Adding:What do incels, fascists and terrorists have in common? Violent misogyny
Many accounts of incel subculture have treated it as a sharp deviation from the norm. It’s not ...
Too many people have taken the incels’ explanation of their own virulent misogyny at face value, and repeated the comfortable line that these men stand apart from all others. Along with influential columnists, even economists have endorsed the idea of “sexual marketplace”, wherein women are figured as a commodity, and some men have inadequate buying power to procure. (Most have been too polite to mention many incels’ accompanying belief that the world, and women, are so corrupted that sex is beneath them.)
It would be easier to to go along with this were it not for the fact that every day, women are subjected to violence for similar reasons to those that incels offer but without similar media attention. Women who deny men sex are raped and killed without the involvement of any oddball internet forums. Women are also subjected to murder and abuse when men decide that they are too sexually available to other men. Women are killed because some man or another, who may not be known to them, decides that they will be held to account for his own inability to make lasting social connections, or to live the life to which he feels he is entitled.
On a more basic level, many men endeavour to put women back in their place, and to unwind whatever freedoms that feminism has won. These freedoms include the freedom to speak in public. In Australia, ostensibly respectable media institutions hounded a young Muslim woman out of the country for speaking her mind about the country’s militaristic civic religion. More recently, a female comedian who spoke on the same topic was apparently paid a visit by far right thugs. Incels aren’t the only ones who line up to punish women.
What distinguishes their subculture is that they have developed a new way of codifying, disseminating, and radicalising a particular expression of misogyny. But their beliefs, and even their behaviours, are an exaggerated version of the structures of thought and feeling that characterise patriarchy.
What puts them adjacent to fascism is not only the copious links between incels, the “manosphere”, and the alt right, but the way that their culture, and their forums, work to shape their resentment, and channel their desires towards violence. This violence may not yet be organised on a mass scale but it is celebrated as a natural end-point of their endeavours, and as a positive political value. This is a misogyny that desires the death of the other, and the chances are that we will look back on it as the harbinger, and the heart, of an even more extensive program of violence.
April 25, 2018
Vox: Incel, the misogynist ideology that inspired the deadly Toronto attack, explained