In the days leading up to the Unite the Right rally in Virginia, prominent Neo-Nazi Andre Anglin posted his thoughts on the dress code on his site, The Daily Stormer. The Daily Stormer is a Pro-Nazi site infamous for targeting Jewish writers and general Nazi-Nonsense, which has since been shut down (at least for now) by their domain hosting site NameCheap. But, using quotes from Vox, we can still see the similarities in the language used. Anglin writes that they have to look “sexy,” and that “baggy stuff… always looks bad.” He even says that “continued obesity will not be tolerated.” He argues that he knows his target demographic is obese, but that they need to create a culture of fitness to combat that.
Reader Advisement: This article contains upsetting language, ideas, and radical people. Please be advised that any upsetting language or imagery is for informational purposes.
There are so many things to be said about the events in Charlottesville in the last week or so. There is so much pain, and so much anger. I could not get into the real fear many have felt in the last few days, so instead, I will get into how it happened. To be specific, who are these people, and where did they come from? While it’s easy to write them all off as Neo-Nazis, and I would agree that’s what most of them are, I wanted to take the time to focus on a specific sect of online Neo-Nazism: Incels. Incel stands for involuntary celibate, which Urban Dictionary loosely defines as someone (usually a man) who is unable to get laid, and therefore blame women for their problems. Before I give you some examples, I would like to warn you that these people are horrible. They find sexism normal, use awful language, think rape is at times appropriate, and think women to be inhuman. But trust me, there is a reason I am showing this to you.
First, to explain exactly their thought process. Luckily, Reddit user “Adolf__Hitler” explains it here well. Let’s explain some of their language for a second. A “chad” is a man who is perfect and attractive in every way, think of Zac Efron. And “beta” refers to alpha vs. beta. Meaning, the Incel in question is less than a Chad. As you can see here, they have a strong disdain for women. They blame them for their inability to get laid and assume all women are sluts and therefore bad people.
Next, let’s talk about racism. This introduces the term “Tyrone.” A Tyrone is similar to a Chad but introduces all of the racist stereotypes typically put on black men.
This is a prime example of the racism and sexism that is on display on these incel message boards. It goes on and on, from slut shaming, calling stay at home moms leeches, and blaming women for being victims of abuse.
So why do I bring these people up? Because they played a role in the Charlottesville rally. While it may be difficult to pin down exact names of people and groups who were involved in the organization of the “Unite the Right” rally, I would like to make it very clear that this is a group that played an important role in the rally. The language that was used in the dress code beforehand uses the same language as these Reddit posts.
In the days leading up to the Unite the Right rally in Virginia, prominent Neo-Nazi Andre Anglin posted his thoughts on the dress code on his site, The Daily Stormer. The Daily Stormer is a Pro-Nazi site infamous for targeting Jewish writers and general Nazi-Nonsense, which has since been shut down (at least for now) by their domain hosting site NameCheap. But, using quotes from Vox, we can still see the similarities in the language used. Anglin writes that they have to look “sexy,” and that “baggy stuff… always looks bad.” He even says that “continued obesity will not be tolerated.” He argues that he knows his target demographic is obese, but that they need to create a culture of fitness to combat that. One of the most damning pieces of advice that he gave was that “we need to keep women on the sidelines. Not speaking, not leading, and with no official membership in anything.” He even argues that women should be “groupies” and the only way to do that is for the men to get fit and wear tight t-shirts.
The most interesting quote to me is “We must have Chad Nationalism. That is what will make guys want to join us, that is what will make girls want to be our groupies. That will make us look like bad boys and heroes. That is what we are going for here.” There’s that word again, “Chad.” Chad is everything that these incels wish they were. They are handsome, popular, and athletic. But also described as abusive, dumb, and manipulative. To me, it is quite clear that the incel community is playing a larger role than we know in this neo-nazi movement.
While there is little to no discussion of what happened in Charlottesville, (besides some jokes and memes), there is another Reddit page (subreddits as they are called) that is for incels but it has gone off and on private. There being multiple subreddits for incels, it appears that there is not much formal organizing at this point. It is very possible only some incel pages are in support of the Unite the Right rally while others are not.
But why do I care about this specific group of horrible people online? Well for one, not many people know about them. They have said some of the most disgusting, awful and cringe-worthy things I have had the misfortune to ever read. These are not just ugly (their words, not mine), “nice guy” dudes in basements crying about how they can’t get laid. They are dangerous, radical people who should be treated as such. Not only do incels have a disdain towards other races, but towards all women. That’s more than 51% of the population who could be in danger if we do not prevent attacks from people like them.
While I would never argue that someone who has a different view of the world is inherently dangerous, the people who have posted the things I have used in this article are at least concerning to me. Take Elliot Rodger for example. He killed six people and injured 14 others before killing himself in the 2014 Isla Vista Killings. He made many videos describing his frustration with women for not being interested in dating him. He explained in his manifesto that he “[had] been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to [him]. Girls gave their affection, and sex and love to other men but never to [him].”
While this took place before the term incel was coined, many in the incel community consider him an important figure. Incels have called him a “saint” (while also misquoting him), excuse his behavior, and collect quotes from him as if they belonged on inspirational posters. If you thought they were harmless before, please reconsider. These are radical people with horrifying agendas, and they should be monitored.
While many men have a strange view of the way women think, it is unacceptable to make comments like these. We cannot allow this discourse to become normalized, and we must take steps in order to fight it. This includes anti-domestic terrorism measures against them, shutting down casual misogyny you see and teaching our children that everyone gets to make their own decisions in life, and no woman owes them anything. Incels are not the only dangerous group in America, and they are certainly not the deadliest. But I fear if we do not take their radicalism seriously, we may regret that.