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Feminism: chat

Was Elliot Rodger just a spoiled brat or did he suffer serious mental issues?

41 replies

zenithfreedom · 13/06/2021 14:46

I've been watching a few videos on him; for those who don't know he's a 22yr old guy who went on a shooting spree back in May 2014 because he felt denied sex by women.

At first, you'd be tempted to just classify him as an entitled individual however his videos show someone who is seriously disturbed. Some people on the internet point out that he may have co-morbid narcissistic personality disorder along with autism and OCD.

The fact is most people with any mental disorder/syndrome never harm anyone but such disorders are overrepresented among mass shooters in America.

As someone rightly pointed out, genetics from Elliot's parents most likely "loaded the gun" while his dysfunctional family and lavishment by his parents "pulled the trigger" that led to this attack

OP posts:

Muddydoor · 13/06/2021 15:00

Both. And he lives in a country which gives easy access to guns. A toxic mix.


MouseyTheVampireSlayer · 13/06/2021 15:02

That sounds like making excuses for murderers.
Knowing about the mistakes of the past can help prevent a new tragedy, it doesn't justify one that's already happened.
Fred and Rose West were both abused as children by the way. It doesn't excuse their actions.


elloello75 · 13/06/2021 15:25

I think he was a misogynist but it wouldn't shock me to find he had some mental problems. Pretty sure you've got to have some sort of mental problem to be turned on by the thought of murder.

I don't know if he had autism but one thing I do know is that if he did have autism it's not what drove him to hate women and kill a bunch of people.


risefromyourgrave · 13/06/2021 15:52

Surely you have to have serious mental issues in order to plan and carry out a mass shooting, I would imagine most, if not all, of murderers could be diagnosed with some personality disorder. However, Elliot Roger obviously knew it was against the law and could have stopped himself. As he was a spoilt brat, he chose not to.


NiceGerbil · 13/06/2021 15:56

He was also likely radicalised online by mra incel groups etc and he had written a big doc about how women had to die or similar hadn't he?

The online activity is dangerous. It doesn't get seen in the same way, hatred of women doesn't get seen in the same way as hatred of other groups and men being radicalised into committing crime.

They encourage rape a lot as well and focus on young women/ girls. Rape is underreported/ not investigated well etc so I suspect these murders are the tip of the iceberg in the harm to women done as a result of these hate groups.


GNCQ · 13/06/2021 16:38

Yes those comments on the internet that compelled you to post here may have truth to them.
He probably did have underlying mental health problems.

However let's not forget, he sank into an internet hole of misogyny, incel culture, that encourages the hatred of women.

Without this influence, he may not have become a mass murderer.


Marguerite2000 · 13/06/2021 17:27

He definitely had mental/personality problems. He found it impossible to connect with any other human beings, even on a superficial level.
One of his fathers friends who knew him as a child said you could sense that he was profoundly lonely.
He became fixated on sex, but it's obvious he wouldn't have known how to handle any kind of sexual relationship, even meeting with an escort would have been beyond his social capability.


NiceGerbil · 13/06/2021 17:34

This goes back to the societal problems though.

Popular media esp in USA is constantly giving the message that het relationships are super important. That bring attractive to prospective sexual partners is super important. And especially to men. Also that women are the gatekeepers but a good man will still get young attractive women. The hero always gets the girl- the anti hero always gets the girl. Usually one way out his League. The stereotypes. Overweight funny bloke. Skinny geek. Those unable to make friends. Those with frankly serious emotional problems. There is often a dynamic where she hates him to start with and comes round.

Unattractive women are rare. Whatever 'type' they are always good looking.


NiceGerbil · 13/06/2021 17:39

And that sex is a must. With good looking young women obv.

References to porn, strip clubs even prostitution are in even stuff aimed at younger.

Between that, the availability of porn, and underneath a resentment that women are people who can say no... Plus the online stuff. It's a toxic mix.

Whatever his issues. The fact is he wrote a manifesto about how awful women are and then went out and killed some.

He is lauded in these groups online as a hero.

This stuff needs to be treated as seriously as terrorism of other types. I mean, if only...


Gingerkittykat · 13/06/2021 17:39

As someone rightly pointed out, genetics from Elliot's parents most likely "loaded the gun" while his dysfunctional family and lavishment by his parents "pulled the trigger" that led to this attack

Nope, he both loaded the gun and pulled the trigger.

I have no doubt that he had mental health issues, however, it was also the culture in the USA that contributed to his crimes. Almost all shootings are done by white men, why are women with mental health issues not doing the same thing?


NiceGerbil · 13/06/2021 18:30

The idea that it was the genetics he got from his parents (I'm assuming they've not murdered anyone?) that somehow committed this crime is

A bit eugenic-y
Very dubious in terms of view of people with various disabilities or even just those who are introverted/ don't make friends easily etc.

This young man had written a manifesto and uploaded it/ sent to various people.

'Before driving to the sorority house, Rodger uploaded a video to YouTube titled "Elliot Rodger's Retribution", in which he outlined his planned attack and his motives. He explained that he wanted to punish women for rejecting him, and sexually active men because he envied them. He also emailed a lengthy autobiographical manuscript to acquaintances, his therapist, and family members; the document appeared on the Internet and became widely known as his manifesto. In it, he described his childhood, family conflicts, frustration over inability to find a girlfriend, his hatred of women, his contempt for couples (particularly interracial couples) and his plans for what he described as "retribution".'


NiceGerbil · 13/06/2021 18:32

'Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you. For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I've been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection, and sex and love to other men but never to me.[37] I'm 22 years old and I'm still a virgin. I've never even kissed a girl. I've been through college for two and a half years, more than that actually, and I'm still a virgin. It has been very torturous. College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. Within those years, I've had to rot in loneliness. It's not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. 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, because ... I don't know what you don't see in me. I'm the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman.[37]'


NiceGerbil · 13/06/2021 18:37

He was bullied a lot, guessing not just by girls.

He had a host of issues.

He'd been in therapy for years.

Who does he blame for everything? Women. Women are always to blame, right?

And he went out and killed. And he'd exhibited aggressive behaviour to girls as well.

It's a total lack of ability to take responsibility which imo and NAMALT seems really common in men. Of course most don't behave like this. But this. It wasn't me, it wasn't my fault, it's their fault etc etc. It's all over the place.

To say oh it's genetics or whatever. Yes it's interesting to try and understand why criminals do what they do to see if it can be prevented.

But the problem is it takes the focus away from the societal issues that encourage and breed this attitude.


TurquoiseLemur · 13/06/2021 19:19

I think it's very concerning (understatement) that he was in therapy for years with apparently no improvement.

His black-and-white thinking and the depth of his rage suggested autism to me (we have it in the family). . .in addition almost certainly to one or more personality disorders. And I know from our own experience as a family that a lot of psychotherapists know very little about ASD and how it may present. (They struggle to see what is ASD-and-probably-manageable-with-the-right-support and what are other issues.)

Having said that, there are quite a few autistic women in the world and quite a few women in the world with serious mental health problems, and these women rarely kill. When it comes to mass shootings, I can offhand think of only one case of a woman perpetrator. (The woman, then a teenager, who fired on her school playground in 1979 and inspired the Boomtown Rats' song "I don't like Mondays.")


NiceGerbil · 13/06/2021 19:32

Whatever his issues were or weren't.

People with the issues you describe don't go around committing mass murder.

People without these issues do. (Although it can be argued that anyone who murders is mentally unwell but I'm not at all sure about that idea).

They are pretty much all men though.

And there's the other VAWG that doesn't get anywhere near the same attention. The DV, the sex offences. The whole entitled/ aggressive attitude to women and girls that drives all the crime whatever the level. This bubbling resentment that is visible in IMO a massive amount of men. Coming out usually only occasionally and in words etc.

So I don't think it's helpful to look at this really. Sure it may have played a part I mean of course. But, what then? He was bullied and unpopular. He had various issues. I imagine boys were involved in not being his friend/ bullying. He cites his dissatisfaction at his family dynamic.

So what does he do? He blames all his problems on not getting off with girls and goes out and murders some.

Why did he focus his anger there? Why do so many men? That's the social messages. And they are hard to face up to and so this stuff keeps happening.


Marguerite2000 · 14/06/2021 12:15

NiceGerbil he actually murdered more men than women. He didn't just blame girls, his rage was directed at women, and men who were succesful with women. He was actually contemplating murdering his younger brother , whereas his slightly older sister doesn't seem to have been on his radar.
Incidentally my daughter is autistic and capable of extreme rage and violence, there's a whole raft of reasons why she won't ever become a spree killer, the fact that she's female is probably the least of them.


Childrenofthestones · 14/06/2021 12:53

My guess is even if he had got himself a girlfriend/wife/long-term relationship, as soon as she realised what she had taken on and left him he would have killed her too. A massive narcissist.


QuentinBunbury · 14/06/2021 12:57

I think he was radicalised online into a terrorist act against women. He clearly had issues but the online communities and the acceptance/encouragement they gave him were key. I think probably more important than bullying or his parents attitudes.
We accept this is a mechanism for other types of terrorist, in fact as a society we put a lot of effort in to countering it, so I find it interesting its not really discussed about Rodger.


User135644 · 14/06/2021 13:01

He was extremely mentally ill, he also had autism (according to his Dad).

He was a textbook narcissist but had extreme social anxiety. His narcissism made him unable to accept not getting what he wanted, his social anxiety/poor social skills left him struggling to get a hot girlfriend his narcissism made him feel he was entitled to.

It's a very interesting case study.


User135644 · 14/06/2021 13:09


I think he was radicalised online into a terrorist act against women. He clearly had issues but the online communities and the acceptance/encouragement they gave him were key. I think probably more important than bullying or his parents attitudes.
We accept this is a mechanism for other types of terrorist, in fact as a society we put a lot of effort in to countering it, so I find it interesting its not really discussed about Rodger.

Not sure how much he was radicalised online. He was a heavy gamer and obsessed with World of Warcraft. He used a bodybuilding forum rather than Incel sites as he tried to improve his frame.

He also had a God complex where he felt he should rule the world and got indoctrinated by Nazi propaganda, be it online or just in books. He was just a very disturbed and depressed individual. There was no one cause for it.

NiceGerbil · 14/06/2021 13:39

He was in MRA/ incel groups online and posted his diatribe against women there before he did it.


SionnachRua · 14/06/2021 13:44

Bit of both imo. I think of it as like the Titanic sinking, it wasn't just one issue that made it happen. It was a whole load of things coming together to devastating effect.


NiceGerbil · 14/06/2021 13:56

His fury towards women drew him to misogynistic websites. In one online forum he wrote, "start envisioning a world where women fear you."

When Elliot sent the websites to his father, Peter Rodger angrily called his son. "Elliot, why are you going on these websites?" he recalled saying. "This is negative, this is evil kind of And you shouldn't go on there." But the father's outrage failed to work. He failed to realize the depths of Elliot's hatred of women.'


SmokedDuck · 14/06/2021 19:02

Very much mentally ill.

In general though, having no real chance of a romantic connection or family life is one of the big risk-factors for radicalisation. It makes people feel like there is no hope for them. In this instance you have a person who has that feeling, and it's probably true, and in addition is largely unable to see things as they are, or see a way to change, and his thought processes give him bad results in general, not in line with reality.

It's going to be a bad outcome almost for certain.


Ereshkigalangcleg · 14/06/2021 19:06

He wrote a hundred or so page "manifesto" which I read in full after it happened, in which he bemoaned that the women he was attracted to weren't attracted to him, and should therefore die. His original plan to attack a sorority house was foiled so he did a different version on the day I think.

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