Do you ever go on a bit of an internet journey, where you see something you don’t quite understand, Google it and then end up down a dark and sinister rabbit hole on Reddit? No?
It all began when I was scrolling through some pretty rancid comments on Twitter, and saw some words I hadn’t heard before. Before I knew it, I was knee deep in MRA bull, finding out about the Epic Struggle between Incels and Chads.
Incels, if you haven’t heard of them and don’t want to end up in that Reddit pit of despair, are involuntary celibates, i.e. men who can’t get laid. They see themselves as the victims of a terrible social injustice. Because they are apparently ugly, fat and/or short, they are rejected by women. This angers them. This is apparently feminism’s fault.
According to the Incels, some men are more lucky. These men are Chads. They are tall, athletic and handsome, and women only want to date them. (Fancy that?) That is apparently unfair. And it is also apparently feminism’s fault.
So far, so grim. But it gets worse.
Because even though I’d wager they don’t really understand the word ‘intersectionality’, they are trying to make it work for them. This isn’t just an attractiveness issue; it is apparently also a class issue. We have gone from ‘What about the men?’ to ‘What about the poor men?’ Chads are rich. They probably wear suits. Incels are probably wearing gravy-stained jogging bottoms. Chads have nice houses. Incels probably live in a dank basement somewhere. Chads probably went to college. Incels probably want to make America great again…
Have a look at the following arguments from Reddit if you don’t believe me:
There are a number of horrendous ideas here, obviously, but one that I want to point out first is that 80% of men are not, in fact, invisible to women. We might not make eye contact; we might not want to talk; we might swipe left. But believe me, we know they are there. We do avoid them — not because they are apparently unattractive, but because they’ve got a terrible attitude and they are really chuffing scary. When women do our daily rape/murder risk assessments, we have strategies in place to keep ourselves safe from people like them: the ones who feel entitled to enter our personal space and lash out violently when they are politely rejected.
You can imagine these self-styled Incels, wistfully imagining a time when women didn’t get to choose their own partners, and could instead be bought for a bushel of apples and a couple of sheep in a gentleman’s agreement. Now women have minds and consent and equality and desire and all that nonsense, the poor ugly men of the world have to compete for their attention, like rabid seagulls at a peacock party.
Their only approach is the Nice Guy Play. The Chads obviously can’t be trusted, so the Incels wait for a Chad to break someone’s heart, then swoop in, offering a shoulder to cry on and eyeing the sad lady’s tits until they think enough time has passed to make a move. When they are friend-zoned, they are furious. Hey Incels, the friend zone just means women don’t fancy you. It’s a euphemism to try and make you feel better. Maybe we shouldn’t bother any more.
Because the way they react to women NOT sleeping with them is to call them whores.
Equality doesn’t take anything away from anyone else. It just means that more people are competing fairly for the same resources. So poor white men who used to at least feel that they were higher on the hierarchy than non-white men, and most women, now find that they haven’t got anyone to look down on anymore. This isn’t progress for them; they defined themselves on being ‘at least better than’. Even though The Good Old Days didn’t get them a fancy car, or a big house in the suburbs, at least they were able to look down on someone, right? They might not have had much of a head start in life, but at least they could say that they had more than someone else. Now they have to compete, and they are sadly unequipped for the competition.
That is not feminism’s fault. That is not a conspiracy of women against anyone sub-Chad. That is not evidence of ‘the system’ failing you. That is not a socio-political inequality.
Incels: if people aren’t buying what you are selling, maybe you should look at better marketing. You are not the great victims of a social injustice; you are people who can’t be bothered to make an effort. The things you imagine are holding you back? They are within your control. Don’t like the fact that you are judged on your appearance? First of all, are you expecting sympathy from women for that? Don’t hold your breath. Everyone is judged on their appearance. But you can make yours better if you want. You could shower, wash your clothes, cut your hair. If you find it hard to talk to people, be an adult and practice. You could actually try to be nice guys, rather than just making the Nice Guy Play.
Because I guarantee the biggest obstacle to you getting a girlfriend isn’t a physical flaw, it’s your attitude.
If women take one look at your face and run the other way, it’s not your face they are running from; it’s probably your facial expression. I would say that you can tell a lot about someone from their facial expression, but it would be more correct to say that you can make some occasionally accurate assumptions about someone based on their facial expression. Never does this show up more obviously than on Tinder.
I do a lot of swiping left on Tinder, not because I’m repelled by someone’s appearance or because Feminism Tells Me To, but because I have a screening process. Much of that screening process is about marketing, not the raw material. I’ll swipe left if someone looks like they might murder me and then eat my liver. I’ll also swipe left if someone is doing Blue Steel, or if their main picture shows them holding a drink in each hand and apparently saying ‘Wahaaaay’. I’ll swipe left if someone is barely literate; maybe that makes me a snob, but hey, I’m an English teacher, I have some standards. I’ll also swipe left if someone says they went to the University of Life, not because I’ll only date a graduate, but because that’s a dick thing to say.
All of these things are within someone’s control, and therefore changeable. And that’s what these Incels need to consider, if they can step away from their misogynistic, puerile, self-obsessed navel-gazing for a moment. This isn’t really ‘involuntary’. You’re not victims. The world doesn’t hate you for your ugly face. It hates you for your attitude.
And unless you change that, ain’t a woman in the world that will go near you.