It's easy to get disgusted and frustrated with "incels", as they are constantly saying reprehensible things. But ostracizing them from society doesn't fix them, it just results in worse problems like this. I think we need to focus on rehabilitating incels so they can rejoin society as healthy members, rather than ostracizing them.
At a more fundamental level, I think that our culture focuses too much on blame. Identifying the person who caused the problem doesn't solve the problem. We should focus on fixing the problem, not on blame. Yes, incels' suffering is mostly self-inflicted, but they are still suffering, and if we don't address that suffering, the suffering spreads.
Perhaps the answer is to start treating "incel-ism" as a disease. I don't know if the disease model really applies here, but I think it's at least worth investigating.
There's a balance to be had here: we need to be compassionate, but not naive. Some incels can't be in society because they are a danger to society, and our current ability to treat their suffering has limitations.
There is already! Although the specific incel issue is not classified in psychology (AFAIK), a person with such severe symptoms can be classified as suffering from relationship and/or social anxiety disorders.
I think that the incel problem has a very specific issue in the fact that it's culturally ostracized; people who suffer from it are labeled as shy and lazy.
I'm not sure from which angle the social problem (I refer to the ostracization) should be attacked.
Research on this subject started in the 80s, but there has never been a (significant) following. The rational wiki has a good introduction: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Love-shy.com#Love-shyness_as_a....
If the condition was officially recognized, I think it would be a very good start, as probably people suffering from it would have a clear reference; right now, since there isn't any, it's very easy to fall into toxic subcultures.
The issue is that society has a fairly strict range within which social, psychological, and physical features are considered attractive, and some subpopulation will always fall outside of these norms - but how society values these outliers changes over time and given the consumer, status driven culture in the U.S. there may be more of them now and they're being rejected worse than ever...but this increase in the trend is just speculation in my part.
Regardless, for some people, no amount of therapy is going to make them forget that they have suffered the collective judgement of society and weigh in at the bottom of the attractiveness scale, with little realistic hope of improving their rating without wholly changing appearance, personality, and or interests.
I know a few incels and their social value (intended a sum of "social, psychological, and physical features") is not related to their issue.
There's not doubt that for a certain amount of people the illness could be very directly induced, but as a form of anxiety, the reasons are typically deeper.
Therapy won't actually solve the problem, in any case. Therapy doesn't magically procure a wife. Typically, this problem has been solved by sending lots of young men to go die in a war. Other times, a plague has helped, though that tends to kill more evenly.
This is a very prejudicial and uninformed comment about therapy. It's damaging when people has such judgments, because it stigmatizes the role and working of therapy, preventing people in need to actually approach it. In my personal opinion, people who think they're too macho to support therapy, are actually good candidates for it.
> Therapy doesn't magically procure a wife
The term "magically" is out of context. Theraphy is not a black and white phenomenon. It can be thought like a mitigation whose aim is to lower the patients' psychological barriers so that they can live a regular life.
If a person has, say, a very strong social anxiety that prevents them to meet women (incel typically have), therapy can teach them handle it so that they're able to socialize (and many people who socialize end up with a partner, so yes, it "magically" procures a wife).
Not having a wife is not the problem. There are plenty of people who live their entire lives single but don't turn in to hateful, bitter, violent trolls and assholes.
It's doubtful that getting married will turn these bitter, violent trolls around.
There's an entire culture that these people are part of which encourages these sorts of attitudes and behaviors, and simply getting married is unlikely to change their culture.
Most of them do so by choice.
I agree that there are a few bitter, violent trolls. Their behavior is used to dismiss an actual societal issue. Nobody really knows what society is supposed to do with men these days, especially in the communities where the "traditional" roles don't exist any more.
2. I don't care whether incels want a peaceful, reasonable dialogue with the larger world. I want to solve the problem, and you should too. Starting a dialogue is a necessary part of solving the problem, and waiting for people who don't feel they can talk to the rest of the world to start a dialogue is not going to work.
Ostracizing angry, lonely people is a great way to make them angrier and lonelier.
"They're the one's with the problem, they should be the ones to apologize" is not an effective strategy.
But it can be necessary to prevent others from concluding that their viewpoints are acceptable and creating snowball adoption thereof.
Annual rate of 69 children each year that die from... bathtubs.
Seems a bit overblown...
Anytime you have large numbers of unmarried men, you have social problems. This holds across multiple societies and multiple cultures across millennia.
Personally I think it is reasonable that we talk more about incel killings than bathtub killings.
The problem is not that incels pose an objective risk to my safety or yours but that their presence signals some kind of pretty serious systemic dysfunction. How does an ideology like that take hold on any kind of scale, is a question worth trying to answer.
Against a person. Against a community. And against the state.
Mass shootings check all three boxes hard.
I think the blanket mindset is: I want X. I don't have X because of those people.
Replace X and those people as needed and it covers the philosophy behind a lot of violence and division.
Because dating is asymmetric and loneliness is much more pervasive among men. It's incredibly frustrating that academics and media outright refuse to acknowledge this fact! This article is an ideologically driven, sensationalist dumpster fire.
Here an article who analyzes this phenomenon by the Gini coefficient (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gini_coefficient&...):
"On a list of 149 countries’ Gini indices provided by the CIA World Factbook, this would place the female dating economy as 75th most unequal (average—think Western Europe) and the male dating economy as the 8th most unequal (kleptocracy, apartheid, perpetual civil war—think South Africa)."
Also I don't think sex workers should have to deal with incels. Sex workers are people too, and they deserve to be shown a basic amount of respect by their clients, just like the rest of us.
But say it did: would it reduce their propensity to violence?
Drug legalization, sex work, perhaps gambling & sports betting, etc. However, I could see holdouts if some subsegment of the post-boomer generations continue to hold attitudes that "vice industries" are immoral, which is fair. I imagine that the later generations will just adopt an "I don't care, let people do what they want" attitude.
I understand that I made a pretty broad statement, but anecdotally, there are so many different instances of boomers denigrating choices of later generations across many different buckets of choices - social, technological, moral, cultural, political, psycho-sexual; and as I've lived my life, we've seen rapid chances in societal behaviors that just make me feel that as every successive generation comes into existence, you just get that bit-flip for that dimension of the 'collective consciousness' (not woo-woo collective consciousness, but just the aggregated set of behaviors and interactions manifested by the people that exist today, that came to pass based on the pre-existing cc from their parents and those that influenced them, etc).
Psychologically, it's funny, because there is this commonly cited concept of 'teenage/adolescent rebellion' where, despite the love and adoration you feel for your parents, there develops a kind of rift in response to the rules imposed vs. what you immediately want to do/desire to explore the world without the parental control structure that was imposed previously. Perhaps the generational shifts that are seen are a consequence of this - maybe not, I'm just thinking out loud here. But yeah it is an interesting topic.
Care to comment further on what gave you this impression? I'm intrigued.
Try again for 1960.
Society has changed in the 60 years for sure, but not always in the way you predict, or the way you want.
The only thing that marks boomers as different is the technological leverage available to them. Meaning each and every succeeding generation since the industrial revolution can do more good and vastly more harm, than the one that went before. WW1 was so much worse than the Napoleonic war as technological leverage brought industrial slaughter. Similar comments were heard in Dickens day, in pre-WW1 Edwardian era, and I have no doubt will continue to be heard in 30 when it'll be the ageing Millennials being denigrated, and 300 years, etc.
Just to put your "only divisive because boomers" issues into context, ALL of them were divisive in the eras they were restricted, except the pendulum was swinging the other way. There were moral panics and outrages over all these in Elizabethan, Victorian, Edwardian times and still today. So that's 400 years. You'll find similar going back to ancient Rome and Greece.
We are going through a pendulum swing of relaxing attitudes to all of these, and decline of regulation. Regulation declines due to the rise of the cargo cult of neoliberalism 1980 on, attitudes due to the rise of individual consumerism 1960 on. Give it fifty or a hundred years and there will be a "universal" clamour for greater restriction, perhaps with a new spin, perhaps in forms of regulation commonly tried across the millennia. Perhaps religion or abstinence will see a revival. Perhaps something completely new, whether environmentalism or something we can't yet conceive.
At some point in the swing to relaxed, low regulation, rebelling against parents will necessarily spawn a more community, collective, or restrictive reaction.
I guess that's possible, and in fact seems like it's accelerating. But then again, what constitutes a vice is also changing.
Take a different example. Surely climate change presents a significant social challenge, both immediate and downstream. Inasmuch as climate change is exacerbated by the vice of over-consumption, there's a great deal of social approbation in some circles against it and a number of proposals to regulate it.
One wonders, of course, if a successful campaign against over consumption won't result in a future sometime where people forget the dangers of over-consumption and argue for a more libertarian approach.
The idea that some vices aren't really immoral is not a new one; it's just that we have short memories and forget their very real dangers.
But this is not an alternative for affection.
I do believe there is a big market for renting Affection.
There is also a market for renting optimal friendships.
What they instead want is either companionship and affection (which they clearly don't have or they wouldn't be hanging around in incel forums) or having a woman as quasi-property to serve them and enhance their social standing (the status of most women in quite a lot of history).
There are reasons they can't get those things, of course. But rather than face them, they've built up a toxic shared ideology to explain why it is never their fault. They're not the only group that has done this,  but they're definitely one of the most dangerous.
 For a fascinating look at what abusive parents tell themselves when their children have finally had enough, I recommend this article series on "Estranged Parent" forums: http://www.issendai.com/psychology/estrangement/index.html
This is why legalizing sex work and pornography is no solution and indeed may very well worsen the problem. Turning women into objects to be bought and/or rented, consumed, and owned doesn't help matters. (Of course sex work and pornography are not the only offenders in this regard: I don't suppose most of us would sanction religious ownership of women. It's a different face on the same problem.)
Seems like this is the natural progression of the "kneckbeard" stereotype, when mixed with more extreme online content and teenage sexual angst. Not sure how you can combat this kind of ideology.
> Comments are locked because I got 10 reports of seperate people calling each other “fags” come on guys. We aren’t 12 anymore be an adult and stop using homophobic insults. Everyone who used a homophobic slur was banned for 30 days.
Wow. Apparently the moderation team is pretty important in deciding the path a sub goes down.
Incels are the new nerds. They're safe targets for ridicule, even though their lot ultimately sucks for reasons not entirely within their control. Telling someone who has trouble dating to learn to date is like telling a socially awkward, uncoordinated teenager to just "learn to play sports".
Most people who have trouble dating don't turn in to bitter, hateful trolls who glorify in violence against the people they desire.
Somehow I doubt adding more soulless machinery to the mix is the correct solution to capitalist alienation.
But whatever, try it. Why not.
I will also note that the perception of having enough money is not very closely related to the amount of money you have. I have known people who are happy living on quite modest salaries, and people who feel like they're barely getting by on $500k/year. That's something therapists (and financial advisors) can definitely help with.
We’re passing through a season of men vilification. Changing this ideology as a society is probably a good first step to creating the support programs we need to help turn things around.
This is also largely the view of incels. Forums where they talk about why they can’t get girls. So everyone down voting my post can go stick their heads in the sand.
Adding one more thing. Anyone that hangs out with an extremely tall and attractive guy will be shocked how easy it is for them. It’s almost like living in a different reality. Dating and sex are extremely opaque. You need to run in different circles to understand what’s going on
If online dating expectations are really the issue, why aren't incels pursuing the many other options people use to find a partner? And if they can't/won't, what does that say about their viability as a partner?
1. The top 80% of women tend to message the top 10% (or less) of men, while men message according to an approximately normal distribution
2. Aggregate male ratings of female attractiveness are approximately normally distributed, while female ratings are heavily skewed such that most men are rated below average.
The overall indications are that the vast majority of women go for the highest ranked men. Now, from an evolutionary perspective, this makes some sense, a woman can have one child every month, while a single man can impregnate an entire village. Unfortunately, when you erase cultural norms that correct this innate tendency by encouraging long term committed relationships, the result increasingly resembles hypergamy, where a small population of men are sleeping with the majority of women.
And so the lowest ranked males, who ultimately cannot simply "learn to groom" or "be themselves" or "be confident" end up isolated and perpetually frustrated. Then when a tiny minority act upon their wholly justified misery, the entire bottom end of the distribution get slandered as "incel" and "terrorism".
This article is moral panic bullshit, as inane and disconnected from reality as blaming Eminem for teenage violence.
You want to talk about mental health? Imagine living a life where you are innately driven to desire companionship and affection, but are consistently unable to receive it because of physical and psychological limitations to your status as a desirable mate. Couple this with a broken culture which indirectly encourages hypergamy and notmalizes infantalism well into your 20s and now you have a serious chronic loneliness crisis - but the perception is that it's just those nerds everyone bullied in high school so there's no need to pay it any attention.
Additionally, that’s of women who initiate messages. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that most women aren’t going to be initiating.
It's not misogynistic if we fix one part of the meme: It's not that just women try to date up, but that everybody tries to date up, at least on average.
To clarify: For one person to on average try to date up merely means that their attempts will have an average which is above their actual attractiveness, but that doesn't say anything about who they actually date.
The source is basically all I did for the last five years was work and chase women in major cities. I’ve seen it all
I'm not saying the online dating scene isn't frustrating. It is. But sweeping generalizations about 51% of humanity on the basis of your negative personal experience isn't going to help anyone, including you yourself.
Look at primate troops which are naturally dominated by one reproducing male. Now throw in higher level emotions and self awareness and a range of cultures, some of which have norms which encourage early monogamy, others which emphasize social status such that dating distributions start to resemble those of primates.
Point is these sweeping generalizations do become accurate depending on which statistics you consider. Dating is asymmetric, and women hold all of the power over the vast majority of men.
Don't take my word for it. Find a basically pretty women to go to a bar with and pay attention to the kind of attention she gets, just being passive. Now imagine a male dating successfully by being totally passive - incidentally this very much related to innate behavioral pressure which leads to gender roles.
> The source is basically all I did for the last five years was work and chase women in major cities. I’ve seen it all
Maybe it's you.
As to why incels think they're not getting laid: people are very good at lying to themselves, and rarely have the strength or honesty to face negative aspects of their own personalities. It's much easier to lash out at others and blame them for problems of one's own making.
This is seen again and again in all sorts of abusers. Self-identified incels are just a new version of this.
This is borderline misandrist nonsense. Whether men or women explicitly rate members of the other sex on a scale in private doesn't change that
1. Males and females both have preferences which in aggregate assign some uneven value and therefore rank to potential mates
2. Beauty standards may vary by individual but you simply cannot deny that there are universal traits that make ratings between individuals rather consistent.