Men Who Hate Women

Is this something Western culture encourages?

Is this something Western culture encourages?


Elliot Rodger

The recent shooting spree in Isla Vista, has some feminists suggesting that the perpetrator, Elliot Rodger, was motivated by misogyny and that he is only the tip of the iceberg made up of everyday misogynists. Here are some reactions,

Amanda Hess/Slate: Rodger was not a domestic abuser. He was a mentally ill young man who had better access to firearms than he did sufficient mental health care. But his stated motivation behind targeting both male and female victims—“If I can’t have them, no one will”—echoes the attitudes of the perpetrators of domestic violence.

Jessica Valenti/The Guardian: After all, while it is unclear what role Rodger’s reportedly poor mental health played in the alleged crime, the role of misogyny is obvious.

Katie McDonough/Salon: …we must also examine our culture of misogyny and toxic masculinity, which devalues both women’s and men’s lives and worth, and inflicts real and daily harm.

Ryan Buxton/HuffPost quoting Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks :

“The problem for most women when they looked at that manifesto and they looked at these videos is not how strange he sounds, it’s how familiar he sounds, because we’ve all heard some measure of those sentiments in some form in our lives,” Franks said.

In varying degrees these voices all try to link Rodger’s action to misogyny and to view them as an expression of a misogynist culture. Some, like Salon’s Brittney Cooper saw the shooting as result of White male privilege but Salon’s Joan Walsh later downgraded this to a half-white privilege in a more nuanced article that discusses his mixed race and its potential implications. She even dares to finish her piece with,

To suggest that other races and other cultures don’t treat women as property is to miss how prevalent that attitude is. Sadly, misogyny and male entitlement come in every color and culture.

I don’t agree with much of what she is saying since she still claims that Rodger’s rampage was due to misogyny and male entitlement, but I appreciate the effort to go beyond the blame-Whitey reflex that progressives typically rely on.

The common denominator to all of these claims is that they are not backed up with any sort of evidence or even basic logic. A minimum of common sense suggests that if culture is a major factor behind this, then it would be happening everywhere all the time. So at most culture could be a factor for certain susceptible individuals. But people who do crazy stuff like this tend to have personality disorders – Rodger shows very clear signs of narcissism – and they are known to be extremely resistant to external influence. And as for Mary Anne Franks statement that he doesn’t sound strange in his videos have a look here and try to agree with her,

What is Misogyny?

It’s possible that misogyny is both common and the cause of a lot of violence directed at women. But there doesn’t seem to be much research indicating this. There doesn’t even seem to be any consensus of what misogyny is – a simple hatred, the idea that women are inferior to men, that they should have a certain role in society etc. These criteria obviously don’t mix well since insisting that for instance women should be subordinate to men isn’t necessarily hateful. It may be stupid, but stupidity is not hate. Amanda Hess offers a definition by fellow feminist Julia Serano, stating that misogyny is the belief that “femaleness and femininity are inferior to, and exist primarily for the benefit of, maleness and masculinity.” This doesn’t make sense either since you could easily hate women without believing that. In short, there is no meaningful and consistent definition of misogyny but this is not stopping anyone from having an opinion of that which they can’t define.

Intimate Partner Violence

But let’s disregard the issue of definition for a moment and assume that Rodger’s spree is the tip of the iceberg of misogyny. What would that iceberg of men committing the more mundane violence look like? There is some research on a particularly common form of violence towards women, intimate partner violence, that I’ve discussed before. It suggests that psychopaths and men with borderline personality disorder are very common in this category. But psychopaths are not by any definition misogynists since they will indiscriminately use and abuse just about anyone they come in contact with.

A stronger case could be made for borderline men (to be clear, a subset of these men), although at least anecdotally borderline women and gay men display a similar behavior towards their male partners. Borderliners sometimes end up with a bad attitude towards the category of people they are sexually and romantically interested in and for most of the men that category would be women.

The Regular (Spanish/Hispanic) Wife Beater

Still, if we stick to the iceberg metaphor, we should perhaps look at men without psychiatric diagnoses who have been convicted of domestic violence. In a recent study of this kind, psychologist Maria Vecina at the Complutense University of Madrid examined a sample of 295 such men using her colleague Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory, in this measure only of the five Harm, Authority, Fairness, Ingroup and Purity excluding Liberty for some reason. She focused on the so-called sacralization of moral foundations, the degree in which some (or all) foundations are viewed as sacred or non-negotiable. The reason for this being that sacralization has the potential for conflict,

The need to defend what we hold sacred—whether peace or war, freedom or slavery, my interests or yours—can quickly become an attack on those who question these values.

Considering that this sample is of convicted men it looks surprisingly heterogeneous and normal, with 25 percent having higher education and 25 percent elementary education, 27 percent identifying as liberals, 23 percent as conservatives and 50 percent as moderates. Vecina chose only Spanish-speaking men, that is ethnic Spaniards and immigrants from Latin America. This doesn’t seem like a big limitation and overall her claim that this is an ecological rather than WEIRD sample seems justified. She also included three control samples. One of these was Spanish-speaking women convicted of domestic violence, a much smaller sample of only 13 women, the only ones who, like the men, were prescribed a court-mandated psychological treatment for domestic violence during that time period.

The other control groups consisted of 100 male psychologist who work with violence prevention and 160 female psychologists. The first sample is certainly bound to be highly WEIRD and the author justifies this with wanting something that would contrast with the original sample, not sure what the point would be. The female psychologist not specifically working with violence prevention is probably a less WEIRD sample; some 40 percent of them identified as conservatives in sharp contrast to other samples of Western psychologists that have been up to 95 percent liberal.


As Vecina hypothesized, the convicted men sacralized moral foundations much more than others. This may seem obvious given the nature of the other samples but they did this even comparing with the subset of conservative women – and both conservatives and women are known to sacralize more than others. Here are some key results,

  • There was no significant differences between the violent men group and the violent women group in any of the sacredness subscales.
  • There were significant differences in all of the sacredness subscales between both of the violent groups of men and women and both of the non-violent groups of men and liberal women.
  • There were significant differences in the Fairness and Authority sacredness subscales between both of the violent groups and the conservative (non-violent) women with the violent groups sacralizing more.


Vecina also found that political conservatism predicted risk of violence, although keeping in mind that most nonviolent participants were academic women, and men working with violence prevention, that’s not saying much. Just looking at the original sample of convicted men, we can see an even distribution of conservatives and liberals (in fact, slightly more liberals even), which suggest that this is not a big factor. And yet the author tries to fit the convicted men into a profile from previous research showing conservatives sacralizing Authority, Ingroup and Purity more than liberals. The problem is that the men sacralized all foundations more than control groups. So Vecina suggest that for Harm this might be a matter of responding in a socially desirable way – “gee, I wouldn’t hurt a fly.” While this is possible, I would argue that for a Latin sample, where honor culture is strong, reporting a sacralization of Authority might also be socially desirable given that in such a culture you’re supposed to assert yourself, often with violence. In fact, a measure of pro-violence belief used by the author was how much participants agreed with the statement, “sometimes one has to resort to violence if one does not want people to think one is dumb.” That item could easily fit into a measure of honor culture.

The Romantic Misogynist

Again, since there was an equal amount of liberals and conservatives among the convicted men it doesn’t seem to be a matter of political orientation, but of sacralization as such. This is also in line with the findings of BPD being linked to intimate partner violence since both BPD and sacralization are about emotional intensity and unrealistic idealization. Or in plainer English: romanticism, which in personality psychology sorts under neuroticism, the only major trait that is consistently more common among women than men. This suggests that the bulk of the iceberg of violence, and possibly also misogyny, comes from men who are somewhat like women.

That’s where the evidence leads us: not to a culture of toxic male entitlement, but the frustrated reactions of a small group of men who are emotionally unstable, who have an idealized and unrealistic view of the world in general and whose personalities are if anything more similar to that of women than men. At least some of these men may well be genuine misogynists if simply defined as hating women – although I’m sure they love their feminist enablers.

This is not to say that women can’t be part of the problem. The question of what might characterize the women who become victims of male violence is interesting and no doubt a sensitive topic that I might pursue in a later post…

26 Responses to Men Who Hate Women

  1. Try to imagine any discussion, any variation of the topic, any western country, where it would be acceptable to take the quotes or actions of some deranged, dangerous female, and claim that they were just variations on the standard stereotype of women that men have been experiencing for years.

    There are men who make such claims, about Lorena Bobbitt, Aileen Wournous, Stacey Castor, or Pame Smart. They are regarded as bigots and fools.

  2. Staffan says:

    Yes, I try to remind myself that this isn’t the attitude of most women but of feminists who are still blank slatists and will never accept just how heritable human behavior is. That Rodger, Breivik and others do what they do, not because of society, but in spite of it.

  3. Neuroticism is more common in women that men because we live in a patriarchal society where the culture: religion, history, even psychology, defend the very useful difference between men and women

    • Staffan says:

      Or it could be that the traditional division of labor has selected for women who worry/care about other people, most importantly their children and other family members. If you’re out hunting-gathering that would just be a distraction.

  4. Gottlieb says:

    I see a tendency on the part of many in HBD’s romanticize the world of his grandparents, as if it was a million times better than today. But of course, a heterosexual white man had nothing to complain about in a world where they dictate the rules.
    This type of aggression was the rule in the past, in a hypocritical conservative world where they believe in illusions as Santa Claus and where religion and all that cause pain in people, was put out of the carpet. Leftism is the end of Christianity is Christianity in practice.
    Smart people need to learn to separate things in a way that there is no need to heterogeneity of the parties. Yes, many social particularities in the past were much better than today, but many others were not. Not so this way today = bad, yesterday= good, and then I’ll be able to view the average human as the stereotype of the caveman, me being right, you will not be right.

    Another problem is the” mental illness = violence” approach. It’s like, ” Hard work = creativity”. Violence is not only the result is the entire state of being, is a condition that has evolved and it has many advantages, especially as there would be in their heterozygous forms. As creativity is also not just the result of the action. Violence can be understood as aggression. But we know that there are non-violent psychopaths, and it seems, most aggressive people are not psychopaths. Therefore, the approach that is often taken is wrong from the moment that prioritizes mental disorder as the cause of action, while the more likely it is to own aggression, one comorbidity.
    The best way to contain and eliminate the negative versions of aggression, will be through the official pathologizing violence, ie, what actually causes negative impact to society. Turn it on a mental illness, although not one. From this, the patients of this condition will be identified and interventional medical measures shall be developed as chemical castration.

    However, I am quite skeptical of the school world in the USA. Definitely, I believe it would not work in this model of society and could enter the crime pages of similar crimes. Really do not know, but if the stereotype of movies Teen Movie are true, then only blame the kid so it is wrong, not that he has 80% of guilt of their actions, but some people are less controlled. Moreover, it could well be going through the apex of his testosterone. Perhaps the highest levels of the male hormone may lead some men to commit this kind of madness and environmental factors act as a trigger.

    • Staffan says:

      I can’t speak for the HBD community but my personal opinion is that the world today is better in many ways, but it’s headed for trouble. Civilization has relied on NW Euros and most likely their genetic characteristics. With mass immigration this genetic base is undermined and the people who provided us with electricity, refridgerators, computers, the internet etc – all the evils of the White man – will turn into something perhaps similar to Eastern or Southern Europeans. Less creative, less civilized, less intelligent, but more violent and more corrupt.

      California has almost completed this process. People there think it’s the recession, that things will improve eventually. That they will somehow be the only region in the world with an IQ of 95 that is doing well. It’s that airy fairy hopefulness that bothers me, that they are so easily exploited that they will become their own undoing.

      • santoculto says:

        I think the blame for everything that is extreme neoteny. Every extreme is bad, and the typical liberal clearly show all the behavioral signs that relate to a domesticated and castrated animal. On the other hand, the main problem of the white man would not pathological altruism or what I like to call genuine, which is practiced by people really good (I’m not one of them) who really think that every human being is born good and the world corrupts. The main problem of the white man can be seen by the blue color of your eyes, is the competition, the white man is always competing with yourself, because for the same or especially for the most intelligent (contextually intelligent), there are no races, there are individuals and therefore the competition will be between individuals. The same forces that produced the greater presence of genuine altruism also produced intense competition ingroup and the most astute foreign people know very well what is the Achilles heel of the white man and what are the psychological devices needed to take advantage of that. Read Macchiavelli is like read the white man soul.The bible of how to defeat the white man

        When the liberal opens the doors of his country to violent immigrants, it is not being pathologically selfless, he is only competing against conservatives who cherish the internal cohesion of their nations. Most liberals have no contact with the average foreigner who invades your country. It is not a matter of hypocrisy, it’s a matter of what colors you are going to war paint on his face. Liberals confront conservatives to force the liberalization of borders. It is not a matter of altruism.

        The liberal elite loves stupid people because they are perfect slaves. It is little wonder that liberal celebrities are wearing skulls on their clothes. Liberalism is the ideology of anti-humanity.

      • Staffan says:

        I think it’s multifactorial. I know plenty of liberals who are both modest and pro-immigration (roughly 80 percent liberals here). Their altruism seems genuinely pathological and their attitude towards anti-immigrant sentiment is mostly on of disappointment. But as this attitude becomes associated with wealth and education it also becomes a source of social status. In America this aspect is more pronounced and liberals are more tribal and their attitude is more smug, enjoying the sense of superiority.

  5. santoculto says:

    Santoculto is me, Gottlieb, ”sheat” (mean ”shit”, but i’m polite to say a bad word)

  6. Matt says:

    Interesting discussion. BPD like qualities in such men sounds compelling. Though Staffan, Re: BPD, sex, neuroticism and the Big 5, the Big 5 is not great for sex differences.

    Under the HEXACO, BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) links up to low Agreeableness. Lower Agreeableness trait under the HEXACO tends to reflect generalised increases caution, suspicion, intolerance, anger, paranoia and mistrust.

    See –“Due to low levels of Agreeableness, but normal levels of Honesty-Humility, borderline personality (BP) features are related to impaired reactive cooperation, but unrelated to active cooperation”

    Samples show slightly reduced Agreeableness among women (which makes sense as they have more BPD). This is combined and offset, however, with much higher Emotionality, which is linked to fear and love / kin altruism (caring for and trusting kin and loved ones), and also a very slightly higher Honesty / Humility among women, less of a tendency to privilege the self and to morally compromise to advance status.

    This all reminds us of what we probably see among women relative to men, and among female dominated political movements – much more nurturing of loved ones and no particular self enhancement agenda, combined with more acceptance of kin bias and a much more suspicious and risk averse attitude towards others and their motives (e.g. its fairly obvious feminists are prone to come up with sketchy conspiracy theory like explanations towards mens’ motives in politics and society).

    It also hints at why BPD among men is slightly different than among women – among men the low Agreeableness characteristic of BPD tends to be more fear free and love free, and combines with tendencies towards self enhancement. So there’s more perception of status threat and revenge – these men don’t react by getting clingy towards loved ones and getting fearful, they get violent and vengeful.

    So these men might be more female like along one dimension, but less female or averagely male like along another.

    • Staffan says:

      Thanks for the link, I’ll be sure to look at the full text later. The HEXACO is an improvement but you’ll never be able to make a meaningful distinction between N and A because there isn’t one. Natural language will never lead us to the fundamentals of personality – dark tetrad are all modern terms – so that invalidates to entire approach.

      But regardless of whether you call it N or A it’s clearly emotional unstability/reactivity/intensity.

      It’s an interesting notion that women should show more kin altruism as this should be linked to outgroup hostility, or at least indifference as a matter of priorities. Feminists certainly appear very ingroupy but others have pointed out that tribalism is genereally a male thing,

      And feminists are not ingroupy on any other categories – they are usually in favor of immigration even when it undermines their own agenda.

      • Matt says:

        True enough. Re: kin altruism, the theory runs that emotionality should be associated to kin altruism, yet like you say, it was actually negatively associated with racial bullying in a paper I can recall reading that checked out associations of each HEXACO dimension with bullying. For all that stereotypically emotional peoples are stereotypically nepotistic and in group. – the prediction was a positive association between emotionality and racial bullying (for the expected emotionality>kin bonding reasons) yet that was trumped in the opposite direction.

        Possibly emotionality only has a positive link to positive ingroup behaviours and aggressive outgroup bullying is linked more to failure to mentalize others’ emotions correctly, and thus *lower* emotionality. It could also be a style of negotiating ingroup membership without actually having the pro-social focus associated to the emotionality facet. Women seem more to be about making nice and favoring their ingroup than actual aggression or alienation towards outgroup members.

        Feminists mostly seem touchy and paranoid (aka low agreeableness, low reactive cooperation). Re ingroup preferences they also maybe tend to be selected from less nurturing and emotional women generally (since they’re motivated to a large extent by frictions with over presumptuous men in the non-home / family sphere), so perhaps that’s an explanation for low ingroup preferences (if that’s a real thing).

  7. Staffan says:

    What I’m getting at is that lexical models are not to be thought of as fundamental as theoretically based models. Jonathan Haidt has understood this and launched his moral foundations. They have the advantage of being based on evolutionary concepts, like kin altruism, status hierarchies etc. Although I would guess extraversion/introversion, and neuroticism – but with a more appropriate name like fight-flight. In such a model kin altruism would be a basic factor, ranging from northwest European inclusiveness to Middle East clannishness – but also displaying individual variation.

    We won’t get anywhere if we keep modeling data on clusters of words in natural language. It’s of course still interesting to observe the correlations with the lexical factors as a way of characterizing the evolutionary based factors.

    As for feminism, I’m not sure exactly what it is or if it’s a homogeneous category or not (probably not). Mostly WEIRD people, some aspergery, a fair amount of lesbians…

    • Matt says:

      If a bunch of fundamental traits tend strongly to covary (across time, individuals, situations), for either selective or shared architecture / legacy reasons, it could be more useful (at least instrumentally) to model them as a single quanta than it would be to model them separately without assumptions relating to covariance. Whether or not lexical analysis gets at that.

      (Like when Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending talk about a theoretical personality trait of Amishness on their blog, I would feel very tempted to say “That isn’t a fundamental personality” trait, but then for the purposes they’re talking about, so what? Likewise for an idea like “masculinity” or “femininity”.)

      I do hear what you’re saying though, If we want a TOE* of personality then yes, you will need to be able to understand at the most fundamental level (whether or not Haidt’s ideas are that).

      *The simplest and most fundamental theory from which all others can, at least, theoretically be built. Whether it is the most useful generally to actually use as a model.

      • Staffan says:

        Sure, I’m all for instrumental traits too. For instance, psychopathy is just impulsivity and lack of empathy, nothing fundamental about it but the combination creates something that has a very clear impact on the people they come in contact with. Some people will always reify that into some psychopathyness (or just evil) but that’s to be expected.

        Do you have a blog or twitter feed, or are you just commenting?

  8. […] Men Who Hate Women – from staffan. […]

  9. Anthony says:

    SIde note: Haidt added the “Liberty” axis to his model somewhat late in the process of developing it; papers written by him or his collaborators before that was fully developed would naturally not include it.

  10. Jennie says:

    Here’s my opinion on the Eliot Rodger incident. First of all, women would not give him the time of day. He tried to impress them with his expensive car, and money. It wouldn’t matter if this guy owned a mansion; women were not interested in him sexually or otherwise. He was also very insecure. “If I can’t have them no one else will” is quite a threatening statement! It sounds psychotic, and his wanna be possessiveness and ownership of women shines through his belief system that shows he thinks women should be owned and possessed by men. He then murdered these women because plainly, he did not want “anyone else to have them.” With his cash and fab car, he feels entitled to be able to score a hot woman; that he could not do this was a huge part of his rage. He’s actually assuming that all women are gold diggers who want a man with a big car and lots of money. When he discovered he was wrong, he became enraged and killed those women he wanted to “have” so badly. He was misogynistic of course, and clearly blamed women for his shortcomings, may it be a small penis or his looks. Many men have entitlement issues when it comes to “having” a woman. The more cash they have, the more attractive to women they think they’ll be. On t.v., (sitcoms for example), have you ever noticed that the husband is usually an unattractive, overweight man, whilst the woman is sexy? Look at Married With Children, or Family Guy. I have seen many more, but cannot think of them at the moment. Men are trained by t.v. that the ugly, fat guy CAN and usually does…”get” the attractive girl in the end. For Eliot, this clearly was not true. In conclusion, this is my take on the women that were murdered in cold blood by Eliot Rodger. May he burn in hell…

    • Staffan says:

      Thanks for your comment.

      I think money will normally get a guy laid, provided he also makes some effort to connect. This guy’s enormous sense of entitlement along with his general creepiness made that impossible.

      (I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that Franks didn’t think he sounded strange, but academics can be very detached from reality.)

  11. jgarveyrose says:

    Franks comments. I think someone does sound entitled, but it’s not the mental fellow in the video. I am always amazed that bat shit crazy people, like Franks and the little dude with relationship problems, walk among us.

  12. jgarveyrose says:

    Looking at the vid again. I imagine that most heterosexual folks, male and female, would deduce that this guy would prefer a tube steak to a fish taco.

    • Staffan says:

      Yeah, he could be confused about his sexual identity. Altho the narcissism was probably his big problem. Getting zero recognition must be those guys worst nightmare. Like Breivik, probably others too.

  13. Jbeme says:

    This article seems to miss the mark.
    Some decent to insightful thoughts, but the conclusions seem to be off(and some of the information).

    One, in the US and UK women account for roughly 45% of domestic violence. Women are probably just as violent as men, but less capable of success. This I think accounts for the 10% spread as well. Women are slightly less violent only because men are intimidating.
    Two, the thought that violent men are more demonized was interesting and in many cases probably true. However, part of the issue is that these men are also toyed with much more often then manly men. Add this to the modern feminist ideal and it drives them over the brink. Interestingly enough, I’d place them outside of borderline though. I believe these men have a lack of narcissism but even the most giving can only do so for so long while being spit on – then it becomes more then they can handle. The violence is an amalgamation of the humiliation, realization of an non ideal world, and loathing of themselves for allowing themself to be used.
    Three, then you have men who are hit by their women and they don’t fight back until one day it boils over. Similar to the wife that has enough and eventually fights back.
    Four, borderline men fight because of cognitive dissonance. Same as borderline women. They see themselves as giving, but in reality it is viewed through a narcissistic lens. Similar to what questioned above. They see themselves as a victim, in truth they are not. In the case above, they are a true victim, but one of their own making. Slight difference, but also a major one.

    • Staffan says:

      Thanks for your comment,

      I think it’s implausible for women to be anywhere near as violent as men precisely because of the difference in success you mention. At least from an evolutionary perspective. Imagine how that would play out in the pre-modern world with no police or emergency health care.

      About the dynamics, I think we are both inevitably guessing here. My experience is that women rarely resort to violence. This could of course be a matter of culture (I’m in Sweden, a very non-violent country.) My guess is that the female commentators here are accurate. Together such accounts paint a consistent picture and they accord with what I’ve seen for myself. But again, there isn’t much of hard evidence in these he said/she said situations.

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