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National Review writer: Men and “husky” boys could have prevented the Newtown school shootings

Apparently Charlotte Allen thinks all janitors look like this.
Apparently Charlotte Allen thinks all janitors look like this.

It’s always a little distressing to see manosphere-style dumbassery outside the manosphere. Today’s offender: Charlotte Allen at National Review Online, explaining how the deaths in Newtown are the result of the school’s “feminized setting.” Had the school been filled with manly men (and manly boys), Adam Lanza could have been stopped in his tracks!

No, really, that’s what she says. Except that what she wrote is somehow even more egregious than my sarcastic summary. Read for yourself:

There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K–6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees.

As everyone knows, janitors with buckets can easily overwhelm adult males firing semiautomatic rifles. That’s why most armies in the world have given up guns, are stocking up on buckets, and have started massive recruiting drives aimed at janitors.

(In fact, there was a male custodian on duty, who (according to one witness) warned students and teachers of the gunman, probably saving lives in the process. It does not appear that any buckets were thrown.)

Oh, Allen gives the women at the school some grudging credit for confronting Lanza and saving lives.

The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms.

But they were ladies, and ladies just aren’t made to be heroes.

[I]n general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.

I’m pretty sure that if this had happened they would have been gunned down, and there would be a couple of  former high school football stars and “some of the huskier 12-year-old boys” added to the list of victims. Not even the “huskiest” 12-year-old is any match for a man with a semiautomatic rifle. [EDITED TO ADD: Also, if there were any 12-year-olds on the scene they would have had to have have flunked several years, as the school only goes up to the fourth grade, as several commenters here have pointed out.]

People, even unarmed people, need to fight back against criminals — because usually, no one else will. It took the police 20 minutes to arrive at Sandy Hook.

According to this timeline, a police SWAT team was there ten minutes after the shooting started.

By the time they got there, it was over. Cops and everybody else encourage civilians not to try to defend themselves when they are criminally assaulted. This is stupid advice. There are things you can do. Run is one of them, because most shooters can’t hit a moving target. The other, if you are in a confined space, is throw things at the killer, or try a tackle.

Many students, with the help of teachers, saved themselves by hiding. Some of the students in one classroom tried to run, and were gunned down. Their classmates who stayed hidden survived.

Remember United Flight 93 on 9/11. It was a “flight of heroes” because a bunch of guys on that plane did what they could with what they had. They probably prevented the destruction of the White House or the Capitol.

The hijackers weren’t carrying semiautomatic rifles. And the heroes literally had nothing to lose by attacking them.

Parents of sick children need to be realistic about them. I know at least two sets of fine and devoted parents who have had the misfortune to raise sons who were troubled for genetic reasons beyond anyone’s control. Either of those boys could have been an Adam Lanza. You simply can’t give a non-working, non-school-enrolled 20-year-old man free range of your home, much less your cache of weapons. You have to set boundaries. You have to say, “You can’t live here anymore — you’re an adult, and it’s time for you to be a man. We’ll give you all the support you need, but we won’t be enablers.” Unfortunately, the idea of being an “adult” and a “man” once one has reached physical maturity seems to have faded out of our coddling culture.

Really? Very few mass killers have lived at home with their mothers, but somehow being “adult” and “men” didn’t stop them from killing. It’s good that Allen, without actually knowing any of the details of Adam Lanza’s apparent “sickness” (because at this point none of us do) is able to tell us what would have been best for him.


291 replies on “National Review writer: Men and “husky” boys could have prevented the Newtown school shootings”

Because if she’d received less child support, thus meaning that the shooter would have been less well off too, that would have made him less likely to go kill a bunch of kids?

What the fuck does the parents divorce settlement and child support payments have to do with anything? I really feel sorry for survivng family members, who are going to have the media exposing every detail of their lives for however long they want.

Perhaps a law preventing the media from doing this shit? Give the family time to grieve?

Since it hasn’t come up, there is a very good reason most teachers are women: women were originally recruited because they could be paid less. Less pay and more women led to less prestige, which led to less pay and more women, etc. If the writer really wants more men in schools, she’d better support paying teachers more as it is the only way to recruit men back into teaching.

I have plans to turn my hair blue and purple on the weekend. The bleaching it first part is a bit scary.

The bleaching part is why my hair is no longer magenta or purple. I love super bright hair colors, but bleaching my hair makes it very unhappy.

It’s hair colouring day for me tomorrow. My hair grows so fast – about a centimetre a month.

The funny part is that my hairdresser is more worried about Mr K’s opinion of her work than mine, and is permanently put out because she’s never seen him! 😀

emilygoddess — respectfully, I’d like to nominate freitag’s “old fashioned cat” for “best cat icon” (Doctor Who = I’m entirely biased here)

Yeah, an actual blue is pretty hard to get with hair dye; currently, I have teal and purple (with some random bits of navy blue that’s apparently the result of combining blue and purple dye) but it fades to this wierd green and pink 😀

Manic Panic blues should come out blue if you bleach first…I did not and got a nice raven black, it worked for me.

@Argenti (may I call you that?), I agree that Frietag’s “Old Fashioned Cat” icon is also a great combination of cats and nerdery. But I’ve been a fan of Red Dwarf!Cat for a very long time.

(I’ve been meaning to change my avatar to a cat. I finally thought of another nerdy cat character! *bandwagons*)

My bestie/ex uses Manic Panic Atomic Turquoise to very good result when it comes to blue hair. Of course, she has a stylist who is VERY good at bleaching.

Just FYI – for those who worry about the actual dye damaging their hair (rather than just the bleaching), there are some super high-end organic dyes now in cool colors. My salon offers bright pinks, blues, and purples in the same organic dye range as the more traditional colors. For lighter hair they might work decently well by themselves (those dyes can take my almost black hair to a reddish-brown color with no bleaching, for example), but for a really bright color you’d still need to bleach first if your hair is dark.

“@Argenti (may I call you that?)” — go ahead 🙂

As for cat avatars, opinions will vary of course. And I think you confused gravatar, if you hover over your random block one, it displays some drawn dude with an eye patch, which is not what you were using earlier, or a cat (I’d say to try setting you avatar again, since clearly it’s being wonky)

The drawn eyepatch dude is the new icon I was trying to use (I guess you’re not a Discworld fan?). I have no idea why it’s now showing an auto-generated one. Right after I commented it was still showing my old avatar.

“I guess you’re not a Discworld fan?” — no, sorry, but he’s there now, so what gravatar’s problem is it seems to have gotten over itself.

Pratchett definitely loves cats because of their essential cat-ness. As opposed to someone like Meller who liked cats in theory but the way he talked about them made me wonder if he’d ever met an actual, real-life cat.

Yes, he’s not fit to be around any animals – our species or any other.

Speaking of kittehs, I’ve got to take Fribs to the vet shortly for yet another blood test. I told our general manager the other day to just make my Christmas bonus payable to my vet …

Maybe Meller was actually the subject of some sort of horribly unethical psych experiment and he was raised inside a bubble with only Victorian dolls and Gor novels as a guide to what the outside world looked like. It would explain why he finds real life so confusing and upsetting.

But then those men would be more examples of male disposability and that’s the LAST thing we need!

I thought I’d seen ridiculous with the theories my brother’s gf has been throwing around on fb, but this might top them. She bragged about the paper she was about to wow her sexually-harassing teacher with-guy who is giving her A’s because she flirts with him-about how metal detectors are the solution to school shootings… because someone with an automatic rifle and a determination to kill tons of people wouldn’t just blow through the metal detector station. Oh my. I love reading the thoughts of people who think they know everything and have the solutions for problems they can’t even comprehend.

I’m reading through all these comments and trying to figure out what Diogenes is trying to get people to admit here. That this would be a better world if kids weren’t abused? Well of course that would be better. But like, don’t you think if we had a way to ensure that kids weren’t abused we would’ve come up with it by now? His major flaw in logic is assuming that all people react to the same stimulus in the same way. If that were the case, every person would be exactly the same, have the same tastes, etc. There are so many variables in each person that it would be foolish to assume that any one method of child rearing is the RIGHT method. It’s not all nature, it’s not all nurture, and who knows what percentage each aspect plays from person to person? And even if the parents provide the best of home lives, some outsider (peer, teacher, neighbor, relative, stranger) can do something that completely ruins a person. Or someone could suffer severe head trauma or get a tumor that changes their personality entirely. You can’t bank on anyone ever turning out perfect. The best you can do is pay attention to how a kid is responding to things and try to tailor your parenting to what works for them. EVEN THEN you can’t guarantee success.

I think Diogenes’ main aim is to get us all to say what a genius he is and how misled and foolish we all are. He’ll shift goalposts, ignore facts, defend the indefensible and talk shit generally, all for that purpose. Oh, and fail to grasp that it doesn’t work however often he tries.

“You simply can’t give a non-working, non-school-enrolled 20-year-old man free range of your home, much less your cache of weapons. You have to set boundaries.”

Yeah, damn those “free range” teenagers. Why, he’ll shoot you the morning of his 20th birthday unless you make him present his pay stub or class schedule; I guess it’s like an immunization certificate.

OH, wait, I forgot–it’s the magical testosterone vapors from a More Dominant Male that prevent that. My mistake.

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