Shortly before Elliot Rodger set out into the streets of Isla Vista, California, on Friday night, he released an 138-page manifesto outlining his intentions to wage a “war on women” where he would “punish all females for the crime of depriving me of sex.” By the end of the evening, he had murdered two women and four men, wounded 13 others, and killed himself. In the wake of the murders, some leveraged Rodger’s death count to argue that, if anything, Rodger’s crimes were an expression of his hatred of men, not women. If he was such a misogynist, why were his victims mostly male? “He killed twice as many men as women you fool,” one man wrote to me in an email, echoing a sentiment I’ve heard in many forms over the past few days. “That sound like misogyny to you?”
It does. Women’s issues are often dismissed as a niche concern, but we constitute half of the human population. Once that’s recognized, it’s not hard to see how hating us can inflict significant collateral damage among all people—including the men who are our partners, our relatives, and our colleagues. Misogyny kills men, too.