Nearly Every Mass Killer Is A Man. We Should All Be Talking More About That. by Gary Younge
Disclaimer to fellow conservatives or other non-liberals who may be reading this post:
Toxic Masculinity does not mean that masculinity is toxic, that all men are toxic, or that all men are abusive
After the Toronto attack, there should be a debate about toxic masculinity, and the issues of identity and rage that turn so many men towards violence
…There will be, though, no appeals for moderate men to denounce toxic masculinity, no extra surveillance where men congregate, no government-sponsored schemes to promote moderate manhood, or travel bans for men.
Indeed, the one thing that is consistently true for such incidents, whether they are classified as terrorist or not, will for the most part go unremarked. Obviously not all men are killers.
But the fact that virtually all mass killers are men should, at the very least, give pause for thought. If it were women slaying people at this rate, feminism would be in the dock. The fact they are male is both accepted and expected. Boys will be boys; mass murderers will be men.
This week’s atrocity in Toronto, where Alek Minassian stands accused of killing 10 and wounding 14, gives us yet another chance to reflect on the destructive capacity of masculinity – not least because it may have been the principal motive for this attack.
Minassian is not known to have any strong religious affiliations. But according to his Facebook feed, he identified with devotees of “incel” (short for “involuntarily celibate”), which is for straight men who “can’t have sex despite wanting to” and splits the world into Stacys (attractive women who won’t sleep with them) and Chads (men who are sexually successful).
…With tens of thousands visiting their message boards, incel is hardly marginal – though arguably too amorphous and incoherent to dignify with the term movement. It is debatable how widespread the cult of Rodger [an incel] might be. But the issues of misogyny and inadequacy that drive men to it characterise a far broader and deeper problem that helps to explain male violence.
On the one hand, there is the hatred of women, born for the most part from a sense of entitlement.
These men do not just resent the fact that they can’t get a girlfriend.
They feel women are denying them the sex that is rightfully theirs. They belong to broadly the same demographic as the Gamergate movement earlier this decade, in which male gamers systematically harassed female game developers and media critics, subjecting them to rape and death threats, and publishing details of their personal lives online.
…On the other hand, there is a deep sense of grievance. While most people avoid association with failure, these men are attracted to it. Their inadequacy is central both to their identity and their rage. They are not the men they want or need to be; they do not have the status they feel was their birthright. This is the fault of others and somebody, anybody, must therefore pay.
…While the desire to dominate and the embrace of failure may appear contradictory, they are in fact part of the same pathology.
The rage stems from the fact that the very thing they feel entitled to – women’s bodies, women’s lives, women’s obeisance – is not available to them. They hate the thing they cannot have. And of course they hate themselves for their inability to get it.
If ever there was an illustration of how a system of patriarchy demeans and depletes us all, this is it.
Unable to take advantage of the male privileges they believe they are owed, they feel inadequate and grow resentful, and a handful become violent.
Often awkward, shy and unconfident, they cannot meet the standards of machismo that patriarchy demands.
They think feminism will destroy them. But in fact it is their greatest chance of liberation, since the less women are forced to conform to preconceived notions of femininity, the more space there is within masculinity for them to be themselves. As such, they are not only the perpetrators of misogyny but the products and, ultimately, the victims of it.