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Alek Minassian empathy deficit entitled babies incel men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA not-quite-explicit threats not-quite-plausible deniability paul elam

Sady Doyle’s examination of the roots of incel violence is required reading

“Mystery” and his famous hat: Pickup artists don’t “save” men from going incel; in fact, they’ve helped to get us into the mess we’re in today

By David Futrelle

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you owe it to yourself to give Sady Doyle’s excellent examination of the roots of the hateful, violence-obsessed incel subculture a thorough read. She expertly traces the intricate connections between various factions of the manosphere — from MRAs to pickup artists to incels — that like to insist they have absolutely nothing to do with one another.

She highlights violent and threatening rhetoric from MRAs like Paul Elam, often indistinguishable from the angry outbursts we see now on incel boards. She shows how the misogyny of even “mainstream” pickup artists like Mystery — who at the height of his popularity, you may recall, had a show on VH1 — helped to feed the hatred of that movement’s extreme members like Roosh — and how the pickup boom of the late 00’s ultimately helped to fuel the incel movement as many young men who felt they’d been scammed by the movement gathered together online to share their experiences.

I have a few quibbles with Sady here and there — she ignores the early history of the incel movement, which didn’t start out as the hateful cesspool it is today —  but she’s done a fantastic job of pulling a lot of disparate elements of this complicated story into a coherent and convincing narrative.

She also points out the central role the harassment of women has played in virtually every manosphere subculture — and the utter failure of male journalists who dismissed the harassment their female colleagues often faced from angry men as little more than a joke.

“In the weeks after the Minassian attack,” she writes, even as

the media published yet another wave of explainers about “incels,” economists mused about “redistributing sex,” and Times columnist Ross Douthat suggested that dateless men might be availed the use of sex workers or robots. … Like the PUAs, the incels were taken at face value, with their formerly unthinkable ideas — “redistributed sex,” despite the euphemism, is a call for legalized sex slavery — absorbed and broadcast uncritically by the mainstream. …

Once again, women were stuck yelling warnings to a crowd that neither heard nor cared. The cycle that has dominated coverage of the manosphere for 10 years — horror and forgetfulness, mass outrage and instant erasure — continues to this day.

One way to fight this erasure? Share Sady’s essay as widely as you can.

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Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
2 years ago

Heh. I had just finished reading that article before coming here.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
2 years ago

This theory posits a vast, malevolent feminist conspiracy aimed at suppressing the male gender that most men are too brainwashed to perceive. Once a man has his “red pill” moment and realizes that egalitarian gender norms have been specifically created to ruin his life, joining the manosphere becomes his only reasonable response.

Yep. “Specifically created to ruin his life.” Captures the POV pretty well, doesn’t it?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

Notwithstanding David’s excellent recent articles on specific aspects of inceldom and related culture, that is possibly the most succinct overview of the manosphere as a whole I’ve yet seen.

I especially like how she addresses the sort of ‘intersectionality’ of misogyny and other forms of fascism and prejudice.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
2 years ago

Similarly to Fishy Goat, I’d just read this article and then it popped up on Mammoth 🙂

I was pleased that she mentioned David’s work: he, and a number of commenters here, have been drawing the dots between different areas of the manosphere, and the alt-right/white supremacy, for some time now. It’s vital work and hopefully more people are becoming aware of it.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

Or like shouting out the same warning, over and over, as the rest of the world skidded ever more recklessly toward the precipice.

Why am I reminded of a certain scene from Terminator 2?

Hopefully, despite the Orange Caligula and what he has in his briefcase, this situation won’t end in the same way …

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

despite the Orange Caligula and what he has in his briefcase

Jim Mattis is pretty bright; he’s probably just given Trump an old suitcase with a Fisher Price activity centre inside.

“Ok Mr President, first you need to turn that dial until the cow says ‘moo'”.

piperzoso
piperzoso
2 years ago

I never knew, until reading Sady Doyle’s article, that manospherians will go as far as to call in false bomb threats so SWAT teams are deployed to people’s houses.

I would thank them for draining taxpayer’s money for the sake of harassment, but I’m really tired of driving over potholes that never get fixed while the taxes just keep going up, up, and away.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
2 years ago

When I first glanced at that pic of Mystery, the Wicked Witch of the West popped into my mind. So ridiculous.

Alex Stallwitz
Alex Stallwitz
2 years ago

I would argue theres no difference between “Incels”and Terrorists. Theres a reason that Al-Qaeda and ISIS and MRAs recruit from the same pool of people. Angry males who are eager to strike back at the world and are eager to self-sacrifce. They all want to remake the world in their images by inflcting terror on the world. ISIS an Islamic fundmental state and the Incels.. i am not sure to be honest , a world like The Handmaiden’s Tale? You get the point.

Itsabeast
Itsabeast
2 years ago

In these discussions people usually forget about Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter in 2007–but his stated motivation was incel-ish and I’m pretty sure he killed more people than Sodini, Rogers, and Minassian combined.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
2 years ago

I thought this was very telling:

I reached out to several men who had covered these communities in the late ’00s — including Strauss, and even Mystery himself — but none were willing to talk. One let me send him a few questions; when I mentioned the incels, he abruptly told me he would “not be able to participate.”

@piperzoso: Swatting is a favourite tactic with these assholes. David covered the swatting of an anti-GamerGate activist, Randi Lee Harper, a few years back; luckily, she suspected they might try something like this and had already reached out to the local cops so they reacted in a much more measured fashion than they might otherwise have done. A Kansas man wasn’t so lucky last December when one feuding gamer swatted another who gave a false address. In other words, some total stranger died because a pair of man-babies were having a strop over a damn video game, and a twitchy cop thought he saw the guy go for a gun. I hope those guys see prison time. A lot of prison time.

Gespenst
Gespenst
2 years ago

@Alex Stallwitz

The difference is that IS/AQ has the ability to transform many of them into disciplined “soldiers” and “officers” (The mass of them are “fighters” in Syria/Iraq/Yemen etc)
Let’s hope the Alt-Right&MRAs never get the chance to train
real warfare in some full-scale civil war in Europe.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
2 years ago

Times columnist Ross Douthat

4 of the most depressing words ever published…

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

Already too late. At this point you ought to just grab some popcorn, get to the southern hemisphere, put on the TV, and watch Italy start to implode…

(When Italy, Spain, and Greece team up and at least one of them has a ranting far-right demagogue in charge, that’s when the fireworks will really begin. That it’s shaky phone-cam Youtube videos exposing the atrocities might be the only easy way to tell 2019 from 1939…)

queen of the mad bassets

Having heard Paul Elams repugnant comments about women, saying we are lesser than dogs, that he would always find a rapist innocent, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, and basically women are only hood for their tits, it is no small wonder that these hideous attitudes can infect. He is considered by many to be a rep of a legit movement. I am also mortified by Karen Straun (I know I spelled it wrong and don’t care. She is beneath contempt and I am mortified that she is a fellow Canadian). How does a woman become so hateful? She makes Phyllis Snclafly look like a feminist. These people HATE us.

Query
Query
2 years ago

Sady’s article was interesting. I like internet history. Can someone refer me to the early days of the incel movement? I heard somewhere it had something to do with a book of pook. But I don’t know, and won’t check. There are a lot of weird self-published books on Amazon (which I avoid now).

I have a few quibbles with Sady here and there — she ignores the early history of the incel movement, which didn’t start out as the hateful cesspool it is today

I avoid online communities because they have become a time sink for me in the past. But, this site gives me laughs, along with helping me understand what the hell happened in this world.

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

I read this article earlier in the week and… well, I think the roots of the entitlement are go further back in pop culture than Mystery or a VH1 show (isn’t it an ongoing joke that nobody watches VH1?). And particularly for the demographics we’re talking about here, I’m willing to bet the trope of “underdog nerd gets hot lady, becomes real man” was engrained harder from films like Revenge of the Nerds, Sixteen Candles, American Pie or Superbad than a greasy Cris Angel lookalike.

I do like that the article ties the threads of racism and sexism together with Elliott Rodger though, that is overlooked far too often. And it really hits home when it says that the surrounding culture, despite #MeToo, is still extremely hostile to women coming forward, and makes it clear in a way that resonates.

lkeke35
lkeke35
2 years ago

Katamount:
Oh you’re absolutely right ! Pop Culture has most definitely played a huge role in the creation of the idea that all men deserve a hot woman. And with the prioritization of White men in particular in all of pop culture, this definitely applies to their sense of entitlement. Movie after movie, after TV show after show, and even in music and gaming. women as reward has been one of the primary tropes of American history.

Although I hate linking to this particular article, Its not exactly wrong, and this trope appeared long before the invention of the internet.

http://www.cracked.com/article_19785_5-ways-modern-men-are-trained-to-hate-women.html

But the short answer is at #1: They feel powerless! Because ultimately, forcing women to have sex with men they don’t want, is not even about sex. It’s always about power and control.

Nentuaby
Nentuaby
2 years ago

Ikeke35: That article is really weird. It just kind of… Devolves… From feminism to, um, not that as you read it. Like “3 ways modern men are trained to hate women, and 2 totally objective biotruths that just make it natural to hate women, amirite guys”.

Liquidmidnight
Liquidmidnight
2 years ago

One part of the manosphere and “men’s rights” movement that is often overlooked in these histories would be the True Forced Loneliness (TFL) subculture. They weren’t very numerically large but did have a fairly noticeable presence on YouTube, circa-2007/2008. I don’t think the main leaders post anymore, but generally, they were somewhat of a proto-MGTOW and proto-incel movement (the “true forced loneliness” aspect of their theory was generally the same as the incel ontology that women are purposefully withholding themselves, causing men to involuntarily be without a partner – the TFLers were speaking in wider social terms of companionship but the general concept was the same). A lot of the TFL language and thinking found its way, either purposefully or by accident, into the MRA, incel, redpill, and MGTOW movements.