• Incel

In its most basic definition, “incel” stands for “involuntarily celibate.” It has often become synonymous with misogynistic men [“reflecting or exhibiting hatred, dislike, mistrust, or mistreatment of women”1] who believe others are responsible for their involuntary celibacy, leading some of them to commit murder.

“Central to incel ideology is the notion that members have been unfairly denied sex by women because they’re unattractive or socially awkward,” according to a cnn.com2 article when, in 2018, Alek Minassian, who used a van to kill 10 and injure 16 people in Toronto,3 during his attack allegedly declared on Facebook that “The Incel Rebellion has already begun!”4 Two others who are allegedly cited as killing under this ideology are Elliot Rodger, who “killed six people in a stabbing and shooting spree in Isla Vista, California, in May 2014,”5 and Scott Paul Beierle, who “authorities said … shot two women to death and injured five other people at a Florida yoga studio before killing himself” on 11/2/2018.6

The word “incel” is said to have evolved from an innocuous online forum in 1997 called “the Involuntary Celibacy Project” created by a Canadian woman “for those who were struggling to form loving relationships” and she “abbreviated ‘involuntarily celibate’ to ‘invcel’, until someone suggested that ‘incel’ was easier to say.”7 The forum moved away from her original intent after she was no longer part of it.8

The sourced articles below should provide you more information about “incel” and the related movement. [Click here for the Abstinence/Celibacy Topic]

  1. Why The Government Should Fund Research On Incel Culture

    “Incels are members of an online community of primarily men that has proliferated in recent years. An abbreviation for the term ‘involuntary celibates,’ incels believe that because of their appearance, or the bias and behavior of women, they are unable to find a partner despite wanting one. With an emphasis on ‘involuntary,’ incels often feel that they are entitled to sex. Some believe the government should provide women for sex, while the more extremist members of the group have even proposed that female relatives should be forced to be their sex partners.”

    Tonya Riley, motherjones.com, 11/26/2018

  2. Florida Yoga Studio Shooter Is Latest In String Of Violence By Incels

    “While police are still searching for a motive and are investigating whether Beierle knew any of the victims or had a prior connection to the yoga studio, his four-year-old YouTube channel, original song lyrics and criminal history reveal a self-described misogynist who had twice been arrested for groping young women. In addition to racist rants about black women, interracial dating and dreadlocks (which made it ‘tough’ for him to enjoy watching professional football), many of [Scott Paul] Beierle’s YouTube videos focused on what the Southern Poverty Law Center described as ‘common *incel* grievances.’ The ‘incel,’ or involuntary celibate, community is largely made up of men who believe feminism has made them into sexual and romantic outcasts.”

    Amelia Mcdonell-Parry, rollingstone.com, 11/5/2018

  3. Gunman In Yoga Studio Shooting Recorded Misogynistic Videos And Faced Battery Charges

    “He expressed sympathy with Elliot O. Rodger, who killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., three months before Mr. [Scott P.] Beierle recorded the videos. Mr. Rodger had expressed his disgust at women online and urged “incels” — shorthand for involuntary celibates — to fight back.”

    Mihir Zaveri, Julia Jacobs and Sarah Mervosh, nytimes.com, 11/3/2018

  4. The Woman Who Founded The ‘Incel’ Movement

    “In 1997, there was no Facebook, no Instagram, no Tinder. Even MySpace was six years away. Alana, who doesn’t want to use her full name, was in her mid-20s and had just started dating. … She was living in Toronto, Canada, and started the website, Alana’s Involuntary Celibacy Project, for those who were struggling to form loving relationships. She described the site as ‘a friendly place’, a simple website where she posted articles and ran a mailing list. … ‘It definitely wasn’t a bunch of guys blaming women for their problems. That’s a pretty sad version of this phenomenon that’s happening today. Things have changed in the last 20 years.'”

    Jim Taylor, bbc.com, 8/30/2018

  5. The Rage Of The Incels

    “In the past few years, a subset of straight men calling themselves ‘incels’ have constructed a violent political ideology around the injustice of young, beautiful women refusing to have sex with them. These men often subscribe to notions of white supremacy. They are, by their own judgment, mostly unattractive and socially inept. (They frequently call themselves ‘subhuman.’) They’re also diabolically misogynistic. ‘Society has become a place for worship of females and it’s so fucking wrong, they’re not Gods they are just a fucking cum-dumpster,’ a typical rant on an incel message board reads. The idea that this misogyny is the real root of their failures with women does not appear to have occurred to them.”

    Jia Tolentino, newyorker.com, 5/15/2018

  6. Incels Categorize Women By Personal Style And Attractiveness

    “Incel, the online community of ‘involuntarily celibate’ men radicalized by their shared mistrust of women, has existed on the internet for years. But it wasn’t until Monday [4/23/2018], when a man drove a van down a street in Toronto and killed 10 people, that many people knew of its existence.”

    Rebecca Jennings, vox.com, 4/28/2018

  7. Elliot Rodger: How Misogynist Killer Became ‘Incel Hero’

    “The incel community is just one of the misogynistic groups that exist within the so-called ‘manosphere’ – a web of online blogs and forums which reject mainstream conceptions of gender inequality. Others include Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), a group which focuses on male self-ownership and believes men have been disadvantaged by modern society’s development.”

    BBC.com, bbc.com, 4/26/2018

  8. What Is An ‘Incel’ Group & Why Do They Hate Women?

    “The word ‘incel’ was, however, originally created more than two decades ago by a Canadian woman named Alana, who intended it to refer to a community of lonely people unable to find sexual partners. She has since said the term has been hijacked ‘as a weapon of war’ by men.”

    Natalie Gil, refinery29.com, 4/26/2018

  9. The Difference Between A Killer And A Terrorist

    “On Monday afternoon, 25-year-old Alek Minassian drove a rented van into dozens of Toronto pedestrians, killing 10 and wounding 13. It soon emerged that he was an adherent of the so-called ‘incel’ movement, short for ‘involuntarily celibate,’ a term co-opted by online adherents of an anti-woman ideology whose primary grievance is that women aren’t having sex with them.”

    J.M. Berger, theatlantic.com, 4/26/2018

  10. Alek Minassian Toronto Van Attack Suspect Praised ‘Incel’ Killer

    “The term ‘incel’ refers to a now-banned group on the message site Reddit, used by Rodger [Elliott Rodger, a 22-year-old from California who killed six people in a 2014 shooting rampage through Isla Vista, California, before turning the gun on himself], where young men discussed their lack of sexual activity, blaming women for the problem. ‘Chads and Stacys’ refers to attractive men and women who are perceived as better than or unavailable to ‘incels’, which is short for ‘involuntary celibate’.”

    BBC.com, bbc.com, 4/25/2018

  11. What Is An Incel? A Term Used By The Toronto Van Attack Suspect, Explained

    “Incels are misogynists who are deeply suspicious and disparaging of women, whom they blame for denying them their right to sexual intercourse. Theirs is a relatively new take on a ‘male supremacist’ worldview, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The center, which closely tracks hate speech, reports that incels grew out of the pickup artist movement, which takes a manipulative approach to seduction, but is rejected by incels who find it too humanizing of women. At their most extreme, incels have advocated rape and other forms of violence against women. … Mr. Minassian’s vow to ‘overthrow all the Chads and Stacys’ mirrors language used by Mr. Rodger and other incels. Men who are successful with women are known as ‘Chads,’ while the women who reject incels are known as ‘Stacys.'”

    Niraj Chokshi, nytimes.com, 4/24/2018

  12. The Incel (Involuntary Celibacy) Problem

    “What makes the Incel community confusing to the general public is many of us have also gone through romantic rejection, job loss, and other social challenges, so what’s the difference? I believe psychologically speaking, Incels believe they have no sense of control hence the term ‘involuntary’. While we may go through phases of rejection when it comes to dating or romance, Incels may feel such a sense of defeat, rejection, and unworthiness that they start to believe it themselves as being ‘forever alone’ (FA).”

    Sam Louie MA, LMHC, psychologytoday.com, 4/24/2018

  13. The Woman Who Accidentally Started The Incel Movement

    “When the relationship ended six months later, Alana found herself looking back on the prior decade with a fresh perspective and wanting to analyze what she’d been through. First, that required a label—new categories of relationships with new names had helped the queer people she’d met find happiness, after all. She entertained a few options: late bloomer, nonblooming, perpetually single. Then it came to her: involuntary celibate.
    Alana built a simple, all-text website— Alana’s Involuntary Celibacy Project—and while it’s long gone, she and a few others shared their memories with me, and Alana sent me a packet of old posts. The site was populated by men and women, but certainly more men, which Alana had mixed feelings about.”

    Peter Baker, elle.com, 3/1/2016

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Footnotes

1. dictionary.com, accessed on 4/24/2019

2. cnn.com, 4/25/2018

3. newyorker.com, 5/15/2018

4. cnn.com, 4/25/2018

5. bbc.com, 4/26/2018

6. nytimes.com, 11/3/2018

7. bbc.com, 8/30/2018

8. politico.com, 5/8/2018