My social feed is full of people expressing sorrow for what happened in Vegas, a bunch of people who are set on determining that it was some sort of colluded, inside job, and then a raging debate about guns and ownership and such. There is nothing wrong with these things, but they move us no closer to any real change.
I think looking at guns and gun laws and regulations is a worthwhile endeavor, however, I think it is a far larger issue than this alone. How come no one is talking about the gender of the people who are committing almost all of these crimes? I believe that globally there are more women on the planet than men (violence, wars, lifestyle, etc) and yet if you were to look at the statistics of major crime, you will find it is pretty exclusive to men. Why isn’t that the topic of discussion?
So what is it about men that makes us prevalent to violence? I think it has to be because of historical gender norms and societal roles placed on men from birth. Society has conditioned us to believe that men behave a certain way, look a certain way, talk a certain way, have relations with women and only women, be aggressive (but not too aggressive!), and place all these images and notions into the male psyche. We have to fuck, fight and protect, and if we don’t then we have failed ourselves, our families, our communities, and society in general.
Deviation from these norms has never been viewed in a positive way. If it were, we would not have any need to discuss LGBT rights, and yet nothing could be further from the truth.
Why are people not talking about the correlation between masculinity, bullying, suicide, depression, addiction, violence, and so much more? This is why I get passionate when I read commentary from internet detectives, who think they have uncovered a subversive cover-up. Why waste your energy there, when you could be focusing on issues that might impact change?
Being a critical thinker is commendable and necessary, but perhaps spend some time being critical of society and the present, a warped dynamic we are in today. Be critical of stereotypes. Be critical of gender norms. Be critical of abuse. Be critical and also be compassionate and empathetic.