Why all the hate?
But why do these men feel they have the right to demand sex from you? And more importantly, why all the rage?
“These men generally have exceptionally low self-esteem, often because they had difficult childhoods in which they were demeaned or even abused,” says Professor Barash. “It’s also likely incels suffer from some psychological issue. But very little is known about specific precipitating factors.”
What we do know is that most incels are in their late teens to late 30s, and this is no coincidence. “It’s the age when the sex drive in men is at its peak,” says Dr Dale Hartley, an associate professor and division chair of the humanities, fine arts and social sciences department at West Virginia University.
“The libido is a powerful biological drive that can’t be reasoned with... Frustration of this biological imperative is bound to produce anger. The biological deprivation creates its own psychological backlash,” he adds.
OK, so the average incel is horny. But that doesn’t justify hate against women and some other men. “It’s not just inferiority he feels, but also envy and jealousy. The sexual success of such men contributes to his failure.” says Professor Barash.
Are there incels in Singapore?
So far, there have been no known incel attacks in Asia. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t incels here – it’s possible there are men walking among us burning with hate for women. Besides, there are stories of some local men who flipped out after being rejected.
Dr Barash has a theory why incels have mostly been from the West (so far, anyway): they’re copycats: “I suspect the incel phenomenon is a meme to some extent. It became most well-known among certain white men and they just started copying one another.”
So if incels can find each other on the Internet and start copying one another, the phenomenon may also spread to Asia. All it takes is a few men who can’t take “no” for an answer.
So is there a chance for an incel to reform? Yes – and no. “You can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change,” says Dr Hartley. “You can try reasoning, helping them with their social life or urging them to get professional help, but freeing oneself of resentment, anger and hate is something only a motivated person can do.”
So how do you stay safe from possible incels?
For a start, know one when you see one: if you say “no” to a guy and he flips out, that’s a red flag. And if a guy is stalking you or makes you feel unsafe, go straight to the police.
“These people generally have exceptionally low self-esteem, often in part because they had difficult childhoods in which they were demeaned or even abused.