Wednesday, April 25, 2018

On Entitlement and Unfettered Rage

One of the benefits or downfalls of the internet is that it allows fringe groups to find each other online. When it comes to feeling like nobody in the world knows about climate change or the Myanmar genocide (or philosophy), because nobody in my immediate vicinity is too concerned or interested, then it's invaluable to find clusters of intelligent people writing about them regularly online. Finding people with the same concerns about the world can be a game-changer when you've all but given up on working towards a solution for a grave social injustice.

But it's a tragic downfall of cyberspace when the "social injustice" is that you can't get laid. People in some fringe groups who, as individuals, would all be seen as rare deviants in need of help, are able to find each other now, and cluster together to reinforce and normalize their warped version of reality.

Such is the case with the van killer in Toronto. I won't use his name because I hope it's forgotten and he's forgotten rather than becoming infamous. But we can't forget that he was part of a movement of "involuntary celibates" (incels) who are outraged at their misfortune with women. Instead of blaming their own approach or attitude or maybe something they said along the way, they put all the blame on women for not flocking to them they way they expected would happen.

Part of the problem that we all face is that expectation that we can have all the things that we see others have, or that we think others have. All that time on social media reinforces what a crap life we have. For most of us, it leads to anxiety, depression, and self-loathing. For some of us, it leads to violence. With this group, it's leading to premeditated murder.

Read this excellent twitter thread by Arshy Mann on the movement. This bit is one of the most important parts:
"His attack should probably be described as terrorism, although the lone wolf variety. Incels have an ideology and the goal is to terrorize women and 'normies.'"
It took until 2014 for "sex" to be included as an identifiable group that could potentially be targeted in a hate crime in Canada. When it happened, the Montreal Massacre didn't technically qualify, regardless the very clear intention to kill all the women who took a man's place in university.

Then check out the book Mann recommends for further understanding of this group: Kill All Normies, and the blog, We Hunted the Mammoth. Also see Chris Hedges Empire of Illusion. His chapter on pornography gets at this type of subculture with prescience, as one male porn star told him,
"My whole reason for being in the industry is to satisfy the desire of the men in the world who basically don't much care for women and want to see the men in my industry getting even with the women they couldn't have when they were growing up....We're getting even for their lost dreams....When I've strangled a person or sodomized a person or brutalized a person, the audience is cheering my action, and then when I've fulfilled my warped desire [by coming on a woman's face], the audience applauds" (74). "All I know is that large segments around the world like to watch young girls being tortured" (75).
But there's something else being discussed here too. Does he have Autism Spectrum Disorder? Apparently his mom said he does, and some of his classmate report repetitive arm movements that might be stimming. He didn't have friends, but, unlike the Florida shooter, he was generally likeable enough to make cordial smalltalk in the hallways.

He might have ASD, but already groups are coming out insisting it's all a lie because Autism isn't associated with violence. The interesting thing with that article is that it starts by suggesting that ASD and mental health problems are two different things, but ends by reminding us that,
The Canadian Mental Health Association has also urged people against connecting mental illness with violence, noting that those who suffer from mental health challenges are far more likely to self-harm or be a victim of violence than to be violent themselves.
It's not the ASD or a mental health condition causes murderous tendencies, absolutely. And very few of either group are violent like this. But very few of any group are violent like this.

I understand that people don't want anything horrific like this associated with a condition that a kind and gentle loved one has who needs to be cared for and not feared or preemptively profiled and punished. But I see it from the opposite angle as well. If we acknowledge that the killer was on the spectrum and had some mental health problems, then we can demand more funding for both of these. If we want to ensure that this never happens again on our streets, then one of the things we might try is to make sure children and teens with ASD and anyone with mental health concerns can access the best quality help as needed. It wouldn't hurt.

And then lets also keep working that warped mindset that suggests women are here for the gratification of deserving men. We need to dig it out from the crevices its fallen into. It's starting to sprout.

ETA: This seemed apropos (from here - but the original author is unknown):

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