Patriarchy + Fear + The American way of killing + Males + Mental Illness + Testosterone = Mass Murder.

25 Jul

Michael Moore wrote this article analyzing what he thinks are the reasons for the Colorado mass murders, titled “It’s the Guns–but We All Know It’s Not the Guns”,

Much like the movie “Bowling for Columbine” he comes to the same conclusion, that it is the American way of fear mongering which leads to a lot of gun violence.  That our political arena and mass media pumps out fear on a constant basis and shows us very prompt ways to feel better, to not be so afraid, to not feel like a victim, to pick up a gun and blast away at what you are afraid of. I usually like Michael Moore’s analysis, and I equally liked “Bowling for Columbine” however, he is no different than other non-feminists, especially men, who will not do a thorough analysis looking at all variables such as patriarchy and eliminating variables that are not a factor such as females out of the equation of male violence. Mass murder sprees like the one at the movie theater have never been committed by women– never. Gun deaths in America are mostly committed by men, some say the statistic is as much as 97%. So if the American way is killing what you fear and using guns is just convenient, then why has this  affected men 97% of the time and women 3%?  Why aren’t we looking at this disparity and using it in our analysis instead of lumping females into male categories, deeming them guilty by association for male violence?  Predominantly, historically, it hasn’t been human nature to kill, but instead male nature. Within human nature there is also female nature and her nature has proven to be nonviolent. Even though this fact is glaringly obvious, written in all of our historical documents, we as a society do not consciously recognize it as true. Why?

I believe one of the reasons is that we don’t separate female behavior out from male behavior because in patriarchy males are the default sex representing both sexes and females and their behaviors including nonviolence, are obscured behind males and their behaviors including violence. We all have this mentality and because we think this is normal, we do not question its validity. It is men who do most of the killing worldwide and yet this is never mentioned and this article is no different. How can we fix the problem if we don’t name the perpetrators? If most gun deaths are committed by men and fear + the American way of killing is to blame for this, then why are men the only ones affected by this phenomenon? Normally Michael Moore will look at all of the variables but in the case of looking at men solely as the problem, he falls short and this is the norm in our society. He writes an article about how it isn’t guns, and goes onto surmise that it is the American Way of killing out of fear that is the culprit; however, he doesn’t take his research even further. Why? Why not include and eliminate all variables? Why not get to the  bottom of the analysis, to the Naked Truth? Perhaps he too, like all of us sheeple who have been socialized in patriarchy, is brainwashed into believing that patriarchy is the only type of society and that the male sex is the only sex that matters;  therefore, he never even considers females or their behavior in his analysis at all.

If Moore did do a thorough analysis, he would add in patriarchy, a male dominated society with a dominant masculine culture, he would then need to ask the question; how does a patriarchal society that is based on masculine ideals play into this? Who is pumping the American people full of fear and images of shooting the enemy? If our government & political system & our mighty corporations are all predominantly run by men who have masculine, violent, greedy and sinister intentions to control the American people, then patriarchy and the imbalance of female energy could play a significant role in this problem. If we then take it down to an individual level, the man who committed mass murder, could it be mental illness? And if yes, why don’t females with the same mental illness go on mass murder sprees? Could it be because males are socialized to be violent outwardly and females are socialized to be violent against themselves? Therefore if men have mental illnesses, they would reach for guns and commit mass murders and females would try to harm themselves? Could testosterone play a role as well along with the mental illness? Since males have mostly testosterone and females very little, could the mental illness and the testosterone be an issue, especially at the age of both shooters (and most mass murderers) when their testosterone was at the highest (in Colorado for example, at Columbine and at the movie theater), could this have played a part? Or could it even be the fragile male ego and insecurities, lack of emotional development on top of the rest of issues? Do all of these factors add up to a perfect storm; patriarchy + fear + the American way of killing + males + mental illness + testosterone  = mass murder?

If that is true then what is the reason for male violence worldwide? Why is there an epidemic of male violence against females? Why is the male sex so violent? Because we aren’t looking at variables such as patriarchy and eliminating variables such as women in trying to figure out these mass murders and for most of the violence on planet earth, we continue to be impotent in finding a solution. By looking at patriarchy and the imbalance of female input into patriarchal societies, which would be nonviolent solution making and cooperation, we ultimately have societies like America that have an epidemic of gun shootings predominantly committed by men.

Michele Braa-Heidner


7 Responses to “Patriarchy + Fear + The American way of killing + Males + Mental Illness + Testosterone = Mass Murder.”

  1. Noanodyne July 26, 2012 at 1:44 am #

    Excellent. I thought the same thing you did when I read MM’s article: He’s missing the most obvious factor of all. Thanks for putting it all together and naming what others simply will not look at or consider. Your theory of the combination of those factors is very compelling, I hope others will see this, or at least think about this on their own, and make some real movement toward addressing this lethal combination. Women and children are dying every single day because of it.

    • mbraaheidner July 26, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      Thank you Noanodyne, I appreciate your feedback and praise. I also appreciate that you shared it!

  2. DavinaSquirrel July 26, 2012 at 6:09 am #

    The tendency for male violence, certainly the huge pachyderm in the room being overlooked. It is unbelievable to miss something so obvious, so it has to be deliberate.

    Throw the media into the mix, they help maintain these events because it increases circulation for newspapers. There should be a media ban on naming the perp to discourage the fame-seeking type, which the cinema shooter was, a fame-seeker (plus failed masculinity as a preliminary factor). These mass shootings, particularly in the US, are becoming more common.

    • mbraaheidner July 26, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

      Thank you Davina for your comments. I’m sure there are many other factors involved. I just wanted to put something out there that asks the questions about why we aren’t looking deeper and why we aren’t casting our gaze at men alone in hopes of starting a conversation. I actually posted my thoughts at the Michael Moore article where all of the people who commented on his article were men and of course they too were all oblivious. I can imagine the response I got! 🙂

  3. karmarad July 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Hi, mbraaheider,

    Yes, I see what you are saying and appreciate your having the courage to say it. I don’t think any of these factors are independent from each other, though, and the next step is to study the interrelationships. For example, you state that “patriarchy” is a factor. Patriarchy means a male-dominated society, including societal attitudes regarding and tolerance for aggression and violence. One obvious potential connection may be that men dominate, and have therefore simply set up society in a way that accommodates their biology with minimum friction. “Patriarchy” may be merely the societal expression of biological maleness. Biological maleness may be the underlying causative factor, and patriarchy just a result, not another causative factor.

    Another possible factor you mention is “mental illness”. There’s a school of thought out there that holds that whenever terrible crimes are committed, the men involved must be “ill”; in other words, their behavior is individual and anomalous. There is a question as to whether the patriarchal societally-defined concept of “mental illness” may be applied in such cases to avoid considering the problematic extent that the violence may be related to biological predispositions of one sex. There’s no evidence that Holmes is mentally ill other than the bald fact that he committed these awful crimes. But he is in the age range when testosterone is highest in males and during which a disproportionately high proportion of violent crimes are committed. Nevertheless I read everywhere that he must be a mentally ill individual.

    Overall, we don’t know how the clear association of violence and maleness is related to biological predispositions (possibly related to androgens), and how much is related to an exacerbation of such predispositions due to the society men have constructed for themselves and which they educate male children into. It could be studied, though, if we could get past the politics and taboos which suppress such study. For example, some work is being done by biocriminologists in this regard: see, e.g., (use “testosterone” as a search term). It’s interesting that women convicted of violent crimes seem to have higher testosterone levels that women who are convicted of property crimes, as one study there suggests.

    • mbraaheidner July 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

      Thank you so much for your response Karmarad, I appreciate the feedback. I agree that the variables involved are interrelated. My goal in writing this piece was to get the conversation going about ideas that continue to not be discussed in our society. Thank you for reading my post! 🙂

  4. goodrumo December 23, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    Thanks very much for your post on this, the greatest non-observation our society is making, well said by yourself drawing attention to it, appreciated, also not sure if you caught Jackson Katz’s essay: and Kalish + Kimmel’s work: They may interest you as well, it is part of my study currently. The comment before re testosterone is addressed on Professor Anne Fausto-Sterling’s classic work ‘Myths of Gender’ I reccommend the book for anyone interested in actually sorting myth from fact re men + women, what we are, and what we are not. Reading parts of your past blogs also, you might have read this already? Dr Allan G Johnson’s “Gender Knots’. Unraveling our Patriarchial Legacy: Thanks for being in cyberspace, writing, informing, I am a follower now!

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