Despite a great deal of evidence that connects the dots between these mass killers and radical misogynist groups, we still largely refer to the attackers as “lone wolves” — a mistake that ignores the preventable way these men’s fear and anger are deliberately cultivated and fed online.
Here’s the term we should all use instead: misogynist terrorism. Until we grapple with the disdain for women that drives these mass murderers, and the way that the killers are increasingly radicalized on the internet, there will be no stopping future tragedies.
Over the past decade, anti-women communities on the internet — ranging from “men’s rights” forums and incels to “pickup artists” — have grown exponentially. While these movements differ in small ways, what they have in common is an organized hatred of women; the animus is so pronounced that the hate-watch group Southern Poverty Law Centertracks their actions.