At this point we all know Elliot Rodger and the violent rampage that he executed in order to punish women for the crime of depriving him of sex. We sat in exasperation when discussing, yet again, another rampage by a cisgender heterosexual white dude. I explained to my coworker, Kathryn, that I was relieved that we had access to his recording and manifesto because it’s undeniable evidence of misogynistic intent, privilege, and male entitlement.
To which Kathryn replied, but they are denying it…
Once the news broke of Rodger’s assault I grappled with whether I should write about it. My job is the engagement of men in ending gender-based violence. We have the power to create social change when men understand the potential that our collective voice have in ending violence against women and other men. This should be our aspiration. I hope for us to be a voice taking concrete actions within a larger movement; a movement that brings women and men together collaboratively to end gender-based violence through a critical profeminist lens.
Rodger’s misogynistic hate is undeniable after reading his self-written manifesto. We can speculate about the intersections of mental health resources, violent media and video games, weapons access, the damaging effects of toxic masculinity, and the socialization of men and boys. Yet, men who chose to relentlessly debate the reality of Rodger’s hatred of women as a motivating force are choosing to thrive in denial. This denial often resides in a compulsion to protect oneself from association with Rodger (and other men) and entitled thinking.
That’s not me! I wouldn’t do that! Not all men hate women!
This is a reaction to something much greater and this response simply isn’t advantageous. We know that not all men go on murder sprees or rape women. In reaction to this feminist women responded with #YesAllWomen. This drove #allmencan as a forum for men to demonstrate solidarity with women. It’s worth noting that some of these men miss the mark; however, it’s an excellent start and it simply can’t end there. The question for men who beleive in gender equity becomes: what are you doing on a daily basis to end violence against women? A hashtag and a photo are not enough! How else do you engage? The reality is that we are all detrimentally affected by social and cultural narratives that support violence, even men, and we have a tremendous opportunity to work together to collaboratively rewrite that narrative.
My question for men reading this post – who believe in gender equity – how do you engage?
Take Action in Detroit
On June 27th and 28th, “A Voice for Men” is hosting an international men’s rights conference in the heart of Detroit at the Downtown Doubletree Hotel. A Voice for Men operates under the guise of supposed equitable intentions while promoting claims that women want to be sexually assaulted and have a “predilection for being overpowered”. I won’t spend a lot of time on their antics if only to say that in 2012 The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) declared Men’s Rights Advocates to be a hate group.
This is an opportunity for men to stand in solidarity with women and end sexual violence.
Put words into action fellas!
- Ask the Doubletree Downtown Detroit to cancel the conference by signing this petition
- Call the hotel and respectfully voice discontent (313) 969-5600
- Join “Redefine: men and feminism” to make signs the night before the demonstration
- Stand and peacefully march in solidarity on June 7th in Detroit at Grand Circus Park