The California mass murder by a gunman obsessed by grievances toward women has started what the New York Times calls “an anguished conversation” about the ways women are perceived sexually and the violence against them. “If we don't talk misogyny now, when are we going to talk about it?” asked Nancy Yang, a second-year global studies major at the University of California Santa Barbara, as she stood a few feet from a memorial created in the wake of the rampage on Friday night that left six people and the gunman dead and 13 wounded.
“Yes, we have to have compassion, and we don't know what this perpetrator was going through, but there are underlying issues here,” she said. “We can't do that without thinking about the way we talk about and speak to women. This act does not represent our campus at all, but at the same time there's a palpable sense that there needs to be more dialogue about the factors that led to it.” Some women on Twitter and Facebook voiced their experiences with verbal and physical harassment and abuse. Some said they wore fake wedding rings to avoid advances from men and others said that saying no to a man “was only the start of negotiation.” Several wrote about being told by boyfriends and husbands that they deserved being abused. They spoke of law enforcement and school administrators ignoring pleas for help.