American media was recently introduced to a new word: “incel.”
Incel is internet parlance for “involuntary celibate,” and it refers to an online subculture of resentful men who can’t find sex. This term became part of public discussion after a deranged Canadian killed several people in a vehicle attack in Toronto last month.
A Facebook post from the alleged killer called for “incel rebellion,” prompting a North American-wide debate on the menace posed by these male virgins.
A few people have wondered if the government should jail those incapable of finding sexual partners. Tech executive Ellen Pao implied her industry should find out who’s an incel in their workforce and ensure they never find employment.
Crazy world where involuntary celibates are considered terrorists and require more extreme methods than radical Islamists.
A reasonable take on this phenomenon was offered by The New York Times’ resident conservative Ross Douthat this week. In a column published with the provocative title “The Redistribution of Sex” on Wednesday, Douthat argued the sexual revolution has resulted in the decay of human relationships and a underclass of losers.
The conservative columnist would rather society return to more traditional norms requiring strict monogamy and chastity before marriage. But Douthat believes that’s an unlikely scenario. He instead thinks sex robots and sex workers will rise to meet the demands of the incels and the frustrated. He doesn’t think these things will deliver true fulfillment, but that they will satisfy society’s growing belief that there is a right to sex.
Douthat’s column was hardly a defense of incels and merely observed where present trends may take us in the future. But his feminist critics somehow thought Douthat argued we must give incels government-issued girlfriends and were furious at its publication.
The row over the NYT column sparked a new round of condemnations of the incel menace and further demands we ostracize these pathetic virgins from society. An example of the vitriol leveled at Douthat is a Village Voice article that declared all incels terrorists because of their misogyny, the two acts of violence committed by celibates and the mean memes they tweet at journalists.
Wonder if the Village Voice writer would apply the same standard to Islam…
A common refrain of criticism was that the incels don’t just want sex — they feel that they are entitled to high-value women and nurse toxic resentment at not getting what they feel they are owed.
Fair point, no one likes entitled jerks who demand things they are not owed. But when it comes to the realm of sex, incels are not the only ones who feel they are entitled to partners they are denied.
Trans people, overweight women and a host of other groups that are more liked by leftists frequently complain in the public square about how hard it is to obtain the partners they desire.
And the complaints of these groups aren’t relegated to the festering swamps of the internet — you can read them in respectable publications.
Transgender individuals are particularly vocal in denouncing the sexual preferences of straight men who don’t want to date trans people. A few months ago, The Daily Beast published an article condemning the common preference of not wanting to date trans a “ridiculous straight panic” that needed to change.
A popular Medium post last August argued this sexual preference was “transphobic,” leaving the impression trans people feel they are entitled to sex with whomever they desire.
Does that make feminist opposition to having sex with incels incelphobia?
Trans people aren’t alone in complaining preferences and sexual outcomes are bigotry. HuffPost and other sites have run angry pieces attacking “fatphobia” and “sexual racism” that make protected classes losers in the dating market. (RELATED: SJWs Are Putting Politics Back Into The Bedroom)
Even more common than these grievances are the overabundance of articles written by straight, middle-class women lamenting how they can’t find good men to date. Rarely do these articles offer introspection that the writer may herself be at fault for the failure to obtain a “good man.” Instead, the genre is built on the assumption that these women deserve high-value men — regardless of their own particular qualities — and it’s an outrage they are denied this.
That contrasts with incels, who are told (not without reason) that they don’t deserve the women they desire and it’s their own fault they’re not getting laid.
According to the Left, the big difference between incels and these various protected classes is the male virgins have “privilege” and can only blame themselves and their toxic ideology for their lack of sex. At the same time, trans folks and others not having their sexual wants is a problem of our racist, transphobic and patriarchal society. We must radically transform our most private preferences in order to make sure they’re happy.
That’s how victimhood culture works — only protected classes can blame their problems on the oppressive society. Privileged groups like straight men can’t.
When discussing incels, leftists sound like Darwinians who believe society has properly excised these dregs from the genetic pool. But for protected classes, they quickly shift back to being radical egalitarians who there’s an inherent right to sex.
Douthat is wrong in saying our society will eventually come to believe everyone has a right to sex — only some groups will have that right.
Not that that will make people any happier. Incels are merely an extreme expression of the epidemic of loneliness and alienation in our society. A Cigna study released this week found that 46 percent of Americans at times experience loneliness and 47 percent say they feel left out. Only 50 percent of Americans say they have meaningful interactions with people on a regular basis.
The most depressing part about this study? Generation Z is the most likely to say they are lonely and alienated.
How many of them will turn out to be incels? Probably a large number, and jail time and permanent unemployment for the sexual revolution’s underclass won’t make this problem go away.