One scene from the movie involves Melvin, in full rotten crabapple mode, getting cornered by an overenthusiastic receptionist who loves his books. “How do you write women so well?” she gushes, eyes wide and dewy. “I think of a man,” Melvin replies, his tone flat, “and I take away reason and accountability.” While somewhat amusing, Melvin’s sentiments are certainly not very nice. Unfortunately, were he a real person, and if he spent significant time on the Internet, his bias might have been confirmed this weekend, when feminist Twitter activists misspent at least three days hijacking a mass murder to boost their self-esteem. On Friday, tragic news broke out of Isla Vista, California: a crazed Santa Barbara City College student, despairing of his lack of success with the ladies—“Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men but never to me”—apparently decided to go on a shooting spree. He allegedly ended up stabbing his three roommates (all men), shooting two young women outside of a sorority house, and killing another young man in a convenience store before shooting himself in his shiny black BMW coupe…And that’s when an odd thing happened. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “hours after a shooting rampage in this coastal college town that the alleged gunman said was ‘retribution’ against women who’d rejected him, a woman launched a conversation on Twitter about what it’s like to feel vulnerable to violence. ‘As soon as I reached my teens, I didn’t feel comfortable being outside in the evening on my own street,’ the woman wrote in one of her first posts under a Twitter hashtag called #YesAllWomen.” #YesAllWomen immediately caught fire. Hundreds of thousands of tweets later, the hashtag emerged as the top trend on Twitter, dominating the Memorial Day weekend. Women from all over the world joined in. “It’s probably one of the most important tags on Twitter yet,” declared Cosmopolitan…Time, NBC News, and the Los Angeles Times all took approving note. Some of the #YesAllWomen tweets offer harrowing tales of sexual assault. The vast majority, however, seem, well, less than empirical: “I know that not all men threaten women, but that all women have been threatened by men.” (Really? How do you know?) “Imagine the creative energy we would release if half of humanity didn’t have to devote so much time in fear of the other half.” (Yes! Then they could spend more time writing things on Twitter.)…Don’t worry, it gets much more ridiculous. Other #YesAllWomen complaints—and please, keep in mind that this is in response to a killing spree—include the following: “Here’s to never hearing a dude tell a woman to ‘smile’ ever again”; “If I don’t feign an interest in what the too-friendly grocery clerk is telling me, everyone in line will judge me”; and, my personal favorite: “When I asked for Happy Meal and didn’t specify a gender, they gave me ‘boy’ toys. Male is the default.”…There are a few awful tales of abuse, stalking, or rape, but the vast majority of tweeters basically complain about obnoxious bosses, horrible boyfriends that no person in their right mind should go out with in the first place, or some random dude wolf-whistling at them on their way into their entry-level analyst job at Goldman Sachs. In fact, if your only experience with feminism was the #YesAllWomen Twitter extravaganza, you might become convinced that the greatest concern of America’s female population is the right to be studiously ignored while wearing hot pink pleather hot pants to that entry-level analyst job at Goldman Sachs…Let’s make no mistake—sexual assault is a serious problem. The sad reality is that women have to take more safety precautions than men. But #YesAllWomen, when it comes down to it, isn’t even remotely about sexual assault. It’s not about feminism or empowerment, or practical solutions to crime (like, say, concealed carry laws), and it certainly has nothing to do with a deranged college student killing six people. It’s about taking a tragedy and turning it into “I Want To Talk About Me.”…Why, in our age of unprecedented plenty—and, at least in America, unprecedented power for women—is victimhood so appealing to so many? When complete strangers were murdered on the West Coast, why do hundreds of thousands of people, healthy in body if not in mind, enthusiastically latch on, insisting that they were victims too?
A madman killed people but, yes, it’s all about you, isn’t it? Slate writer Phil Plait – who should stick to his usual topic, astronomy – penned this ridiculous piece (which comes with a “trigger warning” because of course it does) which quickly turned into an essay about (you guessed it!) HIM and how guilty he feels about his white “privilege.” Phil is also on board with the latest made-up, non-word, referring to himself as a “cisgender” male (a man who likes women). All the eye rolls.
As Rich Lowry notes in a piece at Politico:
There is no doubt that Rodger hated women. But who watches Rodger’s final video promising to wreak vengeance on his enemies and annihilate all of unworthy humanity like a god and thinks: You know what’s wrong with that guy? The sexism. If only he were cool with women, he would want to spare humanity from his wrath. Nonetheless, the hashtag #YesAllWomen got started as a rebuke to Rodger’s toxic attitude to women. It catalogued all that women suffer from sexism. I don’t doubt that it’s hurtful, to sample some of the #YesAllWomen tweets, to be a female shark biologist told that the public isn’t ready to see you on camera, or to go to a school where a visible bra strap violates the dress code but not a “Cool story, babe, now make me a sandwich” T-shirt doesn’t. It just has nothing to do with Elliot Rodger’s condition or his crime. The media has deemed the #YesAllWomen campaign “powerful.” It is, if you believe in the power of non-sequiturs to change the world.
Mollie Hemingway provides us with the “10 Most Asinine Things About #YesAllWomen”.
It’s one thing if you’ve actually been attacked. But to complain about men even looking at you (especially in the wake of an event WHERE PEOPLE DIED) is absurd. That’s how men are wired. They’re going to look. We’ve done a pretty fine job emasculating men as it is. If we do it anymore they’re not going to be able to even produce sperm for Christ’s sake.
Charles C.W. Cooke had an apt description of the hashtag: “a cabal of online performance artists who had not only taken the ramblingly misogynistic manifesto of a very sick young man at face value but had quickly employed it as a general cudgel against all men.” Apparently, I’m one of only a few women on Twitter who can manage to get groceries without being sexually harassed by every dude in the store. You know where you will get sexually harassed (or worse) by nearly every man you encounter if you’re not covered from literally head to toe? Egypt…and at least a dozen other countries. Not here. I often wonder how women around the world feel when they see stuff like this pathetic whining or when they see Britain fussing over whether the word ‘girl’ is offensive. That’s right. Whine, whine, whine, whine, whine. A woman in Pakistan was just stoned to death by her family for the “crime” of marrying the man she loves, but some construction worker whistled at you, American lady?!? OH MY GOD. Maybe you should write the women of Saudi Arabia, telling them of your plight. Or maybe complain to this girl, whose parents killed her with acid for looking at a boy. Yes, assault and rape happens here – bad people exist all over the place – but to act like we have a culture of misogyny in this country is just wrong. A culture of misogyny is the above: where fathers kill their daughters for looking at boys, where men sentence women to be raped instead of putting their rapist behind bars. Get real, Western women.
I just hope American men know we’re not all fragile little flowers who spend all our time bitching about a small percentage of the male sex. Some of us can handle the horrific indignity of being WHISTLED AT without curling up into the fucking fetal position or creating a whiny, self-serving hashtag on Twitter. Some of us have traveled the world and realize how good we have it compared to the vast majority of women on the planet, so we don’t spend our time whining about every little unwanted glance. But apparently, this is the state of “feminism” these days: relentlessly promote hook-up culture and then whine when some men look at women as mere sex objects; rave on about how strong women are and how they should be in combat roles in the military, then cry when some guy at a bar tells you that you’re hot.
As one Twitter user put it:
Kay Hymowitz has a good piece, also at The Federalist, “Letter from a Confused Feminist.” Here’s an excerpt:
I know feminism is supposed to be about equal rights for women. I’m pretty sure that would mean that men have no right to rape their wives or threaten female bloggers, and that women who want to should have the opportunity to become astronauts or the CEO of General Motors. If that’s what it is, then I say “Yay feminism!”…But I get the sense – and please correct me if I’m wrong – that feminists mean something more than that. Like maybe not just equality but precise, numerical equivalence: the same number of men and women CEO’s, fork operators, nannies, and systems analysts, the same number of diapers changed and dishes washed, the same pay for professional basketball players, the same number of bylines in the New York Times whether in the style section or the financial pages, the same price charged for a hair cut or a dry-cleaned shirt…Can someone be a feminist and believe there are reasons other than patriarchal social conditioning for some of these gender gaps? Like, to take one example, maybe women aren’t as interested in following pro basketball as men are?…I see #YesAllWomen, the twitter hashtag implying that a mass killer, whose murder victims included 4 men and 2 women, someone sick enough to be prescribed a powerful anti-psychotic drug, is evidence not of mental illness but that we live in a misogynistic society. Or I read that we live in a “rape culture” which I take to mean most people – men mostly – think rape is hunky dory, even though rape is illegal, decried, and at an all time low. Or that if you think working class boys and men are in a very bad way in the labor market and schools, that this will make them lousy husbands and fathers, thereby ensuring a new generation of struggling low income single mothers, you are perpetuating “a myth”. So my question is can you be bothered by male-disparaging language and the predicament of minority and working class males and still be a feminist?