ByRebecca Raymer, writer at
I am a writer and director. #WomenInFilm #WomenDirect
Rebecca Raymer

John Russell Houser opened fire in a movie theater screening Amy Schumer's new film, Trainwreck. Two of the people he shot were killed, and both of them were women. Did Houser have something against women, particularly empowered women?

According to The Washington Post, and a myriad of other news outlets, a former colleague of Houser's described him as "opposed to women having a say in anything." Amy Schumer is a woman, and she has A LOT to say about all kinds of things.

Amy Schumer: officially female
Amy Schumer: officially female

Violence against women happens when someone (usually a male, but not always) physically harms a female in response to some act of perceived defiance. Violence is a form of absolute control over another being - a brutal and barbaric method of forcing another to comply with an attacker's wishes. Because women are physically more vulnerable than men, we are more likely to be harmed in violent situations.

In patriarchal societies, men hold a certain status over women. When men collectively have both social and physical power over women, the instances of violence against women skyrocket. Fortunately for people who are harmed by patriarchal policies and practices (e.g., ALL PEOPLE), feminism is a movement that has made tremendous progress. This progress does not simply affect the quality of people's lives - for women particularly, it is a literal matter of life and death.

Men maintain expectations of privilege, and sometimes when those expectations are not met, they respond with violence. Why? Because they can.

"[A]ddressing violence against women requires challenging male privilege in sexual matters and social norms of male domination."

A lot of men simply don't like it when their male privilege is challenged.

John Russell Houser was one of those men. He made no secret of it. There are accounts, official records, and various recordings of Houser's displeasure with women. His former colleague expressed his complete lack of surprise upon learning about the LaFayette theater shootings.

“I was not shocked at all when I got a call about this. It did not surprise me one bit." Calvin Floyd, former colleague of John Russell Houser

So was Houser making a statement against feminism? Did he specifically go to a theater showing Amy Schumer's movie and open fire in order to retaliate for society's progressive shift toward recognizing and respecting the rights of women? Was this act of violence somehow the fault of Amy Schumer, or of feminists generally?

The answer to these questions is absolutely, unequivocally no.

There are many things that can be highlighted as likely contributing factors to John Houser's actions last week, but Amy Schumer's feminist views and actions are NOT among them. Feminism has made the world a safer place for EVERYONE, not the other way around.

Author's note: I am comfortable with the amount of time and effort I have contributed to studying the factual basis behind my views. I am also comfortable with challenges to my views. However, if you are reading a blog post on, you are more than appropriately equipped to do your own research on this subject (Google is your friend). It is not my responsibility to educate anyone, or to convince anyone that reality is, in fact real.


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