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Reading Response: “Our Incel Problem” (Ashley Borja)

Posted by Ashley Borja on

Excerpt from “Our Incel Problem” by Zack Beauchamp gave insight into the Incel online community. Incel– a shortened term for the involuntary celibacy is a name given to those going through “romantic troubles”. Beauchamp notes that incels are awkward in real life surrounding topics of romance and sex. The author notes that the group started as a community that shared struggles and gave advice but developed into a dangerous subculture. For instance, the author described the old online community to be a “social justice warrior community”– and shares that 20 years later the group shares dangerous ideas and is potentially a reflection of the political environment.

As the online community of Incels change, Beauchamp mentions that there are a particular age group and a picture of what an incel looks like. Insiders have a shared sexist ideology of the “black pill”– a fundamental rejection of a woman’s sexual emancipation. Members of the community are hostile to outsiders who look to observe the community — and has changed from a group that includes all genders to one that mainly consists of men. The author notes that the sexist ideology stems from a larger problem in society. In broader western society there is a dark set of societal values and expectations of women that reflect the discussions happening within the incel online community. Beauchamp says that the black pill ideology poses a threat and can lead to violence if taken to a logical extreme. The author also notes that even if it isn’t murder, the ideology can create various acts of violence such as harassment and violent assault. The current online community of Incels as a reflection of society’s darkest values with the combination of modern technological advancements is reshaping politics– and is a conversation that the author describes to be, “not prepared to be confronted”.


reading resp #2

Posted by bethanie corona (she/her) on

The specific patterns or trends that the author notes about the members of incel or “involuntary celibacy” are the reasons for joining the group, how the members share an age range, and the language in their ‘culture’. The group turned into an online community because its members had the same trend in facing rejection in their lives from women. Incel pertains to millennial males that range from the ages of 16-30. The article explains the pattern of difficulties with communicating to the opposite sex, and a member’s fear of rejection. In the group, they vent about their battles with bullying and low self-esteem. These introverted and awkward men found comfort in this support group with people facing the same isolation and loneliness. These patterns inform the insider experience of this community by exposing the language and pathos that the members use. Abe, for example, calls women “emotional tampons” to express his frustration from being dumped. They also have a pattern of acting unfriendly and defensive towards outsiders: “1,267 Braincels users found that about 90 percent of forum participants were under the age of 30. The users are almost all men — women are banned on sight.” A member named Miguel “was drawn to the community because he felt they were the only people who understood his experience,” this shows that despite being a virtual medium, the member’s mutual loneliness and misery indeed craves some type of validation from another member. Overall, the author analyzes how the community began as an innocent way for men to vent about their misfortune in love into an absolute misogynist and hateful group.

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