The Toronto Van Attack Fueled by the Incel Movement
If you live in the Toronto area your world is probably being dominated by news surrounding the pedestrian attack made by incel suspect Alek Minassian on Monday April 23rd. Minassain murdered 10 and injured many by running them over with a large rental van. It’s been discovered that a facebook post was written on his feed shortly before the attack. The post read;
“Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please, C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”
For many people this sounds like nonsense or maybe something that you would see in a war style video game, but in reality it’s a message.
Elliot Rodger is mentioned in Minassian’s facebook post. Rodger murdered 6 and injured 13 by shooting and hitting them with his car in California in 2014. Elliot Rodger was an ‘incel’ as well; he posted a youtube video about a ‘day of retribution’ for the women who shunned him and he wrote a 141 page manifesto on the subject. In the video he notes that he’s never kissed a girl and states; “I’ve had to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires, all because girls have never been attracted to me”, he continues;“I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me but I will punish you all for it” Rodger is similar to many mass shooters and attackers in that he has a history troubling behaviour towards women. A social worker notified authorities of concerns they had with his behaviour but police didn’t search his home when they went to go speak with him. In his home at that time he had his manifesto as well as several handguns and ammunition.
So this is the man that Minassian appears to praise before his own attack. A man so consumed by toxic masculinity and rage because of rejection that he decided he wanted to murder everyone in Isla Vista, California, specifically those who were good looking, starting at the Alpha Phi Sorority House.
When an attack like this happens we often assume that it’s an act of terrorism. However it’s increasingly common that the act is fueled by the radicalization of rejected men. On the website incels.me people are praising his attack for bringing incels to the forefront of culture. On the message boards people are now praising “St. Alek” as they do for “St. Elliot”.
“Incel” is a term that was coined on Reddit, it means “involuntary celibacy” and 40,000 people (primarily young men) participated in the message board on Reddit before it was taken down. The board was taken down due to the graphic and violent nature of many of the discussions including condoning rape. Many of the users blamed women for their lack of sexual activity; it was a breeding ground for misogyny and pent up aggression and frustration. Women can be incels too but they’re less common and less vocal on incel message boards.
Popular terms in the Incel Community:
A man who has sexual experiences
A woman who has sexual experiences
An average person
A nod to the matrix, taking the ‘black pill’ is accepting ‘the system is rigged’ and that women only want conventionally attractive men and no other men have a shot at all.
Are Incels bad people?
All movements, organizations and religions have varying degrees of people and ideologies. At this time as incels come into the forefront of our news and culture it’s important to remember than not all self-described incels are inherently bad people or participate in violent behaviour. Part of the problem is the people that go to these message boards looking for community and end up becoming radicalized and violent due to the discussions they have there.
Why is it important for people to know about incels and the incel community?
Knowledge is power. By have discussions about this type of community and starting a dialogue about toxic masculinity we’re able to work together as a community to come up with solutions to these problems. By learning about the incel lingo and propaganda we’re taking the conversation into our own hands. Hopefully by sharing this information less men will go seeking out this information and turn violent.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and their loved ones of this heinous crime. Hopefully this conversation will help spark change so that this type of attack ever happens again. In a later blog post I’ll be discussing effective and positive ways to handle rejection so that we can all deal with our emotions in a safe and productive manner.