Joy of Resistance airs on the 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month at 9-10 PM (EST) at WBAI, 99.5 FM (Tri-Sate area, East Coast, USA); streams at stream.wbai.org. Follow us on twitter at @joyofresistance. Archived for 90 days at archive.wbai.org To pledge support for WBAI, call (212) 209-2950 or go to give2wbai.org
Guests: Katharine Cross, blogger for Feministing, RHrealitycheck, Bitch Magazine), who has written on the often-ignored misogyny of the racist rightwing; Mark Potok, Senior Fellow at The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks hate groups in the U.S. (including the ‘men’s rights movement”); Loretta Ross, co-founder of SisterSong: A Woman of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, who has studied the connections between anti-abortion and racist activism and Kate Tull, a co-host of the new viral tumblr site “When Women Refuse”,which, in the last week, has collected over 300 news stories of violence perpetrated against women by men who feel “refused” by them.
On Friday, May 23, a college student named Elliott Rodger went on a shooting rampage at the University of California, Santa Barbara, killing 7 people and injuring 13, later killing himself. His reason, as stated beforehand on a youtube 140 page “manifesto”: to get revenge on the women who wouldn’t have him as a sex partner. He vowed to “slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see”.
In an article in the Guardian UK, Jessica Valenti wrote that Rodger, “like most young American men, was taught that he was entitled to sex and female attention…He believed this so fully that he described women’s apathy toward him as an “injustice” and a “crime”. Rodger was reportedly involved with the online men’s rights movement: allegedly active on one forum and said to have been following several men’s rights channels on YouTube. The language he used in his videos against women – like referring to himself as an “alpha male” – is common rhetoric in such circles” Immediately after the shooting, the business-as-usual media spin-machine attributed what had happened to a combination of mental illness and the easy accessability of guns. Left out by most was Roger’s misogynist ideology.
Artist Molly Crabapple pointed out on Twitter: “White terrorism is always blamed on guns, mental health – never poisonous ideology.” and feminist blogger Melissa McEwan tweeted “Dismissing violent misogynists as ‘crazy’ is a neat way of saying that violent misogyny is an individual problem, not a cultural one,” Valenti wrote:”The truth is that there is no such thing as a lone misogynist – they are created by our culture, and by communities that tells them that their hatred is both commonplace and justified.” As blogger Katharine Cross has written in her brilliantly titled “When Words Become Bullets” (RHrealitycheck, date): It isn’t that Rodger’s murders were especially unique. Mass shootings have been committed before, often as a form of masculine protest—a terrifying symptom of what sociologists Rachel Kalish and Michael Kimmel call “aggrieved entitlement”—some have had explicitly racist dimensions, as we saw in Wisconsin with a neo-Nazi… targeting Sikhs, or in Kansas when one man (also a frequent forum ranter) killed three people at Jewish centers. Other killers wore their sexism on their sleeves, like Anders Bering Breivik‘s murderof 77 people—mostly teenagers—because he saw himself as an anti-feminist, anti-Islam, anti-immigrant crusader who would save Norway by slaughtering some of its brightest and most civic-minded youth.
This is not new.
But Rodger’s atrocity shook us from a torpor because of how unambiguous he was—a Southern Poverty Law Center research team was not necessary to draw the link between his online rants, so thoroughly indistinguishable from that of many other anonymous, faceless men, and the mass murder he ultimately perpetrated.” And because the constant rape and murder threats directed toward women bloggers–words infused with MRA rhetoric of violent hatred toward women and feminism, can no longer be dismissed as “just words”.
In this program we will try to connect some of these dots and put them in the context of the proliferation of hate groups of all kinds in the U.S.–and also in many parts of the world–but this time, we will not leave out the ever-present virulent misogyny that is an intrinsic part of rightwing ideology.
Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio @ WBAI airs on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 9-10 PM. We cover the ongoing worldwide struggle of women for full equality and human rights. You can follow us on twitter at twitter.com/joyofresistance or @joyofresistance. You can follow or read out blog at joyofresistance.wordpress.com.
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