When Bill Maher made the statement that mass shootings are being committed by sexually-frustrated young men, I took the opportunity to agree and move the conversation forward.
In response to your New Rules commentary of October 16, I just wanted to say “thank you.” It’s terrific that you, too, are tired of the timeworn explanations for why men shoot (and, yes, mass shooters ARE virtually all men). You’re right; it’s not about video games, mental health, guns, bullying, or poor parenting. It’s about not getting laid.
More than Sex
It’s also a matter of socialization and entitlement. In our hypersexual society, the dictate is: real guys get laid. My colleagues and I at the Men’s Resource Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan consistently see the results of the ridiculously high bar our society sets for manhood.
Guys who don’t perceive themselves as tough, strong, and invulnerable, and who don’t make it with women, turn into loners; they get angry and resentful. When women don’t accommodate them, they feel inadequate as men; they’re shamed. Most often the guys who become shooters are these guys. They shoot to get even; to prove their manhood.
We have written the only book directed at men who abuse women, Stop Hurting the Woman You Love: Breaking the Cycle of Abusive Behavior (Hazelden). And, our most recent book, Mascupathy (IPTM), suggests that many men’s masculinity becomes so distorted it can be considered diseased or pathological, hence we consider them to be mascupathic.
I’d like the opportunity to speak with you on Real Time about this ongoing issue of male shooters and what might be tried that hasn’t already been done.
I think your program presents an excellent opportunity to spark the conversation about what we need to do differently.