By: Justin Cook
I’m sure you all have heard: on May 23, 2014, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed seven people, including himself, and injured thirteen more. The attacks occurred near the campus of University of California Santa Barbara, and resulted in four different crime scenes. He began by stabbing his male roommates, shooting three women outside a sorority, then preceded to drive around town, firing at random pedestrians. Rodger’s motives were clearly articulated in his now widely circulated manifesto, My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger. This manifesto documents his history of disturbed thinking, on matters such as sex, women, identity, money, power and self-worth, and reads as a chilling narrative of our deeply disturbed culture.
Misogyny plays a large role in Rodger’s disturbed worldview; this killing spree is an extreme manifestation of what happens daily to women in America. Violence against women is not a myth. Violence against women is not part of some “liberal agenda.” Violence against women is something we can no longer ignore—it is a reality faced by over half this country’s population that is leading to the degradation of our culture. We can no longer live in a world where our mothers, sisters, and daughters walk the street, plagued with fear, unsure if danger lurks around the corner. Women are the givers of life and should be respected accordingly, not reduced to oversexualized images of flesh that men are “entitled” to.