The Incel Movement

Lauren Westwood 9 February 2019

(CN: sexism; mentions of rape)

It is possible that some of the readership of TCS have been blessed with peaceful ignorance of the incel movement, even after the incel attack in Toronto, so I will take the time to catch you up. Incel is a portmanteau of involuntary celibate, i.e. a person who is not having sex but wishes to be. From this simple premise, a diverse community has formed which ranges from self loathing to violent, paedophilic and impressively misogynistic. To preface, being a virgin does not make you a bad person. Being a virgin who is trying to have sex and failing does not mean that you are like these people. It does, however, put you at a higher risk of falling into what I would classify as a cult of sorts. So I implore you to keep the kindness and goodness in your heart, even when you feel rejected. In that spirit, this article will attempt to act as a ‘how to’ guide for spotting potentially malignant ideologies and avoiding their allure.

Saying ‘the incels’ feels disingenuous and unfair, since there’s so much variation (and so many contradictions) in the beliefs that fall under the incel umbrella. It would be terribly hypocritical of me to point in scorn at all men who identify as incels and accuse them of believing that women should be rape slaves, since my first point in this guide is thus; avoid sweeping generalisations about any group. People are far too complicated to determine their behaviour by their genitals. So, with that out of the way, let’s begin with some commonly held incel doctrine:


Women only want to date the most attractive men (Chads). These are defined by objective standards – height, muscle mass, jaw line, ‘hunter eyes’, canthal tilt. This results in only the most attractive men having sexual access to women in what is commonly referred to as the ‘cock carousel’, while men who are less attractive are unable to find sexual partners. This is often articulated in the language of biological fallacy, i.e. women do this because of the base instinct to find the most suitable genetics for their offspring.

There’s a lot to unpick here. Firstly, this argument is very insightful as to what emotions and world views spark inceldom. Jealousy is obvious, both in the accusation of women’s promiscuity and of the chads who form harems of attractive women. Secondly, the idea that you can objectively calculate attractiveness speaks volumes about the self-esteem of these men (and they are almost exclusively men). Chad characteristics are ones most incels profess not to have, meaning that they are in their own eyes objectively ugly (although there is a subset of ‘mentalcels’ who are celibate due to mental illness rather than looks).

Of course, in reality human attraction is a spectrum which includes women who love short men, effeminate men, heavier men – just look at the popularity of dad bods and guyliner (Bowie, anyone?) and tell me that women only want the kind of guys you see in perfume adverts. The root of this problem is self-hatred combined with a lack of understanding for how women actually think. When you make a sweeping generalisation of what all women like, and decide that you aren’t it, this causes some serious resentment. But how do incels reconcile with the fact that there are many married short, ‘average looking’ men? Well…


‘Alpha fucks, beta bucks’ is a female ‘mating strategy’ (seriously the biological fallacy is strong with these guys) which means that a woman will marry an average looking man for his money while repeatedly cheating on him with Chads, eventually taking all of his money in a divorce. This is not the first time that we see a perversion of social conservatism in incel ideology: first fears of female promiscuity and now fear that divorce threatens the traditional nuclear family. A lot of incel ideology is grounded in right wing talking points (except for sexual Marxism, the idea that women should be redistributed by the state, which… I think I can hear Engels crying). It also removes the possibility that women can genuinely love a man.

As with before, when the possibility that a woman can grow to be attracted to a man based on his personality is removed, women are ultimately dehumanised. This is a coping strategy. These points combined mean that not only is it not your fault if you can’t find love or sex, but finding those things is undesirable because you’ll end up poor and cuckolded. Like conspiracy theorists, this ideology is hard to shake because it’s predicated on the idea that incels are the only ones who know the truth about society; not only are they absolved from blame for their own misery, they’re also smarter than everyone else.


These are wide ranging and frankly sickening. I can’t possibly include them all here, so if you’re curious pop to r/inceltears where some internet folks have collected many examples. Here I will include the most common/disturbing:

  • Government mandated girlfriends
  • Rape (often with torture/sadistic elements)
  • Murder of women/mass shootings (Elliot Rodger is frequently venerated on incel boards)
  • Paedophilia (the idea is that young girls are the only virgins in modern society… there’s a tendency to massively over estimate how much sex the average woman has. Again, jealousy)
  • Human Growth Hormone/leg extension surgery/facial surgery
  • Suicide (sadly the most commonly suggested solution)

The fact is, like many movements inceldom has been hijacked by many socially unacceptable opinions. Racism abounds in incel threads, with Indian men especially being told that they are objectively unattractive. Paedophiles have also flourished, with some incels proclaiming that women reach their prime at 12 years of age. But underneath the many, many layers of hatred and bile, there’s a group of people deeply dissatisfied by their own lives. To that effect, I leave you not with a shock value post about roastie femoids being ploughed by Chad, but instead a post that I feel summarises the core of their ideology. And remember: beware of people who tell you they have the secret to life, avoid generalising, dehumanising, beware of groups that shelter actual literal paedophiles, have empathy, and avoid wallowing in self-pity.