Why We Need To Talk About Elliot Rodger

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Elliot Rodger, he is (was) the 22 year old son of Hunger Games second unit director Peter Rodger. Elliot has recently carried out his predicted slaughter of women and sexually active men (7 killed in total) and then himself. Elliot submitted a 140+ page personal manifesto which chronicles his life and loneliness in incredible detail. Gawker has published Elliot’s YouTube threat(s) as well as his full manifesto.


Why did he do this? Because he was lonely. Because he was a 22 year old virgin and had never kissed a girl. Because he had a deep hatred for women who rejected him and for men who were sexually active. Because he saw himself as the perfect man, the “true alpha male” as he says in his videos – and yet all women rejected him.

Why do we need to discuss this? Because some people will actually sympathize with him. Because some people will actually say that if he had been sexually active or gotten what he wants, this wouldn’t have happened. What is the underlying message here? Women: Give yourselves to men you’re not attracted to, because if you don’t, he may fly off the handle.


This is a massive problem. Perpetuating even the thought of statements such as this are precisely why we still have a fight for equality.

No man is entitled to any woman. No man inherently “deserves” a woman’s attention, body, or heart. But the entitlement complexes deeply rooted in boys like Elliot easily create a Patrick Bateman-esque (American Psycho) love/hate relationship with women.

This discussion needs to be had because no sympathy for a boy like this should be given. An American boy from a wealthy family going to an expensive school, driving a BMW, is still not entitled to any woman. We have all been rejected. We have all had feelings for someone who didn’t have them for us in return – yet we do not develop an irrevocable violent hatred towards others simply because they are not attracted to us.


It should also be noted that Elliot considered himself a “failed” pickup artist – a community I am familiar with. A community that often (not always) treats women as “targets” or objects to be obtained, not humans to build mutually beneficial relationships with.

I’ve decided to reveal a personal piece of information about myself in this article for this reason – I was also a virgin when I was 22. Up until a week before my 23rd birthday, actually. For awhile this was by choice as I didn’t think I was ready to take the step, but for awhile it was also because of finding myself in situations similar to Elliot. Experiencing the “friend zone” (for lack of a better term), no returned attraction, etc.

But never, not even for a flicker of a millisecond, was this a trigger for hatred towards women or the possibility of violence. We need to instill in our youth that their value comes from within and not from whether or not those they desire approve and accept them. We need to teach our youth what healthy relationships look like and what toxic relationships look like.

Most of all – we need to teach our boys that women are equal to us and they are not entitled to force her hand in decision making – especially when it comes to sex or relationships. And, we need to teach our girls that they have absolutely no obligation to accept any invitation from any man whom they do not desire in return. Additionally, that their self worth does not come from the acceptance of others, but from within. That’s why it’s called *self* worth.

We need to have this conversation because hateful misogyny and violence still exists in people of all races and social standings, and absolutely cannot be ignored. We need to have this conversation because people like Elliot are literally publishing their threats and tendencies all over the internet with no action taken against them until it’s too late. We need to have this conversation because of apologists and sympathizers who stand up in his defense.

Warning signs are very real and out in the open more today than ever, given social media. Cries for help cannot be ignored.

We need to have this conversation because enough is enough.

**Edit** It’s important to note that I had a statement in this article about how Elliot had potentially been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome but was repeatedly corrected by members of the media saying the family had retracted this statement, so I removed it. This has caused many people to question why I did not mention his psychological condition in this article, when in reality it was here in the first place but then taken out. I have not heard any “official” diagnoses so I choose not to comment on what I am not educated nor qualified to discuss.

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[Images via Gawker]


372 thoughts on “Why We Need To Talk About Elliot Rodger

  1. Elliott Rodger could have benefited greatly from the course I teach to young men such as himself… It’s called “Urban Depussification Project” and aims to provide young men such as Elliott the skills and understanding to acquire, develop and maintain healthy relationships while also improving self-esteem and social skills. Elliott definitely had a problem in both of those areas! For one, he lacked understanding of how attraction works. Two, he lacked sufficient social skills to actually approach a woman. Three, he lacked the most important social skill of all: communication!!!

  2. Call me crazy, but I actually have a lot of sympathy for this person, I still condemn him for what he has done when it comes to committing unspeakable massacres like this, I read his manifesto and it nearly brung a tear to my eye, he really wanted a girlfriend badly, but he shouldn’t go and be jealous of everyone and their relationships, I can feel his desperation while reading it, I also hate his hatred for humanity at times when feeling jealous because he didn’t get what he want. I can completely understand and relate to Elliot Oliver Robertson Rodger, mainly his troubles of getting a girlfriend, and if you don’t have any sympathy for this guy prior to the shooting, then go dig your holes and die there without support. You all could have helped him, but seeing that you all didn’t flatout care and act like bullies, I’m disappointed that the world can be very cruel and inconsiderate most of the time, how disgusting. That poor guy, seeing that soul fade to dust can really bring a tear to my eye, he really didn’t have to go and take peoples lives like this.

    1. >>”You all could have helped him, but seeing that you all didn’t flatout care and act like bullies,” Agreed! All it would have took, IMO, is a single woman to stand by him and help him find a single g/f without belittling him or acting like he could never please any woman. Not even sex…just someone being human to him and treating him in an age-appropriate manner, rather than as a 10 year old.

      1. I’m sorry… but this guy was a narcissistic asshole. A single woman should have helped him get ladies? F U! Clearly women could not stand this man. In the movie remake I’m sure there will be some doe-eyes, tender-hearted girl who tries to help but can’t… because he’d fall in love with her and end up murdering her over her rejection. The morale of this horror story is that we need more SELF WORTH. And more douchers need to understand that cars, money, status don’t mean shit if you can’t treat people nicely. Walk around acting like you’re hot shit all you want, but if you don’t have any friends that means you are mean or annoying. The tragedy here is that somewhere along the lines this boy was taught that his daddy-provided “things” were important and made him better than everyone else. When in fact, to the rest of the world, we only really care about what is inside.

  3. One thing he OBVIOUSLY didn’t understand…women can smell desperation from several miles away…and there is no bigger turn off for them. I wonder where his mother was in all this…a Mothers behavior has much to do with the future behavior of their progeny.

    1. Betting his mother told him to be a “nice guy” or (yes) even that “you have to earn women”. 20 years or so into his life he probably realized how much time and effort he’d spent on a lie…and that’s when he went ape (both in hating his mother and women in general).

    2. HUMANS can smell desperation from several miles away. Whether you’re male or female, straight or gay, desperation is a turn off. And blaming his mother for his choices is a grade 1 dick move, incidentally; parental support and influence has some role in how we develop, but unless there is some staggering evidence of intense mental and physical abuse, you’d have one hell of a job holding any family members in any way responsible for his decision to cold-bloodedly murder a bunch of strangers.

  4. Dare I admit, if what the inexperience part of what this guy says is true (that he never even so much as was kissed by a girl) and no one ever stepped up to try and find the guy a respectful girlfriend despite his never abusing women before the incident, the we (as society) -also- have a problem.

    While a man certainly isn’t entitled to any woman he desires, sending a guy a message he will —never— deserve basic, appropriate, human affection from even one single woman ever is downright cruel. Much as people talk about self-esteem, humans are communal and need basic age appropriate affection/recognition from each other…otherwise we’d have no problem living as hermits. Also, they way people have treated Elliot’s “self-enforced self-esteem issues” is akin to how some people say the poor would have work if they just tried. Newsflash…some people just aren’t talented or lucky enough, no matter how much they work…that doesn’t change their efforts or work ethic. I realize Elliot was rich but, if anything, the situation makes it that much more obvious that you can’t buy happiness or even lack of self-loathing.

    ———— As for the most powerful weapon against a guy like Elliot? ————— Probably a woman who treated him well (meaning as an equal, rather than a “dumb virgin with no social skills”)…even one who stuck by him and tried to find him a girlfriend (likely someone with a similar personality) despite being unwilling to be his g/f herself and not belittled him. Had that happened, he’d probably feel horribly guilty about harming women and deflect his own knife, so to speak.

    The sad thing is, we live in a world where it’s quite likely he didn’t meet even a single woman who stepped out of her convenience zone to do that.

  5. Thank you for your sharing your sensible, mature opinion. Since the recent shooting I was led back to Elliot Rodgers articles and actually read his whole manifesto.He was not an adult, he was a self absorbed, whining child who wanted everything handed to him..Mix that with mental illness and there’s Elliot Rodgers. Seeing sympathy bothers and angers me. I think most are assuming way too much without actually understanding, that he acted out against people which brought on a lot of his problems. It seems he thought gorgeous model types should just pursue him..Anyway, like I said..thanks for this because many of the uninformed responses I see sicken me.

  6. Elliot Rodger should have thanked God for the “virgin” lifestyle he complained about. At least he wouldn’t have to worry about getting AIDS or some other STD, and STDs are prevalent nowadays. And he wouldn’t have to worry about the possibility of having to pay up to 18 years of monthly child support payments. It’s not worth it.

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