What do Female Incels Really Want? By Kaitlyn Tiffany
By Kaitlyn Tiffany
May 12, 2022
“We were all ugly,” Amanda, a 22-year-old student from Florida told me, recalling the online community she found when she was 18. “Men didn’t like us, guys didn’t want to be with us, and it was fine to acknowledge it.”
This Reddit forum was called r/Trufemcels, and she commented there under the username “strangeanduglygrl.” Amanda didn’t post very often, but she checked in every day on the community of self-identified “femcels,” or involuntarily celibate women. (I agreed to refer to her by her first name only, to separate her current life from her former internet identity.)
They came to complain about the superficiality of men and the privilege of pretty women, and to share their experiences moving through the world in an unattractive body, which therefore disadvantaged them romantically, socially, and economically.
They were finding the modern dating landscape—the image-based apps, the commodified dating “market,” the illusory “freedom” to be found in hookup culture—to be unnavigable, and they talked about taking a “pink pill,” and opening their eyes to the reality that society was misogynistic and “lookist.”
They could be funny—in 2019, a commenter repeated a pretty friend’s suggestion that nobody really needs to wear makeup, adding five heart-eye emoji and a link to the joke subreddit r/thanksimcured.
They could be kind of mean—like male incels, they mocked lucky, beautiful women, whom they called “Stacys.” Mostly, they wrote about being sad. “Normies can’t comprehend real loneliness,” an early post begins. “Guys don’t treat ugly girls like people,” reads another.
…Online, she found thousands of other women who were trying to figure out how to live without the kind of romantic love that our society has deemed a pillar—maybe the pillar—of happiness. “Even though the women in the [subreddit] were pretty depressed and sad, it did give me reassurance,” she said. “At least there are other people out there who are like me. And they weren’t completely weird. They were pretty normal.”
… Five years later, incels are a known quantity, and femcels are the new mystery. In recent months, headlines have named 2022 “the year of the ‘femcel’” and heralded a coming “femcel revolution,” wherein women are “reclaiming involuntary celibacy” and asserting their right to give a name to their loneliness and alienation. This new recognition of femcels has tended to stop there.
… The term femcel is now in widespread use, not just in Reddit forums but on every major social platform, including the Gen Z–favored TikTok, but we still don’t know what it’s for. If a femcel revolution is coming, what new world are femcels dreaming about?
… . “In femcel discourse, it does tend to be much more turned inward on the self,” she said. Though society is discussed as inherently “lookist” and unfair, femcels are not out to change it, because they don’t see it as changeable.
… As silly (or maybe even annoying) as that may be, using the word femcel more lightly could hold some promise. Its literal use has been nearly tapped out.
At the personal level, true femcels see two main options for themselves—they either give up on love and society altogether, vowing to “lie here and rot,” or they devote themselves to “ascending” through rigorous self-improvement and sometimes dangerous body modification. Broadly speaking, they’re finding their way to extremes but not toward anything revolutionary.
A smaller number have recognized a “more politically hopeful” third option, Kay told me, which is to give up on men but not on the world. In abandoning heterosexuality, they work on “finding joy and intimacy in other ways” or “focusing on other areas of life which are not to do with romance and sex.”
(Link): The Obese, Overly Hairy ‘Erotic Eater’ Guy Should Be The Final Nail in the Coffin of Sexist Complementarian Teachings that Looks Matter Only To Men & That Women Are Oblivious To, or Don’t Care About, What Men Look Like
(Link): Nice Guys Aren’t So Nice After All: Men in the “Friend Zone” Often Have A Hidden Agenda, Say Psychologists (Daily Mail article)