I’m a news junkie who bookmarks stories all the time, which is why for years I posted a weekly round up of those bookmarks in a Friday Links post. I’ve scaled that back to the Friday Five, in part because by limiting the number of stories I post I don’t have to share quite so many outrage-generating stories. But sometimes it’s useful to share some of the less than happy news. If you don’t know about the people who are trying to take your rights or livelihood away, you can’t do anything about it, for instance. So this post is going to be about a couple of different seemingly unrelated stories of angry, hateful men in the news lately, along with some commentary. If you don’t want to read about that sort of thing, don’t click through. Otherwise…
Remember Milo Yiannopoulos? Milo (the gay alt-right/neo Nazi apologist who, for a time, made his money by saying outrageous hateful things during campus speaking appearances) recently went to have lunch in a bar where he was recognized. A few people in the bar chanted that he was Nazi scum, but as you will see if you go watch the video, they did it from a distance, and it wasn’t particularly threatening. Milo, of course, had to go on line and tell his fans how he was mobbed and physically thrown out by people screaming death threats. Which is not what happened, at all.
Some will argue that chanting “Nazi scum” is inappropriate. I will remind you the Milo has literally and repeatedly defended neo Nazis and repeated some of their racist genocidal proposals. He once stood up on stage and told people the address of a trans person and suggested that someone should teach her a lesson—clearly inciting harassment and worse. He occasionally tries to pass it off by saying he’s just joking, or that he’s trying to give all sides equal time—but claiming that entire ethnic groups should be “disposed of” is not a legitimate side to any discussion. Or, as Dan Savage says in his commentary on this incident:
“But, hey, it’s all fun and memes until neo-Nazis start murdering faggots, right? Or you get yelled at by a bunch of socialists in a bar. At that point you can attempt to run and hide behind your black husband and your mother’s Jewish heritage, I suppose, but it won’t protect you from the low opinion of decent people or the hatred and violence of the indecent mob you helped assemble. Decent people see Milo for what he is. And the hateful/hate-fueled neo-Nazis Milo spent years playing footsie with aren’t going to distinguish between gay men who supported Trump and gay men who didn’t once the knives are out. History repeats itself, as someone or other once said, “first as tragedy, then as farce.””
It could be argued that at this point Milo is just struggling for relevance and/or trying to find a new way to make a living off the neo-Nazis. The Fall of Milo Yiannopoulos: Exhausting Adventures With a Fading Right-Wing Phenomenon. Even if it is all an act, it doesn’t make his hate-fueled rhetoric any less dangerous
Case in point: After Toronto attack, online misogynists praise suspect as ‘new saint’ – Online communities of men are celebrating — and committing — acts of violence. It’s not merely online misogynists, it is a particular brand of organized online misogynists. They call themselves InCels, which is a portmanteau of Involuntary and Celibate. They hang out together on online forums. I saw someone on twitter comment that when someone first started explaining these guys, she felt sorry for them, because it must be terrible to feel lonely and unloved. But that’s before you actually read what they talk about online.
For instance, a common InCel belief is that any woman who ever has premarital sex should be arrested and punished, and specifically the punishment should be that she is forced to be a sex slave of “good men” such as themselves. Let me unpack that a little bit: they believe sex outside of marriage is evil if women do it, but not if men do. Otherwise how would men who use these enslaved women still be good, right?
When they think they’re talking to an outsider, they sometimes try to moderate their positions; they try to play up that notion that they just wish they could win the love of a good woman to settle down with. But, if you talk long enough you’ll find that they don’t actually want love, they want an obedient slave who will satisfy their sexual desires, cook and clean for them, and so forth. Most of them don’t believe women should have the right to vote. No, a woman should depend on her husband to vote in her best interest. Most of them don’t believe that women should work outside of the home.
They talk so openly and blatantly about going on rampages to rape and murder women, that they have had forums shut down online several times. When they talk about those rampages, they specifically mention going after women who wear sexy clothes in public or who work outside the home.
And it’s not just women they hate, of course. They have a lot of slurs for the many different kinds of men that they hate. Queer men aren’t even their most hated category, which is almost refreshing. They hate men who manage to get girlfriends, obviously, because they are convinced none of those men deserve to have women. They hate men who are good looking, because they believe those men take more than their “fair share” of available women. They hate men who respect women, because they are convinced that those men aren’t real men. I can go on and on.
This guy in Toronto is just the most recent manifestation: Inside the terrifying, twisted online world of involuntary celibates. Remember Elliot Rodger who went on a rampage killing six people and injuring fourteen more back in 2014? Many incels now call Rodger a saint. They frequently talk about how he did nothing wrong. Murdering six people was justified because, as they put it: “if you kick a nice dog enough times, it will become a mean dog. No dog is entitled to even one bone, they say.” And by bone, they are indeed talking about sex.
I say many InCels admire Rodger. Many others don’t, but not because of what he did. Rather, they think he wasn’t really one of them. Why? Because he was too good looking, and he came from a well-to-do family. He could have flown to some other part of the world, these guys argue, where a man with money can “obtain” an obedient, subservient wife. These guys argue that Rodger was a loser because he didn’t have to be an InCel… but they just as vehemently argue that Rodger’s rampage was not a crime. Because those feminists and men who respect women that he killed or injured deserved it.
It’s hard to wrap your mind around their way of thinking.
The overlap between the alt-right neo Nazis and the InCels is rather high. Which really shouldn’t surprise us, because the one thing that most defines both groups is a deep-seated hatred for other people who they perceive to be denying them happiness. They feel entitled, and the world isn’t giving them what they believe they deserve. Therefore, the world—all of us—is the enemy. And they intend to get rid of us, by any means possible.