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National Review Online


The UCSB Solipsists

June 01, 2014

By Heather Mac Donald

Over 77 percent of all U.S. murder victims in 2012 were male; targets of non-lethal shootings are even more disproportionately male. Four of the six homicide victims of Elliot Rodger, the lunatic narcissist who went on a killing spree in Santa Barbara in revenge for female rejection, were male. And yet the feminist industry immediately turned this heartbreaking bloodbath into a symbol of America's war on women. The mainstream media and the Internet quickly generated a portrait of America where women walk in fear simply “in order to survive,” as a Washington Post blogger put it, adding that the shootings were merely an extreme example of the “abuse and anti-woman violence” that American women face every day. “If we don't talk misogyny now, when are we going to talk about it?” a global-studies major at the University of California, Santa Barbara, asked the New York Times. The episode has provoked “a call to end misogyny, inequality, and violence against women,” reports the Huffington Post. Females allegedly have to walk a daily gauntlet of leers, gropings, catcalls, and condescension, simply in order to go about their business, according to the New York Times and posts on #YesAllWomen (as in: Yes, all women experience sexual hatred and violence).

These females are apparently living in a different world than mine. Leave aside the fact that the Santa Barbara killings were clearly the actions of a madman. Rodger's every gesture and word bespoke monomaniacal, self-pitying delusion, amplified in the hermetic echo chamber of his own deranged narcissism. There is no pattern of gender-based rampages in this country; there is an emerging pattern of rampages by the untreated mentally ill. But the fundamental premise of the feminist analysis of Rodger's massacre — that the U.S. is “misogynist” — is patently absurd. To the contrary, ours is a culture obsessed with promoting and celebrating female success. There is not a science faculty or lab in the country that is not under relentless pressure from university administrators and the federal government to hire female professors and researchers, regardless of the lack of competitive candidates and the cost to meritocratic standards. Wealthy foundations and individual philanthropists churn out one girls' self-esteem and academic-success initiative after another; boys are a distant runner-up for philanthropic ministrations, even though it is boys, not girls, who are falling further and further behind academically and socially. (The Obama administration's flawed initiative to help young minority males succeed has drawn predictable criticism for leaving out girls. No one complained, of course, about the White House Council on Women and Girls or the endless female-empowerment projects that roll forth from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.) Girls hear a constant message that “strong women can do it all,” including raise children on their own. Any female even remotely in the public realm who is not deeply conscious that she has been the “beneficiary” of the pressure to stock conference panels, media slots, and op-ed pages with females is fooling herself. Corporate boards and management seek women with hungry desperation. And even were this preferential treatment to end tomorrow, females, especially the privileged, highly educated ones who make up the feminist ranks, would still face a world of unprecedented, boundless opportunity.

Women “face harassment every day,” a double global-studies and feminist-studies major told the New York Times. (“Global studies” appears to be a previously overlooked arena of left-wing academic propaganda, joining postcolonial studies and other concocted fields.) This portrait of a public realm filled with leering, grasping men may have described 1950s Italy and perhaps some Latin American countries today, but it bears no resemblance to contemporary America. Construction workers have largely been tamed. Groping on subways is thankfully rare — and it is committed by perverts. No one condones such behavior. It is on the very margins of our social lives, not at the center.

Rap music is the one cultural locus that may legitimately be described as misogynist, but of course, the academy and its orbiting feminists are assiduously silent about rap's portrayal of “ho's” and “bitches.”

A sociopath runs amok—and kills more men than women—and feminists ride their hobbyhorse.

Annoyance at male aggressiveness in trying to pick up females figured prominently on feminist websites and Twitter feeds in the wake of the Santa Barbara slaughter. Such behavior is a far cry from murder. To be sure, some males can be remarkably clueless when it comes to today's debased version of courtship — groundlessly confident in their nonexistent charms, blindly unwilling to read signs of indifference or repulsion, devoid of any nuance of approach. The feminist assault on chivalry and feminine modesty and the insistence that males and females go mano a mano on the sexual battlefield only exacerbate such boorishness. Here's a suggestion to offended females: Laugh off such crude manifestations of the unconstrained male sex drive, then put them in perspective. Go to Afghanistan, India, or Nigeria if you want to combat sexual inequality. But don't pretend that as a gender-studies student in the academic hothouse, you are a brave victim fighting against your own oppression and that of the American sisterhood.

As for the hoary claim that men treat women as sex objects (female students around UC Santa Barbara hear jokes about “what physical features make a woman desirable,” reports an alarmed New York Times), I'll feel the injustice of that when I see women trade their stiletto heels and tight skirts for sober business suits that reveal as little of their skin and shape as a man's suit. This month's Bazaar magazine promises “younger looking eyes,” forswearing for once the usually routine tips about butts and thighs as well. InStyle offers “10 ways to wake up gorgeous.” The gazillion-dollar cosmetics industry is a testament to women's drive to make themselves sexually appealing. Is all this marketing a patriarchal conspiracy to keep women down? No one is forcing women to buy fake eyelashes and push-up bras, unless you believe that women are so feeble-minded that they have been brainwashed against their will into wanting to attract men sexually.

Rodger's pathetically grandiose final video bespeaks an entitlement mentality, more than a misogynist one. He believes himself entitled to whatever he wishes for — in this case, college sex — and licensed to kill because he hasn't gotten what he wants. The first half of that belief is not so unusual in our instant-gratification culture; the second half, pure sociopathy. But that sociopathy tells you nothing about the condition of women today. Do other college-age males feel themselves entitled to sex? When campus administrators hand out tips for better orgasms and on the use of sex toys, it would not be surprising if they did. And the pro-promiscuity feminists have been behind that campus sex-promotion crusade 100 percent. Rodger's claim that “college is a time when everyone experiences sex, fun, and pleasure” (learning is strictly accidental) is not far from the official truth.

Expect Rodger's massacre to figure prominently in the Obama administration's ongoing crusade against the phantom campus-rape epidemic. Needless to say, it will end up in every gender-studies classroom in the country as well. By all means, let us try to “end violence against women,” as the feminists say. But unless those feminists intend to fully resurrect the Victorian understanding of women as deserving special solicitude by virtue of their maternal calling and delicate sensibilities, we should also be trying to end violence against men. And when it comes to mass slaughter, the best hope for doing both is by treating mental illness, not by railing against the imaginary patriarchy.

Original Source:



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