Santa Barbara

Year 1, Month 6, Day 6

I was blissfully unaware of what had happened in Santa Barbara until this morning.

Normally, I pay close attention to news, and read several online versions of national papers daily. My excuse is it was a holiday weekend; I was looking forward to a birthday celebration for my two-year old nephew and a long weekend with Alex. (Yes…that is going very well…and I’ll fill you in on developments with him soon.

So when I fired up my laptop this morning, and started catching up on the news, I was horrified by what I was reading.

Any mass shooting is horrible. Obviously the perpetrator is ill and it is a sad statement on our society that we can purchase guns easier than we can get our loved ones help if they suffer from a mental illness.

But, one of my friends (a male, btw) posted this link to this blog and I wanted to share parts of it with you, Gentle Readers.

Elliot Rodger is the product of a society that teaches that women are evil and men are entitled

Women are raised to not talk to strangers on the street. This is for our own safety, because we know and our mothers know that the mere act of being a woman could make certain people want to harm us. We walk with our keys in our hands like weapons, we walk in circles, we avert our eyes.

Yet, we can’t make a trip to the grocery store without some douche canoe commenting on the state of our legs, breasts or ass. And when we complain about this, we don’t get understanding, we get told that we need to take a compliment. We get told that these brave men have been kind enough to take a moment out of their day to compliment us, and that we should be grateful.

Because while we are taught to fear for our safety, men are taught that they are owed our attention. They are taught that they are owed sex, and that the only thing standing in between them and sex is the woman herself, and how dare she.

This statement hit home with me…

Being a woman means that one of the worst crimes that can possibly be committed against you is often chalked up to a “he said-she said” situation. Being a woman means having to hear the words “cry rape” on a regular basis, despite the fact that statistics show that false rape reports are extremely rare. Only about 2% of rape reports end up being considered “unfounded”–and all that means is that they couldn’t gather enough evidence. Despite this statistic, you will pretty much never stop hearing about how women “cry rape” and are constantly accusing innocent men of rape for no other reason than that they’re evil bitches.

Being a woman means that people will feel frustrated with you for daring to think you should earn as much as a man. It means you have to see a bunch of men on TV wringing their hands and worrying about “women breadwinners.” It means that on Page Six last week, Richard Johnson was suggesting that the reason Jill Abramson was fired was that she passed over qualified men who were owed those jobs in order to hire unqualified women who were not, and no one is supposed to bat an eyelash.

Being a woman means being told–by another woman, no less–that you trying to argue for your own safety, that you even talking about rape culture or talking about what men can do to prevent rape is going to “ruin college” for the mens. Stop being a downer. Stop ruining all the fun, ladies.>/p>

Being a woman means growing up in a society in which your sexuality is perceived as a weapon. In which it is considered an act of violence.  We love believing in evil women, femme fatales, etc. We live in a society where 80% of the population believes that a woman, Eve, is responsible for the loss of paradise, the loss of a beautiful, perfect society where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. A woman is responsible for making the naked body a thing of shame. A woman who used her sexuality to corrupt the world. Whether we believe in it or not, this is our inheritance. Resentment is our inheritance. Is there any wonder there’s so much violence against us?

Being a woman means that if you aren’t interested in a man who is interested in you, he gets to think you’re a bitch. Think about that for a second–can you imagine a woman thinking a man is a jerk for daring to not like her back? Can you even fathom a woman saying “How dare he not be sexually attracted to me? I’ve been nice!” Would a man who rejected a woman be derided as “shallow?” No, because men are supposed to be shallow. It’s perfectly fine for a man to be shallow. No one would think less of a man for not being interested in a woman he wasn’t sexually attracted to, but it’s a sin for a woman to do the same.

Being a woman means that you have to hear you are a bad person for “friendzoning” a man who would prefer to be banging you. For daring to allow him to hang out with you and even listen to you without returning that favor with sex! We have to hear about how awful we are for “preferring jerks” to “nice guys,” because that is the conclusion men jump to when rejected. “It must be because she is a terrible person who only likes terrible people!” It’s no surprise that Elliot Rodger, a mass murderer, thought of himself as a “nice guy” and a true gentleman. Every woman on earth knows that the guys who complain about being “nice guys” or about being “friendzoned” are the real jerks.

Being a woman means that Elliot Rodger isn’t a surprise to you. Because you’ve met Elliot Rodger before, you’ve met his anger before, you’ve met his entitlement. You don’t have the luxury of being surprised by what he did, because you’ve been expecting it all along.

Elliot Rodger was the product of a culture that teaches male entitlement. Men are entitled to women, to sex, to jobs, to money–and if they don’t get them, then women are to blame. He felt entitled to all these things and was livid over not getting them. You don’t see women committing crimes like this because we are not taught to feel entitled to these things.

We need to stop teaching our sons that they are “entitled.”  Don’t let them get away with a” boys will be boys” attitude.  Teach them that a woman has the right to say “no” if she isn’t interested in them sexually.  And we need to teach our girls to stand up for themselves…to not be scared to tell a parent, a teacher, a minister if she is being sexually harassed, abused, or bullied.

Finally we need to teach all our children to be civil and respectful of others. To walk in others try to understand how others feel when they get picked on, laughed at, or made fun of.

I don’t want to hear more about innocent people being killed simply because they had the nerve to be in love, to be affectionate in public, to be WOMEN.

This shit has got to stop.


The Helpers

Day 110

My heart hurts for all today in Boston.  And, I’ll share this bit of wisdom from Mr. Rogers…

“When I was a boy anmrRogersd I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

I greatly admire all the people who ran toward the explosions to help others.

I admire the runners who changed their routes to the nearest hospitals to donate blood.

You are the helpers.

You give me hope that there is more good than evil in the world.

And, it makes me realize how small my problems are in comparison.

Thank God for the Helpers.