The motive is misogyny: the Montreal Massacre and the Santa Barbara shooting

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      In December 6, 1989, a lone gunman entered an engineering classroom at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. Armed with a semi-automatic rifle, Marc Lépine ordered the men out of the room, leaving the women behind. Lépine began shooting. At the end of his massacre, 14 women were dead.

      Fast-forward to May 23, 2014. Elliot Rodger in Santa Barbara, California, killed six people in what he described as a “day of retribution” for years of supposed rejection by women. I believe these two attacks were carried out for the same reason: misogyny.

      In both cases, the media and the psychological community have attempted to label these men as disturbed individuals suffering from mental illness. Though Marc Lépine and Elliot Rodger may have been mentally ill, these men carried out these attacks because of their hatred for women.

      Marc Lépine sought out women attending École Polytechnique whom he believed were feminists. He also compiled a list of prominent women whom he planned to kill. These women represented a threat to Lépine’s position as a man. Lépine believed women were not entitled to basic autonomy. Lépine’s actions were influenced by mainstream sexism.

      Men have always denied women their autonomy. Since entering the workforce, women have always struggled for workplace equality. Rape crisis centres and transition houses have always responded to thousands of calls from women experiencing male violence. Canadian women have always struggled to experience the same liberties and freedoms as their male counterparts. Marc Lépine was a madman who executed 14 women; however, he was also a man who learned misogyny very well.

      The massacre carried out by Elliot Rodger in Santa Barbara is an extreme example of what happens when men are taught to feel entitled to women’s bodies. Rodger killed four men and two women because he wanted to punish the “sluts” who refused to have sex with him. In his manifesto, he commented, “How dare those girls give their love and sex to those other men and not me.”

      Rodger’s entitlement to women’s bodies is no different than the men who rape women or purchase women for sex. All of these acts and the massacre in Santa Barbara are based on a historical belief that men should have unlimited access to women’s bodies.

      Both serial murders were predetermined, women-targeted, and public. Both massacres were followed by conversations by mainstream media ignoring the inherent sexist nature of these crimes. Both massacres punished women for exercising their rights to education and to control their bodies.

      The only way to prevent future sexist violence is to end sexism and guarantee the safety and equality for all women.

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      Combat Wombat

      May 29, 2014 at 3:47pm

      Of course she does. I can tell you the actual reason though. Chronic, untreated mental illness and ready access to firearms. Even looking at Elliot's kill count he hated men (4 killed) more than women (2 killed). It's easier for feminists to paint this as "all men are potential rapey murder machines" because it fits their narrative.

      Alan Layton

      May 29, 2014 at 4:54pm

      "The only way to prevent future sexist violence is to end sexism and guarantee the safety and equality for all women."

      And how do you do that? What is the difference between crazed mass murderers who want to kill humans in general, or men, and crazed mass murderers who say they hate women totally or partially? I honestly don't see a difference between the killers. They all have a major grudge against society or at least the system(s) that made them feel inadequate.

      Women have made great strides since even as recent as the 1970's in gaining greater equality, in many ways. Has the level of misogyny decreased at the same time? By the logic of the concluding statement there should be a strong correlation.

      Truth Serum

      May 29, 2014 at 5:15pm

      This article is a typical example of how feminists hijack a crisis for their own political agenda.

      Fair-haired white people—and blonde white girls in particular—are “the enemy” and all should be killed—this is the core message of half-Chinese mass murderer Elliot Rodger’s online manifesto which is being deliberately suppressed by the controlled media.

      A copy of his so called manifesto can be viewed right here:

      In the document, the theme of his obsession with, and ultimately hatred of, white people and blonde girls in particular, is a dominating theme. The word “blonde” appears no less than 62 times in the 142 pages.

      In addition, his obsession with blonde girls, their unobtainability for himself, and his subsequent hatred of all white males and females, is the single most dominating theme of his “manifesto.”

      There is, therefore, no reason for the media to ignore it—except for their obvious desire to disguise the vicious anti-white racism which is the true motivation for the mass murder spree.

      Instead, the media (and Samantha Grey) has deliberately focused on his sexual obsession and his failure to interact with women in general, and has completely suppressed any mention of his overt racism and hatred of whites.


      May 29, 2014 at 7:12pm

      these comments are a trainwreck and a half.

      @Truth Serum

      May 30, 2014 at 3:12am

      At least two of the targeted victims are asians and one latino. Not sure how this supports your anti-white theory... Also, although only two female victims died, there are more that were wounded and survived. It's difficult to tell from the ratio of female/male victims who were his actual targets because he was randomly shooting at some point as the tried to escape the police, and fortunately stopped before he could do more damage. One thing that is sure from the evidence (youtube videos, manifesto) is that he did this, in part, because of his hatred of women. You cannot deny that. Why are there always some men on the defensive when we are talking about women's rights?

      A woman reader

      May 30, 2014 at 8:23am

      How can we not talk about the hatred of women when the killer clearly states that this was his motivation?
      Thank you Samanta Grey for writing this article and the Straight for publishing it. The comments are sad evidence to its necessity. I suggest that anybody who cares for women's thoughts and feelings about this issue will follow the twitter conversation #YesAllWomen


      May 30, 2014 at 10:22am

      The issue is phrases like: "Men have always denied women their autonomy." Are all men guilty of being mass murderers and oppressors because of the accident of birth? There is a need for a valid discussion about women's rights and role in society, but how does the author's invocation of collective guilt help in advancing that topic?

      Alan Layton

      May 30, 2014 at 10:43am

      A woman reader: My question is, why is this guy being categorized differently than all of the other mass murdering psychopaths because one of his chosen hate-ons is for women? He has gone from being a person with obviously severe psychological problems (since birth apparently) to being called such a general term as a 'misogynist'? To me, and others, there is a very strong political motivation to this article. The awful incident is being tied to women's rights and sensationalized for political gains.

      As for following a popular twitter hashtag they pop up every day, people feel indignant and self-righteous for a few days and then they move on to the next 'horror of the moment' and the usual mindless chit chat in between.

      This isn't your tragedy

      May 30, 2014 at 10:50am

      Funny how four of the six dead in this "misogynist" attack are male but that doesn't stop special interests from appropriating the tragedy for their own propaganda. Perhaps if the murderer had been as selective as that criminal Lepine there would be a rational argument here but the first three victims were the male roommates: hardly the opening of a misogynistic massacre. Naturally there will be a eager chorus of believers eager to identify themselves as victims based solely upon their gender even though 2/3 of the dead has names like Christopher, James, George & David.