antifeminism Jared Loughner misogyny Uncategorized violence against men/women

>Is Jared Loughner a misogynist? Does anyone care?


We’ll probably never know exactly what toxic mixture of emotions and beliefs led Jared Loughner to gun down Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others, killing six; there is obviously a lot going on in that shaved head of his. But did misogyny play a role in his choice of target?

It’s an important question. But it’s one the media has by and large chosen to ignore, despite a number of clues that seem pretty clearly to confirm that Loughner, the attempted assassin of a female politician, held deeply misogynist views.

As I pointed out in a previous post, Loughner made seemingly misogynist comments online, as the Wall Street Journal noted, and investigators reportedly found the phrase “Die Bitch” scrawled in Loughner’s handwriting on a letter Giffords’ office sent to him. Now, buried near the end of a long profile of Loughner in the New York Times, we hear about the impression Loughner made on the employees of a local bank:

At a small local branch of a major bank, for example, the tellers would have their fingers on the alarm button whenever they saw him approaching.

It was not just his appearance — the pale shaved head and eyebrows — that unnerved them. It was also the aggressive, often sexist things that he said, including asserting that women should not be allowed to hold positions of power or authority.

One individual with knowledge of the situation said Mr. Loughner once got into a dispute with a female branch employee after she told him that a request of his would violate bank policy. He brusquely challenged the woman, telling her that she should not have any power.

“He was considered to be short-tempered and made people at the bank very uncomfortable,” said the individual, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Emphasis added.

If this report is true, and Loughner really feels that women should not be in positions of power, it’s hard to see how these beliefs could not have influenced his seeming obsession with a female politician, an obsession which ended in mass murder.

So why is this issue not at the center of discussion of Loughner’s actions? So far, only a handful of commenters, most notably Amanda Marcotte, have even taken up the issue. (For more on this, see Jezebel’s discussion of the misogyny discussion.)

In Slate, Tom Scocca notes the evidence suggesting that Loughner is a misogynist, and asks, quite reasonably:

Suppose the story said that Loughner “grew contemptuous of Jews” and went around “asserting that Jews should not be allowed to hold positions of power or authority,” even blurting anti-Semitic remarks to strangers. And then he went out and shot Giffords, a Jewish congressperson. Would his motives have seemed quite so incomprehensible? …

Yet as it is, there are only glancing and scattered references to Loughner’s burning hatred of the kind of person he would allegedly choose to try to assassinate.

As I’ve said before, misogyny has consequences. Unfortunately, too few in the media seem to want to even admit it’s part of the story.

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incel Jared Loughner men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny rape rapey sluts Uncategorized violence against men/women

>The Giffords shooting: Misogyny has consequences


Reason #1538 it’s not such a good idea to spend time online nursing your resentments towards the opposite sex because no one from that sex seems to want to have sex with you: Because that kind of, sort of, makes you a little bit like Jared Loughner.

The Wall Street Journal managed to track down what are apparently some comments Loughner made on a gaming site; they’re full of his usual conspiratorial nonsense (his lunatic theories on grammar and currency) but they’re also, as the Journal notes, “peppered with displays of misogyny.” One posting

titled “Why Rape,” … said women in college enjoyed being raped. “There are Rape victims that are under the influence of a substance. The drinking is leading them to rape. The loneliness will bring you to depression. Being alone for a very long time will inevitably lead you to rape.”

This is the dark side of the “incel” mindset. (That is, those who turn their “involuntarily celibate” state into an identity.)

Another time, the Journal reports, Loughner

started a thread titled “Talk, Talk, Talking about Rejection.” He solicited stories of rejection by the opposite sex. The next day he wrote, “Its funny…when..they say lets go on a date about 3 times..and they dont….go…” Three days later, he wrote, “Its funny when your 60 wondering……what happen at 21.”

There is other evidence that Loughner nursed anger towards and hatred of women and authority figures: he apparently scrawled the phrases “die bitch” and “die cops” on a letter he’d gotten from congresswoman Giffords.

As Amanda Marcotte points out, there are a lot of people out there who’ve responded with anger at the very notion “that misogyny might play a role in the choice of a young man to shoot a powerful woman in the head … .”

But the fact is that misogyny has consequences, and one of its most common and most predictable consequences is violence towards women. Misogyny plays a role, as Marcotte notes, even when the perpetrator of this violence is “crazy.”

What I’m seeing here is that Loughner, mental illness or no, completely absorbed society’s teachings about male entitlement and female sinfulness, that men have a right to have needs filled at women’s expense, and that women give up their rights to bodily autonomy if they do things deemed unladylike, like have sex or drink alcohol.

And just as those who spew hateful political rhetoric — filled with talk of guns and targets and “second amendment solutions” to political “problems” — shouldn’t be surprised when someone takes that rhetoric seriously, so those who spew misogyny online shouldn’t be surprised when someone acts on that misogyny and attacks a woman. As Marcotte puts it,

just because someone has a mental illness rarely means that he’s completely unaware of the world around him.  Loughner’s ability with a gun or his thoughts on rape didn’t spring fully formed from his brain, but are the product of an individual interacting with a specific environment.

Those who contribute to that toxic environment — whether they’re Sarah Palin talking about “reloading” or some random woman-hater talking gleefully online about bashing “bitches” — share in the responsibility when someone pulls a gun and shoots down a female politician he’s convinced himself is a “bitch.” 

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*Yes, that was a Bioshock reference.

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>Misogynists attack Daniel Hernandez for saving Gabrielle Giffords’ life


Daniel Hernandez

I made the mistake of posting my previous post about the failure of empathy in the reaction of many misogynists to the Arizona shootings without first stopping by The Spearhead. There, below a post lauding the heroism of Daniel Hernandez, the gay congressional intern who ran towards the gunshots to assist the fallen Giffords and literally save her life, I found some comments even stranger and more vile than the others I have quoted in my last post. Instead of lauding Hernandez’ lifesaving act of heroism, they attacked him for helping a woman.

One commenter calling himself Traveller put it this way:

The “hero” saved a female politician, Democrat, probably some sort of feminist getting affirmative action at stellar level, and following some sort of feminist agenda. That “hero” probably until that day went around breaking the legs of working men who hesitated to pay 99% of their income to a feminist government.

Lower down in the thread, Peter-Andrew:Nolan(c) went further, saying

When men STOP being stupid arseholes and STOP saving the lives of ‘women andchildren’ THEN the women might notice how much we do for them.

In some ways Hernandez is also a traitor to men. IF he had just stood by and let this woman bleed to death because he was ‘afraid that she might accuse him of sexual harassment for touching her when she was unconscious’ and then been willing to take the heat of the lies and hatred and bile that women would throw at him for doing so? THEN he would have contributed to remedying the situation. And we would have one less female politician passing hate legislation against men. A net GAIN for men. …

Hernandez did something akin to a Jew helping a Nazi SS officer who will gladly throw him into a gas chamber. How is this ‘heroic’?

A few comments down, anonous agreed that:

The best thing any man can do is NOT step up to the plate and act heroic, but simply shrug ones shoulders at a time of crisis and say, ‘not my problem’. Whilst walking off to the nearest strip joint.

Men coming to the aid (especially of women) only get demonized anyway (Titanic anyone?) and never get a given a break in feminazi countries like the us/uk/aus. …

When men start being indifferent to wimmin … will men be truly free.

On The Spearhead, readers can upvote comments they like and downvote those they don’t. All of these comments had multiple upvotes (the latter two getting a dozen or more each) and only a handful of downvotes. 

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*Yes, that was a Bioshock reference.

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>A failure of empathy: Misogynists respond to the Arizona shootings


One thing I am struck by again and again as I read the blogs and the message boards of the manosphere is how little basic human empathy I see there, towards women in general and towards feminists of both sexes. We see it in the routine references to women as “whores” and “cunts” and other terms that reduce them to their genitalia.

We see it in the profound lack of empathy for women injured or killed. You may recall my recent post about an MRA blog that basically celebrated the possible death of a missing Las Vegas dancer. The body of the murdered woman, Deborah Flores-Narvaez, has since been found. The news inspired a moderator of the Happy Bachelors Forum to start a topic entitled “Dirty skanky whore found dead.”

And of course we’ve seen similar reactions to the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six others. While many in the manosphere responded to the shootings like normal human beings (displaying honest shock and horror) and others responded like typical internet paranoids (wildly speculating on how this meant the government would take away all our rights), there were others who found ways to blame women for the shootings or to twist the issue into one of men’s putative oppression. On NiceGuy’s MGTOW Forum, one commenter found an ingenious way to blame women for the shooting:

He [was] probably dumped by a girl and that’s what started him on the road to crazy batshit loonery. I can’t think of any other factor that could more quickly drive a man to violence than women.

Others complained that the news coverage was slanted by evil feminism. From the MGTOW proboards forum:

it pisses me off when i see all this outrage on the news and from the public knowing that if it was a congressMAN who was shot, everyone would be wondering what he did to deserve it.

this really shows you how society values women over men. and she’s not even dead!

Over on NiceGuy’s MGTOW forum, one member complained that Giffords was getting most of the news coverage and that the six others who were murdered in the attack, most of whom were probably men, were being ignored:

This is yet another example of how Femerica values female lives more than male lives. In the eyes of most Americans, men are less human than women.

The male judge gets a mention because he is a lackey for the interests of the elite. Even though he is dead, since he is a male, his death is presented by the media as less of a tragedy than the non-lethal shooting of a female politician with a good chance for recovery.

The death of the young girl was portrayed as third in line in terms of level of tragedy. By American standards, it was a tragedy because she possessed a vagina, but since she was not grown enough to be a full-fledged feminazi, her death was less of a tragedy than the non-death of the female politician.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the four unnamed dead people were men. If they were men, they would be considered less human than the others. They are not even human enough for the media to investigate and name. Their death, by American standards, was a tragedy but less of a tragedy than the non-death of female politician.

This comment is jampacked with an assortment of bad assumptions. To correct the most obvious of them: Giffords has gotten most of the coverage because this was not a random murder, but an attempted political assassination. Gender has nothing to do with it. When people talk about the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, they rarely mention the three others who were also wounded that day. (Except for James Brady, and that’s because he has gone on to be an influential gun control advocate.)

The male judge has gotten a good deal of attention, but isn’t the main focus of the coverage because he was not the target of the assassination attempt. The girl has gotten attention because she was a child. The other victims were not named at first because authorities had not yet notified their next-of-kin. There were three men killed in the attacks, two women, and one girl.

Meanwhile, on this very blog, a regular antifeminist commenter who calls himself Random Brother has made clear that he doesn’t extend basic human sympathies to feminists. Asking whether or not Giffords is a feminist, he explains:

I want to know if she has spent her whole career passing laws that harm men. I want to know this before I commit any sympathy to her. If she was a great politician who tried hard to help her constituents, was fair and just then she has all of the sorrow in the world from me. …

If she was a typical politician, a bigot or a man hater, why should I care?

Setting aside for a moment the fact that there is precisely zero evidence that Giffords is any any way a “man hater”: Because she’s a human being?

Sadly, this failure of empathy isn’t confined to the manosphere, as Marianne Kirby notes on The Rotund:

Empathy is, in its simplest form, the ability to acknowledge the thoughts/reasoning/emotions of another person as valid. It is, so to speak, being able to see where they are coming from even if you do not agree. … Empathy is, I think, coming to the realization of our own humanity and the humanity of other people – we are all simply people. …

[W]hen politicians depend on hate and violent rhetoric to stir up their followers, no good can come of it. … It teaches them that these people who believe different things are “the enemy” – that they are a danger and must be eliminated.

Is it any wonder that some people reach a point where the literal elimination of those who are different becomes the end goal?

For a long time I labeled the MRA/MGTOW blogs I’ve put in my sidebar as my “Enemies List.” It was a partially tongue-in-cheek reference to Nixon’s famous “enemies list.” But many people took it literally, and some (even if they didn’t) worried that this kind of terminology could lead to precisely the sort of dehumanizing of the “enemy” I’ve been criticizing here. In the wake of the Arizona shootings, and after pondering several eloquent emails sent to me on the subject, I’ve decided to change my “Enemies List” to, well, a “Boob-roll.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines “boob” as “a stupid or foolish person; a dolt.” The people I write about may be — at least in my mind —  wrong, and foolish, and sometimes hateful assholes, but they are people.

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*Yes, that was a Bioshock reference.