The Shooters in the Rye

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‘Raw hatred’: why the 'incel' movement targets and terrorises women

By Zoe Williams
Wed 25 Apr 2018
Last modified on Thu 3 May 2018 -

The man accused of carrying out the Toronto van attack has alleged links to ‘involuntary celibate’ online communities. The language they use may be absurd, but the threat they pose could be deadly

When a van was driven on to a Toronto pavement on Tuesday, killing 10 people and injuring 15, police chief Mark Saunders said that, while the incident appeared to be a deliberate act, there was no evidence of terrorism. The public safety minister Ralph Goodale backed this up, deeming the event “not part of an organised terror plot”. Canada has rules about these things: to count as terrorism, the attacker must have a political, religious or social motivation, something beyond “wanting to terrorise”.

Why have the authorities been so fast to reject the idea of terrorism (taking as read that this may change; the tragedy is very fresh)? Shortly before the attack, a post appeared on the suspect’s Facebook profile, hailing the commencement of the “Incel Rebellion”, including the line “Private (Recruit) … Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161.” (“4chan is the main organising platform for the ‘alt-right’,” explains Mike Wendling, the author of Alt-Right: from 4Chan to the White House.)

There is a reluctance to ascribe to the “incel” movement anything so lofty as an “ideology” or credit it with any developed, connected thinking, partly because it is so bizarre in conception.

Standing for “involuntarily celibate”, the term was originally invented 20 years ago by a woman known only as Alana, who coined the term as a name for an online support forum for singles, basically a lonely hearts club. “It feels like being the scientist who figured out nuclear fission and then discovers it’s being used as a weapon for war,” she says, describing the feeling of watching it mutate into a Reddit muster point for violent misogyny.

It is part of the “manosphere”, but is distinguished from men’s rights activism by what Wendling – who is also the editor of BBC Trending, the broadcaster’s social media investigation unit – calls its “raw hatred. It is vile. It is just incredibly unhinged and separate from reality and completely raw.” It has some crossover with white supremacism, in the sense that its adherents hang out in the same online spaces and share some of the same terminology, but it is quite distinctive in its hate figures: Stacys (attractive women); Chads (attractive men); and Normies (people who aren’t incels, ie can find partners but aren’t necessarily attractive). Basically, incels cannot get laid and they violently loathe anyone who can.

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No matter what is said about the strides that have been made regarding the treatment and value of women the actions within law and culture make liars of us. This problem seems insurmountable because the focus is on a symptom and not the actual illness which is White Supremacy. But the symptoms will persist and evolve because those who are affected are its biggest champions just like the Incels who call women sluts but hate those that won't submit to their advances.

It isn't a coincidence that they share the same language as the supermist or that they engage in 'slut shaping' and rape fantasy their frustration is with their inability to dominate what they have been told is their right to dominate. They don't simply want any kind of woman they want the thing they 'despise' they want a 'Stacy' that responds to them as if they were a 'Chad' with money and anything less simply won't do!

"Santa Fe shooting suspect reportedly killed girl who turned down his advances"


The 17-year-old suspect in Friday's shooting at a Santa Fe, Texas, high school reportedly shot and killed a classmate who turned down his repeated advances, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The classmate, Shana Fisher, was the first person the shooter killed, according to Fisher's mother.

Fisher's mother, Sadie Rodriguez, told the Times in a private message to the paper's Facebook page that the suspect, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, gave her daughter "4 months of problems" before Fisher rejected him in front of classmates.
Although there is no evidence thus far that the Santa Fe shooter identified with Incels or any such group, the reality is that there are many people who think like Incels. They cannot make sense of rejection and some resort to murder.

"Larson wrote: “Women are objects, to be taken care of by men like any other property, and for powerful men to insert themselves into as it pleases them, and as they believe will be in women’s own interests. In most cases, their interests are aligned, as long as the man is strong. Female sex-slaves actually get a much better deal than animals, because in most cases, they are allowed to reproduce, unlike animals raised for meat or companionship.”

Even as he sympathises with Incels he reinforces the stereotypes that might be preventing some from having their desired partner.


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