Why Feminists Hate Incels
A fair bit of discussion has lately focused on the incel phenomenon, including the supposed danger posed by the incel “movement,” as it is erroneously called, and the need for officials in government and law enforcement to classify incel hatred of women as a belief system akin to Islamic jihad. In one article on the subject, a feminist expert named Rebecca Sonlit claimed that the “violent misogyny” of incels ought to be dealt with “as a form of terrorism.”
That a group of men can be labeled as potential mass murderers, their chat forums akin to terrorist sleeper cells, because they express resentment about their (otherwise forbidden-to-be-discussed) sexual loneliness shows us once again the absurd anti-male mania of feminism, which has quickly capitalized on a statistically tiny number of incel killings.
A cornerstone of feminism has always been the belief that male sexuality and male rage are inextricably linked. According to such movement leaders as Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon, male sexual desire is inseparable from the male drive to dominate, objectify, possess, and subjugate women. In her definitive article “Sexuality, Pornography, Method: Pleasure under Patriarchy,” MacKinnon claimed that “The major distinction between intercourse (normal) and rape (abnormal) is that the normal happens so often that one cannot get anyone to see anything wrong with it” (336-337).
On the subject of male sexual violence, the preoccupation with incels highlights two widely-held yet contradictory feminist positions. The first is that all of gender, including sexuality and sexual desire itself, is “socially conditioned” or “socially determined,” meaning that it is given its form and focus from culture. In other words, it is not a biological given. If men wanted to—or, more specifically, if the culture encouraged and even mandated that they do so (this latter idea is what quickens feminist pulses)—men could learn to recreate their sexuality in a different, more feminist-approved form.
But the second belief is that male sexual desire is categorically different from female desire, a uniquely malevolent and destructive force that preceded and shaped society itself. After all, where did the much-lamented social conditioning come from, if not from millennia of dominant men who imposed their sexual will, and the beliefs that stemmed from it, on communities of women (and less powerful men)? According to feminism, this originary sexual dominance is reflected in language itself (where female subordination is apparently embedded in our very grammar and lexicon) and in our earliest taboos and rituals around gender difference.
The idea that the male sexual drive is more powerful than the female—more difficult to control, deserving of special prohibitions and societal vigilance—is the foundation of the feminist discourse on incels, even though feminists have spent the last 50 years scorning and belittling the notion that there is a particular male sexuality grounded in biology. That belief about distinctive male biology once authorized at least some degree of compassion in attitudes toward male sexuality, including the recognition that young men faced particular challenges in channeling it.
Feminists—and women in general—have been conflicted about male sexuality for a long time. On the one hand, they have often angrily denied that men deserve any empathy for their sexual needs; women should never be asked to curtail their behavior in any manner to accommodate men. On the contrary, every aspect of sexual interaction is for the woman to determine and dictate: it is her yes that must mean yes, must be appropriately affirmative. (The idea of a man’s yes mattering at all is, at best, a perfunctory after-thought. Male consent is simply assumed.)
Embedded in these various social strictures regarding male-female interactions is the very recognition that is so strenuously denied. If male sexual desire were not far more powerful than women’s, there would be no need for the endless instruction about female consent.
And this is what gives the feminist obsession with male sexuality—and the punitive focus on incels—its particular bitterness. Even the dumbest feminist ideologue must see that only an intense delight and physical joy could explain so much male risk-taking, displays of bravado, and outright willingness to risk life and limb in its pursuit.
Most women have reluctantly come to recognize their own lack. The fact is that few women have ever experienced such effortless, unasked-for and persistent sexual urgency. For many women, indeed, orgasmic delight is an unreliable goal, oft sought in vain, glimpsed on the horizon only after fevered efforts and never certain until its over. Presented with proof of men’s far-greater potential for sexual satisfaction, women’s response has most often involved a dour and vindictive Puritanism.
The incel who suffers involuntarily from female refusal embodies everything feminists hate about men: not their presumed dangerous lust but their honest human need.