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GOP Senate challenger: Mass shootings linked to women in workplace

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A former New Hampshire state senator who’s announcing his candidacy to unseat Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says women in the workplace are at least partially to blame for mass shootings and other violence by men.

“Bottom line: the collaborative, flexible, amorphously-hierarchical American economy is shutting out ordinary men who were once the nation’s breadwinners in living-wage labor and manufacturing jobs,” wrote former state Sen. Jim Rubens in a 2009 blog post.

The original post, which is now protected behind a firewall, argues that this loss of status had provoked violence in men.

“Because status success is more vital to the male psychology, males are falling over the edge in increasing numbers,” the Republican Rubens wrote.

Rubens argued in his 2008 book, “OverSucess”, that Americans had become unhealthily obsessed with wealth, fame, power and perfection, and he says this shift had been particularly hard on men.

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“The collapsing number of male jobs in the increasingly female-centric economy just adds to the already harsher impact of OverSuccess on males,” he wrote on his blog.

And according to a recent interview, Rubens hasn’t changed his viewpoint.

“The point of this, if you read the whole thing, is that manufacturing jobs, which have been the basis for higher-wage working men during the post-World War II era have been in decline,” Rubens said Wednesday in an interview with Buzzfeed. “Men are more sensitive than women to external indicators of status, which is one of the points in my book — which you might want to read so you can understand the whole point of this — and it’s very important to all people, women and men, to have jobs, functions, and roles in life that are fulfilling and productive and engaging.”

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Rubens, who describes himself as a moderate on social issues, said only a tiny fraction of men had become stressed to the point of extreme violence.

“If you look through individual psychology of mass shooters over the past 10-20 years, you can see that in the profile,” Rubens told Buzzfeed. “Often it’s a person who has been subjected to extreme stress in the form of social rejection, job loss and associated mental health issues.”

He suggested revising the tax code to add manufacturing jobs to help reduce this “stress” on men.

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Tweaking the tax code to add manufacturing jobs would be one way to reduce this “stress” on men, Rubens said, adding that he does not oppose women in the workplace.

“I don’t see anything that causes anyone to conclude I’m seeking to in any way make a claim that it’s not great that women have come up in the economy,” Rubens said. “My wife is my business partner, so I know that it’s fantastic that the economy has made a fulsome role for women as I was pointing out in the posting. We need to get manufacturing jobs back.”

[Image via Jim Rubens for U.S. Senate]


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