"Incels" are a danger to everyone, including themselves

It used to be difficult to explain what an "Incel" is. People just couldn't get their heads around the concept.

"They're a growing, highly active online community so insanely angry that women will not have sex with them whenever they want, they want to rape and kill all women," I'd say.

Yep, there's a political movement for dudes who can't get laid and are seriously pissed off, aka Involuntary Celibates. And it's apparently the fault of women, feminism and left wing politics.

Essentially everyone's fault but their own.

No laughing matter

Incels would be absolutely hilarious if they weren't so incredibly dangerous.

The response to their existence used to be "No, wait, what, seriously? This is really a thing? That's insane!"

Now, terrifyingly, it's "those evil little bastards have done it again."

But the Incel is a lesson in gob-smacking irony and hypocrisy.

They demand women to be sexually available to them, yet, at the same time, rail against their perceived promiscuity if, heavens forbid, they've ever had a previous sexual partner.

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They pen so-called manifestos on the "death of all women" yet describe themselves as the "nice guy".

Down the rabbit hole

I have a daughter who is almost 20. I worry deeply for her and the world she is entering.

But if I had a son the same age, I would be equally worried for him. More so, in fact.

Because, as nuts as the extreme world of Incels seems, it's so very, very easy for a sad, lonely, angry, isolated young man to fall down the Red Pill rabbit hole and become a genuine danger to himself and others.

Because it's easier to point the finger of blame than ask "what could I do to be a better person". And this is made easier when you find a cesspool of like minded, embittered men willing and ready to validate every one of your most base conspiracies against the opposite sex.

Soft targets

If people fall on hard times, governments and agencies step in and help out (okay, sometimes). It's a basic human right. Incels see sex as a basic human right too, therefore demand governments implement "girlfriend programmes" so sex is distributed (read: enforced) evenly across society. 

And multiple partners should be outlawed. It's not fair the "Chads", as the Incels label good-looking men, get lots of women and the fedora-wearers end up home alone with their porn.

Marginalised, angry young men are soft targets for radicalisation. They are already cocked, loaded and aimed, a gentle whisper in the ear all that's needed to pull the trigger.

A history of violence

In 2014, Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 14 before killing himself. A video he posted vowed "retribution" against the women who would not sleep with him.

Last week in Toronto, 25-year-old Alek Minassian drove a van onto the footpath, killing ten and wounding 15.

Just before his rampage, he posted on Facebook praising the "Incel Rebellion".

Back in 1999, the two teen shooters who killed 13 and injured 34 at Columbine High School in the US, were bullied and ostracised by the "jocks". One of the key themes in one of the shooters' journals was his despair at his lack of success with women.

Reach out

There's no one-fix solution. Yes, men must look out for other men, but not in a "don't dog the boys" pack mentality.

Instead, talk to each other. Value each other. Constantly reinforce that sex is something that is shared, willingly, on equal terms and women don't owe you anything.

It's a responsibility every man has to his younger peers.

The Handmaid's Tale author, Margaret Atwood, nails the horrible situation we find ourselves in: "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them."

With more than 25 years in Australian media, Phil Barker has edited NW and Woman's Day magazines, and published such titles as Vogue, GQ, Delicious, InsideOut and Donna Hay. He is a consultant creative director and communications specialist, currently writing a book on "man stuff" for publisher Allen & Unwin. He is a regular commentator on the lives and style of Australian men.