“If I can’t have you, girls, I will destroy you. You denied me a happy life, and in turn, I will deny all you life. It’s only fair.”
Those are the chilling words of 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, who shot and killed six victims near University of California, Santa Barbara.
Rodger goes on to say in a final YouTube video that it is an “injustice” that he is a virgin – that women never returned his advances. In other words, it is his right to have sex with a woman, and if she is not willing, it is his right to kill her.
Because of men like Rodger, college women do not feel safe on their own campuses. We travel in packs for safety. We’re taught to go on first dates in very public areas before men gain our trust. We automatically distance ourselves from men if we happen to be alone, our eyes shifting for a safer place. These men could be perfect gentlemen, but unfortunately we must assume they are potential attackers for our safety.
Rodger stated in his video that he would specifically target “the hottest sorority on campus” because they represent all the no’s and I-don’t-want-to’s and leave-me-alone’s he’s heard.
What’s sad is that sororities historically stand against the exact misogynistic and patriarchal ideas Rodger believes in. Teenaged girls, mostly denied access to higher education, formed together in their schools to advance higher ideals, like loyalty, wisdom and love. In a time when women couldn’t even cast votes, girls formed secret societies where they could elect their own leaders. The founders wrote rituals in which every member has promised to help and support her sisters.
Being a sorority woman means being the biggest cheerleader for strong women.
Yet, as I sat outside my sorority house a year ago, a truck with young men hanging out the windows revved by. The men yelled at me. Harrassed me. Put me down with their words. All because I sat by myself, and I was a woman.
Yet, my sorority’s executive council decided to forgo a usual chapter meeting and instead have a rape defense class. All because some men want us, and we are women.
Yet, a psychopath named Elliot Rodger targeted the UCSB Alpha Phi sorority house during his shooting rampage. All because other women told him no, and sororities are built by women.
It is not confirmed yet how many sorority women were in those six killed. My heart goes out to all the victims.
Dear sisters, do not ever let fear and sick people like Rodger tell you that it is not your right to say “no.” You are a woman, and you get to make your own decisions.
UPDATE: All six victims were UCSB students, two of which were sorority women. Three of the victims were stabbed, not shot, at Rodger’s apartment. They are Cheng Yuan Hong, George Chen and Weihan Wang. Christopher Martinez was shot at a deli. Katherine Cooper and Veronika Weiss were shot outside the Alpha Phi house.
Rodger tried to enter the Alpha Phi house, but the door was locked. The members inside did not let Rodger in. He then attacked Cooper and Weiss, both sisters of Delta Delta Delta, who happened to be outside the Alpha Phi house. Tri Delta’s national president made a statement here.
For more information on the recent tragedy visit these articles:
–Rampage Victims Include Law School Hopeful, Women Outside Sorority
–Sorority targeted by Isla Vista shooting suspect urges privacy
–Six Killed in Mass Shooting, Shooter Had Promised to “Punish Girls” Who Weren’t Attracted to Him