Self-proclaimed nerds of the world are speaking up about the misogynistic manifesto left behind by the man who went on a deadly rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara -- saying there's a twinge of recognition in some of the sentiments about rejection.
But they're making it clear violence is not the answer.
Arthur Chu, an 11-time Jeopardy! winner who rose to fame with his unorthodox game tactics, penned a column for The Daily Beast about how he recognized his own voice in parts of 22-year-old Elliot Rodger's rants about women.
"It's a standard frustrated angry geeky guy manifesto, except for the part about mass murder," Chu wrote.
"I've heard it from acquaintances, I've heard it from friends. I've heard it come out of my own mouth, in moments of anger and weakness," said Chu, a self-professed nerd.
Rodger, who police say committed suicide after murdering six people in a killing spree on Friday night, was a member of the misogynistic online message board PUAHate, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Members of the forum vent about being unable to pick up women -- with a specific focus on criticizing so-called pickup artists, men who boast being able to lure women with supposedly foolproof techniques outlined in books, meetings and on another message board, Pick-Up-Arist-Forum.com.
Members of Pick-Up-Arist-Forum.com say they, too, can relate to parts of what Rodger expressed.
"I used to think the exact same things Elliot Rodger thought," wrote a user who started a thread called, "I could have been Elliot Rodger."
"I used to feel frustrated and angry because I felt powerless. I saw myself as a victim. I felt sorry for myself," that user wrote.
Even as people denounce Rodger’s horrific rampage, more are coming forward with stories about how they understand Rodger –- at least a little bit.
CNN's Don Lemon revealed in a blog post that the tragedy reminded him of a former relationship with someone who hid their mental illness just like Rodger did.
Lemon explained that it’s hard to treat someone if no one knows they’re sick.
Chu suggested the bigger problem lies in “nerd culture.”
It’s evident on TV, he explained. Dorky characters like Steve Urkel chase hot women relentlessly, challenging their alpha boyfriends and refusing to give up until they score a date. The studio audience laughs, but no one stops to think that this is harassment, Chu noted.
Nerds, and all men, are taught that women are a prize for the nice guy, Chu wrote.
“When our clever ruses and schemes to ‘get girls’ fail, it’s not because the girls are too stupid or too b----y or too shallow to play by those unwritten rules we’ve absorbed,” he wrote. “It’s because other people’s bodies and other people’s love are not something that can be taken nor even something that can be earned –- they can be given freely, by choice, or not.”
- Society & Culture