Innanet Gangsta Alert!


Believed to be victims of lookism, Incels are a “united and alone together” bunch. Where lookism is involved, they see attractive people as magnets to the opposite sex and even their own, whereas the unattractive ones, such as themselves, get nothing remotely close to attention from either sex.  It is their belief and justification that women are the reason for lookism, that as Incels, they are in that situation because of the blatant rejection they constantly receive.  Their argument? Women partake in hypergamy which is defined as women strictly pursuing attractive men.  In the eyes of Incels, they’ll always be traded by their partner for someone higher up on the attractiveness scale.  With this conclusion on their reality, Incels have lodged themselves within online communities where they display their harsh side via equally harsh words.  Very few times they would bring this energy out in public, but the majority of their moves live on online forums such as Reddit and on various social media platforms such as Twitter. 


The term “Incel” is derived from its meaning being “involuntarily celibate”. Being an Incel “is not simply a form of self-identification, but rather an ideology and self-described movement of disaffected, disconnected, and angry individuals—primarily men—who have found justification for violence against people who seem to have an easy time finding love and acceptance.” Though what happens when spewing their opinions, which oftentimes come off as hate, no longer stays online but crosses over into real life? In 2014, there was such an incident and it unfortunately ended in a number of fatalities. Elliot Rodger, in 2014, found himself striking back at people who wronged him by excluding him from their social circle. This he did by killing seven people and leaving fourteen injured.  As stated in videos and a manifesto, Rodger assigned blame to young, popular women for his loneliness and for him being a virgin. Today, Elliot Rodger is not simply the name of a notorious mass murderer. In the language of Incels, it is also a verb, as in “the guy went Elliot Rodger” or “E.R.” To be noted, interestingly, is that Rodger anticipated a revolution of sorts headed by Incels, called the Incel Revolution. 


It isn’t only Elliot Roger who displayed the way he felt in a public manner. As a nod to the 2014-predicted Incel Revolution, first, let’s head to Canada, specifically Toronto. In 2018 by the hands of Alek Minassian, ten people were killed and a further sixteen injured. This attack, which was him running into pedestrians in the streets of Toronto with his vehicle, was fueled by Elliot Rodger and his Incel beliefs. Then, in Tallahassee, Florida that same year, just seven months later, Scott Beierle opened fire in a Yoga studio and before killing himself, he killed two and left five others wounded.   


Now, often enough, between terrorism and hate crimes there lives a fine and rather blurry line. 

Viewed as participants in gender-based terrorism, incels place blame, not on themselves for their misery, but on women. Accountability doesn’t live here and it definitely doesn’t visit. With the blame placed on women, and men being the physically stronger sex, they aren’t strangers to extreme violence. With tunnel vision of the many ways women have wronged them, it might be extreme, but think gender-based terrorism if you must. Especially when the way they feel is all the motivation they need, so acts of violence such as mass shootings because you were overlooked sexually and romantically by the opposite sex feels like enough justification.  

It isn’t a shocker that these people who, in their eyes, have been kicked out from mainstream society, find each other. With the internet bringing people together, once they felt seen and heard it provided strength in numbers both physically and emotionally.  Thus, their potential for radicalization surged. According to Asis, “those in the Incel community are alone, but now they are alone together and sharing a hateful message attractive to many who, like Rodger, harbor fantasies of revenge.”


Whether you’ve been aware of Incels before this read or not, the fact of the matter is that these involuntary celibates have been linked in recent years to violence, specifically, mass shootings.  The theme of frustration and annoyance is common with this group and, to be honest, it heartily screams “Innanet Gangsta Alert!”


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