Some shocking Irish murders, two close together in time:
- An apparently happily-married man goes on a cocaine-fuelled binge, during which he drags a young woman into his car, sexually assaults her, then murders her.
- A 14-year old girl is found sexually assaulted and murdered. A 13-year old boy is charged with the crime.
- Two men are questioned about the unsolved murder of a German backpacker 30 years ago.
- A "school shooter" who killed ten pupils at a Texan school is said to have been pushed "over the edge" when a girl he was repeatedly importuning for a date humiliated him in front of the class, for what she called harassment. He shot her and nine others dead.
- In the same week in Texas, an estranged husband shot dead the new partner of his ex-wife, and the 3 children they had together. Before he committed suicide, he told her he wanted her to live and suffer.
- A men went on a rampage in Toronto running over 10 pedestrians with a van, claiming afterwards to be an "incel" (involuntary celibate) outraged because with the commodification of sex, the rich elites were dominating the sexual partner stakes.
- This man had been "inspired", it is said, by another mass killing by an "incel" in California in 2014.
You don't need to be a psychologist to see there is something corrupt and toxic at the heart of these symptoms. Is it really the commodification of sex? Does pornography and incorrect male expectation have a role? Is it female liberation versus male insecurity, driven by resentment at what was once easy entitlement now frustrated?
These are extreme cases, but you cannot help feeling there is something out of sync in the sexual protocol between men and women. Men and women have been having sex for children, for companionship and mutual pleasure since the dawn of time. Is it all going horribly wrong, or are these symptoms just hiccups at the start of a new era?