Op-ed pick: Women react to killing spree

Last Friday’s killings near the University of California in Santa Barbara generated an outpouring of Tweets using the hashtag #YesAllWomen. Although Elliot Rodger’s victims included both men and women, his stated motive was to take revenge on women for their disinterest in him. The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf offers a sampling:

Suffice it to say that the killer was a misogynist, and that lots of women have reacted to his rampage by reflecting on how women are denied full personhood. Those reflections have transcended the incident that sparked them.

Even if you’re generally suspicious of Twitter hashtags, given the limits and shortcomings of the medium, don’t reflexively dismiss #YesAllWomen, the label appended to all Tweets included in this conversation. The Tweets illuminate some experiences common to virtually all women and others that capture how many women feel.

A sampling of Friedersdorf’s sample:

• Every single woman you know has been harassed. And just as importantly, every single woman you don’t know has been harassed. #YesAllWomen
• #YesAllWomen learn to say “Sorry, I have a boyfriend” because we are only safe if we are another man’s property.
• Because society is more comfortable with people telling jokes about rape than it is with people revealing they’ve been raped. #YesAllWomen
• “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” ~ Margaret Atwood #NotAllMen #YesAllWomen

Read Friedersdorf’s piece here.