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Mailbag: Calling self-identified incels incels is oppression. And so is laughing

Speedy delivery!

By David Futrelle

In today’s mailbag — well, technically, today’s comment moderation queue — a self-described Russian socialist informs me that describing the people who congregate on the Incels.me forum (now Incels.co) as incels is oppression.

Russian socialist here.
It’s kinda funny how western mainstream left uses word incel (involuntary celibate) to attack everyone who don’t like them.

He’s responding to a post of mine about people who identify themselves as incels, and who post on a forum run by self-identified incels with incel in its title.

Fun fact: all of tras people and homosexuals are in fact involuntary celibates, because they cannot to produce children normally.

Celibacy means abstaining from sex. It’s not a fancy word for “infertile.” Also, trans men can get pregnant and have babies if they have working uteruses, same as cis women.

And there is a lot of unlucky women what are also incels.

This is true — and indeed the term was invented by a “involuntarily celibate” woman — though at this point I can’t imagine many women still use the word “incels” to describe themselves, considering what male incels have done to the term’s reputation.

Using word incel against alt-right is like using N-word against Alt-right. You can try to justify it, yet you are still a bad person for doing so.

Incels call themselves incels. Calling them what they call themselves as is not oppression.

You know what is oppression — at least according to someone else who tried to post a comment on an incel-related post on this blog today? Laughing. Not just laughing at incel illogic. Laughing period.

“SJWs” do ruin comedy. And that’s a good thing.

Not true and also not true.

You know what laughter is? It’s the sound our monkey ancestors used to make as an “all clear” signal to tell other members of the tribe something was safe, like if they thought a rustling in the bushes was a predator but it turned out to be the wind.

Nah. If it ever mean that, and I rather doubt it did, it doesn’t mean that now. Laughter cam mean a lot of things. I laugh at trolls who say ridiculous things. Babies laugh playing peek-a-boo.

In today’s world nobody is safe except the predators. Every pleasure comes at the expense of somebody else’s pain. If somebody has it in them to laugh, to be happy, to feel safe, they’re an oppressor.

Nobody deserves to laugh until everyone can.

Wow. If this person isn’t straight-up trolling, they really woke up on the wrong side of everything today. Everyone laughs. Even the most oppressed people on earth laugh; indeed, many oppressed cultures have rich traditions of humor. You know who doesn’t have much of a sense of humor? People who decide that they’re oppressed despite not being oppressed. Like incels and Men’s Rights Activists and Jordan Peterson fans.

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Allandrel
Allandrel
2 years ago

@Naglfar

Most self-identified ‘classical liberals’ that I know are right-libertarians who like to pretend they’re progressive while supporting conservatives exclusively. Much like other libertarians, they are total hypocrites.

Oh, yes. EVERY libertarian/”classical liberal” I have encountered who claimed to be “fiscally conservative but socially liberal” has consistently supported a straight conservative ticket.

Dreamer
Dreamer
2 years ago

There are scientists who study if and why animals laugh. Apparently rats giggle when tickled and run back for more. Reading stories about rats giggling makes me giggle. Confession : jealous of scientists involved in the research. I know I don’t have the knowledge of animal behavior but how sweet is figuring out what makes animals laugh?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ dreamer

Animals having fun, just for the sake of it, is one of my favourite things in the world.

Did you see all the stories about rats playing hide and seek with humans? Seems they love it. They kept playing even when there were no ‘incentives’ other than just playing the game.

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6458/1180

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@Allandrel

Oh, yes. EVERY libertarian/”classical liberal” I have encountered who claimed to be “fiscally conservative but socially liberal” has consistently supported a straight conservative ticket.

I’ve seen the exact same thing. They usually throw in some crap about how they’re the only real alternative to a 2 party system. And when you grill them on their socially liberal views, they generally display ignorance at best or bigotry at worst. Or they’ll say something about how they personally are ok with abortion or gay marriage, but you wouldn’t know it from their voting history.

Even when libertarians are “ok” with gay marriage or abortion or similar issues, it’s just that. It’s that they don’t care one way or the other. Hence they never elect politicians who protect these rights, because it’s all the same to them. Gay marriage or no gay marriage, abortion or no abortion, they don’t care.

Skye
2 years ago

Dreamer and Alan, for some reason the idea of scientists tickling rats and playing hide and seek with them has made my week. Thank you both for that.

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
2 years ago

I think I’ll go oppress the entire world by watching Laurel and Hardy carry a piano up and down a long flight of stairs.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

You know what laughter is? It’s the sound our monkey ancestors used to make as an “all clear” signal to tell other members of the tribe something was safe,

Actually, laughter is the sound that occurs when someone claims that monkeys live in tribes.

Sophy Cooper
Sophy Cooper
2 years ago

All I can think of now is a Monty Python peasant yelling, ‘Help! I’m being oppressed!”

Betrayer
Betrayer
2 years ago

It’s tempting to assume they are a troll, but sadly I do know some real socialists who are joyless bastards and insist that everyone else should be too.

They aren’t as bad as the post-left bigots, but they are really frustrating to be around. How on Earth they expect to convince people to join them when it means being miserable 24/7 is beyond me.

cat
cat
2 years ago

hey all i know we’ve established now that HRT doesn’t prevent pregnancy but i just want to throw one more thought out there… not all trans people are necessarily on HRT!

Betrayer
Betrayer
2 years ago

Although on the subject of right-wingers pretending to be socialists, apparently the “eat the babies” shouting lady was planted by a right-wing cult that doesn’t believe climate change is real.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/04/fringe-group-planned-eat-babies-stunt-aoc-town-hall/3869116002/

Dreamer
Dreamer
2 years ago

I’ve had pet rats. They definitely have a sense of humor as do my cats. My friends’ dogs laugh in dawg language. Cat humor tends to be sarcastic. One cat of mine smacks me if I try baby talk but purrs when I tell her she’s a naughty smart azz, lol! I suspect she’s feminist.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

My cat, Darrow used to take down my Obama window sign during the 2008 elections. I figure he isn’t a Republican because he’s too sweet and chill. So I think he’s a anarchist. Clarence Darrow did criticize the New Deal for being too corporate, so it tracks.

Crip Dyke
Crip Dyke
2 years ago

@Naglfar:

I was under the impression that people on HRT become sterile, so I didn’t know that. I recall hearing somewhere that trans women who want to have biological children should bank sperm before starting HRT, so I imagine that sterility is still a possible outcome.

So, it is **possible** that MtF trans* folk might become irreversibly sterile after a few years on HRT. Most MtF trans* folk become reversibly sterile (I don’t know exact numbers, but I understand that becoming permanently sterile is relatively rare, or at least uncommon, but the odds increase the longer you’re on hormones).

However even if your sterility is reversible, producing fertile, motile sperm is a multi-week process, usually taking about 3 months. Also production doesn’t start immediately after you skip a dose for the first time. It can take a while for sperm production to begin again, so tests to see if your sterility was reversible aren’t even reliable for about 6 months after cessation of HRT.

Very few people are willing to stop HRT for 6 months after they’ve started. Sure there are some, but not many. And to be perfectly honest, so much changes with your body – much more than just what’s visible to others – that I don’t think you can reliably predict whether or not you would be okay with stopping for 6 months until after you really feel what it’s like to be on it.

So even if you THINK you might be willing to go off HRT for 6 months,
1) those feelings might change, and drastically, and
2) it may not help anyway, because there’s a chance the sterility isn’t reversible, even though for the majority of people it is

So banking sperm can be a good idea since what if you fall into the majority of people who are unwilling to go off HRT or the minority that are willing to go off but find out they’re permanently sterile? Given that neither of these is entirely predictable, if you want to have kids that are genetically related to you, the “just in case” plan should be banking rather than assuming you can go off hormones later.

Of course, I think having kids genetically related to you is entirely overrated and humans are over-reproducing anyway, so why not adopt? Or be a loving step-parent? Or be the cool auntie to your neiphlings?

Anyway, these are things I’ve learned from my life as a Jewish trans* woman, who got pressure from family about continuing to reproduce and the “selfishness” of not caring about passing on my genes.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
2 years ago

@Crip Dyke

Or be the cool auntie to your neiphlings?

This is the route I went, and it has worked out very well for me. I have been reliably informed that I am “the best auntie in the whole wide world”. ?

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
2 years ago

@cat
You’re right about that.

It’s kind of sad that the idea of a “proper” trans person seems to only include those who are medically transitioning (or looking to do that, if currently unable).

I should probably start including something about that in my routine answers when people are puzzled that to hear about a trans man giving birth. I understand that this is not something people are familiar with, but it kind of irks me when saying testosterone doesn’t make one sterile just raises more questions. Why would you have sex that could make you pregnant if you’re “supposedly” a man??

Um, because people can enjoy a variety of things regardless of their gender identity? And also, if you’re not having sex with them, it’s really not any of your business how they choose to do it.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
2 years ago

Nobody deserves to laugh until everyone can.

Dude, I understand that you’re desperate for attention, so you wrote a bunch of BS. But could you also be just a little bit funny?

Thanking you in advance.

Bakunin
Bakunin
2 years ago

The number of doctors who act like HRT will completely destroy your sex drive and (for feminizing hormones) make penetrative sex impossible is a disservice.

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@cat, Masse_Mysteria
Sorry if what I said implied that people need to medically transition. This was not my intention. I was curious about the effect of masculine HRT on pregnancy and should have phrased it better.

@Crip Dyke
Thank you for the detailed answer. This is potentially relevant to me, as I’m an AMAB person who has identified as non-binary for several years but am not really sure what gender I am and lately have been beginning to think I might be trans female. I do want biological children one day, so this is something to keep in mind.

@Bakunin
I recall overhearing a doctor say something to that effect and then thinking that it didn’t make much sense. I mean, many cis women seem to have sex drives and so I don’t see how trans women on HRT would be any different. I’m guessing it’s because the doctors want to scare people away from transitioning.

I notice some commenters putting an asterisk after “trans*.” I’m not in the habit of doing this, but should I do this? I haven’t seen it before, but can definitely start adding asterisks if needed.

Shadowplay
2 years ago

I recall overhearing a doctor say something to that effect and then thinking that it didn’t make much sense. I mean, many cis women seem to have sex drives and so I don’t see how trans women on HRT would be any different.

It’s an old and very inaccurate mode of thought, dating all the way back to the discovery of “sex” hormones. The initial thought, based mostly on cultural assumptions, was that testosterone and oestrogen are total antagonists – if you have an abundance of one, all effects of the other will be obliterated.
Not true, of course. Biology is never that simple.

Know this because it were still being taught as gospel truth in the early 80s (way back when I had a course of endocrinology lectures). It should be long since gone – but medicine dislikes change and it’s lecturers are usually old and set in their thinking.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

an “all clear” signal to tell other members of the tribe something was safe,

Except that the incels, neo-Nazis and MGTOWs we laugh at aren’t safe people. That rustling in the bushes actually is a predator.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
2 years ago

@Betrayer:
Oh good lord the woman was a LaRouchie. I guess even the man being dead hasn’t stopped that particular clown car of American politics from careening wildly about.

Viscaria
Viscaria
2 years ago

I want to laugh at Commenter #1’s very incorrect opinions, particularly (but not exclusively) their apparent belief that cis gay men, cis lesbians, and all trans people are all incapable of traditional conception, but Commenter #2 has taught me that laughter is wrong. Now I don’t know what to do!

Jesalin, Goddess of Lust & Pleasure
Jesalin, Goddess of Lust & Pleasure
2 years ago

The number of doctors who act like HRT will completely destroy your sex drive and (for feminizing hormones) make penetrative sex impossible is a disservice.

I suspect it’s mainly a ‘cover their ass’ type of thing. Well that and a lack of knowledge.

Jesalin, Goddess of Lust & Pleasure
Jesalin, Goddess of Lust & Pleasure
2 years ago

I recall overhearing a doctor say something to that effect and then thinking that it didn’t make much sense. I mean, many cis women seem to have sex drives and so I don’t see how trans women on HRT would be any different. I’m guessing it’s because the doctors want to scare people away from transitioning.

There might be some of that, but I think it’s a combination of CYA and a lack of knowledge. Possibly also some confusion of correlation and causation.

When I started on HRT my drive dropped from about 20 (on a 10 point scale) to a 1. That wasn’t solely due to the T blocker though, I think a very large part of it was simply because I loathed my genitals. After bottom surgery my drive mostly came back, though a lil modified (modifications that I really like).

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