The 21-year-old Texan charged with the El Paso murders is an avowed white supremacist man. The slain Dayton killer had previously compiled a “rape list” of females he wanted to sexually assault. Both are poster boys of toxic masculinity.
The problem is not mental illness. The problem is not violent video games. The problem is a social pathology of aggrieved entitlement and misogyny mixed with white supremacy, aided and abetted by 8Chan and Fox News and Donald Trump and corrupted lawmakers.
While mass shooters typically share some of the same individual traits, we must name toxic masculinity as a factor that is often overlooked in many public discussions about these events.
Guys who struggle to get laid are not the most put-upon members of our society. The male ego is not a sacred object. And nobody should waste time and energy tiptoeing around a dude just because he can’t take a joke.
Writing an anti-fraternity manifesto would likely have been an infinitely easier choice—but instead, Alexandra Robbins sought successfully to weave hope from chaos in “Fraternity: An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men.”
What is it about male identity that links so undeniably with violence? How do we break these cycles of violence?
A recent exchange on the altright.com message board asked participants to weigh in on women’s functionality. One poster responded: “Seriously, the only role women play in this movement is donating their husband’s money.”
Ms. talked to educator, author and feminist advocate Dr. Jackson Katz about sexism in U.S. politics, what it will take to unpack the bigotry of our institutions and how we can best push back against the toxic masculinity of the Trump administration.
Kurtz spoke with Ms. about the women who inspire his work and his activism, paying it forward as a white, cis gay man and how he remains hopeful in the midst of political turmoil.
I invite you to stand against male violence—including the violence of your fellow Incels. I invite you, in the words of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, to “listen to women for a change.”