Misogyny. It’s stamped all over the shootings near Santa Barbara this past weekend, what led up to them, and some of the reactions to the violence. I spent the weekend camping in a state park and separated from my laptop, so this is my first chance to blog about what happened. In that time, much has already been written and is worth a read.
- How ‘Pick-Up Artist’ Philosophy and Its More Misogynist Backlash Shaped Mind of Alleged Killer Elliot Rodger
- What Elliot Rodger Said About Women Reveals Why We Need to Stamp Out MisogynyList
- Let’s call the Isla Vista killings what they were: misogynist extremism
I wasn’t completely off the grid while camping– I had my iPhone with me, so I was scanning the #YesAllWomen Twitter discussions which resulted from the shootings, the misogyny, and the general fear many women feel on a regular basis. And I contributed my own tweet on Sunday morning after I went for a jog along the main road through the camp: “Because I run on the roads not the trails because it feels safer #YesAllWomen.”
The #YesAllWomen hashtag has been trending for days and it is still going strong. One of the tweets has stuck with me. It was posted by @SophieT_UK.
Exactly. We have a media culture that treats women as objects first, people second. A culture where it is considered normal to feature imagery of dead women in advertising and promotions, where a song about “blurred lines” (there are none) tops the chart, where there is such a thing as rape jokes – even though there is nothing funny about rape, where rape anthems are performed during primetime awards shows.
To be clear, the shooter is responsible for the deaths in California this past weekend. And extreme misogynist groups and attitudes fueled his hatred. But I am stuck on the tweet above because collectively the media contributes to a society that is desensitized to treating girls and women as objects to be had, not as real people. And while mass shootings don’t happen every day, we are all bombarded by hateful imagery every day. And that is not only a very difficult environment in which to grow up in if you’re a girl, or to raise a daughter, but also to grow up in of you’re a boy, or in which to raise a son.
I don’t blame the media for what happened in Santa Barbara. But since I am unable to help the victims, what happened reignites my passion to stop sexist, harmful and hateful media and marketing. I will use my words, my influence, and most importantly my wallet, to send a message that these misogynist, mainstream messages are not okay. #YesAllWomen is a powerful and important discussion, and it’s a discussion we need to work toward ending.