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.

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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Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.


Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.


I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.


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