What The F*ck Is Wrong With Men?
Yesterday afternoon, a man went to Mercy Hospital in Chicago and killed three people: a pharmacy resident named Dayna Less, a police officer named Samuel Jimenez, and Dr. Tamara O'Neal, the man's former fiancé. The shooter, Juan Lopez, 32, was seen arguing with Dr. O'Neal in the parking lot before taking his gun out and shooting her nine times. People called 911, police arrived. Lopez ran into the hospital and ended up in a shootout with Samuel Jimenez that ended in both of their deaths and the death of Dayna Less.
Also, yesterday, a man walked into a Catholic supply store in St. Louis, pulled out a gun, ordered two women to take their clothes off, sexually assaulted them and then shot one of them in the head. She didn't survive, he still hasn't been caught.
Also, yesterday, a man in Denver shot five people, killing one, wounding four. No one knows why, and police are still looking for him.
That was all in one day.
This week, in Colorado, Christopher Watts was sentenced to three life sentences, to be served consecutively, for the murders of his pregnant wife and two children, whom he killed so he could have a "fresh start." He put their bodies in oil tanks.
These are all unrelated crimes. The last one didn't even involve a gun, the third one does not appear to be misogyny-related that we know of (though if we find out the guy's got a history of domestic violence, I won't be surprised -- most of them do). But it still just feels like a lot at once. It feels like this never goddamn stops.
At the same time, we've got message boards full of incels (who probably already have threads up praising at least one of these men), fucking Nazis and Proud Boys, MGTOWs and Red Pillers and every possible variety of angry men constantly screaming and raging about how they're not getting what they feel the world owes them.
It's just goddamned exhausting.
I was sitting at the bar when I found out that the Chicago shooter was going after his ex-fiancé. Some of my girlfriends were sitting down the other end, also talking about the shooting, and I walked over to tell them. We talked for a minute about how literally every time this happens it turns out to be some guy with issues with women or a history of domestic violence -- but then some asshole dude, whom I did not know, stood up and started angrily demanding to know whether the shooter was white or black. At that point they hadn't said anything. But this guy, he says, "Well you know he wasn't white because if he was white they'd be going on and on again about another angry white man but do you know the actual statistics on crime in this country? Black men..."
"Holy shit, I am really going to need you to shut your mouth right now," I told him. He kept going anyway. A friend said, "Dude, she covers this stuff for a living, she knows what she's talking about." I forget what I said, eventually, to shut him up, but eventually he spun back around in his seat and left it alone.
Well, he left it alone for 10 minutes, anyway, right up until he walked over to tell me that he has friends who are cops and a cop was also shot. "Yes, I know. It is in the news." He then proceeded to explain to me that he was not racist, but that he had a very fancy MBA and was thus interested in statistics and facts.
I think I finally got him to leave on the third "For the love of god I am not interested in anything you have to say."
I'm relaying this story now because, you know, it just felt a little too on the nose.
Toxic masculinity is literally killing us and I genuinely do not know what the fuck to do about it. I don't know what to do about it when I see it in real life, and I sure as hell don't have any good answers for how to solve it on a larger scale -- outside of mandatory therapy for every man in America. As much as I believe in gun control, it's not the only answer here. Obviously we need more of it and it would sure as hell save a lot of lives -- but it's not the only issue here. Women have guns, too, and we don't see three women in a day going on murder sprees. Out of all the mass shootings we've had since 1982, only three in total have been perpetrated by women.
It's almost as if these post-baby boom generations of men, lucky enough to avoid an actual draft, are simply finding a new way to wage war in its absence. But if it were simply that men, in general, are more violent and need some kind of outlet for violence, we wouldn't also have a situation where the vast majority of these entitlement-based mass shootings were carried out by white men. They are losing social power and status and they are retaliating in violence, they are retaliating in organized hate.
I am so tired of writing this article. I am so tired of this happening. I am so tired of seeing a mass shooting happen, then waiting a few hours to find out what grievance the shooter had with one woman or all women in general, and then seeing it and going "Yep, just as expected."
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse