Friday night, a 22-year old man went on a shooting rampage, leaving six people dead aside from himself, and seven others injured. It appears to have been a premeditated act, one inspired by the young man's feeling that he was owed something by women, something that they had not given him. In a video message, he said he was going to go to the hottest sorority house at UCSB, and "slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up blond slut" in there.
After hearing the news this morning, I posted a quote from Margaret Atwood on twitter. "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them."
It didn't take long before I was told that I was wrong, that I was generalizing, that this wasn't about men killing women but people killing people, that only psychopaths kill people, that men could have psycho ex-girlfriends, too. That by posting a quote like that, I was part of the problem.
Never mind the statistics.
It's a thing that happens, whenever I talk about an act of violence or aggression, committed by men against women. I get told, "not all men." As if I didn't know any men, had lived all of my life in a same-sex bubble.
The thing is, of course I know. Of course I get that. Most of the men I know are kind, are compassionate, are people I am proud to consider my friends.
I know some very good men, men who have literally put themselves between me and the man harassing me. I believe that most men would do that. But not all men.
I know that most men are decent human beings, who would never call a woman a bitch because she chooses not to speak to him. Most men. But not all men.
Most men do not follow women who don't want to talk to them down the street, yelling streams of obscenities at them, because they just want some time. Most men. But not all men.
Most men would never put a drug in a woman's drink, or get her so drunk she can't even speak, or use coercion, or violence, to force her to have sex with him. Most men. But not all men.
Most men would not kill their intimate partner, because she has chosen to leave them. Most men. But not all men.
Most men would never go on a shooting rampage, because they believed that they were owed sex by women.
Sadly, not all men.