What’s Current: Wealthy white man kills almost 60 people at a Las Vegas concert Sunday night

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news round up.

Stephen Paddock

In yet another incidence of male terrorism, Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, whose brother Eric described as ” a wealthy guy who liked to play video poker and take cruises,” opened fire on fans attending an outdoor country music concert in Las Vegas. This is the deadliest shooting in modern US history, with almost 60 dead and more than 500 wounded. Paddock’s other brother, Bruce, told NBC his brother was a multi-millionaire property investor.

Linda Bellos, a respected lesbian feminist activist and ex-politician, has been no-platformed at Cambridge after signing a letter opposing trans activist violence. 

Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson used her Moomins to subtly challenge regressive ideas about how women live and love.

Susan Braudy details her experience trying to write an article about the women’s movement for Playboy in 1969. It was Hugh Hefner’s famous leaked memo to her that read:

“These chicks are our natural enemy — and there is, incidentally, nothing that we can say in the pages of Playboy that will convince them that we are not.”

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Wren

    Living in the U.S. has never been easy, but this last year has been living hell. It’s not just that the morning news is a never-ending stream of violence and brutality, but there is absolutely no confidence in our government. Our “democracy” has birthed The Fucking Antichrist (that’s what I call him now. No other name will do). There will never be any significant gains toward gun control. Stocks in guns just went up from today’s crimes. Money money money money!!!! Keep killing and they’ll keep buying!!!
    http://time.com/money/4965030/gun-stocks-rise-las-vegas-shooting/

    Let’s face it, If Sandy Hook didn’t change the minds of legislators regarding semi-automatics, NOTHING. EVER. WILL.
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/03/22/ar_15_sandy_hook_everyone_who_claims_adam_lanza_didn_t_use_an_ar_15_style.html

    Everything is getting worse. My job is threatened from funding cuts. My teeth have cracked from grinding. This is not sustainable.

    • shy virago

      I hear you, Wren. I agree w/ every word and more…

    • catlogic

      Hugs and vibes, for whatever it’s worth. 🙁

    • Marla

      I for one am more than fed up with a Congress that fails to do shit about this issue. Many more innocents are waiting to die all because of their ignorance.

  • Hekate Jayne

    White males have been terrorising everyone else since forever. They seem to have some kind of a defect or sick drive to create a pile of bodies just so that they can stand at the top, and demand that the rest of us serve them and tell them how great they are.

    I listen to this channel on YouTube called “secular talk”. On his video this morning, he had this great revelation that we just cannot tell who is going to snap, that this shooter just seemed so normal and well adjusted. (Of course, he didn’t link this violence to males.)

    I thought to myself “welcome to how it is for women ALL OF THE TIME, dumbass. Those males that wouldn’t dare attempt to hurt another dude, but would absolutely hurt one of us, do not stand out.”

    There is something really, really wrong with males as a group. Our majority male government is going to do what they always do, which is stand around, pretending confusion while appearing to care, and do not ONE SINGLE THING to stop it. We will have another shooting inside of a month.

    Males love violence. The evidence is impossible to miss.

    • rosearan

      ‘Secular Talk’ is also a great liberal defender of pornography, so don’t expect any soul-searching from ST on toxic masculinity anytime soon.
      .

      • Hekate Jayne

        Yep.

        I mean, he is a male. I have learned to have the lowest of expectations.

  • catlogic

    I read the Moomin books in the original series (except the first, which wasn’t translated until recently) as a kid, back in the 70s. Loved them, especially the Fillyjonks. Moominmamma is a wonderful character, and there’s a good moment in Moominvalley in November when Toft, who has never met her, finally starts to think of her as a person rather than a generic mother figure.

    I had no idea Thingummy and Bob and Too-Ticky represented Jansson and her lovers!

  • DeColonise

    American Society has a violence problem. All the talk about weapon control and so on is all good but as long as Americans are not interested in digging deeper to look at a more sinister issue; the celebration and entertainment and enjoyment of the of violence that US is pushing onto itself and onto the world at large nothing will get better.
    Heck the latest US invasions that has been made onto other nations in the world has even been aired on prime television as some damn shows of entertainment. And there is rarely a word of critique more than from pockets of people. When it comes to violence, for Americans it is more often than not justified somehow “its for democracy” or “it’s for freedom” or “it’s our godly rights” and yada yada yada.
    So I’m one of those foreign people who can’t say I’m surprised to read about yet another mass murder in US society. It is sad and I feel for the victims and their families and friends and close ones but it is anything but surprising at this point.

    It’s disgusting.

    • Tinhat

      I agree with what you’ve said about Americans but I would have to point out that this gun violence is being perpetrated by mostly American MEN. American women (I am referring to US Americans not Central or South Americans or Canadians) have not turned their guns en masse on the unsuspecting public, YET. American women do, however, have an unhealthy allegiance to the males in their lives. This can be evidenced by how many American women voted for Donald Trump and have also continuously taken a stand against their own interests throughout their lives. We will accept the explanation that this murderer was “mentally ill” before we will face the truth that there is something inherently deadly about men or at least in the way they are socialized. Maybe being raised on a diet of romantic culture, misogynist literature and religion contributes to several American women’s attitudes that men are the superior sex and that to live in this world without a man who wants to put his dick in our vaginas is the worst thing that could happen to a woman.

      Today I visited an elementary school in the school district where I teach. Two second-grade girls passed me in the hall on their way to class. They were talking together and holding hands. One girl was African-American and the other was white. By the time these girls enter the sixth grade and adolescence takes over, their bond will be torn apart by misogyny and its twin, racism when they form their alliances with the males of their respective races. I am very ashamed to be a US American and I don’t think there is any hope for us.

    • Yisheng Qingwa

      MEN have a violence problem.

    • FierceMild

      Men. Its men who have the violence problem. You say Americans have a violence problem (which is true), but you say it as if there’s a place you can go where there isn’t male violence.

  • Kathleen Lowrey

    Just watched a clip of a Linda Bellos talk… Cambridge students no-platformed themselves out of a great speaker.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t understand, either. American culture is completely whacked, imo. Their fetishization of guns is creepy.

    • Wren

      Well, no one in my personal orbit it is happy about this element of our “culture”!

      But it is an reactionary fear-based ideology that is distributed from the top down as a means of controlling constituents (the fear of “taking away our guns” and concerns over government infringement on constitutional rights, argued by people that don’t understand the constitution at all), and it is a means of perpetuating intraracial violence because our country is racist as all hell. Most gun deaths are in urban areas and within minority communities. It is a vicious cycle: get a gun or get gunned.

      https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2015/12/15/guns-and-race-the-different-worlds-of-black-and-white-americans/

      (note, the majority of white men killed by guns are incidents of suicide, a number that would be reduced dramatically with gun restrictions)

      It is much easier for me to enter a room and find allies if I say that I favor gun restrictions than if I favor restrictions on porn (which happened today again in my lunch room, but that’s another story). Although in some parts of the country, saying you favor gun restrictions can get you kicked out of the family, the majority of Americans want stricter gun regulations, even thought the percentage is lower than decades ago:
      http://news.gallup.com/poll/1645/guns.aspx

      But the majority of voting Americans wanted Hillary for president, so clearly we rarely get what we want in this fucking country.

  • Dear Prudence

    If men murder because of “Depression” then why don’t “depressed” women commit mass murder?
    Don’t let psychiatry lie to you. They are not feminist. They want your money. They hate you. Wake up.

  • Smeagle

    This just goes to show you that men are violent no matter their age. It doesn’t matter if they are little boys, teenage boys, young men, or old geezers. A man’s need for violence never goes away, even when they get old.

  • Amy

    “I cannot comprehend why people want to own guns at all”. I completely understand why women would want to own guns. It’s one of the only ways to protect yourself from violent men. You can say ‘avoid men’ and I do for the most part. But men are also violent towards random women, not just women they know. So avoiding is not a 100% solution . I would much rather have a gun to protect me from psycho men than have a boyfriend to ‘protect’ me from said men. I know most of the gunholders in the US are men, true, but I’m glad women can have them to protect themselves. And yes I know women go to jail for shooting a man in self defense so problems can arise. Still, women should have ways to protect themselves from men, period.

    • Jani

      I assume you live in the US. I live in the UK where people are legally required to have a license in order to own a gun. As a consequence we have far lower numbers of gun related fatalities, so in that respect our stricter laws are to our benefit as a society. I don’t see that it’s an either/or situation of owning a gun versus avoiding men/relying on men for personal protection. As I said, I live in a country where there is no “right to bear arms” but I’ve never heard any woman say “we need to change the laws on gun ownership so we can protect ourselves against men”. Then again, far fewer people here are held at gunpoint because there are far fewer guns in circulation. If you ask me, gun ownership will only up the ante as far as violence is concerned.

  • Amy

    I think the most appropriate thing to talk about after these events is ‘what can we do to stop male violence?’. The problem isn’t the guns themselves. If guns are made illegal, there’s still the problem of male violence. Men have been using cars recently to mow down people, if guns and cars were eliminated from the planet, they’d find another way to murder. THAT’S the problem…. their entitlement to murder

    • FierceMild

      I agree with you completely. In countries with strong gun control they use knives, chemicals, and strangulation.

  • Wren

    OH YES, CAUSE WOMEN WHO VOTED FOR CLINTON ARE NEARLY AS BAD AS A MASS SHOOTER??????

    All of us Americans are just fucking evil, right??? Doesn’t matter that we can’t help where we were born, that we have constantly agitated and spent our lives fighting to have a better country, enduring male violence, surviving and trying to empower others. No, we’re just all shit. Thanks a lot!!!