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Incel arrested in Utah for threatening to “kill as many girls as I see” shows why the idea of “enforced monogamy” is so dangerous


Christopher Cleary’s YouTube channel is devoted to fast food and sports

By David Futrelle

No one casually watching Christopher Wayne Cleary’s YouTube channel would suspect that the 27-year-old Denver man has a long history of stalking and threatening women, culminating in his arrest last Saturday in Utah after he posted an angry Facebook screed warning that he would soon take symbolic revenge on “all the girls the turned me down … by killing as many girls as I see.”

Though his words echoed those of the infamous incel killer Elliot Rodger, whose “day of retribution” against women left six dead in Isla Vista, California in 2014, Cleary’s YouTube videos give no hint of the rage festering beneath the surface.

There are no misogynistic rants or grandiose pronouncements. The channel is instead devoted to sports and to “mukbang” videos, in which Cleary chats amiably while eating hamburgers and pizza and other fast food staples. He appears nothing like the stereotype of the angry, socially awkward incel.

It’s quite a contrast to the message Cleary posted on Facebook that led to his arrest:

All I wanted was a girlfriend, not 1000 not a bunch of hoes not money none of that. All I wanted was to be loved, yet no one cares about me I'm 27 years old and I've never had a girlfriend before and I'm still a virgin, this is why I'm planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter cause I'm ready to die and all the girls the turned me down is going to make it right by killing as many girls as I see.

In a followup comment, he declared “[t]heres nothing more dangerous than man ready to die.”

Screenshot of recent videos on Cleary’s YouTube channel

But Cleary’s threatening note was as deceptive as his affable manner on YouTube. Cleary may be “involuntarily” celibate at the moment, but he’s hardly the kissless virgin he claims to be.

We know this because he is currently on probation for stalking and threatening a former girlfriend. As the Denver Post reports, the then-43-year-old woman called police in 2017 after Cleary showed up at her house.

The woman told investigators Cleary previously had been her boyfriend and they had sexual relations, but when she broke off the relationship, he began stalking her, according to court records. Cleary had called her 45 times that day, saying, “I hope you die,” “I am going to kill you,” “I am going to burn your house down,” and “I am going to send people to your house to kill you,” court records show.

The woman said that because of Cleary’s persistent stalking, she lost 20 pounds, had nightmares of him chasing her, awoke to find herself crying and had panic attacks. Cleary posted her phone number and address on Craigslist with fake pictures “soliciting sexual acts and rape,” according to the probable statement. She received many replies from strangers.

Cleary pleaded guilty … to felony stalking and making threats in a plea deal with prosecutors. Jefferson County Judge Dennis Hall sentenced him to three years of probation … .

But she was not Cleary’s first victim. In 2016, he was convicted of stalking and harassing two different 18-uear-old girls in Arvada, Colorado who had turned him down for dates. In a Facebook message, he had warned one of them that “I’ve been watching you. Soon … you’ll be lying in your deathbed.” In 2015, the Denver Post notes, he

was convicted on a misdemeanor telephone harassment charge. In that case, he convinced a woman to pose naked for him and then posted the photo online on a fake Facebook page in her name.

Cleary has also been accused of stalking and worse by other teenage girls, allegedly telling one 17-year-old that “I own multipul guns I can have u dead in a second … One day ima snap and kill everyone.” In another case, the Post reports,

a 19-year-old woman said she lived with Cleary for two weeks in a hotel room and during that time he strangled her and urinated on her, court records show.

Cleary has never gotten more than probation for his crimes against women. Hopefully that will change with this latest arrest.

Cleary’s case makes abundantly clear that the notions of “sexual redistribution” and “enforced monogamy” promoted by reactionary thinkers like Jordan Peterson are not only wrongheaded but profoundly dangerous.

Peterson and others have suggested that the rage of so-called incels like Elliot Rodger and Toronto van killer Alek Minassian suggest that our sexual economy is seriously out of whack, with many men unable to have regular sex because women are allegedly only interested in a relatively small subset of men. In order to prevent further incel violence, Peterson and others argue, we need to restructure society so that women are somehow compelled — by peer pressure if not something more draconian — to date the currently undateable. (Peterson, for his part, denies that “enforced monogamy” would be forced upon anyone, which makes one wonder why he used the word “enforced.”)

In other words, Peterson and others think that we should rearrange all of society to somehow compel women to date men who are so angry they can’t get dates that they regularly threaten or even carry out violence against women. In other words, we should essentially force women to date abusive men like Cleary.

Men who spend much of their time openly fantasizing about doing harm to women who won’t date them aren’t going to suddenly become angels if some woman starts dating them; Cleary obviously didn’t. Violent men don’t stop being violent when they’re in relationships; they just start directing this violence at their partners — and in many cases they ramp up the violence if their partner ever tries to leave them.

These men shouldn’t be appeased or, worse, rewarded for violence and threats of violence; they should be punished. Jordan Peterson and other proponents of “sexual redistribution” may be perfectly decent men in their own private lives, at least as far as we know, but the logic behind their proposals, however vague they may be, is the logic of the abuser.

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Alexisagirlsname
Alexisagirlsname
3 years ago

You know, I have to say, if you’re going to be a fascist, at least put your back into it.

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Talonknife
Talonknife
3 years ago

I would feel sorry for incels if it weren’t for the fact that they dusppay a staggering number of traits common to the serial killers and mass murderers I study in my program.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
3 years ago

@Lainy

I’m sorry that happened to you. You deserve better and society should certainly be changed so that women aren’t valued by their looks, or how many people they’ve slept with.

@Dr. Thang

I’d recommend therapy. It takes a lot of searching for some particular cases, but most therapists are willing to recommend other people when they are unable to help you.

I was sort of in a similar hole thanks to my parents, but I’ve been in therapy for over a year and getting significantly better at dealing with my issues.

You won’t get better right away, it’s a slow build up, although there are moments of catharsis as you come to terms with your emotions and your very own identity.

Then again there are also those days where you just want to argue with your therapist that your mom not wanting to try out your favorite restaurant is a personal attack on your identity; but I guess that’s a matter of perspective and her being entirely wrong about me taking it too personally.

bluecat
bluecat
3 years ago

Can anyone explain to me how this dude got as far as he did for as long as he did?

This appears to be someone going around being an active danger to women in plain sight.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
3 years ago

Can anyone explain to me how this dude got as far as he did for as long as he did?

This appears to be someone going around being an active danger to women in plain sight.

Because he’s male and White, and that goes a long way in the world, but especially in America.

Because if men like this started facing consequences for their actions, then that means powerful people, such as Trump or even Epstein, would have to face the same exact consequences.

Because if consequences became the norm, rather than the exception, then policemen and military men would have to answer to society about the disproportionate rate of domestic abuse they’re guilty of (https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/09/police-officers-who-hit-their-wives-or-girlfriends/380329/).

Because then we would have to hold our current celebrities and role models to higher standards, instead of celebrating misogyny.

In short, because the people who currently run society would then lose their power.

Katamount
Katamount
3 years ago

What do you say to stuff like this? It’s just exactly what I’d expect to see: a very-online white guy trying to establish a ridiculous YouTube brand that apes performative masculinity and he turns out to have absorbed the violent misogyny part of that too. How often do we have to see it for it to become a recognized red flag in the general zeitgeist?

I suppose if I have any question, it would be this: is there an aspect of sunken cost fallacy at work here? Have these CHUDs bought into this toxic performative masculinity for so long that they can’t accept the fact that it’s only left them worse people as a result? Apparently that kind of self-actualization is a step too far for many that they’ll keep on negging and stalking and believing in “hypergamy” until it escalates into something like this.

*sigh* Certainly doesn’t help to have a whole community of other CHUDs validating this awful behaviour.

brian
brian
3 years ago

hmmm, well, didn’t a past post here show some people claiming that if you didn’t get to fuck a 14 year old virgin in high school you’re an incel regardless of whatever happens in the future? I guess by that logic this guy might be a sexless virgin…
or maybe he’s just a liar in addition to his other wonderful attributes…

Wandering Jewterus
Wandering Jewterus
3 years ago

@bluecat

Can anyone explain to me how this dude got as far as he did for as long as he did?

This appears to be someone going around being an active danger to women in plain sight.

I think your second sentence answers your first. The US justice system seems to have a very high bar for what is considered an actionable threat, especially in regards to potential threats against women.

I’ve little doubt that the situation is exacerbated by the already egregious strain on the legal system as it processes a cornucopia of non-violent drug offenses while turning a blind eye to the active threat of violently misogynistic incels and MRAs. Couple that with the attitude that these situations can often be reduced to a matter of “he said/she said”, add in a dash of First Amendment absolutism, stir in a soupçon of victim-blaming/shaming, and you get the rich and fertile breeding ground for virulent misogyny.

Wandering Jewterus
Wandering Jewterus
3 years ago

@Katamount

I suppose if I have any question, it would be this: is there an aspect of sunken cost fallacy at work here? Have these CHUDs bought into this toxic performative masculinity for so long that they can’t accept the fact that it’s only left them worse people as a result?

I think that might be a part of it, but I also think the greater contributing factor is the self-perpetuating and insular communities that breed these types of wretches.

They continually reinforce their toxic views among themselves to such an extent that any deviation from the commonality of misogyny means being summarily discharged and forever excluded from the only community that they feel has welcomed and supported them. Knowing that their views would be immediately denounced outside these echo chambers, there doesn’t seem to be much incentive for self-reflection. Tribalism can be one hell of a drug.

BTW, Katamount, it’s great seeing you here. I’ve always enjoyed your contributions over at Wonkette.

Wandering Jewterus
Wandering Jewterus
3 years ago

*sigh* Certainly doesn’t help to have a whole community of other CHUDs validating this awful behaviour.

Well, crap. I must have missed your closing remark when I first read your comment. Now I feel like a knob for basically reiterating what you’d already pointed out. Sorry about that.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
3 years ago

I’m not sure mukbang videos are all that innocuous, in a world where nearly a billion people are food-insecure and countless others struggle with eating disorders. I know there’s a positive social/ASMR aspect to watching someone chat affably while chowing pizza, but it comes off as tauntingly wasteful to go overboard and film yourself surrounded by more food than you can eat.

Incels get mad at Chads and Staceys for the same thing: monopolizing “resources”, but with sex instead of food. Maybe there’s a reason this guy was drawn to mukbang.

Wandering Jewterus
Wandering Jewterus
3 years ago

I know there’s a positive social/ASMR aspect to watching someone chat affably while chowing pizza

Fuck, really? I can’t even imagine that. I find eating while talking absolutely maddening. Just the idea of watching some YouTube chud slurping and smacking around a wedge of greasy pizza while opining upon their personal raison d’être makes my skin crawl.

Karen Santiago
Karen Santiago
3 years ago

There’s some deep psychological issues, plus awkwardness when it comes to social interactions.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
3 years ago

For what it’s worth, the whole mukbang thing originated in South Korea and is based heavily on South Korean cultural mores and beliefs about food and eating. The fact that it’s been appropriated by other cultures inherently takes it out of its original context, which results in varying degrees of interest and cultural significance elsewhere.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
3 years ago

From what I heard, mukbang started out in Korea. Social eating is a big part of Korean culture and you had young men and women migrating to the big cities like Seoul to find work, finding it difficult to socialise, living alone in cramped apartments with no-one to eat with. Over time it seems to have undergone this memetic mutation from watching someone eat a regular-sized meal in an attempt to scratch an ingrained social itch to this bizarre competitive/ almost fetishistic thing of eating absurd quantities of food.

(One of the funniest “mukbang” videos I ever saw– not that I watch them much, the sheer amount of food consumed makes them kind of disturbing for me– was on a YouTube channel called “Off the Great Wall” which is made by young people in the Chinese diaspora. Their original plan for a video fell through at the last minute so they’re like, “hey, let’s make a mukbang video! How hard can it be, right?” So they hit the local Asian grocery, buy a ton of instant noodles and bring them back to their apartment. Fifteen minutes later, they both have the food-sweats and are going, “this is horrible! Why did we think this was a good idea?!” ??)

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
3 years ago

Oops, ninja’d by Gaebolga!

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
3 years ago

@Cat Mara

Ninja’d perhaps, but your post was more in-depth and insightful.

Does that mean you samurai’d me?

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
3 years ago

@Gaebolga:

Does that mean you samurai’d me?

?

I actually met some Koreans last week, students doing their medical internships here in Ireland. A friend of mine works as a guide on one of the guided tours for tourists and struck up a conversation with them, so I met him and them for a meal in one of Dublin’s Korean restaurants after the tour. Poor kids, I think our climate was getting to them. It is punishingly cold here at the moment. The thermometer claims it is above freezing but as it’s rarely below 100% humidity here, it’s a damp cold that seems to seep into one’s very bones. I have friends in Sweden who would take a Scandinavian winter over an Irish one any time because of this: it’s colder there but drier and that makes all the difference. Anyway, I’d actually meant to ask the Korean students about mukbang but I forgot.

I do a fair bit of cooking myself and I’ve made a couple of Korean dishes. Korean cuisine is interesting as it uses a lot of fermented ingredients– kimchi is probably best known, but there is also fermented soybean and chili paste. It also incorporates some Western ingredients like ketchup and Spam– these apparently date from the Korean War when US servicemen stationed there shared their rations during the dreadful shortages that accompanied the War.

Speaking of ketchup, I probably make way too much of this Korean dish than is strictly good for me ?:

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
3 years ago

@Cat Mara

Yeah, I find the whole Korean Spam thing fascinating, especially the high-end black-label Spam sampler boxes.

Thanks for the fried chicken video; now I have to try making that myself!

As for the perils of 100% humidity, here in Florida, we generally suffer from it at the opposite end of the heat spectrum, so I can only imagine how much it must suck in near-freezing temperatures. Fun fact: in the summer, if I go outside for five minutes, I end up as drenched as if I’d just walked out of a shower, only a whole lot less clean and a whole lot less happy.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I’ve hardly eaten Korean food before. There just isn’t a ton of it available in the Twin Cities. Thanks to our large Hmong population, there’s a lot of good Vietnamese places and we have lots of Chinese, Japanese and Thai restaurants, but for whatever reason there isn’t much Korean available. I don’t think I can even think of a Korean restaurant off the top of my head. Weird.

Now I want Vietnamese food. If anyone ever visits Minneapolis, go to Quang on 27th and Nicollet. It’s so delicious. And inexpensive too.

CarrieV
CarrieV
3 years ago

Of course we’re all very happy when a killing spree is thwarted, but I have to wonder, what do we do when the hateful little shits don’t warn us all online first?

Secondly, I’ve had so many arguments with people (OK, just dudes) who insist that “InCel” and “virgin” mean the same thing. The only little difference being perhaps that *some* [male] virgins might have sex in the future, but that InCels won’t. WUT?!

I recall pointing out that some InCel spree-killers HAD CHILDREN, ergo they weren’t virgins, whereupon the dudes would “correct” me and say he wasn’t an InCel then, because he’d had sex. I’m like, “Just because a guy had sex in high school, maybe even knocked up a few cheerleaders and became an unwitting father, doesn’t make him NOT an InCel NOW that he’s 35 and unsuccessful at being a decent enough non-shitgibbon to attract a willing partner.

Lastly, I absolutely believed the simplistic spin the media had originally reported: that this kid was another virgin InCel. So THANK YOU TO INFINITY, David, for uncovering what you had about this one’s history.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
3 years ago

@Gaebolga:

Thanks for the fried chicken video; now I have to try making that myself!

The vlogger behind that channel, Maangchi, got a recipe book deal out of it. My brother got her book for me a couple of Christmases back. It’s good.

The chicken is good stuff: that double-fry makes it extra crispy. One word of caution: she uses about equal quantities of ketchup and gochujang (the fermented chili paste) in the recipe and that’s way too hot for me. And I would consider myself fairly seasoned when it comes to chili. Not “munch raw Scotch bonnets” seasoned but better than a New Zealander at least ?.

As for the perils of 100% humidity, here in Florida, we generally suffer from it at the opposite end of the heat spectrum…

Not a problem you encounter here: a day in Ireland where it gets above 85F is pretty much remembered for the rest of that summer, let me tell you! Hell, a day where it gets near 85F is doing well for one of our summers…

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
3 years ago

@ Cat Mara

We usually hit 100% humidity when the temp is in the 90s, which pushes the heat index well into the hundreds. I get that sweat is a useful process in most climates, but it’s a lot like self-basting when there’s no way for it to actually evaporate…

…and thanks for the warning about the chili paste!

solecism
solecism
3 years ago

@wwth:

Now I want Vietnamese food. If anyone ever visits Minneapolis, go to Quang on 27th and Nicollet. It’s so delicious. And inexpensive too.

*makes a note for the next time I’m in town*

Thanks for the rec.

Can I just say, I really feel for the poor victims of this abusive stalker. I mean, this is probably one of the first guys these young women dated, and to have it get so ugly and terrifying and resulting in PTSD!

I mean, all of my romantic/sexual experiences have been traumatic to varying degrees, especially the one abusive ex who (thankfully rarely) visits me in my dreams as the personification of my anxieties, but damn! I never had to deal with that level of terrorism in my daily life. I’ve now sworn off men entirely for less (in terms of sex/intimacy). But I still enjoy the company of my male friends. Shit!

I guarantee none of these young women is going to turn around and threaten mass violence against white men. Huh, I wonder what the difference could be? (Not really)

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
3 years ago

Maybe someday everyone else will see these people as what they actually are: violent misogynists, not regular dudes who can’t get a date

(Possible trigger warning)

Hell, I haven’t had more than a handful of dates in the last 8 years, much less been even close to having sex, and the only person I’ve ever considered hurting/killing is myself (don’t worry, it’s all passive ideation and has been almost a year since the last time it happened). But that’s probably just because I don’t think women (or anyone else for that matter) owe me anything and are actual people who can decide for themselves what to do/not do independent of my wants

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