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#YesAllWomen Takes on Gender Violence

Over the weekend, a deeply troubled, angry man alleged to be 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and wounded seven more in Santa Barbara, California as part of his crusade against women. In his unearthed Youtube diary, Rodger expressed deep loathing at women, saying they should want to date him. “I feel so invisible as I walk through my college. Your revealing shorts, your cascading blonde hair, your pretty faces. I want one for a girlfriend,” Rodger says in a video. “I am polite. I am the ultimate gentleman. And yet, you girls never give me a chance. I don’t know why.” That rage gave way to murderous violence before Rodger took his own life.

In response to the tragedy, #YesAllWomen (a play on the “Not All Men” meme) started tending on Twitter, with women telling their own stories of men who felt entitled to their bodies and attention (Vox has collected a few of them). These stories draw attention to the fact that Rodger’s feelings, while extreme, are not unique. From the concept of “the friendzone” to the idea that nice guys “deserve” more attention from women, this hashtag is shining a light on rape culture, and the way society sanctions mistreatment of women.

As an interesting side note, the hashtag has spawned #YesAllBiblicalWomen, a Christian branch with similar stories from church culture and biblical stories of feminism …

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