Even the word "incel" is rather nauseating to say. It's a portmanteau of the phrase "involuntary celibates," a term used by men who blame women––groundbreaking––for the sex they're definitely not having. It's a misogynistic take, no doubt. The incel movement has been called "extremist" because incel violence is becoming all too common and has been likened to a domestic terror threat.
This article from The Conversation lists just a few instances of incel-related violence, including an attack in Toronto that authorities called "incel terrorism." Those of you in the United States likely remember the 2014 Isla Vista killings, perpetrated by a man who wanted to punish women for sexually rejecting him.
As you can imagine, dating can feel like a landmine for many women because there is so much at stake. After Redditor OregonChick asked the online community, "When did you realize, 'Oh crap, I'm talking to an incel' during a conversation with someone?" people shared their stories.
Warning: Sensitive content ahead.
"I was in college doing my internship..."
I was in college doing my internship to become a teacher. I was chatting around with some of the students in the class and this one kid just completely dominates my time and attention.
I sat down to help him with some of the work bc he clearly didn't understand it. He refused to even try bc "Spanish is dumb" and he believed that he didn't need it. Of course, the school offered French, Latin, and Mandarin, but he didn't want to take those either. He also thought that he was going to get into a four-year college with those grades.
He also went on a long rant about how he was smarter than every kid in the school and everyone there just didn't understand how his brain worked.
Then finally, he told me that he was writing a book and he insisted that I read it. It was really painful sitting there reading a terrible draft of a terrible fantasy novel and pretending to enjoy it bc the author is a 17 year old kid and you don't want to hurt his feelings. But it was awful. Maybe if I'd had some background on the premise of the novel? Idk.
Plus, he reminded me of that comic book collector from that episode of Powerpuff Girls. He had the ponytail and neckbeard with the cargo shorts. He also smelled bad, but most boys in high school kind of smell.
He might not have been an incel at that moment, but unless he received a serious wake up call, he definitely became one later.
"He also expressed..."
He said women shouldn't complain about being assaulted because "at least they got to have sex." He was in his 30s, clearly incel. He was referring to a girl who turned him down because she had PTSD resulting from a violent attack the year before.
"Somehow the conversation..."
Yeeeeaaars ago when I was 16 and dumb, I was chatting with a guy on Kik. Somehow the conversation went to if the purge was real, what crime would you commit?
I said I'd steal shit from places, he said "Honestly? I would assault a girl." Blocked instantly.
"He got booted instead."
Gaming, playing WoW for hours, and then I turned my mic on to ask a question. There was a long pause, then one of them said, "You're a GIRL?" I corrected him that I was actually a woman (I was in my 20's at the time), and he asked for me to get booted because "girls always ruin the dungeons." He got booted instead.
"I shared a drawing..."
I shared a drawing I did of a woman in a bathing suit to a group of friends and one of them, male, said " if a woman goes out like that she's asking to get assaulted."
"When a co-worker..."
When a co-worker casually said some women are worth the sexual assault charge.
"I tried pointing out the differences..."
The topic was maternal health risks in general. I mentioned fatal risks, like exsanguination. He mentioned the fatal risks to fathers. I asked for clarification because fathers aren't known for bleeding out during delivery. I mean, I could be wrong, as I'm child free, but I'm pretty sure that's not how it works. He explained that a lot of men kill themselves every year when they find out their wives have been cheating and their children aren't actually theirs. He couldn't give me any statistical figures, but he assured me the number is significantly high.
I tried pointing out the differences between women dying from childbirth and men later choosing to kill themselves. He said something about how my callous views are the reason for this public health crisis because no one cares about the men in this country. Also, he said that maternal mortality rates are negligible because of modern medicine, and only women in poor, non-western (read: non-white) countries die from childbirth. I listed several reputable sources that show how the US consistently has the highest maternal mortality rate of all western countries. I also pointed out that women in non-western countries still matter.
When I asked him to back up his claim with data and cite his sources, he said he wasn't going to bother arguing with me anymore.
"That shattered how I saw our friendship."
I had a friend I was close with for a year. He was a pretty cool guy and seemed to like the same things I did.
When I met him I had a boyfriend but we broke up and i met someone knew. Well, my friend was angry at me and said "Its not fair you are dating him. It was my turn next."
That shattered how I saw our friendship. Not only was he friends with me to get with me but he saw me as property. Not just that, but he changed so quickly when he didn't get his own way. I don't speak to him anymore.
"The last straw..."
My computer fritzed at a cafe, and the guy next to me offered to help me out with it. I refused, and the guy wouldn't take no for an answer. In the coming weeks, he would try to eavesdrop on my conversations with other people. He would follow me on campus if he was nearby, and tried to befriend the guy he thought was my boyfriend.
The last straw was when he heard I was going to a skills/written exam for one of my classes and showed up for the whole day, waiting for me to do the skills portion of the exam. I had to ask the test proctor to clear the room.
"Also worth noting..."
He was new and I tried to be friendly with him. Very early on he mentioned Joe Rogan and "the philosopher Jordan Peterson," and I said "Yeah I've heard of them" and he dropped the subject. I figured we could still get along okay and just avoid the topics.
I go to lunch with him and then he says to me "Don't you think it's really hard to date women because of feminism?"
Also worth noting that this is in Japan, not the most socially progressive country.
"We had the last day off..."
I was with a coworker in another country for a series of meetings. We had the last day off and during lunch he said how he preferred women wearing skirts instead of pants because when it's windy you might be able to see something.
"He was surprised..."
He somehow brought up in conversation that if a woman is being raped, she should just lie back and enjoy it.
He was surprised when I unfriended him and blocked his number.
"When he blurted out angrily..."
When he blurted out angrily how "Humbert Humbert from Lolita did nothing wrong because "Lolita knew what she was doing, she knew what sex was and yet allowed it to happen––therefore it's not abuse."
I tried explaining what child grooming is, but this asshole literally told me that there is "no such thing" because (and I quote) "teenagers and kids already know what sex is."
"I was appalled..."
I worked at Jamba Juice in high school. This one jerk coworker knew I was LDS (Mormon) and he asked me, "Mormon girls don't have sex before marriage right?" And I confirmed that was true. He then scoffed and said, "if I dated a Mormon I'd make her have sex with me." I was appalled and told my manager, but she didn't like me for some reason and only offered to make sure I was never scheduled with him again. Thinking about him still makes my skin crawl.
"I had a crush..."
I had a crush on a different guy who was friends with the incel. He had the neck beard to top it off.
I met Jake (placeholder name) at a party. He was okay in person? But then he dm'd me when I got home. I was being a little extra nice to him because I heard from other people that Jake had a severe mental disorder, I can't remember what it was. He started asking me about my interests so I said I liked tarot because that was one of my hobbies for a time. Jake responded, "Oh! You have interests!" And I reply confused and asking him what he means by that. He immediately shoots back,"Most girls don't lol." I should've stopped there but no, I let him continue. Figured one polite conversation with some guy I'd probably never see again couldn't hurt.
Jake then proceeded to tell me he was psychic, a load of crap I don't remember and tell me he wanted to go on a hike with me. At some point I stopped answering.
I met his mom once. Really nice woman but definitely a helicopter parent holy s***...
"I spoke to this guy..."
I spoke to this guy from a Facebook group. He would talk about how he wanted to save me from being a "degenerate slut" and that I would make such a good housewife. Really thought he was God's gift and had this idea that women secretly wanted to kiss the ground he walked on.
I found his insanity interesting for a while but it got old pretty quick. I blocked him on everything but he made several accounts over the next few months to message me.
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