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Angry misogynist murders women at showing of film by feminist comedian; police worry “we may not find a motive.”

“Rusty” Houser: Why isn’t he being seen as a terrorist?

Police in Lafayette, Louisiana are evidently struggling to understand why the outspokenly misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic John Russell “Rusty” Houser murdered two women and wounded 9 other moviegoers at a showing of “Trainwreck,” a film written by and starring Amy Schumer, a feminist comedian with a Jewish father, known for joking frankly about sex.

[For more, see my latest post on Houser: “Did right-wing attacks on “Trainwreck” inspire John Russell Houser’s shooting rampage?”]

Col. Michael D. Edmonson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, wondered aloud about Houser’s motives at a press conference: 

Why did he come here? Why did he do that? … We may not find a motive.

It seems to me that Houser’s likely motive is staring them in the face.

Because it turns out that Houser was pretty well-known, at least to regular viewers of one local TV talk show in Columbus, GA, as an angry right-wing fanatic who hated women. As one former host of the show recalled,

He was anti-abortion. … Rusty had an issue with feminine rights. He was opposed to women having a say in anything. 

Houser evidently appeared on the live show dozens of times as a “gadfly” whose appearances “would generate calls.”

When Houser’s career as a loudmouthed crank on local TV apparently came to an end years ago, he moved to another medium, leaving a long trail of hateful comments on assorted websites, many of them openly praising Hitler and talking ominously about the future of what he saw as a deeply “immoral” culture.

In the comments on a news article about an 60-year-old man who’d been murdered, Houser wrote

I am sincerely sorry for the loss of this fellow in the deer processing business. Most people over 50 in certain businesses are just as their parents were,rock solid morally.

I am also sorry for what is to come for the other very few moral souls left in the entire US.

I am not sorry for the 90% immoral population which will be meeting the same fate.

Filth is rampant.That none have stood against it causes me to take rest in the worse than MAD MAX near future which approaches.

In Trainwreck, Amy Schumer plays a New York journalist “riding the cock carousel” — as the odious men I regularly write about on this website like to put it — who eventually falls in love.

It seems highly unlikely that Houser was someone “who just happened to be in this theater,” as the police superintendent put it.

It seems highly likely that a woman-hating neo-Nazi ended up in a theater showing Trainwreck on purpose.

When a religious fanatic blows themselves up at a cafe frequented by members of a rival religious sect, we have no trouble calling this terrorism.

When an outspoken white racist murders nine black churchgoers in Charleston, SC, well, some people (including virtually all of the Republican presidential hopefuls) have trouble calling it terrorism. But most people can see it for what it is.

When misogynists murder women, almost no one calls it terrorism.

Elliot Rodger, who left behind an assortment of misogynistic videos and a book-length diatribe, was a terrorist.

“Rusty” Houser — who left behind no manifesto but who was well-known for his odiously anti-woman and neo-Nazi views — was almost certainly a terrorist as well.

NOTE: According to court filings, Houser had “a history of mental health issues, i.e., manic depression and/or bi-polar disorder.” (Which are actually the same thing.) While this could certainly have had an effect on his state of mind, it says nothing about his motives. Bipolar disorder does not cause people to become misogynistic neo-Nazis who murder women.

EDIT: Added the note above, made tweaks to wording.

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marci
5 years ago

I’ve never heard that song, but there does seem to be a disturbing number of songs out there that depict a man murdering his cheating wife/so and sometimes the other man as well. It is super fucked up that some of them are really popular too.

sevenofmine
5 years ago

Sorry to dredge up the abortion tangent but: I find it to be one of the most telling and horrifying things about sexism generally when men actually just can’t brain the idea that they do not, in fact, make an equal contribution to the existence of a child. It’s like you can almost hear the gears come grinding to a halt. Our society has so effectively promulgated the idea that men own women that “it’s not your body” seems like a irrelevancy to so many people. Nine months of physical trauma accompanied by constant risk of death with little to no warning? Is as nothing compared to the loss of a few sperm cells, apparently. Barf.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

MRAs are different from other anti-abortion crusaders in that they’re fully aware of the bodily autonomy stuff (or at least honest about being fully aware of it). Hence why they scream that every woman who gives birth should have aborted and every woman who aborts should have given birth.

marci
5 years ago

sevenofmine; I put that shit to rest regularly. Every time the subject comes up in real life, I will describe in detail the horrors I experienced giving birth to my kid (as well as throughout the pregnancy). It really takes the wind out of their sails. I also think that maybe these types who think this way should be told in detail the life stories of every woman, starting with the ones in so called civilized nations, who have died due to pregnancy or child birth in the recent past. It is still happening, despite the wonders of medical science. I very nearly died and my daughter almost didn’t make it. Hence the reason why I have only one child, and why I hold the rights to both have BC and access to abortion should I ever need it, in very high regard.

Robjec
Robjec
5 years ago

@toschek
While philosophy of rape is gone reddit left up several that were basically identical but not as well know in the news, or which were a bit more careful about deniablity (which in this case would be “oh no it was just sarcasm, we didn’t really many any of it *winkwink*”

Robjec
Robjec
5 years ago

@baroncognito
Hey there deliehla is pretty creepy to, it was written to a girl he hardly knew and who didn’t want anything to do with him. But he was very public about writing it for her and since it talk about thinking about her and all that. It made her very uncomfortable obviously, and then there were people going but aww look he’s so romantic. So yah. That wasn’t a very fun or advanced song either.

And in the debate of why people listen to bad songs about stuff that is damaging to wemon when they would otherwise be fighting for wemon’s rights and stiff. Bad girls club by falling in reverse is one of my favorite songs. And it could easily be a song that the mra movement loves. But I feel that 1 since the video treats the idea with humor and it fits with the bands history of songs about living out the rock star stereotype that it’s ok. Another opinion could be that even while a song has horible meanings it is technically very talented. So people might enjoy them while hating the message.

Which on a semi related not my favored song would be yume no hajima ring rign, and I don’t understand a word of it. So the lyrics may just not be important to people who like it.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

MRAs are different from other anti-abortion crusaders in that they’re fully aware of the bodily autonomy stuff (or at least honest about being fully aware of it). Hence why they scream that every woman who gives birth should have aborted and every woman who aborts should have given birth.

Reminds me of a powermonger I once knew. Everything that I really, really wanted, he really, really didn’t want. Everything that I really, really didn’t want, he really, really wanted.

sevenofmine
5 years ago

On the subject of gross songs: Jeri Ryan, the actress who played 7 of 9 on Star Trek Voyager, a year or 2 ago was sent a song by this sort of pop punk band about the 7 character. The idea was that they’d watched the show and fantasized about 7 and “going where no man has gone before *wink wink*”, etc. There was even a lyric about how the author considered The Next Generation to be the only “real” Star Trek. So it’s not only a song about how these dudes fapped to images of 7 when they were barely pubescent, it even explicitly dismisses Jeri Ryan’s work as an actor. And she shared the video with exclamations of how sweet it was.

Eryn E (@ErynEthan)
5 years ago

Was doing a little reading re: mass shootings. Didn’t realize the motive for the 1991 Luby’s shooting was possible misogyny. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luby%27s_shooting

“Numerous reports included various accounts of Hennard’s hatred of women.[3][2][1] An ex-roommate said, “He hated blacks, Hispanics, gays. He said women were snakes” and “always had derogatory remarks about women, especially after fights with his mother.”[2]
Survivors said Hennard passed over men to shoot women. Fourteen of the 23 people killed were women, as were many of the wounded. He called two women “bitch” before shooting them.[2] “All women of Killeen and Belton are vipers!” he yelled.[8]”

Carmen
Carmen
5 years ago

Oh man this pushes so many buttons for me…

Have you guys heard of the term “backronym?” It’s when there’s already a word and we create an acronym (a series abbreviated words, often first letters) to explain it. This is also known as a “false etymology” (silly ones, like “Fornication Under Consent of the King,” or “Port Outward, Starboard Home”–admittedly less silly than the first–come to mind). For some reason people hear this and go, “Clever! Yeah!” And that is pretty much all they need to believe it (a major failing when it comes to the human race).

I think this is a pretty apt analogy for what happens every single time a white male murderer goes on a rampage. Quick, let’s overlook all the more obvious-yet-complex implications (that might also implicate some of us, or just not be so clever, with that “Ahhh!” moment; no easy explanation, just like the often-tricky, mutating etymologies of words) and dig a little deeper and bang!–there you have it! That pesky mental illness.

The fact that these mental illnesses have ranged from autism (Elliot Rodgers, Adam Lanza) to schizophrenia (James Holmes) to now this guy Houser (bipolar disorder) doesn’t seem to alarm anyone–the fact that any mental illness at all can somehow be made the reason for mass killing doesn’t seem to alarm anyone, though these illnesses have little in common–noooo, because “mental illness!” (Ta da! Brain lights up. Simple, clever. Moving on).

Just as it is tricky to fully hunt down often-morphing etymologies of words, it can be tricky to understand how a virulent concoction of hate–woman-hate, ethnic hate, etc.–can lead to such an atrocity; it can be tricky to tease apart the various threads, to understand; and no clear answer (in anything) makes us uneasy. Much easier to choose the easy way out.

This upsets me, as I have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder (likely triggered by a childhood illness, and not helped by adolescent and adult trauma). It’s interesting, as bipolar disorder is so linked to creativity–especially writing–and as it is a bonus to have the gene in your family for those who don’t develop the disorder (as my brilliant brother and sister can attest). But I would be remiss in not admitting to myself in the world how vulnerable it has made me (and this is the real link among people with various mental illnesses–the far greater likelihood of being victims of crimes–and no, it’s not other mentally ill people doing the victimizing). Women with bipolar disorder, for example, are twice as likely to be raped as women without mental illness; women with schizophrenia are four times as likely to be raped. Often women with mental illness are multiply victimized, and not believed (one of the factors that makes them great targets to begin with, especially the schizophrenic). Recent studies have begun to bring this to light.

I have never been physically violent to anyone except myself. Sure, I’ve had plenty of physical violence directed toward me; and I’ve been angry with people before (mostly men, and mostly not to their faces, as I don’t like confrontation); I don’t think that’s the same and I would even try to give myself a little leeway in terms of any displaced anger considering my experiences. But I would never lay a hand on anyone.

So even if men with diagnoses with mental illness ARE more violent than women with the same diagnoses–why is that? (Could it be the same reason men are more violent than women in general? I.e., nothing to do with mental illness)?

Why is the world SO unwilling to name maleness as the biggest overall factor in propensity toward violence? And why is the world so unwilling to admit that male-on-female violence is so much more one-sided (and goes hand in hand with eons-old oppression)? This is not simply to blame men (after all, some women are also violent, and most men aren’t–at least, when not being hectored into it, as in times of war and ideological war). But admitting this is absolutely the first step toward asking what we can do about it, and how we can all improve, as the human race (as is admitting the violence of privilege in general, most saliently apart from maleness the near-invisible violence of whiteness–colonialism, shadow ops, political tinkering, war-mongering, resource extraction, exploitation, unsustainable living, oppression, income inequality, the enforced crime of poverty…)

I think a review of Rebecca Solnit’s “The Longest War” is in order:

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2013/01/24/longest-war-one-against-women#.UUsPru6rAOw.blogger

Myriad
Myriad
5 years ago

Nine months of physical trauma accompanied by constant risk of death with little to no warning? Is as nothing compared to the loss of a few sperm cells, apparently. Barf.

^ This, this right here.

But, but sevenofmine that liquid gold counts double whatever a women contributes to creating children. /sarcasm

marinerachel
marinerachel
5 years ago

Autism isn’t a mental illness. It’s a neurodevelopmental disorder.

sn0rkmaiden
5 years ago

@Dana,

regarding why Houser crossed state lines to commit his massacre, I think this lends weight to the idea that he was a would be terrorist. There’s evidence that he planned to escape from the scene and elude capture. Had he escaped it would have been harder to connect him to this crime, more so given most shooters target places close to home. I think he was planning multiple targets and this was just his first port of call.

kwilz79
kwilz79
5 years ago

@ Aunt Edna: I just put a link to this blog in my post (below). This piece is excellent. I really hope everyone reads this. Thank you again to the author for this. I so appreciate the insights written here and have shared it with everyone I know. Thank you. Below again is my original blog regarding the gendered nature of mass shootings in Charleston with a link to this one.
http://dissentandcookies.org/2015/06/21/the-perpetrator-was-caught-but-the-killer-is-still-at-large-rev-dr-william-j-barber-ii-why-we-need-to-stop-blaming-all-the-wrong-things-and-truly-understand-the-root-causes-of-mass-shootin/

sn0rkmaiden
5 years ago

@David,

oh okay, I didn’t know that.

Myriad
Myriad
5 years ago

@David That is even more sad that people did reach out to him at the church pantry that he frequented to help him. Now they are beating themselves up wondering what they could have done more to help him. My heart goes out to the victims and those who now carry the unnecessary guilt.

agadore meankii
5 years ago

Cock carousel? Tickets to this ride, I can haz them?

katz
katz
5 years ago

Have you guys heard of the term “backronym?” It’s when there’s already a word and we create an acronym (a series abbreviated words, often first letters) to explain it. This is also known as a “false etymology” (silly ones, like “Fornication Under Consent of the King,” or “Port Outward, Starboard Home”–admittedly less silly than the first–come to mind). For some reason people hear this and go, “Clever! Yeah!” And that is pretty much all they need to believe it (a major failing when it comes to the human race).

A high school teacher taught us that it stood for “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.”

jummy
jummy
5 years ago

James Holmes shot up a movie theater in Colorado. Though he was discovered to have been involved in the #Occupy movement, it did not bear out that his crime was politically motivated.

baroncognito
5 years ago

Hey there deliehla is pretty creepy to, it was written to a girl he hardly knew and who didn’t want anything to do with him. But he was very public about writing it for her and since it talk about thinking about her and all that. It made her very uncomfortable obviously, and then there were people going but aww look he’s so romantic. So yah. That wasn’t a very fun or advanced song either.

I did not know that, it is not directly evident from the song lyrics. Is that a case then, of the song being creepy, or the singer being creepy?

Now I’m wondering if there’s context that could make a creepy sounding song not creepy once you know the backstory.

misseb47
misseb47
5 years ago

I hope this murdering arsehole rots in prison for the rest of his life. As for the police not being ‘able’ to find a motive, shame on them! It blatantly obvious that misogyny was the motive. Has society normalized violence against women so much that the police need a 240 page manifesto outlining the perp’s hatred of women in explicit detail before they acknowledge misogyny as a motive? It seems like it. 🙁

Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna
5 years ago

The murdering arsehole shot himself dead in that movie theater, misseb47.

The disturbing thing (among so very many) is that even if he left a 240-page manifesto, like Elliot Rodger, there would still be scores of people doubting whether hatred of women could really be a motive. And those would not be just Misogynist Rape Advocates and their ilk, but so-called ‘regular’ folk who, for some reason (worthy of in-depth analysis), would continue to deny that misogyny can ever be a motive in male-on-female violence, including mass murder. Just like in Elliot Rodger’s case.

Katherine
Katherine
5 years ago

It’s like an Onion headline.

misseb47
misseb47
5 years ago

Aunt Edna-That illustrates how pervasive and normalized misogyny is. That even with events like these that happen again and again and again, these people choose to turn a blind eye. Even with 240 page manifestos. It’s sickening. I hope that with enough pressure from feminists of both sexes, that society and police will take misogyny seriously.

idamels
5 years ago

The title of this article is pure genius. Thank you! I’m a fan from the Netherlands and wish you all the best. (We have MRA’s here too, although as of now they are not yet so well organized or horrible as the ones you have in the United States)

(((VioletBeauregarde))): Social Justice Necromancer
(((VioletBeauregarde))): Social Justice Necromancer
4 years ago

There is nothing redeeming about the subhumans running this site.

Must not pull a Godwin…must not pull a Godwin…must not pull a Godwin…must not–oh fuck it!

You know who *else* referred to a group of people as “subhumans”?

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