Prof suggests 'toxic masculinity' caused Las Vegas massacre

Mass shootings, including the recent Las Vegas massacre, are caused by “toxic masculinity,” according to a professor at Columbia College Chicago.

Last week, shortly after the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, Philosophy professor Stephen Asma tweeted a link to an op-ed he had written for Aeon in 2016 arguing that “toxic masculinity fuels mass shootings.”

“My article on the weaponized loser seems sadly trenchant every few months. #shooter #ToxicMasculinity #Paddock,” Asma remarked in the tweet, apparently attributing the murderer’s motives to the “toxic masculinity” that Asma blames for other mass shootings.

“The facts of toxic masculinity are rarely discussed after mass shootings, as we beat the usual drums of gun control and mental health...But consider the bigger evolutionary picture,’ Asma writes in the op-ed. “Social life requires the domestication of men...Males must transform from little tyrants, competing for females, to selfless bodyguards and potential providers.”

Asma then asserts that if a man is unable to obtain a partner, he remains “emotionally juvenile—aggressively impulsive, self-serving, and potentially violent,” and may even “take up a disdainful hostility towards domestication itself.”

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He even asserts that Islam and Christianity share part of the blame, because both religions advocate for sexual abstinence before marriage.

“Islam and Christianity have played an important role in domesticating their respective male populations, but at a cost,” he writes. “Religion tries to manage eros for the sake of social harmony, but it does so indirectly by demonising desire and the body.”

This emphasis on abstinence, Asama continues, plays a key role in producing violence.

“Ascetic repressions, without creative outlet, often increase violent energy,” he claims. “Revenge fantasies and righteous religious narratives (that glorify suffering) help justify the punishment of everyone who is successful. Now add guns to the dynamic, and the story writes itself.”

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Asma hedged when asked to clarify his apparent claim that Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s actions could be explained by the op-ed, however, telling Campus Reform that it “seems too early to say” what Paddock’s exact motivations were.

“Paddock is not a clear match with my thesis, but that's because he remains a mysterious cipher,” Asma elaborated, though he ominously added, “so far...”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JohnPHasson