Yesterday, America suffered its 129th mass shooting of 2023, piling tragedy on top of tragedy. Yet it confounded me. What distinguished this murder from all the other mass shootings—so many we can no longer keep track of them—is that the perpetrator was a woman.
This made me stop and think. If any demographic group in this country deserves to be angry and feel compelled to lash out, it‘s women. Even so, women make up a vanishingly small number of shooters. In fact, until yesterday, there had been only three.
Reasons for Women’s Anger
Why should women be so angry?
- Women and girls get catcalled, insulted, pinched, and grabbed on the streets, in classrooms, offices and stores. Respond and you encourage them; stay silent and they may assault you.
- Women get ignored, interrupted and talked over in meetings, classes, and during interviews, and are often treated as less than professional.
- Wives and girlfriends suffer domestic violence in far larger numbers than men and that violence may well end in murder.
- Females of all ages have to protect themselves against “microaggressions” like men peeping into dressing rooms, bathrooms, and up our skirts.
- Female employees endure being consistently overworked, underpaid, overlooked for promotions, not taken seriously, and dismissed at higher rates.
- Women and girls have to deal not only with menstrual periods but with the laws passed by male legislators who don’t understand how periods work or even how many occur in a year.
- Those same legislators put women’s lives at risk by passing laws that restrict healthcare needed to save a woman’s life.
- Women who report sexual harassment risk being fired and having their careers destroyed while the harasser continues without consequence.
- Hollywood churns out movies and TV shows about men capturing, raping, demeaning, torturing and murdering women—turning violence against women into entertainment.
- Girls and women are stalked, harassed, threatened, frightened and abused every day. Everywhere.
I could go on . . .and on . . . and on.
Sprint vs Marathon
Men like to call us the weaker sex because we lack the same upper body strength but they are built for sprints and women are built for marathons. If we were as sensitive to rejection, as easily angered, as defeated by disappointment, and as emotionally fragile as men, we would never survive past our twenties.
And yet …
- More women than men go to college and are more likely to graduate. A 2019 Pew Research Center survey found 39 percent of women ages 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 37 percent of men. In adults between the ages 25 and 34, 46 percent of women and just 36 percent of men have earned degrees. But the women will earn less.
- Women live longer than men by five years. And male longevity is dropping.
- While women are roughly three times more likely to attempt suicide, men are two to four times more likely to die by suicide.
- Women fight on the front lines in our armed forces and suffer the same wounds and casualties.
Fragile vs. Resilient
Men are big but fragile; women are smaller but more resilient. Men in despair or who feel themselves dishonored are likely to solve their problem by killing their spouse and children. Women will do anything—including selling their bodies—to feed and protect our children. When you dig deeper into those mindsets, men are more likely find themselves and their feelings more important that the lives of their families while women put the wellbeing of their families ahead of our own survival.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider the investment men make in a baby (a few minutes) with the nine months of gestation, hours of painful delivery, and permanent changes to our bodies that women experience. That’s probably another reason why we make much greater investments in protecting them once they are born.
Don’t Keep Up with the Boys
I just hope that this latest development in America’s outrageous history of mass shootings doesn’t mean that women and / or girls are going to try and keep up with the boys. After all, why do men expect to find their masculinity in murdering children? I can understand young men who sign up to fight in wars because they think there will be glory and heroism. But killing children? Where is the glory in that?
Listen up, ladies. Keeping up with the boys in the gun and mass-murder department is as stupid as trying to drink them under the table. Leave them to their guns, their slaughter and their phony heroism. Leave them to school shootings and “suicide by cop.” Instead, compete in education, professional ability, research and sheer brainpower.
Living well is not only the best revenge, it’s the best way to make something of your life. Not to mention, the best way to keep on living.