When I first heard the term “incel” maybe a year ago, I first felt compassion. I’m very ugly, and as a result normally ignored / passed over / underrated in terms of trustworthiness and capability. Moreover I’ve seen first hand how insane Hook Up culture is: and in places (like colleges) where sex is a major, major source of social capital, to feel “left out” must be painful.
I know loneliness and isolation, and I felt bad for them.
That was, of course, until I actually looked at the community. “/r/Incels,” was the most abhorrent place I’d ever been, and I still doubt I’ve topped it. The pain of loneliness is so real, but instead of being a help-group for pain, it was a slew of misogyny, racism, hatred, rape apologetics, suicide-encouragement, anger…there was no single redeeming thing about that community, and that’s not something I’ve ever said before.
And yet, for whatever reason, I found myself going back. Like Herod, who secretly loved to listen to John the Baptist, I found myself unable to tear my eyes away from the train wreck of Incels. It was everything I hated: shoddy or nonexistent logic, inhumanity / lack of compassion for others, refusal to get help or even admit they needed it…It was people who lived purely in a fantasy land, and I found it fascinating.
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