Saturday 20 January 2018

#YesAllWomen trends on Twitter in response to UCSB massacre

Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

The hashtag #YesAllWomen has been trending on Twitter in response to a shooting at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

The shooting, which left 6 dead and 13 injured, was carried out by Elliot Rodger (22), a student at the university.

Prior to the shooting, Rodger posted a series of videos discussing his loneliness. In one video, he notes that "No girls in my college have ever shown any interest in me" which he claimed was "such an injustice".

He questioned the male students walking around campus with "pretty girls", saying "I deserve them more". "It's so unfair...."Your sexual preference is flawed... it's perverted. You should be attracted to guys like me."

"You girls make (this world) cruel... you have starved me of sex for my entire youth."

In his final video, originally posted to Instagram, Rodger said that girls not being attacted to him was a problem he was "about to rectify".

Bunches of flowers are placed on the lawn outside the Alpha Phi sorority house in a makeshift memorial
Bunches of flowers are placed on the lawn outside the Alpha Phi sorority house in a makeshift memorial
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown speaks at a news conference at Sheriff headquarters in Santa Barbara, California May 24, 2014. Brown confirmed that Elliot Oliver Robertson Rodger is the suspect in a mass shooting that left 6 people dead and 13 injured in the college neighborhood of Isla Vista near UC Santa Barbara. REUTERS/Phil Klein
The black BMW driven by Elliot Rodger (AP)
IV Deli Mart owner Michael Hassan, left, and his employee clean up the store where part of the mass shooting took place

"I will not let this fly... it's an injustice that needs to be dealt with."

The messages by Rodger are a chilling reminder of the idea which exists that men are entitled to a woman's affection or attention.

The hashtag #YesAllWomen began trending on Twitter in response to the news that the shooting had been perpetrated as "retribution" for women not showing interest in Rodgers.

The hashtag aims to debunk the idea that men (or any interested party) are entitled to female affection or attention, and highlight the dangers of grouping 'all women' into one category based on experience with a few - as Elliot Rodger did in his many YouTube videos.

"Do you know how much misery you've caused me? I'm such a nice guy - why won't you give me a chance?"

Both women and men have flooded the site with their stories of everyday sexism, harassment and even rape. Many more men have joined the hashtag to show solidarity with their sisters, mothers, daughters, friends and girlfriends.

The hashtag is showcasing some of the worst aspects of rape culture, from dress codes in schools focusing on the girls "distracting" the boys to horrific stories of rape and mishandling of rape cases across the world.

Tweet with #YesAllWomen to join the conversations and see a selection of the tweets below.


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