Let’s try to focus on the rampant misogyny instead, shall we?

Via Jeremy’s twitter feed (whose blog Social Science Lite is a must-read) is this post over at Daily Mathematics by “Blackneck”, arguing for some sort of legalized prostitution.  Which normally wouldn’t be worth commenting on, since these sorts of arguments are a dime a dozen.  Obviously though, I’m commenting on Blackneck’s argument, which suggests that there’s something novel about it.  And, as it so happens, there is:

Last week, this dude, George Sodini, went apeshit in a Pittsburgh LA Fitness health club and shot up the joint, killing 3 women before murking himself. News of his blog rantings about his problems and planned “shoot ‘em up” spread like crazy on the internets and old media systems. The running theory is that he’s a little crazy and was pissed at women for not giving him any ass. I’m thinking the problem was that he was just plain batshit, but let’s run with the no sex angle.

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The reason this dude didn’t get any of that nook-nook is sort of a chicken and egg question: -Did dude not get any ass because he was crazy? I know women have a great sense of intuition and the fact that he had the propensity to go Columbine might have set off women’s senses not to fuck with him. That was probably was the case with that Virginia Tech kid too… And the Columbine kids. -Or was he crazy because he didn’t get any ass? A dry spell of a few months might make a nigga flip out. But nineteen years would probably send the Pope on some Helter Skelter type shit. It’s  just not natural. I don’t need to search the internets to know that there are of plenty psychological studies that show that sex depravation will drive a person crazy. Just think: old people  and a house full of cats… or homeless people who mumble to themselves. Dudes who can’t get any on their own power  should have unfettered access the world’s oldest profession. For those who have a medical case of not non-pussy-getting, like Sodini, there should be a public option.

I understand the argument, but that doesn’t make it any less ridiculous.  Blackneck is wrong.  George Sodini didn’t kill those women (and injure many more) because he was sex deprived.  There are many – many – men (and women for that matter) who either haven’t had sex, or haven’t had it in a long time.  If sex deprivation were really that terrible, we would see many more killings of the kind witnessed last week.  Let’s be clear.  George Sodini killed those women because they were women.  It’s abundantly clear, from his blog and from his journals, that Sodini harbored a deep-seated hatred towards women, and sex happened to be the lens through which he focused those hatreds.  And judging from the intensity of Sodini’s hate, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that there is little that would have dimmed Sodini’s disdain and disgust for women.

All of the legalized prostitution in the world wouldn’t have stopped Sodini (and might have even intensified his hatred).  To suggest otherwise – to suggest that maybe, perhaps, women do bear some of the blame for his actions – is more than a little offensive, and comes dangerously close to victim-blaming.  Which isn’t terribly surprising, to be honest.  We are fairly sensitive to instances of racism, kind of sensitive to classism, and absolutely tone-deaf when it comes to misogyny.  Which, as Bob Herbert noted this past weekend in the New York Times, is kind of a problem when you consider that the United States is – as he puts it – “saturated with misogyny.”  Blackneck’s post, well meaning as it is, is reflective of that tone deafness.  If he (and I’m going to assume that Blackneck is a he) had a better grasp on the deep misogyny that permeates our society, then his solution to Sodini-types wouldn’t be to legalize prostitution in the hopes of staving off another massacre, it would be to preempt another massacre by directly addressing the rampant – and perfectly acceptable – disdain for women which permeates our mainstream discourse.

Update: Apparently Blackneck’s post was satire, and somehow (I usually notice those things), I missed that.  My apologies.

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12 thoughts on “Let’s try to focus on the rampant misogyny instead, shall we?

  1. It’s a weird blend of misogyny and misandry that says that (insert harm here) could have been avoided had so-and-so only gotten laid more often. It begs the reader to engage in some amateur psychoanalysis of his or her own. Surely the writer is projecting. Surely.

    I mean, it’s like seeing a gamer write about how we could have less crime if there were a copy of Grand Theft Auto III in every home (I now hear you ask “why did Jay start with that particular example?). A foodie saying he needed more dessert. A personal trainer saying he needed to work out more. A yogi saying he needed more meditation. A carpenter with only a hammer saying he needed more nails.

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  2. Geez the mofo had a blog. That should been enough for him.

    Yeah legalized prostitution would have stopped him. Because apparently he was afraid of committing the minor crime of going to a prostitute so he had to go all murder-suicide. That makes sense.

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    • It wouldn’t surprise me if he considered sex with a prostitute to be beneath him or otherwise unsatisfactory, legal or otherwise. The old “if you have to pay for it, it doesn’t count” theory of sex.
      But yeah, the guy had problems. I don’t think, though, that lack of access to hookers was one of them.

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  3. AND ANOTHER THING

    It’s not like the lack of a legal option has resulted in a shortage of illegal options out there.

    I mean, it’s like saying “this proves that we need to make marijuana legal because if the dude could have gotten high legally, this could have been avoided”.

    Dude. I am not speaking from experience here but I have heard enough stories to know that weed is available for purchase. I am willing to extrapolate from that that there are people (not just women!) who would be more than happy enough to barter a little of their own X for a little of your own Y.

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  4. Maybe the killer was trying to use this “logic” as his pick up line. “If you won’t go out with me, then I may have to go on a murderous rampage.” And for some reason that wasn’t working with the ladies.

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  5. Pingback: Let’s try to focus on the rampant misogyny instead, shall we? « The United States of Jamerica

  6. Pingback: The Worst Argument for Legalized Prostitution Ever Made. « PostBourgie

  7. Ok, Blacknecks post is CLEARLY labeled as satire – and is as funny as such a topic can be when taken that way, so why attempt to take it as otherwise just to argue for arguing’s sake?

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  8. ” Which, as Bob Herbert noted this past weekend in the New York Times, is kind of a problem when you consider that the United States is – as he puts it – “saturated with misogyny.” ”

    I thought Bob Herbert’s op-ed was satire. How can a black man, of all people, argue that there is more violence against women than men in this country? Maybe he just thinks all those dead young black men were ghetto rats, unlike a high achiever and NYT columnist like him, and deserved it. How can he argue, with the wildly lop-sided incarceration rates we have in this country, the the culture is *misogynistic*?

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    • You’re kidding right? I’m not much for the “oppression olympics,” but death is not the ultimate violation or mark of suffering. Men and women experience the world differently, and much of the suffering women experience, in particular, goes unseen or prioritized beneath the suffering men experience (as evidenced by your comment). That doesn’t make those experiences more important, or any less important.

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