Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Incels, fakecels and other mystifying concepts

Media coverage of the horrendous incident in north Toronto a couple of days ago, in which a seriously disturbed man ran a white rented van for over two kilometers down a busy city sidewalk, killing ten and injuring many more, has opened up to me a whole hidden world of internet hate groups I knew nothing about (and which I dearly wish was still ignorant of).
The perpetrator of this particular enormity, Alek Minassian, was a contributing member of an online sub-culture of rabid misogynists known as "incels", or involuntary celibates. They are mainly frustrated, self-loathing and lonely white males in their late teens and early twenties, who are having trouble adjusting to adult life, i.e. young guys seriously pissed off that they can't get laid. Sharing their bitter tirades and violent fantasies on those online message boards of websites that just don't care what content they publish (principally, Reddit, 4chan, and 8chan, as well as dedicated websites like, these people vent their sexual frustrations in racist, misogynistic and often violent rants against women.
The group utilizes its own specialized vocabulary and buzzwords, including "Chads" (good-looking men, i.e. not incels) and "Stacys" (women who find Chads attractive), "black pill" (the realization that a women will never have sex with an individual), "fakecel" (a guy who is too good-looking to qualify as a genuine incel, or one who claims to be an incel but who has actually recently had sex with a woman), etc.
It's a strange and disturbing world that thrives on its hatred of what it sees as unattainable women, and that idolizes violent woman-haters like Elliot Rodger (the California man who killed six in 2014), George Sodini (who killed four woman in Pittsburgh in 2009), and, now, of course, Mr. Minassian himself.
And what is really scary is that this whole "community" is just one of many dark corners of the internet - not to mention the even darker corners of the so-called "dark net" - about which I know (and want to know) absolutely nothing. It's difficult for me to fathom how a person can get so twisted up as to openly advocate and glorify the raping and killing of women, but there seem to be plenty of them out there. And how it can be legal for such individuals to spread their poison to the world at large (even in the interests of freedom of speech) is even more mystifying.

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