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What Is it About Men That They're Committing These Horrible Massacres?

“But what about the men?” It’s a question that’s been asked by few in the context of the recent mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Are these shooters psychopaths or sociopaths? Maybe. But what’s a sociopath? It’s a person who lacks empathy. “Well,” says Katz, “we socialize empathy out of boys all the time.” If we aren’t allowing boys to experience and express vulnerability, pain, and fear because that’s somehow connected to weakness (a feminine quality), then how are they going to be able to relate to the experiences of others? “Sociopathy is the extreme manifestation of the way we socialize boys in our society,” he says.

The question of not only: “What about men?” But “What about white masculinity?” should be, according to Katz, on the front page of every newspaper and on every talk show.

Somehow, people seem more comfortable seeing these shooters as twisted psychopaths. We’re more comfortable blaming objects – guns – than we are asking: “Who’s behind the gun?”

After the Aurora shooting, Erika Christakis wrote that "The silence around the gendering of violence is as inexplicable as it is indefensible." And here we are again.

Meghan Murphy is a writer from Vancouver, B.C. Her website is Feminist Current.

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