Monday, November 30, 2015

Toxic Masculinity and Mass Shootings

"...toxic masculinity is a performance that emphasizes violence, control over others, sexual aggression and a lack of emotion and vulnerability." In a recent module we learned about masculinity and violence. The movies, video clips, and readings all showed different links between the two. We also learned about race as it relates to masculinity. All aspects of people's lives are intertwined, and in some cases factors intertwine in ways that cause violence towards others. For example, Dylann Roof, a young, white, middle-class male, shot 10 African American church-goers in Charleston, North Carolina, killing 9 of them in an attempt to start a "race war."  "Roof’s racism and sexism thus intersect in what philosophers Carol Pateman and Charles Mills have described as 'racial patriarchy.' This is a system of racial domination in which people of color are subordinate to whites. It is also a relationship where white men have more power than white women." Roof embodies the idea of toxic masculinity, and when mixed with unstable home life, white supremacist views, and access to a firearm, he did what other young white males have done in an attempt to reclaim power they feel they have lost in life: he took that anger and used it to kill innocent people. 

Mass shootings are all too common in America, with more than 200 mass killings in the US since 2006. But every time media talks about a mass shooting, they leave out the most important patterns from their analysis: the shooters are almost always white, middle-class men."The corporate news media does not want a sustained discussion of gun violence as a type of public health crisis. The corporate news media is also unwilling to discuss how domestic terrorism by right-wing white men is now the United States’ leading threat to public order. Very troublingly, the corporate news media considers it impolitic to explore how the right-wing echo chamber is radicalizing and weaponizing its followers." If we want to stop these shootings from happening we need to do a number of things, including raising boys with the notion that they shouldn't use violence as a solution to their problems.

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