Out there in the dark corners of the internet are forums festering with lonely virgins, called “incels,” whose discussions center around their self-perceived undesirability and their collective hatred for women. Reddit has recently removed one of its forums after maddened comments began turning dangerously violent.

The term “incels” refers to a group of people, mostly men, who describe themselves as “involuntarily celibate.” It was coined in the late 90s by a Canadian bisexual woman as she was discovering her sexuality.

Modern usage of the word has been hijacked by disturbed forum-frequenters and other internet communities. These men wield the term to justify a lack of social skills that holds them back from building relationships with women. While many of these guys spend a majority of their time feeling sorry for themselves, I have no remorse to offer.

These self-proclaimed “supreme gentlemen” have built an identity around not getting laid. They’ve been known to promote violence and, while most choose to remain behind the safety of their screen, a select few have acted on it and made national headlines.

Elliott Rodgers, one of the most famous incel “heroes,” killed six people including himself during a shooting spree in Isla Vista, California, almost five years ago. He was an active member of an online incel group and posted several videos discussing his deep-seated hatred toward women and infuriation with his own virginity.

But Rodgers is survived by hundreds of incels, many of whom continue to believe their own constructed theories of humanity — specifically, the “Red Pill” and “Black Pill” theories.

The Red Pill theory is one of many convoluted theories explaining why incels can’t attract women, which they believe justifies their delusional hatred toward themselves, women and “desirable” men.

They also believe in a concept called the “80/20 rule,” meaning only the top 20 percent of men are desired by “femoids,” the community’s dehumanizing term for women. Incels believe that women deserve to be raped for having sex with conventionally attractive men, rather than distributing sex equally among all men. Yet most of the men on these forums are, in fact, conventionally attractive. It’s their self-destructive, catastrophic thinking that makes them unattractive.

But this crazy theory is far more than the hypocritical doctrine of a disgruntled virgin. It tells incels that they will never be happy without a sex life, which is the basis of their “Black Pill” theory.

There are forum posts with evidence that show incels are dropping like flies due to suicide. To our knowledge, there have been at least two mass murders perpetrated by self-identifying incels.

Why do these men want the negative feedback they receive? They commit acts of digital self-harm by posting selfies and soliciting harsh criticism to fuel self-hatred for their placement in the sexual marketplace. It’s a case of masochistic epistemology — the belief that whatever hurts is true.

They’ve trapped themselves in a self-fulfilling prophecy of defeat where they share hateful rage toward women and themselves. They attract precisely the negative attention they deserve. And truthfully, there’s no fixing someone with this degree of catastrophic thinking.

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