Ila Vista, MRA, and Feminism

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Re: Ila Vista, MRA, and Feminism

Postby crayzz » Mon May 26, 2014 4:28 pm

Alright, first off: he isn't an MRA. He didn't identify as one, and there isn't much in his "work" that indicates being one. The breakdown of groups falling loosely within the "manosphere" get a little weird, but Ally Fogg breaks it down well:

Ally Fogg wrote:It also emerged that he was an active member of a notoriously misogynistic internet forum for men called ‘PUA Hate.’ Several bloggers and online news sites immediately began describing him as the ‘MRA shooter.’ Strictly speaking, this is probably inaccurate. There is a corner of the internet known disparagingly as ‘the manosphere’ which has several distinct compass points, united only by their shared misogyny. While people and ideas certainly seep between them, in practice they have very distinct interests, and often spend almost as much energy hating each other as they do hating feminists. Among several other manosphere communities, there are men’s rights activists, (MRAs) who mostly deal in political issues and gender relations, and there are pick-up artists (PUAs), who strictly concern themselves with sex, specifically how to manipulate women into bed.

Beyond those groups however, there are strange fringes such as Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) and those who describe themselves as ‘Incels’ meaning ‘involuntary celibates.’ These are men who are not just angry because women won’t have sex with them, they’re even angry with the PUAs who suggest that women might have sex with them. It was in this last group that Rodgers appeared to have found a community.

In Rodger’s manifesto there is no sign of even a slight interest in gender politics. He does not use the vocabulary or logic of MRAs, there is no ranting at ‘feminazis’ or other tell-tale signs of MRA ideology. Indeed, it is striking that the manifesto, unlike that of Anders Breivik, reveals no kind of political consciousness at all. For Rodgers, this all appears to have been entirely personal.


Rodger does not appear to have identified as an MRA, and a debate as to whether or not he should be so described will be a pedantic distraction. The ugly truth is that, across much of the manosphere, his rantings are not especially unusual. Somewhere on the internet right this very moment – whether on an Insel site or an MRA site or an MGTOW site or Twitter or Facebook or an atheist forum, it really doesn’t matter – an angry young man will be spitting out his hatred of bitches, whores and sluts. Could Rodger have been dissuaded had he been challenged, rather than indulged in his rants? Frankly I doubt it, he would merely have dismissed his detractors as yet more weak cowards, but can we be sure? I would challenge those who laugh along with violent misogynistic fantasies online to imagine looking in the eyes of the families and friends of Rodgers’ victims and declaring their consciences to be clear.


Fifth wrote:But the other scenario, if you find yourself in a position of power over someone who might be a BAD HORRIBLE MISOGYNIST...


Are you trying to be condescending to your target audience?

Fifth wrote:I don’t think this’ll be any kind of panacea, but it’s worth a try, no?


Definitely.

Tailsteak wrote:I've been reading comments about the case (not even intentionally, they just keep showing up everywhere), and a lot of the comments are about how Rodgers was objectifying women - he felt he was entitled to bang a hot chick because, to him, they were sex objects.


I don't think that's the whole of it. Here's his words, in part:

"It’s an injustice, a crime, because I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I’m the perfect guy, and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men, instead of me, the supreme gentlemen."

"All those girls that I’ve desired so much, they would’ve all rejected me and looked down upon me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them while they throw themselves at these obnoxious brutes."

One interesting things is that it appears that he didn't even try.

The other interesting thing is that he's angry because he feels superior to those men who were sexually active with women he desired; he felt entitled to "bang a hot chick," not because hot chicks are ambulatory fleshlights, but because he's earned it over "those brutes." He felt that entitlement was intrinsic to his station.

Tailsteak wrote:We need to ramp up the RealDoll technology until we get to the point of the whorebots you're always seeing in science fiction. No A.I.s - that just perpetuates the problem - no, I'm talking about something that looks like a Photoshopped magazine cover model, or a hentai waif, or whatever, with just enough circuitry to handle "Greetings, master, which hole would you like to stick it in?" and no more.


DBD mentioned this, but to reiterate: he almost certainly had access to prostitutes. If dehumanizing sex* was all he wanted, there are ways to do that now. He didn't want to pay for dehumanizing sex, for a person or a doll; he felt entitled to the bodies of everyday women; of women in general. I'm not convinced RealDoll technology would be very helpful in this matter.

Deepbluediver wrote:
Tailsteak wrote:To a certain extent, I think it's treated like a tautology - we have to tell ourselves that he was crazy, because the alternative is tantamount to saying that he killed six people because he was sane, that going on a deadly rampage in a public place was a reasonable thing to do.


Is that sort of the same thing as a circular argument? He was insane because sane people don't go on killing sprees? Do we need to start adding "overly aggressive asshole syndrome" to medical textbooks?


Just to nitpick: neither of those are actually tautologies (a circular argument is a type of tautology). The statements "He's insane" and "He went on a killing spree" are not the same statement, so claiming as a premise that only the former leads to the latter isn't circular; it's wrong, lazy, and a derail of the issue at hand, but it isn't circular.

What he did was sane. Starting with the premises he did (he deserved women; women are evil for not sleeping with him; men are evil for taking away the women he wanted; etc.) mass murder is a logical (if extreme) solution. The problem is not his cognitive abilities; the problem is that he held dehumanizing beliefs.

Deepbluediver wrote:One of the articles I read said his dad was a movie producer and his mom was on a (French) reality TV show at some point. I'm trying not to blame the parents too much, since I obviously don't have many details, but my gut reaction is that perhaps his parents didn't see it, because they where either to self-absorbed or it didn't seem abnormal to them.


From Daily Kos:
" His own claim is that he was doing everything he could to refuse the mental help his family was forcing him to receive. He refused to accept their advice as valid. He refused medication. He even Refused his parents attempt to help him with a change of scenery. They took the extraordinary step of bringing him to live in Morocco. That change in culture may have done him some good. But he refused to cooperate. 'This is where my fight is,' he wrote, 'right here in the U.S., and nowhere else.'"

His parents knew, and were trying to help, from therapeutic vacations to sending the police to his doorstep.

On the subject of his parents, this is how he treats his mother:

"I started to frequently ask my mother to seek marriage with this man, or any wealthy man for that matter. She always adamantly refused, and demanded that I stopped talking about it. She told me that she never wanted to get married again after her experience with my father. I told her that she should sacrifice her well-being for the sake of my happiness, but this only offended her further."

RyukaTana wrote:Tell me how to fix someone, short of torture and brainwashing. Tell me the secret to make someone stop believing something that they believe that deeply.[1] People only change if they want to, and it's often extremely difficult even then.[2]


1) I'm reminded of this letter,** specifically this part:

PZ Myers wrote:One serious problem with the “Were you there?” question is that it is not very sincere. You knew the answer already! You knew that woman had not been to the moon, and you definitely knew that she had not been around to see the rock forming 3.75 billion years ago. You knew the only answer she could give was “no,” which is not very informative.


No, there's no "secret" to changing people; that doesn't mean there aren't methods that, stochastically, lead to better results than what we're currently doing, even if those methods fall well short of perfect.

2) I won't comment on the difficulty of change, but it certainly isn't always wanted, and frequently unintentional. Have read and heard lots of religious deconversion stories,*** change can be accidental, and even resented.

*Sex with a prostitute certainly doesn't have to be dehumanizing, but the general attitude towards prostitutes, and the laws surrounding the matter, certainly make the dehumanization of prostitutes common.

** Which, incidentally, is an excellent letter.

*** Religion is actually a good parallel for convincing people out of bigoted positions; they're both deeply ingrained, fundamentally irrational, and can be toxic to the one who believes it and the one's around that person.
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Re: Ila Vista, MRA, and Feminism

Postby RyukaTana » Mon May 26, 2014 5:54 pm

Okay,you're right about that, crayzz, people do change unintentionally, I didn't word that well. It's hard to word it correctly, but the point is, guided change almost never works unless the person who is to be changed wants it, or extreme measures are taken. Basically, the key word there is 'unintentionally'. When people change without wanting to, it's usually without anyone intending for it.

Yes, there are methods to make someone want to change, but they can be nearly impossible to do the older and more set into a thought someone gets, and definitely the more someone has conviction.

A lot of deconversion/deprogramming stuff is of extremely questionable ethical value. I honestly think it's a far worse thing to try to fuck with someone's brain than to put a bullet in it. There's a very thin line between conditioning and mind-fuckery, and on the other side of that line is a whole mess of shit that NO ONE should EVER be subjected to, and definitely shouldn't be part of a social means to 'correct' people.
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Re: Ila Vista, MRA, and Feminism

Postby crayzz » Mon May 26, 2014 6:33 pm

RyukaTana wrote:It's hard to word it correctly, but the point is, guided change almost never works unless the person who is to be changed wants it, or extreme measures are taken. When people change without wanting to, it's usually without anyone intending for it.


I'm not sure I quite agree with this. I almost do; certainly for a therapy like setting, you need cooperation from the person in question. I think, though, having a well adjusted friend/acquaintance who can give good advice and challenge toxic ideas would be very beneficial stochastically (i.e. statistically helpful, but not consistent throughout), and that friend could be doing that intentionally. I'm not sure if you would consider that "guided"; I think you mean it in a more narrow way.

RyukaTana wrote:A lot of deconversion/deprogramming stuff is of extremely questionable ethical value. I honestly think it's a far worse thing to try to fuck with someone's brain than to put a bullet in it. There's a very thin line between conditioning and mind-fuckery, and on the other side of that line is a whole mess of shit that NO ONE should EVER be subjected to, and definitely shouldn't be part of a social means to 'correct' people.


To clarify, I was referring to instances where deeply religious people came into contact with secular ideals and reasoning, either through a friend, internet forum, whatever. These people tend to argue that the best help they got from others was having people around them (again, online or not) who would challenge there ideals; who could show them the source of their toxic behaviour and how it hurt them (either intentionally, or by living as a good example). I'm not talking about "[fucking] with someone's brain," but making sure that people who hold irrational, toxic ideas have those ideas challenged by more positive values or role models.

I think it's a good parallel because a similar and frequent objection to discussing religion with religious fundamentalists is that they'll never change unless they want to. But if you talk to actual deconverts, you find that really isn't the case, and regularly challenging those ideas helps people leave their ideology, even if they didn't intend to.

As an example of someone "deconverting", I'll quote someone else, who commented on Pharyngula by the 'nym FO.

FO wrote:Horrible as it is, I can relate to this guy.
I felt very much the same, up to the resentment for women and I consider that my darkest moment.
And yes, I suffered of mental illnesses.
I like to think that rather than going on a spree of killing innocents I would have committed suicide instead.

I was lucky enough to struggle past my resentment, and you might be surprised to know that I managed to do this mostly thanks to the fringe non-misogynistic parts of the “PUA community”.

The “fringe” ideas were rather simple: let go of your ego, be bold, be friendly and open, do not lie, do not manipulate, work on being your best self and appreciate women whether they sleep with you or not, they are not a trophy.
I still don’t think that this is enough, but it’s *heaps* better than what goes around in the rest of the community.

Most people in this thread would regard these as obvious things that any healthy compassionate human should know already.
But we are not talking about healthy humans here.
THIS STUFF WAS NOT OBVIOUS TO ME.


I think this is along the lines of what you meant, Ryuka; someone seeking out help, and having access to people who had healthy values with which to help.
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Re: Ila Vista, MRA, and Feminism

Postby RyukaTana » Mon May 26, 2014 8:19 pm

Okay, I think where we disagree is the semantics. You can eventually guide someone to want to change, but ultimately, they will want to change when they change. I'm not saying you have to start with a person who wants to change.

However, one of the major elements of most stories where people change from that sort of behavior is that they were ignorant. That thing you posted, the last line is very important. This is not a guy who had a specifically toxic, opposing view, this was a guy who literally didn't know better. This is a person who had never brought himself to think otherwise. That is not conviction, it might be faith, but it's not conviction.

I agree, if someone is truly ignorant of the negative value of their behavior, someone should try to teach them otherwise. The point at which someone takes a gun to other people, of their own volition (that is, without the coaxing effects of someone like Charles Manson or something), you're almost definitely beyond the point of simple ignorance.

If your basic argument is that we should be teaching children (adolescents, teenagers, whatever) better. That we should do more to effect change in the way we raise our youngest generation, and that there are few more important aspects of society. I agree.
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Re: Ila Vista, MRA, and Feminism

Postby MysticWav » Thu May 29, 2014 8:02 am

I could be misremembering, but wasn't this guy on anit-pscychotic medication that he wasn't taking?
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Re: Ila Vista, MRA, and Feminism

Postby Tem » Fri May 30, 2014 12:07 pm

Tailsteak wrote:I've been reading comments about the case (not even intentionally, they just keep showing up everywhere), and a lot of the comments are about how Rodgers was objectifying women - he felt he was entitled to bang a hot chick because, to him, they were sex objects.

And it occurred to me that, yes, actually, what we need is more actual sex objects.

We need to ramp up the RealDoll technology until we get to the point of the whorebots you're always seeing in science fiction. No A.I.s - that just perpetuates the problem - no, I'm talking about something that looks like a Photoshopped magazine cover model, or a hentai waif, or whatever, with just enough circuitry to handle "Greetings, master, which hole would you like to stick it in?" and no more.

And then all the people - of either gender, but let's face it, mostly men - all the people who view sex as nothing more than fantasy wish fulfillment and pleasant feelings below the belt can fuck the sex bots all day every day - and yes, they'd be entitled to it, as they think they are - and they can leave the ugly, smelly, farting, aging real people the fuck alone.

And then, hopefully, because they aren't having babies, that segment of the population will die out entirely. Wanting to connect to a fellow human being as a fellow human being will be, in Darwinian terms, rewarded, and the species will begin to trend in that direction.


Nice idea, but I'm not sure it would work.

There are men like this who want to reproduce. They would either rape, or, if all women had access to abortion, trick women into bearing their babies.
The fact that men want to have little carbon-copies of themselves is one of the reasons patriarchy exists - men could have sex, more sex and with more women in an equal society, but they wouldn't get to decide whether they have children and whether the children they raise are related to them.

On the other hand, with the necessity to have children in order to be provided for in old age removed, and maybe child-bots or something like that for the satisfaction of the biological urge to have children, it might work for a large enough percentage that they die out in a few generations.
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Re: Ila Vista, MRA, and Feminism

Postby Deepbluediver » Fri May 30, 2014 1:00 pm

crayzz wrote:
Deepbluediver wrote:One of the articles I read said his dad was a movie producer and his mom was on a (French) reality TV show at some point. I'm trying not to blame the parents too much, since I obviously don't have many details, but my gut reaction is that perhaps his parents didn't see it, because they where either to self-absorbed or it didn't seem abnormal to them.


From Daily Kos:
" His own claim is that he was doing everything he could to refuse the mental help his family was forcing him to receive. He refused to accept their advice as valid. He refused medication. He even Refused his parents attempt to help him with a change of scenery. They took the extraordinary step of bringing him to live in Morocco. That change in culture may have done him some good. But he refused to cooperate. 'This is where my fight is,' he wrote, 'right here in the U.S., and nowhere else.'"

His parents knew, and were trying to help, from therapeutic vacations to sending the police to his doorstep.

On the subject of his parents, this is how he treats his mother:

"I started to frequently ask my mother to seek marriage with this man, or any wealthy man for that matter. She always adamantly refused, and demanded that I stopped talking about it. She told me that she never wanted to get married again after her experience with my father. I told her that she should sacrifice her well-being for the sake of my happiness, but this only offended her further."

With everything that we've learned in the last few days, it appears that his parents where worried about him and tried to get him help of one kind or another, and are devastated by his actions. So while part of me would like to think that there is some point at which he might still have been saved, and this course of action prevented (essentially blaming his parents for messing up SOMEWHERE), it looks more and more like he was just either sociopathic from the start, or just to caught up in his own fantasy world to be able to connect with anyone who might have helped him.
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Re: Ila Vista, MRA, and Feminism

Postby RyukaTana » Fri May 30, 2014 3:01 pm

Some people are truly broken, but most of them don't start that way. Sociopaths aren't evil, they lack empathy, and a decent parent can still instill lessons that will make a sociopath behave in a way that is good for other people. Does that make it the mother's fault that this kid is the way he is? No, absolutely not, just as a parent can instill good lessons, a society, his peers, can instill extremely negative ones.

This kid was broken, he was evil, but how he got that way is hard to know, harder yet because people would rather condemn him entirely than make even a tiny attempt to sympathize and try to understand him. It is not for his sake that we should try to sympathize, it's for future individuals who might one day find themselves stumbling down the same path as him.
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Re: Ila Vista, MRA, and Feminism

Postby Tem » Sat May 31, 2014 4:00 am

Has someone already posted this link?

http://www.shakesville.com/2014/05/on-geek-guys-elloit-rodger-think-pieces.html

Very interesting.
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Re: Ila Vista, MRA, and Feminism

Postby MysticWav » Sat May 31, 2014 11:12 pm

I don't know. Don't you think that's a bit nitpicky? Every time someone mentions sex, they have to append an explicit statement of non-objectification? Doesn't that take us to a Seinfeld-esque joke made real? You know, the old "not that there's anything wrong with that" vein.
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