Stephen A. Fuqua (SAF) is a Bahá'í, programmer, and conservation and interfaith advocate in the DFW area of Texas.

August 9, 2009

The Emotionally- and Spiritually-Deprived Creep

I've been thinking about how horribly wrong this is, that a man can rant and rave angrily, hatefully about women, walk into a gym and kill and injure several, and the news treats it as "just another" mass killing. This is not "just another". Violence is always wrong. When it is perpetrated by singling out a particular group, and that pattern is repeated over and over again, it is also indicative of a deep social ill. In this case, its name is misogyny.

Bob Herbert in the New York Times had a piece yesterday, Women at Risk, that carefully summarizes the scope of the injustice and hate of misogyny. I've also been hearing, through my wife, much analysis and reporting from feminist blogs. For instance, it seems that this killer is part of a whole movement of pick-up artists, who don't have a clue why they can't get laid, and decide to take extreme manipulative tactics to thousands of women, in the hopes that one of them can be coerced into sex.

I doubt anyone considering "pick-up artist" tricks will ever read this blog. But if so, please consider this: none of us are perfect. All face challenges throughout their lives, some externally induced, some stemming from internal issues (which in turn are often influenced by the external events and vice versa). Break the in-virtuous cycle. Instead of manipulating others and fixating on your outer appearance, look to your own inner growth. Look at your own personality, your own self-awareness, your own sense of harmony with the world. And encourage others to do so.

These manifestations of internal well-being are attractive. Look to spirituality rather than sex gurus. Look to religion, even if you don't believe in God. Cast your net wide – perhaps the Bahá'í Faith is the right community for you. Or perhaps a nearby church, or a Buddhist group, etc. Make a real effort at developing a virtuous cycle. Who knows, it might help turn the sex-obsessed energy to something more positive and constructive. It might even help – if your words and your actions are both sincere over a long period of time – in developing meaningful relationships.

Most women are not interested in men who lack personality, in men who are not both self and other aware. People who are not emotionally "well adjusted" are unlikely to provide the support that others look for in times of trouble, the support needed to raise a child, the support needed for both to live full and balanced lives (rather than one being virtually chained to the bed). Regardless of how clean and manicured you are personally, regardless of how you might have the right car or furniture or job, if you are not emotionally and spiritually ready for a compassionate and supportive relationship, then you will always be a creep in the eyes of others.

2 Comments

I would argue that this flavor of misogyny is more about entitlement than being driven to get laid. This twisted perspective views women as sexual objects to which the misogynist is entitled--note the implication from the gym shooter that murdering women because he'd been rejected by 30 million women was perfectly justified.

If this was purely about sex, why not hire a prostitute? Why not place a personal ad to be some hot 20 year old's sugar daddy? No, he felt that sexual access to any woman of his choice was his right, and, when he bumped up against the reality that women are humans exercising free will, he decided targeting women for murder was a fair punishment for denying him his due.

It seems to me that at a very fundamental level, all of the (increasing) violence we are witnessing across the globe is but a blatant wailing of individuals and nations for a voice, for genuine acceptance, to be acknowledged and listened to, for their very existence to 'matter' in the world around them, so that they can have connection and purpose, to and with others. It often seems that those who seek dominance and control over others undoubtedly have had this very power exerted over them, often from early in life whether by family, culture, or through governmental/political powers.