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Dr. Helen of PJ Media tries to blame feminists for Elliot Rodger's rampage. So why did she once glorify an MRA much like Rodger?

Memorial in Santa Barbara
Memorial in Santa Barbara

Leave it to Dr. Helen – psychologist, right-wing blogger, friend of A Voice for Men – to come up with what has got to be the most transparent attempt to distract public attention from the obvious parallels between the misogyny of spree killer Elliot Rodgers and the misogyny of the Men’s Rights movement she supports.

In a blog post on PJ Media, she suggests half-seriously that “If Pick-Up Artists Are Guilty,[of inspiring Elliot Rodger] Then So Are the Feminists.”

The good Doctor starts by accusing Slate’s Amanda Hess of blaming pickup artists for Elliot’s rampage. Her proof? Several passages from Hess in which Hess makes very clear that she is not blaming PUAs – or the anti-PUAs at PUAhate — for the deaths in Santa Barbara, or even for Rodger’s misogyny.

Dr. Helen then quotes eminent mental health expert “JudgyBitch,” who wrote of the case:

The fact is that Elliot’s outburst does indeed highlight an issue of central importance to the MHRM – the inadequate, almost non-existent treatment of mental health problems for young men.

Well yes, speaking as someone who’s been dealing with depression most of my life, I agree that mental health services could be improved for young men. And old men. And everyone else.

What difference this would have made in Elliot Rodger’s case, though, is unclear. Though he’s being routinely described in the media and in online discussions of the case as “mentally ill,” “freaking nuts,” a “deranged lunatic,” and numerous other variations on this theme, we don’t actually know much for sure about his brain chemistry; claims that he “suffered from extreme paranoia and heard voices” haven’t been confirmed.

In any case, Rodger himself wasn’t suffering from a lack of mental health support. He had been treated by several therapists, and was seeing a psychiatrist. He chose not to take the meds he was prescribed.

What we do know is that Rodger was a young man driven by intense, murderous misogyny, and by what sociologists Rachel Kalish and Michael Kimmel call “aggrieved entitlement” (pdf here), a personality trait he shares in common with a number of young spree killers in recent years. It’s also pretty much a default personality trait for Men’s Rights activists – but we’ll get to that in a moment.

First, let’s return to Dr. Helen, who’s just getting to the main point of her post: The Blaming of the Feminists.

Perhaps it is the feminists and their supporters who block funding and education going to boys’ and men’s issues that are to blame. Case in point? Warren Farrell tried to give a talk in Toronto about suicide in young men and other topics and was accosted by nasty feminists who did not want him to speak.

Now, I don’t support shutting down lectures of those I disagree with, and I think the protestors who shut down Farrell’s lecture not only acted in an unprincipled way but also, unintentionally, provided the Men’s Rights movement with the greatest recruitment tool it’s ever had.

That said, the protesters didn’t shut down Farrell’s lecture because they opposed mental health funding for men and boys. They shut it down because Farrell has, in the past, offered creepy apologias for date rape and for incest – including the sexual abuse of underage boys and girls by their parents.

Indeed, in a notorious interview he gave about his research exploring the supposed “positive” side of incest in the 1970s, Farrell told Penthouse magazine that most of the boys he studies actually enjoyed being abused by – sorry, participating in incest with – their mothers.

The author summarized Farrell’s claims:

Mother-son incest represents 10 percent of the incidence and is 70 percent positive, 20 percent mixed, and 10 percent negative for the son. For the mother it is mostly positive. Farrell points out the boys don’t seem to suffer, not even from the negative experience.

So, yeah, the man Dr. Smith is holding up as a compassionate hero for boys, the man who essentially invented the Men’s Rights movement we know and don’t love today, has argued publicly that boys not only aren’t harmed by sexual abuse, but that most of them like it.

I’m not sure the men and boys of the world need this brand of “compassion.”

But this is not the only thing about Dr. Helen’s post that is deeply hypocritical.

Rodger’s murders were clearly driven by “aggrieved entitlement.” He believed he deserved a “beautiful blonde girlfriend,” and that the world had wronged him by not giving him one. And so he set out to take his “retribution” upon the girls who had rejected him – as symbolized by the “blonde sluts” of the sorority he targeted – and upon the world at large.

As Kalish and Kimmel write,

What transforms the aggrieved into mass murderers is also a sense of entitlement, a sense of using violence against others, making others hurt as you, yourself, might hurt. aggrieved entitlement inspires revenge against those who have wronged you; it is the compensation for humiliation. Humiliation is emasculation … For many men, humiliation must be avenged, or you cease to be a man.

Like virtually all spree killings by young men driven by “aggrieved entitlement,” Rodger’s rampage was also a suicide; he ended it with a bullet in his own head. Kalish and Kimmel would define this as “suicide by mass murder,” a way for aggrieved young men to use their own suicides to reaffirm their masculinity and take revenge upon their supposed tormenters.

The trouble is, even while Dr. Helen condemns Rodger’s murders, and tries to blame feminists for them, she herself has joined many other Men’s Rights activists in glorifying a man who attempted something very much like a “suicide by mass murder” himself.

I am talking, of course, about Thomas Ball– an angry MRA, estranged father and admitted child abuser – who several years ago set himself aflame on the steps of a New Hampshire courthouse, leaving behind a manifesto urging fellow MRAs inspired by his suicide to start firebombing courthouses and police stations, acts of terrorism which he admitted quite plainly could lead to deaths.

So what did Dr. Helen have to say about this manifesto, which among other things contained helpful tips on how to make effective Molotov cocktails? On her blog, she waxed poetic:

His statement is not the ramblings of a madman, it is the mission of a warrior in some sense.

Mr. Ball’s death should serve as a wake-up call to the men and their supporters in this country to continue to fight for equal rights in the area of marriage and family law.

Like Rodger, Thomas Ball was driven by a sense of aggrieved entitlement. Like Rodger, Thomas Ball hoped for a “Day of Retribution” in which his enemies would die violent deaths.

Unlike Rodger, he did not kill anyone else himself; instead, he hoped that others would do the killing for him. But the impulse behind Rodger’s manifesto was largely the same. He sought to fight what he considered a grave “injustice” through violence.

And Men’s Rights activists turned him into a martyr. A Voice for Men posted his manifesto – complete with its calls to firebomb government buildings – in its “activism” section for several years; it was finally removed only after the Boston Marathon bombings brought media attention back to the issue of domestic terrorism. The theme song for AVFM’s flagship radio show contains an “invocation” celebrating Ball as a fallen hero and declaring that “his death will not go in vain.”

No, the Men’s Rights movement didn’t cause Rodger’s rampage; there’s no evidence that he ever even came into contact with it, though he was clearly steeped in misogynstic online subcultures like those of PUAhate. But there are a frightening number of MRAs who think a lot like Rodger. And that is far more worrying.

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marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Worst person ever.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

Perhaps it is the feminists and their supporters who block funding and education going to boys’ and men’s issues that are to blame. Case in point? Warren Farrell tried to give a talk in Toronto about suicide in young men and other topics and was accosted by nasty feminists who did not want him to speak.

So if Warren Farrell had been able to give his talk, Elliot Rodger wouldn’t have killed 6 innocent people because he hated women?

If there were more funding for boy’s and men’s issues, Elliot Rodgers wouldn’t have killed 6 innocent people because he hated women?

DreamingRainne (@DreamingRainne)

They only care about men’s/boys’ mental health when it makes them look good to pretend to care. In practice, they focus most of their effort on finding ways to hate women.

Actions speak louder than words.

Ms. Getta Lode
Ms. Getta Lode
6 years ago

Excellent piece, David.

Zolnier
Zolnier
6 years ago

Plus whenever a man or a boy actually has mental health problems or is a victim of abuse, you’re average MRA will belittle them as weak or feminine anyway. Unless they kill some people.

Sarah
Sarah
6 years ago

Feminists didn’t de-fund public mental health services. That was St. Ronnie. Feminists want that funding to be reinstated.

cloudiah
6 years ago

LOL, even Warren Farrell and that other speaker (Janice something? Janet something?) say that the Toronto protests were an anomaly–most of the time when they speak there is no protest at all, let alone attempts to block them from speaking.

Unfortunately, though, male spree killings are not an anomaly. And many of them are committed by proud misogynists, even if they also have other motivations.

genderneutrallanguage
6 years ago

I’m unclear on what the actual points are.

He was receiving help for a mental condition, but clearly not appropriate levels of help or this wouldn’t have happened. So how is this not a failing of mental health services? The therapist committed malpractice by not having him committed.

Another man committed suicide and advocated for attacking “The System” and agents of “The system”. Is this somehow the same as attacking women? Are women the ones controlling government now?

Though I do appreciate that you are honest enough to clearly state that Elliot was not associated with the Men’s Rights Movement.

Lids
6 years ago

Ugh. Of course it’s somehow the fault of feminism, even though feminism supports PEOPLE with mental health concerns. People. Not just women. It’s not people who spend their time on MRM forums crying the exact same things that Rodgers seemed to believe who normalize this behavior, it’s feminists somehow.

Somehow, no matter what the issue, the MRM and the outlier groups and supporters manage to twist it as being feminists fault. I suppose next time a hurricane hits it will be our fault too.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Heard it before. When men kill, it’s womens’ fault? Whatever.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

GNL, what’s it like to go through life so consistently missing the point time and time again?

Is this a natural talent, or do you have to train for it?

pecunium
6 years ago

The system which says men have to be held accountable for their actions.

That’s what he was against.

That’s what the MRM is against.

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
6 years ago

I’m a man. Something like 20% of people with the kind of depression I have end up killing themselves.

This sort of fake care about men and boy’s mental health as a rhetorical ploy makes me ill.

MRAs only care about suicide and mental health of men and boys to the extent that they can blame it on women. That’s also their only proposed course of action or activism; “blame women.”

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Go wank on a thread that isn’t about people getting killed, GNL.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Why am I not surprised that GNL understands nothing and contributes nothing?

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

I haven’t been able to deal with the other Elliot Rodger threads so maybe this has been said before…

It seems to me that when other shooting sprees have occurred, speculating that it was due to mental illness is a minority reaction. When mental illness is mentioned, it’s usually something like, “I suppose he’s going to fake being crazy to try to get away with it.” Funny how when misogyny is the motive people jump on the mental illness bandwagon.

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

To paraphrase Twain, “Suppose you promoted hateful ideas. And suppose you wrote for PJ Media. But I repeat myself.”

And GNL? I suggest you go home and rethink your life. You don’t want to be selling death sticks.

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

I wonder if the people who keep tabs on potential terrorists consider “aggrieved entitlement” a red flag.

Amnesia
Amnesia
6 years ago

@GNL
Why stop at blaming his ‘possible’ mental illness? Maybe he had diabetes and a bad batch of insulin made him shoot all those people.

No, wait, that’s just silly.

latintruth
latintruth
6 years ago

I always thought that doctors had to abide by a code of ethics or behaviour? I live in Australia but I would have thought that there are processes for reporting doctors who lack a duty of care to their patients and/or society in general.

In Australia, a doctor or nurse can be struck off the register and barred from practicing for misconduct or malpractice. Just as a lawyer may be barred.

I truly cannot believe that Dr Helen and the other AVFM “Dr” Tara are allowed to continue to practice! They must fill their patients with so much negativity and hopelessness. I fail to see how either of them could possibly treat anyone (man, woman or child) in need of help/counselling.

Lili Fugit
Lili Fugit
6 years ago

1) Go home, GNL, yr drunk.

2) Also, I finally got through all fucking 141 pages of that murderous little wanker’s “manifesto” or whatever he thought it was. I took a hot shower. And now I feel obligated to point out that there was not one single solitary example in his entire loser-ass venting of all of his horrifying first world problems of a woman or girl, EVEN ONE TIME, rejecting him.

Not once. He had nothing. There was no example anywhere in there of a female person actually ever doing anything to him, saying anything to him, rejecting him, hurting his little fee fees, nothing. Because if there had been an actual incident I do believe he would have chronicled it out in mind-numbingly boring detail. But there wasn’t any. Which leads me to conclude that:

a) He never once actually spoke to any woman he wanted to have sex with. He never propositioned any woman, ever.

b) In other words, his own aggrieved sense of magnificent self entitlement was SO extreme he literally believed women should be throwing themselves at him even though he never so much as spoke to them or made his desires known.

So not only is the Manosphere and various loose cannons now busily out in force on social media trying to blame women for their own murders (hey, if you can blame a woman for her own rape, why not?), but there’s this narrative that the Poor Nice Guy was REJECTED, and guess what?

He wasn’t. He wasn’t even rejected.

That said, I don’t find his writing delusional, or rather I don’t find it any more delusional than the writing I read all over the internet about all kinds of subjects every damn day.

>:(

Adam
Adam
6 years ago

That funny moment when you actually research the University of Toronto thing and it’s literally the only example of feminists shutting out MRA meetings, yet it’s always referred to as evidence of something happening all over the place on a regular basis.

Cthulhu's Intern
6 years ago

@Lili Fugit: Actually, there was ONE forgettable incident that was close to that. He once said “hi” to a woman he didn’t know, but she didn’t respond. That was the only documented approach. And then he just went back to what he was doing.

hookergal
hookergal
6 years ago

On the note of entitlement, on the SAME DAY as the UCSB shootings, there was another incident in California where a man shot at 3 women who refused sex: thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/05/26/3441640/california-man-allegedly-fired-at-girls-for-refusing-to-have-sex/

I honestly wonder how many of these “incidents” society needs to realise misogyny and entitlement are issues.

Xen
Xen
6 years ago

Where’s the proof that feminists have blocked funding? Where? Also, very disgusting that this guy is being made into a martyr.

You know, there was a guy that I liked but he’d never like me, but so what? Move on. Don’t frigging kill people over it. You aren’t some god that deserves sex. Just yuck.

BlackSphinx
6 years ago

Gods, people will just say anything to avoid admitting this was a gender-based hate crime won’t they? First I wade through a thread in which no less than five men tried to use the existence of men who have been murdered by women as a trump card that nullifies the misogyny of this shooting spree. And then this person is trying to blame the shooting on feminists by claiming feminists, what, have nationally defunded mental health services by blocking one hateful man from speaking at a single event?!

I can’t even.

Ken L.
Ken L.
6 years ago

@Lilli

“That said, I don’t find his writing delusional, or rather I don’t find it any more delusional than the writing I read all over the internet about all kinds of subjects every damn day.”

I think you point out a truth about MRM in general. That their basic ideas are so irrational that they can’t be anything but delusions. Dangerous,awful, and hateful. That being said, it in no way excuses or demises the harm they cause.

BritterSweet
6 years ago

In another location in California, a man fired a gun at women for refusing sex. Thankfully no one was killed that time.

http://jezebel.com/stockton-man-reportedly-opens-fire-on-women-after-they-1581764253

In Japan, a male fan attacked and injured two members of the girl band AKB48.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27572723

These both happened between Rodgers’s killing spree and now! FUCK, WHEN WILL THIS END?!

BritterSweet
6 years ago

Ninja’d by hookergal.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Yeah, I saw the AKB thing and was like, are they coordinating this shit or what?

Ken L.
Ken L.
6 years ago

@BritterSweet

do you think these stories are only being reported because of the Rodger’s crime? or where they just to sensational to be passed up by main stream media?

Ally S
6 years ago

@GNL

yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Meme
Meme
6 years ago

The only thing worse than a male misogynist is a self-hating female who sells out her sisters in order to try and get a ticket into the boy’s club. Disgusting. Not worthy of being called a woman. Or human.

Tracy Q. Loxley
6 years ago

Hey Dave, do you have more information about Kalish and Kimmel’s analyses of mass murderers?

Tracy Q. Loxley
6 years ago

Oh wait, found the link. Thanks anyway.

Liveandletlive098
Liveandletlive098
6 years ago

Is there EVER going to be a day when they wake up and realize that they are to blame for their own actions?

dlouwe
dlouwe
6 years ago

By random chance, happened across something that carried a rather familiar rhetoric… from 1712:

According to Wallis, he was “resolved to be Revenged on all the women he could come at after that manner, for the sake of one Perjur’d Female, who had been Barbarously False to him”.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whipping_Tom

I think it’s a bad sign when your ideology is reminiscent of violent misogynists from three centuries ago.

BritterSweet
6 years ago

@ Ken L.

I was simply pointing out how at least three entitled attacks on women happened within about three days. And these were just incidents reported on the mainstream media news.

Leah
Leah
6 years ago

Seriously, look a this, it’s the exact same mentality that Rodger had;
http://www.rooshv.com/you-did-this-to-me
one of the frightening Things about misogynistic websites is that the men encourage each others hatred.

wewereemergencies
wewereemergencies
6 years ago

@Meme, I’m not going to deny that her internalized misogyny is gross, but can we not dehumanise people? That’s…part of the problem here, and I for one am really not comfortable with labelling ANYONE as less than human. Also WTF do you mean by “not worthy of being a woman”? We don’t actually get to decide what other people’s genders are (especially not based on their actions).

BritterSweet
6 years ago

@ David

Oh god, I don’t want to be depressed. Must get some brain bleach.

NonServiam
NonServiam
6 years ago

Leaving aside most of Dr Helen’s toxic garbage; I have literally never met a feminist who is anything but pro-education funding and mental health services funding. If any of those are lacking in any country, don’t point fingers at the feminists.

As for the rest of her rant: no, just no.

nopoogirl
nopoogirl
6 years ago

@ Zolnier | May 26, 2014 at 7:56 pm
This!

daintydougal
daintydougal
6 years ago

This whole thing is just so surreal.

‘Radical muslim’ posts videos online detailing their plans for murder. Goes through with plans = decades of war, massive increase in racial crime, mosques being firebombed, anyone of middle eastern decent being labeled a terrorist, websites inciting hatred carefully monitored etc etc’

‘Young man’ posts videos online detailing their plans for murder. Goes through with plans = oh the poor thing, if only someone had given him cuddles, he was obviously very unwell, what can we do to help these poor young men.’

If belonging to a certain religion or having certain coloured skin are seen as reasons in themselves for terrorism, why isn’t being an entitled little shit reason enough?

And people saying, oh well, all these websites, and you don’t see anyone one else going out committing crimes. WOMEN ARE MURDERED EVERY SINGE DAY.

I’m just fucking seething. It’s like I’m living on another planet, how can people be so blind?

I’m done

Winter Walker
6 years ago

I’ve been feeling sick, and on the edge of yet another depressive episode over this hate crime and the public reaction to it, until last night I remembered one of my favourite things that Gandhi said.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

Ladies, gentlemen, and genderqueers of every stripe, I think the MRAssholes are running scared over this. We are winning.

Brz
Brz
6 years ago

“Like Rodger, Thomas Ball was driven by a sense of aggrieved entitlement”

A judge prevented the guy from seeing his own kids for ten years because he slapped his daughter once and he immolated himself “driven by a sense of aggrieved entitlement”, interesting…
You remember how the Tunisian revolution began? A guy, Mohammed Bouazizi, a street vendor, was prevented from doing his work because he didn’t have enough money to bribe officials, a policewoman slapped him and spat on him and he immolated himself out of “aggrieved entitlement”. A lot of guys burnt a lot of things afterwards, those horrible monsters, because they thought the government had failed them, they wanted jobs and respect probably also out of “aggrieved entitlement”.

There also was a lot of people “driven by a sense of aggrieved entitlement” who, during the last centuries in western history ended up burning official buildings and even, those filthy entitled monsters full of WHITE HOT RAGE, killed people because they thought they were entitled to bread, justice or human dignity. Too bad Thiers didn’t have the idea to tell those communards that they were entitled brats who need to man up, maybe they would just have surrendered without firing a single shot and they would have understand that the real revolution would have been to set up a conference in Versailles about how the biggest obstacle to social justice is that those who feel disfrenchised and wronged by the goverment are entitled and revolt and burn things.

You feminist will never smash the patriarchy because if the system which is in power now is a patriarchy, you are sure ones of its more obedient watch dogs, it’s no wonder that the movement occupy wall street died in a long litany of social justice buzzwords without having produced anything, like, for example, at least having envisaged the burning of some Goldman Sachs buildings, if it’s filled by people like you.

I didn’t mean to derail this conversation, the one where you once again attempt to frame mras as abusers or whatever because you have no rational argument to oppose to them, please continue to fight the patriarchy with your teacher, who despite being a figure of authority of an established institution which produces a discourse which is very normative (shove any Foucault’s books up your ass) is actually very subversive and against the heteropatriarcal system, in your women’s studies course which probably exists in great part because the Ford foundation put a lot of cash on the table. You’re a true revolutionary, you’re subversive and the enemy, the oppressor, the face of the patriarchy is this guy who immolated himself and wanted to burn some tribunals because he hadn’t seen his kids for years.

Although, there’s a special place in hell for those feminists who pretend to be anarchists as well where they will be bitch-slapped in a patriarchal way by Bakunin himself for eternity to punish them for being such hypocrite poseurs. I would eat my beloved fedora out of indignation if I ever stumble upon a feminist singing “le temps des cerises” but, fortunately enough, feminists are generally too ignorant to know the history of this song, let alone knowing its existence.

Enough phallogos for today.

daintydougal
daintydougal
6 years ago

Good Lord brz, how do you manage to use so many words without saying anything?

A man abused his kids and was denied custody. That is not the same as the Arab Spring. For realz.

magnesium
magnesium
6 years ago

A judge prevented the guy from seeing his own kids for ten years because he slapped his daughter once…

I think you mean to say “Slapped his daughter hard enough to draw blood”, because that’s what he did. He hit his kid hard enough that she bled. My father spanked me plenty as a child, and yet he never lashed out at me in abusive rage hard enough to draw blood. I suppose it is fitting that the abuser’s lobby uses a child abuser as their mascot, but at least be honest about what he was.

BigMomma
BigMomma
6 years ago

Brz…va te faire foutre

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