The Incel delusion

How wrong can you be? How twisted can your perspective get? Just ask an incel.

So wrong it makes creationists look reasonable. I’m not even going to try to address any of that BS, except to note that anyone who bases their arguments on sexual market value is delusional and anti-science. Is there a stronger prefix than “anti-“? Like so far to an extreme contrary position that you’re ripping a tear in the fabric of space-time?

Yeah, found on We Hunted the Mammoth.


  1. jrkrideau says

    ISIS is beginning to look like advocates for womens’ lib compared the these ravings.

    Unfortunately it seems they are dangerous as well as nuts.

  2. says

    The “sexual market value” stuff is straight out of a PUA manual, right? It seems that ‘incel’ is the necessary flip-side to PUA – if there are guys who are successful in the strictly binary score-oriented mindset of a PUA, there are going to be those who hold down the other end of the spectrum. I know SJWs have been not letting the PUAs off the hook, either, but it seems to me these are the same problem – I would be interested to know if the self-identification of “incels” tracks the rise of PUA culture (especially if they’re using the same terminology). How many of these guys went to a PUA site and tried a few pickup lines and some negging, and it didn’t get them what they wanted, therefore the world hates them?

  3. lotharloo says

    I’m still struggling with the basics I guess but how do you measure sexual market value again?

    Also, if a woman has bottomed out on her sex partners, does she need to run for half an hour on the treadmill to increase it via exercise?

  4. mcbender says

    @Marcus – David Futrelle has been covering these people for a while, and they definitely got their start that way. (Well, sort of – it turns out the term ‘incel’ was actually created by a woman and intended to be used in a very different manner before they stole it.) These are people who bought into the vile PUA ideology, tried it and couldn’t “succeed” with it. But rather than question their fundamental assumptions, they decided it all had to be the fault of women and they’d be best served by hating them more.

    Elliot Rodger frequented a forum called “PUA Hate” who hated PUAs not for their misogyny, but because they couldn’t get their tactics to work. The incel community lionises Rodger and calls him “Saint Elliot”.

    The further down this rabbit hole you look, the more terrifying it gets. Though I shouldn’t use that metaphor, Carroll doesn’t deserve the comparison and at bare minimum a more predatory animal than rabbits would be more appropriate.

  5. says

    I’m still struggling with the basics I guess but how do you measure sexual market value again?

    Well, since they’re calling it a “market value” I assume they mean there’s a market – so “market value” would be “whatever someone is willing to pay for a commodity.”

    Their idea of economics is pretty simplistic, and they are treating humans as commodities. To a certain extent, there is a market for human ${work|attention|time} but it doesn’t seem to me that people enjoy being treated as commodities by others. Perhaps that’s part of their problem: they’re assholes.

  6. says

    The further down this rabbit hole you look, the more terrifying it gets.

    I’ve read WHTM intermittently and it’s pretty depressing stuff. My interests lean toward massive outpourings of human cruelty and stupidity (politics and war) and so I avoid the individual close-up view of human nastiness that you get on WHTM.

    These are people who bought into the vile PUA ideology, tried it and couldn’t “succeed” with it. But rather than question their fundamental assumptions, they decided it all had to be the fault of women and they’d be best served by hating them more.

    Yeah, it’s weird. It’s “this person I hate, is what I want.” It’s like they have managed to completely misunderstand very important parts of how people interact. Their minds must be very unhappy twisty knots of contradiction and self-hatred.

    I used to know a guy who turned out to be a PUA (I didn’t know he was until some stuff he said started to sink in…) and I was pretty freaked out by how he has chosen to allow someone/something to so completely control him. And he mistakes that for success and strength. We had one slightly-tipsy conversation about some of that, and I decided I didn’t need him in my life anymore. The PUAs are in the same headspace as the incels: they are completely obsessed with a form of value that is outside of themselves – it’s impossible not to hate themselves.

    I’m just blathering. I don’t really want to understand the PUAs or incels. I’d be just as happy if I never encounter one, ever. The problem is they don’t appear to be content with leaving others alone.

  7. johnson catman says

    Every time a woman sleeps with a new man she lose one (1) rank on her sexual-market value card, until she reach the lowest rank (1/10).

    Bad grammar. Don’t these idiots ever proofread?
    But, what about the menz? Don’t they lose a rank when they sleep with a new woman? (Rhetorical question. I know what their answer would be.)

    Women with more than 9 sexual partners and single moms should be forced by the state to date and have sex with incels that can’t get any women despite the above changes.

    (my emphasis)
    I say go fuck yourself. Or satisfy yourself with masturbation. These idiots are dangerous.

  8. says

    This is genius! A woman loses a point every time she gets a new partner until a the *4th partner when they become state’s meat and have to have forced partners forever making them sexual slaves. And isn’t that what they wanted all along?
    Somebody give this asshole a price, and by that, I mean a nice kick in the balls.
    *statically the average woman is a 5, right? How does that even work? Do same sex partners count for or against? What if she has all her teeth but is highly educated? What if she has an opinion, or worse yet, thoughts? …So many questions.

  9. cartomancer says

    This reminds me of Xenophon’s Oeconomikos. Specifically the dialogue of Socrates and Ischomachus, where Ischomachus tells Socrates how he trained his young wife to look after his household so well that he has plenty of time to engage with public business and doesn’t have to worry about it.

    Ischomachus is rather against his wife wearing make-up too. But in his case it’s because he thinks the “deception” is pointless, and speaks of distrust between husband and wife. He says it would be like him wearing make up to make himself look healthier, or lying to her about how much wealth he has (and hence they share).

    This text is considered a classic statement of the gendered double-standards implicit in aristocratic Athenian society in the early 4th Century BC. Athens being one of the most misogynistic and least equal of Greek cities. And yet… here we are two and a half millennia later and this guy is actually more casually misogynistic than Xenophon’s characters. Takes some doing.

  10. microraptor says

    I ended up blocking a whole lot of people on an MMO I used to play before finally giving up on the game entirely due in large part to these kind of assholes.

  11. anbheal says

    I’m tempted to ask if this was from The Onion. It’s so close to satire as to be nearly perfect. But the pessimist in me sadly concludes that it’s probably real, and not uncommon in the MRA/PUA/MGTOW/alt-right crowd.

  12. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    If incels actually believe this stuff, both the initial bullshit that is SMV itself, but also the further bullshit about makeup raising SMV, wouldn’t the obvious incel response be to start wearing makeup in order to quickly, simply, and cheaply raise their own SMV?

  13. Chris J says

    2. Women are ONLY allowed to date men with equal sexual market value to them. State-mandated tests should be made adn everyone get a sexual-market value card, ranging from 1/10 to 10/10, like an ID card.

    3. Every time a woman sleeps with a new man she lose one (1) rank on her sexual-market value card, until she reach the lowest rank (1/10).

    I wonder if this “loophole” was intentional? So a woman tests in at 7/10. She then sleeps with another 7/10, since that’s what is allowed. She has slept with a new man, so she loses 1 rank, putting her at a 6/10. Whoops. So now she sleeps with a 6/10 man, since you can ONLY sleep with someone at your rank. New man, 5/10. And so on until you fall to 1/10.

    Oh yeah, you can rise through the ranks “through exercise.” But I have a feeling that this guy doesn’t want that to be a way for someone to “recover” from sleeping with someone, they just want an out for men to be able to rise through the ranks to become hotter. Hence exercise, and not anything else.


  14. johnson catman says

    Setting aside who would be doing the rankings of “Sexual Market Value” (SMV), I am sure that these incels would gladly accept their rating from such an objective authority. So when they are rated a 5 by the objective authority instead of the 8 that they perceive themselves in their minds, they won’t object at all and will quietly try to date the women rated as 5s instead of trying to insert themselves into the lives of the 8s that they desire. Sure they will.

    I think it would be better off for everyone if these incels just get themselves a fleshlight, or if they can afford it, a sex doll. That is what they really want. Something (not someone, because that would mean that they have autonomy) to fuck. Hey, that’s the ticket, the government could force them to fuck sex toys. That’s okay, right?

  15. says

    Don’t gotta ban makeup, just let guys wear makeup.
    And yes, of course that would mean the rest of those apply to guys as well.
    But somehow I feel like that’s not the point, and somehow I get the feeling this guy would claim the idea that maybe there are women who are–let’s use their team frustrated virgins–is fake news.

  16. phhht says

    I see this whole “incel” question as evolution at work. The fewer incels and their ilk we breed, the better off the whole species becomes.

  17. says

    Part of the problem with this giving incels rape-slaves of equal SMV is that part of the issue many are incels is that many of them only want to be with women they consider “hot”. A “2/10” incel wants nothing to do with a “2/10” woman.

    And what about sexually frustrated gay and bi men? Do they get male rape-slaves? If there aren’t enough male rape-slaves of equal SMV, will the incels in favour of rape-slavery be willing to volunteer to be rape-slaves?

  18. phhht says

    You’ve got to be stupid indeed if you cannot figure out how to find a sexual partner. As my gramma used to say, every pot has a lid.

    And it sure sounds like these guys are so stupid they can’t even unzip their own flies, much less compete in their own sexual market place. If I were in that market, I’d retire to a cave in the desert before I’d go with one of them. As Jack Reacher put it, Not as long as there are dogs on the street.

  19. stwriley says

    I started reading this and half-way through I was ready to call “Poe” on the whole thing. I mean, how on Earth could someone write this in anything but an attempt at (very poor) humor? But then you provided the link to the original and it became clear this idiot really thinks this is a brilliant idea, because the knuckle-draggers over at WHTM could never manage humor even this bad. And here I thought my opinion of of the MRA/Incel/etc. crowd couldn’t possibly fall lower, but somehow they keep making it fall further into the abyss.

  20. zetopan says

    Pro-female slavery misogynists in action. But no one should call them JACKASS LOSERS! That would be unfair.

  21. says

    The silver lining lies in the fact that it looks like most of these guys will never get to reproduce. Filtering their genes out of the gene pool will be a great benefit to humanity.

  22. davidnangle says

    It’s a fair amount of government oversight and regulation and enforcement. Republicans will resist such expenditures.

    Perhaps it’s a function that can be privatized. And, since it’s free to judge another person… We won’t have the overhead, nor need corporations. Anyone can judge. Everyone.

    Wait… isn’t that what we have now?

  23. says

    Basic rule for “incels” who want to talk about “sexual market value”:

    – If you’re an incel then, by definition, your sexual market value is 0.

  24. says

    The silver lining lies in the fact that it looks like most of these guys will never get to reproduce. Filtering their genes out of the gene pool will be a great benefit to humanity.

    Oh, boy. Social darwinism on pharyngula.

  25. vucodlak says

    Self-esteem, I think, plays a big role in this. It’s not that “incels” have too little, as I’ve seen some suggest, but that they have far too much.

    It was a big thing from the 1980s on up, making sure children have “healthy” self-esteem, as though any amount of esteem for one’s self is healthy. It isn’t. If there’s one thing my parents did right in raising me, it’s teaching me how little worth I really have from a very early age, so that when people tried to tell me I was ‘special’ and ‘wonderful’ and ‘great’ I knew to scream “You’re a damned liar and liars get burned!”

    But not by me, because I am not worthy.

    These people… these “incels” believe themselves worthy. Worthy of kindness, worthy of love, worthy of sex, worthy even of slaves. They go out and murder people because they think they aren’t getting what they’re owed.

    No. It doesn’t work that way. None are worthy. Get over yourselves, you wretched little pukes, and take a peek beneath your skin at the rotten thing underneath. LOOK AT IT. Do you love it? Does it love you? Does it love anything but its mask? No?

    Then give it what it gives you. Take all that hate that you give to the world and everyone in it, and give it to that thing that lives inside your skin. Give it all. Don’t save a single drop for anyone or anything else.

    You are not worthy. You don’t deserve a gods-be-damned thing, let alone a person bound to your beck-and-call. No one does. You take all that hate and turn it inward where it belongs; then and only then, when you are so full of self-loathing that you can’t even look at yourself in the mirror, can you join the rest of us in trying to make sense of this nightmare we all live in.

    Self-hatred is the first step on the path to wisdom. Hate yourself first, before you think to hate another. Strive to fully understand why you should hate yourself, before you think to hate another. Here, I’ll give you one small hint: If you’re reading this, you’re already a slaver. And that’s just a beginning, a single cobblestone in the endless roads of our iniquity.

    Follow every road to its end. Busy are these wicked highways; you’ll not have to travel them alone. But, until you put your hate where it belongs, alone is exactly where you belong.

    Get moving.

  26. chrislawson says


    Since the incel belief system is not genetically inherited, their reproductive success is irrelevant. The problem with incel is not evolutionary, it’s social. And their beliefs and values are not just harmful to women (for obvious reasons) but to men as well. Instead of helping frustrated men to work out healthy courting behaviours (i.e. how to be decent humans), they’re teaching them horrifying misogyny with a huge side serve of malicious entitlement. The only way this ends well for any of the men involved is to wake up to how awful the movement is and to leave it.

  27. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    …seriously. Dude. Aren’t you the one whose friend was murdered by people who assumed him to be without value?

    If you’re not meaning to say that those murderers were absolutely right and just didn’t take it far enough (IE, applying the same view to their own demographic) then you’re Communicating Badly.

  28. Kreator says

    vucodlak @30, your post reminds me of my own thoughts… when I’m feeling suicidal, which happens more often that I’d like. Please reconsider your stance or at least take into account that such comments can be profoundly triggering. Besides, if you investigate enough about them (which I don’t recommend in this case) you’ll find out that incels already follow your advice and hate themselves quite a bit, they just project that hate upon women and whoever they perceive to be their allies/enablers.

  29. devnll says

    Gee; d’you think maybe the reason these toolbags are involuntarily celibate might possibly have something to do with the fact that they keep opening their mouths and _that_ comes out?

  30. vucodlak says

    @ Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y, #34

    Really? I thought I was quite clear that no one has the right to do to others as they please. Apparently not. So I’ll say it again.

    No one has the right to treat other people like things. No one has the right to do with others however they please. No one has the right to ‘revenge themselves’ upon others. No one has the right to take their hate out on others.

    Incels obviously believe they do have those rights. Nazis too. They are wrong. If they wish to hate, they should put that hate where it belongs, just as I have. Instead, they focus their hatred outward. I believe this is what comes of the endless lies about all the things we ‘deserve,’ as though the word had any meaning. Too often, these are things it’s impossible for all of us to have, because somebody always gets stepped on in the process.

    We should be kind and merciful to one another; that’s what my hate has taught me. Not because anyone is worthy or deserving or special, but because it’s the only way things will ever get better.

    Aren’t you the one whose friend was murdered by people who assumed him to be without value?

    See, to me it’s beyond fucked up that someone sees a thing without value (as far as they can see) and thinks it’s therefore ok to do as they please with said thing, including destroy it. Everything has some kind of value. Forgetting that leads to carelessness and cruelty.

    Saying people are not worthy is not the same as saying they are worthless. No one is worthless. However, no person is worthy to kill/enslave/exploit me or anyone else, because there is no meaningful way in which we can say one person’s life is more valuable than any other. Any attempt to measure people’s worth in this way leads us straight to hell every single time.

    Even if someone or something were without value, what gives someone the right to harm or destroy them? What makes the destroyer so certain they have value?

    My point is that every person needs to take a good, long look at themselves before they decide they have the right to do with someone else as they please.

    @ Kreator, #35

    I apologize, I didn’t think my comment would be triggering. I should have put a warning. However, I strongly disagree with this:

    you’ll find out that incels already follow your advice and hate themselves quite a bit, they just project that hate upon women and whoever they perceive to be their allies/enablers.

    That’s… pretty much the complete opposite of what I said. If they followed my advice, they wouldn’t be projecting. They’d know they have no right to say things like the OP.

    I chose the language of self-hate because that’s the lens through which I view the world. I hate myself, and I’m a better person for it. Not a good person; I don’t have that in me. But I am a person who recognizes his guilt, who understands the road he walks on and helps to build is paved in bone and washed in blood.

    Now, I can say “well I didn’t build this road alone,” or “everyone else walks a grisly path,” but those are evasions. Where my feet walk is my responsibility, and it is the steps I have (or haven’t) taken, in ignorance, cruelty and apathy, that fills me with self-loathing. I have played my part, and the only way I can hope to be a little better than I might otherwise have been is to remind myself where the hatred I feel for this path belongs: with me.

    If I were a better person, maybe I could do more with love. I’m not. I barely understand the concept of love. There is a maxim (which I hate) that one should love one-self before expecting love from others. What do you do if you don’t understand love? I make do with what I have. I have hate, so I hate myself. It’s not fun, but it’s instructive.

    Without love, empathy, too, is nearly alien to me. The only way I can get to it is to recognize that I am not worthy, yet I still hope for mercy and forgiveness. So I will try to be merciful and forgiving to others. Ersatz compassion is the only kind I have to offer.

    It’s late, and I doubt I’m making any sense. Perhaps I’ll try again tomorrow, if it’s permitted.

  31. lanir says

    Let’s try a thought experiment. What if I also have an unusual belief about how the universe works?

    I believe that if I flap my arms hard enough, I can fly. Once I’m in the air I am free to fly and glide as long as I like before I come down. Of course, I haven’t seen this actually work yet and not too many people really agree with me, which is something of a problem. But the solution is clear.

    The rest of the world must simply alter their lives wholesale to accomodate my odd beliefs. I have in mind some means of addressing this, any of you in legislatures please take note.

    1. Upon notification or obvious public flapping, a litter is to be brought and staffed by anyone nearby.
    2. It is very important the litter be kept level at all times. A tilt would interrupt the immersion because a tilted flyer goes in circles, so this is very important. I wouldn’t want to feel like I wasn’t getting anywhere.
    3. Any bearers are wholly responsible for finding replacements should they desire to leave. If they cannot find a replacement, they must stay and serve until the end. Remember, I believe I can fly until the cows come home if I’m of a mind to.
    4. Removal and storage of the litter at the far end cannot be my responsibility as this would also break immersion.
    5. Food, lodging and arrangements for a return to their point of origin are likewise the bearer’s responsibility.

    I am a kind and generous person so I would stand at times and flap grandly to reward the little people carrying me about (who doesn’t want to feel like they’re a part of something grand and majestic?). I caution against making this mandatory, however. Not all bearers will be the same and some will deserve this special treatment more than others.

    I am currently considering taking a cross country “flight” a few states over. As the suggestions PJ quotes above could lead to abusive treatment, rape, and pregnancy I humbly suggest we try my approach as a pilot program first to prove out the concepts involved. I believe this makes a great deal of objective sense and my opinion obviously has nothing to do with how it would benefit me personally. As my bearer, he would be responsible for carrying me until I got tired of the idea or until he found someone else to take his place. He will need others to recruit others to help him anyway, and it is not callous of me to suggest he take responsibility for this. Rather it is the callous disregard of the world at large to my plight that has kept me flightless for so long. I casually and with little thought volunteer him and his like to help me right this great wrong.

  32. kurt1 says

    This seems really impractical. Do my girlfriend and I have to get a license so we can continue dating? Do we have to stand before the committee for objective SVM assessment first? What if our objective sexual market value differs? I mean if she scores higher than I, she just has to sleep with x people to get on my level and then start exercising to not fall further. Or is it possible that the less attractive partner pays the difference in sexual market value as a fine? But what if I score higher, I can’t loose points in that system by sleeping with someone. Do I have to gain weight or mutilate myself to lower my SMV?

    Also what happens to the cosmetic industry? A lot of mens (since they don’t consider women to be people) livelihoods will be ruined.

  33. says

    I can be quite sympathetic to the incel crowd, it’s a horrible position to be in and leads to all kinds of psychological problems, but this is just… delusion is the right word for it. It’s so disconnected from any world in which anything other than the writer has thoughts or feelings or goddamn rights… it’s hard to even understand how anyone can hold such ideas. It should collapse under its own weight almost immediately.

  34. DLC says

    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” widely attributed to Einstein. These self-described “Incels” are trapper in that. They picked up the “PUA” bullshit from some idiotic corner of the man-o-sphere and when it doesn’t work for them (it never does, btw) they turn against women because admitting that they were wrong just isn’t possible with them. Of course, they have a fundamental flaw besides confirmation bias. They have the fundamental flaw of thinking that women are a commodity. They aren’t people to form relationships with, they are conquests, the further away from virginity the lower the score. I really hope there aren’t too many of them.

  35. says

    Two important points to note about incels:

    1) They want a baby-bird lifestyle – one in which everything which is necessary for their well-being, health and happiness is shoved down their gob without them having to do anything to obtain it.

    2) The lack of sex isn’t actually the thing they’re whinging about. The lack of sex is merely the symptomatic hook on which they’ve hung their entire resentment of a world which isn’t set up to hand them the baby-bird lifestyles they want.

    Basically, the incel argument with the world is much the same one as the channers, the ‘gaters, and so on: how dare the world not be more like the media properties they consumed from a young age, wherein their charmed existence as part of the One True Demographic (young, white, male, middle-class, Christian-identified, educated, able-bodied, neurotypical, and cis-heterosexual) would automatically result in their possession of a home, a car, a job for life, and a female companion who was at least “Hollywood homely”. How dare all these people who used to exist solely on the sufferance of People Like Them (eg women, non-white people, disabled people, neuro-atypical people, etc) suddenly not only exist in public, but also be able to demand that which was Theirs By Right (homes, jobs, incomes, etc). The world is clearly broken.

  36. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Interesting perspective, vucodlak. Sounds painful, but I sympathize. It seems that logically, your normative statements are invalidated by the nihilism inherent in your attitude; but I guess what matters for me is not the validity-in-principle, but how I feel about what you say. I totally agree “that every person needs to take a good, long look at themselves before they decide they have the right to do with someone else as they please”.

    We’re all suffering this life together (I blame parents), until it ends (which mostly perpetuates suffering in others; but it won’t forever).

    As for “the incels”, do I find that “community” toxic? Absolutely. Is what the OP contains abhorrent to me? Oh yes. Is it logically consistent, or rather, are proponents of such propositions willing to follow each consequence contained in their maxims? I don’t think so.

    Still, I understand anguish, and never condone suffering. I take no glee in them “not getting to procreate”, or whatever else they are desperate for. Their anguish does not trump anybody elses of course. But it’s still there.

    Assigning responsiblity is the feeble attempt to create a societal order we can understand and navigate, when really, there is only insane complexity of bosons and fermions bumping into each other, or something. They have no responsibility for their opinions; they have been thrown into this world, too. I don’t think that in the end, blame, punishment, self-loathing or any of that is effective for change. Probably better than doing nothing though, so… keep at it. I am morally paralyzed.

  37. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Incidentally, I would not presume that all incels (or rapists, or murderers, or whatever) are alike. Yes there is a “community” apparently, but biographies and motives will differ substantially. That said, I would also support Meg Thornton’s hypothesis (#43) that privilege plays a large role for many (for incels; not necessarily the others).

  38. thirdmill301 says

    I am “involuntarily celibate” by virtue of being old, fat, and unattractive, but it would never occur to me that the government should provide me with sex partners, willing or otherwise. Nor would it occur to me to kill a bunch of people just because I’m no longer getting laid. Someone needs to tell these guys that in life, as in poker, if you don’t have a good partner you sometimes just have to rely on having a good hand.

  39. cartomancer says

    I don’t think it’s been said on this thread yet, and it probably goes without saying by now, but one thing that really should be done to prevent these people becoming the way they are is to change the cultural messages that people are sent about the importance of sex, virginity and sexuality.

    I’ve struggled with this myself somewhat, albeit in my case with the messages about how important sex is within the gay male world, rather than the heterosexual male world. I don’t think of myself as particularly swayed by broad-brush cultural conditioning of this kind, but even I had somehow bought in to the notion that a key part of being a gay man was being attractive and having lots of sex. I suppose I came to the game quite late, and without any help to navigate what sexuality should mean to me I absorbed the shallow mainstream messages less critically than I should have. So over the last decade since I engaged with this for the first time I have felt some angst and self-loathing about my sexual repulsiveness that seems familiar in these “incel” people. It is only comparatively recently that I have realised this, and achieved the level of self-examination required to recognise that my attitudes were shaped by a problematic culture and a problematic media that was a mix of lowest common denominator pablum, sex-sells cheap advertising and the aftertaste of a decades-long sexual repression still glorifying in sexuality to make up for having been prevented for so long from even acknowledging it.

    I wonder what tools are available in these people’s lives that might allow them to understand how skewed and toxic their world-view has become? I had to do it the hard way, without help, and that’s why it took me the best part of a decade to get comfortable with the fact that the pursuit of sex and sexuality are just not a good fit for me – and that’s ok.

  40. says

    Is this not ‘The Handmaids Tale: Silicon Valley Edition’?

    As a work of game design there’s a sick logic to this. It’s premised on the idea that:

    (a) incel guys want to bang hot women (they are not interested in less-hot women);

    (b) to help them bang hot women the state must create a gamification system so that hot women who have too many partners (because hot women sleep around a lot, amirite?) are devalued in the marketplace to the point where the state forces them to sleep with incels.

    We live in an age where the Chinese state is creating a social ranking system to punish the anti-social. It’s not so much of a reach to imagine some techie dudebro edgelord creating something Orwellian to aid his incel pals.

  41. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says


    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” widely wrongly attributed to Einstein.

    FTFY. (It probably originated in the AA community.)

  42. says

    So, how will long-term, monogamous relationships work? You can only date women of the same SMV as you, but she drops a rung the moment you have sex with her, so you’ll have to break up immediately afterwards.

    It’s almost as if this is just a poorly thought out excuse for advocating sex slavery.

  43. Onamission5 says

    Reading over some of the comments I find myself wondering if there is anything men can do to or say about women that is vile enough other men won’t fall over themselves to express sympathy for the terrible hardships.

    Feeling entitled to sex because one put x number of niceness tokens into the sex bot isn’t a sympathy worthy pov, but these assholes don’t even go that far. What we have here are men whose deep, seething loathing for women radiates off them to the extent that they can’t even get one to come within date raping distance, and some of y’all feel sorry for them? A passel of wannabe if not actual rapists have coalesced around their mutual misogyny and we’re supposed to cluck and coo at them as if they are sad puppies rather than men who go on shooting sprees or drive vans over pedestrians? Being so reeking of toxicity that you feel entitled to the implementation of government rape-slavery squads is just what lost, sad boys do when girls won’t fuck them, eh?

    Fuck that shit. These are guys who want to rape and murder women, who have found each other and a label to hide behind. When women are murdered, they cheer. That’s what people are sympathizing with, feeling sorry for, talking about the anguish of– men who cheer murder and want to rape women self reporting that they the way they are because they are unable to get laid. Why are we taking their word for it, exactly? Why do they get the benefit if the doubt that they don’t really want women to be raped and murdered?

  44. rietpluim says

    Spouting sexism to prove they are not sexist is not going to persuade anybody. At least, not anybody who isn’t sexist themselves.

  45. says


    What we have here are men whose deep, seething loathing for women radiates off them to the extent that they can’t even get one to come within date raping distance, and some of y’all feel sorry for them?

    I’m with you. It’s not that these guys can’t have sex, it’s that they feel entitled to the ‘Stacys’, which are the most beautiful women. They aren’t interested in any woman below ‘Stacy’ level, and they certainly are not interested in simply getting to know a woman as a person.

    The incels are nothing more that men carrying around an aggrieved entitlement chip the size of a tank.

  46. Onamission5 says

    Pursuing sex with less attractive women isn’t the answer, because a lack of sex isn’t the problem. If it was, men who do have sex when they want to wouldn’t be misogynist, they wouldn’t rape or kill, and we all know that’s not the case. “Involuntary celibacy” is the excuse, not the reason, for these guy’s rape-murder fantasies. Deciding non supermodels are fuckable after all would do jack shit to fix their woman hate. Not to mention the “unfuckable” women avoid them, too, because see: aforementioned seething misogyny so deep they can’t disguise it even as long as an MRA or PUA.

    I wouldn’t wish a sex partner who cheers for murder and rape of women on any woman, so called Stacy or no. You can’t fuck that kind of mindset away, much as they’d like us to believe it’s possible.

    Nah. What these guys want is women to use and abuse women regardless of how we feel about it and without changing a thing about themselves. What they offer us is what all abusers promise, that if they get what they want, everything they want, they’ll behave this time, they swear, after all, aren’t they the real victims? They only act this way because we make them. The only thing separating them from bog standard abusers is a lack of performative apology to keep the victim on the hook. They hate women unapologetically and they want us to feel sorry for them because they’d rather see us raped than see us as people.

  47. MHiggo says

    phhht @22 — With all due respect to your grandma, that simply isn’t true. There isn’t a lid for every pot, and some people die without ever finding a partner. The goal (which took me entirely too long to grasp) is to carve out a life that is enjoyable and rewarding on its own, so that if someone does come along their presence can complement your life rather than complete it.

    cartomancer @47 — I’m in much the same boat, and I appreciate you raising the point. It seems like removing sexual prowess as a marker of worthiness would go some way toward easing the culture of toxic masculinity in which the incel community is steeped. What sympathy I feel for incels — the ones not advocating for rape, murder, or subjugation of women — largely stems from how close I came to being one of them. I drifted into that orbit in the early 2000s after reading about Brian Gilmartin’s work on “love-shyness” ( It resonated with me at the time, but some interactions on those forums plus a tendency to direct anger and frustration inward rather than outward convinced me that was not the way to go. Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but I’d like to think there are others in that orbit who can be similarly swayed.

  48. says

    My perception is that it isn’t even the sex they’re after. They are hung up on the false idea that the only way for men to obtain social status is to have sex. Their actual goal is to rise in the (male) social hierarchy by banging a lot.

  49. says

    Yep, Caine and Onamission
    It is a serious case of misplaced empathy, but it always is*.
    Problem is that people are projecting feelings of being unloved which we can all easily relate to onto these guys.
    But they don’t want love and companionship. Plenty of men and women want that and don’t get it for various reasons, often for none other than “life isn’t fair, suck it up.
    What they want is a sex bot, only they wouldn’t want an actual sex bot because how could they feel validated by a machine?
    This is why please nobody suggest sex workers as an alternative because most importantly,. sex workers don’t exist to take “one for the team” so us “good women” don’t have to deal with the creeps.
    Secondly they view sex work as the ultimate injustice because women dare to charge men for what they think they’re owed.
    Go read some Michael Kimmel y’all.

    *Want some more examples? They have found the person responsible for the Golden State Murders: the woman who broke up with him and then went to have a good life.
    And just this morning I heard a piece on the news about the rape of a woman during a rock concert. Most of the segment dealt with how the band members are feeling now.

  50. unclefrogy says

    I am not sure what ironic is in this context.
    They, if what they say is what they really want , are incapable of working together for very long the distrust and loathing will work against sustained any cooperation being possible. I like the idea that they want the baby-bird life, seems accurate and like many baby birds they will kill their nest mates without a qualm.
    For me to have that attitude would be from some kind of pain I have no idea what kind of pain could produce that reaction but I sure as hell can not fix it for them.
    life is sometimes painful some times it is not
    “some times the light is all shinning on me other times I can hardly see. Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been” G. Garcia

  51. Onamission5 says

    Misplaced empathy, yes.

    Just as a thought exercise, if people really want to hone their sense of empathy, try imagining what it’s like being a teenaged girl entering the dating world now that the guys who fantasize about– and sometimes act upon– raping or murdering you for exercising your right not to date them are getting organized. Girls are under enough pressure not to hurt a guy’s feelings lest he react badly already, now they also have to worry about his friends targeting total strangers because you dared say the word no.

  52. The Mellow Monkey says

    Giliell @ 60

    What they want is a sex bot, only they wouldn’t want an actual sex bot because how could they feel validated by a machine?

    Yep. They want a human being who is to their exacting standards, so that they can then dehumanize her into a sexbot. At absolute best, what they desire is an actively abusive dynamic. If you look into the community, you’ll find some so-called incels are actually sexually active and some are even in committed relationships. Most aren’t starving for human companionship: they’re full of rage and entitlement, not loneliness. Quite often targets for their rage are women who were nice to them or showed interest.

    Going at this from the perspective of “gosh, yeah, it sure sucks not having human contact and pining for intimacy” is missing a lot of fundamentals about the community and the violent, narcissistic misogyny behind it.

  53. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    I disagree that empathy for people who harm other people is misplaced (meaning what exactly, btw? Undeserved?). To the contrary, I feel that in order to change things, you have to get involved with them. I appreciate that it is hard to stomach (and I certainly wouldn’t want to deal with most people who broadly fall in the category), but that does not make it less of an issue. I appreciate that strong denouncements may also necessary to delineate the moral fabric of a society (as in “how you, the denouncing person, would like society to be”), but that does not mean that this is what it takes to change anything at all. At times, it may be counterproductive and just devolve into shouting matches (as in Trump voters versus rest).

    So, we can argue about whether there are more pragmatic approaches (say, cartomancer #47’s top-down cultural change) to changing people’s minds than directly interacting with them. But I personally won’t stop feeling bad if I envision what negative experiences shaped people to be what they are. Bringing an understanding perspective to the table may after all be useful, if unpopular.

    This does not take away anything from how bad I feel if I envision what any victims feel like. Also, I don’t feel like my trying to understand people equals being apologetic (except in the broadest sense reflective of a deterministic world view). If an autonomous drone went on a killing spree, you don’t have to like it in order to go through the log files and figure out what went wrong. I would not judge the person trying to find that out.

  54. Onamission5 says

    Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer
    If that person was all “oh no, the poor drone!” without a word for the victims? If they decided they knew better than the victims what the effects of the drone’s actions were? If they’d programmed the drone in the first place, if the reasons they gave were horseshit and handwaved over the human damage? I would judge the living hell out of them.

    But these guys aren’t drones, it’s not a matter of pulling a chip or tweaking a rotor. No one can issue a recall. They are humans deliberately and consciously reveling in harm to other humans, encouraging each other toward further acts of harm. They aren’t lost, they aren’t lonely sad sacks, they are a danger to others and they are organized around their desire to cause abiding pain to women who dare make their own life choices. If you don’t understand that first, if you don’t understand the harm they do, if you don’t empathize and identify first and foremost with the victims and instead wave it off, you can’t understand how to address it.

    The thing about abusers is, they tell whatever lies are useful to them. So accepting their narrative of lonely sad sack only reinforces their sense of entitlement. You have the advantage here of reading their actual beliefs regarding women, of seeing that they do in fact have a community, and you still accept the narrative that they’re just isolated and lonely and they hate women because they can’t get a date, instead of maybe considering that it’s likely the misogyny would exist regardless of what women did or didnt do to them and this group just happens to express an especially revolting form.

    Or, shorter: Read Melllow Monkey @63 again.

  55. lotharloo says

    Well, I did fall into the rabbit hole and lurked a bit at the site. Wow, it’s a fucking zoo. First of all, yes, it is blatantly and strongly misogynistic and after sending a bit of time, I can clearly see why David Futrelle thinks the OP is not satire or Poe. Second of all, it is a zoo. There are certainly racist users but it seems there are also a number of non-white users. There are discussions of “racistscels” or “white incels who just want to sleep with white women” or “fakecels” (people who have actually had sex before), there are “ethniccels” and “currycels” (which I could not figure out if it was a racist slur used by white people against the minorities or it was a term of choice by the minorities). Three, evolutionary psychology is very very popular with these guys and they come up with all sorts of crazy theories on women and mate selection. Four, they write crap like this all the time:

    To preface this point, we need to keep in mind what are the mathematically proven standards for being attractive, “medium,” and “significantly below medium” according to the opposite sex

  56. says

    Gorgoh, Lounging Peacromancer

    To the contrary, I feel that in order to change things, you have to get involved with them. I appreciate that it is hard to stomach (and I certainly wouldn’t want to deal with most people who broadly fall in the category), but that does not make it less of an issue.

    Oh fuck that shit.
    Are you there doing that? Are you befriending some incel guy and show him that there’s so m uch more to life than sex and that women are human beings, or are you just out here telling us womenfolks that while it’s “hard to stomach” we really must try?
    I’m sick and tired of this shit.
    I’m sick and tired of how the victims of oppression are always told how we must feel for the oppressors.
    Really, we must have empathy for the racist white guy in rural whatsoever who voted for Trump.
    We must have empathy with the Nazi walking through town with a torch.
    Black folks must have empathy with white people who are just uncomfortable with black folks and call the police on them.
    Gay people must understand that a homophobic doctor’s refusal to treat their six days old child is just acting on their heartfelt belief and imagine how cruel it would be if a doctor had to help a baby regardless of their parents!
    If only the Parkland kids had been nicer to Nicolas Cruz!
    If you need to have empathy with those people because a “kind soul” might actually make them change go have it somewhere where it might have an actual effect. Nobody is stopping anybody from doing that, but what you all are constantly doing is demand that their victims must have that empathy.

  57. unclefrogy says

    We must have empathy with the Nazi walking through town with a torch.

    sure I have empathy for them and for all the others and I will feel real bad and take no pleasure if I am forced to shoot them down to protect myself and others. It is really very very sad!

    uncle frogy

  58. Hairhead, Still Learning at 59 says

    There’s a lot of flumfering around here about having empathy and understanding — that’s all well and good, civilized, and such, but that kind of stuff comes later — MUCH later. Our primary responsibility as civilized individuals and as a society at least pretending to equality is to STOMP THIS SHIT OUT NOW!

    To make the image simpler, just put it this way: we now have actual fucking Nazis protesting and killing people; and at the same time with have these Incel/MRA’s killing people. Oppressing people, terrorizing people, causing people to withdraw from the public sphere, justifying all kinds of private as well as public violence.

    Incels. Nazis. Same-same. Prosecute them. Ostracize them. Destroy their arguments. Ridicule them viciously. Fire them. Block their careers. Break up their relationships. Never let them get away with it. Beat them back into their holes.

    THEN, when they are damn well put in their proper place — petty, vengeful, malodorous, unsocialized, dysfunctional, irrational crackbrains — THEN talk about empathy and bringing them down to paths to self-awareness, emotional healing and the like. At this moment, the rights of the people whom they are trampling are MUCH more important than their twisted feelings!

  59. rietpluim says

    If they didn’t want to be involuntary celibate, they shouldn’t be vowing involuntary celibacy, which is what they are doing by being such assholes.

  60. lotharloo says

    I don’t think “whether we should have empathy or not” is the correct question to be asking here. From looking at their forums, IMO, they are self-radicalizing. They complain about lack of sex, their lack of sex-appeal. They feel bad about themselves and they engage in some bizarre group fantasy. Then someone posts screenshots of chats between an extremely attractive man and a bunch of women who fawn over the attractive man even though the guy is not super nice to them. This makes them feel even worse. Apparently, the fact that some women want to have sex with an extremely attractive dude is some grand injustice where all women are to blame. Then someone else posts bizarre theories about why they are not getting laid, and it is always some other person’s fault, or something completely outside their ability to change: they are too ugly, too short, too bald, not white enough, etc. etc. The focus is never to get them out of their hole but to just dig deeper.

    Sure, I could pity their lack of romantic partners which is difficult to handle but there are a lot of single people who are not self-radicalizing towards violence, misogyny, or hate. These guys are certainly going in that direction.

  61. eveningchaos says

    Not sure if this story has made headlines in the US, but up here in Canada we had an Incel-terrorist (I can’t think of a better term to describe him) run down dozens of people and killing 10, injuring many more. He posted some disturbing things about Eliot Roger online before the attack, and he called for an “incel revolution.”

    8 of the 10 victims who died were women. It seems like he was specifically targeting women. Is this guy an outlier in this community, or is this attitude towards women fairly prevalent among self-described Incels? Obviously not everyone is going to act out these types of deranged acts of violence, but I can’t seem to understand the idea that women owe men access to them sexually. I wonder how much violence against women is triggered by this kind of frustration. How could this be avoided?

  62. vucodlak says

    @ eveningchaos, #72

    Not sure if this story has made headlines in the US, but up here in Canada we had an Incel-terrorist (I can’t think of a better term to describe him) run down dozens of people and killing 10, injuring many more. He posted some disturbing things about Eliot Roger online before the attack, and he called for an “incel revolution.”

    It was all over the news until it became clear the murderer was a white guy with no links to Daesh. The media has since bent over backwards to avoid stating the obvious fact that he was a different kind of terrorist, i.e. an Incel.

    Is this guy an outlier in this community, or is this attitude towards women fairly prevalent among self-described Incels?

    To the first half of the question: Yes, in the sense that most Incels are deeply lazy, cowardly men who won’t put their ugliest fantasies into action.

    To the second half: This attitude is one of the defining attributes of the Incel community. In fact, many of the community are already hailing the murderer as a “saint.” Some are complaining that men like Alek Minassian and Elliot Rodger are only killing women, and wishing fervently for things like mass acid attacks.

    Also, it’s not frustration that triggers these attacks, it’s entitlement. It’s not that they aren’t having sex and are just pent up, it’s that they believe society owes them slaves. Specifically, women who look like supermodels, who will do everything for them, and never criticize or contradict them.

    Lastly, a huge part of stopping this is to shut down their forums, and to take their threats seriously.

  63. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Hm yes fair enough @Gilliel, Hairhead and others.

    For the record, I was not trying to say that I would like to mandate empathy for incels. My choice of words was more normative than intended, but I did not mean “you should all have empathy and be nice”.

    What I meant is that I can personally understand the mindset and how it came to be, and there is no way for me to divest myself from my empathy for pretty much anybody. Sure I do have some triggers for outrage (cynical politicians whose decisions don’t affect them but the lives of thousands, for example; or even indulging in graphic detail what humans do to each other at those frontlines of direct psychosocial interaction) which then bars empathy, but when it comes to understanding what lead people to commit their crimes, or seeing them sentenced, I tend to pity them. I pity us all; yes, if I were faced with the choice whose fate I pity more, I would likely choose victims over perpetrators, but that doesn’t mean I don’t pity the latter too.

    And like I said, I believe that this perspective has merit. It could lead to grasping a different facet of the issue; there does not have to be only one concurrent strategy to deal with this, such as described by Hairhead @69. What you said makes perfect sense and I could settle with that being the general thrust of any counter-strategy; I also appreciate the self-radicalization aspect lotharloo described @71. Should I ever encounter an incel, MRA or one of those types, I can assure you that I will speak up and denounce him, like I would a potential spree shooter or whatever other recent example you like. Their lack of empathy disgusts me.

    Still, from this calm and secluded vantage point, I have the luxury to try and understand them.

  64. Hairhead, Still Learning at 59 says

    Gorogh, I understand your point. I understand it completely. As a long-time nerd and someone who took more years than normal to grow up into having good sexual relationships, I have empathy and sympathy for these people.

    Until they start advocating harm, and actually harming others.

    At that point, I lay empathy aside and fight!

  65. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says


    Hm. How do you fight, though – jump into the cesspool (where? 4chan? reddit?) and try to counter their arguments? Making donations to whoever is fighting this stuff? Personally suing people who express such opinions, or making their lives difficult in some other fashion? Good old-fashioned pummeling? (not all these are equally serious suggestions)

    For me, it’s mostly countering ideas I don’t like in the conversations I have in my everyday life (at work, mostly, but granted it’s academic, it’s rare for people to be openly offensive; I only meet pretty aligned people in my spare time). And very occasionally, providing my perspective on freethoughtblogs. Sometimes, I feel tempted to comment in newspaper comment sections, but rarely get around to it.

    So again, how exactly would you fight this? I am not asking facetiously, but to earnestly get a few ideas.

  66. says


    So again, how exactly would you fight this? I am not asking facetiously, but to earnestly get a few ideas.

    You see, this is exactly the problem. It’s not you, personally, it’s this pattern. Whenever something like this (with pretty exchangeable groups of victims and perpetrators) comes up, there’s a whole lot of people who talk the talk, but never walk the walk. It’s good that you’re trying to get ideas, but you should have done so before.
    Please consider the effect of this having on the victims and potential victims of such crimes when they’re forever sidelined and the perpetrators are centred in these conversations without any real attempts at really doing that.
    People talking about empathy and compassion for these people on forums that are usually not frequented by those people will not have any effect on them. If compassion can help them, it can only do so by being extended in person. Just doing so in the general public only serves to excuse their actions and put the onus on the victims.

  67. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Again, Giliell (sorry for misspelling the name earlier, phonetic confusion), I do not see any of what I said as exonerating for people who perpetrate crimes, except in the most principled sense that there is no free will. My guess is that the reason there is a focus on perpetrators is that their motives are central and concrete, whereas most victims are just there by accident. Hence, they have no profile to address; besides, they are not the problem. I was talking about my empathy as a potential approach to solving problems, and I do not think that its only utility is by extending it in person.

    If you feel that takes away something from the victims, I grant that I should probably put more emphasis on my sympathy for them.

    As for not walking the walk, let me just say that I am quite opinionated (and mostly with opinions that I align with the general sentiment in these parts), to the point of belligerence, when it comes to some topics. I am not shy to speak out even if means I alienate people sometimes, even higher ups (particularly relevant when it comes to subtle discrimination in the workplace and such). As I tried to demonstrate by giving some examples in that regard, I absolutely know that I could do more, but I was particularly interested in concrete, personal examples of what you (or Hairhead, or anyone really) are doing. I know that reading about activists of all sorts, people putting in time and effort to hand out flyers or collect signatures or donate or whatnot, just does not do the trick in moving me. Feel free to blame me for that, I am not saying I am a good person (or even as good as I would like myself to be). But I am trying, and sometimes people with names (or nyms, I don’t care) inspire me more than the xth Guardian article about The Protectors et al.

    p.s.: I know that environmental or political activism is not the same as whatever it is one does to confront the incel issue. Makes me all the more curious what formal or informal means you employ to address it.

  68. Oggie. says

    vucodlak @30:

    Self-hatred is the first step on the path to wisdom.

    Nope. No wisdom here.

    Strive to fully understand why you should hate yourself, before you think to hate another.

    Oh, I definitely understand why I hate myself. What I did in the past and the absolute and total impossibility of rectifying the damage I did. And I don’t know if I actually hate anyone. I hate ideas. I hate ideologies. I hate social mores. People? Nope.


    No one has the right to treat other people like things.

    As long as society and the law allow people to treat others as things, with no legal or social repercussions, then yes, they do have that right.

    Everything has some kind of value.

    Well, everything has value. Everyone? I look at me and wonder.

    My point is that every person needs to take a good, long look at themselves before they decide they have the right to do with someone else as they please.

    They do. And then (in the case of my abuser) they realize that god agrees with them and raping the kids is okay.

    (Yeah, I realize I am straying from the topic a bit, but how people with low or no self-esteem, no self-worth, no real reason for existing, deal with who they are is still part of this conversation (to me, anyway). Maybe the question should be, is the lack of self-worth earned or imagined?)

    Gorogh @45:

    Incidentally, I would not presume that all incels (or rapists, or murderers, or whatever) are alike.

    I was incel from the age of 12 up until I met proto-Wife at age 21. And I can see just how attractive this ideology could be. Not that I ever even went in that direction. Even at 12, the idea of forcing someone (legally, socially, physically) to do anything made me feel ill. Having been on the receiving end showed my what the reality was.

    Onamission5 @51:

    wondering if there is anything men can do to or say about women that is vile enough other men won’t fall over themselves to express sympathy for the terrible hardships.

    I do not sympathize with these men. I can, in a small way, empathize (see immediately above), but, as some of you know, my early life is so fucked up that there are few evil things a man can do with which I am unable to, in some way, empathize. I have been the abusee, and the abuser, all during three years of my life. And it scares me the understanding I have towards men who are committing, or want to commit, the one actual sin on earth: (vice Pratchett) the only sin is treating another thinking being as a thing.

    Which is really what this is about. These men do not see women as people, but rather as objects with usable humanesque behaviours and (more important) orifices. And I recognize those ideas from (now) forty years ago.

    So no, I do not sympathize. But, unfortunately, I can empathize.

    Giliell @67:

    I’m sick and tired of how the victims of oppression are always told how we must feel for the oppressors.

    Perhaps, for some of us, it is relicts of our past that allow us (well, me (I do not presume to speak for others)) to see the horror and evil of the perpetrator? Empathy does NOT mean that I like what they say, write, do and want. I can only approach this from inside of me, and I, unfortunately, can empathize in a very small way. Doesn’t mean I like it (or me), but I can sort of understand.

  69. says

    @80 -> “I was incel from the age of 12 up until I met proto-Wife at age 21.”

    This mattered to you at 12? Maybe this is part of the problem.

  70. rietpluim says

    Heh. I was incel from the moment I was conceived up until I first had sex.

  71. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    So you were looking for sex as an embryo?

  72. rietpluim says

    Not that I can remember, but hey, incel is incel whether you want to or not.

    Also, I was incel when I my wife was out for the weekend.

  73. Oggie. says

    Paraless @81:

    This mattered to you at 12? Maybe this is part of the problem.

    No, the problem was that I had been trained by my abuser in his image. So I knew what sex was. I knew that most of it was enjoyable. And had made the decision that, even though it was what I wanted, I did not want to go there because I was too afraid of who I might be. So I guess I was voluntarily celibate. But, considering the emotional problems I had through middle and high school, the chances of getting a date were damn close to zero.

    So yeah, the fact that it did matter to me at age 12 (I was abused (and forced to abuse others) from age ~9 to 11) was definitely part of the problem.

    Sorry. I didn’t mean to take this off in the wrong direction. My bad. I’ll shut up now.

  74. says

    I’d like to add some support for what Gorogh is saying. I do not think it detracts from the victims to address the feelings of the perpetrators. I don’t hear that as telling victims how to feel(?) but, rather a natural result of asking the perpetrator why they would possibly ever do such a thing. (We ask that question a lot.) Certainly, sometimes, it’s no more than morbid curiosity but just as often it’s out of an attempt to problem solve.

    Sadly, that tactic seems to stall everyone out into an impasse’. There are too many of these groups for it not to do that. Every day we stagger between one insanely destructive ideology to another and it’s difficult to sustain either the empathy or the outrage for all of it.

    Writ large across the entire pattern seems to be that we, as a culture (I am in the US), are systematically failing all people from about the ages of 0 – 25 years of age! Not just the boys – though that segment of society seems to show most of the external signs of stress fractures – we’re failing the girls, too. We’re failing all of them.

    The only good news that I seem to be able to muster is that our species is quite capable of solving multi-faceted, systemic problems when we try hard enough and that some of the young people seem to be getting wise to the problems (Parkland High School activism). On the other side of the equation, our culture seems to have developed an allergy to individualized attention and problem solving in general. It makes no sense to treat Nikolas Cruz, Elliot Rogers, and Dylan Roof as the same person. There’s no one size fits all victim strategy, either. We also tend to focus our problem solving on the more sensational aspects of the crimes (they want slaves…) rather than the patterns behind them (why is this happening to so many young people…) so much so that even those of us who are motivated to help can’t get much traction.

    It’s hard to fight a systemic problem by grabbing on to a single issue – even if it’s a very large issue.

    What this boils down to is: whether or not we, as society, are ever going to find the will to find a way to direct both the time AND the resources to solving these problems. Or, as I cynically suspect, society will continue along the death spiral until some major collapse prompts a re-writing of the ‘rules’ – which, in all likelihood, will have just as many injustices as the current one. People are fond of saying that education is the solution – but that assumes that it is productive and good education of the type designed to combat the actual problem. Just sending pupils to a building with the letters S,C,H,O,O, and L is insufficient. No, no, we must commit to not only developing such materials but then keeping them updated and relevant as time goes by. Time by itself does nothing but aid forgetfulness. Resources bombed on problem but not sustained won’t cure anything except a budget surplus.

    These days, I hesitate to even want to involve any kind of civic solution because of how unhinged our legal/police/courts system is – I’m hard pressed to imagine a problem they can’t make even worse. Social justice, fickle and often cruel, is not all that much better but occasionally feels more satisfying. It’s not really about rights so much, anyway, but rather the ability and motivation. Cruz did not have the right to shoot anyone – he had the ability, though. With guns, it’s a lot easier to find a solution by getting rid of the ability but that will not hold true for relationships with people. In fact, trying to remove the ability for people to commit social crimes results in even more victimization of groups (purdah, for example). These groups: incel, nazis, MRA, ISIS… help provide the motivation.

    I do hope this post isn’t considered too off topic. It’s just that I do not see this as an ‘incel’ problem or even a ‘what’s up with radicalized young men’ problem. I see the real problem as being what we are doing (or not doing) for all of our young people – victims and abusers alike – that are causing these types of splinter groups to form so rapidly and so often. When I hear people wonder what the future will look like with increased automation, I step forward to suggest that we start taking all of those freed up people hours and reinvest them into caring for our young people so that they can grow a society which works better for everyone.

    I guess I also see it as a conversation problem. The ones we keep having don’t seem particularly helpful to me.

  75. says

    I don’t think you went in the wrong direction. And I should have worded my response better because I am not blaming you.

    My comment was to say, hey, if you thought this was a problem at 12, who else things this is a problem at that age. I realize you have other incidents that contributed to this. But, still, how many other people start worrying about this at such a young age? This points to communities of guys who are misleading other guys and leading them to a self doubt that doesn’t need to even exist?

  76. Tethys says


    I do not think it detracts from the victims to address the feelings of the perpetrators.

    Really? Ok, lets all address Hitlers feelings, and Mussolinis feelings, and Stalins feelings. See how pointless and insulting to the victims it is to focus on analysing the poor perpetrators? Abusive men really aren’t some unexplained mystery of nature.

    [..] but, rather a natural result of asking the perpetrator why they would possibly ever do such a thing.

    A long standing cultural tradition of male supremacy, preferably white. You really don’t need any more explanation than the one provided by the dudes who write things like the OP. They aren’t entitled to sex, or an iota of time spent trying to figure out why they suck so hard as human beings.

  77. Oggie. says

    Tethys @88:

    They aren’t entitled to sex

    (I know I said I would shut up, but . . . )

    One of the big problems is that many, if not most, American boys are taught — by society, culture, mentors, abusers, etc. — that they ARE entitled to sex. I know that my history colours my take on this, but that is the message I got from my peers, from TV, from movies, even from some of the teachers, in junior and senior high school. Boys and men deserve sex and if you aren’t getting any, you are either too weak or afraid to take what is rightfully yours, or you are too defective to get what you, as a male, deserve. Maybe I was more attuned to it thanks to why my scout leader put me through, but, even in 6th and 7th grade, I got that message.

    Backing out now. Sorry.

  78. unclefrogy says

    points in the right direction, this particular thing the “incels” is just a symptom of overall problem. It is the fact that there is something about how we humans have been “organized” into society that creates these things. It is not new to have problems with disaffected marginalized people, victims become victimizers quite often. Poverty has been “normal” part of society for a very long time so has drug and alcohol addiction violent crime is also a normal part of society. Us and Them. If you can not manage to be excepted by the “us” because of some arbitrary criteria or other, money, “beauty”, physical ability, birth, “race” language then you are one of Them and deserve less you loose.
    today we what we have but I hear little to lead me to think that any thought is being given to the roots of the current symptoms .
    in individual cases there is a period where there is the possibility of productive intervention, when they are roaming around firing guns at random people is probably not such a time.
    uncle frogy

  79. Saad says

    paxoll, #90

    Sadly, not. This really is the type of thoughts and messages incels come up with.

  80. Saad says

    I have absolutely no sympathy for incels/MRAs for any of their problems that they blame on women or feminism.

  81. unclefrogy says

    One of the big problems is that many, if not most, American boys are taught — by society, culture, mentors, abusers, etc. — that they ARE entitled to sex.

    I think it is more that you are expected to have sex of the approved type in order to be accepted to have any positive status at all. to not succeed is to be condemned.
    it is not surprising that some would respond with some force and anger and misdirected resentment there is a desperation in the reaction, an animal will lash out when cornered and they feel cornered. it matters a great deal how they are perceived by others.
    uncle frogy

  82. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    You know, I’d really like to have empathy for these guys, but they are just so damned pathetic and creepy. These guys feel entitled to sex even when they bring bupkis to the table (or bedroom).

    If what you are looking for is a connection with another human being of the opposite sex, you can probably find that along with the gratification you are looking for. And if that is not what you are looking for, your dominant hand will probably provide a more enjoyable evening.

    In my experience, women are far less hung up on appearance than guys. Most women I know say that what they like most about their partner is that he (or she) makes them laugh. Frankly, that’ll get you a lot further with a woman than a chiseled jaw and a six pack.

    I just want to shake these guys and say, “What is wrong with you?”

  83. says

    I hear what you are saying. Let me adjust my wording a bit.

    I don’t think the intent of discussing the feelings of perpetrators is always* to dismiss the victims but, rather, arises from a … I don’t want to so much say natural ..perhaps normal is a better word though I’m not sure it quite fits … approach to problem solving. I can appreciate that it may cause that result.

    Specifically with regard to Gorogh’s comments on this thread – I did not read it that way. Others did. I find his expressions of empathy for both (all?) sides quite credible from what little I’ve seen.

    Intent matters – though not as much as the results. Either way, I do agree that the conversation on specific feelings on a movement out of many (incels, nazis, MRAs, ) tends to sensationalize the conversations and doesn’t appear to produce good results. So, if your point is that it’s not productive to dwell on them, I quite agree. We just come to similar conclusions via different pathways, yes?

    *I can also allow that sometimes it is an employed strategy to shift the conversation away from victims towards perpetrators. I am not doing that exactly. I am trying to shift the conversation away from this specific subset to the greater pattern.


    I have spent quite a lot of time reading on the manosphere. Somewhere above another poster linked to a very long (and rather tedious) book/paper by Gilmartin. I’ve read the entire thing (for past discussions elsewhere) and the only way I can see my way clear to recommend it to a thinking person is: read this if you’re stuck on the belief that the only concern the ‘incel’ community has is about sex. Sure, that’s what’s on the front pages of the links but there is some deeper stuff in there if one bothers to delve a bit. My overall impression of his work is that it’s an elaborate description of what Gilmartin thinks would help to solve social anxiety in very shy boys. Some of what he suggests is really quite horrific – I could quote mine it to demonstrate but, and I confess this is a bit weird, I don’t think he actually had much malicious intent when he wrote it.

    This is hard to explain.

    While reading it, I was struck by Gilmartins thought process. It makes a certain amount of absurd sense – if you twist just right. Most of his suggestions revolve around ways others can help really shy boys achieve relationships with girls. Gilmartin seems to think that girls/women (somewhat exclusively) can draw shy boys out, make their lives easier, ease their suffering, and then those boys would be more productive members of society. I love the baby bird life style analogy (also from above) because that is exactly it. I mean, sure. If you can get everyone around you to selflessly cater to your peculiar anxieties, it’s bound to make your life a bit nicer. It makes sense. It’s ridiculous and absurd and abusive to try though. I am tempted to add the word ‘clearly’ to that thought but, if you suffer through that link, you’ll notice it was not clear to him!

    It does focus mostly on the emotional management, self esteem boosting, anxiety reducing: longing for love much more than it focuses on sex as a PUA strategy. And, again, this is not something you organize the rest of the people in your life (or society) to manage for you … figure it out for your own self, right?

    My point is mainly this: There is a lot of sex involved in the topic so it’s silly to ignore BUT there is other stuff down there that might be worth addressing. If Gilmartin’s paper describes anything besides a plethora of bad ideas – it’s the sense that relationships between people (not just sex) is involved and most of our society can get better at building those all around.

    To wrap it all around to something Tethy’s mentioned about including it in the conversation, whether or not Gilmartins intentions were malicious, the ideas he presents are atrocious, horrible, and … frankly, harmful to many people. It’s one of the things that makes me wish the Internet could be undone. It makes peer reviewed vetting for crackpot ideas obsolete. I am not an advocate for burning/deleting information, but I have no qualms about limiting it to a context where the people reading it have some tools to put the knowledge/idea into the proper perspective. This nonsense is distracting at best.

    So, IF society ever gets along to actively doing something productive about our comprehensive youth problem – teaching people how to self-manage their emotional lives is a valuable addition to the list. If you find you already agree with that sentiment, there’s not much more general need to delve deeper.


    Once they start shooting, it really is too late.

    Part of the problem for me is trying to figure out how to stop people from making victims without creating other victims. I am just absolutely disgusted by our current prison injustice complex that I just …polite words fail. How do we get these ideas out of people’s heads? Hurting them back (or preemptively even) seems unwise – not to mention dysfunctional. Restorative justice, maybe? I honestly don’t know.

  84. says


    If you’re being sincere about wanting to have empathy for these guys, perhaps this will help. If not or if you’ll find a suggestion apologist or triggering, feel free to skip this comment.

    If you get past the front lines of the community pages*, you’ll find groups of guys who have heard your advice about how to ‘bring something to the table.’ Part of the problem is that they really don’t know how.

    I mean, really.

    Think of a subject/skill that you’d like very much to know about but is extremely hard for you to learn. Something that you’re so confused about that you can’t even figure out how to teach yourself how to do it. Imagine that it’s something most everyone else manages quite easily. (If you’re struggling for an example, imagine that for some reason you can’t quite figure out how to drive a car, the internet, or a cell phone.) So, when people say be interesting, be fun, have a sense of humor, – their problem is they haven’t the first clue about how to do/be any of those things. Worse still, they are deeply ashamed to admit it. So ashamed that it’s easier to construct elaborate fantasies about a society which revolves around avoiding how to learn it than it is to buckle down and learn it.

    It’s your basic wish fulfillment – if you’ve ever just wished for something, that might be a pathway to empathy for these guys.

    *A quick word about the front, community pages these groups:

    Someone above has already mentioned that many of these self-styled gurus aren’t even definitively members of the communities – they’re in relationships isn’t one of the main page MRA’s married, even?). It’s more a marketing scheme for them than anything else. Part of the reason these ideas are so grossly exaggerated is that our capitalist culture monetizes our anxieties. I don’t doubt that there are some true believers (I’d put Gilmartin in that bunch) but a lot of the noise gets generated by bad actors looking to exploit others for personal gain. That they also indulge in a bit of stochastic terrorism along the way doesn’t seem to bother those monsters one whit. I’ve mentioned my disdain for our criminal injustice system – these buggers just might deserve it.

  85. paxoll says

    @Saad, I’m sure you could link actual incel comments that are not likely to be just trolls, but this example has 0 sources. On rules of internet evidence this hits every point on being fake. Why would you use fake evidence when real evidence should be so easy to dig up?

  86. Saad says

    paxoll, #98

    You’re right that it has zero sources. It could be made up.

    On rules of internet evidence this hits every point on being fake.

    You’re wrong about this part. This is fully consistent with incel talking points and the sort of language and ideology they have regarding women.

  87. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Off to bed soon; I am not sure I am still contributing anything meaningful… but let me try.

    While I follow most of your thoughts, Julie, the last post #97 really rings true. Seems like there is a lot of helplessness involved, not just privilege. In the end, it may be the combination with privilege/the feeling of entitlement that makes this community so volatile, and it’s mutually reinforcing: The more you demand, the less likely you are to question your behavior and develop competencies; frustration reinforces the demanding attitude, etc.

    Incidentally, I also believe that for many, the pain is not from lack of sex, but lack of appreciation. Well, maybe. At least to me, intimacy is just a very deep form of appreciation; sex is incidental, to me it’s more about trust and, well, wanting (to be with) the other. Judging by my own “pathetic” experiences, I have to assume that many incels feel similarly, at least in the beginning (I count myself lucky that there was no such community back when I had my own issues; actually there was no internet; who knows what might have happened, I had plenty of authoritarian tendencies, maybe still have). “But they don’t deserve being appreciated” – yes, but well, circumstances are such that they cannot become deserving. “But other people experience insecurity and desire and rejection too and they don’t become misogynistic assholes” – yes, but why not? Free will? Obviously not. It’s because they happen to have the right friends or parents or values or whatever. The right role models, the right mantras at the right time. I do not believe that uncompromising opposition and shouting down will provide people on the verge of radicalizing with the cognitions they need not to go there (this goes for incels just as much as Nazis or Islamists, or what have you). In my view, cartomancer’s #47 hit the nail on the head with thinking about how we can remove problematic notions, and how we can provide those conducive to a better world. Maybe it can be Parkland style, flanked by boycotts and an increased holding media accountable for the messages they send. But it seems to me that even us who are discussing this are not quite on the same page about this.

    For example, I always cringe when I hear the old a lid for every pot. That is illusory consolation; there is no such guarantee. As another example, I always cringe when I see the ease with which films etc. portray how finding a partner can be. Is it ever easy? Maybe. Not for any people I know though, myself included.

    Anyway. Like I said, if you cannot bring yourself to trying to understand, fine. That position is probably of use, too, and I am assuming that a victim would rather talk to you than to someone like me. But my view of the human condition demands that I do try to understand what leads people to do terrible things (plus, again, I believe it is pragmatic). Yes sometimes I would love to just shake people until they come to their senses, or do much worse to them. But… ah. I keep repeating myself.

    p.s.: Tethys, I know what you mean, but I would like to point out again that the perpetrator is a different entity to understand than the victim; they demand different forms of attention. For example, one is aimed at rehabilitation and maybe prevention (understanding the perpetrator), the other at coping with what one has suffered, etc (“understanding” the victim).

    Oh and btw, ANY comparison to WWII evils necessarily falls short. I won’t get into it because I am assuming you actually know that and were just using hyperbole. But there really is nothing parallel to the case at hand, or most applications alluded to in the discussion.

  88. Tethys says


    p.s.: Tethys, I know what you mean, but I would like to point out again that the perpetrator is a different entity to understand than the victim; they demand different forms of attention. For example, one is aimed at rehabilitation and maybe prevention (understanding the perpetrator), the other at coping with what one has suffered, etc (“understanding” the victim).

    You know what I meant, but still felt the need to reiterate basic terms which are tangential to my point to me? *raised eyebrow* The only way that sexism will ever die off is if we stop allowing that grown ass men need anything but extreme side-eye and laughter when they call themselves incels and form internet gangs and commit mass murder, not hand holding and understanding for their poor unhappy weiners lack of to access to virgins on demand.

    Their motivation is the same as any fascist, rapist, narcissist, or other abusive/authoritarian person. To dominate and have power and control over those they see as inferior beings for their own personal twisted gratification.

  89. says

    The very plausibly of a poe (which I don’t accept without the characteristics you believe you see that makes this one) makes them worth addressing because they contain the essence of the thing we see as a problem. Their very believability makes this so. Any errors due to being a representation are things to sharpen the skills of a skeptic.

  90. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Saying people are not worthy is not the same as saying they are worthless.

    …..I’m going to assume this is a language-barrier thing.

    (So, yeah, I guess it’s the “communicating poorly” one).

  91. paxoll says

    @Brony, seems you and Saad are missing the point. Why use what is the text book example of an untrustworthy internet story, when verifiable examples should be very easy to dig up and post.

  92. says

    What textbook? No really.

    I just don’t believe your point is relevant. When things get embarrassing MRAs, incels, and PUAs become cowardly. For example,

    In the wake of the Toronto van attacks, the mods on have apparently decided to hide some of the more incriminating discussions on the site. Like this little thread, which they deleted — but not before the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine grabbed a copy of it.

    Sure, it could be a poe. But since it’s consistent with other examples I’m fine with it until evidence of it’s illigitimate origin arises. I’m even willing to look at specific parts that you believe make it a candidate for a poe so that we can look for other similar examples.

    It’s your filter that’s being triggered, not mine.

  93. says

    Double checking above, you expressed certainty in your link to poe’s law paxoll. Your point about sources is not evident, it’s a straight up direct implication.

    Yeah you made it about sources when challenged, but I want to know why you all but typed “it’s a poe”. That’s totally fair to want to know. I’m not much for reflexive doubting. It looks like skepticism to some, but skepticism actually has features.

  94. Tethys says

    Perhaps we should call him doubting paxoll? The linked post PZ so helpfully provided from 2013 is about Vox Day and a similar sexual market value chart. This is generally considered another source, or perhaps the news item mentioned in the comments about the mass murder committed by one of these imbeciles will be enough proof that this is not a Poe.

  95. Saad says

    paxoll isn’t arguing in good faith. They consistently post rape apologia and take the misogynist side in every thread about sexual harassment or rape that I’ve seen them in. You’re just here to shield the misogynists as usual in your usual cowardly way.

  96. says

    I think it’s a thing worth pursuing because in the age of Russian trolls and other trolls trying shit (there have been attempts at getting commentators to go along with horrible statements at WTHM, possibly to screen grab things for use elsewhere), it’s a skill worth working on. I don’t doubt there are poes of MRA, incel, and PUA statements. It’s worth discussing features that look like evidence of illigitimacy.

  97. says

    If it looks bad I’m open to suggestions. My best way of discovering bullshit is going through the motions and pressuring people to provide what they should be able to. But there is more than one way to do that.

  98. paxoll says

    @Saad Here I offer a reasonable and rational way to improve this cesspool of intellectual dishonesty, and you double down with lies and strawmen. How is saying, get a reputable verifiable source with which to have a discussion about, shielding “misogynists as usual”?

  99. says

    I happen to agree with Saad, you sheild mysogynists as a defacto result of your sowing of doubt. We live in a deeply misogynistic society. In the abstract you pay lip service to the idea of dealing with it (maybe not mysogynistic specifically but some general agreement with dealing with harassment, rape…). But when it comes down to dealing with the individual examples of things that hold together the social patterns that create the problem you encumber the process.

    In this case you just don’t want to believe it’s true. Nevermind that it’s consistent with examples that we’ve seen again and again, you just have to sow doubt with literally no reason provided.

    On my end this feels like hunting, I metaphorically smell blood in the water. I don’t believe you have a good reason. you just don’t want to think you live in a society with people like this so first you claim it’s fake by implication, and then you make excuses that just happen to involve other people doing work for your doubts.

    I’m pretty sure that I could do this in a more effective manner so how about you put up or shut up you knee-jerk pretender to skepticism?

  100. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Good morning Tethys, concerning you #101: Alright it looks like I only thought that I understood you. (cave: This reply is sort of from-the-hip and certainly gives lots of occasion to angrily reply. I hope it’s clear enough what I mean.)

    I took the intent of your post with Hitler et al to emphasize the fundamental unfairness between how much energy is spent on those causing suffering, when really, it should be spent on those who were made to suffer. With that sentiment (mentioned by others before), I would and did agree that it’s worth considering, but my position is that both types of involvement are necessary, and I for one intellectually like to focus on the perpetrators (for reasons I have explained before).

    However, from your clarification, it looks like you actually meant to say that

    a) all motives that are relevant about how to deal with groups as diverse as you’ve pointed out (“fascist, rapist, narcissist, or other abusive/authoritarian”) are fundamentally the same, namely “To dominate and have power and control over those they see as inferior beings for their own personal twisted gratification”

    b) the most pragmatic strategy is to denounce and ostracize those groups.

    Let me insert a raised eyebrow of my own. You cannot be serious; but how else could I understand what you wrote? I appreciate that emotionally, this is what your strategy is – to do what? Cope with what happens? Actually change the situation? Now, I can see that, for example, rape culture is a thing and its subtle or not so subtle manifestations have to be named (~called out) before you can change it; I understand that it may even be violent resistance that is necessary to shake up and change the status quo, occasionally. But is it a consensus that we are there yet with this issue? (rhethorical question; I do not agree obviously)

    So, until we have that consensus and no further information is needed, what is wrong with empathy? What is wrong with it pragmatically? Is it merely that it annoys people propagating more active and exclusionary countermeasures, because they have to lead discussions like we are having right now? That is hardly a good reason is it? Do I really shield abusers by asking why they did it, and then asking myself what one could do to prevent this from happening? We do not have all the answers yet, and every (sub)culture, toxic or not, keeps evolving.

    I understand the psychological utility in your focus, but the express reduction of the motive of very different people to quasi-psychoanalytical abstractions sounds like you’re throwing out the baby with the bathwater, by stopping to apply your intellect to finding more valuable routes of intervention. I am assuming that there is little empiry pointing out that the best social workers, criminal rehabilitation officers, therapists etc simply point and laugh?

    Again, yes, society has to be clear about its values. If there are manifestations of tolerating intolerable positions, sure, stomp them. I understand Hairhead and you and all the others, that maybe the general thrust here should be loud condemnation, unequivocal in its ignoring any psychological differences between the individuals involved in such communities.

    Repeating myself.

    My bottom line is, I guess

    – don’t forget that evil people are human too, and that we can use that for finding individualized solutions
    – I am not telling you to stop shouting at them, and expressing a no-tolerance attitude
    – but don’t tell me to stop trying to understand, and maybe on the odd occasion that I encounter a person like that, be able to find access to their minds
    – we can use more than one or the other strategy; they are complementary; I am not taking anything away from you or the efficacy of your methods by using different ones

    p.s.: The reason I’ve picked out your Hitler comparison is that I found them argumentatively worthless/a really bad analogy, and in very poor taste. If you do Nazi (or similar) comparisons, please be more specific about which aspect you are comparing. You cannot mean that the victims are comparable; that there is any equivalence in the suffering under a year-long state oppression and terror regime, with being worked to death in a Gulag (again with the force of a government behind it), over years and under the harshest conditions, and being the victim of a spree shooter. You cannot mean that. Hitler would not have been stopped if people had just eyerolled hard enough at the NSDAP (to preempt the counter – he wasn’t stopped by appeasement either, but appeasement implies the attitude that “things are not so bad”; I never implied anything of the sort in my attitude about incels or any other example). You cannot mean that his motives were simple and not to be understood in some historical societal context, and that they were not as complex as any of yours or mine (or any humans, given roughly equal capacity to process and store information). There are so many other aspects where the analogy fails, but I’ll stop there.

    I know you don’t hold those positions, but I did not erect that strawman myself. If authoritarianism really is the root cause here, why did I myself not become an incel or a Nazi or a spree shooter, if I attest an authoritarian impulse somewhere in the back of my psyche? The reason is that I had people to talk to, who stuck around long enough to help me through whatever pathetic phase I had to go (also, absence of guns helped a lot).

    p.p.s.: Hm. While writing this, I am beginning to think that some parts of the misunderstanding may be due to an imprecise definition of the target group here. Should we maybe do that first? Define which encounter with which people in which setting we are talking about?

  101. Saad says

    paxoll, #111

    @Saad Here I offer a reasonable and rational way to improve this cesspool of intellectual dishonesty, and you double down with lies and strawmen. How is saying, get a reputable verifiable source with which to have a discussion about, shielding “misogynists as usual”?

    Suppose all of that text is completely made up by someone who is not an incel. So the question is why would someone make up something and attribute it to a group that they disapprove of? The answer is to make that group look bad. But this doesn’t make sense because when you want to dishonestly make someone look bad, you attribute to them things that they would not say. The screenshot posted on WHTM is precisely things that the incel crowd says: contempt for women, a pretense of being victims of a conspiracy by women to torture them with celibacy, creation of bullshit hierarchies ranking men and women according to bizarre ideas about sexual intercourse. Maybe you need to look up and read what goes back and forth in the incel circle on the internet. This is pretty average stuff for them.

    And even if this is made up, it’s not a problem like you are trying to make it look like it is. Your “Here I offer a reasonable and rational way to improve this cesspool of intellectual dishonesty” makes you look even more dishonest than you did before. It would be a problem if it was being attributed to a specific person. But it’s not. It’s just being said this is an incel or incel sympathizer talking. Sure it would be nice if there was a source, but it’s not important in this case. Just like I’m not bothered if after a school shooting I read a source-less excerpt that someone is saying is from an unnamed NRA supporter saying we need to arm all school staff. Because that is what they say. I have a feeling you won’t be nearly as troubled by that as you are with this since it has to do with women.

  102. says

    With respect to some of the other conversation in here yes we do need people reaching out to incels and trying to get them out of their self/mutually-reinforcing toxic beliefs about themselves and women (and other races, and other female people, and other…). But that’s to be done by people who choose it, preferably people with an in-group advantage (other white, cis-men), and definitely people who also don’t enable the toxic masculinity, misogynistic social messages and refocusing of attention from the people they hate when their experiences are the focus of a particular situation (don’t be incel enablers and political enemies to incel victims while doing your work).

    Society already repetitively tries to look for fault with women, look towards women for change instead of predatory men, look towards women to show sympathy, empathy, and forgiveness when they are the ones being lied about, acted upon, and vilified. Overtly and explicitly avoid doing that. They don’t owe society or incels shit and their shunning behavior is rational, deserved and to be changed at their discretion.

    Solving a problem like this requires different groups of people to be doing different things. My chosen role is on the shaming and shunning end as an aggressive role-modeling in an otherwise enabling public and places like Pharyngula and WHTM act as spaces that reflect similar things so often average members of society get kind of chewed up here. As long as someone who wants to help incels doesn’t become a political problem I’ve got no problem with them. But don’t be surprised if your means of helping gets attacked if it propagates the problem in other areas.

  103. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Brony, I find all that acceptable, in other words, /signed.

    I am trying to make sure not to have my opinions “propagate problems in other areas”, and definitely try to combat toxic masculinity, misogyny and the like. If it hasn’t been clear from my choice of words, it is my opinion that there is no responsiblity for crimes on the side of the victims, and victims or potential victims (e.g., women) shouldn’t worry about extending olive branches. I never meant to imply that there is any moral obligation on them to do that.

    So, shame and shun away. I’ll join you occasionally!

  104. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    …yeesh, this “empathize with the murderous, misogynistic ideopaths” thing is like some sort of apotheosis of “Darth Vader Boyfriend.”

  105. oddie says

    it’s as if they haven’t realized that prostitution is a thing, getting laid is fairly simple all you gotta do is got to Nevada

  106. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    it’s as if they haven’t realized that prostitution is a thing, getting laid is fairly simple all you gotta do is got to Nevada

    It’s as if sex wasn’t really the issue.

    In fact, it’s exactly like that.

  107. embraceyourinnercrone says

    OT but not really off-topic:

    His wife filed for divorce, he kept her hostage for 3 days and when she was finally able to escape(badly beaten by this point) she ran to a neighbor who called police.

    The theory after that is: he blew up the barn he was hiding in on the property, when SWAT was closing in and trying to take him into custody. Injuring at least 8 officers.
    I’m happy he didn’t manage to turn it into a murder-suicide at least…
    If I were a better person I would feel more sympathy for him, but I can only seem to find sympathy for all the people he hurt especially his wife.

  108. Onamission5 says

    Another problem with the “just give them sex” narrative is that sex isn’t an inanimate object, it’s an action performed by people. “Just give them sex,” therefore, means “just give them people.” People who, if they wanted to be having sex with the incels would be goddamned doing it already, so what’s really being said is “just give them someone to rape and they’ll go away.”

    They don’t want sex. They want rape slaves. They don’t want love or intimacy, they don’t want to pay a willing partner, not in effort or in money. They want institutionalized human trafficking.

    If someone came along and threatened the lives of other people on the premise that being able to run fast should be a public commodity, therefore anyone who can run fast should be forced to carry slower people around on command, they’d be laughed out of the room. If people with that belief started coalescing, started actually carrying out acts of murder in an attempt to terrorize fast people into being their personal taxis, they’d be labeled a terrorist group, arrested, unsympathetically quashed, because our society does not entertain the notion that speedy human beings should be literal beasts of burden, or that not volunteering for such treatment somehow victimizes people who feel entitled to be carried everywhere.

    Hell, we don’t even entertain the notion that people with two healthy kidneys are morally obligated to give a kidney to people who will quite literally die without that donation.

    But because our society does entertain the notion that straight, cis men are owed attention and sex from female human beings on demand, and not getting it means they are victims in some way, and because we already do treat women’s bodies like commodities detatched from a human person, we’re willing to entertain the complaints and demands of incels as somehow valid.