While I didn't talk about this on Facebook, mostly because I am starting to realize that I have a lot of conservative or very religious friends on my friends list and I didn't want to make waves, but I have been really... I don't want to say fascinated, because I'm not really pleased by any of this and to me, to be "fascinated" by something means you find it pleasing or you like it. I know, I'm dancing around this, but yeah, I've been let's just say intrigued by this whole Elliot Rodger situation.
Let me just say two quick things, my deepest and most sincere condolences of the families affected by this tragedy. No one should have to loose a loved one though violence. Another thing I wish to say is as the step-parent of children with mental illness, I can only imagine how the Rodger's must be feeling and what's worse is they tried to do the right thing to prevent this from happening and that makes this fifty fold worse. To know something awful is going to happen, then going through the proper channels to only be derided as being paranoid, and then have the worse case scenario unfold and be powerless to stop it.
I'll have a lot more on the metal health aspect of this a little later on, but first let's just talk about where everything went wrong.
I don't know if I've ever publicly stated my views on gender roles. It is my own personal belief that from birth until the age of about 4 or 5, children are pretty much genderless. I know way way WAY back in the day, boys and girls both wore dresses until about the age of 4 or 5, because they had the same view I currently have, kids are genderless until about the age of 4 or 5. I don't know when the flip came where boys had to be draped in everything blue (because blue was seen as a color of protection against harm) and girls plastered in everything pink in order to dictate their gender to the world, but I think that's something that really, really, REALLY needs to stop.
From the time we are born we just have this immediate crowbar separation between the genders. Girls, the first toys we are given to play with are dolls, or have clothes to play dress-up in, or tiny vacuum cleaners, because girls MUST clean house, look pretty always, and nurture EVERYONE and EVERYTHING at ALL times. Meanwhile boys, they get trucks, and army men, and toy guns to play with, because boys must hunt and conquer and destroy muahahaha! If a girl wants to play with trucks or a boy with a doll, there is something automatically "wrong" with them and NO NO NO NO NO! We can't have you do ANYTHING to take you out of those pre-assigned gender roles. That would send the universe spiraling into a cataclysmic event, where women were paid and treated equally, and men cried and felt free to express any genuine emotion without fear of being labeled a "pussy" or "fruity"! Oh the humanity of it all! No one could live in such a world I say!
Side note: I love how when a man is deemed "weak" or somehow inferior he is (incorrectly) labeled as a "pussy". Watch Hal Spark's take on that, you will really rethink that turn of phase (Yeah and that's not work safe so you may want to wait until you're home or somewhere people can get offended).
But getting back; it's because of these very set rules of gender that are part of a whole reason why tragic events like this take place. Because being told you're a man! You'd better be boinking anything with a hole, because if you don't you're not truly a man! Why does it always have to boil down to physical harm to someone or something, or sticking your penis into someone, which makes you a "man"? What if you don't desire any of those two options? Then what do you do?
Being a man isn't about maiming, conquering, or smushing genitals together. I have no idea what it's about, but there has to be more to a human existence than just that?!
Oh and a little bit of an aside, if someone thinks I'm a "feminist", I'm not. Not really. I guess you could say I'm a humanist. I believe in the good of humanity as a whole and not one gender, or race, or religion or whatever is better or wiser than another. We are all human and capable of great things, if we just pulled out heads out of our backsides for a moment.
Yeah, so this is a topic that really hits home for me, because as previously mentioned, I have two step-children who have mental health issues and I worry that this could become one of them someday. As a whole, people don't understand the importance of mental health. In fact, when you refer to mental health it's called "Mental illness" and anytime you put something in the negative people automatically shut down. But I'll put it to you in terms that are simple to understand.
If someone has a cold, at first you recognize the cold, you go to the drug store for medicine. If that doesn't help, you go to the doctor to give you an antibiotic and other better medicine to help you overcome the cold. That's how it is for all physical ailments really, from the cold to more complex diseases. But when it comes to mental health issues, you may or may not recognize their is a problem, and if you don't recognize the problem how can you be treated for it? Or if you do, often there is a problem with obtaining treatment or the proper medicine to address a specific issue. Or in some cases, you get treatment, but your brain tricks you into thinking "oh you don't need that anymore, you're fine!" or worse, "Oh this medicine is really trying to kill you, so you should stop taking it immediately." When you have a mental health issue, it does hellish things to your mind, things you can't control and I can't imagine what that is like for anyone. Mental health is very tricky and requires LONG TERM care to treat. And in this instant gratification society we live in... People just don't want to hear that, everyone wants a quick fix and there is no quick fix for mental health.
Additionally, mental health is every bit as serious as a cold, because it has the capacity to kill the person it afflicts or harm others around them, yet we as a society tend to sweep Mental Health issues under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist, or adopt the stance, "Oh that will never happen in my family". As a society we need to take a good hard look at making sure everyone, not just young people, but all people, feel like they have a voice and get them professional help if we see a decline. One of the scariest things about this case were that this dude is that despite all the entitlement and rage he felt, it all stemmed from feeling alone and having a massive inferiority complex. Which is ultimately why he reached out to other troubled souls online and found a place among them. His parents did the right thing by trying to get him the help he needed, but another awful thing about therapy is it will only work if the patient is being honest with the therapist. If you're not an honest patient, then no one will be able to help.
I know the media is quick to say, "Oh just a lone guy" or "just another random crazy" but it's way more complex than just "lone wolf" syndrome. I much like others think there was a mental health aspect to all of this, but it was minor in comparison to the other issues. I will address the media in a moment, but I don't think we as a society can just write it off as "crazy guy" looses his shit and move on. Let's dive deep into stuff no one wants to talk about...
This is one emotion I completely do not understand at all! This insane idea that "I deserve" whatever, just because! I deserve to get every girl on the planet because I'm X type of man. I deserve respect because of X situation. I deserve special treatment because of what the hell ever! Uh...? No! No one, at any point deserves any special treatment because of whatever reasons they feel they are due. Love, respect, trust... Yo, all those things are earned NOT given.
This guy ran around assuming he was a "gentleman" to women, but constantly got shunned for it. What was probably a more accurate scenario was he used his fancy clothes and car to try to scam on women and they saw clear through all that superficial bull shit and that was why he was rebuffed. True there are some women who are gold diggers and there are some who like people for who they are not the content of their bank account, or type of car they drive, or brand of clothes they wear. Real people like others for who they are, not for what they give them. And if they're with someone solely for that purpose... Heartache would have be a factor anyway then he would have been murdering women because "they're gold digging bitches".
Who you are social status wise or what you have doesn't give you the green light to treat anyone, male/ female, whatever like dirt! No one is deserving of a horrific and violent death, especially not for the reason of, "I can't get laid, so I will kill everyone." No one should be made to feel like your own personal hole and given everything I've seen and read, it seems like that's how he thought of women. Just holes to be used and nothing more. That sort of attitude entitles you to nothing. You have no respect for anyone not even yourself with an attitude like that. All people want to be valued as, I don't human beings, so I really don't understand how someone can have no respect for and rail against women yet rant no one will sleep with you? It's baffling.
But more onto the subject of entitlement as a whole, apart from this story. Entitlement is a very elitist attitude to have and I've notice its been a theme in our culture lately, everyone feels they deserve something; and again, trust, respect, love are earned by giving those things to others, not just because you exist. Your existence doesn't entitle you to anything and anyone who thinks otherwise may want to take a really hard look at themselves. Entitlement is an extremely toxic attitude and one that if we don't remove it from our culture will destroy us all.
Gender bias as it relates to sexuality:
This is the next to the last topic I'm going to get into because this is getting pretty long. But, as stated before everyone places this value on boys being and acting as boys and girls being and acting as girls. With that comes a whole host of arbitrary double standards unfairly placed on everyone.
Young boys are told, you'd better not cry or you're a pussy! Then by the time they're teenagers they're fed this farcical notion that you're not a man until you've had sex with at least 40 girls, and 20 of them should be virgins. Why is sex so heavily tied to becoming a "man"? There are only so many girls who are willing to engage in sexual activity in their teen years, so really the chances of loosing your virginity as a teenage boy is probably pretty low anyway. But again why is that even a benchmark for achieving "manhood"? I'm not a guy, so I can't answer this, but it just seems like a pretty stupid benchmark if you ask me.
Especially, when you consider girls are constantly told by EVERYONE, "Only have sex when you're married!" And, "If you dress, act, or behave a certain way, you're a slut!" Well the sad fact is as a girl, you're damned if you do/ damned if you don't. If you quote, "Put out" you're a slut, a ho, a whore, a trick, or any of the myriad of horrible words people use for a sexually active woman. But there are times when even if you don't "put out" you're a "fridged bitch", a "prude"... Really?! So basically it's a no win situation for us ladies.
Women are constantly bombarded with anti-aging products and make up ads, because we are only as valuable as we look. And all this comes from the long standing idea that women should be pretty and only speak if spoken to. And if you must talk nothing to intellectual, because no one likes a know it all. Oh and don't dominate a conversation either. No one likes a bossy girl. Yes, women are only valuable as an object for the pleasure of men. Again, why we can't value people because they're human beings? Why is that such a bizarre concept? Whatever happened to treating people the way you want to be treated? Have we devolved as a society so badly that all we care about is our pleasure at the expense of others self-worth? We probably need to reflect on this A LOT and figure out how not to keep this cycle going, because as you see, it's probably the single most toxic problem the human race has and if we don't stop devaluing each other... We as a species are finished.
I actually haven't watched a lot of this story unfold via national news, because I've become quite disgusted with the national news of late. The idea that all national news media share is "The viewer isn't intelligent enough to figure out how to think or feel about a subject, so we MUST have a panel of "experts" on the subject to help them think and feel." I blame Fayx Nuze for this crap, because they are the innovators or pulling that stupidity and making it mainstream. But uh...? I think I am quite capable of thinking for myself and coming up with my own opinion on a subject, thank you. I don't need your "experts" telling me how to think or feel.
Apart from that, I can only tell you of the handful of clips I've seen about it, yeah, the news is trying to downplay the misogyny aspect of this and spin it as the typical "crazy guy" story. But it goes far deeper than that and it involves taking a deep look into how our antiquated notions of gender have spun completely out of control. The story should not be just about mental health, but how can we change how we view the genders and get each other to co-exist without this testosterone or estrogen fueled "our gender is better because" nonsense. But that's the story no one wants to tell, because it's hard to admit failings within ourselves. How does that old saying go, "The fault lies not with ourselves, but with the stars." It's really hard to admit shortcomings, but until we do... Stuff like this will continue.