Incel isn’t about sex, it’s about power

It should not be that difficult to see that a self-identified group which defines itself as victims of ridicule, which denigrates everyone who is not in the group, and which uses the language of violence to outline its aspirations would turn to, and celebrate, violent actions.

This is the incel clique. Incel for involuntary celibate. Involuntary celibates, feeling aggrieved because they cannot find a sexual partner. These are men, aggressively. They are an off-shoot from the vile manipulation movement called PUA, for pick-up artists. PUA promises there’s a formula, a magic way of speaking and moving, which will impel women to have sex. They think they know this formula, and that it is OK, or even vitally important, to use this information in order to obtain sex.

They believe the consent of the women targeted is inherent in woman-ness.

The PUA mindset is bullshit, and incel is an understandable outcome. If you think of women as targets, targets whose sole meaning in the world is to provide sex for guys who know the secret of obtaining it, then–out in the real world–you will find that, no.

Secrets of the Love Ninja
Secrets of the Love Ninja–PUA Parody, The Harpoon, 1995

So when they encounter the inevitable no, they wind up celibate. Involuntarily.

Then, because this is today, they go online, and they vent. And sometimes they kill.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a great roundup of what is going on in the male supremacy movement of which incel is a facet. It can be difficult to read, triggering language pervades the report because male supremacy is about power and abuse.

Not sex. Ross Douthat has a weirdly off-point response to the mainstream discovery of the dark incel mindset. He begins with a linked reference to Robin Hanson, economist, who looks at the surface obsession of incel with sex, and assumes that that the problem is one of scarcity. There isn’t enough sex to go around, and what can be done about getting more sex into the marketplace of sex so everyone can get all the sex they want? Because sex is a marketplace, you see.

Douthat then spends the rest of his opinion piece developing a “it stands to reason” style argument that, eventually, liberals will discover a right to sex, and use their AWESOME POWERS to force everyone into a sex marketplace. It’s almost as if these two guys think the incel response to reality arises from incels being actually not good at finding sexual partners, just like they’ve been saying all along. Therefore, they go on, the appropriate (or eventually acceptable) response will be to increase the availability of women (or woman robot surrogates) for misogynists who identify as incel. Because it’s about sex as activity.

But it is not. Orcs of New York get it a lot right in a lot fewer words.

"My uncle, back in the wastes, he is an incel. Wait, no, he is ... how do you say in Manflesh ... an asshole. These are synonyms, no?"
“My uncle, back in the wastes, he is an incel. Wait, no, he is … how do you say in Manflesh … an asshole. These are synonyms, no?”

Because for incel, it isn’t about sex as activity. It isn’t about sex as people choosing who they will select as a partner, and when they will select a partner. It isn’t about any sort of partnership. It’s about sex as an expression of the power of male supremacy.

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