Last Reviewed October 2022

One Minute Guide to Extreme Ideologies: Incels

What are Incels?

Involuntary celibates (incels) are men who define themselves by their inability to form or access intimate relationships with women. The Incel movement has risen to prominence since the 2014 Isla Vista attacks, in which 22- year old Elliot Rodger killed 6 people and himself after producing a misogynist manifesto recording his life story, blaming that his virginity, mental ill health, lack of love and deep rooted loathing of women had fuelled his 'retribution' on society.

Incels believe their lack of ability in developing intimate relationships with women is a result of their inferior genetics, the traits of women and unfair social structures.

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  • Text link image The real Safeguarding Harm of Incels
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    Incel communities have developed online on platforms such as Reddit, Facebook, 4chan and on sites run by incels themselves.

    Online incel content presents other safeguarding harms including the promotion of content normalising and encouraging suicide. Some Incels believe that women’s political empowerment and ability to select their sexual artners has severely degraded men’s social status thus preventing them from having romantic relationships with the opposite sex. Incels may share similarities with extreme right wing groups. Both groups attribute society’s ills to social liberalism, women and ethnic minorities. Racial hatred and far right extremism is also common in some online Incel forums.

  • Text link image What is PILL-ING
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    “Pills” feature prominently in Incel ideology and in the online chatrooms and forums on platforms such as ‘4Chan’ and ‘DISCORD’

    The lexicography of Incels is centred around the 1999 movie Matrix where the hero Neo is offered a choice between living in ignorance “You take the Blue Pill, the story ends” or reality “You take the Red Pill; and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Incels consider themselves to be ‘red pill-ers’ because they can see the world (as in their minds) it really is.

    Some more extreme Incels also have a Black Pill philosophy; typically with only 2 options for what to do with their new accepted reality: accept their fate as an Incel or try to change society to their benefit—usually advocated as potentially achievable by means of violence.

  • Text link image The Incel Rebellion
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    Multiple mass casualty attacks have been carried out in the US and Canada by Incels including by Elliot Rodger, who murdered 6 people including 2 women in Santa Barbara USA and seriously injured 14 others before shooting himself. Rodger has subsequently become the hero of the Incel movement by whom he is described as

    ‘The Supreme Gentleman’

    Click here to read the report

The Imagery

The Incel forums also use cartoon caricatures and language to describe their ideal male ‘The Chad’ and equiva-lent females who are unobtainable to Incels i.e ‘The Stacy and their less desirable counter parts ‘Beta males’ and ‘Becky’s’

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Rape Cells

are a further subset of the Incel community whose members who believe all sexual interaction between men and women is (or should be) coercive and women are thereby reassured on a primal level that the perpetrator is capable of taking care of her.

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Further reading

Download this One Minute Guide to Extreme Ideologies: Incels Click here to download

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