Guilty until proven demasculinized

G

Blaming men for mass shootings was one of the best things of 2015.
At least according to this article in the “Society Pages”

Masculinity and Mass Shootings in the U.S.

This site declares itself to be an “open source science project” and is funded by university of Minnesota. And it is so scientific that it uses opinion articles from Salon.com as a source… which are of course the absolute pinnacle of reasoning and scientific research!

It insinuates that the cause of US mass shootings is something it calls “American masculinity” because the author must have noticed that masculinity in general wouldn’t be to blame when comparing mass shootings in the US in numbers to those in other countries.
And that mere fact itself, is enough to debunk this entire nonsensical article. For there is no such thing as “American Masculinity”. There might be certain cultural differences in what masculinity is throughout various cultural regions in this world, but fundamentally, what qualifies as masculinity in the United States will also be considered to be masculinity in Argentina, Mexico, Spain, France, Britain, Russia, Poland, or Germany.

The fact that most mass shootings are committed by men, which is the next supposed argument that they bring up, is as relevant as the fact that most filicides are carried out by women. It is an irrelevant fact. The former doesn’t indicate that something is wrong with masculinity, the latter doesn’t indicate that something is wrong with motherhood.

Confronted with the fact that there has been a drastic rise in the number of mass shootings in the US, summarising the statistics proving this only for the purpose of proclaiming that there is one single reason behind this is exactly the wrong way to go.
When confronted with a broken car motor, one takes that motor apart, piece by piece or runs an electronic or mechanical diagnostic system, which checks the entire motor with each and every single part for broken parts.

When confronted with the crime statistics and statistics on mass shootings in the US, this should also be the way one tries to find the cause of this phenomenon. Dig into the statistics, examine the separate incidents as individual cases, find common causes or similarities within the various cases, and be ready to disregard an entire theory that you may have built up once you have found one incident that disproves your assumptions.

If one were to apply the scientific method here, this entire assumption that masculinity is the cause of mass shootings would fall apart once a single woman is involved as the assailant in one single incident. Examining crime statistics for the purpose of crime prevention should never be done on the basis of assumptions and their resulting generalizations.

But instead of doing so the author provides two questions:

1) Why is it men who commit mass shootings?
2) Why do American men commit mass shootings so much more than men anywhere else?

And two answers that are supposedly “Social Psychological” and “Cultural” explanations.

The answer to number 1 proclaims that the male assailants had their masculinity challenged and that the mass shootings were a result of that. As if mass shootings were a natural part of the collapsing patriarchy. This assumption obviously ignores the cases themselves. Even if one case would point into the direction of an assailant having such motivations, the entire assumption would collapse once you found an assailant with other motivations.

The answer provided for question number 2 is the typical lost privilege whining that we have all heard countless times. “White men” supposedly react with mass shootings to having their privileged status gradually removed. As if mass shootings were simply a side effect of achieving some supposed “greater good”. The most dangerous line in this text however is the following:

“This means we need to turn our attention away from the individual characteristics of the shooters themselves and to more carefully investigate the sociocultural contexts in which violent masculinities are produced and valorized.”

In a court of law, in a criminal investigation, and within crime prevention itself, the work with individual cases forms the basis on which one builds to come to conclusions.

The idea that one starts off with a simplistic generalization of a group of people to fight crime is not only irrational, it is morally objectionable. It creates a climate in which a person is presumed guilty by association or guilty on the basis of simply existing. The dangers of creating such a climate should be blatantly obvious to anyone who ever even turned a single page of a history book.

Kraut Tea
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Kraut Tea

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