The ‘involuntary celibate’ community has been typically viewed as male dominant. Known as incels, they have been around for a couple of years now, meaning that most of us already know what they are. But if you don’t, incelism is an online community of men (called incels) who believe they are inherently unable to engage in sexual relationships, despite wanting to do so. Until fairly recently, women who felt they were going through the same unfair rejections as incels had stayed silent. Only recently, they started creating their own community and qualified themselves of female incels; femcels. So what are femcels exactly, and how do they relate to incels?
The term ‘incel’ was coined in the 1990s by a woman who goes by the name of Alana. She created a website to discuss her sexual inactivity and hoped that Alana’s Involuntary Celibate Project would become a common ground serving guidance and support for others like her, who couldn’t find a relationship but wanted one. Unsurprisingly, the term was, not so long after, overpowered by men. To be an incel now is to be a man who feels entitled to sex (rather than a relationship), and who resents women for not giving it to him.
Femcelism has attracted a lot of angry attention from incels (mostly miserable white men), who claim that in turn a woman can’t be involuntarily celibate because apparently ‘things are so much easier for women’. Femcels theorise that men ignore these women because of their looks, which is a topic of its own.
The men who identify themselves as incels complain about their inability to find sexual relationships with women, and blame feminism for their predicament. They believe that feminists actually destroyed chances of ‘ordinary’ men having sex.
This shared view has actually sparked a hatred between the two beliefs and made it a space where men refuse to acknowledge that incel women, or femcels, even exist, as this goes against what they themselves believe in. The theory that incels rely on is that even supposedly ‘unattractive’ women can find sexual partners, if they make themselves available that is. This is a particularly toxic male view of the dynamics of heterosexual interaction.
Femcels believe that they encounter a constant romantic rejection, and constantly compare themselves to, in their eyes, ‘better-looking people’ who supposedly always ‘get what they want’. Mostly though, femcels share a sense of exclusion from the sexual market, per se. Because of this rejection, they believe that they are ineligible to date, that their physical, mental and cognitive inadequacies are unique and extreme from the rest of the world.
The ‘defects’ that both incels and femcels feel, are entirely self-defined, but they both believe that the situation they find themselves in are completely out of their control. The only thing that these two groups can agree on it seems, is that ‘good looks’ are everything. It’s what finds you partners, marriage or sex, helps you make friends, lands you a job and allows easy functioning within society.
Have you ever called someone a ‘solid ten’? Well, unfortunately I must admit that I have, and I will never do it again after diving into the worlds of incelism and femcelism.
Both femcels and incels believe that everyone exists on a one to ten scale, one being the lowest and most unattractive. By their own definition, these involuntary celibate people occupy the lowest rungs, from four to a lower rank. Then, using their own code names, a ‘normie’ comes next. Normies clock at around a five or six. ‘Beckys’ are standard lookers, not unattractive sixes or sevens, but then ‘Stacys’ are part of the elite—quite untouchable, they rank at eight or above. A ‘Chad’ is a ‘Stacy’ counterpart, or ‘match’. A totem of power and privilege.
The dark side, if there is one seeing as it’s all pretty damn dark, is the fact that these groups, particularly incels, are very angry due to their insecurities. In fact, incels have even killed people over their celibacy.
This is an incredibly complicated and hard to process situation. As the user APieceofFemShit writes in a Reddit post explaining what femcels are, “The complexity of the femcel condition or the personal inability to understand does not disprove or nullify it.” She states that “The term Femcel is not related to Incel. It is not a combination of Incel. It is female and ‘celibacy’ put together, not a knock-off of Incels, and in that Femcel has nothing to do with Incels. The Femcel condition is a bit more complex than the Incel condition which is solely dealing with malecentric struggles.”
‘Femceldom’ is determined by the stages in which a femcel exists. The first being the ascended stage, who are former femcels that are no longer considered as femcels but return to vent or still struggle with the past of being one. Then the first stage of femceldom or a transitional femcel, is in the process of ‘assension’, when they are starting to get attention from the opposite sex. Second stage femcel, or non-transitional femcels, are femcels that still feel that they are unable to ‘ascend’, and remain undatable in their opinion.
This is most definitely a terrible outcome from the birth of the internet, and in truth, nearly all of us have some sort of insecurity—however, the extent of self comparison that the internet has brought must not go unnoticed, as it can only be a dangerous road forward.
Are you a Chad? A Stacy or a Becky? An Incel, or perhaps even a Femcel? Just like in life offline, we know the internet is full of different communities, and in the manosphere there is a particular group called ‘Involuntary Celibate men’ a.k.a ‘Incels’. Like many new movements and groups, Incels are an internet-derived phenomenon. I searched the deep web for more information on ‘The Incel Crisis’.
Incels are members of an online subculture who define themselves (and on Wikipedia) as ‘perpetually single’ or ‘dating shy’ and therefore “unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one”, a state they describe as ‘inceldom’. Self-identified Incels are often white, ‘geeky’ and almost exclusively male heterosexuals. A common narrative in Incels is that a high school crush ‘Stacy’ (see later for definition) rejected them in the past, and as a result of this they develop a hate for the female population as a whole. This rebuff has turned them dark, confused, and full of resentment. The jealousy and hatred they harbour towards women grow as they stew in their rooms—on forums—isolated from the ‘real world.’
Due to negative interactions with women who they believe have moulded their personalities to the very core, Incels base their self worth on female attention; adamant they are victims denied of sex only because of appearance. They feel they are doomed for a life of loneliness and neglect, with no hope, who see the world ‘how it really is’—which is ultimately ‘against them’.
Inceldom was created in 1993 by Alana, a neoliberal feminist aiming to found a place on the internet for people experiencing loneliness. Originally titled Alana’s Involuntary Celibacy Project (AICP), the forum quickly and unexpectedly turned into a backlash against women and the rise of feminist culture. The forums such as Reddit, 4Chan, and the now deleted Incel.me make for pretty grim reading, with angry, derogatory terms, and often racial slurs towards women. For example, JBW is used to imply that ‘just being white’ can resolve all Incel problems. The term ‘ethnicel’ is a non-white male who is Incel because of his ‘inferior’ skin––also disrespectfully called ‘currycel’ or ‘ricecel’ or ‘noodlewhore’.
Just like many subcultures, the Incels have their own jargon. They see women as either ‘Stacy’s’, who are feminine, attractive, unattainable and who only date ‘Chads’ (a.k.a Chad Thundercock) muscular, popular men who are presumed to sleep with many of women. Or ‘Becky’s’, who represents the ‘average’ woman. Women, in general, are also referred to in terms such as ‘femoids’, ‘Foids’ or ‘FHOs’ (Female Humanoid Organism). There are a group of women identifying as ‘Femcel’ yet Incels see the idea of who is female ‘involuntarily celibate’ as an oxymoron; they believe that unless a woman is “severely deformed”, she can have sex whenever she wants.
The Incels adopt the ‘Red Pill/Blue Pill’ metaphor from the film The Matrix––the red pill equals a life of harsh knowledge, the blue pill, a life of blissful ignorance. For Incels, to take the red pill means to know the ‘true nature of women’—that women are immoral, vain, unchaste, and not capable of loving ‘nice guys’ like themselves. To take the blue pill is to be a ‘normie’—an ordinary and conventional person (not an Incel)—living in ignorance of the ‘true nature of women’.
Incles believe in controversial paleomasculinism—that male domination and female submission are part of the natural order of things, and the ‘80-20’ rule (that 80 percent of women only want 20 percent of men) yet in the same breath they refer to women as ‘holes’ and evaluate women’s sexual market value (SMV). According to Inceldom, there are three types of men:
Alpha Male a.k.a Chads—a high-status male who gets all the sex he desires, because his controlling and socially-dominant personality is so alluring to females.
Beta Male—a male who is somewhat inept in relationships with females and thus doesn’t get “enough” sex because he isn’t confident enough to be an Alpha and he isn’t rude enough to be a bad boy.
Omega Male—a male who has no prospects whatsoever of getting laid a.k.a an Incel.
Extreme incels think women should not be able to vote because they are unintelligent, they also support rape and some have even murdered people, since 2014 there have been several cases of deadly attacks executed by Incles. There are a few Incels who declare themselves as ‘The Supreme Gentlemen’—a sub-genre of the ‘nice guy’ genus (a rank in the biological classification) that has allowed their ego to inflate to such an extent to cause ‘Omega rage’, a state of mind in which their lack of sexual prospects leads to violent sexual, suicidal, or homicidal behaviour (also known as taking the “black pill” due to nihilistic views).
The term Incels use at the core of their community is ‘Looksism’, the belief that a person’s physical appearance is the primary determinant of their attractiveness as a mate. It seems that together on these forums they obsess over masculine traits such as FWHR (face, width, height, ratio), chin size, nose size, baldness, weight and height amongst others and rate each other’s looks. By rating and insulting each other, they transform the Incelosphere into a toxic environment.
The Incel community is incredibly secretive and because of this it is impossible to know how many Incels there are. Social anxiety, depression and a lack of self-esteem are issues that most Incels deal with—something that is at the core of this culture. Recently, more and more motivational videos and comments on how to change for the better have appeared in the Incel forums—with many YouTube videos from ‘ex-Incels’—in a bid to change this perpetual toxic corner of the web and its resulting femicide. The original Inceldom creator Alana is now trying to offer a new platform where lonely people would find respectful love, instead of being stuck in a perpetual loop of anger.