May 8, 2019
Speculating About Causes
“When Alana started a website for lonely people struggling to find love, she had no idea it would become linked to a community of hate and anger directed at women” (Taylor). This was quoted from an article about the woman who had started the Incel Movement back as early as the 90s. Little to her own dismay would her creation be the start of a movement that would lead to the deaths of many women all across America. From recent news, such as the shootings by Elliot Rodger, to the underground websites which dox innocent women existing since the beginning of the internet, harassment of women by “incels” has reached every ground of the society. While the male frustration of involuntary celibacy has always existed, it is only recently that the coined term “incel” has surfaced in society. This might be due to the woman who started the incel movement by creating a website for lonely people. Perhaps, however, it is something much more obvious. The anonymity of the internet has given people, specifically men, a space to let their rage out by harassing and “doxxing” women, without their identity at stake. With this sense of invincibility, and invisibility, anyone can say anything. Thousands of anonymous users spend everyday in chat rooms dedicated to “life-ruining”, specifically targeting women who are vulnerable on the internet. In this essay, I will discuss the pervasiveness of the Incel Movement in today’s society, how the internet caused this phenomenon, and why this is the most plausible reason for this trend.
“Incel” is a word that describes someone who is involuntary celibate. They have been characterized generally as a white male who has traits such as resentment, racism, sociopathy, and violence (Beauchamp). One might recall the news in 2014 that Elliot Rodger killed six people at UCSB in a stabbing and shooting spree before committing suicide. He had grown up in a life of privilege, attending the University of California Santa Barbara, where his victims would live their final days at. He had specified in his manifesto that he was targeting the Alpha Phi sorority, which Rodger described as the “kind of girls I’ve always desired but never was able to have”. (Rodger) The day he committed six murders, which he called his “Day of Retribution”, he also became the hero of many incels across America. He has gained fans across the webs of online blogs and forums which reject modern conceptions of gender inequality.
Most forms of harassment of women occur not in real life, but, for the most part, online. This is notable on even the most popular of websites nowadays, such as Twitch - a live streaming video platform, primarily focused on video game live streaming. People who broadcast themselves live, called streamers, are publicly viewed by anyone on the internet. While most popular gamer streamers who have millions of subscribers are male, there are a handful...