Women are bad. They’re evil, manipulative, cold, crazy and make no sense. Or so you’d think after hearing from a lot of men lately. It seems to be a near daily experience since Elliot Rodgers killed six people for perceived slights against him by women.

Instead of people recoiling with anger and disgust at the things this obviously mentally unstable young man posted all over the web, he has found support. “The Friendzone Army” is just one term that the collective group of men bashing women use to refer to themselves.

Unfortunately, they are fundamentally mistaken in many aspects of their ideology. Ideology that is dangerous and actively encourages attacks on women.

First of all, there is no such thing as the friendzone. Being someone’s friend should be a privilege not a punishment, and if you think otherwise then obviously you’re harboring ulterior motives and aren’t really the friend they thought you were.

A woman has every right to decide who she is or isn’t going to date all by herself. What you think she should want or need, which happens to be you, is irrelevant because she is a fully formed human being capable of making her own decisions and is under no obligation to explain them to you.

So, does this make her a bad person? No. Heck no. It makes her a normal human being whose decisions are based on her own personal history and tastes. She doesn’t owe you anything. Turning on her is not going to make you more attractive and spewing vitriol is not going to make anyone else take your side.

You are an adult. Rejection is part of life. This does not give you the right to go after all women. It’s not ok to try and slut shame her when she does date a guy you don’t like, and let’s face it, you don’t like any guy she dates.

A google search for Elliot Rodgers will turn up countless articles, but for every article decrying his heinous crimes and motives there is a blog post that has somehow made the top results page defending him, some describing the news coverage as bullying Rodgers in death. Some of them even go so far as to call his rambling manifesto an “autobiography.” The people over at MGTOW.com (Men Going Their Own Way) have turned misogyny into an art form. The resulting clash has been described as a culture war by the New York Post.

If you don’t think the attitude I described here is a problem or you find yourself agreeing that the women are at fault here, then read it one more time because the situations I described are taken from Rodgers’ own manifesto and videos.

If you’re truly nothing like him, then stop using the same flawed logic and reasoning. Act like an adult and move on with your life if someone turns you down. Women make just as good friends as men do, so reevaluate the way you see them and you just might be glad you stopped looking at them like objects that are only there for your own satisfaction.

The National Institutes for Health (NIH.gov) found that educating men about the very real consequences of sexual harassment and assault also reduces the likelihood that a male will engage in sexual harassment or believe the myths perpetrated by people like Elliot Rodgers and his defenders.

In the wake of the USB shootings, a social media campaign called #YesAllWomen was created to allow women to tell their stories. Searching the hashtag on twitter results in millions of responses ranging from heartwrenching stories to support in the form of #NotAllMen and hateful responses from people who seem to think they aren’t the ones causing the problem they’re saying doesn’t actually exist.

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