Last night, a BBC documentary: “Inside the Secret World of Incels” came on the TV. What’s an incel? I began watching when a masked man recognised as “Catfishman” began hurling insults and weight criticism at a woman. She believed she was meeting an attractive date. Catfishman pretended he was a typical hot guy interested. When the woman realised, he filmed and laughed at her vanity. Incel male entitlement is confusingly disturbing.
The incel community
According to the documentary, incels are a community of lonely men who are “involuntarily celibate” for more than six months. Men who can’t find women willing to love them because women have become too picky.
Publication Vox explain how the group began innocently in the late 90’s. Online, men and teenage boys shared their romantic woes. A “welcoming place” where men asked for dating advice and female members shared their tips. Today, incels seem to be predominantly angry men who log on forums to blame females for a lack of sex and attention. I explored a few of these forums. Here’s what I found:
- Stories of women cheating and hurting innocent men who believe in the “good nature of women”.
- Women who block men on WhatsApp, after realising the true appearance of the guys messaging them. These women (as one member wrote) are “shallow whores”.
- Anger at beautiful women who make money as influencers. Unattractive men couldn’t do the same…
- Women teasing men by going to the gym in revealing clothing – this makes some men depressed and annoyed because as one wrote, the “sluts” don’t give them the time of day.
Incels believe they’re viewed as ugly and this deters them from romance and sex. “Chads” are good-looking men who steal all the “Stacy’s” (usually blonde, curvaceous, feminine women). Meanwhile, there’s also “Becky’s” (average women, deemed likely feminists). Yes, these names do exist to describe their problems. Incels just want to date Stacy’s but Chad’s keep getting in the way.
Male entitlement leading to death and violence
The BBC documentary suggested some incels are innocent enough, yet many are indoctrinated in the dark forums celebrating rape and female violence. In 2014, Elliot Rodger became an incel hero after stabbing to death 6 people. Known as the Isla Vista killings, Rodger’s was a 22-year-old virgin and privileged man – the son of a Hollywood filmmaker.
Still, this wasn’t enough; his “gentleman” manner and upbringing didn’t persuade women to sleep with him. His frustration made him want to seek revenge – initially planning to murder a sorority he deemed the “hottest” in his college – revealed by BBC Canada. Then as the article states, another incel murder in Toronto. Alex Minassian murdered 10 people.
Most recently, Bianca Devins – 17 years old and leaving a concert, was brutally killed by a man she knew – a wannabe boyfriend. The murderer Brandon nearly decapitated Bianca and posted photos of her body to Instagram and his Discord server. Laying lifeless, the images reveal the tragedy of an innocent girl who simply kissed another man in Brandon’s presence. Although he’s not linked to the incel community, he represents some of their male entitlement.
Haven’t women had enough of male entitlement?
We have to worry about how revealing our clothes are – too short and apparently, we’re inviting men to touch us. We have to worry about travelling late at night. We’re blame for toxic male behaviour – we’re supposedly stopping men from approaching us, by not wanting wolf-whistles and sexual heckles as we go about our day. I’ve read comments from men complaining about how confusing sex has become because of the #metoo movement. It’s pretty simple – please don’t rape us.
We’re not allowed body hair, equal pay – we need deep debates to discuss whether we’re allowed the same freedom as men. I blogged recently about my mixed-views on the nipple free movement. I felt concerned the freedom would increase the branding of women as sluts. Additionally, I worry Instagram accepting topless photos would increase victims of revenge porn and the already pressurised feeling women have to take their clothes off to look sexy – which I’m not against if a woman’s comfortable. Men can waltz the streets sweaty and shirtless without a double take but gosh forbid a female has her nipples showing through her top.
And what makes it all worse, as I also once blogged – we have toxic femininity. Females who judge women even harsher than men. Now we have to feel concerned about violence for not agreeing to a man’s advances? How many men share incel views without describing themselves as one? How many men rape or sexually assault because they’re angry at women who don’t like them? Incels seem to want a particular type of a woman and they’re masking that as all women. I believe most want a white blonde which mixes racial issues in their misogyny.
The men who hate women
The male beauty industry is growing and UK GQ predict non-invasive surgeries, self-care and makeup will soon become the norm. I’ve watched documentaries revealing the pressures men face to build muscle and reflect idolised action hero bodies. I do have compassion – it’s just difficult when every woman I know has spent their life modifying their appearance to get classified pretty. I grew up with severe acne and an overbite which some boys chose to criticise. My eyebrows need plucking; cosmetics applied, hair styling each morning…
Women I’m convinced, handle the majority of pressure to reflect certain beauty standards. Earlier this year The Guardian reported on social media women hating – particularly Twitter. Writer Suzanne Moore discussed how some users of the platform attempt to bring down powerful women. Misogyny she says, “is part of a sustained effort to subordinate women”. Whether online or in person, the issue has risen to dangerous territory and women are paying the price. Incels ought to spend their time investing in themselves and not expecting instant gratification.
How aware are you of incels? Do you feel there’s a problem with male entitlement in society?