Less than 24 hours after an apparent white supremacist murdered nine black churchgoers in cold blood during a prayer meeting in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, one prominent MRA is trying to put the blame on feminism, because of a remark the killer reportedly made about rape.
One of the survivors of the church killings reported that, before he began shooting, the killer told those in the prayer group that “you rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”
Dylann Storm Roof, the accused killer, wore his racism on his sleeve, almost literally: a former classmate tells the press that Roof “made a lot of racist jokes”; his license plate featured the Confederate flag; his Facebook profile picture shows him in a jacket with patches representing the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa.
But Dean Esmay, the second-in-command at A Voice for Men, probably the most influential Men’s Rights site, thinks that Roof’s killing spree may be the result of too much feminism. Earlier today, he posted a link to an article on the shooting to the Men’s Rights subreddit with this headline:
To their credit, the Men’s Rights subreddit regulars voted his comment down; one told him “[n]ot everything is about us, man. This is distasteful.”
Two hours later, apparently undaunted by the criticism and oblivious to irony, Esmay returned to the Men’s Rights subreddit to make another accusation:
No one has declared the shooter to be an MRA. The little we know about Roof right now suggests that he was a garden-variety old-school racist. The paranoid notion of black men raping “our” white women is one of the oldest racist tropes out there; as Jessica Valenti noted on Twitter, Roof’s language is “the language of white supremacist patriarchy.”
The alleged threat to “our women” was used for generations as an excuse to lynch black men and terrorize the black community as a whole. In the case of Roof’s shootings, it’s an even more transparent ruse. As Rebecca Carroll notes in The Guardian, it’s hard to argue that these killings had anything to do with real fears or even paranoid fantasies about the rape of white women when most of the victims were not black men — the symbolic “rapists” in the equation — but black women:
There is something inconsistent with the Charleston shooter’s alleged evocation of the historical myth of black man as beast and rapist of white women, and the fact that he killed mostly black women. Did he only shoot black women because there were no more black men to kill? Because black women birth, care for and love black men? Or because he didn’t see black women as women at all …
The idea that white women’s bodies represent that which is inviolable while black women’s are disposable hasn’t changed enough since it was first articulated by white men; but again, aimed at black men on Wednesday night, it was predominately black women who suffered by their invocation.
We will find out more about Root’s twisted beliefs in days to come. But it is clear already that they had nothing whatsoever to do with feminism.
H/T — r/againstmensrights
EDIT: I’m making this a NO TROLL, no-derailing-with-idiotic-MRA-or-incel-talking-points thread.