I’ve seen discussion on social media blaming the patriarchal culture of Afghanistan. What this discourse fails miserably to notice is that Mateen was not from Afghanistan. He was born and raised in the United States. He went to US schools. He watched US movies and television shows. He played in US neighborhoods. He shopped at US malls. He worked for US companies. He was socialized in the United States. He was a United States citizen from birth. So if we’re going to interrogate patriarchal culture, and I think we should, let’s start with the United States. For the past year, I’ve been teaching a US Gender History course to undergrads at the university. One of the things I emphasize is the interconnectedness of US imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, and violent masculinity. I’ve learned, and continue to learn, from Black, Brown, Indigenous, “third-world,” anti-colonial, Queer, and working-class feminist scholars, organizers, and activists about the many ways cis-hetero-patriarchy is historically intertwined with histories of capitalism, imperialism, and white supremacy. I try to share that knowledge with my students. The violence committed by Mateen has US hyper-masculinity written all over it. He idolized cops, fetishized guns, hated queer people, hated Black people, abused his ex-wife, used steroids, and worked for G4S, which is a multinational corporation that profits from technologies of social control, prisons, colonialism, and border imperialism (see chap. 4 of Angela Davis’s “Freedom is a Constant Struggle” for a discussion of what G4S is). This was a guy who thoroughly internalized US ideals of “manliness”. He was the product of a long history of patriarchal values in US culture and politics. He over-conformed to the ideal of “manliness” that all of us cis-men in the United States were socialized — through family, coaches, teachers, religious leaders, media, etc. — from childhood to internalize.
Tariq Khan in Claim Your Own: The Orlando Shooter Was a Product of US Hypermasculinity (Wwwayward)