Another threat to women

Shedding light on a seriously misguided and dangerous mindset

The author, a Chico resident, is a Chico State alum and former small-business owner.

Incel, the shorthand for “involuntarily celibate,” is a community that exists in the dark corners of the internet. Two incel forums report at least 5,000 members each, while a third claims 9,000 registered users. The attitudes of the men who visit these forums vary, but online they frequently vent anger against sexually prolific men (“Chads”) and women (“Stacys”). More generally, incel forums often include rants aimed at feminism and women.

This past April, we witnessed an incel-influenced terrorist attack on women. A young man drove his van onto a crowded sidewalk in Toronto with the specific intention of killing women. Ten people died; eight of them were women. Prior to his horrific attack, he had posted on Facebook a declaration of “All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” The 22-year-old Rodger, prior to murdering six people in Isla Vista in 2014, posted a video in which he called his planned attack retribution to “all you girls who rejected me and looked down upon me and you know, treated me like scum while you gave yourselves to other men.”

These are frustrated and sexually dysfunctional men who have developed an elaborate sociopolitical explanation for their sexual failures: Women are shallow, vicious and attracted only to hyper-muscular men. They see this as a profound injustice against men like themselves who suffer an inherent genetic disadvantage through no fault of their own. Incel gives cover to men who are afraid to pursue a sexual relationship, and supports blaming women for their failures.

This is a severely misguided mindset that is dangerous and has the potential for catastrophic consequences. This is a mental health issue that the right-wing likes to blame for mass shootings. Incel is a mass shooting waiting to happen. Where is the national discussion on the danger this “movement” poses to women?

President Trump is incapable of taking a leadership role with a crisis threatening women, and the male-dominated Congress has been silent. So it’s up to us to use the ballot box to empower women to do the right thing. Come November, vote.