March 29, 2023
Mass shootings represent masculinity at its most toxic.
Hence, we shouldn’t get carried away trying to discern important societal trends in the sample size of a single woman-bites-dog mass shooting in Nashville, in which a troubled young woman shot up her old Christian elementary school.
Moreover, I’m writing before the Nashville shooter’s manifesto or the name of the other school she had planned to attack is made public. All I know at present is that the police chief said that she had “some resentment for having to go to that school.”
Still…this was at least the third school or workplace public shooting of the past half decade to feature a real-life female who claimed to be male, as the Nashville shooter did intermittently. Another F-to-M shot up a Colorado school in 2019 because the kids made fun of her desire to be a man, and a third killed four coworkers in Maryland in 2018.
(In case you are wondering, I can’t find any reporting on whether any of these shooters were shooting up with testosterone.)
The only thing amusing about this tragic incident is that The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press all strenuously avoided using any pronouns, masculine or feminine, when referring to mass shooter Audrey/Aiden Hale. Nobody can accuse the Gray Lady of misgendering a mass murderer!
In recent years, the liberal media have warned us repeatedly about the menace of “stochastic terrorism.” The idea is that if Tucker Carlson invites Christopher Rufo on his show to complain about the bizarre fad for “drag queen story hours” for children, then somewhere at some time somebody will murder a transgender person in a hate crime.
After all, we all know there’s a genocidal epidemic of murders of black transgender “women,” no doubt committed by white Carlson fans with their scary rifles.
Well, actually, whenever anybody (such as Rod Dreher in 2019) looks up the news reports behind the famous list of murdered transgenders kept by the LGBT lobby Human Rights Campaign, they often can’t find any hate-crime murders, at least not in the fifty states. (Puerto Rico, though, might have a problem with this. Transgender people were about eighty times more likely to be killed in P.R. than in the U.S. in 2021.)
A Twitter user called Ttroopsx looked up the 38 U.S. cases reported by HRC for 2021.
There’s no information on the race of the perpetrator in fifteen cases:
—There are no suspects yet in ten cases
—Another two were killed by police
—One killed in jail
—One by a juvenile of unstated race
—And one by another trans of unstated race
—Twenty perpetrators were reported to be black
—Three perps were Hispanic
—And zero perps are known to be white
Among the 38 transgenders killed in 2021 in the fifty states,
—Eight of the victims were white
—And 26 black
In the 23 cases in 2021 in which we know both the race of the transgender victim and the race of the perp, there were:
—Five black-on-white killings
—And 15 black-on-black killings
In other words, transgender murders are a lot like the rest of the murders in America: a whole lot of black-on-black violence, usually for knuckleheaded reasons, often involving prostitution and/or drugs.
In contrast, this latest school shooting sounds like a classic case of stochastic terrorism.
Well, we shall see.
One reason for this microtrend of mass shooters who are girls pretending to be guys is because of the social contagion of the Establishment-endorsed transgender mania over the past decade.
There is always a lot of unhappiness and mental illness floating around, but what a culture theorizes that the cause is constantly changes. For example, a century ago the most fashionable people knew, as Freud expensively explained to them, that their discontent was due to the damage done them by their toilet training.
Now every adolescent girl has heard that her moodiness might be due to her having been “assigned” the wrong gender at birth.
Which idea is stupider? Toilet training or gender assignment?
Talk among yourselves.
But it’s not always the case that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Young women in America are significantly less happy today than they were in the, apparent, Good Old Days of 2011 before the transgender mania.
In a big federal survey of high school students, in 2021, 57 percent of girls report “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness during the past year” compared with 36 percent in 2011. Similarly, 24 percent of high school girls claimed in 2021 to have made a suicide plan in the previous year versus 15 percent in 2011.
Who knew twelve years ago that someday 2011 would seem like a halcyon era of happiness?
Multiple public intellectuals have taken a crack at explaining why American girls are in such bad shape mentally lately.
Covid lockdowns definitely didn’t help, but the current negative trend was already clearly visible in this survey by 2019.
Psychologist Jonathan Haidt is writing a book on the collapse of teen mental health. He has largely come around to Jean Twenge’s view that the emergence of the smartphone and social media were a disaster for adolescent girls.
That seems highly plausible.
My guess is that the damaging effects of social media running on smartphones (so you can never get away from them) in turn contributed to the Great Awokening around 2012–13, which only made girls unhappier.
I came up with a hypothesis about the specific mechanism behind this interaction. But I don’t know anything about teenage girls anymore (if I ever did). So, when a young woman journalist asked me if I planned to write up the idea I’d tweeted, I told her that she would do a better job writing that article than I would.
We’ll see what she finds.
Matthew Yglesias notes how depression is recently worse among teenage girls who see themselves as Democrats and progressives. He points out that when he suffered from depression, he found help through cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT seems to work the best of the many talking cures. It’s a hardheaded approach that says: If your patterns of thinking are bad for you, then learn better patterns.
To Yglesias, much of the current woke mindset sounds like the absolute opposite of CBT: 2020s progressivism trains you to obsess in self-defeating ways about your oppression and victimhood. Our current culture encourages people to dwell endlessly on their schooldays slights, as the Nashville shooter seems to have done.
I’d add that the rise in female power and prestige has coincided with the decline of female happiness. A simple explanation is that, on the whole, women don’t like it when the men in their lives act defeated and withdrawn.