i wrote Professor Harrington this morning to cite your comment, and to inquire about his omission of maleness from his analysis. Here is our exchange:
i just read your article "I'm Surprised" posted today at Common Dreams. i agree with your perspective on the sources of "random" violence and mass shootings in US society and political culture.
i'm writing because a point was made by another commenter at Common Dreams, noting that you refer exclusively in your article to "young persons" and never to "young men," despite the overwhelming correlation.
Is this omission purposeful on your part, as it appears on surface reading? If so, what is the purpose?
i wonder if you might consider including the enculturation of maleness as another key element in your assessment. Or otherwise address the fact that the overwhelming majority of these shooters are not simply young persons, but young men.
Thanks for your work,
It was absolutely not purposeful on my part.
I am well aware of the strong correlation between the contemporary constructions of masculinity and the type of violence that provoked me to write the article. Indeed, if you read carefully you will see that I address it obliquely in the paragraph on video gaming.
In fact, I am nothing short of obsessed with how much an embrace of violence and dehumanization lies at the core of most widely circulated models of masculine comportment in our culture.
But that was not the article I was writing. Rather, writing about the broad cultural environment in which we are raising our children. But apparently that was not specific enough for you.
That being the case, perhaps you could write a sequel to my article centering on the very real and specifically masculine aspects of the broader cultural problems i was addressing.
Thanks much for your reply, i will share it with the person who made the original comment.
i do have some time for writing, i will consider your suggestion.