Let’s Talk: Incels and Toxic Masculinity

On Monday, a man driving a van intentionally ran down pedestrians in Toronto, killing 10. Despite the horrific nature of his crime and stating that he had a gun on him, he was taken into custody, alive, by Toronto police. It was later uncovered that the driver was an “incel,” otherwise known as an “involuntary celibate.” This term is self-applied by young, mostly white men who, let’s be honest, hate women and see them purely as objects for sexual release and gratification and they’re unable to attain any sex because they see it as a reward for tasks as basic as holding open a damn door. That’s not a down payment for sex, that’s goddamn courtesy but they don’t know the difference. Incel rhetoric is so volatile and vitriolic that even the internet wasteland of Reddit had to shut down a thread dedicated to it. From what I’ve heard, they were able to come back elsewhere on the site, but Reddit is not the only place they call home on the internet.

And they are no longer hiding in the dark. The Tornoto terror attack is another red flag that there’s something very wrong with our sons, brothers, and male friends. And what we know is that this is far from an isolated incident and can happen again. This isn’t something we can bury on the dark web – it exists now in the open and we need to talk about it, so let’s talk.

Talking Points and a Gesture for Thoughtful Discussion

  • I don’t think I have to implore us to be civil; we’re capable of that. Rather, a reminder that this is a serious topic and perhaps keep humor to a minimum: read the room.
  • We are not here to play “Devil’s Advocate” or victim-blame or discuss hypotheticals. The facts are laid out. There is no obfuscation. If you have a question, speak openly and honestly but do not purposely instigate.
  • If you feel as though you cannot speak seriously, please refrain from commenting. If you feel the topic or discussion is too much to handle at once, feel free to take a break.
  • If you are unable to follow the guidelines of this thread, you will be prompted once. If you cannot continue to follow after the first prompt, you will be asked to leave the thread.

Helpful Links

We Hunted the Mammoth – FAQ

WHtM – Glossary

SLPC – Report on Misogyny Sites