Involuntary Celibates – Incels – are men and women over 25 years old, who have not established an intimate relationship or engaged in sexual intercourse for reasons other than voluntary celibacy or sexual abstinence. The term is used especially for adults who, despite general expectations, have had little to no sexual or romantic experience.
In other words, people who want to be having sex, technically could be having sex, but are not.
People are talking about Incel now because Elliot Rodger was very active online in the Incel Community – or at least with a subset of the Incel community who longed for the ‘good old days’ when men got sex from women as a basic right of being a man. There online community discussed the legitimacy of women as property, rape as reasonable and men’s right to sex as unalienable. In short, they are misogynistic assholes.
But because these Icels are misogynistic assholes, does this mean that every 25 year old virgin who seeks solace with other online 25 year old virgins in a misogynistic asshole? To read the commentary about this Incel Community, you would think so. Dan Savage (who I generally like very much) discussed it this week.
I started to do a little bit (admittedly a very little bit) of research into the Incel community. Here is what I found:
– there is definitely a vocal subset of misogynistic assholes whose views are violent, angry, scarily anti-social and absolutely relevant. They fantasize of rape, mass killings, women as property… really f*(&ed up stuff. And not just in the fantasy-sense. They really want this stuff. As is evidenced by Elliot Rodger, these are dangerous people.
– there are other Incels (see attached link to the Incel Project – http://www.involuntarycelibacy.com – who seem to be, at a glance, decent, lonely people whose social circumstance or lack of social skills have forced them into celibacy. They seem like a pretty decent bunch of people and having a sense of community and empathy is probably really important to them.
Is Elliot Rodger and his little clique of angry misogynists deserving of the lambasting they are getting? For Sure!!
Should the entire Incel community be pillared in the process. I Don’t Think So.