What becomes of the unfuckable? A shorter guide to the incel community.

“Know your enemy well enough and you will pity them instead” — TISM

In the wake of the Toronto tragedy, there has been a huge spike of interest in the incel community. Incel is a contraction for ‘involuntary celibate’ and is basically a group of men that see themselves as somehow undesirable enough to never find love. And likely struggle even with friends. They are probably the types that you tried to avoid in high school. Likely got teased a bit in the playground. They are strange. They are ugly. They don’t fit in. And they really don’t like women. Or anyone, really.

According to Elle magazine, the term incel was created by a woman about twenty years ago to describe her struggles with dating. She was overweight, a bit splotchy and felt like she wasn’t quite invited to the party when it came to young love. So she coined the term incel to discuss the difficulties of the ‘less than perfect’ type and the struggle to find love and affection. Incels absolutely detest the idea that the term was created by a woman and often refute it. This seems to be based on nothing but their disdain toward women, though. They strongly believe women cannot be incels, and always have access to sex and validation, but refuse to accept men of lower status. Like the guys that hang out in incel forums.

This uniquely male phenomenon appears to have come straight from the internet. Before this, loners used to keep to themselves and maybe eventually shoot up a post office. Now they have a place to congregate and discuss shooting up post offices. They have created an entire world. They have created a vast array of terminology and phrasing unique to the incel community which truly defines them as a fringe group like no other. They are harsh on each other in ways that may seem to be cruel and unusual, but always bond together in solidarity when they feel they are being bullied by outsiders.

Looks are what fundamentally makes an incel an incel. A fixation on face and height. Incel forums are bursting with technical medical terms for attractiveness. Canthal tilt? Maxilla? A recessed chin or bad jawline and it’s over. While these things can be fixed by surgery, this is a coping mechanism (cope) as there is undoubtedly something else wrong with you (I mean, why else would you be an incel if there wasn’t). This usually refers to a mental issue, such as anxiety, the autism spectrum and a general lack of intelligence. Even the gym won’t help, as they will say ‘there is no gym for your face’.

Height is a huge issue, with incels posting pictures of women demanding men to be six feet or taller in order to date them on internet dating services. This drives them crazy. They call short men ‘manlets’ and incels often battle to declare whether face or height is the real source of true inceldom. If you are short and ugly, you are doomed.

Incels have one main point of solidarity — wanting to kill themselves. There is a widely held belief that the only way out of the dark existence of inceldom is suicide or death (the rope). Threads about dying are probably the most common in the incel community. Suicide and depression is rampant. It is the thing that takes this group from being detestable to pitiful. When you see what they say, it’s horrifying. But it comes from such a place of profound sadness. Lashing out in an echo chamber of like minded people just ends up escalating to the point where they will openly talk about committing acid attacks on the faces of random women in public like it’s just a normal thing to chat about. Their sadness and social exclusion has turned to hate in a extreme form. Almost entirely against women.

This is the thing that makes incels terrifying. Their toxic and venomous approach to women. Women are called ‘femoids’ (to dehumanise them) and attractive women are called ‘Stacies’. Men are called ‘normies’ and attractive white men are called ‘Chads’.

The most harrowing thing they do is discuss freely about what they would like to do to Stacies and normies. Conversations about rape and extreme violence are normal. Public shootings (going ER — after Elliot Rodgers, the incel that killed six people in 2014) are commonly discussed and joked about. Talking about ‘taking people with them’ is quite common in their frequent discussions on suicide (referred to as ‘the rope’). A lot of incels don’t identify with this kind of behaviour, but open condemnation is rare. In the aftermath of the Toronto tragedy and the spike of public attention, moderators on forums are cracking down on violent posts. This is clearly just self preservation. I’ve read some things I can’t unread, but they are constantly trying not to be banned from their online platforms and hosts.

A huge misconception about the incel community is that they are mostly whites. Many incels will argue that white people can’t even be incels as they are ‘too attractive’. This is usually met with a bitter response from whites that are very far from being ‘too attractive’. I have seen some photos. They have a pretty fair point. People tend to think that incels should just go see a prostitute. This drives them nuts. While some of them do resort to this for physical satisfaction, sex is often seen as a high form of validation. A validation they will never feel, as they are not valid. Paying for it does the opposite of this — it confirms their lack of sexual validity.

Incels can be quite openly racist. Uniquely, their racism tends to manifest as a form of self-hatred. It’s not that they hate other races — they hate their own. And they take pity on other races they deem more prone to inceldom. Indians and Asians will often battle for the crown as to who is less attractive to women. Whites are put on a pedestal, being deemed the most attractive race. Studies that breakdown racial preference in online dating spaces are often referenced to back up their claim to be ‘the ugliest race’. Incel forums are a constant race to the bottom through means of self hatred.

Incels are arguably the most venomous community on the internet. They beat out a lot of the ‘manosphere’ because of the way they openly discuss extreme violence. But while men’s groups like ‘TheRedPill’ (misogynistic pick up artists) and ‘MGTOW’ (Men Going Their Own Way — bitter, disillusioned men that have given up on romance with women) are viciously misogynistic, it comes from a place of power. Incels project their anger from a place of sadness. They are ‘low status’ men that feel like the world hates them. And arguably, they are right. In turn, they hate the world back. Especially women, the ones they desire approval from the most. They feel entitled to women in a way that we have seen countless times before — this is not unique to incels. But like a child yearning for the lollipop in their friend’s hand — they just want what we are having. This feeling of missing out on an essential part of life does not manifest in the desire to seek self-improvement or to connect with the world. It drives them further into their bubble of isolation. The result is anger. And potentially real world violence.