California Shooter’s Sexism Is More Common Than We Care to Admit

She Matters: Elliot Rodger’s murderous rampage was rooted in a pervasive problem that many men share: a lack of respect for women.

Elliot Rodger
Elliot Rodger Screenshot

Too often, people like to point out atrocities in other parts of the world and play an oppression Olympics of sorts. We hear about stolen girls in Nigeria or a woman gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi or women who ride in separate train cars in Japan. We all say something about how awful it must be to be a woman in those countries, as if women are treated so much better here.

Better? Eh. The double standard slut shaming we do here isn’t as bad as the stoning they do in some countries, but the difference isn’t anything to get on a high horse and brag about, not when we have high school students in Steubenville, Ohio, who sexually assault drunken girls and videotape it. What we’re talking about is different extremes, like the guy who casually disrespects women (or doesn’t notice or care), the guy who assaults them and the guy who goes a step further and kills them. It’s all the same core problem: a lack of respect for women.

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life and the upcoming Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. Follow her on Twitter.