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By David Futrelle
Sullen teenagers have been yelling “I didn’t ask to be born” at their parents for, well, probably for millennia now. But leave it to the “involuntary celibates” of Incels.me to come up with a new twist on this ancient theme. In a recent post on the Incel,me forums — highlighted by the excellent Just Incel Things Twitter account — one bitter young man made this dramatic announcement:
Setting aside the fact that genetics is a complicated thing — conventionally attractive parents can have ugly kids and vice versa — one has to wonder how exactly Mr. Wizardcel managed to apportion the blame for his alleged bad looks between his parents — each of whom contributed equally to his genetic makeup.
Is his mother notably uglier than his dad, or does he just think she’s somehow more responsible for his looks because he lived in her womb? Or maybe his father is the ugly one — and Mr. Wizardcel blames her for marrying him? (Men’s Rights Activists and other reactionaries have made similar arguments blaming the mothers of violent men for existence of male violence in the world.) These guys are ingenious at figuring out ways to blame women for things over which they have no control.
So how did other incels react to Wizardcel’s announcement? Several called him out for taking out his frustrations with life on his mother and her genes. But others agreed with him wholeheartedly — and some went on to suggest that his existence was even more meaningless than he already assumed.
“There is no meaning of an incels existence,” wrote someone called Justshavebruh, because life is defined by “the ability to procreate and we’re not able to. We are not even alive per definition.”
Someone called Platypus took this weird evo-psych “argument” and ran with it, arguing that
for a biological being to fully express its life, it must make full use of its entire array of biological features. The less features you use, the closer to death you are. It’s self-evident looking at how old people become less and less physically able, until they die.
Not being able to procreate, is a deathlike existence.
Justshavebruh responded by declaring that
A virus is more alive than an incel. We also need an host to procreate. But we simply are not able to. Which means:
omae wa mou shindeiru
Just a word of advice, fellas: If you think of yourself as a virus (or something worse) and women as “hosts,” well, you aren’t going to get a lot of dates. And you shouldn’t get a lot of dates. Or any.
(That last little bit in the quote is a reference to an anime; according to Urban Dictionary the phrase “omae wa mou shindeiru” roughly translates to “you are already dead.”)
I don’t know what more to say to this line of argument than this:
I’ve heard people argue, in all seriousness, that we should be willing to overlook the violent misogyny that permeates incel culture because, well, that’s just a form of male bonding, and these communities provide support for depressed young men.
But that’s wrong, in every respect. We can’t dismiss the violent misogyny; not only is it awful and dangerous in itself, but, as the discussion above about viruses and hosts makes pretty clear, it’s also inextricably linked to the incels’ particular brand of self-hatred.
Incel communities like Incels.me aren’t “support groups.” They’re “kick-out-the-supports” groups. They lead already angry and depressed men to hate their lives even more — and to blame women for everything they think is wrong with them. This isn’t just a bunch of angry young men venting on the internet. Because nothing gets vented; the pressure just builds and builds. These communities are incubating future Elliot Rodgers and Alec Minassians.
As absurd as incel discussions often look — with their cracked anti-logic, their memes and jokes and anime references — this is what radicalization looks like, and it’s happening every hour of every day on the online venues where incels congregate.