The Incel Community20 February 2017
A thread titled ‘This is why you can’t get laid’ greets those venturing into the ‘incel’ (involuntarily celibate) community. It details the many shortcomings individuals may have that make them unattractive to those they wish to bed – in this case, almost always women. Such include “because you’re rude to people”, “you don’t want her friendship”, and “you need hobbies.” The thread also specifically explains that women are, in fact, people and that they should be treated as such… if you want to get laid.
It came to my surprise to see such relatively mild comments from a community dedicated to incels. Only later it dawned on me that the thread was intended as satire.
For the past month I’d been following the incel community, trying to understand a group so despised. Perhaps the first thing I’d noticed has been the vitriol – for everyone, from everyone. Every week the community would receive a barrage of abusive advice from outsiders. Moreover, every other post blamed outsiders – generally women or ‘Chads’ (attractive men) – for their sexless lives. As of today, one of the top posts in their community is titled ‘Women are assholesexual’.
In between all of the blame shifting and backhanded advice, some incels attempt to discuss a solution to their ‘inceldom’ . These range from the inane such as, “There seriously needs to be government regulation on dildos: a dildo above 7 inches is too fucking big. It’s spoiling and ruining women.” To serious proposals for ‘incel affirmative action.’, whereby governments provide girlfriends to incels.
It is unsurprising that the community supports prostitution – however some incels further want to see the government subsidise prostitution for incels, whilst others think marriages should be arranged.
Adam*, a moderator and highly involved member of the community, had more reasonable responses when questioned about the incel ‘problem.’ Speaking with him, he suggested that the Dutch model – whereby the government subsidises prostitution for those with disabilities – would be a step in the right direction but would not be an ideal solution, as most incels aren’t simply after sex, but rather a relationship. In Adam’s view, the problem lies with a “hook-up culture” in which “half of the women are having sex with 20 per cent of the men”.
Explaining this problem, Adam suggests that women reject their “looks-match” – people of comparable attractiveness, and instead seek more attractive male partners, in turn requiring men to lower their standards. He has had some experience with this, stating that “a lot of the women I went on dates with were ugly, so my standards were not too high”.
It was hard to understand how one came to adopt such a mathematical view of dating. I was also surprised when Adam said he were a former feminist. His feminist views, however, changed over the course of a few years, in which time he was dumped due to his girlfriend moving away, went on few first dates that lead to second dates, and dated a female friend who manipulated him into paying her rent. These situations drew him to the incel community.
Adam suggests that this is a standard story among incels – less desirable men are “red-pilled”, learning an apparent ‘truth’ about women through similar unfortunate encounters. He elaborates, however, that it isn’t only those in the incel community that should be considered ‘incel’ and that it is a de facto thing – anyone who has been “unable to obtain sex or a romantic relationship for at least six months”. It was at this stage that I wanted to ask him where asexuals fit in, or whether people ‘graduate’ into ‘inceldom’ after six months or whether after six months the term can be applied retroactively. For the former, I had a feeling I already knew the answer – an appeal to ‘nature’. The latter I didn’t ask to continue the pretension that this is a serious article.
As Adam was explaining to me terms key to understanding the incel community, such as hypergamy and sub-human, he also told me of ‘cope’ – “a strategy that an incel uses to help with his feelings of depression.” For some, he said, that may be alcohol or drugs. However, “often it can involve telling lies to yourself in order to help you feel better”.
My time with the incel community was a depressing one. Between the ostracism by everyone else, the rejection of any advice, the projection of faults, and the entirely cynical attitudes towards life and women (with many resigned to ‘LDAR’ – ‘lay down and rot’), there was very little discussion on the way forward as individuals or as a movement. Maybe it was ideology – maybe if I were “red-pilled”, the community would be more affirming; it would be nice to be able to blame others when lacking a love life rather than oneself.
* Name changed to protect anonymity.