You make me sick. You, Washington Post. And you, The Guardian. There are too many media sites to name that are working overtime to sensationalize the tragedy in Santa Barbara as a “misogynistic” rampage.
Elliot Rodger was mentally ill; it’s as simple as that. Anything or anyone he hated was secondary to, and a consequence of, the primary issue of mental illness. All the relentless chatter and moral outrage at what took place is an insult and an affront to both women and people with mental illness.
You want to draw attention to misogyny in our society? You want to start a movement to end the discriminatory way that women are viewed and treated? Good for you. But to use this horrible event as the catalyst for that is insulting. If you want to change the way women are treated in our society, then why not address the fact that women still earn less than men in comparable professional positions? Or how about taking a good, long look at how women’s reproductive rights continue to serve as a political pawn by male (and some female) politicians? Or hey, how about the way women are portrayed in advertising? No? Is that too REAL for you? Too…pedestrian?
But NOW you want to talk about women’s rights and dignity? Now? A mentally ill man has to go on a shooting spree for some of the media outposts to decide that misogyny was newsworthy?
Here’s a newsflash for YOU: misogyny has been going on for a long, long time. Fuck you for taking this horrendous nightmare and turning it into a self-serving, opportunistic media circle jerk. Thanks for trivializing the real challenges that women face and hanging the issue neatly on the door of this man whose issues were much, much bigger than just hating women.
Why not talk about the shortage of quality, intensive mental health services in this country? Wait, you’re not going to insult people further by spouting off the uninformed drivel about there being plenty of mental health services out there, are you? I have many, many friends that could enlighten you about that myth. They are people trying desperately to raise children with mental illness, and they have been left to fend for themselves time and time again.
No, you guys went for the easy approach, the low-hanging fruit. Murder! Death! A tragedy against women! A trail of blood and a manifesto, the son of wealthy parents, privileged!
Real journalism would look somewhat different. It might reflect on society’s misplaced values in the way we treat (or don’t) our population of mentally ill, disabled, and elderly people. Real journalism might explore the great American secret, that we simply do not value the lives of the mentally ill, disabled, and elderly as much as we do the lives of others. If we truly did, there would be as many comprehensive mental health facilities as there are botox clinics.
We simply do not value human life as equal among all people. If you are flawed, you have less value.
Thanks, but I don’t want your salacious headlines about misogyny simply because it’s a convenient time to bring it up and catch a ride on the media circus train. You want to impress me with your heartfelt embrace of women as equals? Then show me the money and keep your laws off my ovaries.
In the meantime, at least Time got it right.