As gun massacres occur more and more frequently within our nation, the temptation to follow in the reaper’s footsteps grows among other disaffected and frustrated Americans. In one of the more distasteful stories of the day, an Idaho school was placed on lockdown after a fifteen-year-old threatened to murder cheerleaders at his school for “refusing to send him [nude pictures].”
“Some kid who was having attention problems with specifically the cheerleaders, didn’t get nudes. He was asking for some inappropriate things” said Isaac Gomez, a classmate of the unnamed teen, who is now in custody.
The Idaho State Journal reported that the unpleasant youth “also used his Twitter account to repeatedly harass other Highland students, mostly girls, and other posts threatened to harm President Barack Obama and made racist remarks about black people.”
The threats of violence against women by men feeling frustrated for their inability to receive the female affection that they feel entitled to has become a consistent theme in the grievances of mass shooters. The Daily Dot published an excellent analysis of the phenomenon of the disaffected white male as he relates to the Republican conception of masculinity: “part of being “a man” in the traditional, hyper-masculine sense means being a virile sex machine. A (male) virgin is, thus, an aberration, a mistake, and a pretender who doesn’t deserve his penis. The incel [involuntary celibate] boards and forums are full of young men complaining about how they’re subhuman, genetic refuse that mistakenly made it off the production line. They live in deep pain and resentment over the fact that they are not men the way they feel like they should be.”
While this fifteen-year old certainly was giving up a little too quickly, it does highlight the fact that America is undergoing a crisis of gender roles, and that coupled with the inability of the corporate-dominated economy to provide decent paying jobs for the American people and thus allow young single men to present themselves as stable and attractive providers for a mate is clearly having repercussions – and their easy access to weapons heightens the risk they will do something horrifically stupid.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.