Tuesday morning, I logged into a chat room full of refugees of the since shuttered PUAHate forum once frequented by University of California-Santa Barbara shooter Elliott Rodger. And I stayed there, silently watching them, for 8 hours. Here's what I learned.
PUAHate, as other outlets have discussed, is an offshoot of the Pick Up Artist community populated by men (and, allegedly, women) who believe Pick Up Artistry to be a sham waste of money not because women are more than "targets" and "prey," but because women are fucking hopeless cunts who can't be convinced to give nice guys a chance. Women, argue PUAHaters, will only go out with good looking alpha males and would never look twice at anyone who isn't a musclebound dreamboat with a six-figure income, and most men will never be those things, and so the world is against them and life is unfair. From an observer's perspective, PUAHate is a group of self-pitying babies who believe they're entitled to women who are much more attractive than they are.
The forum that the group is using as a stopgap between the original PUAHate forum where Elliot Rodger posted and whatever new forum will house them. Participants are able to participate by writing text or by joining in with audio or video. It looks like this:
Over the course of the day, the number of participants in the tinychat ranged from around 10 in the early morning to dozens in the mid-afternoon. And because of character limits on the chat software, the transcript of the day's chat is confusing. In order to make it less so, in the excerpts you'll see below, I've consolidated sentence fragments written by individuals in succession and added punctuation for clarity. Otherwise, the text is as-written.
I enter the room and into the middle of a conversation that seems like it's about head circumference and jaw surgery. One of the forum members is convinced that if only he goes under the knife to fix his crossbite will any of those contemptible bitches choose to love him.
Members of the forum start giddily reflecting on Rodger's fame and begin encouraging each other to write manifestos. After one PUAhater shared an image of an average-looking woman and told the room that she gets to have as much sex as she wants, one man with an Australian accent and an obviously electronically modified-sounding voice, intoned,
Are you trying to inspire me to shoot up a super market? What are you trying to do? There's only one solution. I'm going to make a bomb. It's going to be a pretty good gig in Australia soon. Thanks ... for showing me the light.
One user, who was contributing via audio, suggested to the members that they should all begin drafting their own manifestos, explaining,
When you post a video on Youtube it doesn't matter what the police say you've got your version of events on youtube before they have their say.
The Australian, seemingly unaware of the other Englishman's audio, added,
I do believe I have the knowledge to kill 100 people. I believe I have the knowledge to kill the entire school. I know that's pretty pathetic, I think.
Go back to my old school, past assembly, 9:00. Chain every single door. Shoot everybody in the assembly hall.
No one responded. Meanwhile, in the text section of the forum,
[9:17 AM]: they say we shount be entitled, hen everyones sex is all on display. isn't that unfair. that they say we dont deserve it then they SHOW US WHAT THEY ARE DOING SEXUALLY. it is like they want this to happen day to day
[9:17 AM]: elliot is an hero
The conversation is now on Elliot Rodger, the UCSB shooter, and whether or not he was justified in his rampage. What Elliot Rodger felt is stuff that all men secretly feel, the members agree.
I've removed their names because, honestly, fuck these guys and what they want. You'll understand more about why as the day goes on.
[9:24 AM]: 99% of men relate if they are honest
[9:24 AM]: yeah ive noticed the comment sections on this story people arent that vicious towards him. part of it is because he looked okay
[9:24 AM]: who wouldnt want to live in a socially constructed sexual utopia? imo people are waking up
[9:24 AM]: but the other part is men relate to hating women
[9:24 AM]: the socially constructionist view of reality is fundamentally flawed. guys who see this think... oooh wait...i get it now. his reaction was unique but the causes were no different. most men go through what he went through but most react differently. some die, some ignore society, some enslave themselves to society and wife
For a group of people engaged in an unending circle jerk over how hopeless and special and victimized they are, they sure seem to think their victimhood is universal.
This weekend, I made the enlightening mistake of participating in the #YesAllWomen hashtag. I call it a mistake because a depressing number of responses I got for my sub-140 character contribution to the conversation centered around the fact that ELLIOT RODGER DIDN'T HATE WOMEN HE WAS MENTALLY ILL AND BESIDES HE KILLED MORE MEN THAN WOMEN! which is an excuse that it seems gets made a lot whenever the guy (because it's almost always a guy) holding the gun (because it's almost always a gun) is white-looking rather than brown or black-looking. Mental illness. Not terrorism or misogyny or a metastacized perversion of mildly fucked up aspects of American masculinity culture that become massively fucked up aspects when they collide with mental illness or personality disorders. Rodger said he did it because he hates women.
So do the other forum participants.
[9:27 AM]: media doesnt aknolwedge the majroity of males' discontentment with current sexual distopia
[9:27 AM]: its all about HATING WOMEN
How many times do they have to tell us before we believe them?
The forum members are alternately shaken and giddy over Rodger's fame. Most of them seem a little giddy that an "incel" — and "involuntarily celibate" man — went out in such a blaze of glory. Others will follow, promises one member.
[9:28 AM]: he would have had a boring incel life then died of cancer without reference to "this". without ever leaving a mark or a wikipeda and go on just like it had in the past.he is famous 4 ever now.
guys i bet you this will happen more times in 2014. others will do it. promise
More self-aggrandizing manifesto talk.
[9:37 AM]: you NEED a manifesto or video or it's worthless
[9:37 AM]: this time there was major manifesto. old killers didnt do much in that regard. police censor and withhold killer motivations to avoidf public panic. its good that the reality is coming out to society in a very raw way
Some forum members think the UCSB shooter was out of line. Others can totally see why he did it. After all, his sister was having sex.
[10:02 AM]: the most chilling part is eliots comments about his sister being fucked. too real. pussy envy. his lack of sex paled in comparison to wanting what others had paraded around.
Simply existing = "parading around."
First reference to "going Elliot."
[10:05 AM]: if you are here after 31, consider going elliot. day 31 of may. thats the deadline
[10:05 AM]: guys. manifestos are currently being drafted by men out there
[10:06 AM]: if you are here in june, just off it
[10:06 AM]: dont think this is the the last. men realize they have nothing to lose
[10:07 AM]: i dont know why divorced men dont go on rampages
[10:07 AM]: that blonde was a total bitch but father claims she is a nice girl
[10:07 AM]: because older men get called old pervs, like george sodini
[10:07 AM]: *started a YouTube-video: Elvis Presley - It's Over..*
George Sodini is a cowardly fuck who, in 2009, killed 3 women and injured at least ten others when he opened fire on a gym in Pennsylvania.
He was mentioned — with praise — seventeen times by the PUAHate participants during the time I lurked.
For much of the day when they're not talking about writing manifestos or debating the "aspie"-ness of Elliot Rodger, they're rating pictures of women who they feel don't deserve the sexual attention they get or swapping pictures of what they refer to as their "oneitis," or the girls they have crushes on above all those other ugly bitches who don't deserve to be fucked.
[11:04 AM]: she doesnt weigh that much but shes only 5.3"
[11:04 AM]: women under 5'5 shouldnt be above 100. i fucked an escort who was 5'5 120 and i thought she was fat. i realized women withotu clothes are much uglier than with clothes
[11:04 AM]: yeah
[11:04 AM]: legit
[11:04 AM]: i see most women as some skinnyfat dude with a pussy. they are just subhumans acting liek they are the shit
[11:05 AM]: thats why cfnm porn is so legit
[11:05 AM]: lol
At one point, the ponder the merits of sleeping with "black chicks." Because they're "easy."
The members of PUAHate start to Get Serious about whether or not it was okay that Elliot Rodger murdered those people.
[11:26 AM]: thats why one could argue that what he did was commendable
[11:26 AM]: No you cant argue that
[11:26 AM]: That's a ridiculous argument
[11:26 AM]: only an aspie would
[11:26 AM]: what he did didnt benefit him
[11:26 AM]: His suffering was voluntary to a degree. He did not suffer physically
[11:26 AM]: its not commendable lol, losing a daughter is worse than being incel wtf
[11:26 AM]: nobody wants to suffer. he didnt choose to suffer
[11:27 AM]: OBJECTIVELY WHO HAD A BETTER LIFE ELLIOT RODGER OR THE GIRLS HE KILLED. THE ANSWER IS THE GIRLS. SO WHY SHOULD SOCIETY NOT FEEL WORSE FOR ELLIOT
[11:27 AM]: There are many arguments but the best ones are that 1) His actions did not ease his suffering 2) His actions were not aimed at those that made hmi suffer
[11:27 AM]: if elliot had grown up as a good looking guy, he wouldnt have gone insane in the first place
[11:29 AM]: If he killed some girls who rejected him in a totally harsh way and made him feel miserable maybe I could begin to understand
[11:29 AM]: SORORITY GIRLS ARE NOT 'RANDOM' WHEN U JOIN A SORORITY U ENTER INTO OPPRESSION OF INCELS
[12:04 PM]: never get emotionally attached to women who aren't virgins
[12:04 PM]: the thing is where do you meet virgins. if you're out of high school social circle, finding a fit virgin is impossible
One forum poster posts a link to screencaps of some of Rodger's first posts to PUAHate, explaining that he thinks Rodger was trying to enlist forum members to join in his massacre.
The men discuss how to attain the affection of the girls of their dreams.
[12:39 PM]: i just want my oneitis to fucking gobble on my dick like the little slut she is
[12:39 PM]: rape her
[12:39 PM]: I know this guy who got rejected for not having a 90° gonial angle.
[12:39 PM]: rape is low inhibition, DOM and alpha. its the ultimate DOM move
[12:40 PM]: what's your rape count
[12:40 PM]: rape is pretty beta
[12:40 PM]: if ur havent raped someone by age 22, ur prob a truecel [celibate] for life
[12:40 PM]: not rape rape, but date rape
[12:40 PM]: Not DOM enough
[12:40 PM]: date rape is the behavior of masculine blacks, and very alpha
[12:41 PM]: who is gonna be the next elliot rodger on this chat? i nominate greg
I am in a hotel in Washington, DC, and my boyfriend is taking a bath, reading. I barge in, demanding to know if all men are terrible, eyes blazing. He tries to calm me down, but I am upset.
I leave the bathroom in a huff.
[1:00 PM]: why can't i fuck a virgin 16-18 year old. i am entitled to this or else i will go rodger
[1:00 PM]: yeah women peak before they becom elegal
[1:01 PM]: girls peak at 16-21. after 21 it's all downhill
It's a strange feeling, being simultaneously afraid and annoyed and enraged. But that's how I felt for most of yesterday, because of frequent stretches like this:
[1:21 PM]: how many of you here ever thought about committing mass murder?
[1:21 PM]: yeah. just dont have access to guns in the uk. even the police just carry batons
[1:22 PM]: if i tried pulling off a massacre, my kill count would be lower than elliots
The gang discusses rejection by sluts, and how sleeping with one man means that women should be sexually available to all men. It's only fair.
[2:37 PM]: rejection makes me angry cause this girls a slut for other guys
[2:37 PM]: just play it off like u dont care
[2:37 PM]: rejection use to make me angry to but i got over it
[2:38 PM]: if insults make you angry, you're narcissistic and insecure and yes you can be both
The boys reminisce fondly about George Sodini.
[3:27 PM]: remember goerge sodini? what if elliot met george sodini
[3:27 PM]: the great sodini
Throughout the day, PUAHate refugees — and I hesitate to call them that, because a sense of alienation that conflicts with their respective realities is central to their identity and by agreeing that they're outcasts, I'm somehow reinforcing their insistent victimhood mentality, but fuck it; I'm tired — referred admiringly to mass killers and rapists with the sort of admiration that functional members of society reserve for professional athletes or pop stars. Sodini, Lanza, the Boston marathon bombers, Richard Ramirez. They constantly contradict themselves. On one hand, no one understands them and they are social outcasts. On the other, mass shootings are just the story, told over and over again, of One Brave Man who dares do what every other man is thinking but dares not try. They obsessively swapped numbers that were made up and didn't matter — Height, "lay ratios," rating scales for other humans, skull circumference measurements, millimeters of chin recession, neck circumference, number of women slept with, number of virgins slept with, angle at which the erect penis meets the groin. I was actually surprised that it took until 1:49 PM before they started comparing dick length and girth.
It sort of boggles my mind, at this point, that most women go through life simply hoping to have control over their own bodies, and that these fuckers feel entitled to not only themselves, but to other people. To an audience. To a platform. They exist, therefore we must all pay attention to them, like screaming infants.
But despite the fact that many of the PUAHate forum participants could probably benefit from some therapy, Elliot Rodger and company aren't the mentally ill outliers that the media (and the NRA) depicts them as. They're much more common than we want them to be. They're capable of being functional members of society — hell, Elliot Rodger was able to talk his way out of a property search that would have thwarted his mass murder plans before they even began to play out. Part of being a woman is the slow realization that some men, for no discernible reason, are always going to hate you. And you have no way of knowing who they are until they open their mouths, or open fire. Or sit as a fly on a wall in a chat room, invisible, female, and hated.
Image by Jim Cooke.