I still get losers coming to me saying that the patriarchy isn't real and/or mocking me for talking about it. This has been happening for years, and during that same time, I have been aware of and periodically reading the horrific messages/forum posts of "incels."
I've already talked about the weirdness of having been aware of/sounding the alarm about these violently, intensely misogynistic men for years only to just now finally have everyone else pay attention. But others have made the very good and necessary point that the "incels" that have been spewing misogynistic hate online and more recently, going out and murdering women, are not involuntarily celibate like they claim and are not the only fucking adult virgins out there.
The Rage of the Incels
Some of the people I talked to were virgins by choice. Some were not, sometimes for complicated, overlapping reasons: disability, trauma, issues related to appearance, temperament, chance. “Embarrassed doesn’t even cover it,” a thirty-two-year-old woman who chose the pseudonym Bette told me. “Not having erotic capital, not being part of the sexual marketplace . . . that’s a serious thing in our world! I mean, practically everyone has sex, so what’s wrong with me?” A twenty-six-year-old man who was on the autism spectrum and had been molested as a child wondered, “If I get naked with someone, am I going to take to it like a duck to water, or am I going to start crying and lock myself in the bathroom?”
I too have known people who were adults well into adulthood or still are and wish not to be. They have mostly been women - some who were very attractive, some more "plain" according to our current cultural beauty standards. None of them have violently hated the men who wouldn't sleep with them.
Jia Tolentino rightly points out that the "incels" who have been murdering people could use the available services of sex workers if they want sex so badly, but they actually hate female sex workers with perhaps even more violent passion than those who won't have sex with them for free. Because this isn't about sex at all.
Incels aren’t really looking for sex; they’re looking for absolute male supremacy. Sex, defined to them as dominion over female bodies, is just their preferred sort of proof.
Tolentino makes a lot of great points about how the steps toward women's sexual liberation have deprived misogynistic men whose only source of perceived power comes from oppressing women of that very power.
This is absolutely the endpoint of patriarchy. This is misogyny and toxic masculinity mixing in the worst possible way. Cultural misogyny blames women for everything. Toxic masculinity tells men they are nothing if they can't get sex with young, attractive women. This can't not end in a number of men who blame women for their intense feelings of worthlessness and violently hate them for it.
And this had to end in murder.
I knew it would. I knew it for all those years I got messages from men telling me that women are inferior beings, all those years prominent women in the media (the gaming community in particular) talked about receiving messages containing detailed descriptions of how the sender would rape them, the comments on this blog encouraging other men to reject American women for more "submissive" Eastern European or "Asian" women (because these men are always grossly racist as well). This will continue until the roots of the problem are uprooted. Patriarchy and capitalism and white supremacy have to go, or these so-called "incels" will keep killing.