Humans are a lot of things, however, one thing for sure is that we’re especially community-driven. We have this impeccable need to feel like we belong somewhere and if we don’t, we’ll create our own lane and with open arms, welcome other, like-minded folk. Now, from the deck of this colorful ride called life, the cards we’re dealt don’t mimic the same realities. Some have to work harder than others due to their race, physical appearance, background, and financial standing to name a few. Today, we’re going to be talking about a group of people who seek comfort in an online-based community of people like themselves who, by their account, are incapable of attracting the opposite sex sexually. This increasing number of people are called Incels. However, we’re actually going to get a little specific and talk about the mirror image of this group: Femcels.
Involuntarily celibate; Femcels are women of the firm belief that they are navigating this world at a huge disadvantage. Let’s talk about it. For years, perhaps and, as in most cases, all their lives, they feel rejected and very much neglected, mostly due to the way they look. From their point of view, “lookism” or appearance-based discrimination, is one hundred percent alive. You see, where incels blame women for not getting laid, femcels on the other hand place the blame on their appearance: their ugliness. To them, because of this self-proclaimed ugliness, when it comes to society and, according to The Guardian, its “beauty-centric, misogynistic culture”, these ladies feel like they’re constantly wearing the Cloak of Invisibility. Because of the way they look, they’ve been overlooked socially, physically, emotionally, and sexually. Though, where did the whole incel thing come about? Let’s take a step back into history, hello late 90s.
Reportedly coined in 1997 by a woman named Alana, it solely focused on the men who felt entitled to sex with women and when they didn’t get it, grew resentful and quite spiteful. Alana created a group for men who felt lonely and were hurting to which she gave them a spot of comfort via her launch of the Involuntary Celibate Project. Though since distancing herself from the community, just shy of 25 years later, women took it upon themselves to mirror incels with a female focus and thus, voila, Femcels. Though to be quite honest, the saying “there’s nothing new under the sun” comes into play here. It’s been observed that despite involuntary celibacy having been around for eons, it was the British journalist, Walter M. Gallichan, who was the earliest recollection of uttering the phrase in his book in 1915. The book, named The Great Unmarried, has the quote as follows: involuntarily celibate women doomed to a lonely, loveless existence and the negotiation of the right to motherhood.” Very much like their male version, Femcels have nestled themselves into online communities (Reddit, ThePinkPill, 4chan) where they discuss their much-talked-about-amongst-themselves misfortune. According to Metro, on those platforms “they would discuss issues such as their perceived unattractiveness; their inability to find a partner; and their distaste for ‘moids’ (superficial men who only treat women as sexual objects), ‘Stacys’ (conventionally attractive women) and ‘Beckys’ (plain-looking women who can still attract a partner).”
About the adult women whose appearance gets graded less than a two, because their appearance is considered “less than average”: When ugly gets thrown their way with the intention of coming across as an insult, it is by them considered an objective truth. You see, to a Femcel, the root of their problems, be it socially, sexually, emotionally, and even financially, stem from this one thing: ugliness, which is rooted in their belief that “Guys don’t treat ugly girls like people.” From Health psychologist and expert in psychological wellbeing Elena Daprá, “these women have very low self-esteem.” According to her, they confuse a very negative opinion about themselves (‘I am very ugly’) with a fact, and then turn this fact into the main cause of all their problems.” Continuing with and further explaining that “These women are stuck in complaint and victimhood,” anticipating that bad things will happen to them if they go out into the world and having no desire to really change the situation.”
“A woman can get sex if she has next to no standards, doesn’t care about whether or not she has an orgasm, and doesn’t mind being used as a human fleshlight.”
Now, given their intense similarities; you’d think Femcels got support from incels as they’re both experiencing similar feelings of rejection. Absolutely not. The existence of Femcels is ignored by Incels due to a core belief of Incels that women can have sex even if they lower their standards. Their point remains: women can have sex simply because they’re women. As quoted by ELLE: “All women, many incels say, have the choice to be sexually active or not; so-called “femcels” are just being too picky. While most women would probably not identify as involuntarily celibate, many can relate to the frustrating expectation that they should prefer awful sex to no sex at all. And they might even recognize their worst dates in the observations of a PinkPill user named Feelinveryblue: “A woman can get sex if she has next to no standards, doesn’t care about whether or not she has an orgasm, and doesn’t mind being used as a human fleshlight.” Many femcels would say that sleeping with men who disrespect them or abuse them makes this “choice” akin to choosing between starving and eating poisoned food. “Being the person a man is willing to ejaculate into is like being a toilet. It can be a very dehumanizing experience,” says Giga, creator of ThePinkPill, a Femcel in her twenties.
“They argue that they are invisible due to their abnormal appearance and that our beauty-centric, misogynistic culture prevents them from being accepted,” Lizzie Cernik of The Guardian explained. At the end of the day “True femcels” according to the Atlantic, “see two main options for themselves.” Let’s see, it is believed that “They either renounce love and society altogether to simply “lie down and rot,” or they begin a path to ascension through rigorous self-improvement and, at times, modifications to their own bodies.” In the age of filters, beauty modification, and raging body dysmorphia; Instagram is a forerunner, the mascot even, for unrealistic beauty standards.
I’ll draw the curtains on this topic with a question from Former Femcel, Amanda, who stated: It’s easy to feel like an outsider, and it’s also easy to feel like you’ve been lied to: If traditional beauty standards (which are arbitrary as they vary greatly both from one culture to another and constantly over time) don’t matter, then why are they still celebrated all the time?”