The massacre at Santa Fe high school last week that left 10 people dead — most of them students — seems to have something in common with so many other mass shootings that happen in the US: misogyny. The shooter, one victim’s mother claims, targeted her daughter as the first victim because she rejected his continued harassing advances.
How many more tragedies have to happen before we recognize that misogyny kills? The longer we ignore the toxic masculinity that underlies so many of these crimes, the more violence we’re enabling.
Manne posits that sexism and misogyny are distinct from one another. “Misogyny is law enforcement; sexism is justificatory,” Manne argues. “Sexism wears a lab coat; misogyny goes on witch hunts […] Sexism is bookish; misogyny is combative,” she writes later in the book. Sexism is not the “cudgel” of misogyny, instead, it’s a set of beliefs that work to naturalize the existing order.