Today in Toxic Masculinity

[Content Note: Gun violence; auto violence; domestic violence; misogyny; entitlement; disablism.]

On Friday, Dimitrios Pagourtzis killed ten people and injured at least 13 others at Sante Fe high school in Texas.

Sadie Rodriguez, a mother of one of Pagourtzis' victims, 16-year-old Shana Fisher, said that her daughter was his first target, because he was angry that she had humiliated him by publicly rejecting him after he'd aggressively pursued her for four months, despite her repeatedly telling him no.
Sadie Rodriguez said her daughter Shana Fisher had endured "four months of problems from this boy".

"He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no," she told the Los Angeles Times.

...Ms Rodriguez said Mr Pagourtzis had been increasingly aggressive until her daughter stood up to him, embarrassing him in class.

"A week later he opens fire on everyone he didn't like," she said.
Then yesterday, Roger Self, a former police officer turned private investigator in North Carolina, took his family out to brunch, had them seated at a particular table, then left the meal to get into his vehicle and plow it into the restaurant, killing two people, one of whom was his own daughter, Katelyn Self, a deputy sheriff. The other person killed was his daughter-in-law, Amanda Self, an emergency room nurse. One of her daughters, only 13 years old, was among the injured.

According to a pastor and family friend, Self was "wrestling with mental illness" and had been "beset by anxiety, depression, and mental breakdowns," but: "He's been taking precautions. He had all the guns removed from his house, so he was making steps that were rational steps."

Imagine anyone saying about a woman, or a man of color, who tried to kill their entire family that they had been making "rational steps" before they rammed their car into a restaurant where they killed and injured people in addition to their targeted family.
"Family has been loving him through this," the pastor said. "This was not a conscious act by their father, and they know that."
Except, of course, that it was a conscious act. He chose the restaurant, he called the restaurant, he made a reservation, he invited his family, he chose a particular table, he sat down with them, he got up from the table, he left the restaurant, he got in his car, he started it, and then he deliberately drove it through the restaurant.

Let me be clear: Neither anxiety nor depression make people kill their families. They also don't make men decide that their wives and daughters and daughters-in-law and granddaughters are better off dead, or whatever fucked-up reason Self decided to harm his family.

Mental illness can exacerbate toxic masculinity. But it doesn't create it.

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