Elliott Roger Blames Women For Patriarchy’s Problems

Elliot Roger

Elliot Roger

Women have control over which men get sex and which men don’t. Feminism is evil.

And so Elliot Roger blames women for his own problems — and for problems created by patriarchy — as he justifies his sad, horrifying, screwed up human hunting spree.

But then, if everyone else weren’t to blame, he would have to feel bad about himself.

Ironically, patriarchy — and not feminism — is the source of the particular problem he cites above. 

The reason women are the sexual gatekeepers is because patriarchy allows men to have sex with as many women as they want. But women will be punished if they are not selective. When they don’t gatekeep they become “sluts” and their social standing drops. And all of that is repressing: When you constantly dampen you sexuality, it dampens itself after a while.

So under patriarchy women are punished for being sexual and then some anti-feminist becomes enraged that women don’t have sex with him.

Feminism actually promotes the opposite idea, insisting that women and men both have an equal right to be sexual.

Next, in a brilliantly frustrating move, patriarchy pressures men to gain status by having sex.

But Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) like Elliot (he had subscribed to several sites) wouldn’t want to attack patriarchy. And so they twist their logic to make women and feminism the enemy.

When Roger isn’t blaming feminism, he complains that people, generally, won’t do things that he won’t do, himself.

People don’t reach out to him? Well, he doesn’t reach out to them, either.

The most beautiful women don’t have sex with him? Does he make any effort to meet women who are less beautiful than he is?

Meanwhile, a lot of guys get their sex ed from porn — Elliot began consuming at age 11. But porn is a poor teacher. It presents female sexuality as a stereotype of male sexuality. In porn, women are all hot for sex and just looking for a guy to service them. They will have sex with pretty much anyone. “Except me!” Those bitches!!!!!

Now enter the mythical hookup culture which spreads the lie that everyone is having casual sex with everyone else. “Except me,” Elliot thinks.

Turns out, only about 10% of students want to do that sort of thing.

And since patriarchy demeans the feminine, it latches on to some pretty negative traits that women aren’t interested in embracing. So if a guy can’t feel like a man because he doesn’t have a lot of sex or isn’t good at sports, he may turn to violence, says University of Maryland sociologist, Philip Cohen.

Ninety percent of the targets of mass killings are women.

Why? Here are a couple of reasons:

On the one hand, women may be symbolic of what men feel they can’t have. All those beautiful women out there, and you can’t have every one of them.

But also, groups that are traditionally demeaned are typically targeted as scapegoats. Listen to any hate radio and it’s all about how awful women, minorities, and LGBT are.

A lot of MRAs are hostile toward women, blaming them for their problems. And then they wonder why women go for louts instead of them. In Elliot’s words:

I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I’m the perfect guy.

Yeah. It’s a mystery.

Think women are your problem? Take a look at patriarchy. And take a look in the mirror.

The Good Men Project cross-posted this piece, which I originally wrote for this blog.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on May 30, 2014, in feminism, gender, men, pornography, psychology, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 71 Comments.

  1. I know I’ve written about this , but couldn’t help to come back to this. I don’t understand his hatred for women, his psychotic feelings and entitlement. But I understand some of the frustration though his is really out there. What I can relate to a little is why he’s so bothered, though he’s taken it to an extreme level. There are probably many guys who’ve were shy or reclusive or maybe didn’t fit in and didn’t go to all the parties in highschool and maybe didn’t do what they wished in college, so huge regrets and envy upon those who did what they didn’t. There’s a huge feeling of having missed out, because society unfortunately paints highschool and college as special moments to have fun and memories.

    If a man like elliot is a virgin and not involved in parties (though most likely his own fault since he;s creepy and a jerk), then he;s going to have anger, depression and a deep sinking feeling of not “living life”, which the purpose of life is to live it right? There are many meanings to “living life”. But if you’re elliot and you feel you aren’t living life and the ship is sailing away so to speak, and others have done what you didn’t do and those guys being “dumb brutes” and girls “rewarding” these brutes. Then there will be a huge amount of frustration and resentment towards those men and the girls hooking up with those men. Some say well he didn’t take the effort and yeah he should have. But it’s easier to say that than doing that for some, Some people it’s hard to talk to girls if they don’t know them or hard to have a good convo when not knowing the girl and having anythijng interesting to go off of. That’s why bars were always tough for me, whereas, talking to girls at work where we’re doing stuff and natural things to talk about and know the girl come. So that funny interesting things will natrually come up instead of forced small talk to a stranger. That conversation isn’t interesting and probably stalls it.

    • Well we could all get upset over guys who haven’t asked us out or girls who aren’t interested in us or jobs we didn’t get… Etc. But his reaction probably means you also have a screw loose.

      And someone commented recently on how there’s often a double standard: you only want to date the top 1%, but get mad when they only want to date the top 1%, too.

      • Yeah he is nuts, but there is quite the difference of people who have been rejected but still had a good social life and sex in highschool or college vs some who are virgins and not by choice, but shy or socially akward or reclusive and nothing. And them seeing the fun and enjoyment or atleast seemingly the whole world is having or seems to be having around them and that envious, bitterness resentment build up over time. Obviously, his thoughts and actions are irrational.

        But it sucks things have to be that way in society and everyone can’t be living up their life and people can be less judegmental and fit in and no outcasts as well as women being free to approach men to, so there isn’t this pressure on men and women from both sides. Women seen as sluts for being aggressive and men being seen as losers and undesirable and less men for being virgins or inexperienced. I mean if all this can cause sane men to have so much frustration, you add that to one that is a sociopath like elliot rodger and unfortunately it can be bound for something like this. This is unique because of his reasoning, though I think white male shooters have such anger in some sense due to what they haven;t done compared to others. Obviously it’s disgusting and irrational, but unfortunately this isn;t the first and probably won’t be the last mass shooter. Culture isn’t helping either and only reinforcing things, not to mention men being conditioned to not talk about problems and want to take care of things by action or violence when treatment could help. So many problems and so many things society should reflectively look at to fix things.

      • I agree that there are a lot of problems that need fixing. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

        At the same time, it seems like what someone should do if they are socially awkward is learn how to deal with that instead of just getting mad at random people.

  2. The hookup culture and PUA (pick-up artist) culture and MRA culture of today is a huge part of the problem, IMO.

    A lot of men have internalized this crap and that, combined with porn or whatever frustration they feel in life, is what contributes to guys like Elliott Rodger doing what they do. And George Sodini a few years ago…does anyone remember him? He walked into a gym and shot a bunch of women dead because he was angry about not having a young, pretty girlfriend on his arm.

    What I’ve observed about guys like this is that they have an enormous sense of entitlement. They complain about not having girlfriends, but they would never give the time of day to an average-looking woman. No, they want a Victoria’s Secret or Maxim model…the trouble is that those types of women aren’t interested in them.
    And they can’t accept that.

    Elliott Rodger was a narcissistic, self-indulgent rich kid who wanted to be the “alpha male” because that is what men today are often told they should strive to become.
    But the truth is, there was nothing “alpha” about him. He seems to have had issues not only with women but with his own self-image. He was biracial (white father/Asian mother) and had a lot of internalized racism.
    He had an obsession with getting white girls to notice him, especially blondes. There are beautiful girls in every race but he was obsessed with white females. He was angry that some of these girls preferred Black and Hispanic men; George Sodini also had this problem.

    When I see guys like this, I see them as being emotionally stunted. They don’t understand a very simple concept in life…you can’t always have what you want.
    That doesn’t mean one has to live an unhappy or mediocre life; it simply means that you have to improve what you CAN change and accept what you can’t.
    But for somebody like Elliott Rodger and others like him, it was impossible for him to see that his attitude needed work.

    He wasn’t bad-looking, neither was Sodini. The issue was that they both shared a serious attitude problem when it came to how they viewed women. Elliott could have dated a pretty Asian girl or Latina or Black girl but his focus was narrowly limited to white blondes…and then when he was rejected and ignored by them, he decided that THEY were the problem instead of his own warped outlook.
    There are many dimensions to what was going on with him. The racial issues, social status, the way he was raised, mental/emotional issues, etc.

    I believe that there was more to his obsession with blondes than simply preference. To some men, having a white woman (especially a blonde) by your side means that you’ve “made it”. Elliott seems to have believed that as well. But despite the fact that he came from a privileged family, he was of mixed race and some of the girls he was interested in dismissed him…some might have been prejudiced, while others just didn’t like him in that way.
    So he called them “stuck-up b*tches” as some men will say when their advances are rejected.

    • Bullies are typically projecting their own shame on to others, Which seems to be with this guy was doing, Complete with double standard: Women shouldn’t do what I do. Thanks. You make some great points.

  3. I find that interesting, that I think many rapists, serial killers and guys like elliot hold this view. There seems to be a common thing I think with serial killers, where they feel or resent women because women are using their sexuality against these men and rubbing it in their faces. Culture is not helping with this with how men like this can have a disconnect to reality and women and perceive women and not anything more, but also blinded by their on sociopathic view to not care or give a damn if they hurt or kill these women, as they feel it’s jusitified because women have caused it or cast the blame to women, because of these lost feelings these men have. I think it’s men feeling powerless and hating that feeling, but feeling powerless to change things. But feel women dressing the way they are, and all “sexy”, but yet these men having to approach, be rejected or at the mercy of women accepting them for sex, makes these men feel powerless and “teased” by women, thus resentment and hatred. Obviosly this is not right and irrational, but this is rational to men of irrational minds who hate their lack of power, hate themselves but yet feel hopeless to change it and as a result hate the world and women who are the objects of their desire, but unobtainable.

    Women aren’t doing it and probably unaware, but thats the thing. This from our rational minds. To powerless men dying to regain this power and not too rational, even though it’s not reality, their perception is reality. So women, going about the day in public by these men in short skirts, tight dresses, cleavage, etc, women teasing these men. These men feeling humiliated and worthless and angry at the same time, because they feel women are flaunting and teasting these men, only to not want sex with them. Like a person holding a steak to a dog, but then pulling it away. Doing it again and pulling away and so on. They hate women dressing sexy, but also hate their worthlessness to do anything and women’s sexuality being put over them. Obviously this is messed up and obviously women just are dressing to look sexy and to feely sexy, and not to shove it in guys face what not. But I think men feel women are teasing them or the dressing, etc sexuality from women is used to bruise these men’s egos which are already beaten down to nothing, thus an anger and resentment lashed out toward the perpetrators (women), these men feel are.

    • What’s key isn’t what the women are doing, But how it’s being perceived.

      So as to this: “resent women because women are using their sexuality against these men and rubbing it in their faces. ”

      Wouldn’t surprise me if these men see it that way. Which is different from women behaving that way.

      And as you say, we live in a culture that turns sexy women into objects, who are “meant to serve men” making men both angry when they don’t, And feeling okay about abusing near objects.

      And women are scapegoats when men behave this way because they have low self-esteem. It’s common for scapegoats to be made of people at the bottom of the hierarchy, Whether German Jews, blacks, Hispanic’s or women. Because when the culture says they are that good, it’s easier to believe it, yourself, And take your anger out on them.

  4. I found this article interesting. I didn’t look for it exactly, just came upon it. But I think the author made some good points that I’ll quote. here’s the link first here http://flavorwire.com/459699/yes-all-men-every-man-needs-to-understand-internalized-misogyny-and-male-violence

    The Atlantic‘s Noah Berlatsky wrote an excellent piece yesterday about how he could recognize the sentiment that underpinned Rodger’s video:

    “Like Elliott Rodger, who killed at least six people in Santa Barbara last week, when I was 22, I had never had a girlfriend. Like him, I had never kissed a girl. Those facts weighed on me, just as they seemed to have weighed on Rodger. Being a virgin, as I’ve written before, made me feel broken and wrong and failed…

    Rodger’s horrifying violence, the videos he posted, and the way he saw himself are all extreme. But they’re also a reflection of the way poisonous ideals of masculinity affect men. To some extent, I’ve felt the frustration Rodger felt, and I think other men may feel it as well. This is not an excuse for Rodger’s actions, but something more painful: a confrontation of the ways in which he’s not deviant, but typical. Acknowledging that seems like an important part of making sure this kind of thinking doesn’t remain typical any longer.”

    I think Berlatsky is dead right. I’ve certainly felt those things. Longing is a default state of mind for adolescents of all genders, of course, but in men that longing manifests a sense of frustrated entitlement, although you don’t recognize it as such at the time — you just feel that you’re getting a raw deal. You see girls and love as things that other people have and you don’t. The idea of having is important here, because you’re taught that women are a thing to be “gotten,” rooted in a sort of faith that one is owed existential reward for Doing It Right.

  5. Guns Don't Kill People

    I would argue that Eliot Roger is the perfect posterchild for feminism. He was raised on a steady diet of patriarchy and entitlement, and as of such literally believed he had the right to any female contact he desired. I’m going to repeat that a lot, because it’s still hard for me to grasp. It’s easy for media sources to diminish his opinions, saying he was unstable and delusional, but the fact is he was a reasonably smart man.The entire time he planned and enacted his crime, he fully believed in every video he posted, every action he went through on. Obviously he wasn’t sane; is dissociation with reality would be considered a major psychotic episode at the very least. But one could easily argue that said psychosis is a result, not a cause. A result of being raised in the patriarchal society in which we live; in which a man who otherwise had never been denied anything in his life can find being turned down by women so heinously offensive that he decides to commit murder and end his own life. That’s what patriarchy teaches. Eliott Roger’s paid too much attention to what is deemed ‘correct’ in society, and tells us exactly what we are teaching each other; what our actions and words really mean at their base level without a filter.

    • At the very least it is patriarchy + mental illness. When women are mentally ill they never behave this way. But Elliott Roger isn’t the first guy to behave this way.

  6. In my opinion, the underlying problem is closer to the lines of our society resembling a hegemony. With that in place, the groups in power (white, male, heterosexual) is able to broadcast their personal messages and views to the general public. Our society claims that there is nothing wrong with patriarchy and that if anything is wrong it is feminism. However, this message is simply out of the fear of the powerful losing their power, or simply everyone having an equal playing field. What I find interesting is that our culture says for men to obsess over sports, cars and women. When people like Elliott is upset over not being able to get women, they kill women, but when it comes to cars, there is no such reaction. I find this interesting because of how much our society treats women like property, so apparently it is more likely for people to destroy other people but not actual objects like cars…..

  7. I think it’s interesting how he believe that women have the power with sex. I think that’s only true in a relationship. That the girl have the power to do it or not. Being that since it’s just with that one person girls have more power in controlling how much or how little sex they want, While in the hookup culture there’s so much bad reputations on girls that like to have sex. If they admit that they like sex than their considered slutty. If they don’t have sex at all they’re considered a prude. So it’s definitely not what Elliot Roger imagined, that girls are just sleeping with everyone else but him. However I can imagine how he imagine that a lot of people are doign it except for him. Being that it’s in in Santa Barbra and they definatly have their reputation of being crazy. Also if he ever googled when people lose their virginity at the moment most guys and girls in the US lose it when they’re 17. So being a 22 year old virgin probably made him feel self conscious of that fact.

  8. Michael Bernal

    I feel that in any situation that doesn’t go one’s way and in this case sexual needs, the only person one can blame is themselves. And to be honest I think it is super pathetic that someone would even think let alone do something like this. I remember watching his youtube video right before he created this act of ridiculousness, and at one point he said ” I am the alpha male “, meaning what? That you are superior to all and taking the lives of girls he probably didn’t even know at all is justification for you being alone and a 22 year old virgin!? Absolute outrage. And even though not everyone is not attracted back to you the way you’d like gives you no reason what so ever to commit an act of disgrace. This might sound kind of weird and confusing, but it looks like this had nothing to do with a patriarchy at all, but the complete opposite, where in a society such as the one we live in today there are beliefs that men are dominant, well in retrospect in a psychological way he was the one that was dominated. And because he let that happen to him. In regard to him having a ” mental illness “, he was still so young and couldn’t take being rejected.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Michael…yes!

      Elliott was a very sick young man. I have some compassion for him as a human being but there is absolutely no excuse for what he did to those innocent people.
      That boy needed some serious psychological help because it was obvious that he was a ticking time bomb.

      And you are right about the “alpha male” crap. He was parroting what is being pandered to many men today and it is destructive.
      At 22, he knew nothing about how to be a real man. He was still a little boy being given the world on a silver platter. It was easier to blame others than to look within and work on himself, on changing his beliefs.

      And that is part of what makes it tragic because he had the potential to be a better person, but chose the destructive path.
      I agree…he allowed his mind and emotions to be taken over by the notion that being a man=dominance, ruling over women, etc.

      This is destroying our men and women today and how we relate to one another.

  9. Most people would agree that for the most part that Elliot is one of those spectacularly rare cases in where someone would actually have the bravado to go out and commit to his manifesto. In the wake of what happened, it’s also brings up national discussion of issues such as patriarchy, feminism, MRA and social scripts.

    The problem is that we as a society continue to perpetuate these thoughts even when it’s completely subconscious. What we as a society need to do is to bring these thoughts into discussion through a non-hostile way while mitigating as much as the vocal belligerent minority groups have spewed all over the internet that gives both parties a bad reputation. I do believe and hope that over the next few generations, our culture has become egalitarian enough to the point where something like this tragedy would be impossible to think of in the first place.

    In the end however, we must recognize that this kid was a cocktail of mental illness, social unawareness, and an ego that could not be contained. We know that this is a rare occasion and as tragic as it may be, it does bring to light a lot of discussions that need to be held.

  10. I was so chocked when I heard about this mass killing in UC Santa Barbara, my best friend lives there and I usually go there at least once a month to visit him so when i saw what happened on the news I was like ” damn It could have happened to me”. Since that story touched me personally I tried to understand the reasons why someone would do that, I mean it didn’t make sense to me that somebody would kill people just because they’re still a virgin and cannot get laid, if he wants to get laid so bad just go get a hooker and get it over with for Christ’s sake it’s not hard to have sex in this twisted world where everything can be bought as long as you can pay for it. So I came to the conclusion that having sex was not the real problem here, but the problem was his hate for women. His life was miserable and it was easier for him to blame women rather than looking at the things about him and his personality that made him so unattractive to women. Regardless of the physical aspect, his relationship with women was nonexistent because he was a psycho hostile toward women who looked down on them, and of course this kind of mindset wasn’t going to help him get any women. So instead of blaming women for your problem Elliott Rogers you should have made a serious introspection about yourself and I’m sure that all of this would have never happened.

  11. I completely agree with you that patriarchy is largely responsible for the horrific killing spree Elliot Roger committed. As soon as this story broke out in media a lot of people have analyzed his actions as misogynistic and contributed his mental illness to his manifesto to kill women. I am disgusted with his actions and have no sympathy for him, but I definitely think people need to acknowledge the role our patriarchal society plays. Yes he was a disturbed person who committed a heinous crime, but our society teaches that men are valued higher than women so essentially they are entitled to everything. When men don’t get what they “deserve” they lash out in violence. In this case Elliot lashed out on women because patriarchy taught him that men have sexual freedom and women are there to be dominated. I believe there is more to understanding this crime, but definitely appreciate the connection you made between patriarchal ideology and violence against women.

    • Yes, it’s interesting how many people want to ignore the misogyny and patriarchy.

      Here’s a paragraph I found on Feministe: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2014/05/30/revenge-rampages-obscuring-the-issue-and-missing-the-point/

      How is that a man can leave a 140-page manifesto describing, in explicit detail, how much he hates women, why he hates women, why he thinks women deserve to be punished, and precisely how he plans to punish them — and then his subsequent killing spree is attributed to everything but misogyny?

      I’ve noticed that we tend to be more sensitive to racism than sexism (although we are not more sexist than racist), and reworded the paragraph this way:

      How is that a man can leave a 140-page manifesto describing, in explicit detail, how much he hates blacks, why he hates blacks, why he thinks blacks deserve to be punished, and precisely how he plans to punish them — and then his subsequent killing spree is attributed to everything but racism?

  12. That quote from him just…. I don’t have the words. I mean…. Yeah I get to control who has sex with me. How is that not fair? What is the alternative option that would still maintain some semblance of gender equality?

  13. Tiffani Bartlett

    It just amazes me how men, especially this young man, blame women for their problems. It’s not the ladies’ fault that he didn’t put an effort into talking to girls in his classes or at parties or in general. A relationship of any sort is a two way street and he obviously was too reluctant to get anything going so resorting to killing people is an answer to all of his problems. Why does it come down to taking peoples lives? Join a fraternity or something to help with the lady problems! This is a great example of how cruel people are nowadays. We need to help people like this…stop the violence!

  14. Caroline Tran

    Luckily, most guys probably aren’t like him, but these are the types of people I really worry about in the world. There’s obviously something unsettling about the killing, but the fact that he did it for such a stupid reason is just horrifying. Women don’t find you irresistible or fall head over heels for you the moment they see you? It can’t possibly be your fault. Blame women and feminism. But that sort of thinking is just so warped and unrealistic. I don’t understand how a person can grow up so selfish and entitled. Even if he had some kind of mental illness, I can’t be convinced that that’s the root of the problem since not all mentally handicapped people are murderous misogynists. I don’t want to defend him but I think this is a result of both his individual issues and our society which instilled such values into him. He took some of the ideas too far but the fact that women still haven’t attained complete equality and the same amount of respect as their male counterparts needs to be addressed immediately in order to prevent such tragedies in the future. Why is equality between men and women such a challenge? Nobody chose to be born either sex so even if both sides has their strengths and weaknesses that doesn’t make one sex better than the other, just different. Except we’re all fundamentally the same on the inside so I guess that doesn’t really make us any different either.

  15. “I definitely agree with this post. I also blame the media, because it causes men to feel that sleeping with as many women as possible is how they prove their manliness. Also an environment like UCSB probably caused him to feel very inferior to other men, but blaming women is not right. Roger probably felt insecure about this which led him to start hating and blaming women. I feel like the media is a huge part in this because they bombard young men with these movies and images that tell them what it is to be a man. Which can cause men to outlash and blame women for their own insecurities and problems. Great post, i thoroughly enjoyed it!”

    I think the problem with movies is not that it makes boys feel they aren’t a “man” if they aren’t sleeping around. I think culture effected me, but it wasn’t masculinity. Sometimes it is for boys, but other times like for me, I and other guys aren’t doubting our masculinity. The problem with movies more so, is the way movies about college and beer commercials, bring out adverstise like you’re supposed to have fun and sleep around and go wild. If you aren’t then you are missing out in life and aren’t living life. What boy or person? wants to feel they haven’t really lived life? Movies showcase this frat guy, bachelor adventure of partying hard, having fun and sleeping with hot girls, which all culminate or putting into boy’s minds, that is a “fun” time and you haven’t lived until doing this stuff. I felt and many guy’s felt that not doing such stuff we were missing out on life, which is a horrible feeling, that’s the stuff boys can feel bad and even worse feel regret over. Not fun to hold regrets.

  16. This entire situation is creating a war among those who zone in on their beliefs behind feminism and even the patriarchy that is the US. My view mostly parallels with the majority of people, in that Roger was a sick minded narcissist with Aspergers syndrome. However, where my view skews from the others is that I have a strong backing on the notion that Roger was NOT a misogynist. Elliott Roger was a victim of the media and the stereotypes, expectations, and “norms” that come with it. Am I saying that society made him do this? Absolutely not. My view doesn’t relieve Rogers of any of the blame and hate that he should be getting. He did this himself and it was his choice. But his mindset that drove him to such actions, is what was cruelly molded his life into an unrequited journey for sex and social status.

    The way girls are portrayed as sex objects who live to toy with him, the way guys are portrayed as the tough and popular king of the hill who can get all the girls he wants when he wants, and the way college is made out to be a drug/alcohol/sex party 24/7 with absolutely no means of any hard work or struggles. This is what Elliott Roger was taught while he was left to himself. He saw this throughout his life, learned it, and then believed it.

    He thought himself a true gentleman, as he thought that just NOT being a popular meat head but still thinking women were in this world mainly for sex was enough to qualify as a gentleman, rather than him actually working to be a gentleman and care for women simply as other human beings.

    Elliott Roger was a crazed kid who doesn’t deserve sympathy or even fairness. But the takeaway that people are getting from this situation is a ridiculous gender war and raging feminists using this as more evidence that our society is corrupt and needs a full 180. I don’t know what to say about that really, but what I will say is this: Elliott was a victim, who took out his feelings on more victims. While I do consider the media as part of society, it is not the ENTIRE society. Many parts of our society work, despite it being a patriarchy. But when it comes to what is being shown, encouraged, and enforced by our media, that is where we need some serious looking into.

    ***And don’t even get me started on gun laws…..***

    • He hated women so how could he not be a misogynist? That’s the definition of misogyny.

      And how did patriarchy not lead to his skewed views? I explained point by point how they did.

      You don’t have violence against women in societies with equality. And women don’t lash out at men in these ways, so patriarchy is clearly involved.

      • Yes, it’s clear that he was misogynist and misogyny was a large part of his motivation. People hate the opposite sex for many reasons, and in his case, it was because he felt women were not attracted to him and he could not obtain the perfect women he felt he deserved. Reading his manifesto it’s quite obvious he has a very strong sense of entitlement: whether it comes to wealth/material positions or women. It might be a little bit more understandable if he was cruelly rejected, but after reading the whole 141 page manifesto I could not find one instance where he even made an effort to strike up a relationship – even a friendship with a woman, let alone say ask her out on a date. Being shy myself I understand it can be easier said than done, yet I never felt the same murderous rage about it as him, nothing remotely close… So it’s not like he was cruelly rebuffed, mostly just felt ignored – but he often had unrealistic perceptions, somehow expecting women to throw themselves at him, a complete stranger. He mentions incidents where he would say hi to girls or smile at him, and him flying into a rage and crying for hours when they would not reciprocate, clearly not normal behaviour.

        I do think extreme jealousy/anger is basically at the root of his pathological hatred of the women he could not obtain AND the ‘obnoxious brutes’ that these women apparently threw themselves at. Repeatedly, time after time, he talks about being filled with rage, jealous, envious hatred, at seeing couples together or when his peers were more successful with women than he was. So much so that he even wanted to kills his own brother because of the fear that one day he would grow up to be the person he felt he could not/or was not. Pretty sick, and a lot more than just misogyny, for sure. In fact, from some of what he said it’s clear he seems to have no idea about the reality of how things are. He talks about how ‘everyone’ is having sex in college, or thinks it’s so terrible to still be a virgin at age 18. I know a lot of ‘cool’ kids who didn’t lose their virginity until after 18, it really wasn’t THAT big a deal. I guess college in America is different, but seriously, it’s amazing what a big deal he made out of it.

      • Clearly it’s a mix of mental illness latching onto cultural messages.

  17. I definitely agree with this post. I also blame the media, because it causes men to feel that sleeping with as many women as possible is how they prove their manliness. Also an environment like UCSB probably caused him to feel very inferior to other men, but blaming women is not right. Roger probably felt insecure about this which led him to start hating and blaming women. I feel like the media is a huge part in this because they bombard young men with these movies and images that tell them what it is to be a man. Which can cause men to outlash and blame women for their own insecurities and problems. Great post, i thoroughly enjoyed it!

  18. This guys just sounds ignorant he clearly doesn’t know our society well, woman are getting more rights but our world is controlled patriarchy system. Woman are constantly getting put down if they sleep around so of course they’re not just going to give it up just like that. This man needs to take that into consideration because being woman isn’t easy and I’m not saying being a man is easy ether but I know they aren’t being judge in a a bad way for sleeping around.

  19. “Anyway, Roger’s was basically spoilt by his parents: I’m reading a bit of his ‘manifesto’, and whenever he didn’t get what he wanted he threw a tantrum and ended up getting it. Since the affection and attention of women wasn’t as easily obtainable as a video game console, he festered and threw a tantrum and started blaming his problems on all sorts of reason.”

    Well many times parents could be to blame, but I don’t think rodgers parents should be blamed. Yeah he might’ve been spoiled, but so what. Tons of kids are spoiled, rich and non rich parents can spoil their kids. I mean look at celebrities and what they get their children. While these kids end up possibly being entitled spoiled brats, they aren’t killing people. Rodger was seeing a therapist since he was a child. So he wasn’t neglected and his parents did what they could to help him. They also alerted cops about his disturbing video. The parents are in great sorrow, which I would too if my kid did such a horrendous thing. I can’t put it on them, but many things as I’ve discussed, a lot due to culture as the blogger has said here.

    • True, I think I was a bit premature, I don’t blame his parents, but his entitled lifestyle might have been a contributing factor. I think his single-minded obsession with getting girls, a girlfriend/sex, and his jealous/envy is incredible…like he says that seeing couples would send him into a jealous rage and he would cry for hours, it doesn’t seem normal at all. I don’t know what a psych would diagnose that as. The thing is, he constantly talks about how much women hate and look down upon him, yet there seems little he bases that on, other than his own perception. I mean I’m halfway through his manifesto and it doesn’t seem he made any effort to proactively make his desires come true, let alone say ask a girl out. I mean it would be more understandable if he was cruelly rebuffed and rejected, but nothing so far…

  20. “My cousin tried dancing with a few girls but they kept turning him down and every time he got turned down he would go to the bar and get a drink, he spent majority of his night at the bar. The next day we all tried to talk to him about him drinking to much and all kept doing was blame the girls at the club for him having to drink that much.”

    Well you go ahead and try dancing with guys and 4 of them reject you? He just wants to have fun, and it’s not fun for a guy, he can feel like a creep for trying to dance with girls and being rejected even if he’s not one. Yeah that can happen especially if you might otherwise be successful and nobody likes to swallow their pride. See you do such stuff and deal with that, have a big ego and strong belief of youself and swallow your pride. You might get a bruised ego being rejected by 4 people you try to dance with. It can feel like an obstacle course for guys are clubs or bars.

    They want to meet girls or just have fun dancing, “oh wait she’s got a guy that might be her bf” “oh she’s got all her gfs around her, can’t approach her” “oh she and her friend are dancing and having fun, but they just seem to have fun and dance with each other and don’;t look to want to see anyone, the luxury of that”. He blamed them, because he was drinking because of them and them rejecting him. He was obviously upset, the alcohol was to help calm his nerves probably and what we do, when upset, we eat or drink something to comfort us. He felt getting drunk would comfort him or what people do, they drink down their sorrows. Why does it matter to you as long as he has a ride? Like I said deal with it yourself, it’s easy to say that, but girls don’t have to swallow their pride and don’t know how upsetting it can be, so you say this, yet you won’t know how it feels.

  21. “So glad you don’t have too much in common with him.”

    Yeah, well that guy was so deranged. His manifesto I didn’t read cause I knew it was disturbing, but I heard others talk about it on another forum. It’s really sick, something a serial killer would write, him keeping women prisoner, toruting them and him killing all the men on earth so women could be all to himself. Him cutting off heads, very sick. So obviously, unfortunately there are the perfectly bad ingredients with society’s views and pressures put on men, mixed with women being sexually objectified, men’s attitudes with women being “numbers”, you put that all together which can be frustrating enough for a sane boy let alone this all stew with boys who are isolated and a twisted mind and all this stews and stews until eventually there’s a breaking point and these boys just snap.

    But what I was getting at is that I wish I didn’t fall into the hook up college myth like you showed with your link there as, I put so much pressure on myself having felt I missed out and it wore on me and just made me a more irritable person. That’s why I said it’s unfortunate, and would be good for equality and change. so women can feel better about themselves and body and men can not feel left out or different because there isn’t such a rigid, high expectation on masculinity. So much pressure, I feel stressing both boys and girls out.

  22. Reading about the evolution of human society is quite enlightening in this area. Traditionally, it was believed that strong alpha males tend to dominate and hog all the females, but it’s not that simple. Human societies actually vary a lot in their social structure: even today monogamy is far from universal. There are ‘group marriages’, ‘open relationships’, polygamy, polygyny. Maybe nature holds that stronger males will dominate and get as many of the females, but I think we’ve evolved from that.

    I agree that patriarchal societies do tend to have that attitude, for sure. Some earlier feminists in particular argued against marriage because it was seen as patriarchal, but in some ways monogamy benefits both men and women. It strengthens personal bonds and reduces conflict. It doesn’t mean it’s the only system that works, I think, but with our Judaeo-Christian values it’s here to stay for awhile more.

    Anyway, Roger’s was basically spoilt by his parents: I’m reading a bit of his ‘manifesto’, and whenever he didn’t get what he wanted he threw a tantrum and ended up getting it. Since the affection and attention of women wasn’t as easily obtainable as a video game console, he festered and threw a tantrum and started blaming his problems on all sorts of reason. A high school environment where people were pressured to have sex or be popular with the other sex didn’t help. He was very myopic and rather narcissistic.

    I don’t know much about the men’s rights movement, but some of them do seem a bit chauvinistic. At the same time, I think there is a place for a movement specifically dedicated to the rights of men for equality. I mean if there’s one for women’s rights, why not men’s? I don’t disagree feminism has often fought for equality, but I don’t think feminism has the exclusive right in terms of fighting for equality between the sexes.

    • The problem with the men’s rights movement is that it tends to be hate-filled misogyny. No reason that men shouldn’t fight for their own rights, but it backfires when hate so abundantly comes out of the movement. A few early feminists were similarly hateful and it just backfired, so it’s rare to find hate among today’s feminists. The men’s movement needs to realize the same thing. There is a big difference between feeling powerful (a feeling that hate creates) and being powerful. The other thing is that men continue to have much more privilege than women, so most men don’t feel a strong need to assert their rights.

      And yes, sexual behavior comes in a variety of forms which vary from society to society. I’ll be writing more on this later. Here are a couple posts on the topic:

      Women Want Betas

      Why Hasn’t Open Marriage Caught On?

      • Yes, maybe they’ve shot themselves in the foot. There are some issues where people just need to unite to solve, but it’s hard when people see each other as the enemy.

      • Well really, that’s my point. Feminists don’t see men as the enemy, but as partners in liberating both of us — so much of what MRAs complain about can be traced to patriarchy.

  23. This article almost perfectly encompassed my thoughts on the shooting that took place at UCSB. When this happened I followed the news and watched the youtube videos and I saw that there were a lot of people saying what a sick kid. And yes the truth is he was a sick kid, he was diagnosed with aspergers, however many were referring to his sick thinking and not to his mental condition. The thing is he committed a very terrible act but there is no use condemning him because he had a mental disorder, and because as the article suggests, the problem is with society.
    The article discussed the problem of women being seen as objects of success and I agree that is a huge problem with society. Looking back on all of the Disney movies, and various cartoons that I watched as a kid, it would at first seem as though every plot is as follows:
    character has problem, character works to overcome problem, character solves problem end of movie. However the real plot always ends with the main character “getting the girl” (or boy if main character is female) after overcoming their problem. This is as if to say, once you are successful you find a mate. This should be left out of Disney movies because we should not be priming our kids with the notion that women or men are trophies.

  24. This post pretty much nails what is going across the mind of many. However, I have to say that I feel sorry for this guy and for the way he felt. I’m not saying that I agree with what he did or his opinion on woman, but it makes me wonder what led him to feel this way. As a woman my greatest fear would be to blamed for something for the sole reason of being woman, and I hate how because as woman we base our choice by feelings we get judged so quickly. I also find it bothersome how men automatically feel that because of the sole reason of being a man gives them the right to be a patriarch. How about talking to a girl as an equal and showing her the man you can be without demanding it? One of the many sad things that have/ will come about this is that some woman will use this misfortune and bring feminism to a whole other level. I truly hope that some day both men and woman are treated as equals, especially since we all tend to over look the fact that we are all human beings. Thank you for this!

  25. Yeah things would be much better without women being shamed and men feeling pressure on being a man and to live up to such standards. It sucks being a late bloomer, having been that I know how upsetting, saddening and extremely frustrating it can be. I don’t get his twisted thoughts and blame on society though. But it’s unfortunate as you said the myth of colleges and everyone’s hooking when not quite as much as some think. I like others believed in that. And upset that I missed out and determined to have fun. When I went back to college,

    I made sure I had fun, but unfortunately doing so at times made me a dick head. I was upfront usually, but there were times where the relation wasn’t discussed and I’m sure I was a jerk in some time with just wanting to have fun and it might have bothered some girls, which before then I would never have thought of going through any “player” like period. I wasn’t bothered so much that I was less cool for coming on late and it wasn’t so much about “numbers” but having missed out on the “fun and experiences, and memories” that guys got in highschool and college. It haunted me, until I did it myself later. But like I said, I’m glad I did and glad I didn’t as this mission for having fun and sowing my oats so that I can have a relationship brought out the jerk in me.

    The difference though is that guy’s like elliot say they are better but you here from their victim claims they actually believe they lack what other guys have and are “nice guys” that women overlook. However, for me, I actually knew it was part from me being a little shy and sheltered for medical reasons early on and slower start. But also couldn’t see myself like those guys as I actually had very strong belief in myself and not that it’s women’s fault for not liking me as I felt and still do, that I’m quite the catch and the blame was always toward myself. It didn’t help frustration though as it brought on so much regret. I knew it was my fault for not coming out of my shell and not being proactive and being more social, not with talking, but being involved with stuff. But it was also frustrating as I knew I was unerutilizing myself because of this and knew not only I should have been having sex with girls but doing pretty well, especially seeing how other guys definitely goofy looking or less charming were doing ok. And was just salt to the wound and a reminder or how much I was underutilizing myself.

  26. With this article, you fully articulated what I have been thinking. He blames all the women, as if they are specifically targeting him and avoiding him. He would much rather blame anyone and everyone else than take responsibility for his own actions that would lead him down the road of this “loneliness”. When I first saw the video, I was blown away at just how much he is able to justify his actions to himself, by blaming women as a whole. This whole situations was sad and disgusting. He is demeaning women just as much as the guys he claims he is better than.

  27. did you see the yesallwomen twitter that, maybe didn’t come from this but really brought it on? millions of women and many men have joined it, adding their own experiences and thoughts of sexism. So obviously plenty of women maybe not speaking up before have had enough and letting the world know about sexism that still exists. they would have the yesallwomen hashtag and then write why. Like I saw plenty of women write something related to yesallwomen because I’m tired of being afraid walking to my car at night or, because I have to fear that or relation to that many girls and women wrote. Here;s one I copied and pasted. #yesallwomen sign: “Because when I put on heels I worry for a moment: How will I run away?”

  28. I heard that he was also addicted to video games, games where you get to shoot the pedestrians and cops, beat up people especially women and rape them – continuous and long term exposure to these kinds of activities leads to mental disturbance. A lot of these videos show tall, slender and minimally dressed women which mentally portrays an image in the player’s mind and they start behaving and acting similarly in the real world. There must be something distracting about Roger that the women were avoiding him. Woman has the right to pick their partner if they choose to, especially these days you hear too many crazy people over the TV.

  29. Thanks for pointing out this connection. There are so many ways that patriarchy limits men. As the mother of two young boys, I think about this every day, hoping to create an environment where they feel safe enough to embrace all of their qualities–even (or especially) the ones typically seen as “feminine”. But I hadn’t considered how even the complaints of MRAs trace back to patriarchy. More food for thought.

  30. I think it is necessary to address and CHALLENGE patriarchy, SPEAK up, and act instead of being passive and blaming your issues on women because they don’t find you attractive, approachable or fit to be a mate and/or sexual partner. Blaming another gender on your own shortcomings is not only irresponsible, it is also very immature.

    Also, there is a stigma behind mental health — both for men and women. Being labeled as someone who has received mental health serves or is currently receiving mental health services is a label on the forehead that most people, including men, don’t want. Sadly, many men go without mental health care because of this. This article from the APA discusses the topic of why men are less likely to seek mental health. http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun05/helping.aspx)

    A friend of a friend said it best:
    “We often instead shift the conversation to “mental illness” and describe shooters as madmen, while the characteristics they exhibit are often an extension of toxic masculinity ideals that are institutionally reinforced.

    We live in a society where being white and male affords one with countless privileges and, for some, a toxic sense of entitlement. As Michael Kimmel explains, “righteous retaliation is a deeply held, almost sacred, tenant of masculinity: if you are aggrieved, you are entitled to retribution. American men don’t just get mad, we get even.” -Chantilly

  31. If patriarchy is the problem (and I think most of your readers here would agree that it is), then how is that going to ever change? We can complain up and down, point out the harm it done, etc, etc., but it still exists as the societal norm. And it’s been this way for 1000’s of years.

    I guess this is a better topic for book or set of books…

    • The solution is to increase gender equality, which can only be done — at least partly — by raising awareness. And it actually is working.

      While patriarchy is still causing problems, it is causing less problems than it has in the past as equality has risen. The justice bureau randomly calls people to see if they have been victims of crime, and violence against women is way down since the early 1990s as equality has increased. Rape is down 75%, battering is down 65%, and incest is down 40%. That’s partly because we now have more resources for women like shelters, hotlines, mandatory arrest, A greater willingness to report rape… But also because men’s attitudes are changing.

      In cultures where women are valued, there are low — or even no — rates of violence against them. I’ll be writing more on that later.

      Here’s a graph from sociological images on this link:


  32. So well put thank you. You wrote down what has been somewhere in my head but I couldn’t quite articulate.

  33. sheryel charan

    Its sad to hear such a thing happen like this. I watched the video a few times for a better understanding of the reasoning behind Elliot’s actions but just like what this blog post is saying, is what was running through my head. Many men do have that sense of patriarchy in them and when they don’t get some they get upset. The same weekend they shooting happened I was on vacation with my cousin and his three friends (four guys plus me), in Vancouver Canada. During the day we did normal site seeing and then we went out in the evening to the clubs. My cousin tried dancing with a few girls but they kept turning him down and every time he got turned down he would go to the bar and get a drink, he spent majority of his night at the bar. The next day we all tried to talk to him about him drinking to much and all kept doing was blame the girls at the club for him having to drink that much.

  34. An excellent commentary. It seems people are just too eager to blame others for their own shortcomings, when all they have to do is look in the mirror and reflect a bit. (OK, well some people might also need to do their reflecting with a therapist).

    Just wish that somehow people could get over their patriarchal mindsets, but after thousands of years, that’s easier said than done…

    • Yes, guys like this likely need mental health help, too.

      Yet patriarchy can even discourage getting that help, because a lot of these guys fear that mental health help will make them seem weak.

      Besides, they’re entitled to have everyone do what they want, anyway!

  35. I have been reeling all week by what this guy did and the reasons he gave for doing it. Death by misogyny at its most overt. If there were any doubters that patriarchy is still alive and well in the 21st century hopefully this horrible crime will wake them up to reality. My stomach churns just thinking about it all again.

    • So ironic that these guys complain about their lack of rights and blame feminism, saying women have too many rights even as they DEMONSTRATE the opposite. In their thoughts and behavior, sexism is only too alive and well.

  36. You make some very good points. Patriarchy has a lot to answer for.

  37. This man was not an MRA. If anything, he was initially a follower of PUA (pickup artist) sites, emagazines, and YouTube channels and then, when they failed to deliver “results” Elliot then turned to websites like PUAhate.com. These sites are also not about men’s rights…they condemn the PUA subculture while simultaneously bashing women for the exact reasons you mention above.

    I know a lot of MRA sites have angry comments, and yes a good number of these are misogynistic. Believe me, I know! But each MRA I’ve met in real life, or have become friends with online actually try for true “activism” and advocacy. One man I know is trying to get a men’s shelter set up in his home state. Another uses his blog to talk about double standards and sexism against men in the news. Even more talk about the need for men to cultivate an identity apart from women, much like feminism allowed women to do with men.

    • Fact is, he subscribed to a lot of MRA sites. He’s just a good guy like this I suppose:

      The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization, has described men’s rights sites as “thick with misogynistic attacks” and “dedicated to savaging feminists in particular and women, very typically American women, in general.”


      I’m sure some MRAs are as you describe. But I’ve also had plenty of interactions with them, and all the ones I know blame feminism for the problems of patriarchy. In every case I’ve shown how their complaints really are rooted in patriarchy.

      In fact, I’ll have another post up on this soon.

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