Blackpill Philosophy — a closer look at Incels

Incels take the trophy for one of the most infamous fringe groups to have surfaced to popularity as of late. The most popular forums ( and the subreddit /r/Braincels) have garnered mass media attention after a series of mass killings over the past few years. But the majority of incels are not violent, sociopathic killers — most are simply young introverted men from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds.

To understand inceldom is to understand incel philosophy. And look no further to understand incel philosophy than the Blackpill.

The Blackpill (coined as a third alternative to the Matrix-themed terms of the manosphere, the Bluepill and the Redpill), is a fatalist view that one’s success with the opposite sex (usually women) is determined at birth — your physical attractiveness trumps all else, and if you fall underneath a certain point, well…

It’s over, boyo.

No amount of working out (gymmaxxing), earning money (betabuxxing), or sexual strategy (running game) will ever lead to a relationship. Your genetics have determined that you will be forever alone, deprived of sexual intimacy and love. There is nothing left to do but to commit suicide (rope) or lay down and rot (LDAR).

There are numerous facets to the Blackpill all stemming from certain fundamental beliefs. As an overarching goal, the Blackpill are the incels’ outlook on human sexual behaviour. Women are touted as hypergamous (shooting above their ‘sexual market value’, so to speak) whereas men are relegated to Chads, Chadlites, Normies, and Incels — the former three experiencing decreasing levels of sexual interaction with the last so far down the totem pole that even women of the same attractiveness (their ‘looksmatch’) do not go for.

Browsing the incel forums exposes one to a spectrum ranging from violent misogyny to methodologically compiled studies supposedly proving the Blackpill. A lot of the murky middle ground is a combination of valid science mixed with pseudoscience, unsupported claims, and personal resentment. Since the Blackpill is touted as scientific and indicative of human behaviour, a closer look at the ‘high-iq, sciencemaxx’ side seems to be in order.

While there is no all-encompassing report outlining the Blackpill, many of the studies cited seem to support a few basal conclusions. Firstly, that women tend to aim for more attractive partners than themselves. Secondly, that objective physical appearance matters more than one’s personality in terms of dating and casual sex. Third, that traditionally masculine, violent, or dominant men are more sexually successful. And fourth, known as the ‘racepill’, that white men enjoy greater success in dating and casual sex than non-white men. There are convincing studies for all of these propositions, many of which are compiled on the subreddit /r/BlackpillScience.

But singular studies can only say so much. The nature of scientific discourse is that there will always be dissenters to every scientific theory — otherwise science wouldn’t progress. Likewise, we can always find studies to contradict or support the basal assertions of the Blackpill, slam them down, and tell ourselves that we’re right. The important avenue to explore is the current scientific consensus.

And for the most part, the Blackpill is accurate. Women tend to rate the majority of men as below average on OKCupid. Physical attractiveness tends to be the most important factor in one’s dating decisions. White men, on average, are the most likely to receive a message and receive the most messages on OKCupid. Taller men are overwhelmingly preferred to men shorter than the woman.

However, there is also scientific consensus that seems to reject the Blackpill philosophy. Physical attraction tends to matter less over repeated interaction. Men tend to be more responsive to physical attractiveness while women respond more to intelligence and race.

But going past scientific studies is where Blackpill philosophy begins to waver. You’re short, so 99% of women won’t like you. You have a weak jaw, balding, and a large nose, so you are unattractive, and since physical attraction is the most important factor, no women will want you. The mistake of interpreting trends in data as a hardline barrier to sexual intimacy is rampant within the incel community. Personal anecdotes or singular Twitter posts are often coupled with these studies, triggering confirmation bias and the availability heuristic. Since incels tend to visit the forums repeatedly, the accumulation of these studies and anecdotes implants a distorted view of human sexual behavior in real life — thereby leading many people who could have intimate relationships (volcels) to miss out on opportunities. And, in that case, it would be because of their mentality.

Another aspect of Blackpill philosophy is the continuous downplay of any attempts to “ascend” to normalcy. Any rebuttal or argument against Blackpill is swept away with two main strategies. Firstly, the idea of “cope”. “Cope” is mainly used as a dismissive reply to any argumentation against the Blackpill, implying the user just hasn’t accepted the Blackpill yet, and is merely coping. Any attempts to poke holes in Blackpill science, to announce self-improvement, or even to offer a positive message within the incel forums is met with “cope” and a barrage of downvotes. A relative of cope is “see you tomorrow”, said in response to any posts about leaving the forum or abandoning incel self-identification.

Secondly are the baseless assertions made towards women whenever someone brings up a counter-anecdote. An example of a short guy with a tall woman? She’s going to leave him when 6'4 Chad swoons her at the bar. An Indian man with a white girlfriend? She’s secretly into Tyrone (a black Chad) and is only with the Indian guy for his money. No behaviour is left unexplained, and all scenarios end with the women cuckolding or cheating on the men with Chad.

If you aren’t Chad, it’s over.

Those familiar with Karl Popper and his work on the philosophy of science will quickly notice a disastrous pattern emerge within Blackpill ideology. It’s simply unfalsifiable. Similar to Freud’s work on psychotherapy, the Blackpill manages to explain all of human sexual behaviour, leaving no room for counter-arguments. No amount of evidence to the contrary can sway the ardent supporters of Blackpill. All anecdotes against the theory have simply not proven it yet. All anecdotes supporting the theory are embraced and showered with upvotes. Thus, the Blackpill sits on the same level of credence as psychoanalysis, Russell’s teapot, and the green homunculus piloting every human’s brain but undetectable by any sort of scientific equipment. The unfalsifiability of Blackpill is already reason enough to throw it in the garbage — although it’s important to acknowledge that the studies cited by the Blackpill do provide insight on the trends that appear in human behavior. Trends which, by no means, are an accurate predictor of a single person’s success in dating and sex.

Moving past the ideology as a whole and examining the personal psychology of an incel is the next step. Many picture incels as exceptionally ugly young men typing away at their computer at night. Yet the Vice documentary on incels feature an average looking guy who could easily get a girlfriend after some care into his appearance. At this point, the Blackpill is slowly losing its credibility as a framework for human sexual interaction and beginning to emerge as more of a delusion.

Georg Hegel, in his book the Phenomology of Spirit, presented a master-slave dialectic. In Hegelian philosophy, recognition is the key to Spirit, or absolute knowledge, leading to full self-consciousness. In the dialectic, two subjects meet and engage in a struggle. One emerges a master, and one a slave, seeking recognition from each other. But the master never receives enough recognition from the slave since she doesn’t see the slave as fully human. And the slave cannot receive recognition from the master as she is unwilling to provide full recognition to a subhuman. This leads to a regressive situation where neither slave nor master receive the recognition they need for self-affirmation.

Comparatively, in Blackpill terms, “femoids” are often made to be mere objects. This dehumanization of women leads to a form of the master-slave dialectic; an incel can never receive enough recognition from a woman since he doesn’t see them as fully human. The woman interacting with the incel doesn’t receive the recognition she wants either, and the relationship is doomed. “Recognition” here is more than just sex or professed romance; the inherent lack of respect and humanization for women ingrained in Blackpill ideology will never satisfy an incel/ex-incel, so long as they follow the doctrine of inceldom.

An important distinction to note is that one can reject Blackpill ideology yet still be an incel. Are there men out there who are short, ugly/disformed, poor, balding, fat, with mental issues who will never be in a loving relationship for their entire lives? Yes. And they are free to claim the title of ‘incel’ and wear it proudly. But the statistics show the overwhelming majority of men do enter relationships and have sex at some point in their lives. The need for acceptance and community, the diversion of blame towards others, and the constant self-bombardment of the Blackpill is actively swindling potential intimate relationships from many self-proclaimed incels, who are actually massive volcels. It’s a tragic, almost pitiful trap that many people, primarily young men, have spiraled into — personality, the one element that the Blackpill vehemently rejects as a means to attract a partner, is precisely the reason why many fakecels will never enter a lasting relationship.

For further watching,

Ethan Jiang

Written by

philosophy, psychology, politics. comp sci student.

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