Last week I raised the question of whether misogyny was involved in Jared Loughner’s targeting of Cong. Giffords. An excerpt from a lengthy New York Times profile of Loughner suggests that he definitely had some deeply misogynist beliefs,
At a small local branch of a major bank, for example, the tellers would have their fingers on the alarm button whenever they saw him approaching.
It was not just his appearance — the pale shaved head and eyebrows — that unnerved them. It was also the aggressive, often sexist things that he said, including asserting that women should not be allowed to hold positions of power or authority.
One individual with knowledge of the situation said Mr. Loughner once got into a dispute with a female branch employee after she told him that a request of his would violate bank policy. He brusquely challenged the woman, telling her that she should not have any power.
From what has been reported, misogyny was not the only factor in why Loughner went after Giffords, but it is pretty clear that indeed he did harbor a deep disregard for women, so it is not only reasonable but necessary to fully examine that aspect of his motivation in our efforts to understand this horrific event.
(h/t to Ariel Dougherty of the Media Equity Collaborative for bringing this to my attention.)
Addenda: And then there is this,
Federal investigators found the words “Die Cops” and “Die Bitch” scrawled on a letter from U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’s office in the home of the shooting suspect, a sheriff’s department official said Tuesday night.
Notably, the above was in the Wall Street Journal last week, and on 60 Minutes last night. So even though these indications that there was an element of misogyny involved have been reported, the documented woman-hatred is being almost entirely ignored in the analysis that has, for the most part focused on mental health and the damaging impact of violent rhetoric. Both are valid parts of this story, but the misogyny that is clearly a part of what happened is being left in large measure unexamined.
Again h/t to Ariel Dougherty for pointing this out as well, I was not able to spend much time on this last week and would not have seen these reports otherwise, always grateful for the assist.