Don’t Let ‘Incel’ Misogynists Like the Toronto Killer Tell You They’re Special – I Was A Virgin Until I Was 27 By Noah Berlatsky
American society stopped “slut shaming” people for having sex outside of marriage many years ago, contrary to what the anti-sexual purity “Ex-vangelicals,” liberal Christians, Christian feminists, and other groups argue on blogs and twitter.
The trend has been the opposite in years past: adults who are celibate and single are often ridiculed or thought of as weird losers if they’re not in a romantic relationship and not having sex.
Our culture went from “Slut Shaming” years ago to “Celibate and Virgin Shaming.” (I have examples all over this blog, look for them).
Here’s an essay by a guy who didn’t lose his virginity until his late twenties. It’s another anecdotal piece of the pie demonstrating how our sex saturated culture shames people who are not having sex.
by Noah Berlatsky
The man who murdered ten people in Toronto with a van, like the 2014 Isla Vista killer, considered himself an “incel,” or involuntary celibate.
Incels are men who blame the world, and especially women, for the fact that they are virgins, or aren’t having sex as often as they want.
They see women as manipulators who choose powerful but shallow men, and unfairly ignore and even torment good guys like themselves.
Resentment becomes an excuse for misogyny, and sometimes, for violence.
In the aftermath of the Toronto massacre, some people were quick to use the killer’s celibacy as an insult.
As just one example, a New Statesman piece referred to the killer as “pathetic” and noted that there was an “inclination to dismiss these men as sad losers dwelling in their parents’ basements.”
This fits a common pattern with men like this.
Violent incels are portrayed as radicalized sad sacks, or as failures who have weaponized their own inadequacy.
But there are two problems with portraying incels as outcasts or failures.
First, it mirrors their own rhetoric, and their own view of themselves. Secondly, it makes incels appear unusual or special.
The truth is more unsettling. Incels are, in many respects, fulfilling gender norms. They haven’t failed to be men.
And when they embrace misogyny and violence, they become exactly what we expect men to be.
Incels see themselves as being unusually unhappy or hard done by. But perceiving oneself as a sexual failure is common for people of every gender.
I certainly did. I was a virgin until I was 27. I wasn’t saving myself for marriage; I was just bad at dating, somewhat unlucky and shy.
My (now) wife, was, thankfully, very determined and refused to let a little shyness stop her.
Looking back now, it’s easy to be flip. But 20 years ago, my virginity was a source of substantial anxiety, unhappiness and self-loathing.
Young men are supposed to have a lot of sex.
And if you’re not having a lot of sex, you’re supposedly contemptible.
I had good friends, and was not especially miserable on other fronts. But I was not having a lot of sex, and, as a result, I felt ugly and broken a good portion of the time.
The cultural pressures are everywhere, for both men and women. Sex is presented, in movies, films and advertising, as so central to the human experience that it goes without saying that anyone who isn’t sexually active must be miserable.
But I don’t think my misery was because of some sort of biological imperative. Like most people, of every gender, I had figured out by my twenties that you can orgasm without the help of other people.
And, as I mentioned, I had plenty of close and meaningful friendships. My feelings of worthlessness were learned.
But again, that feeling of worthlessness wasn’t odd or strange.
For that matter, people of every gender can feel that they’re not performing their gender correctly.
Normative standards for gender expression are designed to make people feel like they are abnormal if they don’t conform.
I had friends who were dating when I wasn’t, and many of them (men and women) were also unhappy. Many of them felt like they were not doing it right (whatever “it” might be.)
Incels think they’re uniquely oppressed by gender expectations. But the truth is, gender expectations feel constricting and painful for everyone. Not least for people who aren’t straight cisgender men.
But while gender roles don’t hurt straight men more than anyone else, the discomfort of straight men is an especially powerful lever. A patriarchy needs a way to call men to their masculinity. A society in which men dominate needs to get men to do the work of domination.
Men are born into patriarchy, but if patriarchy is going to perpetuate itself, men need to assent to it and work to maintain it.
Patriarchy attracts men in part through material rewards, like higher pay or better jobs. But anxiety is also a powerful motivator.
Men learn that they aren’t real men unless they sleep with (the right) women.
They learn that real men are entitled to women. Women become a status symbol; a thing to assert a man’s own manliness.
And since men also are supposed to assert their masculinity through violence, the results are predictable.
…Incels have deliberately adopted an oppositional identity. It’s tempting to take them at their word, and link their sexual failure to their evil.
But there’s nothing wrong with living in your parents’ basement — whether you’re a man or a woman. And no matter what your gender identity is, there’s nothing wrong with not having sex in your 20s or 30s — or never having sex at all.
Read more of that (Link): here
(Link): Weak Argument Against Celibacy / Virginity / Sexual Purity by the Anti Sexual Purity Gestapo – Sexual Compatibility or Incompatibility – (ie, Taking Human Beings For Test Spins – Humans As Sexual Commodities) (Part 2)
(Link): Marcotte on Anyone Choosing To Be a Virgin Until Marriage: “It’s a Silly Idea” – What Progressive Christians, Conservative Christians, Non Christians, and Salon’s Amanda Marcotte Gets Wrong About Christian Views on Virginity
(Link): The Myth of Safe Sex by D. Foley
(Link): Gonorrhea Super Strain Becoming ‘Untreatable’ (in the UK; may be heading to the USA) – 2015 story
(Link): Typical Erroneous Teaching About Adult Celibacy Rears Its Head Again: To Paraphrase Speaker at Ethics and Public Policy Center: Lifelong Celibacy is “heroic ethical standard that is not expected of heteros, so it should not be expected of homosexuals”
(Link): Long Editorial about Virginity at CT – Don’t Blame Evangelicals for the Cult of the Virgin – I Notice It’s the Fornicators Who Want to Ignore or Downplay the Bible’s Teaching that People Are To Stay Virgins Until Marriage