This is a really well put together post about the links between (toxic) masculinity and mass killings in the US. I didn’t know before reading it that most victims of mass killings are women. I did know that the gunmen often cite “problems with women” (read: they won’t go to bed with them) as some sort of motivation for their actions. It’s bizarre, then, that these reasons are often ignored and replaced with concerns around “mental health”. Also, note the new construct (to me) of “beta male”, that downtrodden, un-sexed man who thinks the world, and women in particular, owe him a favour.
You’re right to be scared of that.
[…] The term “beta male” succinctly captures certain attitudes about gender, hierarchy and sex. Whether role playing or not, as one redditor put it, some people are taking the idea that there are betas and alpha males seriously and concluding that, “Since sexual freedom is rising and women today can choose with whom they want to have sex, a small minority of "alpha males” gets all girls while most betas are left in the dust. See this picture. After the betas have realized this, they’ll rise up and stop the feminist insanity that left them without pussy.“
However, many media outlets and analysts continue to treat information like this like an aside, or, when addressing the issue, actually feed it. Consider, for example, this headline: "Chris Mintz Defies The Age Of The Beta Male.” In the meantime, another young white man with a gun has wreaked havoc on a community and once again the media is fixated on a numbing conversation about guns and mental illness. These are important dimensions of this crisis, but they are insufficient ones. Without addressing the gender and race dimensions of male entitlement in the United States – and the role they play in the treatment of mental illness, gun culture and the targeting of victims – we will never tackle this problem in a meaningful way.
“So, it doesn’t require an explicit statement of misogyny to result in a explicitly disproportionate harm to women and children due to the violent expression of masculinity. There is, however, for the record, no shortage of explicit and public statements of hatred of women, in the U.S. and the rest of the world. Particularly in connection to women’s education and status.”
Consider schools, for example. Schools make up 10 percent of mass shooting sites in the US and are highly gendered targets of opportunity. They are places where educated women aggregate and compete with men as equals. According to one thorough analysis, women are twice as likely to die in school shootings. This year alone we have already had 45 school-based mass shootings.
But schools are not the only places. gyms, shopping malls, places of worship are also frequent targets, and are similarly places where women and girls are predictably present in greater numbers. Similarly, movie theaters provide opportunities for gunmen to express particular rage. When John Hauser, a man who had publicly repeatedly expressed misogynistic views in public, methodically mowed down 11 people in July at a theatre, the film they were watching was Trainwreck, a “chick flick” in dismissive parlance, one frequently discussed in terms of feminism. Workplace shootings also have a marked result: being killed while at work is the second most likely way for women to die in the workplace, after car accidents.
Lastly, there is, perhaps, no greater gendered target of opportunity than homes which, in terms of intimate partner violence, become Alpha male arenas. As Melissa Jeltsen wrote earlier this year, “The untold story of mass shootings in America is one of domestic violence." Fully 70 percent of mass shooting incidents occur in homes, but we don’t generally hear about them because these crimes are considered a matter of private, not public health. In August, for example, a man tracked down his ex-girlfriend, and executed her, her husband and six children. He was apparently angry that she had changed the locks on her doors. Headlines focused on the "incomprehensibility” of the crime and about “domestic disputes.”
Overall, according to a recent Huffington Post analysis, 64 percent of the victims of mass murders are women and children.
(Excerpt etc. first posted on. Orig. attribution above.)