The #YesAllWomen non sequitur

crime sceneHere’s what I don’t get.

I agree with much of the sentiment behind #YesAllWomen. I think all women, or darn close, are subject to sexual objectification and harassment. It’s common and often subtle enough that men don’t see it, and often women don’t really notice it either. We are subconsciously conditioned to expect it.

But what does this have to do with last week’s killings in Southern California? The killer took the lives of more men than women. He was filled with rage toward women, yes, but also rage toward his male roommates – in fact, he killed them with a knife, which (arguably) can be seen as a more personal act of violence than shooting someone. And he nurtured feelings of inferiority that translated into rage toward the world in general.

In the YouTube rant posted the day before his killing spree, he said, “Tomorrow is the day of retribution. The day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you.” This is not an issue of misogyny. This is an issue of mental illness and of evil.

How can women seize upon this dreadful slaughter to say, “It’s all about us! This guy hated women, and hey, men are bad to us!”? Are sane men not horrified by this crime as well? (If you cut them, do they not bleed? If you stab them, do they not die?)

The hijacking of this tragedy to serve another agenda is narcissistic, or at least misguided.

The families of the men slain in this rampage – how do they feel about #YesAllWomen? I can’t help but wonder what they think about this hue and cry, which has more to do with the evil that (some) men perpetrate against (many) women than the actual bloody deaths perpetrated against their sons and brothers.

There’s no lack of crimes that stem from objectification of women. If you want to tie an atrocity to #YesAllWomen, try these:

Two teenage girls in India were raped and killed after going into the fields to relieve themselves because there was no toilet in their home (warning: disturbing images) (Associated Press)

In Pakistan, 1,000 women die in ‘honor killings’ annually – including a pregnant woman whose family stoned her for her choice of husband (Washington Post)

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