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

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”.

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