people have for women who won't tow the line they believe needs to be towed. When they go after men who disagree with them, they don't threaten these men with rape and sexual assault, nor do they go online and encourage and discuss how to sexually punish these men. That special treatment is reserved solely for women.

    When that young woman was stoned to death in front of police officers, they did nothing to stop it. To them, it was a normal murder, a scuffle that resulted in rocks being thrown at a woman until she died. They literally stood by, and did nothing. Because to them, throwing rocks at a woman was a private affair, nothing to be concerned about. Just as the police officers ignored Rodger's mother when she called them, concerned that her son could harm girls and women after she saw some of what he had posted on youtube and written. They spoke to him and thought he was a pleasant and polite fellow. How could these things be missed or disregarded? Here was a guy who was talking about how he wants to kill women, how he wants to harm them for rejecting him and he was doing it openly. And they thought he was polite and pleasant? And just like the police in Pakistan who acted as though it was just a regular murder, politicians and groups and organisations like the NRA saw the shooting as an accident, just a regular thing.. Pro-men's rights groups are quick to point out that he killed more men than women, while disregarding and ignoring his many videos, manifesto and posts that he made on their sites, just as they ignore the fact that he went to a sorority house and tried to gain entry but they locked him out and hid, hoping he would go away, which he did.. Had they not managed to shut him out, the number of women killed would have been much higher.

    In a fascinating op-ed piece last year, T.M. Luhrmann noted that when schizophrenics hear voices in India, they're more likely to be told to clean the house, while Americans are more likely to be told to become violent. Culture matters. Or as my friend, the criminal-defense investigator who knows insanity and violence intimately, put it, "When one begins to lose touch with reality, the ill brain latches obsessively and delusionally onto whatever it's immersed in—the surrounding culture's illness."

    The murderer at Isla Vista was also repeatedly called "aberrant," as if to emphasize that he was nothing like the rest of us. But other versions of such violence are all around us, most notably in the pandemic of hate toward and violence against women.

    And what he immersed himself in was a hatred of women. And this is a very strong online community.

    But the extent of the defense of him and his weapon has been vile. His fellows on the pro-men's rights sites defended his actions, praised it and many hoped to go out with as much of a bang..

    Women who dared to speak about their experiences? One has had to remove herself from Twitter due to harassment and threats. Others have probably suffered the same fate. How do men respond? "#NotAllMen"..

    The stone, the acid, the rapes and the guns all represent the exact same thing. Same shit, different countries and different cultures. But the people wielding them represent and form part of the same type of people.. There is no difference between the guy who throws acid at the face of a woman who refuses to marry him and the guy who shoots up a university town in California because women won't sleep with him. The mentality is exactly the same. The belief that women are mere objects, chattels that they can own and control, is the same. And when these crimes happen, they don't talk about his misogyny, but about the woman's actions that led up to it and then, the excuse, his obvious mental illness.

    Tiassa linked a very interesting article by Arthur Chu.. In discussing ownership culture, he missed one of the most telling things in that article:

    And yet. When this story broke, the initial mainstream coverage only talked about “mental illness,” not misogyny, a line that people are now fervently exhorting us to stick to even after the manifesto’s contents were revealed. Yet another high-profile tech resignation ensued when the co-founder of Rap Genius decided Rodger’s manifesto was a hilarious joke.

    People found one of the girls Rodger was obsessed with and began questioning if her “bullying” may have somehow triggered his rage. And, worst of all, he has fan pages on Facebook that still haven’t been taken down, filled with angry frustrated men singing his praises and seriously suggesting that the onus is on women to offer sex to men to keep them from going on rampages.

    One of the girl's he was obsessed with and whom they questioned about her supposed bullying and whether it was what led him down this path, met him when she was 10 years of age and he was 12 years of age.

    Monette Moio has been identified as one of the women who Elliot Rodger obsessed over during his life.

    Rodger is infamous after killing six in California and then getting killed by police.

    Rodger is the son of Hollywood film director Peter Rodger.

    He knew Moio, a model, from earlier in his life. He branded her an “evil [woman]” in his lengthy manifesto. He said that Moio “teased and ridiculed” him after they met at school, sparking his increasing rage against females.

    Moio was named by the Daily Mail.

    Her father, Hollywood stuntman John Moio, is defending his daughter, saying it is ridiculous to suggest that she had a role in the mass murder.

    And just to drive home the point that Rodger was trying to make, they then posted several images of her in a bikini, hugging another man, along various other images of her smiling into the camera..

    Heaven forbid they blame him for his misogyny..

    My former sister-in-law does not blame her ex husband for his misogyny. She blamed me. Kind of shows how sick the cycle is.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  13. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Wow, that sucks! Does she believe you? Is she in complete denial or just downplaying the significance?
  14. Bells Staff Member

    No idea.

    The bruises, bite marks and yeah.. It was everywhere. What happened was obvious.

    She believes I should have just kept quiet about it. Not called the police. She believes that it was his mental illness and that it was just sex. So I shouldn't have fought back and run and called the police. And if I hadn't called the police, then he could have gotten the treatment he supposedly needed. I don't believe that anymore. I think the mental illness is a crutch. A lot of people suffer from depression. However not all of them do what he did. It was very methodical and planned. It's an excuse.
  15. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Mod Hat — Splinter Notice

    Mod Hat — Splinter notice

    A splinter discussion results from several posts, including a copy of #12 above, moving to a new thread pertaining to "why men get defensive" and how the backlash against misogyny is hurting more men than just the misogynists.
  17. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Deleted and moved.
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    There's been plenty of commentary on the various aspects of your experience so you don't need my (quite predictable) opinion. But as a man who was disgusted with "male chauvinism" before the term was even coined, and who regarded women's liberation as perhaps the most important movement in the Counterculture of the 1960s and 70s, the above passage is what outrages me the most in your account. Your husband didn't stand up for you!

    Marriage vows have changed so much that these days each one is different. I don't know what specific promises this guy gave you. Nonetheless, going all the way back to the Paleolithic Era, it has always been the duty of every man to protect his woman. You are expected to turn against your own blood-relatives if they don't treat your wife with at least civility, if not love and inclusion.

    This asshole failed you. And I am so sorry that you went through this. You should have drugged him and carried him to a tattoo parlor, so he'd come out with the words, "I did not stand up for my wife when she needed me" on his forehead.

    Yes, we all make mistakes and he could have honestly felt that you were wrong. Nonetheless it was his duty to at least investigate, rather than laughing it off.

    It's interesting that his own sister didn't have good judgment about men. That entire family should be sterilized!

    If a man feels the need to respond defensively, "I'm not like that" is good enough. A man says that with considerably different emotion than he uses for "not all men are like that." A woman with reasonable body-language and facial-expression communication skills will know that he means it. (I.e., the majority of you. One of the real differences between men and women is that women in general are more adept at non-verbal communication.)

    It's a cliche that a gun is a compensation for lackluster sexual performance. It's commonly said that rape is a crime of violence, not just a crime of sex. It's less often noted that shooting is a crime of sex, not just a crime of violence.

    I'll never understand why we took Texas back. It had already seceded from two countries. The only reason they asked to join the union in the first place was that after several years of independence they finally had to admit the truth: no one in the entire state knew how to run a country. Unfortunately we had to learn that again during the administration of Backward Baby Bush.

    Yes indeed. The link between sex and violence is everywhere.

    You need to use smaller words when attempting to communicate with a Texan.

    Indeed. My parents taught me that violence is never the way to resolve a dispute. I've never hit anyone. But the surprise is that no one has ever hit me. I guess I radiate non-violence. It sure ain't my agreeable personality.

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    You have my compliments and support.

    When the NRA was formed, its first president said that the association specifically did not want the USA to become saturated with guns, and it would be a major policy item for them to make sure that didn't happen.

    Not exactly. The whole issue with guns is that one gun can cause:
    • More damage
    • to more people
    • in less time
    • with less effort
    • by fewer perpetrators (in the U.S., typically only one)
    • who don't need to be close enough to the victims for them to fight back
    • and can often escape without being identified.
    But there is a qualitative difference between gun violence and violence using these older-technology weapons. As I said above, a gun can do more harm faster, requiring fewer perpetrators who can often avoid identification.

    It also shows that half a century after the rise of the women's movement, there are still quite a few women who have yet to "get with the program."
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2014
  19. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Ya, that’s right, Bells, you were his woooman. He should have protected his little woooman.

    Jesus Christ, where did you that from, a sermon? Do your own homework and stop relying so heavily on Mrs. Fraggle for all your information, okay? :bugeye:
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Hey, don't bad-mouth my woooman or I'll have to come defend her.

    Nonetheless, from the first Ardipithecus who climbed down out of the trees, to the Paleolithic hunter-gatherer camps of modern Homo sapiens, women had the disadvantage of spending much of their time pregnant and/or nursing--this was essential to the survival of the species since infant mortality was 80% clear up into the late 19th century. A pregnant and/or nursing woman is in no position to become an expert in weaponry--at least not the weapons of the Stone Age.

    So it was the men who had to do it.

    It's only been in my lifetime that there's been a major campaign to teach self-defense to women. And sadly, I can't say that I know very many women who are learning it.
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member


    You're not going to do anything or clarify anything about US misogyny by worrying the US gun problem in the middle of the attempt. It's just a source of avoidance and static.

    Those are all quantitative, not qualitative, differences. The quality at issue here - misogyny - is little if at all affected by the means (and my guess would be that acid throwing is newer technology than shooting by firearm).

    One can make a pretty good case that misogyny in the US is qualitatively less oppressive - despite the guns available as means - than it is in many countries with far less firepower floating around looking for trouble. Oppression via terroristic threat gains little in effectiveness by efficiency and speed and quantity of harm.

    That's a far from universal aspect of certain personality types - classified with the "black people & watermelon" and "firearms as phallic symbols" and "spiders are spooky" and "women are afraid of mice" as a belief structure a lot of people first encounter in books and don't really believe exists until they meet it.
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    An Obvious Point

    This Is Why
    If you let 'em keep talking, they eventually tell you the truth

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    Sometimes I think people forget what we're actually dealing with.

    To the other, I don't know why people like Pat Robertson keep trying this sort of thing. I mean, sure, to the one, you get a lot of correspondence when you're the head of a massive televangelism money machine, so the odds are you can find a letter or email, here or there, to suit your needs.

    But those needs? What a show, what a show:

    Televangelist Pat Robertson on Wednesday advised children whose mother was being threatened with a gun by the family's father not go to the police.

    "Whenever my parents fight, my dad threatens my mom with his gun," a viewer told Robertson in an email. "Fortunately, this now means nothing to my mom, and she never goes nuts about it; she is very calm."

    "But as a child, I get nervous and worried when this happens," the viewer's note continued. "Even my younger brother saw this incident. What should we do about it and him?"

    "Well, again, you don't want to get your father busted, but you could," Robertson explained. "You ought to go to your mother and say, 'Mom, this thing is scaring me, and I ask you please to get my father to have some help.'"


    Let us be specific. While Robertson recognizes the danger—the gun might accidentally go off—he also reminds the young viewer, "But you're a kid, what do you do, you know?"

    And then explains: "Your mother ought to take care of that."

    It is said that God works in mysterious ways, but sometimes that suggestion includes His faith in human beings; the televangelist is so wrong as to be instructive.

    The father described is a person who should not be allowed to possess a gun, but can probably go forth and proclaim himself a "responsible gun owner" should he choose. This is why guns are an important consideration in this larger consideration of misogyny and culture.

    No matter how much people talk about gun rights, this is what it comes down to: If this family described on Robertson's show is real, would you be willing to look that mother in the eye and say, "If he ends up killing you, that sucks, but you shouldn't make your murder my problem"?

    There is a reason we do not exclude the poor, defenseless guns from this discussion.

    Look at where we're at: "Your mother ought to take care of that." Uh-huh. Makes perfect sense. One can easily suggest the preacher is telling the kid his mother needs to get herself killed, but we need not go that far. Rather, it ought to be sufficient to note once again the cultural presupposition that a woman is responsible for a man's behavior. Because, after all, if your dad is threatening your mother's life with a gun, we don't want to get him busted. So it's her job to convince him to stop threatening her with a gun.

    This is why guns are part of the issue; if it wasn't for the (ahem!) "responsible gun owners" who force that consideration, they wouldn't be. Or, at least, perhaps we might blame the televangelist for bringing this point into focus. In the end, though, it's all the same thing.

    And in such a situation, if the important thing is what that mother's murder would mean to the law-abiding "responsible" gun owners, I would suggests the gun owners are doing it wrong. In the quarter-century since Stockton, the firearms people say we shouldn't punish the "responsible" gun owners; we need to keep the guns out of bad hands. And in all those years, all the NRA crowd has done is fight and whine about those efforts because they might inconvenience the "responsible" gun owners.

    And, at present, Robertson's example—whether genuine or merely some effigy thrown together by show producers—is not only a nearly custom-fit description of that particular problem, it also demonstrates an underlying misogynistic overlap, and illustrates the device by which it occurs.

    And nobody can say that is Robertson's subversive point; the guy has been at this for decades, and seems happy to collect money from the folks who would not understand such subversion and vigorously protest its implications. Pat Robertson as malamati is an interesting proposition, and we can say what we will about the mysterious ways of the mysterium, but history purports in blatantly unconfused terms that such a thesis would constitute a very extraordinary assertion.

    If you let 'em keep talking, they eventually tell you the truth. And in Robertson's case, this fits his longstanding modus operandi.

    And thus we receive a nearly mint-perfect encapsulation of ownership culture, phallosupremacism, and gun culture in overlap.


    Edwards, David. "Pat Robertson: Don't 'get your father busted' if he threatens mom with a gun". The Raw Story. June 11, 2014. RawStory.com. June 14, 2014. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/...father-busted-if-he-threatens-mom-with-a-gun/
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Responsible people don't own guns. The numbers are very difficult to gather because (duh?) people don't always tell the truth when asked if they own a gun, but it's almost certain that at least 20% of Americans own at least one.

    Let's assume for the sake of argument that every one of them keeps his gun well-secured so it won't get into the hands of his children or a burglar. (And it's well-known that this is far from true!)

    Nonetheless, of these 70 million Americans, 15 thousand use their guns to commit suicide every year. That's more than twice as many gun owners who die in road accidents, more than twice as many gun owners who are killed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria... and both of these are considered crises! Why isn't the astronomical rate of suicide by gun also considered a crisis?

    Sure, suicide ought to be legal. But if you have to do it by hanging yourself, or slitting your wrists while lying in a tub full of hot water, or filling your garage with carbon monoxide, or jumping off a roof, or overdosing on medication, you have to spend some time preparing for the act, and (in some cases) to even change your mind. This gives you a cooling-off period, allowing you to decide that life isn't quite that bad. On the other hand, if all you have to do is unlock a safe and pull a gun out, it's all over in a couple of minutes. No chance to change your mind.

    If you have a gun in your house, you are simply not a responsible citizen.
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