The right and the wrong of the incels

So I keep running into these "involuntary celebate" guys online.  This is a whole segment of the human western culture that's hyper-frustrated at not feeling able to get laid, and is yelling about it because they feel they're being treated unfairly.

There are several things to sympathize with here.  Getting some is a nearly-universal human urge, and having no access to a means to fulfill it is definitely a ragemaker — we're not the first or only culture to have dealt with large swaths of angry young men, willing to burn society down and start over if it fixes that problem for them.  (It's been the cause of civil unrest, riots, and uprisings, even.  And it was known even in ancient Greece that men who couldn't get any would lose their shit — read Lysistrata.)  It's pretty well-known that if you take away a needed thing (which includes emotional needs like seeing your family, going to work, and yes finding physical intimacy once in a while) from a big chunk of people, especially one of your society's most energetic and able demographics, you get trouble.

And there's a lot of awful behavior and sloppy thinking to point, too, with the incels, as well.  I won't go into it, but hoooomygod do they say some awful shit, mostly about women.  To them, they aren't getting laid because "women" are keeping them from it; because if women would just behave differently, the fact that so many people can't hook up and be intimate would be solved.

This is a monumentally incorrect conclusion.  They're all justified in their anger, but they're angry at the wrong thing.  What they SHOULD be angry at is the anti-sex and anti-woman nature of our society.  It's that thing being called "the rape culture" that traumatizes women sexually and demonizes women who have sex and puts all the responsibilities and consequences of sex on women's shoulders.  It's this patriarchial society that punishes sex-workers and sex-work, taking away men's ability to just use their hard-earned money to solve that problem, if they wanna.  It's the lack of plentiful birth-control, the hateful lack of justice for rape and assault-victims, and the constant dissing and slandering of sex in general and women in particular, that keeps the incels from getting laid — not the women they attack so viciously for it.

The women are victims too.  (The women also aren't getting laid, in addition to being the butt of the violence and hatred.)  Both women and men are being made "involuntary celibates", by our culture which refuses to teach positive sex, refuses to celebrate or encourage healthy sex, and refuses (or is super reluctant) to legitimize and legalize the consentual sex-practices that get people laid — like being gay, being kinky, having multiple partners, etc ad nauseum.

Look, the problem you're up against is that we live in a backwards, fearful, religion-underpinned social culture that slams and shames women for nearly everything related to sex.  By the time any American girl is fifteen, she's seen images of women being humiliated sexually a million times.  She knows that "whore" is one of the worst things you can be called, and that if you display yourself sexually in any way, including just admitting that you like sex, you'd better have no imperfections or they will be pointed and laughed at in public.  Adult women have almost *all* been harassed or traumatized and then shamed for it, meaning that even just having a normal, healthy sex-life for them is gonna take years of therapy.  ...And remember, those women want to get laid just as much as you do — they're just taught that they're completely responsible for anything bad that happens if they do, and that their wanting to enjoy it makes them a bad person.

In even slightly more matriarchial cultures, paid sex is usually legal, with the attention paid to regulating it and making it safe.  But a culture where women can sell sex is not a culture where women make good slaves, so in *our* culture's (recent) history, women were forbidden from working *including* selling sex, so that they'd be valuable commodities to be bought and owned (because it's illegal to rent one, even/especially if she'd prefer being rented).  If you want more women to have sex with you, you want the liberation of women from secondary-citizenship and slavery of all kinds, because it's free, enabled women who can have sex with you on purpose.  Your anger at the slaves for not putting out more is prettty gross, BUT if you'd just turn your anger towards the system that keeps them as slaves, and set them free so they can voluntarily have sex with you, you'd be getting laid like crazy compared to now.  And oddly enough, because this is a problem aimed at women and so super hard to fix from "downstream", you, sitting upstream, can fix it pretty easily.  Change the culture.  Step one is just, "start saying different things", and start getting your friends to.

…And it's not all about sex-work, either.  There's a HUGE swath of women who can't have as much sex as they want, due to (ignoring health, safety, legal and financial stuff for the moment) a combination of past and current shaming.  Start glorifying women liking to get laid, already.  And not just hot celebrities, but ALL women, because it's the non-celebrity women you'll probably be sleeping with, and they're the ones who need the encouragement.  (Cheering for slutty models is its own part of the problem, but I'm skipping it for length reasons.)  Start publicly complimenting regular, imperfect women who act and look sexually, instead of yelling at them to get on a magazine cover or shut up.  Stop mocking women for being sexual and they'll be a little more inclined to do it, eh? 

Then start making it easier for women to get laid without getting pregnant, and to pay for sexual health services, and to report and have something done about rapes and assaults, and they will stop being so scared to have sex.

Do you understand?  Do you get that for an average woman, simply having a moderately healthy sex-life involving a few people is a monumental task, and for women who'd prefer to have a lot of partners (maybe including you), the pressure to not do so is overwhelming?  

By piling on more shame and anger, you're only making the problem worse.

Start fighting the sick, stupid culture that's keeping everybody from getting laid, and everybody wins. 

…Ok, rant over.  :)

About puredoxyk

Word addict, kungfu/taiji nut, and life-partner to polyphasic sleep. Rabid fan of as many hobbies as the world will let me pry into its piddly fourth dimension (it helps to have knocked out the wall).
This entry was posted in better thinking, no more forced pregnancies, poly-ticks, sexytime. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The right and the wrong of the incels

  1. Paul says:

    I'm sorry this piece brought you a nasty response. I applaud your effort to understand and to find common ground. I absolutely agree that the system, for lack of a better word, doens' seem to serve anyone particularly well. That system narrows options for men and women, and it seems to encourage the tribal way we respond. So I respect your willingness to acknowledge the pain people feel and I agree with most of your assessment of the real problem.

    I don't know if there's any reaching most people who identify as incel based on their participation in online incel communities. Even those who don't actively join in on the hateful invective you find there are willingly associating with the people spewing the hateful invective. I don't know.

    But maybe they're still reachable because they haven't been totally seduced by the misery incels typically share. Maybe a post like this gets read by young men who are lonely and perhaps ashamed or angry, but who don't identify with a group that hates women. A pre-incel, if you will.  I'd be willing to be that you reached someone, and likely many someones.

    Taske care.

  2. MT says:

    First of all, thanks for the the second paragraph of this post. That is perhaps the first time I have read any thing even remotely empathetic toward the experience of the frustration of a man who can't find sex. Usually, there is just a bunch of fairly hostile "get over it" language.

    Honestly,  I can't say for a moment I agree with the woman-hating stuff that incels spew. Also, I am really not aware enough of the issues you discuss to agree or disagree with your diagnosis of the patriarchy keeping women from having more sex. But based on my personal (therefore anecdotal) oberservations, women are having plenty of it. They tend to be the "choosers" when it comes to sex (speaking of heterosexual sex, at least). Therefore, if you are not one of the "chosen" and are consistently not one of the chosen your whole life, there is not much you can do about it. It can lead  to some pretty dark emotional places.  You can start to feel invisible, even sub-human.

    I have always experienced that within the realm of sex woman have near infinitely more power than men. My belief is that if an average looking guy and an average looking female made a friendly wager to see who could get laid first, the woman could round someone up pretty fast. Whereas the guy, well it would take quite a bit longer (perhaps never). Again, this is all based on personal obersvation and experience. I guess I don't know where I am going with this.. I don't hate anyone..but sometimes the despair at being left out can become pretty consuming.

    • puredoxyk says:

      Thanks SO MUCH for your comment; MT — it’s honest and real.  I’m so glad that some of what I had to say made sense to you — and the despair you describe makes sense to me, too.  Those are hard, hard feelings, and I’m sorry you’ve had to have so many of them.  Both men and women suffer so much from this system/arrangement/group-habit, and it sucks.

      It’s interesting, in a dark way, to me that both men and women experience the “other side” having all the power.  Isn’t that weird?  Like, women scream and rage about the aggression and oppression they face, and men despair and rage about the choicelessness and loneliness they face.  Suffering on all sides, and the only people who “win” are the ones that game the system in morally repugnant ways. 

      All I can conclude is that it is not a good system that makes both sides powerless.  And I am a fierce believer that we can change things when they suck this bad.  …I wish I knew how, but I guess understanding it and talking about it are necessary first steps regardless.  Thanks for doing both with me.  :)


      • puredoxyk says:

        P.S. It’s also weird and interesting that both men *and* women think that the other group is having tons of sex all the time. I hear it on both sides, constantly; and I feel the constraints that are put on me _as a woman_ that stop me from having sex I want (thankfully only sometimes). I’m blessed with a really large and very mixed group of friends and acquaintances, and I’m pretty confident in guessing that _neither_ side is having as much as they’d like to. But because the cultural system (whatever you want to call it) has made men and women sexual enemies, each thinks that it’s the other who’s benefitting from the arrangement. And oh look: Neither side is. It sucks for *everybody*.

        You gotta wonder why we have a system like this. Does it benefit anybody? Was it an accident? Did we just roll a 1 at some point in cultural character-sheeting? :P

  3. puredoxyk says:

    Oh man, this piece got more shitty I'm-not-letting-that-out-of-moderation ranting bullshit commentary than almost anything else I've ever posted.  See, this is why I don't like to sully my mouth talking about my enemies…they hear you, and they talk back, and they rarely have anything useful to say and then you're stuck having a conversation with them.  Better to just let them hang themselves being dumb, like, over there, rather than inviting them to come spew their sad attempts at discourse.  I won't make this mistake again in a hurry.  :/

  4. Ben says:

    Preach! Very very true. I hope somehow they will all see these points, somehow.

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