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Escape from Incel: Redditor explains how he extracted himself from the toxic subculture and rejoined the real world

GET OUT!

By David Futrelle

On Reddit’s IncelTears — a subreddit devoted to mocking and critiquing the toxic incel subculture — someone claiming to be a former incel has posted an account of their escape from inceldom. It’s a throwaway account, but the story he tells seems pretty convincingly true to me.

“In the wake of the horrific events in Toronto,” he begins,

I wanted to share some of my experiences as a former incel, and how I eventually changed my behaviors to become a better person.

Being an incel is awful, it’s an awful predicament, with an unhelpful community to back it up. Often when people describe an incel, the general description is “Involunaty Celebate”, someone who can’t get girls, etc. This is the most glaring issue and the one bought up by the community but it isn’t the only issue in most cases.

When a guy can’t get a girl to save his life there’s usually some undelying social issue at play and that issue has an affect on that individuals entire social life, not just the intimate aspect. You don’t feel important, you don’t feel valued. This starts to play on your self esteem and is partially to explain for the very self-hate low IQ trodding nature of the community.

Unfortunately, the incel “community” only makes this self-hate worse.

The community’s biggest problem is that it does nothing to fix the problem and only goes to reinforce ones already held beliefs. So you’re someone who can’t get a girl, shunned from society (to various degrees) and you go online to find people like you, and when you get there you find false explanations for your problems and an echo chamber of your ideas.

You confide in this group and as a result, you start to inherit some of that group think and ideas. These ideas don’t help you in the real world but rather make things worse, it’s a downward spiral.

So what was it that led him to start questioning incel dogma — and eventually extract himself from this morass? As he explained in a followup comment, he literally got off of incel forums and into the real world, where he quickly found that most of what the incels say about men and women and dating and pretty much everything is just plain wrong.

One of the things I did was get out there, almost in a literal sense.

When I was an incel I never went out. I had never been in a bar, never been to a club, I didn’t know that life in the slightest. So when I went online it was very easy to believe the things you read about bars/clubs/women/chads/stacies/etc because I had no comparison in the real world to call bullshit on one way of the other. The first time I went out to a bar, 20 minutes in and getting a drink I saw a guy, probably 3 inches shorter and twice as round sitting in the VIP section with a bunch of hot girls nearby. Seeing that shattered by worldview because according to the incel community, that guy was doing something that was fucking impossible in their eyes.

I’m not sure that the VIP section of a nightclub is what I’d call a representative sample of reality, but it’s certainly the case that the easiest way to challenge many of the central myths of incel is to simply open your eyes to the evidence all around you in the real world, where you’ll find men of all sizes, shapes, heights, and ages happily paired off with women of all sizes, shapes, heights and ages. You have to be willfully blind to believe that women won’t date short men, or men with improperly angled eyebrows, or men with inappropriately sized wrists (and yes, these are real incel beliefs).

The former incel continues:

After that I kept going out and every time I went out there was always something different, not a single night was the same. Always different characters, different situations, different interactions. I started to see that there wasn’t just one pre-disposed type of person to get a particular girl and I learned that anything could happen, literally anything.

Yep.

I’ve been thrown out of a bar on to the street only to be invited to an afterparty 5 minutes later, I’ve gotten harshly rejected by a girl in front of her boyfriend only for her to run back to me before the bar closes and give me her number. I was in the corner of a bar talking to a girl telling her about where I was from before some drunk guy decided to roundhouse kick me because he thought I was lying about my nationality (that a was fun night). Countless upon countless situations where I’ve walked out of it going “what the fuck just happened”

I guess this is one possible escape from incel. But you don’t have to get into bar fights or get invited to any afterparties — or even set foot in a nightclub at all — to see that incels live inside a collective delusion that only vaguely resembles life on this planet.

Overall, it was just replacing the knowledge I had acquired from places like incel subreddits and forums with real-world experience. You can read PUA and incel forums all day long and get two totally different ideas of nightlife, or you can go out and get another idea entirely.

Yep. All it requires is that you just GET OUT of the incel subculture for a short time — whether you literally start going to nightclubs or simply free yourself from incel thinking long enough to see that what the incels are telling you is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Our former incel admits that this can be more difficult than it sounds.

When I finally came to my senses it involved me throwing out all of my previously held beliefs and ideologies. In theory, it sounds easy but if you’re a Democrat or Republican, imagine making the intellectual leap from one side to the other, it’s like doing that. Here you’ve been told to despise women, despite attractive guys that get those women, despise pop-culture and the things around it, now you have take all that and conclude that it was all wrong and you need to listen to the other side. And all the while you are trying to do this the community that you had around you is pointing to reasons why you shouldn’t make that ideological leap.

Nonetheless, it is possible. This guy did it. Others have done it.

The former incel ends his post with some words for those still caught up in the incel cult:

From this I want to leave a bit of advice for Incels that might read this. It can be hard to embrace advice from a side of society that has ostrizied you. But at the of the day what side do you want ot be on. Give whatever excuse you want but at the end of the day you know where you want to be. My journey from that community took years of standing the corner at parties, getting rejected by girls, getting into fights, it was painful. But from my experience, the pain is worth it.

I’d be curious to hear more stories from former incels who got out. If you’re someone who was once (but no more) under the sway of incel ideas — whether you were a regular on some incel forum or just someone who found themselves being drawn in by their rhetoric, please drop me a note (dfutrelle at gmail) or post your story in the comments below. Tell us what drew you to incel in the first place, how you got pulled in, and how and why you ultimately rejected that way of life.

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Pug
Pug
2 years ago

@crony chips:

Any “incel” who hurts anyone is a piece of subhuman fecal matter, including that man in California and that prick in Canada, whose names I refuse from saying out loud. They should be locked in a little room and they should take the key and throw it in the ocean…ALONG with the little room.

Don’t get me wrong: the actions of those twits is disgusting and I am NOT defending them.

All I am saying is that so many men with legitimate issues get suckered into those forums and end up indoctrinated with a world-view that offers false—yet easy to understand—explanations for what they are going through.

And those men who are not evil by nature are only going to look at a blog like this that is devoid of compassion for any man going through social issues are just going to be driven deeper into the shadows and become more entrenched in their false beliefs.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
2 years ago

And yes, I do believe that men should have spaces to talk about their issues among men, just as women should. I am going to start going to a group therapy secession for other men who have been abused and it is men only too…is that automatically a “cesspool of sexism and violence”?

I don’t think I could talk about my issues face to face with a group of women at this point. Does that make me a bad person for wanting a space with men who have been through the same thing?

I’m getting really tired of your strawmanning, Pug. Stop pretending that we believe what you think we do. We have always been sympathetic towards male victims of abuse, always will be.

YOUR error is in conflating hateful groups that only seek to complain about woman and fantasise about raping/assaulting/murdering us with actual support groups for men – minus the hate. It’s been said multiple times here but you’ve ignored every instance: WE ARE ONLY CRITICAL OF MEN AND MALE GROUPS WHO WANT TO SEE US HARMED. Is the therapy group you’re about to attend like that? No? Then it’s fine by us.

Jesalin
Jesalin
2 years ago

Oooh! A Freja + WWTH tag team event?!

grabs a front-row centre seat

:popcorn:

Pug
Pug
2 years ago

@weirdtreehugger:

I am talking about the rank-and-file people who join Jyhadists groups. They are mostly suckered in and given a false explanation for their own real problems…similar to members of “incel” boards.

Maajid Nawaz was once a Jyhadists and he now does what he can to get people to leave those groups. I agree with his efforts 100%
https://www.quilliaminternational.com/about/staff/maajid-nawaz/

If he can talk to people who are considering killing people in the name of political Islam, why can’t we as a society do more to talk to men who write about hating women online? Do you think just mocking them will get them to change?

Makroth - cowboy Jacobin from Hell
Makroth - cowboy Jacobin from Hell
2 years ago

@Pug

The term “incel” does not belong to you. Neither does “men’s rights activism”. I think it would be better if it did. If you want to actually own the term, your words and actions must speak louder than those who these terms actually belong to.

Seriously, YOU’RE JUST ARGUING SEMANTICS!

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
2 years ago

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
2 years ago

And those men who are not evil by nature are only going to look at a blog like this that is devoid of compassion for any man going through social issues are just going to be driven deeper into the shadows and become more entrenched in their false beliefs.

INCELDOM IS NOT JUST “SOCIAL ISSUES” PLEASE STOP IGNORING WHAT WE ARE SAYING.

Also I think I got a full bingo card now. “If you people were NICER then these men wouldn’t become misogynists!” Heard it a million times before.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

So we can’t call Rosa canina a rose because Rosa kordesii is also a rose but doesn’t share 100% of the same properties? But that’s not even the same as what you’re proposing. You’re saying we can’t use the term to describe the order Rosales because Fagales is also a flowering plant species and we wouldn’t want to malign them by calling out roses for their thorns.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
2 years ago

Oh dammmnnnn, SFHC is here. Buckle up, troll.

cornychips
cornychips
2 years ago

A rose by any other name:

Nazi….white nationalist…..domestic terrorists…

Aaron
Aaron
2 years ago

Considering that incel sprang up for that bastion of male entitlement that is the manosphere, why is it not satisfying to call it male entitlement?

To be clear: it’s not necessarily entirely wrong, but it seems inadequate and not particularly enlightening. I think most everyone can agree that incels display more misogyny than is typical, and that it’s expressed in fairly unusual and idiosyncratic ways. And thinking about why that might be the case could (I thought) possibly work toward at least partially answering Julia’s question – which is why, for all their structural similarities, incel groups tend to externalize their hate while the pro-ana community mostly does not.

I think the word you’re looking for is “misogynist.” They aren’t rough and tumble passionate people with a political cause. They’re misogynists. Pure and simple.

Well, the ideology certainly is misogynist, though that’s not all it is. “Ideology” doesn’t imply harmlessness; indeed, it’s the opposite, because an ideology by definition provides a framework for understanding and/or engaging with the world, and is hence much more capable of drawing in others than blind hatred that doesn’t effectively justify itself. Nazism is an ideology. Maoism is an ideology. I refer to incel as a (quite powerful, in my opinion) ideology to emphasize the harm it can do.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

You begin by calling me a “troll”…not always a good idea to start with an ad hominem.

Misusing the term “ad hominem” is on page one of the troll handbook.

Page two is strawman arguments.

Page three is deliberate mislabeling. Unless you are on the board of 1in6, you do not get to slap the label of men’s rights on them. Even if you are on the board, you would have to get support from the majority of the board to relabel them as a men’s rights group.

So yeah, you are a troll.

And yes, I do believe that men should have spaces to talk about their issues among men, just as women should. I am going to start going to a group therapy secession for other men who have been abused and it is men only too…is that automatically a “cesspool of sexism and violence”?

comment image

No one here is objecting to male support groups. We object to misogynistic groups. Have you not noticed that we here have praised 1in6 as being a good group?

And I couldn’t help but noticed you left out that I actually agree with feminism on a number of issues, like toxic-masculinity, how men can’t understand what women go through, etc.

If you agree with feminism on toxic masculinity, you wouldn’t think this was a man hating blog. Because toxic masculinity is just exactly what this blog focuses on.

I also wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a feminist position that men can’t understand what women go through. We don’t want them explaining to us what we go through as if they know better. That’s not quite the same thing though. I actually think men are perfectly capable of understanding misogyny and patriarchy and how if affects women. If they are willing to listen to us. Sadly, not listening to women is a pretty facet of toxic masculinity. So a lot of men don’t get it at all.

I will look at the forum.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ pug

If he can talk to people who are considering killing people in the name of political Islam, why can’t we as a society do more to talk to men who write about hating women online?

Your conclusion doesn’t follow from your example.

No one is objecting if any former incel wishes to try to persuade his erstwhile peers to change their ways. But what obligation is there on society to do so? Especially when half of society is being targeted by that group for death, rape, or enslavement.

When has Nawaz ever said it’s up to the victims of terrorism to assist him in his work?

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
2 years ago

Anyway, again, 1in6 is an organization that advocated for the rights of men. Hence, it is a MEN’S RIGHTS ORGANIZATION. I am celibate and not in a relationship because I have issues stemming from abuse, hence I am “INVOLUNTARILY CELIBATE”

(Attenborough voice): And here we see the delicate Dictionarius Ponderousi warble, alerting the nearby animals in the forest of the boundaries of its territory.

Words mean more than they do in the dictionary. They carry a cultural load, typically represented in an association graph.

The fact that 1in6 advocates for men’s rights doesn’t make it a Men’s Rights Organization, because Men’s Rights Organizations are semantically associated with misogynistic groups. 1in6 doesn’t, and doesn’t want to be associated with that, so they don’t use the term.

Same with Incel. The “Incels Without Hate” subreddit you point to was spawned from the main group of Incels, for people who are looking for actual support and not hate.

The term Incel carries an association with hate, all on its own. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t call themselves Incels Without Hate, they’d just call themselves Incels. They need to add the “Without Hate” in order to be clear about it.

I professionally study the mechanics of language, by the way.

I do believe that men should have spaces to talk about their issues among men, just as women should.

That’s great! I hope it goes well. No irony or sarcasm there. I really do. I’m an abuse survivor myself. Men deserve to have the same spaces to recover and heal and survive as any others do.

You seem to want to turn everything into a “us vs them” thing. It is not. I am aware that many feminists are great people. I’ve essentially that on this thread a number of times.

I suspected that you might be, when you mentioned 1in6 as the group you are from and support. They’re a rather feminist organization themselves.

The only thing you seem to be angry about is that we’re using terms that you’d rather we didn’t use. Which – well, I understand why that would be upsetting! Just understand that we’re not the ones using those terms, they are. Men – and I’m including you in this, ’cause I’m not being negative here – have to understand that there are a lot of really not-nice guys who are trashing organizations by associating with them, and that they can’t get mad at us for being upset at those organizations for letting it go on. Be mad at the harmful, toxic dudes, not at their targets.

I am being honest: not all feminists are bad and feminists have a lot of good points. Why not be honest and say that feminists have used terms like “Mommy issues” too many times. How am I suppose to read that, considering what I’ve been through?

Shall we be honest? Let’s.

I did a search of WHTM for the term “mommy issues” in a few ways. I found one commentor mention the term on mother’s day in 2016; another in february of the same year. Nothing from this year or the last.

We don’t really use that term. I’m happy to join you in saying it shouldn’t be used, though, ’cause it’s infantilizing. Men are adults and can own their behaviour.

And those men who are not evil by nature are only going to look at a blog like this that is devoid of compassion for any man going through social issues are just going to be driven deeper into the shadows and become more entrenched in their false beliefs.

My duck, just to be clear: you are currently talking to the people who are the targets and intended victims of these people.

Are you actually suggesting that it’s our responsibility to rehabilitate these guys? It’s the survivors of their abuse, the targets of their hostility and harassment, that are responsible for their decline?

I imagine you aren’t, you mean to say that we aren’t helping them, but that’s the same thing.

I have a lot of pointed arguments that would make that a little more clear to you perhaps, but they’re a bit too pointy so I’ll let them alone. Just think about what you’re asking of us, huh?

Who?
Who?
2 years ago

Most of us aren’t antimen.
None of the post here mock akward, uncesful men.
I is the hate and the greatest bullshits David mocks.
The mesage here is don’t hate.
Supportgroups are not hategroups.
If you found a group that uses the word incel without hate congratulation that would be an argument to not use it and search for some other name for them.
And the fact is after Torronto, somethink that incels are celebrating, they are in the news.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Boy did it not take me long to find sexism at incels without hate.

Look at this post. https://www.reddit.com/r/IncelsWithoutHate/comments/8gymzt/youtuber_girl_angry_at_incel_misogyny_chad_lurks/

Youtuber girl angry at incel misogyny, Chad lurks in the background.

Even the title is a poor start.

Here’s the poster’s explanation.

what are you even talking abt? I’m fine w/ her dating. jfc

For clarity sake, I’ll explain.

This girl looks at some incel forum and picks out dozens of angry incel comments.

She wonders why they’re upset. Well they’re upset bc they can’t get women.

She goes on for 28 minutes or so wondering why.

Incels claim girls go for the goodlooking guys; in the background you see the girl w/ a (agreed fuzzy, but clear) goodlooking guy.

I thought that was ironic

(ironic: interesting, strange, or funny because of being very different from what you would usually expect)

Why ironic? Incels joke abt the girls going for Chad meme.
Explaining jokes make them unfunny, but i figured you were sincerely in the dark here, so I explained it.

He claims it’s a joke but the premise of the joke is that if a woman knows a guy who is maybe good looking and maybe her boyfriend, she shouldn’t object to incel misogyny because she’s part of the reason incels are so misogynistic in the first place.

Now, there are commenters there who are objecting to the post. However, one of the ones who was criticizing this “joke” said this

Understand the use of a “starter girl”. Maybe she’s fat or no so hot but she’s willing to screw and suck. Get your confidence up from that and you will be more attractive to the next girl.

Plus you can close your eyes and imagine it’s Beyoncé or whatever.

Because fat or “not hot” women aren’t people. They’re things men can “use” as confidence boost. Because women who aren’t conventionally hot should be grateful to get any male attention at all and certainly don’t mind fucking men who are whiny misogynists.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
2 years ago

Yeah, I looked at the forum, too, found it on the googs. I didn’t dig too deep, though. It looks better than the unfiltered cesspit of Incels doot me, but that’s a pretty low bar. Like the original post of this article, there’s toxic masculinity on display but it’s more garden variety.

LindsayIrene
LindsayIrene
2 years ago

I noticed that Pug listed Andrea Dworkin as an example of a bad feminist and would like to know the reasoning behind that.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
2 years ago

@LindsayIrene
She’s anti porn and anti prostitution for one. Reading her past, it’s checkered as hell.

Aaron
Aaron
2 years ago

One last thing:

They aren’t rough and tumble passionate people with a political cause.

I have to say I entirely disagree with this, and it’s an important disagreement. Incels are very much a political group – I’d argue it’s their primary inheritance as descendants of the manosphere, and I suppose in a nutshell I’d say it’s what distinguishes them from similar self-destructive groups (like pro-ana), which are not political per se.

I think this is one reason why I think “male entitlement” as a summation of incel is so unsatisfying. It gestures to the fact that, yes, their politics are hateful – but actually, the most significant takeaway here is that they have politics. It’s not just that they can’t attract a woman: it’s that they can’t attract a woman because of undesirable social conditions, and hence these social conditions are worth talking/ranting about and ultimately coming up with possible programs for change.* From this perspective it’s unsurprising that their hatred is much more potent and focused than the more diffuse and generalized low-grade resentment that you do often see in pro-ana.

*Even if their various “solutions” are absurd and unworkable – which, by the way, might be a potentially exploitable glitch in the otherwise formidable incel worldview: the fact that they are awkwardly trying to jam a social explanation and therefore a politics over what are essentially personal woes.

LindsayIrene
LindsayIrene
2 years ago

@ Ooglyboggles

Usually, though, people are thinking of the claim that she called all sex rape, since that’s been copypasta’d all over the internet.

Sol
Sol
2 years ago

@Tessa Thanks for posting, it’s nice to see a relatable story.

Gender dysphoria is at the heart of me being incel and it just makes the entire prospect of even trying to look for dates feel insurmountable. A few months ago I actually turned down a cute gay guy who seemed to be really into me because what’s the point? he wants to be with a guy and I’ll rather be alone than do that to myself. Same with girls. Why try to start something romantic or sexual when even in the best case she’d be into a person that is fake and a body I loathe? Can’t expect people to fall in love with a vision of me that only exists in my head.

Also all the advice is effing stupid:

Try online dating? Great, I don’t even make it past “I’m a [gender] looking for [genders]” on the signup screen because any combination feels either delusional (and would out me) or wrong.

Hit the gym? That’s exactly what made my dysphoria bad enough for me to realize what is going on. The last thing I want is more muscles or a broader chest! Cardio is tolerable (but doesn’t do anything to make my calf muscles go away) but lifting makes me feel like a monster.

Man up! *puke*

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ Aaron

For a while now I’ve been examining whether incel amounts to terrorism. Such a categorisation, from a legal standpoint, requires a political or ideological motive; and I do think it’s fair to say that incel is misogyny as ideology.

And they do have a political platform and agenda. It might be internally inconsistent, it might be completely unworkable, it might be based totally in fantasy; but, practical or not, it does exist.

PeeVee the Tired
PeeVee the Tired
2 years ago

I had a wonderful pug for years…she was delightful. She passed in 2016.

She didn’t like straw.

I miss her. RIP, Marilyn Wilson.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Yeah, sorry. Bad wording on my part. I didn’t mean to say they aren’t political at all. Misogyny is inherently political. I just think calling the manosphere antagonistic on gender issues is a bit dismissive of just how deep the hate goes. Saying they’re antagonist calls to mind for me something like an advocacy group calling out bad (to their perception) policy or politicians. If that makes sense?

Anyway, I think male entitlement explains them perfectly. I’ve been here on this blog for four years now and I have yet to see anything in the manosphere that doesn’t boil down to entitlement.

Dmytry
Dmytry
2 years ago

I think “narcissistic rage” is probably the best description of what goes on in the incel and related communities. Apart from that these people probably need an entire disorder dedicated to them.

These are people who literally have a fault in their psyche that will twist their perceived world into the most contorted of shapes to make any failure, even a small one, not be their psyche’s own fault, to mask their own faults with rage.

And, of course, there’s a spectrum when it comes to affinity to such delusions, and another spectrum when it comes to creativity as applied to creation of delusions.

edit: also to be fair to regular narcissists, those will work hard to match their aggrandized self image the best they can. These folks… not so much.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
2 years ago

I will also agree that the Incels are an ideology and a political movement – they want society to do things and to be a certain way, and they’re taking action to do that.

I just don’t think we should refer to them as an ideology or political movement primarily, because that papers over the foundation of entitlement that makes them that way. And yeah, like WWTH pointed out, it gives them an air of legitimacy that they don’t deserve.

And for any pedants reading – we’re talking about Incels, the hate group, and not all-people-who-aren’t-having-sex-but-would-like-to. Just in case anyone on-thread is confused about that.

<3 Peevee

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

Hugs Peevee

I know what it’s like to lose a furry friend, as do many here I think.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Oops. Hit post too soon.

but actually, the most significant takeaway here is that they have politics. It’s not just that they can’t attract a woman: it’s that they can’t attract a woman because of undesirable social conditions, and hence these social conditions are worth talking/ranting about and ultimately coming up with possible programs for change.*

But male entitlement is political. It exists because of patriarchy and patriarchy is very much a political structure.

“I can’t get a date/get laid” on the other hand, is not a political issue. Beauty standards are. The way our culture privileges couple over singles is. There are many issues surrounding this that are political and we can talk about those, but it is not the job of a political movement or society or governments to obtain a partner for someone. There is literally no way to come up with a program to change someone’s lack of ability to find a partner that is not coercive.

There’s a reason that women, while just as likely to have trouble finding a partner and more likely to be depressed or have anxiety are not creating hate sites about the issue. That reason is male entitlement. Patriarchy teaches that men deserve access to women just for existing. It teaches that women are not people, but status symbols and prizes. This is why they have so much rage over not achieving the “can get a hot chick” status. This is why even though they want to have sex, they hate women who do and call them roasties. Because having sex with a woman doesn’t get them much patriarchy approved status if she’s not hard to get. If incels are not the product of male entitlement, who is?

PeeVee the Tired
PeeVee the Tired
2 years ago

Aw, thanks, Alan!

Violet the Vile, Wielder of an Ideologically Weaponized Vagina
Violet the Vile, Wielder of an Ideologically Weaponized Vagina
2 years ago

Troll: “You hate all men! You say this and that horrible thing! You are unfairness incarnate!”

Everyone: “Citation needed.”

Troll: [makes same statements, again provides no evidence]

Pug, if you want to debate us, you’ll have to actually respond to what people say because otherwise you’re just going to look ridiculous.

My two cents: I’m a survivor of sex abuse myself – and one who also finds dating/sex a deeply uncomfortable proposition – and if I saw anyone on this blog using the phrase “mommy issues” or otherwise minimising abused men, I would be making my feelings known about that in no uncertain terms. I support other abused people, whatever their gender.

“Support” does not mean I let them get away with trolling us, though.

calmdown
calmdown
2 years ago

I noticed that Pug is less talkative since the term “starter girl” was introduced. That must be why most trolls don’t want to cite any sources, since if they do people might actually, y’know, read them and find out what’s really there. Though if you had to hear “Relax bro, It’s just a joke, why can’t you be nicer and be more fun” all the time you might get to know how feminists feel. So, maybe you should keep hanging out there but only if you make feminist arguments to fellow incels and SEE how they really react.

Tessa
Tessa
2 years ago

@Sol

Though it depends on how your dysphoria manifests and how you identify, I *highly* recommend HRT. It’s basically magic.

Jesalin
Jesalin
2 years ago

And therapy. Depending on where you are an assessment is mandatory before HRT anyway. But yeah, dysphoria is a bastard, you don’t have to stay stuck in it though (I hope).

Aaron
Aaron
2 years ago

But male entitlement is political. It exists because of patriarchy and patriarchy is very much a political structure.

I would agree, but a few things. “Male entitlement” as a phenomenon is political – insofar as it must contain at least an implicit statement about how men and women should relate to each other – but it’s not ideological, since an ideology requires justification: an explanation for why things should be this way. This might be splitting hairs, since obviously the patriarchy model (as you pointed out) is an ideology – or at least an umbrella term for many ideologies – but I think the entitlement fostered by patriarchy is somewhat different than the sort you see in incel communities. A man’s romantic failure in patriarchal ideology is mostly laid at his feet – he’s not masculine enough, not successful enough, not attractive enough. It is (I think) primarily conceptualized as a personal failing, not a political one. The man might still externalize his rage (a response that might be partially attributable to other aspects of patriarchal ideology), but his actions can’t be contextualized or justified in an articulable program like – well, like the Incel Rebellion. A rejected man who kills a woman (or others) under patriarchal ideology is a loser, a failed man desperately trying to reclaim some semblance of his manhood. A rejected man who kills under incel ideology is a hero, a “saint.”

And while male entitlement (broadly defined, in some form) extends beyond the manosphere, and may at least partially inform how many men react to romantic rejection or their own body anxiety, nonetheless only a tiny fraction of men who have trouble with romance are incels. But so the question remains: why these men? Why are they so unusually hateful? You can’t just point to ambient “male entitlement” in the broader culture, because it doesn’t generally extend this far, and it doesn’t generally take such a concrete and idiosyncratic form. I posit that the answer is that they have an unusually deep and conscious conviction that their virginity – or their sexlessness, or their lack of intimacy, or whatever – is at least primarily political, not personal. And I think that conviction is a relic of their ancestry, which is the manosphere, especially the online PUA/Red Pill and men’s rights activist communities which have been pushing a gender politics predicated on an extreme mutual antagonism.

And the implication here is that (to loop back to my earlier point) in incel I think we might be witnessing a direct effect of the manosphere on broader cultural phenomena, like (for example) increasingly unattainable male beauty standards, the rising prevalence of male body dysmorphia, social atomization, and so on. Does the presence of the manosphere and their ideological models make it more likely that some men will feel their social and sexual anxiety as explicitly political – as something done to them by (women/Chads/gynocentric society/manginas/etc)? I think it might. Obviously some have always felt that way, consciously or not, to one degree or another – but the manosphere provides a fully articulated, coherent and (in some ways, for some men) compelling framework for them to contextualize their anxieties, which is (I think) a new development.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ Aaron

an ideology requires justification: an explanation for why things should be this way.

But they do claim a justification. It’s the very title of this blog.

Shadowplay
2 years ago

@Sol

Someone has to tell you – you are wise. Stop laughing, cause thats not a joke or a tease. 😛

Sometimes, doing nothing instead of doing something just for the sake of it really is the best course of action.

Can’t comment on your path – it’s not mine – and there are several excellent people here who can, but you’ve got someone over here pulling for you. Luck to you.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

You can’t just point to ambient “male entitlement” in the broader culture, because it doesn’t generally extend this far, and it doesn’t generally take such a concrete and idiosyncratic form.

Everything in the manosphere, all branches of it is the patriarchy taken to the extreme though.

The complaints of incels, when you strip away all the jargon, boils down to one thing. Women are allowed to choose who they do or do not have sex with and they aren’t choosing them. Patriarchy has always been about controlling women’s bodies. Especially who we do and do not have sex with. That message is reinforced constantly by religion, by pop culture, by politicians. Everywhere. Incel wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for patriarchy. Neither would male entitlement.

You’re trying to make it this big mystery, this complicated thing that merits long posts full of big words. It’s not. It’s very simple.

Stella Gibson has it covered (although this would be regarding serial killers, not incels)

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Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
2 years ago

Stella Gibson has it covered (although this would be regarding serial killers, not incels)

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Cyborgette
Cyborgette
2 years ago

@Sol I’m gonna third the recommendation for HRT. One of the nice things is that the emotional effects of being on the correct hormones start up LONG before the visible physical effects; if an HRT regimen really disagrees with you, you can probably stop well before big permanent changes happen.

Therapy OTOH has been a mixed bag for me, and more bad than good. Being in Massachusetts I can get HRT without a therapist’s note, which is really good, because mine would never have consented in the first place – she had to see the results of 5 months of estrogen treatment on my behavior and feelings before she understood. I’ve yet to find mental health professionals out of queer-dedicated settings who I haven’t had to educate on gender dysphoria, trans physiological stuff, basically everything. Most mental health people I’ve encountered still swear by Freud, and reflexively bring Oedipus complexes into talk about gender feelings.

Be careful. Protect yourself. Never take a therapist’s word as divine ordnance.

Re being “incel” because of dysphoria. I… honestly hate the term “incel”, but I understand this context well. See, a mess of trauma, dysphoria, self-distrust, lack of confidence, mental illness, and burning hatred of traditional gender roles kept me out of relationships until I was 28 (when I met my first partner, also trans fem). I was incredibly, oppressively isolated until I became friends with her, and then started meeting other trans people through her (and actually fitting in). To this day there are things that give me flashbacks – actual trauma flashbacks – to that period of isolation. The idea of being so socially alone again scares the living shit out of me; I doubt I could survive it.

And being really honest, at my worst I tended pretty heavily towards a kind of Joss Whedonish Nice Guyism, with emphasis on romance and emotional bonding rather than sex. I can’t confirm yet if this is a common pattern for trans women, but I’ve seen similar from a few other people.

… Oh and now I’m openly poly and don’t want to marry, go figure. So there was probably some internalized relationship bigotry under there too.

Anyway sorry for rambling, really hope this helps. Transition doesn’t always drag in personal growth and accountability, but for quite a lot of us it does. Good luck. <3

Jesalin
Jesalin
2 years ago

Ideally that assessment is done by a therapist experienced in LGB (and especially) T, issues.

ETA: The gate-keeping is a serious pain in the ass. Informed consent is great, but that approach isn’t available everywhere (my province for example).

ephemerides
ephemerides
2 years ago

Just flashed back to that (…hopefully) brief period in college when I used to argue that Arabs CAN’T be anti-Semitic because they’re/we’re a SEMITIC PEOPLE TOO SO THERE. And then I gradually came to realize that meaning carries infinitely more weight than etymology.

Anyway. Can’t imagine why I thought of it.

Aaron
Aaron
2 years ago

You’re trying to make it this big mystery, this complicated thing that merits long posts full of big words. It’s not. It’s very simple.

Sorry, I’ll try to keep it shorter.

Okay – I certainly agree that all the assorted manosphere communities are linked to “mainstream” ideas about men and women and gender. But this:

Everything in the manosphere, all branches of it is the patriarchy taken to the extreme though.

still seems not quite right to me. The manosphere takes elements from mainstream patriarchal ideas, but it’s still its own thing: distinct in the same way that incel itself is distinct from, say, Red Pill. It’s a weird pastiche of a lot of ideas and a lot of anxieties coming from a lot of different places, and I think it’s wrong simply to think of it as purely an appendage of the patriarchy “dialed up to eleven.”

Anyway, I’ve more or less said what I wanted to say, and I don’t want to overstay my welcome. Thanks for engaging – a lot to think about.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
2 years ago

@Jesalin: true, and sorry.

@WWTH: holy moly that show looks amazing.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

The Fall is great. If you have Netflix, it should still be on there.

Jesalin
Jesalin
2 years ago

@Cyborgette

No need to be sorry, you’re only speaking of your experience after all. I’m very very glad you didn’t have to wait for gate-keeper approval!

I’ve yet to find mental health professionals out of queer-dedicated settings who I haven’t had to educate on gender dysphoria, trans physiological stuff, basically everything.

Hopefully that won’t be the case for too much longer. Then again I tend toward wild optimism at times.

Most mental health people I’ve encountered still swear by Freud, and reflexively bring Oedipus complexes into talk about gender feelings.

Bloody hell, that’s just plain terrifying.

Bakunin
Bakunin
2 years ago

@Sol and Tessa

Thanks for sharing.

HeroBlue
HeroBlue
2 years ago

I applaud this guy. Maybe he got lost in the trenches of that swamp for a while, but it certainly takes some good inner strength to make such a big change (of any kind) and he clearly has it and managed to find it.

I almost wish some like this would start grabbing some of those other miserable souls and take them out – be it a bar/club or some other social activity – and show them actual real life.

idli sambar revolution
idli sambar revolution
2 years ago

about andrea dworkin, from her (and others’) perspective porn and prostitution are exploitative of women. 2nd wave feminism largely held this perspective (some exceptions), so dworkin wasn’t an outlier at the time. a contemporary argument is that legalized and culturally normalized prostitution can bring down the patriarchy and that’s why prostitution still remains largely illegal and non-normalized in mainstream culture (the patriarchy doesn’t want to fall). however I don’t see how such a thing would bring down patriarchy being that patriarchy itself seems to have invented prostitution. historically prostitution arose in civilization after the advent of agriculture, which gave rise to monogamous (and polygynous, but less polyandrous) marriage and more defined gender roles. and then prostitution arose out of that. so in that sense, prostitution was an extention of agricultural based patriarchy. maybe this theory’s been debunked by now though.