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Quillette calls for an incel uprising

Quillette recently posted an article about incels that is doubly strange.

Written b y Rob Brooks ,a professor of evolution at the UNSW in Sydney, the article purports to explain the roots of inceldom and to offer “practical” solutions to this “dangerous phenomenon.” His discussion of incels and their motivations is strange and not altogether convincing. as for his solution, well, I never expected to find Quillette, often referred to as the house organ of the “intellectual Dark Web,” to call for incels as a class to rise up against the rich.

We’ll get to that last bit in a minute.

Brooks thinks the incels are are a symptom of a larger problem known to psychologists as the “young male syndrome.” Basically, this means that young men “whose circumstances furnish few prospects of finding a partner” are going to walk around pissed off and horny all the time. Some, Books suggests, will turn to reckless behavior in an often futile attempt to wow the chicks. Others, in our internet age, “fulminate on social media.” And boy howdy they do.

Traditionally., Brooks explains, society dealt with thhe “young male problem” by dispensing with the surplus of young males.

Political leaders have long channelled men’s desperation to avoid incelibacy by enlisting them to fight. A man who survives the army emerges with more social and economic capital which improve his mating prospects.

Also, dead dudes don’t date.

War and conquest tend to keep a lid on a society’s Incel problem. When young men fall in battle, the survivors find it easier to attract mates. In cold economic terms, the supply of potential brides begins to exceed the demand from potential grooms.

Seems a tad simplisitic, no? All of Brooks’ arguments are like this — “just so” stories about human behavior that reduce all of human history to what he and other evolutionary psycholgists see as the demands of human reproduction.

Brooks also offers something of a materialist explanation for incels’ woes.

Economic inequalities affect mating markets, too. Big disparities in the distribution of wealth leave large numbers of poorer, usually younger men, with little to bring, economically, to a relationship.

Yet somehow poor men who don’t spend their lives screeching about “foids” online manage to find themselves sexual partners. Indeed, as far as researchers can tell, there’s no “sex gap” between rich and poor. They have similar amounts of sex.

The problem for incels isn’t that they can’t can’t afford to take Stacy to a fancy restuarant. It’s the fact that they hate women, and themselves, and women can smell their misogyny and general dysfunction at a distance. Elliot Rodger, the incel spree killer who has been adopted by incels as a martyr, was a rich kid who drove a BMW. He was also creepy as hell, and that’s what drove the women away.

If Brooks doesn’t seem to get even the basic facts about incels and their motivations straight, it’s not for a lack of data. Indeed, as he points out in the piece, he and several other evo psych researchers put together a vast database of Tweets — billions of them — and were somehow able not only to locate the incel tweeters but also to tell where, roughly, they lived.

I don’t know how and I’m not going to read their paper to find out. Brooks sums up their “findings: and gives them an evo psych spin.

Turns out Incel tweets come mainly from places with high income inequality, low gender inequality, and where men outnumber women. The findings make sense because big income disparities leave poorer men with less to offer a mate, small gaps between women’s and men’s income: mean fewer women need to marry for economic security, and relative scarcity of women means fewer men can find a mate. All of these conditions lead to more Incels.

I will grant that in areas where there are literally more men than women it is harder for men to get a date. The rest of it Brooks seems to have pulled from the air, seeming to impose his preconceptions on the data rather than letting it speak to him. He acts vaguely surprised that his data seems to

chime with some of the things Incels themselves say online: that women’s gains in education and earnings, and the presence of a minority of rich, super-attractive men have cut them adrift from the mating market.

I don’t think he was any more shocked than Captain Renault was “shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on” at Rick’s Cafe Americain in Casablanca . It looks like he went in expecting to find just what he says he found in the data — essentially taking incels’ own explanations for their inability to date and making them his own.

It’s at this point that, after assuring his readers that even if he believes some of incel ideology he’s not a violent misogynist himself,, Brooks climbs on his soapbox and calls for incels to rise up as one against the rich.

Incels, and people concerned about them, would do well to recognise the value of gender equality and the deep societal burden that misogyny and violence impose, and then to find better outlets for their frustration.

Indeed, our study suggests one such outlet: the battle against rising income inequality. The evidence that large gaps between rich and poor are toxic not only to the poor, but to the vast majority of people in a society, can no longer be ignored.

Am I actually agreeing with this guy? On this one point I think I am.

Incels would do well to swallow their wounded masculine pride and to work alongside social and economic justice groups to reverse inequality.

Can this really be Quillette I’m reading? The “critical race theory” battling, “cultural marxist-hating”-hating, trans-“skeptical” enemy of all things “woke?” How bizarre.

Oh, but Brooks isn’t done quite yet. He’s got a book to plug.

In my new book Artificial Intimacy, I consider not only political solutions but some technological fixes involving virtual reality, robots, and a new generation of matchmaking algorithms. I hope that Incels and the societies that house them have the maturity to try them out.

I don’t know what he means by ” a new generation of matchmaking algorithms” but I can tell you one thing: the incels will be far more comfortable with sexbots than they would be “work[ing] alongside social and economic justice groups to reverse inequality.” I kind of feel bad for the sexbots, though. Maybe they’ll rise up against their owners. Certainly seems more likely than incels joining up with the left.

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Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
3 months ago

I don’t know about fancy diner but my husband will buy me a cake doughnut from the local Casey’s when he gets gas. It normally cost a good 69 cents and it makes me fall in love with him a bit more each time.

KindaSortaHarmless
KindaSortaHarmless
3 months ago

@Elaine

It appears that, much like food, love is less expensive when it’s homemade.

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
3 months ago

“Incels would do well to swallow their wounded masculine pride and to work alongside social and economic justice groups to reverse inequality. ”

Yeah, I can picture these guys taking on all the labor required in a lefty political group: becoming well acquainted with left-wing thought, finding a place for the meeting, showing up on time, making coffee, greeting newcomers, taking minutes of the meeting, and making sure that everyone gets a chance to speak.

And then following through on the group’s plans: sending reminder texts, making signs, becoming trained as a medic for demonstrations, and making sure that cool heads prevail during an action.

Not to mention the long-term work of keeping the group together: taking a leadership role, staying current with lefty political thought, mediating conflict, and making phone calls to keep people coming back to group meetings.

These are all things that these guys would be highly motivated to become good at — if only they could tear themselves away from their current task of writing defamatory, violent screeds about women for their online audience.

Usually a lurker
Usually a lurker
3 months ago

I have another theory that fits his data just as well: there are more incels in areas with high income inequality because the incels are (some of) the rich ones. They think money can buy everything, and then find money can’t buy love, so they assume the problem is that they don’t have enough money instead of trying something more sensible.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
3 months ago

Turns out Incel tweets come mainly from places with high income inequality, low gender inequality, and where men outnumber women. The findings make sense because big income disparities leave poorer men with less to offer a mate, small gaps between women’s and men’s income: mean fewer women need to marry for economic security

Fewer women need to marry for economic security? I reckon this is perhaps a poorly phrased way of saying that women can’t often marry for money if men aren’t generally much wealthier than women.

On the other hand, as long as there’s income inequality between men, women could still generally favor wealthier men over relatively poor men. Even a man with a modest income, regardless of the woman’s own, could be easily seen as preferable to someone who’s totally broke. Likewise, a rich man could be always seen as preferable to someone with modest income.

On third hand, if few women are indeed marrying on socioeconomic grounds, that should actually benefit lower income men, because they are going to be net losers when women generally do prefer higher income men.

The author here seems quite intent on interpreting incel woes through economic inequality. Based on the incel discourse that I’ve seen, they seem to very much think the main driver of sexual inequality is men’s physical attractiveness, while money comes as distant second.

Incels also seem to often think they’d be better off if women had no economic independence, because that would supposedly force women into monogamous relationships, which would improve sexual equality between men. More realistically, and looking at history, what would happen is that wealthy men rather than attractive, socially competent men would become the new “Chads”.

QuantumInc
QuantumInc
3 months ago

I am reminded of the ‘Contrapoints’ video on Men, and what I saw on communist reddit. In the Contrapoints video she notes that a lot of men face existential crises because they lack a meaningful struggle, and towards the end she notes that many former alt-right guys are not really DE-radicalized but RE-radicalized as they jump from the far-right to the far-left. There are internet memes about depressed millennial men who bounce between ideologies as log as they are extreme enough.
After Bernie Sanders lost in 2020 I visited some more extreme socialist subreddits but became more and more disgusted with the ridiculous things said by so-called “Marxist-Lenninists”. Actually if they followed the teachings of Vladimir Lennin it would be an improvement. Lennin allied with Liberals, social-democrats, and other kinds of Marxists, and only threw them in the Gulag AFTER they defeated the Monarchists. Meanwhile the reddit communists are convinced that Trump and Biden are equally fascistic, and seem to hate socialists who disagree with them more than capitalists. Fighting fascism can happen AFTER they have control of the conversation around socialism. There was a lot of arguments whether China is communist. While they still call themselves that, the Chinese economy is clearly not the same as it was under Mao Zedong. Really it seemed to be less about Marxist ideology and more just a hatred of the USA and a suspicion of liberal democracy. They love China because it is the one entity that might stand up to the USA. They say the USA if beyond reform, but maybe the reason they reject reform is essentialist thinking. They can imagine an outside factor replacing the USA but not internal change. There’s a rumor that they have been installing themselves as the moderators of many lefty subreddits and quietly censoring all the people who voted Biden.
The reddit communists seemed just as irrational as the alt-right, and I have to wonder how many of them were in fact former alt-right. So if Rob Brooks got his way it would probably look at lot like that.

Lollypop
Lollypop
3 months ago

@QuantumInc

I’ve found something similar on Twitter. There was a bunch of people berating a comedian because she wasn’t sufficiently ideologically pure (she’s left-aligned but laughed at some of the more earnest factions I think), and started scouring her tweets from years and years ago to “collect receipts”. Someone suggested this perhaps wasn’t the best use of their time, but apparently, they were “holding her to account” and “gathering evidence for her clearly reactionary nature”.

And as much as I hate it when right-wingers are like “this is like Mao’s China” at anything vaguely left-wing, having read about his rise to power, I have to agree that this weird, smug impulse to paint people as wholly and irredeemably bad, and label them as something absolute like “reactionary”, that can be the first step on the road to dehumanising them and justifying some pretty unjustifiable cruelty. And it’s a shame that the left LOVES doing this to their own – and most particularly to women.

Regarding the Quillette article, I’ve known far too many women financially and emotionally supporting pot-smoking layabouts to believe that lack of income is any barrier to men getting laid. In fact, I’d say the bar for the amount of effort men have to put into relationships is actually laughably low (maybe because the existence of incels means that simply NOT being a hateful, violently misogynist crybaby gives blokes more bonus points than it should).

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
3 months ago

“A man who survives the army emerges with more social and economic capital”. Really? Tell that to the Vietnam vets who were spat on and ignored when they came home. Or the post-9/11 vets who struggle to get the disability payments, healthcare, and jobs they were promised. Or any wounded, shell-shocked veteran of any war ever.

You could argue that war itself is a detriment to evolution, since it selects physically strong young men in their prime, many of whom have not had a chance to reproduce, and mows them down. Why do we need another artificial-scarcity-inducing mechanism to replace it?

These numpties will advocate for a thousand pipe-dream tech solutions for men to get access to sex (sexbots! artificial wombs! algorithms!) instead of much simpler solutions such as “hey, to increase our odds of long-term mating success, let’s try treating women as humans instead of acquisitions”. They’ll twist themselves into pretzels before they’ll acknowledge that mating choice for women might also be “natural” and part of evolution.

To hear them talk, the only purpose of evolution is to get men laid. If men are struggling, something is wrong and must be changed. If women are struggling, oh well, it’s the natural order of things and has been for millions of years, can’t go against nature. They don’t even apply their own logic consistently.

sunnysombrera
3 months ago

“Brooks thinks the incels are are a symptom of a larger problem known to psychologists as the “young male syndrome.” Basically, this means that young men “whose circumstances furnish few prospects of finding a partner” are going to walk around pissed off and horny all the time.”

Sigh. I swear to above, sometimes it feels like feminists are the ones arguing that men are complex and varied beings. It’s the alt-right and manospherians giving their gender a bad name, trying to elicit control through “No sex and no GF make man go crazy” (with the implication that any resulting violence is the fault of women).

That said, echoing Lumipuna, this entire Quillette article relies on the presumption that women are shallow and hypergamous, so it seems the author doesn’t think that members of either gender are varied and complex.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 months ago

the supply of potential brides begins to exceed the demand from potential grooms.

That was a bit of an issue post WW1; but, as always, it’s a tad more complex than that. All sorts of factors, from emigration policy to the Spanish Flu had an effect. And indeed there had actually been a ‘lady surplus’ prior to the war. More here for anyone who wishes to follow up. (It was quite an interesting, and counter intuitive read. By which I mean, the OP’s point did seem plausible; but then as mentioned, it turned out not to be that simple.)

http://ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk/unconventionalsoldiers/‘surplus-women’-a-legacy-of-world-war-one/

WW1 though was the last major conflict where lots more men were killed than women.

In WW2 for example more civilians died than soldiers; and of course women were just as likely to face risks on the home front.

comment image

In more modern warfare there are disproportionate numbers of male causalities; but in absolute terms the numbers are quite low. Just because of the nature of modern warfare. There were 147 allied combat fatalities in Desert Storm for example. That’s hardly going to skew the demographics.

Of course all of the above is coming from a European/US perspective. Other parts of the world may differ. But I think the OP wasn’t really thinking globally.

Natty S.
3 months ago

Alan Robertshaw, while I take no other issue with your comment, let it be noted that the emergence of the Soviet Union as (partly) a means of ending Russian participation in WW1 also led to the rise of the modern female soldier. We ought to remember that the gender of war is a socially determined thing, and the Anglosphere’s notions of what makes a man and a woman are culture-specific. What we tend to think of as ‘rules of war’ are in fact products of social and historical developments in Europe.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
3 months ago

sunnysombrera:

That said, echoing Lumipuna, this entire Quillette article relies on the presumption that women are shallow and hypergamous, so it seems the author doesn’t think that members of either gender are varied and complex.

On second thought, the article actually seems to presume that women marry based on money mainly IF they can’t independently make a certain standard of living AND IF only some men can provide that standard of living. Though if income inequality is high among men, it’s probably also high among women, causing many women to struggle economically. One might call it limited hypergamy in a scholarly sense.

Meanwhile, in common incel usage, “hypergmy” is mostly divorced from the original socioeconomic meaning. AFAIK scholars invented the term to describe a certain axis of mate selection preference that’s mainly seen in women, but incels use it simply to insinuate “women have a uniquely strong discriminatory preference for desirable mates over less desirable ones, unlike men, who’d be happy to fuck any 18 year old virgin who isn’t too fat”.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
3 months ago

Please let the incels have their sexbots and leave actual women completely alone and out of their “thinking”. Everyone will be happier.

@Elaine: Whenever my husband’s in the vicinity of Krispy Kreme, he does the same. It’s more than 69c but less than a fancy car. He also buys me books instead of jewelry. I buy him cookies, anime, and mysterious computer bits.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 months ago

@ gss ex-noob

and mysterious computer bits.

Hah, rumbled!

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Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
3 months ago

@GSS ex-noob

I am a cake doughnut hoe so he knows exactly the way to my heart. I bake cakes and cookies that he loves and will occasionally buy him beer. I think his favorite gift I have ever given him a customize rechargeable lighter. It doesn’t take much to show that you love and care about another person. You just have to know them basically

.45
.45
3 months ago

@ Lumipuna

Yes, any man will glady have sex with any 18 virgin girl who isn’t too fat, isn’t too skinny, doesn’t wear too much make-up, doesn’t go without make-up, isn’t too smart, doesn’t stand up for anything gross like women’s rights, doesn’t have cellulite, isn’t too dark skinned, has a nice tan, isn’t obsessed with sex, totally wants to bang all the time, etc, etc. But, hey, me preach, choir, and all that.

@ Elaine The Witch

Well, lightsabers are awesome. Of course it is his favorite.

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
3 months ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants

“Tell that to the Vietnam vets who were spat on and ignored when they came home.”

That’s a right-wing myth, one that I personally don’t recall hearing until well after the conflict in Vietnam had ended.

“[T]he Veterans Administration commissioned a Harris Poll in 1971 that found 94% of Vietnam veterans reporting friendly homecomings from their age-group peers who had not served in the military. Moreover, the historical record is rich with the details of solidarity and mutuality between the anti-war movement and Vietnam veterans. The real truth, in other words, is that anti-war activists reached out to Vietnam veterans and veterans joined the movement in large numbers.

Stories of spat-upon Vietnam veterans are bogus.”

http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=350

The quotes are from an article on a website sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. This is the author:

“Jerry Lembcke is the author of “The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam” (New York University Press, 1998). Jerry is the New England contact for VVAW. He is also an associate professor of sociology at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts and can be reached at 508-793-3050 or jlembcke@holycross.edu.”

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
3 months ago

Very happy to announce that my comment of 11:09 pm (Central time) appeared almost immediately!

Hambeast
Hambeast
3 months ago

Buttercup said

To hear them talk, the only purpose of evolution is to get men laid. If men are struggling, something is wrong and must be changed. If women are struggling, oh well, it’s the natural order of things and has been for millions of years, can’t go against nature. They don’t even apply their own logic consistently.

This is why they have to pretend that women are a completely separate and inferior species. Woe to the Homo Masculinus!

In other news, NoScript seems to dislike the new site thingy because I don’t have any buttons to quoteblock and etc. I’ll see if I can remember how to do that manually. If not, apologies since I don’t feel like waking up Husbeast to fix the settings for me right now.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 months ago

Re: Species

Hambeast’s comment above reminds me of an interesting bit(s) of trivia I leaned recently; and it seems the sort of thing some people here might like; so thanks for the excuse to share!

The first thing I was interested to find out is that, in academia there are at least 27 different definitions of species that are accepted and used in various fields. It’s not always the ‘can produce offspring’ one.

I get into a few discussions about this because of my stance that all humans since at least Homo Heidelbergensis are the same species; and any differences are just matters of morphology. No more relevant than the fact we don’t all look the same today.

But one particular approach was really fascinating. It’s used by some palaeontologists to address two mysteries of evolution.

1. Why are there no medium size carnivorous dinosaurs?

http://blog.everythingdinosaur.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/no-medium-sized-theropods.jpg

2. Why are there more species of large carnivorous dinosaur than smaller ones.

Both of those observations are completely contrary to every other eco-system ever known. Generally there is a smooth and unbroken progression in size; and more small species than larger ones.

The answer was found by treating juvenile carnivorous dinosaurs as completely different species to their parents. Then all the modelling works.

Essentially teenage dinosaurs fill all the niches that would otherwise be occupied by different species.

But of course, unlike the other species that would max out at a particular medium size, young dinos eventually do get big. And so there’s not just one apex predator. Lots of species end up in the top spot.

I love stuff like that.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
3 months ago

@Alan: Oh yeah, we’ve got the parts for at least two around here.

SirSeatbelt.
SirSeatbelt.
3 months ago

This article’s author is spouting nonsense but the paper is legit. Take Egypt as a case study but this generically applies to any developing/post colonial country.

In Egypt, traditionally, as a man you can’t get married until you can afford a home. A huge population of young men are Un or Under employed, and can’t afford to hit societal milestones on the way to marriage. When I was over there it was an extremely common refrain. American educated male doctors and engineers working as cab drivers. In countries that look like Egypt – large populations of economically depressed young men, you tend to see a lot of instability. Im not saying the one causes the other. But there I definitely a relationship between them.

In countries with large refugee populations, men that have steady work integrate better than those who don’t. And the unemployed are more likely to gravitate to radical ideologies or crime.

What this paper did is collect tweets, and sort through them based on language that is mostly used by incels (like Stacy and Chad, foid, etc). Then it took those tweets probably belonging to Incels and checked to see what region of the US they came from. And they determined that there is a correlation between being an incel and living in an economically depressed area of the US. So it seems that much like other places in the world where economic disparity leads young men to violent ideologies, economic disparity and inceldom are linked.

burakuminbibba
burakuminbibba
3 months ago

Yes I know. I am incel by the way.

I don’t want to die to protect Chads and sexhavers. Thanks professor, you die if you want to. Not me, I am comfy and I fap hentai.

This anti male rhetoric is very appreciated by tradcucks, they seem to think that androcide solves all the problems. “Less men in the dating market” they say. Truly psychopaths.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
3 months ago

… says a guy who identifies with a movement associated with numerous violent terror attacks in the past decade or so, and with even larger amounts of violent rhetoric.

Makroth
Makroth
3 months ago

@Burak

You’re much uglier on the inside than you are on the outside.

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