- Feb 19, 2022
- 61d 17h 30m
Incels aren’t really looking for sex. They’re looking for absolute male supremacy.
Yet another feminazi propaganda
By Jia Tolentino
May 15, 2018
Lately I have been thinking about one of the first things that I ever wrote for the Internet: a series of interviews with adult virgins, published by the Hairpin. I knew my first subject personally, and, after I interviewed her, I put out an open call. To my surprise, messages came rolling in. Some of the people I talked to were virgins by choice. Some were not, sometimes for complicated, overlapping reasons: disability, trauma, issues related to appearance, temperament, chance. “Embarrassed doesn’t even cover it,” a thirty-two-year-old woman who chose the pseudonym Bette told me. “Not having erotic capital, not being part of the sexual marketplace . . . that’s a serious thing in our world! I mean, practically everyone has sex, so what’s wrong with me?” A twenty-six-year-old man who was on the autism spectrum and had been molested as a child wondered, “If I get naked with someone, am I going to take to it like a duck to water, or am I going to start crying and lock myself in the bathroom?” He hoped to meet someone who saw life clearly, who was gentle and independent. “Sometimes I think, why would a woman like that ever want me?” he said. But he had worked hard, he told me, to start thinking of himself as a person who was capable of a relationship—a person who was worthy of, and could accept, love.
It is a horrible thing to feel unwanted—invisible, inadequate, ineligible for the things that any person might hope for. It is also entirely possible to process a difficult social position with generosity and grace. None of the people I interviewed believed that they were owed the sex that they wished to have. In America, to be poor, or black, or fat, or trans, or Native, or old, or disabled, or undocumented, among other things, is usually to have become acquainted with unwantedness. Structural power is the best protection against it: a rich straight white man, no matter how unpleasant, will always receive enthusiastic handshakes and good treatment at banking institutions; he will find ways to get laid.
These days, in this country, sex has become a hyper-efficient and deregulated marketplace, and, like any hyper-efficient and deregulated marketplace, it often makes people feel very bad. Our newest sex technologies, such as Tinder and Grindr, are built to carefully match people by looks above all else. Sexual value continues to accrue to abled over disabled, cis over trans, thin over fat, tall over short, white over nonwhite, rich over poor. There is an absurd mismatch in the way that straight men and women are taught to respond to these circumstances. Women are socialized from childhood to blame themselves if they feel undesirable, to believe that they will be unacceptable unless they spend time and money and mental effort being pretty and amenable and appealing to men. Conventional femininity teaches women to be good partners to men as a basic moral requirement: a woman should provide her man a support system, and be an ideal accessory for him, and it is her job to convince him, and the world, that she is good.
Men, like women, blame women if they feel undesirable. And, as women gain the economic and cultural power that allows them to be choosy about their partners, men have generated ideas about self-improvement that are sometimes inextricable from violent rage.
Several distinct cultural changes have created a situation in which many men who hate women do not have the access to women’s bodies that they would have had in an earlier era. The sexual revolution urged women to seek liberation. The self-esteem movement taught women that they were valuable beyond what convention might dictate. The rise of mainstream feminism gave women certainty and company in these convictions. And the Internet-enabled efficiency of today’s sexual marketplace allowed people to find potential sexual partners with a minimum of barriers and restraints. Most American women now grow up understanding that they can and should choose who they want to have sex with.
"Hinting at chads how cleaver "
In the past few years, a subset of straight men calling themselves “incels” have constructed a violent political ideology around the injustice of young, beautiful women refusing to have sex with them. These men often subscribe to notions of white supremacy. They are, by their own judgment, mostly unattractive and socially inept. (They frequently call themselves “subhuman.”) They’re also diabolically misogynistic. “Society has become a place for worship of females and it’s so fucking wrong, they’re not Gods they are just a fucking cum-dumpster,” a typical rant on an incel message board reads. The idea that this misogyny is the real root of their failures with women does not appear to have occurred to them.
If what incels wanted was sex, they might, for instance, value sex workers and wish to legalize sex work. But incels, being violent misogynists, often express extreme disgust at the idea of “whores.” Incels tend to direct hatred at things they think they desire; they are obsessed with female beauty but despise makeup as a form of fraud. Incel culture advises men to “looksmaxx” or “statusmaxx”—to improve their appearance, to make more money—in a way that presumes that women are not potential partners or worthy objects of possible affection but inconveniently sentient bodies that must be claimed through cold strategy. (They assume that men who treat women more respectfully are “white-knighting,” putting on a mockable façade of chivalry.) When these tactics fail, as they are bound to do, the rage intensifies. Incels dream of beheading the sluts who wear short shorts but don’t want to be groped by strangers; they draw up elaborate scenarios in which women are auctioned off at age eighteen to the highest bidder; they call Elliot Rodger their Lord and Savior and feminists the female K.K.K. “Women are the ultimate cause of our suffering,” one poster on incels.me wrote recently. “They are the ones who have UNJUSTLY made our lives a living hell… We need to focus more on our hatred of women. Hatred is power.”
On a recent ninety-degree day in New York City, I went for a walk and thought about how my life would look through incel eyes. I’m twenty-nine, so I’m a little old and used up: incels fetishize teen-agers and virgins (they use the abbreviation “JBs,” for jailbait), and they describe women who have sought pleasure in their sex lives as “whores” riding a “cock carousel.” I’m a feminist, which is disgusting to them. (“It is obvious that women are inferior, that is why men have always been in control of women.”) I was wearing a crop top and shorts, the sort of outfit that they believe causes men to rape women. (“Now watch as the level of rapes mysteriously rise up.”) In the elaborate incel taxonomy of participants in the sexual marketplace, I am a Becky, devoting my attentions to a Chad. I’m probably a “roastie,” too—another term they use for women with sexual experience, denoting labia that have turned into roast beef from overuse.
"Behold a self aware toilet"
Earlier this month, Ross Douthat, in a column for the Times, wrote that society would soon enough “address the unhappiness of incels, be they angry and dangerous or simply depressed or despairing.” The column was ostensibly about the idea of sexual redistribution: if power is distributed unequally in society, and sex tends to follow those lines of power, how and what could we change to create a more equal world? Douthat noted a recent blog post by the economist Robin Hanson, who suggested, after Minassian’s mass murder, that the incel plight was legitimate, and that redistributing sex could be as worthy a cause as redistributing wealth. (The quality of Hanson’s thought here may be suggested by his need to clarify, in an addendum, “Rape and slavery are far from the only possible levers!”) Douthat drew a straight line between Hanson’s piece and one by Amia Srinivasan, in the London Review of Books. Srinivasan began with Elliot Rodger, then explored the tension between a sexual ideology built on free choice and personal preference and the forms of oppression that manifest in these preferences. The question, she wrote, “is how to dwell in the ambivalent place where we acknowledge that no one is obligated to desire anyone else, that no one has a right to be desired, but also that who is desired and who isn’t is a political question.”
Srinivasan’s rigorous essay and Hanson’s flippantly dehumanizing thought experiment had little in common. And incels, in any case, are not actually interested in sexual redistribution; they don’t want sex to be distributed to anyone other than themselves. They don’t care about the sexual marginalization of trans people, or women who fall outside the boundaries of conventional attractiveness. (“Nothing with a pussy can be incel, ever. Someone will be desperate enough to fuck it . . . Men are lining up to fuck pigs, hippos, and ogres.”) What incels want is extremely limited and specific: they want unattractive, uncouth, and unpleasant misogynists to be able to have sex on demand with young, beautiful women. They believe that this is a natural right.
"All incels wants Stacy bro"
It is men, not women, who have shaped the contours of the incel predicament. It is male power, not female power, that has chained all of human society to the idea that women are decorative sexual objects, and that male worth is measured by how good-looking a woman they acquire.
"Cope you toilets self objectified for your own attempts to acquire chads and live on tutorial mode off your perceived sexualization whilest simultaneously play the victims of your whoredom"
Women—and, specifically, feminists—are the architects of the body-positivity movement, the ones who have pushed for an expansive redefinition of what we consider attractive. “Feminism, far from being Rodger’s enemy,” Srinivasan wrote, “may well be the primary force resisting the very system that made him feel—as a short, clumsy, effeminate, interracial boy—inadequate.” Women, and L.G.B.T.Q. people, are the activists trying to make sex work legal and safe, to establish alternative arrangements of power and exchange in the sexual market.
We can’t redistribute women’s bodies as if they are a natural resource; they are the bodies we live in. We can redistribute the value we apportion to one another—something that the incels demand from others but refuse to do themselves. I still think about Bette telling me, in 2013, how being lonely can make your brain feel like it’s under attack. Over the past week, I have read the incel boards looking for, and occasionally finding, proof of humanity, amid detailed fantasies of rape and murder and musings about what it would be like to assault one’s sister out of desperation. In spite of everything, women are still more willing to look for humanity in the incels than they are in us.
JFL fucking had enough of this nonse