Monday, May 26, 2014

Something Wrong - What Elliot Rodger Tells Us About Our Culture

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." - Frederick Douglass

"Taking out the world in a blaze of glory should be seen as the least manly thing you can do."  - Lisa Hickey

All weekend, I've struggled with how to address the tragic events in Santa Barbara, CA here on the blog.

Except it's not just about Santa Barbara, really.  It wasn't about just Milford, CT either.  It's not about any one of the many - far too many - terrible violent events we have suffered as a national community.  It's about all of them.    

I believe that we're experiencing something systemic.  Something that's terribly fractured, culturally speaking.  When you consider that out of a total of 70 mass murders over 32 years, all but one of them were committed by men and boys, it becomes obvious that we're failing them somehow.  Cultural environment counts for something... and all together, we create that cultural environment.  Culture - which we create collectively - determines what we think of as "masculine" and what each individual man uses to define his sense of self-worth.  What is being referred to as "rape culture" is the result of a very narrow, horrifically broken cultural definition of masculinity, and it has to change.

Maybe not individually, but collectively, we're doing something wrong.  We as a collective society must face this trend with both compassion and urgency.

Guante, Laci Green, and Lisa Hickey all say it much better than I can:

Please watch this video from Laci Green,

and read Lisa Hickey's article for the GoodMen Project,  

as well as Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre's article on dismantling rape culture, 

Nothing's going to change unless we - all of us, together - create the change.  

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