Gee, friends: do you think anyone will listen now that a man with a column in the New York Times says it? (Thanks to reader KW for the tip.) Bob Herbert focuses on the sexual nature of gynocide and the sexualized ideation of men who murder women:
What was unusual about [murderer George] Sodini was how explicit he was in his blog about his personal shame and his hatred of women. “Why do this?” he asked. “To young girls? Just read below.” In his gruesome, monthslong rant, he managed to say, among other things: “It seems many teenage girls have sex frequently. One 16 year old does it usually three times a day with her boyfriend. So, err, after a month of that, this little [expletive] has had more sex than ME in my LIFE, and I am 48. One more reason.”
I was reminded of the Virginia Tech gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people in a rampage at the university in 2007. While Cho shot males as well as females, he was reported to have previously stalked female classmates and to have leaned under tables to take inappropriate photos of women. A former roommate said Cho once claimed to have seen “promiscuity” when he looked into the eyes of a woman on campus.
Soon after the Virginia Tech slayings, I interviewed Dr. James Gilligan, who spent many years studying violence as a prison psychiatrist in Massachusetts and as a professor at Harvard and N.Y.U. “What I’ve concluded from decades of working with murderers and rapists and every kind of violent criminal,” he said, “is that an underlying factor that is virtually always present to one degree or another is a feeling that one has to prove one’s manhood, and that the way to do that, to gain the respect that has been lost, is to commit a violent act.”
For a reminder on my old posts on gynocide and the perverse linkage between masculinity and violence (especially gun violence), see here, here, here, and here–commentaries on incidents of men killing women and their own children, and all within the space of one month (April 11-May 9). I find it strange that Herbert didn’t mention the murder of Johanna Justin-Jinich, whose murder in Middletown, Conn. was covered like local news by the Times, and whose killer, like Sodini, appears to have been motivated by frustration and rage at his lack of sexual success. Instead, Herbert focuses only on other mass-murderers who didn’t choose targets known to them–but why not, when gynocide (whether personal or general) seems to stem from the same causes?