NR Digital


by Charles C. W. Cooke

The UCSB killings were not caused by “white male privilege”

Collective guilt is en vogue at the moment, the ever-supple concepts of “privilege,” “rape culture,” and “entitlement” having been gradually brought into the mainstream and then ruthlessly applied to anything that moves. At first the tendency was limited to cultural criticism and reserved to practitioners of that peculiar form of word salad that is native to the college campus. Of late, though, it has taken a more sinister turn. In May, a shooting carried out by a California man — and justified by him in disgracefully misogynistic terms — became a rallying point for exponents of the idea that supposed structural inequalities in American life have, literally, turned deadly.

As the details of the killer’s ugly manifesto became public, a Twitter hashtag — “#YesAllWomen” — collected the accusations of the aggrieved. If, as Camille Paglia claims, feminism has indeed “become a catch-all vegetable drawer where bunches of clingy sob sisters can store their moldy neuroses,” then it is apparently in the darker corners of Twitter that the leaders of the traveling sisterhood have found their forever home. There, the killer’s peculiar motivations were grafted onto all men — the extraordinarily complex problems of untreated mental illness, a surfeit of guns, and a culture in which running amok has become the go-to outlet for the deranged being quickly cast aside in favor of buzzy terms with pliable definitions. Few bothered to look into the details of the case. The shooter was white and male, and had written a long manifesto outlining his hatred of women. What else did we need to know?

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