Conservative douchebag/pundit Erick Erickson says that Rape Culture is not to blame for Elliot Rodger’s killing spree. What we need is more Chivalry (ie, Rape Culture: let this be your Trigger Warning). Where to start with Erick Erickson’s, er, writings? There is no thorough line of reasoning, no through line, no logic or science, sweetness or art to his boxing.
Let’s give a blow-by-horrible-blow of a couple chapters in this round of Erick Erickson V Humanity: The Rumble in the Tumble:
Society used to expect men to open doors,
Men still open doors. Seen it myself, I have! But now women have found out that they can open doors too. Sometimes, a man will open for a woman, sometimes a woman for a woman, sometimes a man for a man and even a woman for a man or a non-binary person can open the door or be the beneficiary of said open door. Why, one time recently I kept the door open for three men and four women! Mind-boggling, I know. Ok, so what else about the good old days, Archie Bunker?
… protect their families,
This is a loaded term. And it goes back to this infatuation with violence as being a center of the conservative imagination. But again there’s this regret that this is no longer the sole category of males. They let women into the club!
… and be champions of modesty and virtue.
Here’s where we’re getting into some interesting stuff. See, when the womenfolk started debating what is good for their own bodies, well, everything went to pot. Only men are capable of setting the stage for what is good and right, amirite?
But chivalry is dead.
This, this is actually a good thing. Chivalry is the code and culture of a pretty horrible time in Western Civilization. Errickson may as well have lamented the death of plantation culture. Why can’t more men be like pirates? Chivalry is based on the mores of Male Supremacy in the form of medieval knights. Knights fight for the hand of the maiden. Knights are active agents and women are passive recipients. Knights conquer fertile lands. Knights steal and colonize lands. Knights seek and destroy. Oh, and knights rape. Chivalry is an antiquated yet nicely packaged form of Rape Culture.
Instead of men and women complimenting each other,
When you go to Feminist Prep School, the first thing they teach you is to never compliment anybody. The second is Fuck the Patriarchy. The third is how to make an awesome quiche.
I’m sure Erickson means “complement.” That’s the idea that men and women are fundamentally different and that each has what they call “gender roles”; when you put the two together (here there is no room for same sex attraction nor are trans people recognized), you get a whole person. So, according to complementarians, men and women aren’t functional without someone from the other sex. Like women need men to protect them and provide for them and men need women to do all the womenwork like child raising, house cleaning, and looking all pretty-like for the menfolk.
… they’re supposed to be perfectly equal even if they are not.
A typical conservative argument is that feminists believe women are exactly like men and should do everything a man does. It’s an argument spouted by people who haven’t heard feminist thought. May I suggest some bell hooks?
Best we can tell, Elliot Rodger lived the very lifestyle the cultural left thinks men should live and that is regularly glorified on the silver screen.
That, according to an essay by Jeff Yang, may be the fundamental problem. Rodger came from an upper middle class home, but he wasn’t that wealthy. Rodger was half Asian and half White, so he wasn’t quite White enough. And he was really, really pissed that no woman belonged to him. Rodger, remember, spent a lot of time in his Rape Culture fantasies.
The concept of Rape Culture is grounded in the understanding that our context is Patriarchal – where men in subtle and not-so-subtle and intentional or unintentional ways domineer over women, in sociological trends as well as in most interactions, whether they be . The acknowledgement of Rape Culture is to understand that men are taught through patriarchy that women belong to us, that they are property to be physically and sexually exploited. Patriarchy teaches that women are less-than-human – objects to be desired and conquered. This is exactly how Roger saw women and his manifesto showed that his anger and bitterness were rooted in the fact that he could see, but could not touch. As if the touch were his to take. Like racism, this concept is deeply ingrained and must be highlighted by analysis of those who have been hurt by it.
Don’t expect any analysis from Erick Erickson, though. He’s not really good at it.
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