About two weeks ago, a Toronto man declared himself an “incel” (involuntary celibate) before driving a van into a crowd of people and killing ten.
He was mad at the world because he was a man, and a man needs sex — is owed sex, really — and women were just not cooperating with him.
He spent time online with communities that praised Elliot Rodgers, the mass murderer at UCSB who wrote an entire manifesto about how unfair it was that girls were sleeping with men of color but not him, a white man, and therefore more entitled to the sex than minorities are.
(A lot of incel culture is steeped in not just rampant misogyny but an unhealthy dose of racism as well.)
So what is the response to this violence brought on by a grossly unearned sense of entitlement? If you’re a white man intellectual who prides himself on his “free thinking,” you might come up with the radical idea of “redistributing sex.”
Ross Douthat articulated a few points that several “free thinking” white boy academics have already posited. If we changed our beauty standards, more people would get laid. If we can talk about redistributing property, why can’t we talk about redistributing sex?
Never mind the kind of man willing to kill because he’s not getting laid is a terrible choice for a sex partner. Never mind that the only “sexless” group that commits violence because of this status is angry white men, and not any of the other groups Douthat mentions in the most blatant case of “covering your ass” I’ve ever seen in my life. Never mind that he dismisses the idea of legalizing sex work (he even smirks at the idea of simply calling prostitution “sex work”) as a new fringe trend on the left while in the middle of suggesting we treat sex like property.
After all, this man is not going to be stuck lowering his standards for these kinds of incels — he is not who they want. His ideas still finish with the most vulnerable among us being served up as a sacrifice so the rest of society doesn’t have to deal with the most dangerous among us. And on top of that, everyone else gets laid too!
Douthat, this is the “all lives matter” version of this conversation, and it’s not as inventive as you think. We’re still having conversations about incels that exist within a certain framework — a framework in which “we” (women included, but we’re really talking about men) are entitled to have sex. Ladies, won’t you feel bad if you turn a fella down and then he goes out and murders a bunch of people in frustration?
I don’t know, Ross. But maybe, instead of constantly having talks about self-respect and the evils of sex with our young girls, we should focus just a bit more on “nobody owes you shit” talks with our young boys. After all, won’t you feel bad if a fella gets turned down and goes on a rampage because he thinks the world owes him a goddamn thing?
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