Have you ever wanted to go back in time and see how people lived their lives hundreds of years ago? Well, lucky for you, all you have to do is hop on websites like Reddit or 4chan to truly experience how many men thought of women in the 1400’s. I am talking about a toxic group of individuals who unite online in their hatred of women and their longing to control. They are called involuntary celibates, or Incels for short. The internet has allowed people to connect and share ideas with each other easily, and this group has taken full advantage of that in order to recruit young, mostly white men who feel they are unable to find a romantic relationship because of how they look. It is easier to blame other people for being “shallow” than to take a hard look at oneself and see that rejection may be based on one’s horrible personality and unfavorable values that many find disturbing. To understand this group, you will have to figure out some of their terms, and vocabulary used to dehumanize people, where they gather, and why they feel they are under attack from feminists or from women in general. Not to mention, the violation of human rights they disguise under their pursuit of “carnal knowledge” and the extreme violence they encourage to attain it. 1
Before diving deeper, we should know a few basic terms these groups use to communicate with other Incels and to spread more hate while many are none the wiser. The terms are carefully chosen to make it easier to convey the way these people think about the world around them. The most used term is “Chad.” A “Chad” is a guy who gets all the girls. He is everything a girl would want. He’s physically fit, “well endowed”, typically stupid, and only wants women for sexual gratification. While that doesn’t sound like, the ideal man for a woman, to an incel, regardless of the contradictions, this is what they believe women want. The name choice comes from Chicago in the early 1990’s. Back then, a ‘Chad’ in a very different context was a successful young man.2 Now, incels use the term to dehumanize other males they find threatening. However, most other terms are chosen randomly based on what Reddit users on /incel or /braincel think what a stereotypical name would be for the person they are describing. For example, the term Stacy. Incels decided that “Stacy” is a stereotypical name for beautiful women. More often than not, these names are chosen by some kind of bias of the creator and the naming is not as important to them as the meaning. After all, the overall goal is to dehumanize other people and communicate hate speech somewhat under the radar. To outsiders, an incel talking about Chad might just seem like they dislike a person named Chad when in reality they are talking about a large group of people. The female version of a Chad was previously mentioned as “Stacy.” “Stacy” is the stereotypical mean girls. They are beautiful air-heads who are unintelligent and promiscuous. “Becky” on the other hand is an average girl. Of course, they only date Chads or “normies” (normal, average men), so they are considered to be just as bad as anyone else, however you may be able to get into a relationship with them when they hit the “wall.” The “wall” is the idiotic idea that women have a sexual market value, and when it hits zero, they have hit the “wall” and must find someone to settle for. If an Incels managed to find such a woman, he is a “Betabuxx.” All women are known as “Femoids” in the incel community. This means “Female humanoid organism,” which is dehumanizing towards women. But if you have been recruited to the ideas of Incels, and now see the world as they do, you have been “Black pilled.” The idea is of course taken from The Matrix, but if you take that metaphorical black pill, you will see that the world discriminates against Incels. Of course, there is a long list of ignorant and sexist terms this hate group uses, but these are the ones you will see the most on Incels forums and websites to dehumanize their targets. 3 4
The Incel community advocates for the violation of a women’s basic human rights. They think that they are entitled to a positive human right that will require the government to give them a state-sponsored “girlfriend.” Of course, you should not let the term of girlfriend fool you. Incels have no intent of treating their government assigned women as anything more than a sex toy and a tool for procreation. The Incel community thinks that the idea of consent should be done away with. Violating a women’s human rights is simply the way the world should be, according to Incels. Of course, they are ignoring the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and clearly would be violating its article two. But clearly, the Universal Declaration of Human rights and other committees of the UN do not specifically address the incel community.5 6
So, who cares about a bunch of socially awkward men who hate women? The group of nerds who played Pokémon and Magic the Gathering in my 8th-grade class hated women too. You can say the same about the majority of the people who leave comments on YouTube videos. They are annoying and ignorant but seem harmless. Unfortunately, that no longer is the case. Several mass shootings have been committed by men identifying as Incels. The most prominent one being the two attack in Toronto, Canada that killed 16 people and injured over 20 more back in 2015 and earlier this year. A more recent one would be the Santa Fe school shooting that occurred earlier this year. The student is believed to be an incel and committed his act due to the rejection of his romantic advances of another classmate. One of the Toronto shooter left a manifesto blaming feminist liberals for his inability to find a romantic partner. They all claim to be doing this for “Incel Rebellion.” An idea that has been poping up within incel forums that the only way to overcome their supposed discrimination, is through violence. In many cases, this violence was manifested in the form of a mass shooting or hijacking vehicles to run people over. This group has left the online forums and ventured into hate crimes and mass murdering.7 89
The group has done well attracting new members. Young men go into the group thinking it is a group of like-minded people who are having difficulty finding a relationship, and then quickly become radicalized. 10 This is a major problem developing online and little is being done to stop it. However, internet culture has a weird way of attacking fringe groups. 11
Gang Weed is a meme-style using irony that normally features “The Joker” from Batman or some other character or person that has been edited to have Joker make-up, and usually features the phrase “We live in a society” and points out a ridiculous ideology that a group believes in by mocking it. Unfortunately, there are several people who think that these memes are done unironically and agree with the message they are sending. A great example of this is the “Thot Patrol” memes. First, used to mock internet users who shame women online, it is now also used by Incels to further their own message of hate. 12
Not all Incels are hopeless or unable to understand the ironic memes made to shame them for their foolish ideas. An ex-Incel, Jack Peterson, was once an emerging spokesman for the Incel community. According to him, he did not join for the misogyny, but for companionship with other men who felt like he did. He finally left after hearing the news of a mass shooting in Canada previously mentioned. 13 However, more people join daily than leave the sites.
The best way to stop this group is to dismantle the misogyny that already exists. The thought that women should bend to the will of men did not just come out of nowhere. Its something women have been resisting against since the beginning of time. The only way to make sure groups like this do not exist is to rid the world of the idea that this is normal or acceptable, to begin with. While this would be wishful thinking, it is hard to say what a realistic solution would be. If we knew the solution to stop extremist ideology, the world would be a much safer place. 14