Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock all weekend, you’ve heard about the UCSB shooting. 22-year old University of California, Santa Barbara student Eliot Rodger allegedly murdered six individuals in a stabbing and shooting spree before killing himself. He planned the attack as his “day of retribution” and vowed to torture and kill everyone who made him feel insignificant, notably women who never gave him a chance. In a videotaped rant right before the massacre, he said:
“College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure, but in those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness, it’s not fair…I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me but I will punish you all for it…I’m going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB. And I will slaughter every spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see inside there…I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you…If I can’t have you, girls, I will destroy you.”
Let it be known that Eliot Rodger was a guy who considered himself a men’s rights activist, which definitely seems to coincide with his deep seeded hatred for women. People are quick to cite mental health problems as the root of this tragedy, which only perpetuates the notion that mentally ill people are violent and violent people are automatically mentally ill. Neither is true. Besides, it’s ridiculous to ignore the role that misogyny, sexism and male entitlement has played into this incident. Sure, Rodgers allegedly murdered men as well as women in his rampage, but let’s not lose sight of the root of his anger: Girls not having sex with him, admiring him or treating him like a god.
Does this sound familiar? How many of you have been harassed by men on the street for not smiling, not offering your phone number or not appreciating their advances? How many of you have been guilt tripped by your friends for not giving some guy a chance?
This is a problem that so many girls and women experience on a regular basis. That, on top of fearing our unattended drinks, hoping that a guy we go on a date with isn’t secretly a rapist/murderer and the dozens of little things we do to reassure ourselves of our safety from violent men really says a lot about how normalized we’ve become to the notion that we, as women, are constant targets.
In an act of solidarity, thousands of women- have united to add their stories about sexism and fear to the #YesAllWomen tag since the UCSB shooting. It was started by a young Muslim woman who tweeted, “Guys, I’m going to be tweeting under the #YesAllWomen hashtag. Let’s discuss what ‘not all men’ might do, but women must fear.” She has since deleted her Twitter account. But after nearly four it is still the top trending tags on Twitter, garnering nearly two million tweets. There have been an unbelievable number of powerful tweets in this tag so we, unfortunately, can’t list them all. But here are 20 that really drive the point home.
#YesAllWomen because I went on a 15 minute walk today and was called ‘baby’ by strangers 3 times.
— RICHELLE CAREY (@RichelleCarey) May 27, 2014
One time I stood up to a man who knew he could overpower me and now the vision in my left eye is blurred for life #YesAllWomen
— Paige (@PeachCoffin) May 25, 2014
Because as a Fat Woman I should be grateful when a man touches me without my permission. #YesAllWomen
— Callie (@CallieThorpe) May 25, 2014
— Ellah Allfrey (@epwa66) May 26, 2014
#YesAllWomen because when i was catcalled and i yelled back, my mom told me to shut up before i got us both hurt.
— #she (@lucid_faerie) May 26, 2014
— alyssa. (@narrynicotine) May 25, 2014
#YesAllWomen needs to mean ALL women: girls, teen women, trans women, women of color, old women, women with disability. ALL.
— Scarleteen (@Scarleteen) May 27, 2014
#YesAllWomen because despite what popular music says,”not giving up until she’s yours” isn’t romance, it’s stalking.
— Nadine Thornhill (@NadineThornhill) May 27, 2014
— Steph Guthrie (@amirightfolks) May 27, 2014
#yesallwomen because the media will mourn the lives of ruined high school football players, but not of the girls they assaulted
— amy (@eIectramy) May 26, 2014
#YesAllWomen b/c not returning someone’s feelings, or as society calls it putting them in the “friend zone”, should not make me feel guilty
— Business Sam (@Sam_Slagle) May 25, 2014
Remember this misogynist rampage next time you claim online threats are “just boys being boys” or “just how the internet is” #YesAllWomen
— Feminist Frequency (@femfreq) May 27, 2014
Which other amazing tweets from the #YesAllWomen tag caught your eye? What are your overall feelings about the shooting? Tell us in the comments.