By Jill Richardson
The recent attack in Toronto by a man who identifies as an “incel” has called attention to the disturbing and flourishing online incel community. “Incel” stands for “involuntarily celibate.”
These are straight men who, frustrated by their lack of romantic success, channel their feelings into hatred of women. Some even resort to violence. In Toronto, that meant striking dozens of people with a van, killing 10.
Others post online about how much they enjoy simply following women around in a threatening way, getting some kicks by scaring them.
I would hazard a guess that many of these guys have been sold an unattainable model of masculinity. Sociologists talk about masculinities, plural. There’s more than one way to identify as a man. Just like there’s more than one way to identify as a woman.
Some men might want to be physically strong, fearless, or popular with women. Perhaps they see themselves as the providers and protectors for their families.
Men in professional careers might derive their masculinity through their role as experts. Maybe they couldn’t go out in the woods for a week and come back with an elk they shot themselves, but they can dominate a courtroom as a lawyer, or perform surgery, or even demonstrate more knowledge of Star Trek trivia than anyone else around.
Others might take a more modern view. A man can wash the dishes. A man can share housework with his partner. He might even take paternity leave and take pride in his role as a new dad caring for his baby.
This guy doesn’t have to prove himself with muscles or rigid gender roles. He can share decision-making and power with his partner without feeling like he’s doing “women’s work.”
Feminists said in the 1970s that being a woman is what each woman wants to make of it. If you want shopping and fashion and babies, you go girl! If you want to run for president, you go do that.
More men need to embrace this message for themselves. They can be whoever they want and their “manhood” isn’t at stake. It’s cool.
You know what isn’t cool, though? Taking your insecurity about your masculinity out on women. It’s not our fault you subscribe to some ridiculous idea of masculinity that says you must achieve prowess in the bedroom — and worse, that it’s our job to help you attain it.
The view of women espoused by incels is, frankly, disgusting. It assumes we do everything with reference to men. We exist for men. When we get dressed in the morning, we’re trying to attract men. We want them to look at us. We consider ourselvessuccessful when alpha male types want to sleep with us.
I don’t know even a single woman that would describe herself in that way.
Women exist for ourselves. We dress in ways that make us feel good, to express ourselves. Sometimes we do things for an audience of other women. (I often get compliments on my purse from other women, never from men.)
We aren’t looking for some stereotypical alpha male to pick us up. We want to meet people who treat us like human beings and engage with us as equals.
The single biggest reason a woman might reject sexual advances from an incel isn’t because of the size of his body parts, his bank account, or anything else. It’s because he holds a view of women that’s hateful and disgusting.
Want to attract women? Try not hating us.
Jill Richardson is the author of “Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It.” She is a columnist for OtherWords.org.
The main reason legal prostitution would help the mentality in this country. If you were to legalize prostitution many more men and women could easily obtain sex and be more pleasurable of a person.
You haven’t even scratched the surface of the insane things these guys say. You are putting it way to nicely.
Incels don’t even view women as human. They see women as some kind of animal that needs to be dominated and controlled like cattle.
Several of them have admitted to raping women, but says it didnt count because she wasn’t a virgin and probably enjoyed it. The disgusting filth they spew has no end.
Many of them support pedophilia and wish to see the age of consent eliminated so they can force 14 year olds to marry them and then groom them into their ideal woman by beating them regularly and not allowing them to have contact with any other person than themselves.
And even all of this is still barely covering the garbage they say. They got so bad that reddit even banned their sub because of various things I’ll hold off on sharing so you don’t vomit on your computer.
If you want to see what im talking about, head over to the reddit subs r/braincels (their new one) or r/inceltears (a watchdog group). But just be prepared to loose faith in humanity of you do.
Chris A Pickett says
Many think men should get back to being men and women back to being women. There is nothing wrong with Chivalry or acting like a proper lady.
The term ‘acting like a proper lady’ in itself is the problem. Not sure what that actually means.
I want my daughters to be who they are, not what a man or society expects them to be. I wish them to be strong, independent, loving, adventurous, hard working, hard playing, god-fearing women. If that’s what ‘proper’ means, then I agree.
My husband and I say ‘I love you’ to each other every day. He opens doors for me. He tells me how beautiful I am, even when I am overweight and growing older. I cook his dinner and take his plate to him each evening, because I LOVE him and appreciate how hard he works each and every day for our family, not because I have to or because it’s ‘proper’. I don’t expect my daughters to do the same. I just hope that one day they will also find someone that’s willing to treat them with love and respect, who will allow them to grow as a person, not live as a possession.
For disgruntled men, If you want to live a miserable life, it will most likely be lived alone, as expected. It’s your choice. Open your eyes and start enjoying the life you have. Ever heard of the saying ‘You attract more fly’s with honey than you do with vinegar?’
Flagler County Citizen says
I think we could begin by acting like proper neighbors to one another. We can begin by respecting each other until that respect has been unfounded. We can say “please,” and “thank you,” to each other. We can nod at each other’s opinions, then calmly offer objective counter perspectives without name calling or insulting.
There is a difference between men and women. We can respect that while understanding that not all of us fit neatly into specified roles. :)
If you want to hold the door for me, I will thank you genuinely with a smile. I will not let the door close on a man behind me, though, and I will hold it.