Terrible acts of violence often unleash discussions that go beyond the immediate crimes and motives. Often, there is passionate debate over gun rights and gun control. Or failures of mental health services and interventions.
The long manifesto/memoir of Elliot Rodgers, the 22-year-old college student who murdered six people in Isla Vista last week, was a litany of sexual frustration, bitterness and promises of violence against the women he held responsible for his social failures.
His unrequited feelings of sexual entitlement, and grievances about women who might have spurned him, has set off a national discussion about the meaning of male privilege and misogyny, and has inspired a Twitter hashtag, #YesAllWomen, that has functioned as an electronic equivalent of the consciousness-raising movement of the 1970s, when, in an echo of the black civil rights movement of the 1960s, second-wave feminists came to understand that legal gender discrimination was slowly being replaced by de facto gender discrimination.