Well that was quick. The New York Post has forfeited all the good will I was feeling towards them for their amazing Kimye wedding coverage by posting a bikini photo of one of the women mentioned in UCSB killer Elliot Rodger’s misogyny-filled 140-page “manifesto.” Rodger refers to a number of people by first and last name in his screed, but Monette Moio definitely stands out as one of the first girls/women that he expressed hatred for. The Post‘s story calls her “The Woman The UCSB Killer Blamed For His Misogyny” and features two photos of Moio, one a close-up shot of her face and the other a full body bikini pic. The article also features an interview with her dad about Rodger’s now-obvious obsession with her and her brother, actor Ashton Moio. “It’s like she’s being implicated in this terrible tragedy for something she hasn’t done and can’t remember,” John Moio said, referring to the fact that Monette Moio was only 10 when Rodger apparently had a “crush” on her.
Listen, I definitely looked up all of the people that were namechecked in Rodger’s “manifesto,” including the Moios, curious to learn more about the people who Rodger was clearly obsessed with. But I was also very aware of how these individuals’ privacy was already being blown wide open by simply being mentioned in the lengthy document and that drawing further attention to them in connection to this horrific tragedy would be, well, incredibly unfair. So my initial reaction to the Post even doing a story about Moio, and labeling her as the girl who Rodger blamed for his misogyny – a problematic way of putting it, as it very subtly gives credence to the idea that a girl/woman can cause misogyny in a boy/man — was icked out. But then to see they used a “sexy” full body photo of Monette, when the one of her face would do just fine, thanks, made me angry. It sexualizes her, seemingly to invoke an understanding from the readers about why Rodger was obsessed with her. “See, she’s pretty and has a great body!” a picture like that says in this context. While John Moio clearly consented to the interview, and that’s his prerogative, I’m curious what he thinks about the Post’s photo choices. Because I think it’s disgusting.
And the Post is not alone. I’m not going to link, because fuck them, but dude site Heavy.com actually has a GALLERY of photos of Moio up on their site, calling them the pics “you need to see.” (Because she’s hot, you guys.) The lead photo is another pic of Moio in a bikini. What’s next? “The 10 Sexiest Women Elliot Rodger Was Obsessed With And Hated”? Misogynistic coverage of a misogynist killer. I don’t think I could be any more depressed about the state of the world sometimes.