Alek Minassian incel misogyny terrorism

Check out my piece on Elle about Alek Minassian, Elliot Rodger and the threat of further incel terrorism

Incels are already hailing Alek Minassian as a saint. (Graphic adapted from image found on

By David Futrelle

I‘ve got a piece up on the Elle website about Toronto van attack suspect Alek Minassian and the dangers of future “incel” terrorism.

Here’s a snippet from it:

[T]he incel subculture … takes the bitterness and sadness we sometimes feel when faced with sexual and romantic frustrations and turns this misery into a mode of being. …

Incels hate women, yes, but they hate themselves nearly as much, and the incel subculture not only encourages both kinds of hatred, but it teaches them that there is no way out. This is what makes the incel subculture so poisonous to everyone it touches. It has transformed young men dealing with depression — or simply the ordinary unhappiness of life — into a veritable underground army of angry, bitter misogynists who feel they have nothing to live for and have no hope of improving their lives in what they see as our “gynocentric” society.

If these young men aren’t stopped, there will be more horrors like what we saw this week in Toronto, if not worse. In the forums on incel hangout, some are already hailing Minassian as a hero, and looking forward to the next wave of incel terror attacks.

You can find the piece here.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee


That does seem to be the rule. Male suffering is feeling insecure. Female suffering is being raped or murdered. The suffering is equal. Because…reasons?


I didn’t actually call you a troll. I’ve been giving you the benefit of the doubt. But the more you bring it up, the more I wonder.

4 years ago


Dude. DUDE. Please put aside your anger and defensiveness for a minute. WWTH is not the one who needs to reread stuff; you’re completely missing their points.

Well, help me out then, what points are those? What was the point I missed in being called a meninist?

This has felt like gaslighting, and I’m very sensitive to that. So I have already gone back and re-read, twice, asking myself “Gosh, did I say that? Did I imply that? How awful of me to somehow imply a guy who mowed down innocent people in a van deserves sympathy!” I was horrified to read that.

But, I didn’t say that at all, or any of the other things attributed to me, nor are they reasonable inferences from what I have said. Yet, I’ve tried, I’ve apologised, I’ve empathised with the aggressiveness, for others perceptions.

Your perception that I’m angry or defensive seems to come from retelling the words of this forum. If they seem harsh, that’s because they were. If there’s a point to them I’ve lost, which justifies them, trust me I’ve searched for it. That you choose not to go beyond telling me off, and help my understanding, is telling.


I didn’t actually call you a troll. I’ve been giving you the benefit of the doubt. But the more you bring it up, the more I wonder.

I didn’t actually say you did, and I’ve brought it up once. Once! And such a very small part cherry picked from my reply.

But, this is exhausting and insulting, and clearly not a healthy place to be, so think what you want to, I can’t do this anymore.

Best wishes to all.

4 years ago

@ *Sigh*,

I read your thoughts, you have some points, all I will say is read and meditate on the responses here.

I’m drinking with my pals here, hey it’s Friday, we were talking about “Chads and Stacys”, and thinking about “youth”, because this angst seems to afflict the younger more, and just personal reflections.

We’re all 40s and would’ve been “grunge” or “goth” back in the day.
And the “Chads and Stacys” – were there too. Do people need to be reminded not to judge on looks?

I have in common with these people here, that we were in sim lines of work and came from “suburbia”.

We compared notes on the past, and this is an interesting thing – we all think we might’ve been at the same Cars concert, in the early 90s. Probably one of their last performances (while B. Orr was still alive, anyway), and were quite young.

I went with older friends who had a car. We had like 4th row tickets.
They weren’t as huge as they once were and it was a local concert, there was still a huge crowd, T is interrupting me to say “it must’ve been at least 15 thousand people”. And “we waited in line for tickets, the good ones, anyway.”

So we think we might’ve been at this exact same concert!:)

And it was above and beyond awesome!

I was literally standing right in front of Benjamin Orr.

Oh, there’s a hot guy for you? The man had been drafted into the army, had serious health issues, died young of cancer.

Ric Ocasek? He was about 10 feet away from me too. Remember the shit he used to take? Oh, he’s ugly. No he wasn’t, very nice looking guy.

What stuck in my memory: These were extremely talented musicians. Absolutely stunningly good.

Myself and the friends I went with, this is what we discussed on the way home. How good they were, how talented.

Our pal T here, who thinks she might’ve been at the same concert, says the same and remembers remarking to her friends “how hard the drummer was working”. And “the entire air was weed smoke”.

Super talented musicians, I can’t even describe it. And loud. And more like “hard rock” live.

Ric Ocasek married a “Super Model”? GMAFB. She might’ve once been but is, and was, a “regular looking person” IMO, and so is he, and they’ve been married for how long now?

And Benny Eleven Letters was the “Pretty Boy”? The man studied music his entire life and then had his career interrupted by being drafted into the army! And then in middle age, relatively young, he got sick with cancer and died?

Yeah. People should be careful of who they’re jealous of.
Especially people who did not “luck into” anything, but instead put in a lot of hard, arduous, work.

Checking this for typos, and coherent thoughts, I still don’t think I’ve managed to convey how good they were, how talented. I was literally – stunned. “The Pros”.

You have to work hard in the arts, as with anything.

For Benny and Ric and the concert we remember….

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

You really didn’t get why introducing yourself by telling us how we’re feministing wrong by not trying harder to understand misogynists would not go over well? Fine. Bye, I guess.

The Real Cie
4 years ago

I think about this sometimes, and I suppose the answer boils down to “toxic masculinity.”
I was awkward as hell with guys when I was a teenager, and it seemed like all the other girls were prettier than I was. I suppose some might have labeled me an “incel.” I didn’t really WANT to be celibate, but there I was.
It never crossed my mind to try and kill people because I was socially awkward and “involuntarily celibate.”
I may have gotten petulant about it sometimes, but I really didn’t feel like anyone OWED me sex.
Since you really don’t hear about girls and women doing the sorts of things that these terrible men who get canonized as “saints” by the incels doing, I have to guess that toxic masculinity is the culprit.
I’m really tired now.
Re: people that other people refer to as ugly, I really don’t think of most people as ugly. People are kind of “people” looking. Ugly is an attitude.

4 years ago

Oh, good. The troll’s gone.

Don’t come back.

Thank you for vanquishing yet another asshole, WWTH.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I don’t even try to vanquish people. I guess it just comes naturally to me.

4 years ago

I think part of the problem with trying to grow a non-toxic redefinition of masculinity into a movement that actually changes how men view themselves is one of terminology.

“Feminism” comes with plenty of baggage, sure (most of it heaped on by people who do not understand feminism), but think about similar “men’s rights” terms. Even saying “men’s rights” brings the taste of bile to the back of my throat because I associate it with MRA’s and people who view rights as a zero-sum game, where “men’s rights” = “let’s go back to male dominance”.

“Andrist”? I think that one’s tainted too. “Egalitarianism”? Waaaay tainted (thanks Gamergate and “I don’t see gender” people), and tends to ignore the presence of male privilege.

Speaking of male privilege (and here I’ll probably get rambly, so feel free to ignore the rest of this), I think that’s where a lot of male-oriented movements run into the weeds. Feminism has had a hard enough time gaining ground over the last hundred-plus years, and its growing influence on society is directly attributable to the hard work women have put into it. It’s gone through in-fighting (thinking back to the gender-essentialism debacles of the second wave), ideological shifts, and so much more, all of which are important to forming an inclusive movement with a real philosophical underpinning.

That’s hard work. And women have had real, concrete reasons for engaging in that work: to carve out a more equal spot in society (and sometimes to reshape society entirely, a Good Thing) for themselves, because women are oppressed and can’t rely on anyone else to lift themselves out of oppression. Men sure as hell won’t do it.

The main obstacle to a healthy men’s movement (one that is intersectional and listens to/works with feminists instead of doxxing and threatening them) is privilege. Women have oppression as motivation. The key to dismantling toxic masculinity is recognizing and consciously working against privilege, as well as recognizing where toxic messages come from. That is also hard work, and work that, in the short term, seems to lead to a loss of benefits (I emphasize “seems to” because it’s really just privilege distress).

To men on the fence or on the outside, it might seem like shooting yourself in the foot so you can win the race (I want to emphasize, this is NOT how I feel. Rights ain’t zero-sum).

I think there ARE tons of benefits for embracing non-toxic masculinity, which so many people (mostly feminists) have pointed out. Men have hard work to do. We have decades of feminist work to look to for guidance on how another group did it, if we would only listen to it. I feel pretty powerless as a dude with 1-2 male friends and not much of a platform (and as a bi guy, not much “manly man” capital in the first place), but then I think of how much more powerless women were/are when they said “enough” and did something about it.

Men have to say “enough” on toxic masculinity too. It’s just much easier to convince the face being smashed to rip apart the boot than it is to convince the boot to replace itself with a classy moccasin that doesn’t step on faces.

…ok, that analogy fell apart real fast.

4 years ago

The minute I heard that Alek was an incel I knew he must be autistic as I am only much more so.
Autism is related to a spectrum of mental conditions all of which are correlated with creativity.
The down side is fear of people in general and of women in particular.
50 years ago people used to call us geeks. We are the guys who are your engineers and generally go in to STEM courses.
The sexual revolution has harmed autistic men and probably women.
See the Ben Aflik character in “The Accountant”.
It has also hurt older women. Read up on the recent case of Jennair Gerardot. She was the nicely kept up woman who was about to be dumped by he “Chad” husband of 25 years for.
Jennair referred to a snap shot of herself, husband and their dog “Huck” as “our little family.” It’s a safe bet the couple was unable to have children.
When Jennair found out her husband was about to leave her for a “Becky” that was 14 years younger she end both their lives. Jennair shot the “Becky” and then herself.
What the husband was about to do was commit “serial polygamy” in the words of George Gilder.
The end of jennair’s life was something you should think about when you consider the idea of socially enforced monogamy.

4 years ago

The down side is fear of people in general and of women in particular.

Er… there are also women on the spectrum.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

My brother is autistic and would never dream of murdering people. He gets along with women just fine. He’s also not a STEM person, BTW. My dad and I are the ones in the family that like science.

I’m tired of people stereotyping people on the autism spectrum as one thing (male computer nerd who has issues with women) and I’m really, really fucking tired of people conflating misogynistic and entitled rage with autism.

Cut it out, Phil.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

This site is frustrating. Ate my comment. Repsoting. Sorry if it doubles.

My brother is autistic and would never dream of murdering people. He gets along with women just fine. He’s also not a STEM person, BTW. My dad and I are the ones in the family that like science.

I’m tired of people stereotyping people on the autism spectrum as one thing (male computer nerd who has issues with women) and I’m really, really fucking tired of people conflating misogynistic and entitled rage with autism.

Cut it out, Phil.

Makroth - cowboy Jacobin from Hell
Makroth - cowboy Jacobin from Hell
4 years ago


Oh, do fuck off. The only people the sexual revolution has harmed are control-freaks. And don’t lump every autistic person in with yourself and Minessian.

1 7 8 9
%d bloggers like this: