MANN: Incel Mentality is Antithetical to Healthy Masculinity

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019


Recently a swathe of reports were released detailing the horrific shooting of a yoga studio in 2018. Located in Tallahassee, Florida, the studio was attacked by a lone gunman carrying a small handgun in his gym bag. Two women died as a result of their wounds with another four yoga students wounded.

The man holding the gun, The Washington Post reports, was an incel. An “incel”, or “involuntarily celibate,” refers to a detestable subculture of “men” who claim an unfair inability to obtain a relationship. The tropes that paint their internet chat boards run the gamut from “nice guys finish last” to flat-out misogyny. Incels rail against the traditionally masculine while not providing a replacement archetype. The largest problem of the incel mentality is that they don’t define healthy masculinity. They seek to destroy one definition without providing another and so only anger and destruction result.

This is not the first time an “incel” has committed an atrocity. Also in 2018, a Toronto incel drove a van through a crowded sidewalk killing ten and maiming many others. In the lead up to the attack, the van driver posted praises of the incel god on social media. This “god of the incels” refers to a college kid who used his BMW to stalk and slaughter sorority girls in 2014 Isla Vista, California. This vile act is now celebrated in some online circles including the Toronto van driver who explicitly drew upon his name as the motive for the attack.

The Isla Vista shooting of 2014 perfectly shows the degeneracy of the “incel” mentality. A mentally unstable kid sat in luxury and still thought he was owed something from women. In hours of video rants, the “IV Shooter” moans the typical trope that attractive girls only like jerks and that a “gentleman” like himself would constantly be shorted. He was so disillusioned by his own self-loathing that he saw his attack as retribution for his poor sexual capital.

Eschewing typical markers of masculinity like strength or deference, the incel mindset leaves behind only pathologies:  selfishness in place of selflessness, entitlement in place of contentment, violence in place of assertiveness and degeneracy in place of self-control. The IV Shooter’s Youtube videos elaborate his supposedly difficult life despite his extreme wealth. The yoga studio shooter had an extensive criminal history against women and young girls, and still he believed women had to atone for their sins against him. Not once in their various journals, logs, videos, etc. did any modicum of personal responsibility show up.

Make no mistake. Traditional masculinity provides the answer. A man walked into that yoga studio last year. He arrived for the regular class, sat his stuff down, and waited for class to start. That person was not the shooter. Instead Joshua Quick performed as a man should—protecting those who cannot protect themselves. Quick rushed the shooter with a vacuum giving others time to escape and was rewarded with the magazine well of the shooter’s pistol bludgeoned into his cheek.

The noble actions of Joshua Quick show the dichotomy between healthy masculinity and the incel mentality. Quick selflessly charged the shooter in an attempt to save women. The shooter selfishly gunned down innocent people in an effort to make women pay. Whereas the incel mentality refuses to define masculinity, Quick’s actions perfectly purvey that which is healthy.

While these involuntary celibates are focused on their interactions with women, their first concern should be their own flaws. Instead of complaining about a lack of attention, they need to consider their own masculinity. The burden of compatibility both with a potential mate and society at large falls on their shoulders alone.

Tanner is a born-and-raised West Virginian. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from West Virginia University and currently works as an Actuary. His interests include politics, physical fitness, professional soccer, and corgis.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Tanner Mann

West Virginia University

Tanner is a born-and-raised West Virginian. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from West Virginia University and currently works as an Actuary. His interests include politics, physical fitness, professional soccer, and corgis.

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