Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What About the Menz?

[Content note: Gun violence]

On the recent mass murder in Connecticut, committed by yet another man, Melissa McEwan of Shakesville observes:
"There is one other subject that is off the discussion menu—and that is the fact that mass killings are committed by men almost exclusively. Of the 62 mass murders carried out with firearms across the US since 1982, 61 of them were committed by men. Forty-four of the killers were white men.

Every one of the men who picked up a gun—or multiple guns—and started shooting people was socialized in a patriarchal culture that encourages an aggressive masculinity one of the key expressions of which is meant to be violence.

That is not incidental. And you can bet your ass that if there was an epidemic of mass slaughters committed by women, their gender would be mentioned. How we raise girls would be examined. It would be talked about. Womanhood would be on the discussion menu."
I wonder if those who have created websites, blogs, and forums to discuss "men's rights" and "men's issues" are pondering these numbers and the media's general unwillingness to mention the elephant in the room here.

That so many so-called men's rights activists instead spend the bulk of their time bashing feminism and women, rather than thoughtfully exploring our culture's reinforcement of aggressive masculinity, is a further symptom of how this culture entitles men to be aggressive and consistently fails to demand any serious changes in behavior.

Here we have yet another unfortunate chance for those with influential voices, both within the "manosphere" and in the mainstream, to ask, Seriously, What About the Men? and the primary conversation topics people seem to want to instead talk about are putting "god" back in schools, giving teachers guns, and complaining about the irrelevant Westboro Baptist Church.

If it is "just" feminists noting the demographics of these murders, it is easy to dismiss the analyses as "misandry." After all, that's the alleged defining feature of feminism, isn't it?  Even though, if it were any other demographic group committing such heinous crimes, those demographics would not only be widely discussed but also put forth as a defining feature of the demographic group.

And, to be clear, I am not saying or implying that killing people is a defining feature of white men. Most white men don't kill people. I'm just making another observation wherein white men largely are demographically "invisible" as the norm and, as such, get to be seen as individuals.

Society, this message tells us, doesn't have an Angry White Male problem, we have lone, "insane" individuals.

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