It’s time to admit that America has a masculinity problem

CW: Gun violence, domestic abuse

05/11/2017. Devin Patrick Kelley kills 26 and injures 20 in a church in Sutherland Springs.
01/10/2017. Stephen Paddock kills 58 and injures 515+ at a music festival in Las Vegas.
12/06/2016. Omar Mateen kills 49 and injures 58+ in Pulse nightclub, Orlando
18/06/2016. Dylann Roof kills 9 people in a church in Charleston.
20/07/2012. James Holmes kills 12 people and injures 58 at a cinema in Colorado.
16/05/2007. Seung-Hui Cho kills 32 people and injures 17 at Virginia Tech University.
14/12/2012. Adam Lanza kills 26 people and injures 2 at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

7 of some of the deadliest mass shootings that America has seen. Names, dates and places that will send a shiver down the spine of most of us. Different states, different ages, different death counts, different races and different religions.

One thing in common. All men.

It’s time to admit that America, along with most other countries in the world, has a problem. Masculinity is in crisis, and it’s affecting us all.

The Gun Violence Archives defines a mass shooting  as “four or more shot and/or killed in a single incident, at the same general time and location, not including the shooter”. Men are responsible for 90% of all murders. That’s a lot of murders. As for shootings, out of 135 of the deadliest mass shootings since 1966 analysed by The Washington Post, only 3 were female. That’s just 2%. And yet, it just isn’t talked about. Every time there is a shooting in America, we get the waves of commentary about the perpetrator. If they’re non-white, racists start banging on about immigration. Trump and Ryan speculate about mental health. Lengthy debates occur about whether or not guns should be further regulated. What is never seriously discussed is the one thing that seems, to me, to be the most glaringly obvious.

Ok, so most mass shooters are men. Why does this matter? 

Let’s take a look at the demographics of the USA. Of the 20 richest people in the USA in 2017, 1 is a woman. Even if we look at the 20 richest people in the world in 2017, only 2 are women. 71% of elected officials in the USA are men. 1 in 5 members of Congress are women. Out of 50 governors, 6 are women. Less than 4% of CEO’s at Fortune 500 companies are women. As of 2012, 26% of colleges and universities were headed by women. 90% of media in the USA (so that’s all newspapers, TV, Radio, films etc) is controlled by only 6 companies and yes, you guessed it, every single CEO of those 6 companies is a man.

You get the picture. The USA (and the whole world really, but that’s for another day) is controlled by the patriarchy. We can’t deny it, and we can’t ignore it. Men never stop telling us why women can’t be in positions of power. We are too emotional, we have periods, we are too empathetic. These statistics about mass shootings, in my opinion, give us a pretty strong case as to why men are the ones who shouldn’t be in positions of power. Why are people so much quicker to blame muslims, immigration, mental health and literally anything else before they point a finger to men?

Violence against women is an epidemic. Every day in the US, 3 women are murdered by a current or former male partner. A woman is beaten every 9 seconds. Men are being uncovered as sexual abusers left, right and centre in Hollywood, the media and pretty much every industry you can think of. Even the President of the United States of America, the supposed leader of the free world, has a history of sexual assault accusations. Meanwhile, many mass shooters have records of domestic abuse and rape. 9 out of the 10 deadliest mass shooters have a history of threatening, committing or verbalising domestic violence. Why is nobody addressing this?

It’s pretty obvious that America not only has a shooter problem but has a masculinity problem, and it’s men who are the driving force. Not only this, but woman have been pointing out the link between masculinity, domestic violence and crime for years. The problem is, nobody is listening. Feminism is still a joke to many people, something that can be made into a meme for a few likes or bandied about as an insult on Reddit. Thought the movement has made progress in society recently, it is still not taken anywhere near seriously enough. And this is why this it should no longer be a woman’s problem to fix. It’s time for men to step up to the plate. Do your part, because we’re pretty exhausted from carrying the weight for all these years.

The patriarchy and a culture of toxic masculinity is literally killing people. It’s time to take it seriously.

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