A reflection upon us

Jackson Langford takes a look at the fuel to America’s latest university shooting.

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PHOTO: A shooting at a university campus in California, USA has left seven dead. Here students gather on campus for a vigil. 

Over the weekend, we were all alerted to the devastating news of yet another American university massacre. The prime suspect is Elliot Rodger, 22, son of Peter Rodger, a director who’s notable work includes The Hunger Games film franchise. The argument over why Rodger did what he did has gone beyond the usual gun control or mental illness debate. This one is rooted in straight up misogyny and is certainly a reflection of the patriarchal society we live in.

At the base of all of this is Rodger intended to “slaughter” an entire sorority house as punishment for girls not loving and or having sex with him. The false sense of entitlement Rodger felt holds a mirror up to some men in our society – they feel as if they are nice to a woman that woman needs to then reward them with sex or affection.

When you read it written like that, it sounds dumb that anyone would think that about women, but that is unfortunately the case. Just a quick newsflash: BEING A NICE PERSON DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY MEAN YOU SHOULD GET LAID. Being a nice person should be all you do, regardless of reward.

Women shouldn’t have to reward you for being nice to them, in the same way that your mates or family members shouldn’t have to reward you for being nice to them.

Of course, this goes both ways. In the sticky, smelly hell that is King Street Hotel, a week or so ago, a girl comes up to my mate and asks if he would kiss her friend. When my mate said “no,” the girl got the shits. Why do we think that being a nice person eventually has to result in sex, and why do men feel the need to guilt women into not going for “nice guys”?

Women are no different to men in the fact they have the autonomy and agency to make decisions for themselves, and suffer the consequence of those decisions. If a woman happens to date an asshole, then that is her issue. You shouldn’t shame her into dating a “nice guy” which is just your way to shame her into dating yourself.

Fun fact: if you guilt anyone into doing anything, but especially anything to do with romance/sex, you’re probably not as nice as you think you are.

Now, Rodger is on the extreme end of the spectrum here. Men aren’t brought up or socialised to think that murdering other people is okay, but men have been brought up to think that they are above everything and everyone else, which is where this sense of entitlement comes in.

Of course, not every man thinks this, and if you were to say that we as a society (AS A SOCIETY, NOT THE ACTIONS OF THIS ONE MURDERER) weren’t moving into becoming gradually more accepting and embracing a variety of equalities, then you’re a fool.

Sense of entitlement in any context is annoying as hell, but especially when it’s as false and misguided as this one. If you watched Rodger’s video of “retribution” where he specifically outlined his intentions of how the massacre would pan out, he said that women, and humanity, will receive their punishment, which he perceived as fair, because apparently the whole world has to suffer for the fact that this guy was a virgin at 22. If that doesn’t strike you as a catalyst for societal change, then I’m not sure what will. Our generation is often dubbed the generation of entitlement; why don’t we disprove that?

Regardless of all of this, the crux, and the most important part, of this horrific event is that people died.

People died at the hands of someone who had a twisted view of the world. Despite why he may have done what he did or what led to the massacre, it is a tragedy.

Please don’t discount the fact that men were victims in this event to pursue the argument of misogyny, and please don’t make stupid comments like “that’s what women get for not going for nice guys”. Instead, send your thoughts/prayers/whatever out to the families of the victims, and the family of Rodger himself.

Those parents didn’t raise their son to be a killer, and that stigma is going to follow them around for the rest of their life. But perhaps, next time a lady rejects your advances; don’t take it out on her. She’s allowed to not like you if she wants to.

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