– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound
We typically avoid political discussions at Introvert Unbound, preferring to focus instead on personal responsibility and self- development. But the recent controversy surrounding “incels” (involuntary celibates) has such a direct tie-in to our work that we felt compelled to comment and make a video.
For those who don’t know, an “incel” is someone (typically a man, but not necessarily) without sexual or romantic relationships, a situation they typically attribute to their physical appearance and/or lack of social skills.
Isolated by nature, many of them have come together through the Internet via platforms such as Reddit as a way to support one another, commiserate, or simply just experience the connection with like-minded individuals we all crave. However, following the deadly Toronto attack in April committed by an apparent incel that killed 10 innocent victims, these outcasted individuals no longer have access to their most popular online gathering space after Reddit banned the “incel” subreddit.
Yes, in their infinite wisdom, the internet’s gatekeepers thought it’d be a good idea to push these folks even further to the edge of society in a purported effort to prevent future violence. Of course, it doesn’t take a clinical psychologist to figure out that silencing these individuals not only won’t do anything to stop future attacks, but will likely just reinforce their sense of exclusion.
Let me be clear that I’m in no way condoning any statements made by incels (or anyone) speaking ill of certain groups, i.e. women. But, as everyone knows, nearly all loosely-affiliated factions on the Internet have some members who make statements many deem “offensive,” so to single out incels for this common phenomenon seems a bit odd.
It should also go without saying that I’m 100% opposed to any violence directed towards anyone for any reason short of self-defense. But, the truth is, only a tiny handful of incels have committed any such acts. To once again point the finger at these folks as being inherently violent seems disingenuous, at best.
But even if you think all incels are murderers-in-training, you’d have to admit that censoring and shaming them won’t do anything to change their ways. What if, instead, every person who felt the need to shit on an incel—supposedly out of compassion for their future victims—took the time to listen to their very real struggles and offer them tools to help them improve their lives?
Incels certainly make some valid points about the ease with which conventionally attractive men can access sex, and how those who don’t have those qualities have a harder time of it. To deny that’s the case is to ignore reality and to suggest that incels who bring this up are automatically acting “entitled” to women (more than, say, celebrities) is nonsense.
But, many incels definitely tend to have certain misconceptions—understandable due to their limited interactions with the opposite sex. While it’s true that good looks can get you in the door with most women, appearance isn’t the only way to get a woman interested in you. Just as important—if not more so—is status and personality.
Status involves your standing in a particular social hierarchy and its attraction varies based on what subculture a woman belongs to. For instance, a raver chick might find a DJ to be extremely attractive, while a nurse might find him to be pathetic loser, drawn instead to a surgeon—the top of her mating ladder.
But status aside, the most crucial aspect to attracting women is your personality. It’s about being comfortable in your skin. It’s about being interested and interesting. But, above all else, it’s about being engaging. Because, even if you’re the coolest person in the world, if you don’t communicate well, she’ll never know that.
And the good news is that you can always work on who you are, take yourself to the next level as a man, become the best version of yourself possible. With enough time and effort, I’d venture to say that—with the proper guidance—99% of self-proclaimed incels can exponentially improve their access to women.
Finally, my message to incels…
If you, yourself, are an incel, sure, do what you can to improve your physical appearance—everything from hygiene, to grooming, to exercise, to how you dress. But once you’ve done that, stop obsessing about it. From my interactions, it’s almost as if incels are more focused on men’s physical appearance than women are. Yes, it’s important, but not as much as you make it out to be—just because good looking guys often don’t need other qualities to access (some) women, doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways in.
I think the reason why so many incels think it’s all about looks is because it’s a psychological cop out. It’s a statement with enough basis in fact that it lets you rationalize your lack of effort and engagement.
Which isn’t to say it’s not a challenge for you. It is. Such a challenge, in fact, that if most guys who naturally do well with women got the reactions you got from women, most of them would hide away from society for the rest of their lives.
But incels are tough. Tougher than the average man, thanks to your difficult circumstances—like a feral cat left to fend for itself on the street. Which gives you a leg up on most pampered housecats…so long as you stop making excuses for yourself and take on the challenges you know you need to improve your lot.