Meet George Sodini's Relationship Guru

Comments

1
As I alluded to before; he's the Michael Douglas character from Falling Down. Everything is perfect, everything is as it should be, except his romantic life. Except in FD, it was the character's wife that didn't "fit" into the "perfect" life he made; in this case it was the imaginary young woman who never materialized that ruined the illusion.

"You mean I'm the bad guy?"

I'm the worst armchair psychologist in the world.
2
Wow, it's the Tom Cruise character ("Seduce And Destroy") from Magnolia in real life.
3
I'm surprised there's not a framed photo of Drew Peterson on the wall behind Sodini in that YouTube clip.
4
Everything is 100% guaranteed money back.


Well now we know how he can safely make that guarantee.
5
"traffics in - and prophets from..."

Is that a play on words, describing a "guru?"
Or just a spell-check escapee?

Sigh... the danger of homonyms.
6
You know... it just occurs to me that every so often some nutjob does something nutty and awful and we all go, "Oh, this nutjob is emblematic of a more serious problem in our society." Then we anatomize his or her nuttiness in excruciating detail and pretend we're engaged in something other than prurient voyeurism. And whatever, fine, knock yourself out.

But really? Contrary to what some would have us believe (keshmeshi, I'm looking at you), this exact kind of mass murder is not -- and will not become -- a widespread social problem. Three people were murdered, and that's profoundly fucked up. But the blame doesn't fall on sex gurus or porn or the media. It falls on a nutjob, being a nutjob. If it wasn't sex gurus that set him off it would've been Jews or black people or the barking dog next door. We live in a confusing world that makes a lot of demands on us, and stupid high strung people with a screw loose will sometimes parse all that confusing input in such a way that the pieces spell out "murder." It happens. It's always happened. It will happen again. And there isn't much we can do about it.

Want to save lives? Lobby for higher automobile safety standards. Picking this crazy fucker's life apart isn't going to do anyone any good.
7
@6: on the other hand, that doesn't mean that the existence of a book called "Date Young Women: For Men Over 35" isn't fucking creepy.
8
Kinda creepy that you're following this guy so closely. I have no desire to get into the mind of 'crazy'.
9
@Judah: Well said.
10
just gotta say it....this reminds me why i used to hate men.
11
"whatever happened to crazy?"
12
Look at this Google cache of R. Don Steel's YouTube Channel that he's since updated. You can't watch the video, but you can see a screenshot of a former featured video of Steele teaching at one of his conferences.

Look at the guy in the white shirt. I swear, that looks JUST like Sodini. I think it IS Sodini. The video is now gone, deleted by Steele. I suspect he KNEW Sodini. In fact, he's the first commenter on one of Sodini's YouTube videos and he warns him not to try to contact the "Titanium Girls"--the sexy hired hands used by Steele at his conferences. Creepy indeed.

The next comment on Sodini's house tour video is from whom I think is a Titanium Girl, giving tips on how to improve his home.

I think Steele was using these girls to trap these lonely men into keeping up with the books/DVDs/conferences and had to check the old men when they got out of line. He warns Sodini not to befriend one of the Titanium Girls on MySpace. Can't yet find her MySpace page.

Obviously, I've lost my morning to this.

http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:F0yw…

13
Confluence: "Kinda creepy that you're following this guy so closely."

For better or worse, Soldini is a poster child for carelessly bandied-about "help" published and hawked by clueless asshats. What worries me even more is those who help promote such bullshit. (Cue Oprah/Dr. Phil/like ilk.)
14
It's just pathetic the wacko losers who make a living giving out relationship advice these days...
15
@6,

I'd like some evidence of where exactly I said that. But please, Judah, inform us on how women were obligated to fuck Sodini so he wouldn't do something like this, or does that only apply to nerds?
16
It cuts off my link. Try this one: http://tinyurl.com/lsprlj

If that doesn't work, google "r don steele tbabes" and then click the cached link for the first result.

Also, the T Babe that commented on Sodini's video is a film student in LA. (via her YouTube channel)
17
Proof of the rule: douche baggery begets even greater douche baggery.
18
In high school my friend's dad got a brand new beautiful young wife via Russia. I wonder why he didn't try the mail order bride thing? He would probably have had no problem getting himself someone young and hot considering the competition- guys poorer, less attractive, and often older than himself. I still think something else was holding him back. I'll bet he rejected out of hand the interest of women who were not all that great looking
19
This "pick up artist" subculture mentality seems to be the catalyst behind a lot of the ill concepts here. Sure, some of the superficial stuff works for a one night stand, but for these "true depressed losers" or whatever they call themselves, its a cruel joke. For not only can they not find true love, they can't even get some action or find a date because they are so full of self denial/loathing. You can read all the books in the world and try all the techniques, but if one does lacks the spark of true confidence and self love its all for naught. These "pick up artist" con schemes not only dehumanize women, but they also demoralize what could someday be decent men.
20
OMG- a video by this Steele guy where he has a panel of young women assembled to answer questions on what young women want. OMG. Watch, at least the first couple minutes. Where did they find them?? How did they keep from laughing??
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPN6kZhw2…
21
@16: Don't know if it's him or not.

22
Wow, this is blowing the lid off of, if you'll forgive the expression, a can of creepy worms I vaguely knew existed but don't really like to think about much. I think what makes it so gruesomely compelling is not the murdering but the underworld support system that, while not TO BLAME, exactly, clearly drove this freak over the edge.

Fact: men like younger women. Young women are pretty and sexy and delightful and sweet and fragrant and summery and ripe, delicious fruit. Fact: psychological control systems can be used by trained operatives to persuade impressionable young ladies into forming sexual and even emotional attachments to otherwise unsuitable gentlemen. But that doesn't make it a good idea, or a likely one.

Men have been encouraged to see themselves falling in love with young girls since forever: ever seen an Audrey Hepburn movie? (Bogart, Astaire, Grant, always 20, 30, 40 years older than her). It is PERFECTLY NATURAL to find youth attractive. But when it filters down to these creepy books and DVDs, it's not natural anymore, and it's not nice, long before it turns to murder. "You're gonna get laid, dude! You're going to nail that hot girl next door you've been jerking off to!"

It's actually pretty closely related to not just the mail-order bride business mentioned @18, but the sex-tourism business in Thailand and elsewhere.

Sometimes I'm ashamed to be a man. Sorry, ladies. If I'm smiling at you, I swear to god I'm not planning ways to fuck you. But I'm not sure you should believe me, even if I'm telling the truth.
23
Steele looks like an older Sodini. Creepy.
24
@21: Neither do I, but he certainly attended at least one. Steele's comment on his house vid:

"Tbabes will comment here. I do not want them to sign up to be your friend if you have a myspace. We DO NOT commmunicate with TBABES after the workshop."

It looks like he wanted specific advice from Titanium Babes about his house so uploaded this video so they could see it.

The next comment is from a user, kinkfink9:

"Very nice place! Critisms: take the computer out of the living room and put it in the spare bedroom. Get different couches when you can. Those are ugly. Try a dark brown leather couch. Nice dining table, but hide the placemats and try a center piece (something like a candle opera). Very clean for the most part, but do some spring cleaning and get rid of all the junk you don't need anymore so there's less clutter. And LOVE the punching bag! Becka's right, you could be a badass type!
-Erin "

So these two Titanium Babes, Erin and Becka both teased this murderous jackass: "You could be a badass type!"

::shivers::
25
Oh dear.

I hope that won't be me a coupla years down the line.

I think I don't have an entitlement issue, but isn't the sufferer always the last to know?
26
@13...the difference between this Steele guy and hawkers like Oprah and Dr. Phill is that the latter will tell you to get your ass into counseling, while Steele is not as likely to cut off his money train by cutting you lose--he'll just keep trying to string you along to milk you a little more with false hope.

I'm not advocating murder, but why the hell didn't Sodini shoot Steele at his next conference, since it was all of Steele's BS that didn't "work" for him? That makes more sense. Of course, I'm trying to impose reason on an irrational act.
27
@24 They said "candle opera"??? That's my new favorite misspelling ever! :)
28
Have you never heard of Tom Leykis? This exactly the kind of thing he talks about, getting girls in their early 20s when you're middle aged.

This is also the kind of thing that shows up in movies all the time. Some 40ish, 50ish, 60ish, maybe 70ish year old guy with a 20ish or 30ish year old woman. Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt anyone?
29
I'm sad to say that I can empathize with Sodini to some degree. Not to a scary degree, mind you, but I think I have some insight into his situation. Attractive, confident women aren't just desirable, making it easy to feel bad if they're not interested in you. They're also what men may desire to *be*. For instance, Sodini was apparently attractive and fit, yet women didn't flock to him. But a woman who is attractive and fit is immediately desirable, as he well knew.

So, I suspect he was tormented by both of these factors. And since no one else has brought this up, I thought I'd mention it.
30
@24: Candle Opera would make a great nu-metal bandname.
31
@6: Judah, nutjobs like this show the extremes of our society. I think our compulsion to analyze them is pretty healthy, because the extremes often illustrate ugly themes that run through our culture. Sodini is interesting because he embodies an attitude that, when shoved in our faces, we immediately recognize as repugnant.

But we don't immediately recognize the repugnance of a movie starring 1000-year-old Jack Nicholson with his ear hair and crazy eyebrows and some 20-something hottie. And we do raise our eyebrows when Demi Moore marries a beefcake 16 years her junior, forever breaking Dan Savage's heart (she married Ashton Kutcher, for the record).

I think it's to our credit that when tragedies like this happen, we pause to examine the attitudes in our culture that tacitly sanction the craziness in the perpetrator. Not every culture has the capacity for self-criticism, and I think it's a strength that we do.

Also, Fnarf: something tells me that when you smile at a women you'd even secretly like to have sex with, you probably don't have the crazy eyes. I wouldn't worry.
32
@ 24: "candle opera"? Really?
33
@31: Dan had the hots for Demi?
34
@15

I'd like some evidence of where exactly I said that.


Okay. Below is the quote, from the string "Thou Shalt Take Thy Bipolar Medication?" where you implied that there is "something wrong with a significant number of men," that leads them to commit rape and murder.

It always seems like it's men who say this. That a man who commits rape and murder MUST be crazy, because no man would do this if he were sane. Bullshit. Do you know how many rapes are committed in this country? Do you know how many murders are committed in this country, almost exclusively by men? Are they all insane or is there something wrong with a significant number of men?


On a related note, can you show me the part of my post on nerds where I said that women were obligated to fuck anyone? No, you can't, because I didn't say it and, as I've pointed out repeatedly, actually said the opposite. It's funny that you're all, "show me where I said that," right before you accuse me, for the fourth or fifth time, of saying something I never said. Here's what I actually said:

You know what would make nerd boys less obnoxious with regard to all this stuff? If non-nerd women would have sex with them. I don't really mean to suggest a course of action here. Everyone wants to fuck whoever they want to fuck, and if women don't want to fuck nerds that's just the way it is.


You notice the third and fourth sentences there? Try wiping the froth and spittle off your screen and taking a good long look at those two sentences. See how they actually say the opposite of what you keep accusing me of having said? In fact, if you go back and read the whole comment, you might find that it contains pretty much the same ideas as Dan's post about how these murders might not have happened if prostitution was legal.

I posted a comment, you read what you wanted into it, and you haven't been able to let it go since. Asshole.

35
@33: Yeah, yeah, I phrased it badly. But surely you remember the Ashton Kutcher phase of Savage Love?
36
@34: WELCOME TO THE INTERNET :D
37
I have to dust my candle opera today. It sits right in the middle of my chillingly empty dining room.

AAARRgh! I need to stop following this story.
38
I think that this crime is the extreme end of a continuum of sexism and follows quite naturally from that sexism. A system of oppression that consistently treats women as inferior chattel can be taken to a logical conclusion: those bitches aren't doing what I want so I'll punish them. Does anyone disagree? If you do, I'll respond when I leave work.
39
No #33, not for Demi
40
Judah - Kesh does seem to have something against, men, but your post does say that the solution (nerds treating women properly) to the problem (nerds treating women poorly) would be if women would have sex with them (which you do not think they should have to). You make women responsible for the men's problem.

But certainly there is some other solution that doesn't involve someone other than the nerd, culture, or nerd culture, or something? Couldn't you have said any number of things.

But nerds, alas, will also want to have sex with who they want to have sex with; we can't seem to do much about that either. But changing nerds (men) would seem to be just as viable an option as changing women.

I think some women get tired of hearing how they are at fault (in some way) for men's craziness. It would probably rub me the wrong way, too.

Kesh, on the other hand, IS completely misreading your post. You clearly did not say that women should have sex with nerds, or that women are solely at fault for nerds inability to treat women properly. Kesh does seem to think men (or a significant number of men) hold ill will towards women. I have found this makes it difficult to have a rational exchange regarding this topic.

By the way, you, Judah, are one of my favorite posters here on Slog, and I'm glad you are back (or at least more active as of late).
41
A coffee table book like this is on par with a "No fat chicks" t-shirt or a "Moustache rides 5 cents" t-shirt. I am sure this book includes sage advice on buying drinks for random women in bars and the seven varieties of hair flips and what they mean. The appendix of the third edition even has some great tips for afternoons of revving the engine of your immaculately maintained Camaro in front of the high school.

These gurus would be quite short on business if more men realized the can enjoy some success if they ditch the theatrics *gasp* and have a conversation with a woman as if she is a normal human being.
42
Just two little words on this tragic episode - GUN CONTROL!
43
This "guru" is selling dangerous misogyny: that men are entitled to young, desirable women, who can be tricked into handing over their bodies and emotions.

That's an entitlement similar to abusers and rapists': and the rage engendered if the fuckdolls don't behave precisely the way Mr. Entitlement likes, is an outcome of the sense of entitlement.

According to at least one of these "pickup artists" random women ought to put out to the dangerously deluded, or all women somehow earn their death and dismemberment:

"As I’ve written before, to men on the losing side of the desireability bell curve celibacy is walking death and anything is justified in avoiding that miserable fate."

http://tinyurl.com/kjrc9m

Although according to the pickup artist above, the books and bad advice his ilk is dealing out, can save the creeps from coming out of the wood work with Uzis blazing.

But no, the women killed in that gym are more proof of the entitlement pickup artists are selling, not of saving anyone from anything.

44
@41: The latest edition also includes a chart on the "handbag code", a way of using purse style, brand, fabric, color and position to determine a woman's real desires.

For example, a lambskin prada zippered clutch in royal purple with gold accents in the left hand with demi-straps in the down position means a Sushi and Martini bottom, man buys.
45
I think that this crime is the extreme end of a continuum of sexism and follows quite naturally from that sexism. A system of oppression that consistently treats women as inferior chattel can be taken to a logical conclusion: those bitches aren't doing what I want so I'll punish them.


It's a little hard to disagree because you've got so many conditional statements in your premise -- Are you saying that a system of oppression that consistently treats women as inferior chattel is the extreme end of spectrum of sexism? And that murder naturally follows from that?

If that's what you're saying, I agree in principle; such a system would incite murder, just like murder followed naturally from slavery -- which was the extreme end of a spectrum of racism that consistently treated black people as inferior chattel.

I guess the part of your premise that I disagree with, if that's actually what you're saying, is that an actual system of oppression that consistently treats women as inferior chattel exists in any meaningful sense, in the United States, outside of human trafficking. There's a difference between the existence of a fringe philosophy that is attractive to crazy stupid people, and a working system that carries out and sanctions atrocities. Slavery in the United States is a good working example -- slavery once existed as a working system, and atrocities were committed as part of that system. But no sane American would consider slavery a viable philosophy in this day and age. That is not to say that individuals do not commit atrocities as part of a racist agenda that includes slavery, or that these individuals don't form networks, and encourage each other. But those individuals are generally either deeply stupid, don't really believe what they're saying, crazy, or some combination of the three. Their networks can't be broken down with reasoning or cultural introspection because they're predicated on the needs and desires of individuals, even if they're operating in concert.
46
According to the Wikipedia article on Sodini, the women he killed at the gym were 38, 46, and 49. Not exactly the "young women" he seems to have had it out for.

I don't want to step in to the argument between Jonah and Keshmeshi on who implied what morally outragous thing, but I do think Jonah's comments @6 above are insightful. Crazy people will integrate their psychosis into some convenient narriative in their society and the fact that they do so isn't good evidence that the narriative they pick is a causative factor.
47
"My name is Donnie Smith, and I have lots of love to give. "
48
You make women responsible for the men's problem.


See, I don't think I did. Saying that Thing A would have Effect B is not the same as saying that:

1) thing A is the only thing that will have Effect B;
2) failure to do Thing A leads directly to Effect B; or
3) refusing to do Thing A makes you responsible for Effect B.

It just doesn't. Obviously I anticipated that someone might read it that way, but that doesn't mean I said, or meant to say, any of points 1-3.

By the way, you, Judah, are one of my favorite posters here on Slog,


Cool. Thanks.

49
@6 It is a wide spread social problem! The list is long. Every week, some place of business, school, restaurant is shot up and numbers of people killed and injured. Columbine, Virginia Tech., etc. ad nauseum. Easy guns and twisted minds are everywhere. The twisted minds always were but now they're armed with semi- automatics.
50
I am also in Jonah's camp, at least in regards to the comments made @6.
51
Guys, Judah, not Jonah. Judah was the son of Jacob and founder of one of the twelve tribes. Jonah was the whale guy.
52
"I think that this crime is the extreme end of a continuum of sexism and follows quite naturally from that sexism. A system of oppression that consistently treats women as inferior chattel can be taken to a logical conclusion: those bitches aren't doing what I want so I'll punish them."

Human trafficking is one aspect and outgrowth of that attitude.

Domestic abusers, rapists and serial killers who focus their attacks on women, are also encouraged by the sexism that reinforces their entitlement: "Fuckdoll isn't behaving the way I want, she/women deserve what I dish out."

Ask any expert on domestic abuse -- I have.
53
Yeah, my first thought was Magnolia, too. Was the Cruise character based on this guy, or are there a lot of people out there with this schtick?
54
@53: The latter is my guess. Also, Mackey wasn't specifically about getting younger women. He was about just getting women in general:

"In this big game that we play, life, it's not what you hope for, it's not what you deserve, it's what you take. I'm Frank T.J. Mackey, a master of the muffin and author of the Seduce and Destroy system now available to you on video and audio cassette. Seduce and Destroy will teach you the techniques to have any hardbody blonde just dripping to wet your dock. Bottom line? Language. The magical key to unlocking the female analytical mindset. Tap directly into her hopes, her wants, her fears, her desires, and her sweet little panties. Learn how to make that lady "friend" your sex-starved servant. I don't care how you look. I don't care what car you drive. I don't care what your last bank statement says. Seduce and Destroy produces an instant money-back guarantee trance-like state that will get you this - naughty sauce you want fast. Hey - how many more times do you need to hear the all-too-famous line of 'I just don't feel that way about you?'"

"Respect the cock! And tame the cunt! Tame it! Take it on headfirst with the skills that I will teach you at work and say no! You will not control me! No! You will not take my soul! No! You will not win this game! Because it's a game, guys. You want to think it's not, huh? You want to think it's not? Go back to the schoolyard and you have that crush on big-titted Mary Jane. Respect the cock. You are embedding this thought. I am the one who's in charge. I am the one who says yes! No! Now! Here! Because it's universal, man. It is evolutional. It is anthropological. It is biological. It is animal. We... are... men! "

"Men are shit. What? Men... are... *shit*. What, isn't that what they say? Because we do bad things, don't we? We do horrible, heineous, *heinous*, terrible things. Things that no woman would ever do. No, women, they don't lie. No, women don't cheat. Women don't *manipulate* us. But you see what I'm getting at. You see what society does? Little boys, it's, "Wow, womaaaan!" We are taught to apologize. I am sorry. I am so sorry, baby. I am so sorry. What is it that we need? Is it their pussies? Their love? Mommy wouldn't let me play soccer... and Daddy, he hit me, so that's who I am, that's why I do what I do? Fucking bullshit. I will not apologize for who I am. I will not apologize for what I need. I will not apologize for what I *want*!"

55
@52

While you were asking those experts on domestic abuse about this issue, did you happen to ask them how sexism explains the correlation between domestic abuse perpetrated by men against their spouses, and the domestic abuse perpetrated by those same men against their male children?

Wouldn't a more plausible hypothesis be that these men are violent assholes who brutalize those they perceive to be weaker than themselves and that women and children fall into that category for reasons that are more pragmatic (size, physical strength, etc) than philosophical (women are inferior)?

Human trafficking is one aspect and outgrowth of that attitude.


Are you sure? Because, here again, a lot of trafficking involves men or male children, being trafficked by other men. And in cases where the traffickers are men and their victims are women, isn't it more likely that the career choice self-selects for dangerous psychopaths who hate women than that this trafficking -- which is illegal pretty much everywhere -- is an expression of some collective societal opinion about women as such?
56
Also... I guess Dan's speculation on things that set him off and how this could have prevented seem a little off-the-mark to me. I think mentally-ill people who are prone to violence will act out no matter what (unless they're medicated, perhaps). They are angry first, the "reason" for their anger is an after-the-fact justification. This guy could have been getting laid by Playboy bunnies every week, he just would have been angry about his job then, or about politics, or something else. Mental illness is biological, just like any illness, and no change in circumstances will cure it any more than it will cure cancer.
57
I guess I just purely don't get why old guys are interested in women young enough to be their daughters or granddaughters. I mean, sure, their skin is all taut and their boobs are all perky, but how in the holy hell do you hold a conversation with them? You can't spend your entire life screwing.

I am utterly uninterested in having sex with anyone 30 years my junior; it squicks me in the extreme. Even 20 years is kinda pushing it, because I just plain don't have that much in common with someone that much younger. What do you talk about when you get out of bed?

Besides, 20-year-olds aren't fully cooked. They still sound like high-school kids to me, totally ignorant of how truly ignorant they actually are.
58
The best part: Steel Balls press also sells Ayn Rand and Orson Scott Card backlist titles.

:D
59
This has got to be one of the most disturbing episodes I've heard of in a very long time. I do think Dan is doing us a service here by introducing the fringe groups that think like this, and how they support each other and are manipulated by others. With knowledge of the fringe groups out there, we can work on a number of levels to try and make sure these types of incidents don't become more frequent. You can't create and promote services for groups that you don't even know exist (or know the severity of their issues, as appropriate).

See, the thing I'm thinking is that now that the internets are all over the place, and everyone can connect instantaneously with anyone, these people are more dangerous than ever. Previously, you'd have some lonely loser that blamed women for his status, and he'd wallow in his own misery. He'd doubt that women were really the cause from time to time. Occasionally, one of these guys would blow up and shoot someone. Now, each of them has their own cheering section. Whenever they begin to doubt that women are the cause, there's a long and loud chorus blasting out of YouTube telling them to stay strong, man, the bitches really are the problem. And it's also easier for the manipulators to make money off of these people. Marketing something like these gurus' slop was harder before. Now you just get a few hits on your site, move up the Google rankings, and bam, these guys can find you easily. It's more profitable. Of course, this isn't BRAND new, but it's new-ish. I really do see how easy access to others of the same opinion and those who want to manipulate said group can INCREASE the frequency of major incidents like this one.

I need to go now and have a long talk and possibly a number of drinks with some older men that I know. This is really shaking me to my core for some reason and I need some reassurance that civilization has broken this particularly despicable strain of thought in most men. I suppose it's the way that these men continue to view women like public toilets...free and open for use by all. There were some particularly disturbing comments on one of sunglasses guy's videos about women extracting payment (literal or in kind) before opening their legs, and how we were all Jezebels for this and on and on concluding, essentially, that women should just give it up to any man that wants to do her because we shouldn't be using sex as currency because every man is entitled to have this instinctual/animal desire satiated. That makes me want to throw up, repeatedly.
60
@55 - There are SOME abusers who are opportunistic, like you argue, and SOME that are driven by their hate of a particular group. That hate has to come from somewhere. I think you're way off-base to argue that there ISN'T an underlying culture of sexism in the US, just as you'd be off-base to argue that there isn't an underlying culture of racism in the US. Are all people then sexist or racist? Nope. Are all systems sexist or racist? Nope. Are SOME (probably many) people and systems sexist or racist in at least some facets? Absolutely. It's absurd to argue that thinly-veiled or even plainly obvious sexism and racism don't permeate much of American culture. Do you live with your head in the sand? Things have gotten much better on the discrimination front in the US, but they're far from perfect.
61
@59 - It's not just older men. There are plenty of younger men who feel entitled by their mere existence to have sex with any woman they want. Some are successful at this, they don't end up stewing in their rage, but they cause their own problems for the women they sleep with. The entitlement is the issue - as you say, they view women as public toilets, commodities, or as mere equations, as opposed to human beings.

The ones who feel entitled, yet aren't successful are the ones who start setting themselves up as martyrs in their own minds. This is the start of the long road that ends up with the tragedy we are analyzing now. I took a few steps down that road - I was a "nice guy" who no women thought attractive (or so I thought). I was encouraged in that view by well-meaning friends male and female ("You're a great guy, yada yada... what's wrong with women that they can't see that?") Eventually you do start to feel like a martyr. If you start finding the martyr aspect more attractive than the prospect of changing yourself and actually offering something positive to people you want to sleep with/have a relationship with, then you are in trouble. Slowly I realized the problem was me, not all women, and started working on that.

So, if you're concerned, don't just talk to older men, talk to all men. You will find that many are not on the path to craziness, that they realize that relationships are give and take, not just take. If you see someone encouraging the entitlement that Soldini/Steele feel, speak up.

But, it's not all men either. You are right that many men
62
oops, ignore the last sentence... :(
63
I think you're way off-base to argue that there ISN'T an underlying culture of sexism in the US


Well, okay. First of all, I guess I have to ask what an "underlying culture of sexism" is. Are you describing the presence of sexism in U.S. culture? Fine, yes, given; sexism exists. And as far as your qualification that "SOME" people and systems are sexist or racist in at least some facets, I'd say you're lowballing -- every adult in the world who wasn't raised in a cave by friendly wolves is sexist, racist or both in at least some facets of their outlook. They're also probably ageist and heightist. People are basically just giant bundles of prejudice. It's how we make decisions based on necessarily incomplete data.

If, on the other hand, you're using "underlying culture of sexism" as a shorthand to say that American cultural norms endorse the abuse and murder of women, I'm afraid I have to say that, no, you're mistaken. You're only recently mistaken -- until at least the 1970s, husbands hitting wives was disapproved of by many, but was generally considered acceptable. Likewise the "she was wearing a short skirt" defense for rapists and so on. However, it is no longer generally considered acceptable, and hasn't been for several decades.

Do you live with your head in the sand?


Yes, actually, I do live with my head in the sand. It makes it hard to type, but I find the time and money I save on haircuts and shaving makes it worth it.

Things have gotten much better on the discrimination front in the US, but they're far from perfect.


Yeah... see, I think you're conflating a couple of different things here. Racism/sexism/etc as forms of essentialism are different from prejudice which is different from discrimination. Some of those things are predicated on each other -- essentialism generally leads to prejudice and discrimination -- but it's possible to be prejudiced and/or discriminatory without being essentialist per se.

64
@63...you have a point in some cases, and in some cases not. On one hand, society as a single entity has clearly espoused a firm belief that racism and sexism are no longer valid defenses for unacceptable behavior, up to and including rape and murder. On the other hand, the existence of racist and sexist undertones in large swaths of the people and systems we deal with daily and overt racism and sexism in a smaller number of people and systems exposes people to this hate and encourages those who have found it appealing. Some people who find racism and sexism appealing will be stopped from acting on it by society's condemnation of racist and sexist actions, but some will not. Some will take solace in the racism and sexism they see every day, and will consider their actions as "doing a service" to themselves, a group, or the whole society that no one else is willing to do out of "politeness," "political correctness," or whatever other bullshit reason they think that other people don't act on their racist and sexist tendencies. If these folks didn't see so much racism and sexism in their daily lives, they might be less inclined to act, and if they had never been exposed to racism or sexism this conversation wouldn't even make sense, of course.

I was just being philosophical, though. In order to un-do this we would have to go back and invent a world where racism and sexism never existed. Just commenting on the feedback loops that can lead some people over the edge.

I think I was just using discrimination as short hand. One would have to be essentially racist or sexist for it to lead them down the path where they would murder someone over it. Just having this idea that "others" are not equal in one or all ways (possibly picked up just from seeing it day to day, without ever bothering to examine it), without really feeling it and believing it deeply, may lead a person to engage in other less drastic discriminatory/prejudiced acts, but, given our culture's clear dictate that murder, rape, etc., are the wrongest of wrongs I think you're correct that prejudicial or discriminatory thoughts or actions alone are not enough to lead someone to extreme action. That's like comparing a raging born again with a lapsed Catholic. They both believe there's a god, but it's likely the latter doesn't feel it and isn't willing to act on it in the same way, possibly because they've never challenged the beliefs drilled into their head, just filed them away as normal and moved on.

I, personally, would be more concerned with breathing than typing with my head in the sand. :)
65
@61 - good point. I see the younger and successful portion of these men when my friends drag me out to "hip" clubs. I didn't really think of the friends of the unsuccessful encouraging them, but then again I didn't really see them having normal friends. I think the ones with normal friends are better off, because the friends are more likely to see the extreme martyr behavior and opinions as inappropriate and try to change their minds. And I know all men aren't like this. Sometimes you just need reassurances. I have a wonderful boyfriend who is unfortunately otherwise occupied this evening. He actually qualifies as an older man (possibly to the level these gurus promote, he's over 35 and I'm under 30...I'm not sure what the age cutoff for the ladies is), so I kind of wanted to slip that into the conversation with the non-boyfriend older men. You know, just have a good old philosophy and reality session and get the bad thoughts out of the ole' brain. It's the intellectuals version of a binge and cry or stitch and bitch or whatever (or at least this intellectual's version of that.).
66
@64: That's all very interesting and nonspecific, but you have again failed to refute Judah's point that crazies glomming onto outdated societal prejudices does not make society as a whole responsible for the existence or prejudices of those crazies.
67
Dan, read The Game by Neil Straus for an intelligent insider look at this world. This stuff attracts all types of lonely guys. They are not all creeps. Some are just shy or lacking confidence. Plus, you should be aware of this world given the number of lonely guys who write to you.

Also, it's not all bullshit and snake oil, it's just a lot of applied psychology and practical tips, most of which are just as effective for selling cars or schmoozing your boss as they are for getting a woman's attention. Male charisma isn't necessarily good looks, it's also a form of social intelligence, and these books basically distill the social techniques that come naturally to charismatic men.

Of course, none of it can guarantee you get laid (or sell a car), but it can probably guarantee a guy could approach a group of women without them asking him leave 15 seconds later.

My guess is that this guy is way too obsessed and angry to apply the advice in these books (or that of a therapist or sex advice columnist for that matter).
68
IMHO shyness inhibits social and romantic opportunity, in extreme cases this curdles into resentment of the unshy and of the desired but unattainable social/romantic partners. This can become a pathological conversion into internalized hatred of the shy self and the unshy & unattainable other.

Such hatred can justify both the "remaking" of the self and the manipulation of others. (Here we meet the would be conscienceless Mr. U, and analogues, so important in Chicago School economics, Ayn Rand, Orson Scott Card, etc.) I wonder how much economic theorizing has been driven by this level of resentment of the theorists' own "failure to agress" and an ideal of economic dominance in service of the control of others. (See Jeff Sharlett's analysis of "the C Street House" and his book, "The Family". This is the level of resentment (of entitlement thwarted by a personal failure, shyness, projected onto others) exploited by the R. Don Steel ideology.

The fatal conversion - pretty clearly described by Sodini himself, is of the resentment based hatred into suicide of the self and murder of others. Sodini seems an odd case - his consciousness of the place others in positions of authority had in his personal psychological crippling seems to have caused him to avoid the conversion to rightist authoritarian ideological fixations common to personalities defined by fixation on thwarted entitlement.
69
The two elephants in the room here: childhood neglect/abuse and untreated mental illness.

George Sodini was broken long before he discovered pick-up scam artists, and if it hadn't been "steel balls" it would have been the bible, or communism, or even nothing visible at all: just another random "gone postal" freak-out in a country that has so many of them that these days we only even pay attention when there's enough of a documented backstory that we can happily project our own narratives and political prejudices onto it.
70
I'm going to agree with, Judah @ 55. I'm a former DV counselor, and it is my experience and the team I worked with, that abusers brutalize, manipulate and control from a sense of entitlement. They are the center of their own universe, and get off on the power and control they can wield over their smaller and weaker victims. That's not to say that sexist attitudes do not help fuel their sense of entitlement, but it is only a piece of the puzzle.
71
Sorry 66, developing a holistic philosophy of this stuff is a little long-winded for a blog, and easier under the influence of alcohol than in 10 minute work breaks. In short, I agree that the desire to dominate is a HUGE factor in most domestic violence situations and postal moments like these. For MANY of the crazies it is the only factor. For SOME crazies the desire to dominate is coupled with a hatred of the other. For OTHERS the hatred of the other is the only factor. The hatred of the other in a society such as the one we CURRENTLY live in, where that hatred has been specifically and emphatically dismissed as illegitimate, is, IMO, no longer nature but nurture. The fact that racism and sexism have existed for years and continue to exist, in both implicit and explicit forms, allows certain individuals to initially develop this hatred by exposure, and certain other individuals to become quite infatuated with the idea by being continually exposed to it as a so-called normal thing. The idea I am getting at is similar to the different ideas espoused by the different waves of feminism...in one viewpoint we should all be the same and in another we should embrace and exploit our differences. The only variation between those two viewpoints and the racist/sexist not racist/sexist dichotomy is that the feminist philosophies are both positive (we can achieve more by treating and expecting the same of everyone or we can achieve more by exploiting inherent differences) while racism and sexism view the other as less than in some or all facets and focus on that less-than-ness. Society has done much to move away from this by affirmatively stating that action based on racism and sexism is unacceptable. But we still acquiesce certain racist and sexist actions. Not each individual, mind you, but society as a whole. YOU might disagree that many women should be unable to advance further in their careers because they want to have children and need the time to do that or are more emotional than men, but the facts revealed by studies are that these attitudes and their consequential actions still exist, and are accepted by many as normal. Like I said, the only way to completely eliminate these biases would be to never have them in the first place. As an alternative, we can do all we can to eliminate these attitudes from this point forward. The alternative will yield inferior results, but is the best we can do.

Is society as a whole responsible for the actions by these crazies? It depends on whether you are examining it from an agent or principal perspective. Individuals are the agents of society, and I would never argue that each person is responsible because that is untrue. Those who actively work against racism and sexism are clearly not responsible for these actions vis-a-vis my core argument that exposure to racism and sexism allow this level of hatred and hateful action to develop in some individuals, because they are trying to eliminate these biases (but one could argue that they ARE responsible in the sense that they are viewed as the enemy of people with these extreme biases and therefore instigate them). But as long as we have racist and sexist structures the principal (how society as a single entity operates) is PARTIALLY responsible.

I am seriously just waxing philosophical here. Theories are simplified versions of realty and, in that sense, cannot take everything into account. As I said, society as a single entity is only partially responsible. Chemical imbalances, egging on by other crazies (an agent action in the structure of this argument, which cannot, therefore, be considered from the principal level of analysis), and specific circumstances are, of course, other factors to consider outside the scope of this theory. I disagree with the argument advanced above that society's racism and sexism is solely responsible for all these ills in all or even many cases, but maintain that when viewed as a single-entity principal the operation of our society is partially responsible for the existence and advancement of these extreme beliefs and actions.

I am not trying to be an antagonist...just flexing the old theoretical thinking a bit. It helps to contextualize this event and what we have learned about this man, others like him, and the social spheres they inhabit. And I do appreciate the challenge. Unquestioned theories are worthless. Now I can go further refine this with previously mentioned company and report back later. :)
72
Hey, douche wads, the pussy access is a privilege not a birth right. My lady parts belong to me and I'll do who, where, and what I want with 'em. They may come over to your place for a visit, but that does not mean you own 'em. Just 'cause you got a dick doesn't mean you're entitled to my pussy. Just 'cause you got a dick doesn't mean you're entitled to porn star/super model, or indeed, any pussy. You'll get more pussy if you regard the person who owns the pussy as more than just a notch on you're bed post or your chattel. You'll get more pussy if you treat all women with respect. Not just the women who look hot.

If you're the type of guys who see women the same way Mackey and Steele view women you probably won't be getting any pussy at all without shelling out some cash to a professional...and even they have standards.
73
@38, I think you've hit the nail on the head Theo. What's clear from all of this is that Sodini didn't even think of women as people. He thought of them as prey. Reading books about how to trick younger and more impressionable women into having sex with you so nefarious it almost beggars belief.

What's depressing is how deeply embedded, and long standing, that kind of proprietary thinking is in our culture. The prohibition against coveting your neighbor's wife in the bible for example falls within a bunch of proscriptions against a range of alleged property offences ("...you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor").

These men don't really seek women. They seek an incarnation of their own poisoned and warped perspectives. That is the true reason for their persistent failure.
74
#6: It's not that it will become a widespread social problem but that it is a symptom of at least one such problem. That's why it's important and useful to examine the forces behind things like this, not because of potential future copycats.
75
@29: You know, kind of aside from any question of sympathy, that's a really fascinating point, and I think you're right at least at some level of abstraction. This is someone who has a very clear sense of what makes him attracted to someone (youth, good looks, fitness), but just isn't able to understand the desire of others. I was in a similar place earlier in life (though I did not consider violence or misogyny as valid responses) and it did indeed make me pretty neurotic for awhile.

Point is: not understanding why you're alone (which is to say, not knowing "what is wrong with" yourself) is worse than simply being alone. The reason this story resonates is because this man became fixated on a feeling that probably most of us have experienced at one point or another. There's a "there but for the grace of god go I" aspect to this story.
76
@6 - Excuse me? Frankly, dude the only reason I can see that you would say this is if you, like many men in this conversation and others similar to it, can't help but feel threatened by the idea that this nutjob is, in fact, indicative of something being very, very wrong with masculine culture at large. Or maybe you don't really understand what "emblematic" means in this context.

These influences are everywhere in our society, and there are plenty of men who turn their insecurities into a sense of entitlement with violent retaliation as a potential backup. I'm guessing that for every nutjob like this, there are 100 guys who are on the brink of doing the same thing, 1,000 who fantasize about it, and 10,000 who engage in other dangerously misogynistic behaviors like beating wives and girlfriends...and on and on. As the circle moves outward, it becomes less extreme, but also larger.
77
There are many young women who love older men as well as young men who love older women. Love is blind. It's all about attraction whether it be in the form of personality or looks. I tend to believe charm is the key. Haven't you seen odd couples, whether they be perceived to be attractive or unattractive (beauty is in the eye of the beholder), in this world who would die for each other.
78
@34:

"Below is the quote, from the string "Thou Shalt Take Thy Bipolar Medication?""

Wait...what thread was this? Did I miss this one?

Damnit to fucking hell, why do people ALWAYS have to use "bipolar" as a synonym for "homicidally insane"? Bipolar is NEUROLOGY, people, not pathology! The only instances in which mental illnesses lead to violence is when they are COMBINED with pathological factors!

I'm very mildly bipolar with rapid cycles. This means that, from day to day, I have to adjust my expectations of how much sleep I need (sometimes I'm still tired after 10 hours, sometimes I'm wide awake after 5 1/2) and how productive, social and cheerful I'm going to feel like being. That's. It. Others have more extreme symptoms, but I can count on zero hands the number of bipolar folks I've ever known who have any violent tendencies.

And I get *so* sick of the proclamation about "take your meds!" as if medication is a silver bullet. It ain't. It's likely to cause as many problems as it creates, and the reason I don't take it is because I don't really have problems that disrupt my life, but if I took meds, I know I *would.*

Also, insulin shock has been used as an insanity defense in a whole myriad of homicide cases, yet I don't see people going around saying, "I guess he needed to take his insulin" or calling crazies in the news "diabetics." Sheesh.
79
Don Steele and Sodini are both so ugly, I'd be surprised if any woman would date either of them. They don't need game; they need Botox, hair dye, and complete makeovers. I bet their hygiene is lacking too. Well, at least they're not fat.
80
Judah @ # 55: You said "While you were asking those experts on domestic abuse about this issue, did you happen to ask them how sexism explains the correlation between domestic abuse perpetrated by men against their spouses, and the domestic abuse perpetrated by those same men against their male children?"

Intimate partner violence is primarily a crime committed against women. About 15 % of these crimes are not crimes agsinst women - if the patriarchial system of oppression known as sexism doesn't create these crimes, why aren't the stats closer to 50 - 50? (Source for stats DoJ) And BTW< a system of sexism that privileges men entitles them to do what they like with their children. . .

You also state " If, on the other hand, you're using "underlying culture of sexism" as a shorthand to say that American cultural norms endorse the abuse and murder of women, I'm afraid I have to say that, no, you're mistaken. You're only recently mistaken -- until at least the 1970s, husbands hitting wives was disapproved of by many, but was generally considered acceptable."

So, you think sexism still exists but doesn't ever lead to violent crimes against women? You and I agree that sexism still exists but I think it can lead to violent crimes against women. Why would that sense of acceptance of violence agsinst disappear comepletely in little more than a generation?

The strength of a belief can be judged by evolution . The original theory of evolution was published in 1859 and we were still going to court with various nut cases who didn't accept it in the late 20th century. So why would the notion that violence against women is acceptable disappear completely in a society where the patriarchical notion that the man is automatically the head of the house still exists ? Up to 71 percent of people polled accepted this quite recently(pp 86 -89 Fire and Ice: the United states, Candada and the Myth of Converging Values Michael Adams)

I agree with Laurel at # 76. And hi! Aussie Steve

I'm sorry I didn't get back to you last night: I went out for drinks with my friends.

81

People have the right to date/have sex with any legally consenting adult regardless of age or race or sex, its their business.

Its funny how bitchy people(esp young guys and older females) get when they see a older male going out with a younger woman, its like when african/asian/etc male sees a asian girl with a white guy, they some times think she should be with their race, that shes breaking the rules... bigots...

The guy who did this was damaged goods way before Don even met him, the reason for his failures is the same reason why he killed those girls, he could not accept personal responsibility for how people reactived to him nor the accept that people have the right to refuse him.

Compared to Mystery(who has no heart nor humanity) Dons way less full of bs, he determinately is in it for the $$ but way less heartless than the other pickup artists out there on the internet
82
So he should juts SETTLE because you don't seem to think he deserved a younger woman?

I think he was wrong for shooting up the health club, but your attempt to decide what he is worthy of is amusing, and what feds men like him.

Losing is part of the game, the part he couldn't handle. The woman who shot Steve McNair was no different. Some people can't handle it.

I used to say I'd rather die than settle, and I would, but I'd never act out like that just because I didn't get the super-hottie I wanted.

That doesn't mean I'm going to settle, however,.
83
@77: "Haven't you seen odd couples, whether they be perceived to be attractive or unattractive (beauty is in the eye of the beholder), in this world who would die for each other."

I think it's one thing for a 60-year-man to date women of all ages including 22-year-olds, and another thing altogether for a 60-year-old man to restrict himself to 22-year-olds. The former is eclectic, the latter is generally entitled and delusional.
84
@82 Why is a man dating someone his own age considered settling? Is a woman his own age not his equal in stature and worth?

If the answer is no, why is it no?

Who benefits and who loses when women are devalued as they age?
85
@82 Why is a man dating someone his own age considered settling? Is a woman his own age not his equal in stature and worth?

If the answer is no, why is it no?

Who benefits and who loses when women are devalued as they age?
86
@76

Frankly, dude the only reason I can see that you would say this is if you, like many men in this conversation and others similar to it, can't help but feel threatened by the idea that this nutjob is, in fact, indicative of something being very, very wrong with masculine culture at large.


Masculine culture at large? What exactly is "masculine culture"? I'm not sure how I can be threatened by criticisms of it when I don't know what it is, but let's pretend for a second that there is such a thing as "masculine culture" and that I have some stake in it. I'd still like you to explain what it is, but let's pretend.

Is the fact that I feel threatened really the only reason you can see that I might disagree with the idea that this nutjob is emblematic of "masculine culture"? If someone said that the South Park murder was emblematic of something being very very wrong with African American culture, and an African American pointed out that the killer in this case was clearly an aberrant monster and didn't represent any meaningful portion of African American culture at large, would the only reason you could see for their response be that they "feel threatened"?

Or is it possible that they just noticed that the premise advanced was bullshit?

I'm guessing that for every nutjob like this, there are 100 guys who are on the brink of doing the same thing, 1,000 who fantasize about it, and 10,000 who engage in other dangerously misogynistic behaviors like beating wives and girlfriends...and on and on. As the circle moves outward, it becomes less extreme, but also larger.


You're guessing? Well okay then. I'll tell you what I'm guessing -- I'm guessing you're not a statistician. I'll grant you that fewer people commit murder than commit assault, but beyond that your "circle moves outward" metaphor implies a coherent causal force that just doesn't exist. Radial patterns of intensity can be applied to any aberrant behavior and any group: some women murder their children, more women beat their children, even more women verbally and psychologically abuse their children. Is Susan Smith indicative of something very very wrong with feminine culture, or is she just a sad crazy woman who snapped and did something unspeakable? I'll give you a hint -- before we could answer that question, we'd have to establish that feminine culture exists, that Susan Smith was part of it, and that her actions were motivated by an adherence to the norms and values of that culture. But you know what I think? I think she was just nuts.

Damnit to fucking hell, why do people ALWAYS have to use "bipolar" as a synonym for "homicidally insane"? Bipolar is NEUROLOGY, people, not pathology! The only instances in which mental illnesses lead to violence is when they are COMBINED with pathological factors!


You see the irony here, right? No? Somehow I thought not.

87
@80

Intimate partner violence is primarily a crime committed against women. About 15 % of these crimes are not crimes agsinst women - if the patriarchial system of oppression known as sexism doesn't create these crimes, why aren't the stats closer to 50 - 50?


Why? I can't say for sure. But if I were asserting that it was because of something inherently evil the hearts of men, I guess I'd want to make sure I had something other than correlative data to support my hypothesis before I started carrying out exorcisms. Because, for one thing, I can imagine a lot of other working hypotheses that would explain the situation.

So, you think sexism still exists but doesn't ever lead to violent crimes against women?


Nope, it never does. Never ever.

Look, I don't want to force you to be less facile or simplistic, but there's a world of difference between "sexism leads to violent crimes against women" and "George Sodini's crime is an expression of a form of sexism that encourages violence against women and is sufficiently prevalent in the main stream of American culture that we need to do something about it." You get me here? Racism still occasionally leads to black men being dragged behind pickup trucks, but that sort of racism is in no way approved of or encouraged by the main stream of American society and I don't really feel like I need to take a long hard look at how I relate to African Americans by virtue of it.

The strength of a belief can be judged by evolution . The original theory of evolution was published in 1859 and we were still going to court with various nut cases who didn't accept it in the late 20th century.


Yes. On the other hand, it's universally accepted in most of the rest of the world. Evolution is a place where American culture is behind other cultures. There are plenty of areas where we're doing fine, or slightly ahead of the curve.
88
to "a woman would never do this". No, women just drown their own kids in the bathtub or murder patients by purposely giving them overdoses of medication they don't even need, or drive their cars into a ravine with their own children inside, or cannibalize their own child. But hey, atleast they would never shoot up a fitness club, right? I see your point, women are so much better than men. You reminded me why I still do hate women, at least they are good for a couple things.
89
Actually, #80, in same-sex relationships, women abuse women and men men abuse each other i in equal proportion to abuse in hetero relationships. Women don't physically abuse men as much due to size-inequalities. Not sure what you're suggesting might be 50-50 without the Evil Patriarchy System.

Good work, Judah, really enjoying your writing.
90
I found the amazon.com reader reviews for this book, interesting that all the 5 star reviews seem to be his disciples and the rest are all 1 star reviews from normal people who have normal relationships. The "icky" comments include statements like "an aerobicized 45 year old bag is no match for a 22 year old college girl" - written by a (stated) 57 year old man, or the one that states "my buddy read the book and is now living with a woman 14 years younger, and cheating on her with two 'side' women." What a great guy. The flip side of the coin for this type of book / "guru" would be a program for women to "Be a Gold Digger - How to Marry Millions and get half in the divorce". That flip side offends men to no end. They find women insanely shallow if they are only focused on money. Well, women find men deeply shallow if they only focus on age / beauty levels. This is why people say "there's no fool like an old fool".
91
I think the biggest danger in these books is that Balls of Steele Guru is setting up all these men to expect a Megan Fox clone to be the only acceptable type of woman for them, it's all about the exterior. Example: Chapter "How to move down the age ladder and move up the beauty ladder". The reason Megan Fox is so esteemed (for lack of a better term) is because she is so unique. 99.9999% of women don't look like her. In fact, Megan Fox doesn't look like her in real life, her image is built on millions of dollars of lighting, digitizing, silicone, lip injections, rinoplasty, make up, and cinematic filters. Guess what, 99.9999% of men don't get to be with Megan Fox, they find someone else to settle down with, and accept them flaws and all (I prefer this term to "settling"). Modern media provides us with massive overload of images of digitally perfect women, 100 years ago we were better conditioned to see and love beauty in its natural form, rather than insisting women all look like a Megan Fox architype (or substitute a blond barbie architype).
92
Hey Theo,

You're points have merit, but they aren't the entire picture. While it is true that the majority of intimate violence is done by men to women, there is a significant portion of female to male, male to male, and female to female. I'm not disagreeing that sexism is a factor in entitlement, or that our patriarchal society doesn't make it easier for males. What I'm saying is it's only a piece of the puzzle. One can argue that narcissism is a bigger issue with entitlement. Entitlement is the force behind abuse, it's the reason to exert power and control over one's partner, children, and even pets.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.
93
Hey Judah @ # 87:

I'm glad you agree with me on evolution. I dragged evolution amd its opposite into this debate as an example of the longevity of ideas within a culture. I was illustrating that an acceptance of violence against women probalby still exists in America in some places among some men. You didn't answer my question: why would that sense of acceptance of violence against women disappear comepletely in little more than a generation when other ideas like creationism have remained long lived?

I said that I think this crime is at the EXTREME end of a continuum of sexism. And the extreme end of a standard Bell curve is occupied by a FEw people. I didn't talk about exorcisms, you know..... you did.

Your hypothesis is that these men are violent assholes who brutualize those they perceive to be weaker than themselves for pragmatic reasons. I'm trying to explain to myself why a few men are violent assholes.

Enjoy your weekend! And thanks for the debate.
94
Hey Kim:

Yeah - as I told Judah, I'm trying to figure our why some men are violent assholes. I'm quite sure that a few men will still resort to violence due to sexism. As for Sodini - well I may be wrong about the root cause. He had mental health issues for sure ........ and was apparently bullied by his family.

Enjoy your weekend!
95
You didn't answer my question: why would that sense of acceptance of violence against women disappear comepletely in little more than a generation when other ideas like creationism have remained long lived?


Why are so many of the people who claim not to believe in biological Darwinism vocal adherents of Social Darwinism? How did Germany go from being the birthplace of Nazism to one of the most progressive countries on the planet in little more than two generations? Why is it that everyone knows that Gredo shot first, but hardly anyone knows that nobody in Casablanca ever said, "Play it again, Sam"? Culture is complex. Ideas do not decay at a uniform rate based on size, volatility, or any combination thereof.

I said that I think this crime is at the EXTREME end of a continuum of sexism. And the extreme end of a standard Bell curve is occupied by a FEw people.


Yeah, but culture occupies the hump of a bell curve. I mean, just because there's a cannibal somewhere in the United States doesn't mean that American culture includes cannibalism. When people talk about the culture of a given region or a large group of people, they talk about the norms -- not the EXTREMEs.

Your hypothesis is that these men are violent assholes who brutualize those they perceive to be weaker than themselves for pragmatic reasons. I'm trying to explain to myself why a few men are violent assholes.


Look, pretty much everybody except straight white men get the benefit of the doubt on this shit. African Americans, for example. When African Americans consistently score lower on standardized tests than any other group, we assume it's because they're being screwed. When they commit a higher number of violent crimes than any other group, we assume it's because they're being screwed. When they kill each other in greater numbers than any other group, we assume it's because they're being screwed. But if we take the "African American" part out and substitute it with "men", people like keshmeshi are suddenly willing to entertain the idea that there's something inherently wrong with men, as a class.

You want to know why some men are violent assholes? Try applying the same logic you might apply to any other group: maybe, like African Americans, men's lives are shaped by complex social forces from within and without and that the net effect of these forces is the disproportionate occurrence of certain negative outcomes; bad test scores, higher unemployment, frustration and violence. See where that idea leads you.
96
Thanks, Theo.

Enjoy your weekend.
97
Judah:

I didn't state that "there's something inherently wrong with men, as a class."

Sexism distorts everyone's lives: everyone's options are limited to a few out of the rainbow of possibilities.

May you be well - may you be happy.

And enjoy your weekend.



98
#22 I know some 40 something women, me included, who consider themselves "pretty and sexy and delightful and sweet and fragrant and summery". When I was 22 I still had acne, which didn't clear up until my late 20s-- So the 'naturalness' of this I question, and feel it's more a result of men having previously held most the positions of power. The powerful, choose. Men had the power to choose [and to cast 40s era movies] now you don't find 20 something women paired with 40 something men in many movies anymore, so things have improved.

Just the type of social conditioning that has spawned this movement and contributed to Sodini's feelings of rage and inferiority because he couldn't have what he felt a sense of entitlement to.
99
Judah - your complete and utter inability to connect to the same wavelength on which I'm communicating is not necessarily a sign of you being a total moron, but it's plenty of sign to me to not bother continuing this conversation. You're not only rather thickly literalist, but you are being a complete arrogant ass about it. The amount of time it would take me to unravel the density of your misconceptions about what I'm saying isn't something that would be worth it if I was getting paid. Ugh. Good night.
100
Anyone who thinks there is no such thing as a generalized "mascuine culture" in the US needs to spend more time outside Seattle. Or outside whatever other cosmopolitan bastion which is providing their escape from that culture.

The differential between persistence of creationism as a meme in pop culture, compared to a lesser persistence of violence against women as an acceptable meme, is not due to an (undefined, undemonstrated, unstudied) difference in the persistence of ideas based on who knows what. And it is not based on abandonment of the violence meme by its adherents. Rather it is based on the silence and secretiveness of its adherents, which silence is secured by the strength of feeling by the larger part of the people, and by consequences incorporated into civil and criminal law. Set the adherents free of these constraints, and you will find them nearly as numerous and vehement in their advocacy as the creationists - in fact they are the same people.

For evidence, study dominionist and dispensationalist religion and its adherents' belief systems. One good place to start is Jeff Sharlett's book, "The Family". Another is the website, talk2action.org. Another is the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center, particularily its Intelligence Report, which studies and publishes information about the most violent of these groups.