The blogosphere is buzzing with talk about misogyny, the hatred or dislike of women or girls. The most recent reference comes from Elliot Rodger, who murdered 6 people and injured 13 others. According to news reports, he was angry because women wouldn’t have sex with him. The murders and injuries was his “retribution” which he felt was completely justified. Some commentators have taken his act and portrayed it as an extension of an atmosphere of misogyny in our society.
Are the commentator's reactions reasonable? Part of me sides with a Time's article that states that mentally ill people will find a “hook” to focus on, and misogyny happened to be what Elliot found. It was not the overwhelming environment, it was just something he found to grab onto. With that said, another part of me fully understands the concerned fear voiced by the commentators.
Back in 2006 I had was on a vague paranoia spree regarding the powers-that-were. Remember, this was the good-old-days of President Bush and neoconservatives. They were going to transform the word for their righteous cause. I had seen 'V for Vendetta' twice. The first time was by myself, and I saw it on a whim. The second time I saw it with my lovely girlfriend (now wife!). The first time I saw it I thought it was about a theocracy. I was not wrong. A theocracy in future Britain was part of the plot. The second time I saw it I realized that the movie was not truly about a theocracy. The type of totalitarian government was secondary to the fact that the government had been taken over by a small group of people. It didn't really matter if they wore the banner of theocracy. They could have been fascist, communist, capitalist, or anything else. What mattered is that power had been taken from the people. A tag-line for the movie is, "People should not fear the government; the government should fear the people."
What does that have to do with today's blogosphere topic of misogyny? Simply this, misogyny is a reality in our world. Women get the short end of the our world because of political and economic influences. The outcries of ongoing persecution of women remind us that all our liberties are only a persecution away from being removed. The oppressors will change, but the potential evil and unfairness perpetrated by power are the same. Anything that reminds us to remain on guard is a blessing.
Interestingly, this blog entry is based on one I did back in 2006. It was about the Burning Times, a period in history during which the religious leaders engaged in massive misogyny. So, I want to share the last paragraph from the 2006 blog entry....
During the Burning Times, women were killed in pursuit of people establishing/consolidating power. My girlfriend (now wife!) has researched the burning times, and the information she shared with me showed me that the driver of the burning times was the shifting of political and economic power. In this drama of humankind, the victims where women and the oppressors were Christian governments. I do believe that the taglines of "remember the burning times" are valid if they only remind us that our liberties are only a persecution away from being removed, and our lives are not far behind. The oppressors will change, but the evil is the same. Anything that reminds us to remain on guard is a blessing.