Thoughts on the Santa Barbara Shooting

Note: I'd scheduled this post for yesterday, but for some reason WordPress decided to act up on me and not post it. Sorry, everyone!  Hi lovelies,

So, I'm not entirely sure if you all have heard about the shooting that occurred in Santa Barbara on Saturday.

Basically, the gist of it was: a 22-year old guy felt rejected by a woman. As a result, he went out and shot a bunch of people. Now, I'm not going to get into the details (if you want to know more, here's one of the many articles on the web describing what happened), but needless to say, this has sparked quite a debate amongst the Internet population. Many, many people are outraged, and rightfully so, at this horrifying display of misogyny - and to be honest, I think it's a wake-up call for a lot of us, women and men both. People tend to believe that the struggle for equal rights ended a long time ago, but that's just not true, and it makes me so sad that women have to be afraid of going out because something like this might happen to them.

I won't turn this into a "can't we just all be friends" post, but I guess what I'm trying to say is: it's not okay to ignore these kinds of things. Women are still being discriminated against (as evidenced by the shooting), it's getting more and more violent, and I'm afraid of where it's going to lead to. So I think it's been driven into our heads again and again and again: nope, not all men are sexist and perverted. I understand that - but what we have to realise is that even though not all men do these kinds of things, there are still a ridiculous amount who don't understand how wrong it is (or, worse still, understand but do it anyway). There are too many people out there who would rather educate their daughters to be conservative and quiet and not to "ask for it" than teach their sons to respect that no means no. Nobody, woman or man, should ever have to let someone down gently for fear of being murdered. Nobody should have to be blamed for being a rape victim. Something we all have to remember: sexism and misogyny is everyone's problem.

This issue really hit me hard, and I'm still kind of reeling from it. If you want to know more, there's a Twitter movement that was sparked by this: #YesAllWomen. Women are sharing some of their experiences with rape, misogyny, etc, and it's really worth scrolling through the feed just to take a look - as one of the tweets said, it's brilliant and frightening and empowering, all at the same time. (I've retweeted some of my personal favourites on my own Twitter account.) Then, there was another article written by Chuck Wendig over at Terrible Minds, and I think everyone should read that - he makes some really great points (although, please keep in mind there's quite a bit of swearing). There are other opinions in the comments as well that make for some interesting reading.

I know this isn't really what I usually post, but I thought it deserved a discussion, because ignoring this would be as bad as perpetuating it. So I want to know: women, have you ever been the victim of misogyny? Are you a feminist? Why (or why not)? Men, what are your views on this event? I want to hear what you all think.

love, Topaz