- Involuntary Celibate

Welcome! This is a forum for involuntary celibates: people who lack a significant other. Are you lonely and wish you had someone in your life? You're not alone! Join our forum and talk to people just like you.

JFL The myths of the Black Pill A digital ethnography in the incel world



Make Paragon Glowie Again
Feb 19, 2022
The myths of the Black Pill A digital ethnography in the incel world
Michele Steccato Student Number: 6609465 Supervisor: Veronika Nagy Master in Global Criminology School of Law, Utrecht University Academic Year 2018-2019

The black pill is described, and is lived by the incel community, as a science.

This claim rests on a collection of different sources in behavioral sciences, biology, social sciences and on the contentious field of evolutionary psychology.

In this regard, it is pretty similar to the red pill of the manosphere, but, coherently with its stronger determinism, the sources at avail to the “scientific conclusions” are considered to be not debatable nor changeable.

On forums in the “incelosphere”, a curious in-group identity construction mechanism can be observed in the form of communicative rewards to those members spending more and deeper efforts in enlarging this collection of knowledges.

It is not a rare sight a thread (usually “pinned up”, not subject to the changing of page brought by new thread being open on forums or subreddit) which acts as a collection of all the scientific “evidences” about the black pill, with numerous links to those sources.

This attention to the scientific discourse is somehow coherent with one of the fundamental of traditional masculinity, the (othering and exclusive) perception of it as inherently rational and capable of reasoning.

Science itself is not an a-gender reality; it is a highly gendered, male endeavor, in both its aspects of method and knowledge, process and product (Bowling and Martin, 1985).

Science is embedded in the social, cultural, economic and political context in which the scientific community exists and works, and there is a politics to science (Jasanoff, 1996) and to epistemologies.

Especially, there is a sociality and “sociology” to scientific claims and knowledge.

They are, as Durkheim would have them, social facts. It is not surprising, then, the sheer importance given to science in the incelosphere, considering how it is inhabited by forms of “geek masculinities” (Salter and Blodgett, 2017) overlapping with some of the features of what is usually named “toxic traditional masculinity”.

This resorting to science (behind which lies the refrain “logic and facts”, a slogan for the alt-right jargon in the politicized digital spaces) works on different levels and layers.

First of all, it is an in-group/out-group identity tool mechanism and “ego-boost”. To cloak the black pill in scientific evidences is shielding the esoteric aspects of it, the “dark awakening”, from the outside.

It is an initiation: to be considered part of the incelosphere, a “truecel”, one must undergo a self-taught schooling online.

The forums and the digital spaces in general act as introduction and advanced classes to this scientific discourse, which is paramount to a sense of belonging.

And, in a detournement of the hierarchy, those on the losing end describe themselves as “supreme gentlemen” and “high IQ” individuals, claiming then forms of superiority based on being naturally intelligent and well mannered.

Secondly, this resorting to a scientific discourse reinforces and reassures the members of the ingroup of their own masculinity. Science is cast as “manly”, and therefore, to understand it and to create (and live by) a complex philosophy and worldview based on it is a performance of masculinity.

Trough such endeavor, the reassurance about one’s male nature is given and granted.

It is nothing new: a similar way of reasoning echoes with old ideas about women and science, again, with a gendered politics in doing science and representing science and masculinity as interlinked.

It is a repetition of ‘‘the historically pervasive association between masculine and objective, more specifically between masculine and scientific’’ (Keller, 1995, p. 81), only with a more upfront, evident othering and exclusion.

Thirdly, this resorting to science acts and resonates affectively.

It is a mechanism of reassurance: it comforts about the belonging to an elite of likely minded people and to a rational, reasonable and cultured community.

In objectifying women as a discrete category, in the reductionist approach to human social and sexual behaviors, in the universalistic claims lies a process of object making which counterpart is a process of subject making which acts on, not the rational, but the emotional layer of the “community”.

The scientific discourse points its finger to the subject, it asks him what he perceives and feels and, ultimately, what he is.

In asking it bears emotions, feelings, perceptions and corroborations to a set of pre-felt, not perfected ideas.

A biography of exclusion, invisibility and neglected desires gains its meaning, starts to make sense: it is the object at fall, not the subject shaped by the black pill discourse.

The black pill opens the subjects’ eyes to the truths of their biography, which have been kept hidden from them by feminism and “gynocracy”.

The failings are blamed on the “system”, in a curious return of a term from critical social science from the 70s which seems to have little to share with this ideology; as the chapter about narratives will show, also this blaming external and unchanging factors is a common trope amongst incel, and it is one of the many tools of creation of the incel subject itself.

Conclusion: ideology and the new subject

Figure 7

The black pill is the ideological underpinning of “inceldom”, and at the same time, it acts in a more nuanced and complex way than a “simple ideology”.

Its historical origins are firmly rooted in the manosphere previous theorization, therefore arguing for incels to be part of it, even if, in the processes of othering, the rest of the manosphere is part of an outgroup which is considered negatively.

It is, first and foremost, an affective and emotional tool to of sense-making and meaning negotiation, a lens with which the members of the community can see and, therefore, understand their own lives, biographies and experiences.

It acts on multiple levels: as ideology, as cathartic emotional vocabulary used to frame and give meaning to biographies and experiences, and as an identity construction tool, giving them a sense of belonging.

It represents a freezing in time of a transitory situation: to take the black bill becomes acknowledging that there is no solution, no cure, no space for betterment.

The black pill is a discourse, a complex set of explications (Hall, 1992), and as such acts as a constant flow of meaning negotiations with, nonetheless, precise boundaries.

Overstepping those boundaries would mean enter the realm of the “red” or the “blue” pills, trespassing then in the discourses of the outsiders and the Others.

It would mean leaving the (cyber)tribe (Anderson, 1995) and adventuring not in the unknown, but in an actively hostile environment.

It is not a case that the incelosphere is defined as the places where the black pill is discussed and thought about; especially, is the online place where a certain, precise form of (techno)sociality happens and manifests itself, where the discourse shapes the subjects and is re-shaped by them.

The black pill is the common fire at the center of the circle, where the members of the tribe/community (see fig.7) gather to exchange stories and reinforce each other’s narratives, with harmful effects. It is the source of the anti-regime some part of the tribe takes on itself.

Fig 7

This nature of discourse and source for never ending narratives is well explained by a piece written by Tom Grauer, a “male sexualist” blogger.

In the manifesto, Grauer goes to a great length to explain the nature of the black pill and the systemic solution to the incelosphere systemic problems: the politicization of the incel community, in order to bring the “sexual politics” back into the mainstream political debate.

It is an interesting piece, for it allows to sum up the Black Pill as a complex, multilayered discourse with the potential of becoming a rallying point, and currently, a discourse which some members of the incelosphere are trying to systematize, organize and rationalize.

In doing so, it lets the masculinist ethos animating the incelosphere to transpire.

But even this try to operationalize the consensus around the main tenants of the Black Pill and to turn it into political activism is not met without resistance.

Politics in the incelosphere are inherently complex, ambiguous and too much indebted to chan culture and “trolling” for such a program to be considered seriously feasible.

As a respondent told me, “no, I see no real potential for political action by us as a group”, adding, later on, how overly politicized characters “get laughed out of the community too”.

These final remarks help in understanding how the Black Pill, if remains a discourse allowing the creation and exchange of a set of bounded narratives, it may be too much nihilistic and deterministic to allow for becoming the bedrock of a set of political actions.

The Black Pill is a shared culture, a shared vocabulary, a shared set of explications.

A shared tool of meaning making within precise boundaries.

It is not casual that the term “community” started popping up in the past few pages; the answers from the respondents, the ethnographic observation and discourse analysis, the attention to the stories and the analysis of the rhetoric in forums and message boards pointed all in this direction; to the ambiguous and contested idea of a “virtual community”, which story and current state will be the topic of the next chapter.

But before that, let a member of the incelosphere, a poster on, have the last word in describing not just what the black pill is, but especially its effects on him (fig.8).

Fig 8



Feb 3, 2022
Not reading, but where do you get all these studies? :feelswhere:

Not reading study by a foid soysearcher... :smonk:

Most/all are flawed and based off highly biased or inaccurate data, not to mention treating this community like a monolith. :feelsjuice:

But quite telling that they're willing to do all these retarded, money-burning studies on quite apparent situations where many might even be jokes, but they're not at all willing to even accept the possibility that the cause of all this strife and suffering is hypergamy, foid standards and privilege itself, and the widely accepted state of moral degeneracy, as well as the snowballing effects of genetic subhumanity leading into negative treatment, social isolation, and degrading confidence; no, it's us hateful inkwells' faults, obviously subconsciously influencing through waves these truecel's desire to live! :society:

More ultimately useless, surface-level "research" done perhaps to justify having spent thousands of dollars on a spineless degree; quite typical for foids. :feelshaha:


Nov 8, 2017
Science itself is not an a-gender reality; it is a highly gendered, male endeavor, in both its aspects of method and knowledge, process and product (Bowling and Martin, 1985).
Stopped reading after that. The pursuit of truth and objectivity is biased towards maleness JFL.


Make Paragon Glowie Again
Feb 19, 2022
Stopped reading after that. The pursuit of truth and objectivity is biased towards maleness JFL.
also the scientific masculinity meme lol