Talk for Article "The Incel movement: What is it?"

Talk about this Article

  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Someone with a yearn to investigate and to make the story comprehensive could look at these two sites:
    https://www.avoiceformen.com/
    http://shrink4men.com/
    Neither have an ‘incel’ orientation, but both deal with misandry, viz., the opposite of misogyny; both sites deal with men who are fed up, exploited or disillusioned.
    I can’t remember the last time I checked out avoiceformen.com, but there was an occasional (female) writer going by ‘girlwriteswhat’ whom I thought was often very insightful.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Thanks for this Daniel, your contribution certainly helps to offer a more balanced view on the topic.

  2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    First, I just wanted to commend the authors of this article for taking on such a contentious topic.

    The Toronto suspect posted about an ‘incel rebellion,’ saying, “We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!” Source: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/25/us/incel-rebellion-alek-minassian-toronto-attack-trnd/index.html

    I wonder if it’s worth defining what a “Chad” or a “Stacy” is. Would that add or detract from the article?

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Thank you Kat. And it’s definitely worth defining. I’m interested in the language they use and think it’ll add more to the article.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        According to one article on Vox: “Chads” are sexually successful and attractive men, and “Stacys” are attractive, promiscuous women who sleep with the Chad’s. https://www.vox.com/world/2018/4/25/17277496/incel-toronto-attack-alek-minassian

        In this other article, it describes “Chad” and “Stacy” as dismissive slang for men and women with more robust sex lives. http://abc7chicago.com/toronto-van-suspect-charged-had-cryptic-facebook-post/3385827/

        This site said “Incels describe themselves as directly opposing men they call “Chads,” their word for attractive men who have sex with lots of women. The female counterpart of a Chad is called a “Stacy,” and she is viewed as unattainable. Incels talk about Chads in a reverent way, while talking about Stacies in a hateful way. They strive to be Chads, but demean the Stacies Chad is allegedly having sex with.” http://haenfler.sites.grinnell.edu/subcultures-and-scenes/incels/#ffs-tabbed-11

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          Proposed definition:

          The term “Chad” is a slang term used to describe a successful or attractive man who has sex with multiple women. A “Stacy” is a woman who typically only has sex with Chads.

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            Thanks so much Kat! Great stuff, much appreciated.

  3. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Great topic Linh. For discerning the theory or ideology behind r/incel, Angela Nagle’s ‘Kill All Normies’, published last year, is a useful commentary. She situates the subreddit in the context of the ‘manosphere’ (which, as Fiona has pointed out, is a term others use elsewhere), loosely encompassing various different expressions of/outlets for ‘anti-feminist masculinist political subcultures’ (both within Reddit and without), all of which could be seen to have gained traction over the last few years.

    A crucial reference Nagle makes, I think, is to ‘alt-right writer, white nationalist, MRA and anti-feminist’ F. Roger Devlin, whose 2006 essay, ‘Sexual Utopia in Power’ can be read as one, but by no means ‘the’ authoritative text on why r/Incel would come to be. Devlin argues that the ‘anarchy’ of the sexual revolution gave rise to the ‘terror’ of a feminist sexual utopia where hypergamy (in this context, women striving for a small, select group of men) rules the roost, depriving the majority of men of sexual agency and reducing the institution of marriage to something that benefits women, but not men.

    Devlin’s essay – worth reading in full: https://dontmarry.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/sexualutopia.pdf – has been praised by many within the ‘manosphere’ but not least by Roosh Valizadeh, or Roosh V, whose brand of self-assertiveness, bravado and pick-up artistry is recognised by Nagle in her book, along with similar trends such as Gavin McInnes’ ‘Proud Boys’: https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-51959.html

    I don’t think that the ideological connections we draw between these various groups or movements ought to have hatred or a disposition to violence as the common denominator, though there are certainly examples of that. I think we’ve seen several different means of recognising, discussing and finding ways to overcome a perceived lack of agency on the part of men, in a primordially feminist climate: a return to traditional values (McInnes’ ‘Proud Boys’), a nihilistic embrace of involuntary celibacy (r/Incel), bravado and self-assertion (Roosh V) or more troubling intersections with alt-right political discourse. Or, as we might infer from Jordan Peterson’s recent popularity, a call-to-arms rejection of the archetypal ‘weak man-child’ and an impetus on men to clean up their rooms, and their act, if they want to succeed.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Jack. Thanks for your thoughtful contribution. I’ve read Kill All Normies by Angela Nagle, which was useful as you mentioned. It’s also a useful primer into some of the dark subcultures of the internet.

      I will read the links you sent with keen interest.

      You make a good point about what kind of common denominator we should draw from these groups, and it’s certainly true they’re not all violent. It seems to me a loss of perceived “masculinity” appears to be the vein running through all these groups, which is expressed in different ways, with violence being the worst of them.

  4. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
    DU
    Deleted User

    Keep typing Linh.

    I want the Incels of life where I can see them–so Reddit would have been fine with me. I find the snowflake and women’ victimization culture abhorrent, self-centered, and sickeningly self-indulgent. I’m led to believe these people have little emotional knowledge of or empathy for others and seem not to know how to take care of themselves in the here and now. They’ve learned to deflect, displace, and compensate. Broad statements but worthy of further investigation. I think it’s also fair to say the Incel types have problems of their own. It’s one thing for them to propagate a celibate abstraction whatever their issues with women. It’s quite another for them to go out and kill a few or advocate killing and raping them because they’re angry. We would do well to know far more about the snowflake culture, Incels, and all the other similar types.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Thank you so much Jonathan, that really means a lot, I shall keep typing. 🙂

      I’ll also reply to your other comment here. I’m not sure about the number of the movement as a whole and will dig into that, but as the New York Times reported here( https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/technology/incels-reddit-banned.html) the r/incels subreddit had 40,000 members at the time before it was banned, and many of them have now moved to incels.me.

      You’re spot on to say it’s reasonably fine to have a place to vent, but it’s a whole different story to inflict violence on women. Because of these real world consequences, society would benefit from learning about this internet subculture and other similar types, which Fiona has given below (Men Going Their Own Way, Red Pill, etc).

      By all means it would please me very much if you wish to contribute to this. A large section of this piece will be looking at the ‘scientific’ studies incels cite to justify their ideology, and whether they hold up.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
        DU
        Deleted User

        Absolutely my pleasure. I will contribute, but first data-viz.

  5. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
    DU
    Deleted User

    Out of curiosity Linh, are there any vaguely reliable estimates of the number of people in this movement? Are we talking 300, 3000, 30000,300000, 3000000? Do we know their pre-banishment size at reddit?

  6. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    As if WT could be remotely honest about the origin of these communities without incurring massive social backlash. Be real.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hello Brandon, I appreciate your concern. A social backlash is to be expected with a piece such as this – as with many pieces – so we shall go ahead with it nonetheless. The reality of journalism and journalists is that we cannot avoid the potential criticisms that come our way.Thank you.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        You’re missing my point. There’s an unavoidable chilling effect in play here.

        All you’ll see here is “acceptable” commentary. Anything else will be self censored out of fear or resignation.

        The vast majority of people who see any legitimacy to men’s rights issues are simply silent on the subject for obvious pragmatic reasons. This forced silence has consequences. It shapes everything else.

        The core purpose of moderation policy here especially is to maintain social legitimacy and there are topics that simply cannot be honestly discussed without real risk of destroying that perception of legitimacy simply because there are social issues which shut down all logic in the majority of participants.

        The incels and such only exist in anonymous unmoderated corners of the net expressly because MRA itself has become a pejorative, and if we’re honest, to do anything other than celebrate this fact incurs real risk. Like risk of losing your job, your home, your family.

        Given all that, it’s self delusion to believe anything like open discussion on such topics can exist here unless WT itself is willing to be branded with the same iron as the MRAs and such.

        We live in a society where being in an unpopular political demonstration can cost you your career and home, for starters. In some places it can cost you your life. In a place that forces real name exposure, the chilling effect is obvious.

        I simply want that made note of. This is going to be the Disney censored vanilla version of discussion on this topic and it will only proceed in sanctioned directions. WT is not going to be able to avoid that unless they are willing to really endure hate brigades.

        It’s a lot like how one can’t criticize Israeli military policy without being branded an antisemite. Only 10x worse.

        To pretend legitimate debate under these conditions is laughable. To deny that is pure denial. I felt someone needed to say that.

  7. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    The lede currently states:

    “Incel, short for “involuntarily celibate,” is an ideological group that quickly grew out of a now-banned forum on Reddit (New York Times). Originally an r/incels subreddit forum where young men discussed their lack of sexual activities, the Incel group evolved into a doctrine, whereby, according to Vox, it’s not just women incels hate, but society”

    However, that overlooks the fact that the first Incel community was started in the 90s by a woman. She created the community and ran it for a while, then handed it off to someone she didn’t know. It developed into r/Incels as an offshoot of that. I propose we change the lede to:

    “Incel, short for “involuntarily celibate,” is a term that was coined in 1993 by a woman to describe her lack of sexual opportunities, but developed into a male-only ideological group, culminating in the now-banned r/incels forum on Reddit (New York Times). The Incels subreddit forum was initially a place for young men to discuss their lack of sexual activities, but evolved into a doctrine, whereby, according to Vox, it’s not just women incels hate, but society.”

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Kat, thank you so much for your revision to be considered. What you wrote is true, but what WT wrote is not untrue either. While it’s true that the first Incel community was started by a woman (as we wrote further down in the call-out) it is also true that the community “quickly grew” out of Reddit. I made sure not to write it “started”, because that would be false; but the Reddit forum was the place where it really took off. Do let me know your thoughts, and if you still think it needs to be more explicit, we can tweak it a bit. Thank you.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Makes sense. I defer to your judgment.

  8. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Just curious, but as someone who has spent significant chunks of her adulthood “involuntarily celibate”, I wonder where women fit in this debate? Are these males unaware that frustration is not an exclusively male territory?

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      The Incel community was initially founded by a woman in 1993, but from what I understand, the current Incel community generally believes it is impossible for a woman to be an incel.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Rachel, while women can be incel in the literal sense of the word – as Kat said, the Incel community generally does not regard women to be as such, since a large portion of the ideology is predicated on men blaming women for their lack of sexual activities.

  9. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Taking these questions in order –

    What other internet subcultures are similar to Incel?

    It’s contentious to say they’re similar, as they all tend to hate each other – but the PUAs, MGTOW, /r/redpill, and AVFM are all connected to the same ‘manosphere’ as incels. PUAhate was the forum Elliott Rogers was active on but this was closed soon after he went on his killing spree

    And what other internet subcultures have emerged in retaliation?

    The closest I can think of is /r/inceltears – which also has many former incels on it discussing how they got out of that mindset. There’s also a very active anti-MRA community who work against incels in online spaces too. David Futrelle has done a lot of in-depth coverage on the ‘manosphere’.

    What are some of the more significant developments that are similar to the Toronto attack?

    George Sodini was another member of that ‘sphere’ who committed mass-murder in Pennsylvania.

    Where do incels congregate now that their Reddit forum has been banned?

    Incels have moved to the reddit board /r/braincels, 4chan’s 9rk board, and also incel.me – braincels tries to distance itself from acts of violence, as you can see from the stickied post at the top. I would suggest people go into the comments and decide for themselves how well they’re doing on that front.

    What are some of the terminologies they use to communicate?

    Chad/Stacy = non-incels/people with an active sex-life (see also ‘normies’)
    Supreme Gentleman = Elliott Rogers, who gave himself that name in one of his many, many, YouTube videos.
    Blackpill = The MRAs talk about taking the “red pill” to ‘wake yourself up’ to the ‘reality’ that women actually run the world. Incels take it one step further. You take the ‘black pill’
    Femoids = female + humanoids, an attempt to render women ‘less than human’ in discussion
    Trucel = an ‘incel’ is involuntarily celibate who might have sex one day. A trucel is celibate for life
    Hypergamy = the idea that women sleep “up” in society, leaving men on their rung of the ‘sexual ladder’ behind. This comes with a whole lot of extra crude terminology.
    There’s a ton more and there are nuances to the above that I just haven’t put in.

    What draws young men to these communities in the first place?

    That is a very complicated question with quite a few different answers but this is a good take from a self-described former incel – https://www.reddit.com/r/IncelTears/comments/8fd7in/a_story_from_a_former_incel_how_i_got_myself_out/

  10. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    The Elle article does not state that Alana abandoned her website because it was dominated by men (as is currently suggested in this piece):
    “You know, in grade school, the cooties thing?” she ventures. “You don’t want to hang out with someone less cool than you are, in case you catch the uncoolness.”

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Thanks, fixed that now.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Be the first to collaborate on our developing articles

WikiTribune Open menu Close Search Like Back Next Open menu Close menu Play video RSS Feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Youtube Connect with us on Linkedin Connect with us on Discord Email us