• Benj96
    2.3k
    Involuntary celibate is a self appointed term to describe men that are celibate against their will because they deem themselves not attractive enough to the opposite sex. They believe this is objective, fixed and unchangeable.

    Is this an emerging mental condition? What is fuelling the upsurgence in men that self identify as incels?

    Do you think that perhaps the way dating apps are designed has some influence? Are we becoming too objectifying as a society? Is the incel "movement" dangerous? To whom and why?

    So many questions on this bizarre subject.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.3k
    Incels always have been a problem historically, because a lot of testosterone without a reason (aka a women and a family) that can channel it into a social constructive force is a recipe for and source of societal unrest.

    What changed is societal evolutions making being incel even more undesirable (MeToo, male-centered values devaluated etc etc), and technology like social media making it easier to organize around whatever.
  • Benj96
    2.3k
    Interesting. So incels were always there you say. And in a way, the incel is becoming hyper-radical/more extreme as a byproduct or unfortunate counter reaction to society moving towards more of a gender and sex equal state of affairs?

    Is it like a concentrating of mysogyny from what was once more systemic but less extreme into a small, little awful and extreme nugget?

    How would one go about defusing that? Is ignoring it not making it worse somehow? Their whole premise is being ignored or unvalued. Is there a way to promote self esteem/a healthy respect for being a man in this group of individuals without accepting nor permitting their continued misogynistic premises?

    For me it sounds a bit handmaid's tale. That's quite scary.
  • unenlightened
    8.9k
    It's a protest against the liberation of women. A man without a woman is like a bully without a victim.
  • Michael
    14.5k
    Involuntary celibate is a self appointed term to describe men that are celibate against their will because they deem themselves not attractive enough to the opposite sex.Benj96

    The term originated from "Alana's Involuntary Celibacy Project", a website created by a woman to discuss her sexual inactivity.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.3k


    More radical by todays standards maybe, but not in an absolute sense I don't think, they used to form roving warbands, were recruited in the army, or started insurrections... now they are merely a nuisance like an internet-troll is considered annoying. Their frustrated energy is re-directed mostly into verbal aggression, instead of physical aggression, which is probably a win for society... unless it has some yet unknown toxic effects downstream.

    I'm not sure what to do about it, other than generally providing for more community-alternatives that can provide support and maybe some meaning. These seem to have eroded for everybody, not only incels, and leaves a lot of people that get sidetracked without any direction or guidance.
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    Because misogynists are becoming more odious and numerous and have no desire to modify their own behaviour. Under patriarchal law, they could - and in some cultures, still can - be as abusive as they want and still own a woman, or more than one. If women have a choice of mates and are free to leave bad ones, men have to make some accommodation. The ones who know how to do that make out like bunnies and the odious ones are jealous.
  • Christoffer
    1.9k
    Involuntary celibate is a self appointed term to describe men that are celibate against their will because they deem themselves not attractive enough to the opposite sex. They believe this is objective, fixed and unchangeable.

    Is this an emerging mental condition? What is fuelling the upsurgence in men that self identify as incels?

    Do you think that perhaps the way dating apps are designed has some influence? Are we becoming too objectifying as a society? Is the incel "movement" dangerous? To whom and why?

    So many questions on this bizarre subject.
    Benj96

    Conservative norms vs changing norms with the catalyst of the internet as a radicalization system.



    We live in a time that has rapidly transformed what it means to be a man. We've recognized how most of these gender norms are, frankly, pure bullshit. Mostly formed by institutions to control society, mostly formed by the privileged to keep power.

    So, just as we've started to wake up from institutionalized religion's dogmatic hold over society. The further effect it has had on society is to disrupt the traditional principles people lived by. Part of those traditional principles is gender norms. How each gender behaves according to the dogma of religious society. So you first dismantle religion and people start to live without that institution since that's basically just a decision in a nation to move power over to governments in a secular manner. But traditions are harder to disrupt in such fast ways, and it changes over generations rather than overnight. And throughout generations of traditions that no longer function in relation to older power structures, people start to notice norms that seem to exist without any rational reason.

    It's no coincidence that women in Western societies managed to reach equality in voting around the same time as religious states in the West became more and more secularized.

    Throughout the 20th century this awareness of how some norms and gender norms have no real reason other than to function as power structures increased among the people, and because of this change happened rapidly. Equal rights quickly became a moral norm because philosophy couldn't find any reason why not. There was no evidence in science, psychology etc.

    When the internet was invented, information started to spread like wildfire. This means that the disruption of traditions that have happened on uneven time scales throughout the world clashed together and erupted into the conflicts we witness today.

    These incels come from a traditional point of view of norms that remained in their families and communities. When communities on the internet, like Facebook, forums etc. started to normalize being honest in identity and opinions, these incels started expressing their traditional opinions more openly and since women have progressively moved much further in understanding equality and living by it, there's no place for these incels to express their traditional perspectives on gender and race.

    Women simply aren't interested in going back to such a darkly oppressed time of gender norms that these incels ascribe to. But these incels function exactly like anyone else who's locked into unchanged thinking, they project blame instead of doing that change. So they blame women for not being attractive, they blame them on the grounds of old traditional views on norms, thinking that men need to be in a certain way in order to attract women and that women only get attracted by these special men.

    It's the whole foundation for the Sigma, Beta male concept they invented.

    In essence, it's just a bunch of men who are unable to live in a modern world of equal rights. They've learned, growing up, "to be a man", and had role models of men to be a certain way, and now they can't use any of that because people say those norms are outdated.

    Men either go in one direction or the other. Either they change and function normally, they recognize how old traditional norms are bullshit, just like women have, and they change with the times.

    Or, they are unwilling to change and they lock themselves in harder with traditional views. They gather together with other men who believe the same thing and form a culture around those outdated traditions.
    Why do you think that people like Andrew Tate become such a role model for them? Or the strict "make your bed, clean your room"-daddy-figure of Jordan Peterson?

    It is quite obvious where all this is coming from. And they gather in numbers because the internet is such a powerful tool for radicalization and grouping together people globally. It is a global movement that is also, knowingly or unknowingly behind ultranationalist movements such as Proud Boys, nationalist politics, Brexit, Trumpism etc.

    They're all part of the same pile of bullshit longing for old traditions.

    To be honest, I'd say, let them rot and let women and marginalized people who managed to overcome this historic toxicity reign free and claim power where they can. Incels are a dying breed of men who are just holding on to traditions that the rest of us have already moved away from.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.3k
    Incels are a dying breed of men who are just holding on to traditions that the rest of us have already moved away from.Christoffer

    God, you really have drunk that progressive kool-aid.

    It's not just a matter of a bunch of guys holding onto an outdated ideologies, I think you underestimate 1) how biology played a role into forming these traditional ideologies in the first place, and 2) how their frustrated biological drives now plays into forming post-hoc misogynists rationalization. I bet a lot of incels coudn't care less about traditional norms and values... they're mostly frustrated, and invent stories to make it more bearable for themselves.
  • Benj96
    2.3k
    The ones who know how to do that make out like bunnies and the odious ones are jealous.Vera Mont

    Yes jealousy definitely seems to be an underpinning facet of Incel psychology.
    It's ironic also in that it's a vicious feedback cycle.
    Seething with jealousy and an self constructed- inferiority complex comes across for most as "unattractive" which in turn is the anticipated/expected validation an Incel is looking for to support their "justified state of jealousy".

    So in that sense they're selectively deaf to alternative considerations and ideas. They only see through the lens of expectation.
  • bert1
    1.8k
    Could there be a mechanical explanation? I've heard the following kind of explanation, I'm not sure if it makes sense or not. But I do instinctively like mechanical explanations based on stats, behaviours of populations en masse, some reasonable assumptions on choices people make, etc. As opposed to cultural explanation, although they may turn out to be true. Anyway:

    In small communities in which everyone knows each other, choice is limited and people know what each other are doing. So you get a couple of decent wealthy handsome guys, but the less attractive women know that they won't end up with them, one of the few young nice wealthy women likely will. So as not to waste their time, they go for one of the less attractive guys straight away. Basically everyone can see all the pieces in the game, and they know what pairings are likely to work out.

    With dating apps, and a high general population, you get a completely skewed impression of the market. As a woman sitting in your room on your own, you enter your filters, and you get a menu of 50 nice handsome men to choose from. You shag a bunch of them and maybe one stays with you, maybe not. But you never even bother with a whole bunch of less attractive men because you don't think you need to, because you think you can get one of the ones your dating app is showing you.

    Does that hang together? Or is it bollocks?
  • Benj96
    2.3k
    Their frustrated energy is re-directed mostly into verbal aggression, instead of physical aggression, which is probably a win for society..ChatteringMonkey

    See I'm not so sure tbh. Because, the more innate a belief becomes in ones mind by compression/condensation - by others and how they view you (be it positive or negative) the more likely it is to influence ones physical actions. No?

    If you construct a mental paradigm off a fundamental emotive source (a basic belief/ principle/tenet) like "I am ugly and unlovable" - that deeply rooted source of contempt, pure anger, hostility and frustration, is bound to a). Corrupt all your other beliefs that are secondary to it and b). influence your behaviour as a whole.

    Especially when it targets a specific group of people - a scapegoat (sounds familiar to a certain someone in 1930/40s Germany).

    So I'm concerned that if the system of dating apps, as well as social media etc is accidentally marginalising and compressing/ reinforcing negative beliefs in incel groups, they may indeed become so radicalised and extreme that what was as you said "verbal aggression" may become "physical aggression".
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    How would one go about defusing that?Benj96
    In 180 Proof's utopia, we'd castrate and/or lobotomize incels. Or maybe, less invasively, heavily medicate the shits with opiods & sedatives. I suppose the more bleeding-heart lefty factions would advocate for the least fiscally responsible solution: AI-Companions (age & body type-specified gynoids / androids à la "pleasure model Replicants"). However, like porn, even fully immersive VR "sex-on-demand" likely won't scratch the incel's misogynistic itch for long. :strong: :shade:
  • RogueAI
    2.6k
    They're a bunch of losers who blame women for their inability to get laid. Occasionally, they shoot the place up, so they're dangerous as well.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.3k


    Maybe Benj, only the future can tell.

    Beliefs are interlinked with the body, and do influence our actions, yes. But as a society we generally condemn physical violence rather strongly now (relative to past societies). And so as members of these societies condemning violence, even if marginalized in the case of incels, it is still a big obstacle to act on these beliefs.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.3k
    Why don't we just put them down, like the males of breeding animals we have no use for? Wouldn't that be a major step towards progressive utopia!
  • Benj96
    2.3k
    Hmm. I see certain good points in your post but maybe not the ones you were highlighting.

    I note the diffenrce between the small community and the social media app as being one of presence (the subjective element)

    In person, in a small community, "knowing everyone" as you say, it's not just about looks. It's about financial security, safety, charisma, humour, kindness, the way one composes themselves in social groups, what others say about them in the group. You learn a lot more about a person and their character in that case and a lot less on an app with a few pictures that is designed to objectify the person, to market them as a product to swiped on.

    It's fair to say some men are handsome and some are not.
    That's nature.

    But it's also fair to say that that is only one facet of someone's eligibility as a partner. Other huge ones that are under ones control unlike their genetic makeup is comedy/humour, intellect, career, views on politics, family, # of kids they want, religion or lackthereof, common interests and hobbies etc. And a match has been made on less. None of these qualities generally transpire online.

    So back in the day, men had an arsenal of ways to seduce. Now, online, you need to be hot, tall and affluent. Because there's nothing else to go on.

    I think this is what incels are complaining about. The system has become more efficient (swiping) but less wholesome (interacting with people you may not initially find attractive but later develop a liking for).
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    As a woman sitting in your room on your own, you enter your filters, and you get a menu of 50 nice handsome men to choose from. You shag a bunch of them and maybe one stays with you, maybe not.bert1

    There is also a high risk that one robs you, one beats you up or even kills you. And no guarantee that any of those guys with a nice picture is nice in person, or literate or well-mannered - and none at all that any of them are compatible in temperament. (I don't know about you, I was never, not even when young and nubile, inclined to "shag a bunch" of virtual strangers.)

    In small communities in which everyone knows each other, choice is limited and people know what each other are doing.bert1

    And you get an unacceptable rate of inbreeding, as we see in some isolated populations. Tribal peoples have been aware of this, so they held - and still sometimes do - gatherings of young people to find mates; in many cultures, they routinely exchanged adolescents of either sex or both with another group. Stratified civilizations are more restrictive in the choice of mates - selecting permissible pairings by race, caste, creed, class and even to the point of strictly brokered marriage without the consent of one or both partners.
  • Benj96
    2.3k
    And so as members of these societies condemning violence, even if marginalized in the case of incels, it is still a big obstacle to act on these beliefsChatteringMonkey

    That's true ChatteringMonkey I think the culture is pretty much standard anti-violence in most places and I reckon now is the least violent we have been as a populus compared with hundreds or thousands of years ago. But I also think this is why very brief, sporadic and horrific events are occurring randomly. Like school-shootings. Mass shootings in the locations where the pent up rage/hatred spills over the social anti-violence precedent that usually is sufficient to counter it.
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    So I'm concerned that if the system of dating apps, as well as social media etc is accidentally marginalising and compressing/ reinforcing negative beliefs in incel groups, they may indeed become so radicalised and extreme that what was as you said "verbal aggression" may become "physical aggression".Benj96
    Done.
    The federal government on Tuesday released a study on the growing terrorism threat from men who call themselves "anti-feminists" or "involuntary celibates" and draw motivation for violence from their inability to develop relationships with women. Since 2014, attacks inspired by the "incel movement" and spanning the U.S. and Canada have left dozens dead.
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    Why don't we just put them down, like the males of breeding animals we have no use for? Wouldn't that be a major step towards progressive utopia!ChatteringMonkey

    Or, maybe just organize a healthier society in which to raise children, so they don't go off the rails in the first place?
  • Benj96
    2.3k
    In 180 Proof's utopia, we'd castrate and/or lobotomize incels. Or maybe, less invasively, heavily medicate the shits180 Proof

    Okay wow. Haha I'm taking this as satire/ humour because it swings to the opposite extreme and I suspect I know you well enough to assume this isn't serious.

    But interestingly it does raise one good point against castrating/medicating or doing anything harmful to incels or any societally perceived unattractive person.

    And that is: look what happened when we tried to make pedigree dogs based on aesthetics. Eugenics has turned out to go horribly wrong in practice.
    And it's very nazi-esque anyways.

    Two attractive parents can birth and raise unattractive offspring and two unattractive parents can birth and raise beautiful offspring depending on gene recombination/complimetarity if the pairing in any given individual.

    So sadly, the so called "unattractive end" of the spectrum is here to stay both biologically and as a mutual and neccesary opposite, also beauty is at least semi-subjective, and it's also genetically good to have diversity.
  • Benj96
    2.3k
    healthier societyVera Mont

    How does that look for you. Have we corrupted the beauty ideal as a society? How do we ensure every child grows up feeling attractive/ with good self esteem?
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.3k


    Yes that's what I suggested in my first post:

    I'm not sure what to do about it, other than generally providing for more community-alternatives that can provide support and maybe some meaning. These seem to have eroded for everybody, not only incels, and leaves a lot of people that get sidetracked without any direction or guidance.ChatteringMonkey

    But ultimately the problem is not totally solvable by acceptable means I think, there will always be those who will miss out because they are less attractive/charismatic/rich than others. A healthy society doesn't solve the frustrated desires of those. Historically this has always been a problem.

    And I don't think we really want the unacceptable means of dealing with the problem, like say castration, putting down, genetic alteration etc etc.
  • Benj96
    2.3k
    And you get an unacceptable rate of inbreeding, as we see in some isolated populations. Tribal peoples have been aware of this, so they held - and still sometimes do - gatherings of young people to find mates; in many cultures, they routinely exchanged adolescents of either sex or both with another group. Stratified civilizations are more restrictive in the choice of mates - selecting permissible pairings by race, caste, creed, class and even to the point of strictly brokered marriage without the consent of one or both partnersVera Mont

    This is very good point! I like the link between stratification and inbreeding. Never registered on my radar in the discussion so far. Good addition
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.3k
    And so as members of these societies condemning violence, even if marginalized in the case of incels, it is still a big obstacle to act on these beliefs
    — ChatteringMonkey

    That's true ChatteringMonkey I think the culture is pretty much standard anti-violence in most places and I reckon now is the least violent we have been as a populus compared with hundreds or thousands of years ago. But I also think this is why very brief, sporadic and horrific events are occurring randomly. Like school-shootings. Mass shootings in the locations where the pent up rage/hatred spills over the social anti-violence precedent that usually is sufficient to counter it.
    Benj96

    This is a bigger problem in the US than say in Europe, and is more because of US gun laws and the place of violence in that society. I think one needs to look more at that relationship with violence, than at the specific problem of incels.
  • Tzeentch
    3.5k
    Young people everywhere are struggling with developing intimate relationships (and relationships in general), and that is a serious problem.

    I think increasing social atomization is at the root of this, basically forcing young people into an artificial dating scene that for obvious reasons doesn't appeal to nor suit many of them.

    The way this topic is treated in regards to young men is especially worrying, and some of the replies to this thread are an indication of that. Trying to force people who are clearly suffering into silence through derision and shame is exactly what creates resentment and pushes people over the edge to commit terrible deeds.
  • bert1
    1.8k
    There is also a high risk that one robs you, one beats you up or even kills you. And no guarantee that any of those guys with a nice picture is nice in person, or literate or well-mannered - and none at all that any of them are compatible in temperament. (I don't know about you, I was never, not even when young and nubile, inclined to "shag a bunch" of relative virtual strangers.)Vera Mont

    Ha! Yeah, I probably should have said something like 'carefully get to know before shagging' instead of 'shag' but the basic point remains.

    I never jumped into bed with loads of women either, but that's because I'm an incel.

    And you get an unacceptable rate of inbreeding, as we see in some isolated populations. Tribal peoples have been aware of this, so they held - and still sometimes do - gatherings of young people to find mates; in many cultures, they routinely exchanged adolescents of either sex or both with another group. Stratified civilizations are more restrictive in the choice of mates - selecting permissible pairings by race, caste, creed, class and even to the point of strictly brokered marriage without the consent of one or both partners.Vera Mont

    I do think limiting the range of options helps greatly to cope with the burden of choice, especially when that choice is unrealistic or illusory. But paradoxically, and perhaps foolishly, we still crave maximal choice, at least for ourselves.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.3k
    No Tzeentch, society has decided that women are the victims, so it's okay to marginalize incel men... they are evil because they are man, and so technically part of the patriarchy (eventhough they have no power at all and are considered the lowest of the low).
  • bert1
    1.8k
    I think this is what incels are complaining about.Benj96

    If that is what they are complaining about (and I'm not sure it is always) then they have a point. The tricky thing then is what the hell do they do about it? As you say, in a small community you can cultivate and display other traits and skills than height, wealth and looks. Is there a shortage of arenas men can display on? Is that the issue? Or is it really cultural after all?

    Obviously, when I refer to incels as 'they', I do of course mean 'I'.
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    But ultimately the problem is not totally solvable by acceptable means I think, there will always be those who will miss out because they are less attractive/charismatic/rich than others. A healthy society doesn't solve the frustrated desires of those. Historically this has always been a problem.ChatteringMonkey

    Then one must look to prehistory.
    Physical attractiveness is not of paramount consideration for women, nor is charisma, compared to dependability, kindness and patience with children. Often men, too, prefer an affectionate, cheerful woman to a beautiful cold one. Both come in a range of appearance and character; there is no reason, if the numbers are not too skewed by unnaturally high death-rate (like war decimating a generation of young men) that all who want mates can't find one.
    Look at the pictures on the wedding announcement pages of a newspaper. They're not all pretty people, nor rich, but they look happy -- for now.
    More women tend to be left unmarried than men for reasons of physical undesirability, but that doesn't poie a societal problem, because spinsters perform vital services to family and community.
    There might, however be rogue males that become destructive - and not only for lack of mating opportunity.; they also tend to have ego issues. In animal societies, they're simply cast out. Human societies have nowhere to put them except prison, now that the army includes females.
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