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Spockydog

Won't Somebody Please Think Of The Incels?

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3 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Again ‘meh’. It also ignores the fact that we live in a hyper sexualised society that promotes sex as the path to true happiness, whether you are male or female and that everyone should be having sex all the time. That isn’t really the patriarchy at work. 

Having sex all the time != having sex with many partners and treating people as objects

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2 minutes ago, Kaligator said:

Having sex all the time != having sex with many partners and treating people as objects

How is that relevant to what I said ?

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9 minutes ago, Kaligator said:

If you're not into sports (either as a player or a watcher) the choices of socially acceptable activities are vanishingly small.

Well, uh... there's always gaming (roleplaying, LARPing, wargaming, card games, video games... etc).

<meme about how cool gaming is>

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7 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

How is that relevant to what I said ?

Because the problem is not having sex all the time as far as a cultural issue. And you responded to having sex with lots of people with this:

Quote

 that everyone should be having sex all the time. That isn’t really the patriarchy at work. 

The issue is not having sex all the time; the issue is treating partners as disposable objects. 

 

4 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Well, uh... there's always gaming (roleplaying, LARPing, wargaming, card games, video games... etc).

<meme about how cool gaming is>

Yeah, that's why I said 'socially acceptable activities'. Those are still heavily stigmatized, though roleplaying is at least getting a bit better in that regard. 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Kaligator said:

Yeah, that's why I said 'socially acceptable activities'. Those are still heavily stigmatized, though roleplaying is at least getting a bit better in that regard.

Ah, that's funny, I would have said roleplaying is the one that is still hardest to defend/brag about. Most other gaming activities have a mainstream/popular version. For instance,
- LARPing: recreate historical battles (in the US, many history buffs recreate Civil War battles). Also, you can claim Felicia Day as ambassador.
- Wargaming: Warhammer may still be stigmatized (by jackasses), but Napoleonic/historical wargames not so much. Star Wars wargames (X-wing & Legion) are also quite mainstream.
- Card games: Magic may be stigmatized but you also have poker, blackjack, tarot (in France), gin... etc.
- Video games: that one isn't even stigmatized anymore.

Anyway, I don't think gaming is heavily stigmatized anymore (we're in 2021, not 1981). And even if it is in some places still, better to belong to a gaming community (online or not) than an incel community.
And yeah, I know gaming communities can be misogynistic too, but it's still significantly better than the incels AND women are also into gaming these days. Because, again, we're in 2021.

Edited by Rippounet

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Posted (edited)

Just because I noticed that someone was confused by my post, I will clarify.  There are three approaches to dealing with mental health issues.  They are usually used in conjunction.  They are as follows:

  • Biological - The chemistry of our brain affects our mental health.  We can utilize medication management strategies to affect this
  • Cognitive - This is the how we process of information, our internalized thinking.  What is more commonly known as "Talk Therapy" is how we address these issues
  • Behavioral - These are the actions that we take in our environment, how we adapt to it to achieve certain outcomes.  Skills based therapy is typically how we address issues in this area.

Now, if someone is on the Autism Spectrum.  Medication is of little help as there is nothing chemical to rebalance.  Cognitive therapies are of some help, but again, this is a developmental concern so we are unlikely to again change how someone processes something.  The key is usually in Behavioral strategies or skills based approaches.  Those can be, literally, explaining and teaching someone the whys and wherefores of self care....such as bathing.  I literally had this conversation, today.

Now if the case is depression, the Biological and Cognitive approaches are much more utilized and effective.  Again though, if it is severe enough, Behavioral approaches are used, which....see above.

So the original poster, was being cavalier, possibly callous, he was not, incorrect.

Edited by Guy Kilmore

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33 minutes ago, Kaligator said:

Because the problem is not having sex all the time as far as a cultural issue. And you responded to having sex with lots of people with this:

The issue is not having sex all the time; the issue is treating partners as disposable objects. 

 

Yeah, that's why I said 'socially acceptable activities'. Those are still heavily stigmatized, though roleplaying is at least getting a bit better in that regard. 

 

20 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Ah, that's funny, I would have said roleplaying is the one that is still hardest to defend/brag about. Most other gaming activities have a mainstream/popular version. For instance,
- LARPing: recreate historical battles (in the US, many history buffs recreate Civil War battles). Also, you can claim Felicia Day as ambassador.
- Wargaming: Warhammer may still be stigmatized (by jackasses), but Napoleonic/historical wargames not so much. Star Wars wargames (X-wing & Legion) are also quite mainstream.
- Card games: Magic may be stigmatized but you also have poker, blackjack, tarot (in France), gin... etc.
- Video games: that one isn't even stigmatized anymore.

Anyway, I don't think gaming is heavily stigmatized anymore (we're in 2021, not 1981). And even if it is in some places still, better to belong to a gaming community (online or not) than an incel community.
And yeah, I know gaming communities can be misogynistic too, but it's still significantly better than the incels AND women are also into gaming these days. Because, again, we're in 2021.

I have posted this on our site before when this conversation crops up, but I think you would both find it an interesting read.  I think about it often when I have conversations with at risk youth and young adults with some maladaptive behaviors.

https://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-you-better-person

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45 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Ah, that's funny, I would have said roleplaying is the one that is still hardest to defend/brag about. Most other gaming activities have a mainstream/popular version. For instance,
- LARPing: recreate historical battles (in the US, many history buffs recreate Civil War battles). Also, you can claim Felicia Day as ambassador.
- Wargaming: Warhammer may still be stigmatized (by jackasses), but Napoleonic/historical wargames not so much. Star Wars wargames (X-wing & Legion) are also quite mainstream.
- Card games: Magic may be stigmatized but you also have poker, blackjack, tarot (in France), gin... etc.
- Video games: that one isn't even stigmatized anymore.

Anyway, I don't think gaming is heavily stigmatized anymore (we're in 2021, not 1981). And even if it is in some places still, better to belong to a gaming community (online or not) than an incel community.
And yeah, I know gaming communities can be misogynistic too, but it's still significantly better than the incels AND women are also into gaming these days. Because, again, we're in 2021.

TTRPG is getting a major resurgence in culture with a lot of mainstream people playing, and some of the big successful streamers stream games. It's also far more likely to find women and men interested in playing nowadays. 

Being a gamer is totally still stigmatized by most people, though I'd separate that from playing games. 2 billion people play computer games regularly, but only a very small fraction of those people are what we'd consider gamers. Playing WoW for instance is still pretty stigmatized, even if things like CoD or Pokemon are not. That said, gaming environments are horrible for women and are often where Incels get their start, so I don't know that pushing them into gaming is really the answer you're seeking.

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2 hours ago, Kaligator said:

Being a gamer is totally still stigmatized by most people,

That's... just not my experience, at all. In 25 years of gaming I've only met one single asshole who made fun of gamers, and that was about 20 years ago. I know tons of gamers who have all kinds of jobs, and I can't remember anyone telling a story of them being made fun of - at least not after junior high.
Well, there was this story of a friend of a friend who met two would-be muggers one night after his claymore practice, but that one really doesn't count :P
I know there's this idea that gamers can be bullied or at least teased... I still remember expecting it at times when I was a student... It just never happened. Most people I've met have been rather interested, asked to see my miniatures, wanted to know how one plays wargames or how one DMs... As long as I don't push it, I don't see why there would be a "stigma." Worst-case scenario, people aren't interested in gaming itself and switch to talking about other geeky stuff like manga and anime - or ASOIAF.

2 hours ago, Kaligator said:

That said, gaming environments are horrible for women and are often where Incels get their start, so I don't know that pushing them into gaming is really the answer you're seeking.

That's... kinda true, especially for online communities. IRL communities otoh... Not really. In fact, I was introduced to D&D by a girl.

With all due respect, I think we're talking about slightly different things. I remember you work for Microsoft so I'd assume you're talking about video games mostly. When I talk about "gamers" I mean people who like all types of games, including video games, but certainly not exclusively. "Gamers" for me are individuals who belong to clubs where they meet lots of other gamers IRL about twice a week, including women (about 10% of gamers are women these days, and the proportion is rising fast). And these activities are (at least in France), really not stigmatized at all, quite the contrary you have "gaming pubs" sprouting everywhere, and it's easy to find a gaming event near you thanks to the internet. We're talking about female-friendly and kid-friendly activities here, and even though gamers are really not the alpha-male type, it is extremely rare for our kind to be single past 25.
It's the kind of hobby that's good for awkward young males with little self-confidence. You meet lots of other people, learn how to be good at whatever game you like, and do so while having male role models with families (or Henry Cavill :rolleyes:). Let's be honest: many gamers have trouble dating as teens and young adults, and some even have trouble with personal hygiene. But that almost always sorts itself out once people start working. And thirty years ago, roleplaying was associated with satanism and some clubs could be horrible for women, but today... Well I don't think that's the case today.

That was a long blather about gaming, which I'm passionate about, but I'm relatively confident there are other hobbies incels could get into that would knock some sense into them: there are hobbies for socially awkward people too, and most socially awkward people turn out fine.

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I know it was already raised in the UK politics thread, but people really should watch the Contrapoints video on the topic. She's come out with a lot of arguments over the years that I'm not really sold on, but I think this one is genuinely insightful.

 

I'll also try and give some personal perspective.

I'm definitely not proud of admitting this, but if the online incel phenomenon had been around in its current form 15 - 20 years ago, I think my teenage / early-20s self would have been extremely vulnerable to falling into it. I'm not an incel, and it's not something I've ever identified as, but there was a time in my life when I was probably incel-adjacent, and I want to try and communicate some of the midset that involves.

Not to elicit sympathy (either for myself or modern day incels). Not to excuse or minimise the harm these people do. Rather, just to give some insight as to how this mindset forms and how difficult it can be to break out of.

The main thing to consider, these people fucking hate themselves. For all their anger and hatred directed towards women - it's substantial and I don't want to minimise it - their self-loathing is just as great. And one of the reasons they hate themselves so much, is because of the amount of time spent online, in venues that do nothing but reinforce their self-hatred. It's why the whole "just take a shower" thing is so ineffective. These people believe that they are fundamentally cursed from birth to be alone. At the time I was depressed, lonely teen, it was just a non-specific pessimism. But nowadays, these people are wallowing in an online culture constantly telling them that their fucking skull shape or "canthal tilt" (look it up, it's bananas) makes them a hideous mutant. It's just an endless barrage of despair.

And one of the reasons that it's so difficult to break out of this mindset once you're in it; the self-hatred feels good. At least, in a way. It's a bit like cutting, or other self-harm. It feels like taking control of your shitty situation. You think you're worthless, deformed, pond-slime destined to die alone? Well at least you're aware of it. At least you know the truth. Not like those sheeple who think that there's hope in life. It feels good to face what you perceive to be a hard truth.

In the video above, Wynn calls it masochistic epistemology. The thought process goes, people delude themselves to feel better. Therefore, if it hurts, it must be true. And the more it hurts, the more true it must be.

You can't reason someone out of this mindset. Would taking a shower, dressing better, practising a hobby, and getting some non-online friends help these people (not just help them get laid, but help in general)? Absolutely. But they are in a deep, self-reinforcing well that's very difficult to climb out of. You can't fix the rest of it until you fix the mindset.

Again, none of this is to excuse, or elicit sympathy. It's just to point out, this is not just a bunch of random lonely losers who just need a stern talking to. It's a...the closest word I can think to describe it is ideology. And people generally can't be reasoned out of their ideologies. Toxic ideologies either need to be fought, which is difficult when the overwhelming majority of subscribers are anonymous message board users who will be awful to the people in their lives but are unlikely to be actively violent. Or, the social conditions that give rise to the ideology need to be changed.

 

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Posted (edited)

nvm

Edited by Spockydog

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47 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

That's... just not my experience, at all. In 25 years of gaming I've only met one single asshole who made fun of gamers, and that was about 20 years ago. I know tons of gamers who have all kinds of jobs, and I can't remember anyone telling a story of them being made fun of - at least not after junior high.
Well, there was this story of a friend of a friend who met two would-be muggers one night after his claymore practice, but that one really doesn't count :P
I know there's this idea that gamers can be bullied or at least teased... I still remember expecting it at times when I was a student... It just never happened. Most people I've met have been rather interested, asked to see my miniatures, wanted to know how one plays wargames or how one DMs... As long as I don't push it, I don't see why there would be a "stigma." Worst-case scenario, people aren't interested in gaming itself and switch to talking about other geeky stuff like manga and anime - or ASOIAF.

I think that this is a very different phenomenon depending on your nationality and culture. All I can say is that this does not match my experience, my kid's experiences, my younger kid's experiences or my wife's experiences nearly as much, and BOY does it not match the toxicity of gaming I've seen when working in stores or working as a MtG ref or even bringing my kids into stores some times. 

47 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

That's... kinda true, especially for online communities. IRL communities otoh... Not really. In fact, I was introduced to D&D by a girl.

With all due respect, I think we're talking about slightly different things. I remember you work for Microsoft so I'd assume you're talking about video games mostly. When I talk about "gamers" I mean people who like all types of games, including video games, but certainly not exclusively. "Gamers" for me are individuals who belong to clubs where they meet lots of other gamers IRL about twice a week, including women (about 10% of gamers are women these days, and the proportion is rising fast). And these activities are (at least in France), really not stigmatized at all, quite the contrary you have "gaming pubs" sprouting everywhere, and it's easy to find a gaming event near you thanks to the internet. We're talking about female-friendly and kid-friendly activities here, and even though gamers are really not the alpha-male type, it is extremely rare for our kind to be single past 25.

I think that 'at least France' is a good point; Wearing a mask is something bad here depending on where you are. 

47 minutes ago, Rippounet said:


It's the kind of hobby that's good for awkward young males with little self-confidence. You meet lots of other people, learn how to be good at whatever game you like, and do so while having male role models with families (or Henry Cavill :rolleyes:). Let's be honest: many gamers have trouble dating as teens and young adults, and some even have trouble with personal hygiene. But that almost always sorts itself out once people start working. And thirty years ago, roleplaying was associated with satanism and some clubs could be horrible for women, but today... Well I don't think that's the case today.

That was a long blather about gaming, which I'm passionate about, but I'm relatively confident there are other hobbies incels could get into that would knock some sense into them: there are hobbies for socially awkward people too, and most socially awkward people turn out fine.

I'll also say that there's a lot of pressure for people to be Extremely Online these days, and a lot of that loneliness and camaraderie can only be solved by being in person and actually having relationships with people. And while playing games is fine, it's also not a replacement for intimacy. It is another issue similar to sports, where men can actually have emotions and excitement that is allowed, but only in a narrow context. It helps, but only somewhat. 

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There are religions that seem to prefer the subjugation of virginal women to virginal men, but that would be too much trouble?

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@Liffguard thanks that’s a really good summary and seems close to my experience too.

It’s hard to truly comprehend how attached many of these guys are to their own self loathing, and seem to be trapped in an endless cycle of self reinforcing negativity.  But they also seem to know it and many also seem to wish they’d never found the incel community because what they see as ‘the truth’ is so painful. 
 

And no, it’s not about sympathising with them, but there clearly has been a lot of misunderstanding of them on this thread and in the wider world. It’s hard to deal with a problem if you don’t understand it.

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12 hours ago, Conflicting Thought said:

He is both? I havent read any of his books but from what i see, He does tell them to clean their rooms and shit like that, but under  all that he spreads his horrible real message, that ultimately confirms the incels world view. 

From what I understand, though, Petersen's message about cleaning your room etc. is not about making yourself more attractive to others but about improving your moral character to some weird ideals he has in his head?

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Just now, mormont said:

From what I understand, though, Petersen's message about cleaning your room etc. is not about making yourself more attractive to others but about improving your moral character to some weird ideals he has in his head?

The clean your room stuff is about taking action to improve your life, even if it is very small. It’s also about taking responsibility for your own problems rather than blaming everyone else for your situation.

All of that is totally against what incels believe. 

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@Liffguard Thanks for sharing that. I think a lot of male adolescents go through a stage a little bit like that, if not so bad. I know I did (partly down to living in a village with few other children my age around).

13 hours ago, Liffguard said:

Again, none of this is to excuse, or elicit sympathy. It's just to point out, this is not just a bunch of random lonely losers who just need a stern talking to. It's a...the closest word I can think to describe it is ideology. And people generally can't be reasoned out of their ideologies. Toxic ideologies either need to be fought, which is difficult when the overwhelming majority of subscribers are anonymous message board users who will be awful to the people in their lives but are unlikely to be actively violent. Or, the social conditions that give rise to the ideology need to be changed.

A lot to unpick in this conclusion.

I don't think anyone was advocating "a stern talking to". While possibly satisfying to the talker, that would obviously not be the right approach. I am not a psychologist and would certainly defer to @Guy Kilmore here, but I would think that empathy and encouragement would be a better approach.

Describing it as a toxic ideology does imply it should perhaps be treated as a terrorist ideology, or at least at should be countered in a similar way to how a terrorist ideology might be. I guess this is your argument? It does seem worth a try.

As for "changing the social conditions that give rise to the ideology", not sure what you are suggesting there, other than perhaps trying to do something about how the internet brings like minded people together into their own echo chamber.

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I am usually empathic. There is something odious to the idea that “ women” that they don’t know are ruined by “ chads”, so that there is no point to learning skills that everyone else has to. Thus, the women who are too pretty, powerful,  or smart or talented must be killed, to eliminate any questions of who is doing better at life. 

They are being raised in a culture that doesn’t correct this bad thinking ( misogyny largely acceptable)and they just had the poster child for misogyny as the American president, who barely beat out a vastly superior woman. At least Hillary (loser!)did not need to be killed but Gretchen Widemar did? The parents who actively encourage their depressed kids to shoot guns…so that they would feel better about themselves are culpable, too.

Yes, that incel culture sounds dreadful, and am sorry that people fall for it. Maybe they need a baseball league?

 

 

 

 

 

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I think something that doesn’t really get understood is a lot of these guys are having a ‘black pill / red pill’ experience. Basically incel culture or the dark depths of the internet gives them a framework for explaining the events of their lives and creates a system of understanding the world. That’s not confined to incel culture, you could identify it in a lot of places.

That’s why trying to explain to an incel why they are wrong is often quite fruitless. They will just see you as one of the brainwashed sheeple who doesn’t see the world for how it really is, someone who is still sucked in by Hollywood’s romantic vision of female male relationships. 
 

It’s like trying to argue with anti vaxxers, because they will just think you are not ‘educating yourself’

I also think the tendency to blame mainstream culture for incels is kind of missing the point, incel culture is a reaction and refutation to mainstream culture. It’s basically saying you’ve all been taught a load of bullshit about how the world works and we know better. 

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There's no denying that incel culture is built upon mainstream culture. It's mainstream culture that has taught them the (unrealistic) expectations they have and that pins their sense of self-worth to fulfilling those expectations - something they can't do, leading to frustration. It's not always true that subcultures are twisted manifestations of the dominant culture, but it's absolutely true of incels as I understand them.

But in an important sense, even that discussion is beside the point. Whether or not we understand or should try harder to understand where incels come from and why they feel the way they feel, the simple fact is that we're entitled to say that much of the way that culture manifests is unacceptable behaviour. Harassment, violence, sexism, and expressions of hate are not OK, regardless of where they come from. Whether someone is 'on the spectrum' (a term I don't like for various reasons, but OK) or is depressed or has a personality disorder or whatever, that isn't an excuse for harm. Plenty of people have these issues and do not express their suffering in ways that hurt others.

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