Reading Response 2
Zach Beauchamp’s “Our Incel Problem” highlights the highly controversial online community and their shift to radicalism and misogyny. The Involuntary Celibacy, or Incel community was created over 20 years ago, and it gave “awkward” people a space to be themselves, since they were not comfortable with themselves in the real world. The community was open for all genders until recently, when angry young men overwhelmed the community, and changed how it is perceived as for years to come.
Beauchamp provided many patterns of trends that describe members of the Incel community. For instance, he shows how the early years of the Incel community had members who were shy and awkward in real life. He describes this community as an environment where both genders had the platform to ask their burning questions about the opposite gender in a welcoming way. Afterwards, Beauchamp shows the shift in the community where it became more hostile. This new trend in members became young boys and men who are angry at the world because of their lack in romantic relationships. This shift is very remarkable because the once peaceful online community became one of the internets infamous groups.
These patterns and trends inform the insider experience in the community. It does because the Incel environment before the shift was more welcoming compared to the modern Incel community. Beauchamp calls the members “Social Justice Warriors” because they positively impacted the lives of other Incel members. Thus, you can characterize the members of the old Incel group as caring individuals. However, after the Incel community shifted into what it is now, we can consider the members of the community as violent because of their anger the members have against women. He writes, the members of the Incel community “reject of women’s sexual emancipation, labeling women shallow, cruel creatures who will choose only the most attractive men if given the choice.” Thus highlighting the drastic shift in the community. To summarize, Beauchamp’s analysis of the Incel community displays the ideals former Incel members had compared to modern members.
In conclusion, the Involuntary Celibacy, or Incel group is a group who helped people feel more comfortable with themselves for over 2o years. The group, who was once welcoming to men and women, provided a sense of community for people who considered themselves as outcasts in society. However, the community’s members and focus shifted into something darker; destroying the welcoming community and twisting into something unrecognizable to its original members. Nevertheless, the community still resonates and gives a strong sense of belonging to the current members which is the communities goal in the first place.
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