Quality Television and the Violence Against Women Problem

If the recent murder spree of Elliot Rodger has taught us anything, it is that there is a massive vein of murderous, violent misogyny simmering beneath the surface of American culture.  Although many men have come forward to disavow the sentiments expressed by Rodger and those like him, just as many have also, somewhat shamefacedly, … Continue reading Quality Television and the Violence Against Women Problem

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The Shame of the Male Virgin

Another compelling read.

TIME

What’s craziest about the story of the young man who killed six people and himself at UC Santa Barbara over the weekend is not that he was obsessed with sex, or even that he thought he was entitled to it. Reading his 141-page “manifesto” — and the series of YouTube videos he filmed and posted online — what was most surprising was how ordinary his complaint seemed.

Elliot Rodger had never kissed a girl. In a culture of casual sex, he was a virgin — at 22. ​He was lonely, angry, humiliated, depressed, and also likely struggling with mental illness. He couldn’t understand why others got to have what he didn’t; why girls always seemed to go after the “obnoxious jocks,” not the nice guys like him; why he had to see it all around him — from porn to campus party culture — as if taunting him…

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Reiew: “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and Radical Queerness

It probably comes as no surprise that the new film X-Men:  Days of Future Past is positively bubbling over with queer subtexts.  Directed by noted gay auteur Brian Singer,the film follows the X-Men (especially Wolverine, Professor X, and Magneto), as they struggle to change the past in order to prevent a future in which powerful … Continue reading Reiew: “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and Radical Queerness

Why does feedback hurt sometimes?

A must-read for all of my fellow graduate students out there.

The Thesis Whisperer

This letter was written by an experienced academic at ANU to her PhD student, who had just presented his research to a review panel and was still licking her wounds.

The student sent it to me and I thought it was a great response I asked the academic in question, and the student who received it, if I could publish it. I wish all of us could have such nuanced and thoughtfu feedback during the PhD. I hope you enjoy it.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 7.27.05 PMA letter to…My PhD student after her upgradeWell you did it. You got your upgrade. But from the look on your face I could tell you thought it was a hollow victory. The professors did their job and put the boot in. I remember seeing that look in the mirror after my own viva. Why does a win in academia always have the sting of defeat?

Yeah, it’s a…

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Why Elliot Rodger’s misogyny matters

we hunted the mammoth

A chart posted by Elliot Rodger, giving his chilling spin on a manosphere meme depicting supposed female "hypergamy" A chart posted by Elliot Rodger, giving his chilling spin on a manosphere meme depicting supposed female “hypergamy”

When a white supremacist murders blacks or Jews, no one doubts that his murders are driven by his hateful, bigoted ideology. When homophobes attack a gay youth, we rightly label this a hate crime.

But when a man filled to overflowing with hatred of women acts upon this hatred and launches a killing spree targeting women, many people find it hard to accept that his violence has anything to do with his misogyny. They’re quick to blame it on practically anything else they can think of – guns, video games, mental illness – though none of these things in themselves would explain why a killer would target women.

In the case of Elliot Rodger, who set out on Friday night aiming, as he put it in a chilling video, to…

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The Isla Vista Massacre, Misogyny, and Discourses of Mental Illness

A lot of digital ink has been spilled (quite rightly) over the culture of misogyny that informed the recent horror that occurred at UCSB.  However, and not quite as rightly, there has also been a kneejerk reaction that attempts to either a.) Assert that Elliot Rodger was a victim of mental illness and that this … Continue reading The Isla Vista Massacre, Misogyny, and Discourses of Mental Illness