The Other McCain

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Why Don’t ‘Incels’ Go Gay? (And Other Thoughts on ‘Toxic Masculinity’)

Posted on | May 23, 2018 | 1 Comment


Let me begin kind of a roundabout discussion of several things by starting with this: One of the odd facts about Texas school shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis was that the 17-year-old wore a heart-shaped bisexual pride pin in one of his Facebook photos.

What do we know about him? Two years ago, Pagourtzis had played tackle on the junior varsity football team at Santa Fe High School, but apparently had not continued his athletic career. We know that Pagourtzis’s father is a Greek immigrant, and that Pagourtzis was part of a Greek dance group at the local Orthodox church. Like Elliott Rodger, another son of immigrants who became a mass murderer, Pagourtzis apparently had a blonde obsession:

“Shana [Fisher] told her mother two weeks ago he was going to come and kill her,” her dad, Timothy Thomas, told the Daily Mail.
The girl’s mother, Sadie Rodriguez, recounted to multiple outlets how the twisted Pagourtzis, 17, went after her daughter for four months — until Fisher ultimately told him to cut it out in front of their class, a week before his rampage.
“I know he had pestered her to go out with him. She kept telling him no. For one, he supposedly already had a girlfriend. And two, she just didn’t have feelings for the boy,” said Thomas, 41.
“What kind of person thinks the appropriate response is to kill her and a class full of people?”
The high school junior told her parents Pagourtzis was going to try to kill her, the dad said.
“He had told her himself he was going to kill her. He was walking around planning this in his head for weeks,” Thomas said. “Shana said that if he came into the school with a gun and killed her, she would haunt him for the rest of his life.” . . .
The distraught dad wondered how none of Pagourtzis’ teachers saw the shooting coming.
“If they are smart enough to teach our kids, they should be smart enough to see when something is badly wrong with someone,” he said.
Officials have said that unlike with other recent mass killers, no major red flags were raised about Pagourtzis prior to his rampage, though classmates described him as a “weird loner” who “never seemed that right.”

Shana Fisher (left); Dimitrios Pagourtzis (right).

Now, I expect that almost anyone looking at these photos of Fisher and Pagourtzis would say, “She was totally out of his league.” She’s a skinny blonde, he’s a chubby former junior varsity tackle? No way. Any “Red Pill” guy on a pickup artist (PUA) forum would tell you that there are only two chances of that kind of pairing — slim and none.

The Vicious Cycle of Male Failure

As I have remarked elsewhere, this is a typical trait of losers: They overestimate themselves, and fixate on women out of their range. In a 2011 psychology study, researchers reported that “the dorky, less attractive guys are more likely to think they’re babe magnets than their more attractive counterparts. . . . The more attractive the woman was to the guy, the more likely he was to overestimate her interest in him.” My response to this was brutally sarcastic:

Unattractive guys lacking social skills are — unexpectedly! — poor judges of women’s interest in them . . .
The more success a guy has with women, the more experience he has in judging which chicks he has the best chance with.
If a guy is regularly scoring with chicks in the 6-to-7 range on the 10-scale, but has little luck with any chick who rates an 8 or better, he learns to spot chicks in his feasible range.
Less-attractive guys are sometime unfortunately unwilling to settle for the less-attractive chicks in their range. Popular entertainment (e.g., sitcoms in which chubby middle-aged losers have beautiful wives 10 years younger than them) suggests to these guys that they’ve got romantic opportunities they don’t actually have. And because the “dorky” guys also are usually lacking in social skills, they don’t have enough real-world romantic experience to judge either their own attractiveness or women’s interest in them.

There is a vicious cycle at work in the behavioral psychology of the loser, and the tendency to focus obsessively on women who are out of his range is both cause and effect of his underlying problem. Why did Elliot Rodger become obsessed with a “pretty blonde girl” he met when he was 14, later expressing rage over her perceived rejection of him? “I started to hate all girls because of this. I saw them as mean, cruel, and heartless creatures that took pleasure from my suffering.” After she was named in Rodger’s 140-page manifesto, the girl’s father said she “doesn’t even remember this guy.” He made no impression on her at all, and yet he became fixated on her, so that in his mind, she was a “mean, cruel, and heartless” person who sadistically “took pleasure from my suffering.”

Santa Barbara mass murderer Elliot Rodger.

This kind of monomaniacal fixation on one girl, one obviously beyond the loser’s feasible range, is sometimes manifested as celebrity women being stalked by obsessed fans. In 2014, for example, a 19-year-old man named Juan Garcia was sentenced to jail for stalking singer Selena Gomez. The same year, a 38-year-old man named Daniel Cole was ordered to stay away from Taylor Swift’s mansion after he was arrested there. Clearly, celebrity stalkers are delusional — out of touch with reality — in imagining that the famous star might reciprocate their interest. Elliot Rodger was also delusional, calling himself the “Supreme Gentleman” in the video where he announced his plans for a murderous rampage to avenge the “suffering” he imagined had been inflicted on him by “mean, cruel, and heartless” women who didn’t even know he existed.

Feminists rushed to blame PUAs for Rodger’s rampage, simply because he had occasionally posted to PUA forums, but that’s like blaming all Christians for the Branch Davidian cult: “David Koresh studied the Bible and so do all those other Christians! They’re dangerous!”

This hateful guilt-by-association was revived in April, when Alek Minassian used a Ryder van to run over people in Toronto, declaring Elliot Rodger as a hero and announcing that the “incel rebellion” had begun. In case you don’t know, “incel” is short for involuntary celibate, which is a fancy way of saying, “a loser who can’t get laid.”



The term “involuntary celibate” was coined about 20 years ago by a woman whose “aim was to create an inclusive community” — male and female, gay and straight. By 2014, however, self-declared “incels” on forums like Reddit were all-male and angry:

The term — and the friendly community of lonely people she had once fostered — had morphed into a deeply misogynistic online subculture that at times called for rape or other violence. Thousands were now on incel forums, united in their belief that the modern world is unfairly stacked against heterosexual men who are awkward or unattractive.

Why and when did this transformation happen? Nobody seems to have an answer to that question, but let me suggest this clue: How many people were using words like “misogynistic” 20 years ago? Even 10 years ago, the vocabulary of feminism — “misogyny,” “male privilege,” “toxic masculinity,” etc. — was not being routinely used in newspaper articles. Has there been a shift in the culture during the last decade that has actually made life worse for awkward men? If so, what caused this shift?

Leaving aside that puzzle, let me point out something else: All three of these killers — Elliot Rodger, Alek Minassian and Dimitrios Pagourtzis — were the sons of immigrants. Rodgers’ father was British, his mother was Malaysian; Minassian parents are Armenian; Pagourtzis is Greek. Whether this has any particular significance, I don’t know, but it does seem a curious coincidence. However, all potential contributing factors to these incidents is being ignored because feminists have focused on “misogyny” and “male entitlement” as the cause.

“Male Entitlement Is Causing Mass Violence, and Women Are Being Blamed” was the headline on a column by Kylie Cheung:

Violence against women and misogyny can often be predictors of who goes on to commit acts of mass violence. When we tell women they can prevent mass shootings by “being nicer” to men, or by accepting the advances of potentially dangerous men whom they aren’t attracted to, we’re essentially reducing them to human shields for society.
In telling young women to just “be nicer” to men, lest a man they reject go on to lead a mass shooting, we place the pressure to prevent violence not on lawmakers with the power to promote safety through legislation, but on women, who are more likely to be victimized by gun violence. Women and girls have no obligation to engage with men they aren’t interested in; the epidemic of mass shootings isn’t the fault of female cruelty, but a culture in which male entitlement to women’s bodies is so prevalent that far too many men can’t handle being told “no.”

Who is “telling young women to just ‘be nicer’ to men”? Certainly not feminists, but is there actually “a culture in which male entitlement to women’s bodies is so prevalent”? If so, is this culture worse than it was 20 years ago? In other words, what has changed to create this culture?

Hate Symbols in the ‘Atrocity Narrative’

Feminists seem uninterested in the answers to such questions. The point of their rhetoric is what I call “Atrocity Narrative” propaganda: Seize on a headline-making tragedy, which is statistically rare, and exploit it to scapegoat your chosen political enemies. As I have explained:

The “atrocity narrative” method of propaganda relies on two things:

1. A deliberate selectivity in media coverage;
2. The Law of Large Numbers.

In a nation of more than 320 million people, incidents that are statistically rare (i.e., less than 1% frequency) will occur quite commonly. For example, there are about 250 million adults (18 and older) in America and, if lesbians are 2% of the population, that means there are 5 million lesbians. If only 1% of those lesbians are pedophiles, that means there are 50,000 lesbian pedophiles in America. Well, if some national news organization decided to carefully scrutinize reports from around the country, compiling a list of every case in which a woman is arrested for molesting a girl, how easily could a daily drumbeat of media coverage generate a climate of paranoid witch-hunt hysteria?
Keep in mind, as you contemplate this hypothetical, that an irresponsible tabloid editor could gin up such a frenzy despite the fact that (a) far more than 90% of women are heterosexual, and (b) only a tiny minority of lesbians are pedophiles. Yet it would still be possible to generate lurid headlines on an almost daily basis, thus making these highly anomalous crimes seem as if they were commonplace. And this is exactly how CNN turned Black Lives Matter into a national crusade.

Well, there are more than 160 million men in America, about 97% of whom are heterosexual. How easy is it to demonize all heterosexual men for their alleged “male entitlement” by selective media coverage focusing attention on the occasional mass-murdering lunatic?

But wait a minute — what about that “bisexual pride” pin on Dimitrios Pagourtzis’s hat? We know that Pagourtzis spent months pestering this one girl that he subsequently killed, but was he also sexually active with male partners? Was his doomed obsession with Shana Fisher part of some kind of existential adolescent identity crisis?

We don’t know, and guess what? Feminists don’t want to know. It suits their purposes to make Pagourtzis a symbol of “toxic masculinity,” and if it were determined that he is actually bisexual, that would complicate the symbolism of their propaganda narrative. And yet this raises a question that has not been asked about “incels”: Why don’t they go gay?

Far be it from me to advocate homosexuality, which my religion condemns as sinful, but murder is also a sin. If these “incel” losers are so pathetic they have no hope of ever finding female companionship, why don’t they just . . . pair up? “Oh, Stacy, you can’t say that! Don’t you know homosexuality is an innate condition? They’re born that way!”

Except I don’t believe that. Never have, never will. And for more than 40 years, radical feminists have denied that sexual preference is innate.

You see, if feminists were to cede this point — that sexual preference is a matter of genetic programming — this would mean the surrender of their argument against “biological essentialism.” Ever since modern feminism began as the Women’s Liberation Movement in the late 1960s, feminists have denied that there is any such thing as “human nature,” in terms of male-female differences. Feminists deny that there is any such thing, for example, as maternal instinct in women, and they likewise deny that the male sex drive is a matter of human nature.

To argue on behalf of human nature — to suggest that men and women are biologically hard-wired toward certain behavioral patterns — is anathema to feminist ideologues, who insist that “gender roles” are artificial restrictions imposed upon humans by the oppressive patriarchy.  According to feminist theory, male-female differences are an illusion, a product of the social construction of the gender binary within the heterosexual matrix, to summarize the argument of Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.

Feminist theory contradicts the “born-that-way” explanation of sexual preference that for decades was the basis of the gay-rights movement. To defend homosexual desires as legitimate because they are innate, you see, one would logically assume the burden of defending heterosexual desires on the same basis, and feminists would never do this.

Feminism is anti-heterosexual because it is anti-male, and vice-versa. Most of the contradictions and inconsistencies in feminist rhetoric can be explained by the fact that feminists do not wish to acknowledge that their arguments about “gender” are actually about sex.

“Any honest person who undertakes an in-depth study of modern feminism, from its inception inside the 1960s New Left to its institutionalization within Women’s Studies departments at universities, will understand that without the influence of radicals — militant haters of capitalism and Christianity, angry lesbians who view all males as a sort of malignant disease, deranged women who can’t distinguish between political grievances and their own mental illnesses — there probably never would have been a feminist movement at all.”
Robert Stacy McCain, Sex Trouble: Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature (2015)


When radical lesbian “Lavender Menace” protesters took over the Second Congress to Unite Women in May 1970, the reaction was an embarrassed surrender on the part of the delegates. To defend themselves against the lesbian challenge would have required an examination of the feminist movement’s motives and goals that the conference organizers did not wish to undertake. What was the actual nature of the feminist grievance, after all? They were middle-class and upper-class women, not “oppressed” in any meaningful way. American women in 1970 had more opportunities than any women anywhere in human history. Feminists were free to gather for this conference — they had the money and leisure to spend a weekend in Manhattan, discussing their grievances — and whatever the malicious power they might have attributed to “male supremacy,” the patriarchy did nothing to shut down their assembly.

“The personal is political” became a slogan of the feminist movement, and it must be acknowledged that the movement never has possessed the authority to speak for the interests of all women. Betty Friedan, organizer of the Second Congress to Unite Women, was a former Communist who certainly could not speak for anti-Communist women. And the conflict between Friedan and the “Lavender Menace” radicals demonstrated a deep divide within the feminist movement as to its goals.

The Politics of Crazy Man-Haters

Each woman involved in the feminists movement had her own personal grievances, and some of those women were quite literally insane. Shulamith Firestone, who played a key role as an early organizer and theorist of radical feminism, was a paranoid schizophrenic. Any intelligent person who reads Firestone’s 1970 book The Dialectic of Sex must acknowledge that symptoms of her mental illness were clearly in evidence long before her problems were clinically diagnosed.

Readers of my book Sex Trouble are already familiar with this history, which I recount in order to make the point that, by the same methods with which feminists stigmatize “incels” as potential terrorists, and use the atrocities of deranged criminals to smear all men as implicated in “toxic masculinity,” we could also smear and stigmatize feminists. How many lesbians and psychotics do we have to identify in the feminist ranks before we dismiss the entire movement as a bunch of crazy dykes?

Professor Jordan Peterson has been recently raked over the coals for using the phrase “enforced monogamy” to describe how societies have traditionally restrained male aggression while simultaneously guaranteeing male support for women and their children. That some such arrangements have long been understood by anthropologists as necessary to human advancement, was disregarded by Professor Peterson’s critics who wished to demonize him as a neo-fascist alt-right misogynist, etc.

How the traditional structures of culture and family have come unraveled in modern industrial societies is a tale too long and complex to address in a single blog post. What is both indisputable and easily summarized, however, is that the feminist movement has applauded this destruction. Feminist ideology is anti-marriage, and is especially hostile to the idea that the influence of fathers is beneficial to the raising of children.


“Smash Patriarchy” — and patriarchy is nothing but a synonym for the traditional authority associated with fatherhood. Because fathers are men, and feminism is anti-male, therefore feminists insist no male should ever have anything to say about how children are raised. Feminism’s implacable hatred toward fathers, and the movement’s war against the institution of marriage, demonstrate that feminism is not about “equality.” What could be more equal, after all, than the cooperative efforts of parents in the raising of their children? In what other endeavor are the mutual interests of men and women more perfectly harmonized? Feminism has celebrated the culture of decadence that Matt Barber calls “Sexual Anarchy,” where all constraints of law, custom and morality are rejected as “oppression.” It is from this decadence, rather than from the traditional authority of patriarchal culture, that the problems of young women in the 21st-century arise.

No one can be allowed to say this, however. Half a century of feminist political “success” — employing government power to enforce a regime of “equality” — has not produced the promised utopia, yet the only permissible response to our 21st-century problems is more feminism.

Anything a man says about social problems is dismissed as mansplaining, and if a man disagrees with any aspect of the feminist agenda, he is automatically condemned as a misogynist. When I say that feminism is a totalitarian movement to destroy civilization as we know it, what I mean first of all is that the movement is totalitarian in the sense that it seeks to silence all opposition. Feminists are, and always have been, essentially destructive in their purposes, denouncing all existing institutions of society as patriarchal instruments of women’s oppression. Thus, feminists demand that the marriage-based family must be destroyed, as must any law, custom or cultural influence which recognizes basic distinctions between men and women in terms of their social roles.


We are supposed to “Raise Boys and Girls the Same Way,” the popular feminist slogan for so-called “gender-neutral parenting.” This utopian scheme for egalitarian androgyny — the abolition of all social differences between males and females — will never work, because the majority of women will always prefer men who are masculine. Indeed, the more feminism “succeeds,” the more pronounced this preference becomes. Any young man who hopes to attract female companionship in the 21st-century should be advised to hit the gym regularly, consume a high-protein diet and start running five miles a day. Insofar as any feminist is heterosexual, she is only interested in muscular “hunks,” the trophy male whose companionship validates her high social status. There is nothing a feminist hates worse than an average guy who thinks he might deserve her attention, and she is openly contemptuous of timid, awkward nerds.

Men are expected to pretend not to notice this, however. Any man who dares to speak about observable female behavior is automatically dismissed as suffering from some sort of sexual insecurity, or else denounced as a hateful misogynist (although usually he’s accused of both). Men are effectively forbidden, in contemporary culture, from sharing advice with other men on how to improve their relationships with women. If a man wished to advise lonely teenage boys like Dimitrios Pagourtzis how to be more popular with girls, how could he do it, without incurring feminist wrath? One gets the impression that feminists don’t want boys to be popular with girls, that they take sadistic pleasure in the helpless lonely misery of losers like Dimitrios Pagourtzis.

Hit the gym, boys. Pump some iron. If you’re chubby, lose weight. If you’re skinny, bulk up. And don’t be a mass murderer. That’s not cool.

Such is the basic advice we must give our sons, if we don’t want them to turn out to be hopeless “incels,” brooding over their failures.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis wore a “bisexual pride” pin on his hat, but considering that he’s likely to spend the rest of his life in prison, there’s only one option of “sexuality” still available to him.

Let the losers on those “incel” forums contemplate his fate. Selah.



One Response to “Why Don’t ‘Incels’ Go Gay? (And Other Thoughts on ‘Toxic Masculinity’)”

  1. News of the Week (May 26th, 2018) | The Political Hat
    May 26th, 2018 @ 10:35 am

    […] Why Don’t “Incels” Go Gay? (And Other Thoughts on ‘Toxic Masculinity’) Let me begin kind of a roundabout discussion of several things by starting with this: One of the odd facts about Texas school shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis was that the 17-year-old wore a heart-shaped bisexual pride pin in one of his Facebook photos. […]