“I hate women because they won’t date me. They should be forced to have sex with me because their rejection is detrimental to my well-being.”
This is a rough overview of the toxic beliefs held by a community of men who loathe women.
These men call themselves “incels” — short for involuntary celibate — and have a number of online communities where the common topics of conversation include: self-loathing, blaming women for their lack of love lives, sharing violent rape fantasies and hating on “normies” (pretty much anyone who they don’t identify as an incel).
They have special names for people they deem stereotypically attractive, known as “Stacys” for women and “Chads” for men, who are the targets for most of their hate.
For those of us who are only viewing these communities from the outside, it might be hard to comprehend that people actually hold these misogynistic — and frankly frightening — views and why they defend them so vehemently.
But one man, who used to be a self-proclaimed incel, offers a rare perspective of someone who was deep within the toxic community and found a way out.
Humans of New York posted a photo of an unnamed man to their Instagram page along with his story of how he found himself embroiled in a group that preaches hate and violence towards women.
“I felt humiliated and suicidal in college. It seemed like my personal failings were on display for everyone to see. I’m not all that attractive. I have a speech impediment. I’m not good socially. I saw other guys having romantic success and I felt a lot of envy. I concluded that women owed me something. They owed me a chance. And I was angry they weren’t giving it to me. I’m ashamed of it now, but during that time I formed a lot of bad and hateful opinions. I joined ‘incel’ communities on 4chan and Reddit. I found a lot of men there who felt just like me. The community provided this pseudoscientific justification for hating women. It let us feel like it wasn’t our fault. We stoked each other’s anger. And it felt good. Honestly, anger is just very addictive. You want to feel angry when you’re suffering. It gives you adrenaline. It gets your endorphins going. It’s a release. It’s a substitute for what you’re missing.”
The man, whose face is not shown in the picture, started off by saying how he felt “humiliated and suicidal” throughout his college years.
“I’m not all that attractive. I have a speech impediment. I’m not good socially. I saw other guys having romantic success and I felt a lot of envy,” he said.
“I concluded that women owed me something. They owed me a chance. And I was angry they weren’t giving it to me.”
During this time he admits to forming a lot of hateful opinions towards women and other men who he deemed more successful in their love lives. These views were only exacerbated when he joined a number of online “incel” groups.
“I found a lot of men there who felt just like me. The community provided this pseudo-scientific justification for hating women. It let us feel like it wasn’t our fault,” he said.
“We stoked each other’s anger. And it felt good. Honestly, anger is just very addictive.”
The anonymous man claims that he got a release after being given something to focus his anger on and people to blame for the disappointment he felt in certain areas of his life.
He said it got to a point where he wanted to feel angry about it and these misogynistic groups would encourage his rage.
“You want to feel angry when you’re suffering. It’s a substitute for what you’re missing,” he said.
The man said he is now ashamed of the opinions he used to have but added that when you were actually in the community, it was hard to find a way out of that cycle of hatred.
“Incels” have gained more attention over the years after a string of mass killers were linked to the community, with Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and injured 14 before turning the gun on himself, being worshiped by the group.
Elliot RodgerGetty Images
Other mass killers associated with the incel identification include Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette, Santa Fe school shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis and Toronto van massacre accused Alek Minassian.
So-called incels have gained so much notoriety that there is even a dating website that specifically caters to them.
#DateAnIncel.com encourages women to have sex with incels to “reduce risks that plague society,” such as the mass shootings so often associated with the subculture.
The website claims it is “changing the world, two people at a time” and is working to reduce the “negative effects of Involuntary Celibacy.”
“These ‘Incels’ often share the same common goals as the rest of the population — a desire for acceptance, love and community,” the website reads.
“We built #DateAnIncel to bring this minority group into the forefront of the online dating scene, providing them with a platform to be connected with regular partners.”
The pitch finishes by encouraging people to form romantic relationships with self-identified incels as a way to minimize the risk they pose to society.