Incels Aren't New: Men Have Always Felt Entitled to Women's Bodies

Incels Aren't New: Men Have Always Felt Entitled to Women's Bodies

They are extremists representing a huge societal problem.
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On April 23, A twenty-five year old man named Alex Minassian drove a van through the crowded New York City Center District in Toronto, Canada at high speed, killing ten and injuring sixteen. It was later revealed on a Facebook post traced back to Minassian’s account that he was a part of an online fringe community called “incels,” and that his attack was a part of what the internet calls the “Beta Uprising.”

The direct post reads: “Private (recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt. 4Chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”

Wow. There’s a lot to unpack here. First off, I will start by explaining what an “incel” is. An incel is short for someone who considers themselves to be “involuntarily celibate” and the reason they aren’t sexually active is because the odds are stacked against them. There are incel websites and a subreddit dedicated to this community with posts that are genuinely supportive, but a lot of the energy is is negative to downright hateful towards women, blaming feminism and women’s right to choose her sexual partner as the main contributing factor to not being sexually active.

The “Beta Uprising” and the “Incel Rebellion” are used interchangeably to identify the incel communities plan to rise up against the “Alphas” or attractive people in society. Chads and Stacys are basically the male and female version of the “hot people” that get all of the sex. Chads tend to be this stereotype of hypermasculine men and Stacys are the stereotype of hyperfeminine women. And if you all don’t remember, Elliot Rodger was the man who killed six people near the University of California in Santa Barbara in 2014. According to the Wikipedia article covering the Toronto Van attack, many of the anti-women fringe communities tend to idolize him because he specifically targeted women.

While all of this may seem shocking and terrifying, it isn’t new. Women have met this guy before. They’ve even told you about him, but no one really listened. People just assumed he was some boogeyman she made up, exaggerating an event that has happened to hundreds of women. In the most basic sense of this issue, it is not new for men to feel entitled to women’s bodies. It’s been an idea that has been around for thousands of years and has not gone away. Even with women’s suffrage movements and the sexual revolution, it has not gone away and it won’t go away. The biggest issue is that people don’t want to acknowledge it. They don’t want to listen to women when they say, yes, these people exist. If you’ve done any sort of dating, you know these people exist. This is why women ghost men. Men choose to take it seriously and assume that these women are horrible, but the truth is, women are terrified that the person they talked to online is like this person. If this is the result of rejecting men- a group of women hating men who view women in very limiting stereotypes who want to kill innocent people to express their hatred of not getting women’s attention they think they are entitled to, then yes. Women will ghost you because they are afraid of what the result of that rejection will be.

Sure, not every man is like this. But, understand that incels are an extreme version of a very serious problem of male entitlement. We’ve met the guy who wears the fedora and claims “nice guys finish last.” We’ve heard about the guys who were friendzoned by the girl they were nice to for years. We’ve talked about these people, but women were called sexist against men or somehow a part of the problem. In 2014, after Elliot Rodgers went on a rampage after releasing a video and a manifesto explaining that the cause had been anger towards women who rejected him and men who had women he felt entitled to, many called to address the rampant misogyny in our society. Consequently, the hashtag #notallmen surfaced, defending the alleged stereotype that all men are murderers. Even after a man wrote a manifesto about going on a rampage because he felt entitled to women’s bodies, people still didn’t believe there’s a problem. But, of course, people are surprised that a group that the incels exist. Or that men can and have reacted violently or destructively to women rejecting men. We’ve even seen it in Gamergate when an ex made a hate post about game developer Zoe Quinn because he felt jealous of her new relationship with a journalist. That post led to harassment and release of private information on the internet. Or, how about that time that girl was stabbed for rejecting that one guys prom date? Wait which one? I have more than one. Or, why don’t you just read this Mic listicle about fourteen different women who were brutally attacked for rejecting men!

The thing is, we need to believe women when they say these type of men exist, whatever spectrum they are on. There are plenty of men in society who believe they are entitled to women bodies, from the Incels online to a lot of men on Capitol Hill who vote against reproductive rights. We need to listen to what they say because this is how you nip this toxic behavior in the bud. Not by excusing it, but by teaching others this ideology is inexcusable.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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A Thank You Letter To My Best Friend

All the things I should thank you for more often than I do.
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To My Best Friend,

This thank you is long overdue. There are so many things I want to thank you for, and I’m sure I’m going to still be missing some by the end of this letter. But here is a small token of my gratitude for just being by my side in this life and making it all worthwhile.

Thank you first of all for accepting me and loving me for exactly who I am. This isn’t easy. I can be stubborn, difficult and confusing, but you love and accept me for me. There are days I wonder when you’ll finally come to your senses and move on and find a new BFF, one who isn’t so complicated, but to my amazement, you never do. You tell me you’ll take the good with the bad, and when I question whether I have any good left, you’re always there to reassure me and show me that I do. Thank you for loving me in my dorky and difficult moments, moments where if the rest of the world saw them, they’d probably walk away. Thank you for understanding me like no one else does; if we didn’t have the connection we did, I can’t imagine how lonely and big this world would feel. Because of you, this world seems like a little friendlier place, one I can see myself being a part of.

Thank you for being my biggest fan. Besides my family, you are my biggest supporter, and I know that when I win, you win, and when you win, I win. In this battle we call life, it doesn’t matter who’s in my opponents corner, because I know I am always going to have you in mine, and that’s the best asset I could ever ask for. You encourage me to chase my dreams like no one else does, and I can tell that you sincerely hurt when I hurt — not many people care about me in such a deep way. Whatever crazy dream I tell you I’m going to chase after next, you believe I can do it, even when the rest of the world thinks I’m crazy for even suggesting it. When something good happens, you’re the first person I want to tell, and when something bad happens, you’re the first one I go to for support.

Thank you for being you. You are incredible my dear, and I can’t wait to constantly remind your husband that he got crazy lucky and out kicked his coverage big time. You are beautiful inside and out. On the outside, you are so gorgeous; you’re very own unique and incredible definition of beauty, and I know I’m one of many who see it. You’re intimidating to stand next to in pictures because I know your light shines so bright, but I’ll gladly stand next to you and take a picture, because I’m so excited to show the world how breathtakingly beautiful my best friend is. On the inside you are even prettier, with a warm heart, a sharp mind and an unbelievable personality. You are hands down the funniest person I know, and I still can’t believe that someone as funny and hilarious as you chooses to spend her time with someone as dweeby and awkward as me. I mean, half the time we’re laughing at some fail I had or something stupid I did, so I guess I contribute a little bit to our constant laughing. You are so kind and so sweet, and have the biggest heart of anyone I know. God spent a little extra time when he made you, because you’re the total package: you’re beautiful, awesome and amazing, all wrapped in one, and I’m so lucky he put you in my life—he knows I’d be lost without you.

Thank you for being there for me whenever I need it. It was once said that “all that relationships are are being there for someone when they need you,” and you’re a pro at this. Whether it be because another boy is being stupid or I’m feeling alone, I know all I need to do is call you, and I’ll instantly feel better. You help my through the countless problems Lord knows I have trouble solving, and you reassure me that no matter what, you’re always going to be there for me. This is huge, and something very few people have been able to do for me, but you always have, and I know you always will be. And that is the most reassuring thing I know, knowing that if all hell breaks loose, the world falls apart and I have no one, I’ll have you. And that is all I need.

Thank you for being a spark, a light in my life that no matter how dark the world around us gets, is always there to light my way and show me the way home. Thank you for laughing with me when God blesses us with a funny moment, and crying with me when God is trying to tell me something. Thank you for standing beside me in the greatest of moments and the darkest of hours. Thank you for being the one I share my fondest memories with: all the nights we stayed up really late, all the exciting adventures we went on and all the inside jokes we still laugh about today. Thank you for growing up with me; for being there every step of the way and creating some of my happiest moments with me. Thank you for all the memories I've shared with you, and I can't wait for what crazy adventure we're going to go on next.

So thank you for accepting me, loving me, and supporting me. Thank you for being your wonderful self, and thank you for being there for me, through thick and thin, even when I'm at my lowest. Thank you for shining your brilliant light into my life and illuminating my world.

Oh, and thank you for being my maid of honor. I know I won’t need to ask you for a while, but you had to know it was coming, right?

Thank you for being the godmother to my future children, the sister to my family, and another daughter to my parents.

And finally, thank you for being the best to my friend.

Cover Image Credit: EnkiVillage

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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