Darrell Milton writes to Elliot Rodger about, among other things, why being a 22-year-old virgin is not a big deal.
I tried watching Elliot Rodger’s last video this morning. I have been putting it off because I assumed it would be disturbing. And although it goes for about six minutes, I couldn’t get through the whole thing because I think the guy was a loony and his words were making me feel really uncomfortable.
I haven’t written an open letter on my blog before, but I thought this time I would. This is not just to Elliot Rodger, but to all of those young people, both young men AND young women, who feel that their life is over simply because at the age of 22 they are still virgins.
Before I start my letter, here are the opening lines of his video, and it’s the only bit I could watch before turning it off…
“Hi. Elliot Rodger here. Well, this is my last video. It all has to come to this.
Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my retribution against humanity, against all of you.
For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty I have been forced to endure an existence of loneliness and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men but never to me.
I am 22 years old and still a virgin. I have never even been kissed by a girl. I have been through college for two and a half years, more than that, and I am still a virgin. It has been very torturous.Don’t like ads? Become a supporter and enjoy The Good Men Project ad free
College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure, but in those years I have had to rot in loneliness. It’s not fair…”
There is plenty more of this depressive crap. But that’s all I could stomach. I feel sorry for him, I really do. I don’t know all the variables behind what makes a guy go mental just because he’s still a virgin, but what I have learned in my 40 years is this: How your life is at 22 is not how your life will always be. So I thought I’d write this letter…
You should have given it time. You really should have. So you were still a virgin at 22, I know guys who were virgins well into their mid to late twenties and one that I know who lost his virginity after he turned 30. These men are very happy in their life now, all being married, and all having kids (so I guess they had sex, dude).
Leaving high school or going through college still a virgin isn’t a big deal. I’m sorry Hollywood made you think otherwise. Movies like American Pie, Superbad, The Girl Next Door, Sixteen Candles, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Weird Science, and the 1980′s classic Porky’s aren’t based on reality. You DO NOT have to lose your virginity by any set time or period of your life.
I know that you pined after that blonde girl you had a crush on. Mate, I’m sure you’ve heard the expression before, and I’m sorry to go all cliché, but there’s plenty more fish in the sea. As I wrote in a blog post 10 days before your murderous rampage, maybe the perfect person for you, your (to go all Disney) one true love, isn’t living in Santa Barbara. I think you needed to get out of there.
Travel. Meet new people. Back pack through Europe. Meet a nice Norwegian girl who thinks like you, enjoys the same music you like, will share her pickled herring with you, whatever. (Actually, I wonder if you actually knew the things that you liked yourself. I mean besides “hot chicks,” I’m pretty sure your manifesto would have been filled with things you hated rather than things you actually liked).
I’m not going to lie; sex is great. Well, it can be. It can also be a bad experience both for guys and girls. For me, making love is more important. Maybe my mindset is the product of all those women’s magazines I used to read waiting to see the doctor or dentist (or at the mechanic, come to think of it), but having sex with someone you are in love with is the most awesome part of sex. Don’t look for someone to simply fuck. Look for someone to love. That’s what you should have been doing.
You said girls have never been attracted to you? I bet you’re wrong. I bet there were plenty who thought you were a decent guy (back when you were) and that’s all that mattered to them. But maybe these girls didn’t fit your ideal woman. Sure you have to be attracted to someone to some extent, but I am a firm believer in what I call “love goggles.”
Love goggles are like beer goggles only unlike beer goggles, they don’t wear off when you’re sober, they only stop working when you fall out of love. When you find your true love, those love goggles turn into love contacts and they adhere to your eyeballs so that someone society deems average is the most attractive thing on this planet. That’s love mate. That’s what it can do to you.
I know this letter has been written too late for you, but I hope that all the other wannabe Elliot Rodgers out there can read this and learn from your mistake. You didn’t need to go there. You didn’t need to kill innocent people just because things weren’t going your way.
And sure, in cases like this, there are many people who will take to social media and say what I just said but add “You should have just killed yourself, you selfish prick” or something like that. No, that’s wrong. Seek help. Talk to your friends. Talk to your parents. Talk to a professional who can help you. Heck, talk to me. I will listen and I will repeat what I said above as many times as you need to hear it.
There’s nothing wrong with being a 22-year-old virgin. But there’s plenty wrong with being a 22-year-old murderous arsehole.
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–Photo: AP / Flowers are placed through a bullet hole on a window of IV Deli Mart in Isla Vista, California, Saturday, May 24, 2014, following a deadly shooting rampage.
This is more in response to once of the comments than to the article: No, getting a nice woman would NOT have made this murderous POS any less of a murderous POS. She (and possibly her family) would have been his first murder victims. Because his virginity was just a smoke screen for the real problem: that he believed the universe revolved around him. It was selfishness and entitlement, pure and simple. Upon reading more about him, you’d know that he was mad at his mother for not marrying a rich guy so that he (Elliot) could live a more… Read more »
Empathy can’t be learned. This kid clearly had an abusive background frankly. I consider this a child abuse/neglect issue, not a gender one
“I think it’s not so much the lack of sexual pleasure, since anyone can supply that to themselves, but in many cases the main issue is how one appears to other men.” Ooh, this is SO true. Is there anything that Elliott said or did that gave the slightest hint that he was looking for love, and friendship, and partnership? Nooooo … EVERYTHING he wrote and spoke about was about having – *possessing* – the stereotypical hot girl, because that’s what he felt he was entitled to. Primary functions, to satisfy his needs, make other men envious and to sit… Read more »
It also explains his very intense anger towards men of color who he saw with white women he felt he should have. It was all about status. Small wonder women didn’t respond to him as a “nice guy.”
Sexual pleasure doesn’t require a partner. Masturbation needs to be more openly talked about and accepted as a perfectly acceptable alternative to sex with one or more partners. I think it’s not so much the lack of sexual pleasure, since anyone can supply that to themselves, but in many cases the main issue is how one appears to other men.Only other men can participate in making it not a big deal and not a test of manhood. Every man can choose to stop talking and joking about virginity as if it’s a failing. If you are deeply resentful of women… Read more »
Yeah I think reaching out to these guys is a key point in trying to prevent stuff like this from happening. Just for reference here’s one I did the other day: https://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/reaching-elliot/
I don’t think you needed to call the reader of the letter an arsehole at the end but overall good effort.
Thanks for your comment Danny. It was hard. I wanted to sympathise with him but not be seen as an Elliot Rodgers sympathiser. I wanted to use the word pity somewhere, but it didn’t feel right. But I think that for the most part, without praising him at all for his actions I did show a certain level of restrain, and that showed the calm voice I was using to talk to him man-to-man without it being an aggressive argument. But I was angry. He needed to have some of that poured upon him. And although like your own piece… Read more »
It was hard. I wanted to sympathise with him but not be seen as an Elliot Rodgers sympathiser. I wanted to use the word pity somewhere, but it didn’t feel right. I think that’s a problem in and of itself. It should be possible to sympathize with a guy who was frustrated without sympathizing with that guy’s actions. But considering how quick people are to accuse you of supporting him (which oddly enough I keep hearing MRAs celebrating his actions but every time I ask for a link I get nothing) I don’t blame you for being worried about being… Read more »
No MRA supports his actions.
True, they just coudn’t care less about his misogyny and blame much of it on women.
False promises that things will change in some undefined future help no one. Lying to people and telling them that life stops being unfair at some point is something that even someone with all of Elliot’s mental problems can see right through. Yes, you were right to note that the standards he’s holding up as normal are a media generated falsehood, and that in all likelihood his peers were lying about their sex lives out of their own shame at failing to live up to that fantasy standard. Where you went wrong was in trying to reassure him that there… Read more »
Have sex, don’t have sex. It’s all good. No one should judge you for that, and no one should be judged by the amount of sex or sexual partners they have had. It’s hard to escape sex though. It’s everywhere and it’s getting more prevalent. Most are becoming desensitised to this, but some aren’t. Did I lie to him about there being sex to be had? No, I disagree with you there. I worked with a guy who by his own accord informed my that to get women and to have lots of sex all one needs to do is… Read more »
“Sex isn’t something you can earn.”
Tell that to women who set themselves up as prizes to be won.
Traditional romance is about earning sex.
“Good men are left involuntarily celibate, and aweful men are having so much sex they’re getting bored of it.”
Well, as you can see, Elliot, one of the most awful men ever, just died a virgin. He didn’t have much sex at all. Most good men have sex just fine, just fine.
Why is a nice Norwegian girl a good match for a soon-to-be mass murderer?
Okay, let me explain. In a private Facebook group full of parents from around the world (mostly the US and Canada though) there’s a mother who is from Norway and she shares similar taste in music to me and we have been discussing old school 1980s thrash metal (I know, it’s random). I was merely giving her a shout out because in one of my last blog posts that I wrote when I was working in Germany a couple weeks ago I gave a shout out to a Croatian woman I met there. Both stories shared a common theme that… Read more »
Thank you for writing this. I am 28 and still a “virgin.” I use quotes because the whole concept of someone who has had “sex” (whatever that means) being fundamentally different than someone who has not is a bunch of crap. I never let being a virgin bother me. I never thought it was a problem. I never thought people could tell. One day, a few years ago, I was suddenly asked if I was a virgin and if I had ever had a girlfriend. People can be cruel. From that moment, I became obsessed with the concept of virginity… Read more »
We do need to breed the judgement of those who are older than, let’s say 19 and still virgin out of our culture. I know people who at 25 haven’t been to Disneyland. Fancy that, someone who hasn’t been to the happiest place on Earth.
Well, that’s me. I will admit it. Go on laugh at me. I dare you. Meh, I really don’t care…
I have the same psychiatric diagnosis as Elliot Rodger and was in a similar situation in my adolescence. And I’ve never murdered anybody.
Thank you for not murdering anyone Daniel. I appreciate it and so does everyone who you haven’t murdered. I read your piece. Very powerful, especially coming from such a personal place.
High five for being in the right place at the right time being yourself and enjoying something you like only to have a young lady also enjoying the same thing appreciate your common interest. That’s what Elliot should have been focusing his time on, having an interest that some young lady could enjoy with him.
Hating on women is not really something many, if any women would enjoy.
Yeah, pussy is magic, it would of cured him of being a psychopath right?
“Elliot should have been focusing his time on, having an interest that some young lady could enjoy with him.”
Sure… so that he could kill her and their kids, and then himself, should she ever break up with him.
Sorry Darrell, but you lost me when you called him ‘mate’. Does anyone really think this kid and his actions are the result of not getting laid? I don’t mean to be dismissive, I know how important sex is, but come on. This kid was a misogynist and a psychopath – not one or the other, but both – and let’s just state the obvious: the girls were RIGHT. Right to ignore him, right to avoid him, right to think he was a weird creep. I just find the idea that ‘he’d have been fine if he’d given it more… Read more »
You are possibly right. But in his last video he made a big deal of it so I made a big of that. Maybe he might have equated sex with love (it’s common). Maybe the love of a good woman might have settled him down. Who knows? He didn’t give it more time. If he had, we’d have six less dead innocent people, and another who might have had the motivation to put those guns away. And “mate” in Australian vernacular is almost as versatile as the word “fuck” because depending on how we say it, and who we say… Read more »
Maaaate – I know – I’m Australian too 😉 I took your tone to be sympathetic so maybe the sarcasm was lost in translation … I still think a ‘come on, mate!’ tone is more then he deserves, even posthumously … Do you really think he could’ve been ‘saved by the love of a good woman’? Really?? Heck of a lot of pressure to put on the woman, don’t you think?? I don’t think we should make too much of what he made a big deal of in his last video. I don’t mean to be glib – but a… Read more »
I watched his videos. I read his manifesto. That was psychopathy not “needing the love of a good woman.”
Unfortunately these are the things you don’t hear on TV or from your peers at 22. It’s a letter that should be passed on to all those going through puberty.
Or a reality that ought to come from one’s parents maybe
Since when do teenagers listen to their parents about sex and relationships?
They don’t. But they listen to randoms on the internet. Hey, I could be a random on the internet…
Exactly Rob. I’ll be showing it to my own sons when the time is right.
Thanks for your response Luke. I’m not sure it’s curriculum reading by any means, but definitely something we should teach angry young men/boys with his mindset.
I’d be more likely to agree if it hadn’t been for that last line.
“There’s nothing wrong with being a 22-year-old virgin. But there’s plenty wrong with being a 22-year-old murderous arsehole.”
What pubescent is going to heed the words of someone calling them an arsehole?
Yes, but… I read Elliot Rodger’s manifesto. He was a spoiled brat whose entitled attitude toward life was fostered by his parents – so much so that he believed he deserved all the sex he wasn’t getting and assumed everybody else was, even though he seems to have never really made any attempt to get to know any women as human beings. While I agree that there are plenty of 22-year-old (and older) virgins out there and while from my perspective of being more than twice that age it makes no sense to presume that what you’re experiencing now will… Read more »
Yes, but, I agree with you. It was an excuse, that’s all, and in the event that someone else thinks it’s a good excuse, I thought I’d tell them otherwise.
Elliot Rodgers was a gender psychopath. Hurrah for an article written having read just the first paragraph. If you’d gone on, you’d have read that he believed women were sluts that owed him sex as we are a facility for fucking, not real human people. Its a common theme in male media, and the fact that Elliot could find so many men to talk to on line that shared his world view that we belong in concentration camps, to be killed with just a few kept for breeding is what he went on to say and what he said all… Read more »
That story about your daughter is horrifying. I’m SO sorry she had to go through that and good for you for pulling her out when her story was ignored. You are right to make a big deal about it – it’s so scary.
Hope your new school is working out much better and that she feels safe!