I’ve consumed quite a bit of the post-Elliot Rodger online literature: #NotAllMen and #YesAllWomen and women’s reactions to #NotAllMen and men’s reactions to #YesAllWomen and women’s reactions to men’s reactions to #YesAllWomen and rape culture and slut culture and mental illness and gun rights and casual misogyny and gendered violence and media portrayals and objectification and on and on down the wormhole of a pingpong game that is the internet after a tragedy. Until the next celebrity says something racist, at least.
I’ve been clicking on articles more than I usually do whenever a grand national outrage is playing out, and by and large, I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen that’s gone viral all the way from bigger, more mainstream outlets like Slate, to smaller blogs about dating in nerd culture. (I ignore MRA and PUA in the same spirit I do birthers and Holocaust deniers.) Basically, the popular sentiment seems to be: “Misogyny and rape culture are real and insidious problems. We can’t derail this conversation by saying what happened is only about mental health and gun access. We, as a society, need to do better.”
I have read many a beautiful rallying cry for just that, penned by men and women alike. Good job, America. The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one…still.
Over the past week, I have also read some things that just…landed slightly askew. Left a very subtle aftertaste that I couldn’t identify but didn’t like. And on the surface, it was hard to say why something was off and it was difficult to distinguish from the rest of the pack that seemed to be saying exactly the same thing. But then I came across this blog, entitled “A Gentleman’s Guide to Rape Culture” which was shared over and over on my Facebook news feed, and it crystalized for me. This is by far the most overt and extreme example I’ve found, but what it made me realize was this:
Dude. You’re trying too hard. And it’s not helping.