The Other McCain

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No, ‘Incel’ Is Not an ‘Ideology’

Posted on | April 26, 2018 | 1 Comment


After it emerged that Toronto mass murderer Alek Minassian referred to himself as an “incel” (involuntary celibate), my natural instinct was to make a joke: If Canadian guys who can’t get laid are a terrorist threat, there could be millions of them! The guy was a pathetic loser, and I find it impossible to take such people seriously.

The internet is enabling a community
of men who want to kill women.
They need to be stopped

That’s the headline on a fear-mongering column by Laura Hudson, a former colleague of Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist who who made herself notorious by her attempts to destroy the videogame industry with dubious charges of sexism. Ms. Hudson tells a twisted counterfactual narrative in which the “most insulated and privileged opponents” of feminism have formed “an online network,” a dangerous “movement”:

Loosely termed the manosphere, the movement has transformed the unquestionable cultural dominance of men into an identity based on a delusion of oppression, and even as they whine inconsolably about the identity politics they claim are ruining their lives. . . .
Some of them kill us. Even more of them say they want to. Both in the most pedestrian of ways, through the casual and regular practice of domestic violence, or simply by assaulting or murdering any woman who does not immediately acquiesce to their sexual demands. More recently, the festering online wound of the incel community has begun to express itself in the form of mass murder. Online platforms have long been more concerned with free speech than the literal lives of women, and the vicious, lethal misogyny of incels has flourished in these spaces accordingly. Misogyny is water, and we are all swimming. . . .
We are complicit in these massacres insofar as we have facilitated them; enabling the mass murder of women under the flag of “free speech” is perhaps the most irresponsible and stupid thing that the men at the helm of the internet could do.

Notice that “free speech” (in scare-quotes) is her target. Disagreement with feminism should be silenced, is the sum of Ms. Hudson’s argument. She justifies this totalitarian policy by invoking the crimes committed by a handful of kooks like Alek Minassian. This style of argument is what I’ve called the “Atrocity Narrative” method of propaganda.

In a populous nation (there are 36 million people in Canada) it is always possible to find a few examples of almost any phenomenon. Police brutality, for example. From time to time, innocent people are killed by police and, if the media are willing to be manipulated by activists, you get protest movements like “Black Lives Matter” promoting the idea that such killings are so routine as to constitute a crisis. Heather Mac Donald has pointed out that a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black man than the other way around, but during the height of the “Black Lives Matter” riots, a counterfactual narrative was promoted by CNN and other liberal media, inciting a paranoid anti-police rage.

Do you want stories about people arrested for having sex with dogs? You can find enough stories like that to make it seem like a “crisis,” but there’s no political angle to bestiality, so CNN doesn’t go into 24/7 coverage mode the way they do when a cop shoots a black suspect.

OK, so what about pathetic losers who can’t get laid? Does the murderous rampage by Alek Minassian represent a “crisis” that justifies banning the forums where these losers gather online?

After the Toronto attack don’t
explain Incel ideology, ban it

That’s the headline on another fear-mongering column by Wired contributor Nicole Kobie who, I suspect, would not argue for banning Muslim from the Internet in the wake of an Islamic terrorist attack. Oh, but she has found experts who argue that “incels” must be banned:

“Online forums are another way of expressing that violence,” says Kalwinder Sandhu, researcher in violence against women at Coventry University. “What social media does is enable the spread of that misogyny to be a lot faster. It’s not locker room talk.” . . .
If Minassian’s goal was to spread the incel ideology, he has succeeded. If it wasn’t, it’s happening all the same. . . .
María Rún Bjarnadóttir, doctoral researcher at the University of Sussex, warns against merely descriptive coverage. “They report it without challenging it and I think that is a mistake,” she says. “It must be challenged… the mainstream media should be aware of what they are implying by reporting this without any critique.” . . .
The only time most of us would share a link to the sites that helped radicalise such terrorists would be to demand that authorities take it down.
Instead, because violence against women inexplicably isn’t seen as terrorism, such sites and their messages are viewed as mere curiosities, as though we don’t know the danger of allowing hate speech. Indeed, in the UK misogyny is not considered a hate crime, a fact debated by MPs in parliament only last month. If it were, tackling such sites under existing hate crime legislation would be easier, notes Bjarnadóttir. “If this doesn’t spark the debate and take further, I seriously question what would,” she adds.
If these extremist websites are to be blamed for inciting Minassian or Rodgers, they should be banned just like Isis propaganda. “Isis is obviously a terrorist organisation, and women represent half the world,” says Sandhu. “Why wouldn’t we ban this too?”

Look: There are many tens of thousands of men who read or contribute to online “manosphere” forums, and exactly two — Minassian and his alleged “hero,” 2014 Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger — who have committed atrocities. However offensive the discussion on these forums may be, they don’t produce much real-world violence, and the arguments for banning “incel” discussion on the Internet are no more plausible than the arguments for banning violent movies and videogames.

Insofar as the Toronto massacre calls attention to a legitimate social problem, it is a problem that the “manosphere” is actually trying to solve, a problem that feminists like Ms. Hudson and Ms. Kobie want us to pretend doesn’t exist. There are a lot of self-conscious, insecure, awkward young men who lack the social skills necessary to attract romantic partners. Some of these young men may be afflicted with serious mental problems — e.g., autism spectrum disorder — but whether or not they fit any diagnostic category, their problems are very real. Because misery loves company, these losers tend to aggregate online. If you ban “incel” forums, they’ll just find someplace else on the Internet to gather. You cannot solve a social problem by forbidding discussion of it, but this is what feminists advocate in seeking to silence the “manosphere.”

What was Alek Minassian’s problem?

Mr. Minassian attended Seneca College where he was known as an expert in computer chips before completing his course in the past month. He focused on graphics processing units, which have re-emerged in prominence in recent years as a cornerstone of artificial-intelligence technology. . . .
Friends, classmates and a former teacher said he had a form of autism along with social anxiety and mental-health issues.
His own mother described her son as having Asperger syndrome — but that terminology is no longer used in medicine. Rather, people who were said to have Asperger are now diagnosed with autism-spectrum disorder and deemed high-functioning.
“He was afraid of girls and very shy in general,” said Nikki Feinstein, a former high school classmate who is now a teacher. “He didn’t say much, but when he did he was difficult to understand because of his cognitive disabilities.”

That article quotes a psychologist, Dr. Robin Holloway, who specializes in treating autistic youth and says there are “rare cases” like Minassian who  “over the years have built up a list of grievances based on being scorned, rejected, bullied, including sexually”:

“They have built up a tremendous volume of internal anger … and want others to experience their suffering and mental agony in the way they experienced it. . . . Vengeful fantasies can turn into horrible reality.”

Part of the “incel” problem, of course, is that awkward nerds are spending so much time online as a way to avoid real life and, in doing so, they also avoid the kind of personal encounters that could enable them to develop the social skills they actually need. Unless a guy is naturally extroverted and unusually attractive, he’s going to need a lot of practice to learn how to communicate effectively with women. The loser is going to get rejected 9 times out of 10, at least, and he has to develop the mental fortitude necessary to withstand this painful humiliation and keep smiling.

No feminist has ever offered men helpful advice for such a problem, because feminists hate men and never do anything to help men.

This is why feminists like Laura Hudson and Nicole Kobie want to ban online forums where men gather to discuss their problems. Feminism Is a Totalitarian Movement to Destroy Civilization as We Know It.



One Response to “No, ‘Incel’ Is Not an ‘Ideology’”

  1. FMJRA 2.0: Exactly What You Wanted : The Other McCain
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