Following the Isla Vista shooting this week, Jeff Sharlet, Dartmouth English prof (and author, Harper’s contributing editor, etc.) took to Twitter to discuss the tragic event. Like others, he linked Elliot Rodger’s shooting to the pervasive destructiveness of misogyny. Unlike others, he compared Rodger to sexual assailants at Dartmouth:
World of difference, but I think of Elliot Rodgers way I think of many of the young men who commit sexual violence at school where I teach.
— JeffSharlet (@JeffSharlet) May 25, 2014
We followed up with Sharlet for further explanation of the tweet’s idea, and he went in on both Rodger and rapists.
Rape and murder are different crimes, of course, but rape and Rodger’s decision to kill women seem to me likely rooted in the same pervasive misogyny, a sense of some or all women as less than human. I’m distressed by those who’d dismiss Rodger as nothing but a monstrous outlier. The logic of hate he took to its most extreme end is the same of that of the rapist, and, yes, of that of those who apologize for rapists.
Dartmouth’s attempts to change their culture appear to be working, at least for the professors.
Update 2:00 pm Sharlet has a little more to say:
. @ivygate I’d say I link Rodger to rapists & rape apologists everywhere. I just hear about them most often where I teach.
— JeffSharlet (@JeffSharlet) May 27, 2014