As more information has been discovered and released about the May 23 Isla Vista killings, the public has gained insight into the mind of Elliot Rodger, the young man who killed seven people, including himself, on a self-proclaimed mission to exact “revenge on humanity.” In a 137-page manifesto he wrote about his plans to kill as many people as he could, targeting a sorority house and those he considered to be attractive people, reasoning that they deserved to be punished essentially for having better sex lives than he did.
Rodger’s manifesto, his uploaded YouTube videos, and things he said on websites such as PUAhate.com, a misogynistic online forum for men who hate women because of their unsuccessful love lives, made it very clear that his actions stemmed from a jealous hatred and rage because he was socially unaccepted. Rodger talked about being unhappy because he was a 22-year-old virgin and women had never been attracted to him.
In his manifesto he wrote, “The Second Phase will represent my War on Women. I will punish all females for the crime of depriving me of sex.”
In our culture feminism and equality have become increasingly important issues, and women and men around the world have been pushing to change the societal norms and social constructs surrounding these issues. Rodger clearly blamed his unhappiness on women and victimized himself.
While the misogynistic aspect of his views is alarming, it is his self-victimization which concerns me most. I believe many young people today feel entitled to an unrealistic degree of luxury, and this in part comes from the concept that everyone is special, everyone gets an award, and nobody is left out.
While many younger generations were taught this, including my own, it is not true. Not everyone is special. People get the short end of the stick, and want to blame others for it. But the fact of the matter is we live in an unfair world where you have to work to get what you want.
Happiness is not going to fall in your lap, and you cannot rely on others to take care of you and make sure your needs are met. In a world of more than seven billion people, only a microscopic population even knows you exist.
The only thing we can control in this world is our own actions and choices. Our ultimate happiness should never be determined by someone else; people will disappoint, and we can’t always get what we want. Instead of blaming others for our misfortune, we as a society should encourage actively making positive choices that will make us happier. Your life is your own, and you make the choices that determine the overall quality of it.
Victimizing oneself often breeds unwarranted hatred towards others, and will only make people unhappy and bitter. Instead of blaming other people for our problems, we should focus on making ourselves happier because of our own choices and try to forgive those who have wronged us.
Rodger’s actions show that this cultural trend of blaming our unhappiness on others and absolving ourselves of the responsibility to own our actions and make our own choices can be dangerous. People do not like to believe that their discontent is their own fault, but often times it is. Instead of complaining about it and acting out in anger, as Rodger did, we need to focus on making positive choices and changes in our lives to get what we want.
Positivity is better than negativity every single time, and the negativity that stems from this victimization will only poison our societal mentality and create a toxic environment.