Coverage of this weekend’s mass shooting California has turned to the internet. As now almost always seems to be the case when a young man murders people, there’s a raft of stories investigating his “digital footprint.” A manifesto that ended up on Scribd, various anti-women postings on misogynist websites, the shooters’ own creepy YouTube screeds.
So how much attention should we pay to the thoughts of an insane murderer? I really have no idea.
On Twitter, the hashtag #YesAllWomen has taken off, as a place where women are sharing stories about being threatened or abused by men who, like the killer, felt violently entitled to sex. And whenwomenrefuse.tumblr.com is cataloging stories of male violence against women who refused their advances.
Some people are arguing that it doesn't make sense to talk about motive or causation with a homicidal person: crazy trumps culture. But whether you think that a poisonous anti-woman culture contributed to the killer’s headspace or not, it seems like as good a time as any to talk about the prevalence of that culture, both in real life and online.