US shooter Elliot Rodger killed six people, in a “day of retribution” against all women who had rejected him. But Twitter has responded to the killer’s diatribe with the powerful hashtag “YesAllWomen”.
Rodgers, who is the son of a Hollywood director, sped through the streets Isla Vista, Santa Barbara in a black BMW, spraying bullets at pedestrians at multiple locations in the small oceanfront town.
Three bodies which he allegedly stabbed to death were also recovered from his apartment and are believed to be included in the six reported dead.
In a final video before the massacre, Rodger blamed all women for what he says is a life of “loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires”.
“I am 22 years old and I’m still a virgin. I’ve never even kissed a girl,” he said in the video.
“I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it. It’s an injustice, a crime.
“I will take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you, you will finally see that I am the truthful superior one – the true alpha male.”
But social media refused to let the killer have the last word, fighting back against the misogynistic mantra and criticising the way Western society appears to allow men to feel entitlement over women even at the expense of their health and safety.
Sadly many of the women, particularly those whose tweets featured prominently on media sites, were attacked. One user, @EmilyHughes, summed up her experience as this:
Thinking about last night. The male responses were generally predictable (“not all men,” “Every single woman you know? I doubt it.”)…
— Emily (@emilyhughes) May 25, 2014
User @gildedspine was credited with starting the hashtag over the weekend, but has repeatedly declined to comment to media, saying she wanted to protect her private life. Her first tweet read: “I’m going to be tweeting under the #YesAllWomen hashtag. Let’s discuss what ‘not all men’ might do but woman must fear.”
— Kaye M. (@gildedspine) May 25, 2014
Here are some of the most powerful responses.
— Ayesha (@AsSeenOnMyself) May 25, 2014
A hashtag may not change the world, but it should get you thinking about the world around you. And sometimes that’s enough #YesAllWomen
— Justina Ireland (@tehawesomersace) May 25, 2014
#YesAllWomen because it was proven that it is more effective to yell “fire” than “rape”
— Tan ☀️ Gurlz (@TanGurlz) May 25, 2014
It was not all women responding.
If you find #YesAllWomen an attack on men or women blaming men – then – now get ready You are a moron.
— John Lurie (@lurie_john) May 25, 2014