Traditionally after a mass shooting, the hot topics of discussion that usually ensue usually circulate around gun control, political dissonance and nature or nurture debates (i.e. video game violence indoctrination or innate psychosis deviation). The Santa Barbara shooting however has ignited an unusual global discussion with misogyny as the centrepiece. Take to twitter using #Yesallwomen to follow the thread of comments.
I won’t mention the shooters name. I do not believe this individual should be granted the privilege of having their name remembered and sprawled across the internet. However, I would at this point like to remember the victims of this terrible tragedy.
Cheng Yuan Hong
These are the people who deserve to be mourned for their lives lost to a monstrous act. Not the monster who committed the crime.
I am honestly angered that there are men out there who are paying sympathy to this manic who has taken the lives of both women AND men. They mourn for him, empathising that they understand how he could have been driven to such horrific madness because women had not given him any attention. That he was left to live his young adulthood as a virgin. Are women now under some obligation to keep men from committing mass murders by dishing out sexual favours?
I have always detested the internet’s constant memes harping on about the dissatisfaction that apparently “nice guys always finish last”. That apparently all women knowingly and purposefully elect to become romantically involved with men who are inherently “douchbags”. The theory, a generous label, purports that because of the neglect “nice guys” have suffered at the hands of careless women, they are somehow then justified in themselves turning into “douchebags” and cannot be blamed for the rampage that ensues.
Do these boys and men, no #notallmen, so fervently support this conjecture because they genuinely believe that in the history of the human race, only “nice men” have been apparently been wronged by women and that “nice women” have not been by men? Or is it simply sheer entitlement?
Firstly, let me point out, this “theory” debunks itself. It literally identifies “nice guys” and “douchebags” as one in the same. It simply suggests a mutation. Ultimately, it’s still the undeniably the same cell. Secondly what are the criteria that one must satisfy to be so neatly categorised into one of the two? Surely in the twenty-first century we have moved beyond the fictitious and ultimately un-profound generalisations of good and bad. I should like to think that our understanding of the human psyche has at the very least allowed us to grasp the fact that the nature of the whole things is so complex that monochromatic groupings such as those do it no justice.
For arguments sake however, let me pretend that this primitive distinction exist. Firstly, “nice guys always finish last” is completely unfounded and an untrue generalisation. It is only from a very self-centred perspective that one would come to the conclusion that they are the only one being hurt in a situation. Hypothetically, and yes it happens, a very “nice” man has very genuine feelings towards a female friend and those feelings are not reciprocated. From a very narrow perspective, derived from a need to justify everything, that man may see his unsuccessful conquest, and subsequent “friendzoning”, as directly correlated to her affections for a less than admirable man. Before we proceed, why doesn’t anyone ever seem inclined to label this female character as the antagonist or the protagonist? Would it not be fair to place her in a similar light and make hyperboles such as “nice girls always finish last?”
If we're really being fair here, the “nice” guy and the girl are really one in the same. Both insist on pursuing someone who ultimately does not feel the same way. This is the real world. It’s not a romantic comedy and the truth is just because you’re nice, do the right thing and MAYBE you do “deserve” to win the person’s affections, the reality is that this does not entitle you to them. Maybe they are making a mistake by choosing someone who doesn’t treat them as well as you THINK you’ll treat them but that’s their mistake to make. Take it on the chin, wish them well and move on. Don’t become spiteful and use this experience as an excuse to become a manipulative player or worse, allowing your unjustified anger to manifest into violence.
Take ownership for you actions. If an individual’s pure motivation to befriend and be nice to another person were solely driven by a desire to possess them, then I for one would not consider them a particularly “nice” person. Men and women alike need to let go of this false sense of entitlement. Just because you give to someone does not entitle you to take from them if they do not return the favour as you would have liked. Love is not an arena where everyone’s efforts are always rewarded accordingly. People are not trophies to be won. You can only give the love you have to give and hope that just maybe those feelings will be returned with mutual affection but there are no promises.