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I just posted this in a thread on Facebook:
"We cannot believe normal people could commit terrorist acts, so we look for abnormality. As efforts to find gross abnormality fail again and again, attention has been turned to more subtle shades of aberration, in a seemingly never-ending effort to realise latent preconceptions." (Cheshire-cat logic, Silke)
"…as for empirical support, to date there is no compelling evidence that terrorists are abnormal, insane, or match a unique personality type. In fact, there are some indications to the contrary.”
"Research on the psychology of terrorism has been nearly unanimous in its conclusion that mental illness and abnormality are typically not critical factors in terrorist behavior" (Psychology of Terrorism, Borum)
While the mental health of the shooter may be up for debate, that debate itself doesn’t appear to be relevant or useful in addressing the larger problem of mass murders. Mental illness in perpetrators also has no correlation with violence against women (Why Does He Do That?, Lundy)
One of the few ways I can comfort myself about people who support the UCSB shooter and others like him is imagining that one night, while they’re trying to sleep, they’ll suddenly understand all the horrific, purely wrong things they’ve said and done and believed, and that black sinking worthless feeling will stick with them the rest of their miserable lives.
Kitty Genovese’s murder is often cited as an example of the “bystander effect,” or her community’s failure to call the police during the attack. What you don’t often hear is that Genovese was a lesbian in a time when homosexuality was illegal in New York City. Only two of the 38 accused “apathetic bystanders” actually witnessed the attack, and one of them was gay as well (and alcoholic).
So was Genovese’s case really about the bystander effect?
When we start to look more deeply into what the statistics reveal about murder, we discover some striking patterns in the data, some of which are quite surprising. One of the most salient observations that emerges is that murder is a male-dominated phenomenon. Year after year, the percentage of murders in the U.S that are committed by men hovers right around 87. It may be surprising that men are also much more often the victims of murder. Of murder victims in any given year, on average, 75 percent are men – a percentage that has remained quite stable over the years, with 74 percent in 1964, 77 percent in 1974, and 75 percent in 1984. It’s also interesting to look at how many murders by men are perpetrated against men. On average, 65 percent of all murders involve males killing males. By comparison, 22 percent of murders involve males killing females. As for murders by women, 10 percent of all murders, on average, involve females killing males, and a mere 3 percent of murders involve females killing other females.
If we look at the complete set of same-sex killings – male killing male and female killing female – we find that more than 95 percent involve men killing other men. These patterns show a remarkable consistency across cultures. In statistics compiled from thirty-five different studies representing a broad span of cultures, the vast majority of same-sex killings were committed by men: 97 percent in Brazil, 93 percent in Scotland, 94 percent in Kenya, 98 percent in Uganda, and 97 percent among the people known as the Tiv in Nigeria."
Buss, David. "The Murderer Next Door: Why The Mind Is Designed To Kill." Penguin Press; New York, 2005. (p. 22)
What MRAs and anti-feminists fail to realize when they mention how men are more likely to be murdered than women is that they are not actually rebutting feminist arguments addressing the prevalence of male violence. The question feminist theory provides answers to is not whether or not men can be victims, but why is it that the majority of the time the gender of the people perpetuating violent sexual or homicidal acts are men. From there, theories on the social structuring of society (making mention of gender-based power dynamics) and sex-specific socialization, all in relation to a society structured to uphold male dominance (i.e.: patriarchy) are applied. While male victimization is an issue, it is not the core issue that feminist theorists address, which is how do we socialize men to be less violent so that the rates of violence in general go down.
So if anyone tries to rebut the concept of rape culture with “murder culture”…yeah, it’s still a male problem.
I’m sorry that, when they go home, they will be coddled and comforted and cooed over by people who will reinforce the notion that they did nothing wrong. They will learn nothing, and they will do it again.
It’s irresistible to call for their permanent incarceration. Viciously, I would be happy if they never saw the light of day again. But that solves nothing - it doesn’t teach them or any other young men that young girls and women are human beings deserving of respect and humanity. It doesn’t lessen this brave girl’s trauma, or make her community realize what monsters they’ve been and rally to support her.
There have to be alternatives to imprisoning people, I just don’t know what they are. I’m going to be scouring McKenzie’s Resources page for more insight.
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, America’s largest anti-sexual violence network. Website includes a Sexual Assault phone and online hotline, find a local counseling center, how to help a loved one, information to educate yourself and a list of international resources
Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project, provides crisis intervention, support and resources to victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Includes a hotline and a list of events
Help Guide, find any kind of helpful organization including domestic abuse. Includes a help guide, hotlines, and where to find a safe place to stay.
Kids Help, an organization that focuses on helping children and teens in Canada. Includes a phone and online hotline, helps set kids and teens up with a resource in their area.
Youth Homelessness and Runaway Prevention, to help keep runaway and at risk children off the streets and safe. Provides support and solutions to keep kids safe.
The National Herpes Hotline provides information and referrals to help treat and live with herpes.
A list of National hotlines for STDS and/or substance abuse
Hopeline, run by the Kristin Brooks Hope Center, A hotline that helps you deal with feelings of depression or the thought of suicide. Amazing organization to give you hope.