Dating women is a privilege, not a right

by Jose Gutierrez, Staff Columnist

It shouldn’t have to take a national tragedy to spark conversation about societal issues; unfortunately it does. The Isla Vista shootings, which involved several University of California, Santa Barbara, students ignited long overdue national discussions about male entitlement. The perpetrator, Elliot Rodgers, believed he was denied a happy life because women denied him sex. He believed he was entitled to sex, as if sex were an unalienable right akin life, liberty and property. But no, men aren’t entitled to anything for simply existing, especially not to women.

Still, the year is 2014 and I can’t even say I find it shocking that web articles and blog posts exist dedicated to enabling this sickening mentality.

For example, one post on the blog singleblackmale.org advises ladies that “Men are entitled to try to ‘talk’ to you at anytime, anyplace, anywhere … period… Once we all acknowledge this one little thing that all men get as a birth right, we’ll be on our way to better and happier gender relations.”

When some men are denied the opportunity to initiate contact, the bruised egos take a 180-degree turn and decide to vilify the woman who rejected them. Sadly, it isn’t uncommon to hear men call women “sluts” and “whores” after facing rejection.

Even on campus you can encounter some guys like this. Their mouths will babble on about “prude bitches” who act too hard to get. They often seem to end with “I never wanted her anyway, I was just trying to do her a favor.”

Yet, some men will still claim that they’ve never heard of any guy misbehaving like this when he’s rejected. Sure, it’s possible to have never heard any men acting like this around you personally—I’ll give you that. But to deny the existence of this behavior based solely on your personal experience is to invalidate the experiences of the women who have been vilified for rejecting men. Just ask some of the women in your life about these kinds of situations.

While verbal abuse is on one end of the retaliation spectrum, murder is on the other. In April, a 16-year-old boy stabbed a girl to death in Connecticut after she rejected his prom proposal. Arguments quickly rose about the situation and several online commenters questioned the boy’s mental stability.

These discussions always derail from male entitlement to mental illness, but as one commenter on Jezebel pointed out, “Mental illness is neither necessary nor sufficient to cause violent behavior … So attributing this kind of appalling behavior to being some sort of ‘crazy’ is a nonsense statement which actually contributes to biases and prejudices toward actual mentally ill people. It’s not just useless, it is bad and harmful.”

The same goes for Elliot Rodgers. Many were quick to play the “mentally ill” card and leave it at that—as if being a male had nothing to do with it. But being male had everything to do with it. To illustrate, here is an excerpt from Rodgers’ manifesto:

“Why do [women] give their love and sex to other men, but not me, even though I deserve them more? In the video, I show that I am the perfect, magnificent gentleman, worthy of having a beautiful girlfriend, making the world see how unreasonable it is that I’ve had to struggle all my life to get a girlfriend.”

Rodgers used the word “deserve” at least 30 times in his manifesto; it always went a little something like this:

“How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more.”

Dating women isn’t a right. Talking to women isn’t a right. Taking a girl to prom isn’t a right. Sex is not a right. They aren’t even necessities. Oxygen, water and food are necessities. Sex isn’t. I’m not even sympathetic when men like this make their own lives miserable.

We must remember that everybody is hurt by male entitlement. With rejection, men get a bruised ego at most, while some women get murdered. And why? Because society has yet to accept that male entitlement is a real problem. It’s 2014 and women are still faced with the threat of violence if they dare to defy men. If we don’t address this now, I wonder how many of these cases we’ll see in 2015.