Incels and their story…

20180423_122816.jpgApril 23rd was a gorgeous day. That afternoon I pulled on my running shoes and headed out for a walk on a nearby trail. It was beautiful and peaceful walking alongside the Harmony creek.

I got my 10 thousand steps (plus a few extra thousand) then wandered back home, logging onto Facebook once I’d said “hi” to Colin. The first post that showed up on my page was an article saying a white van had jumped a curb in Toronto then continued forward, striking everyone and everything in it’s path. There were 9 dead and 16 injured, a statistic that soon changed to 10 dead and 15 injured.

One of my first thoughts was “why?” Was the driver drunk? High? Did he suffer a drop in sugar and subsequently passed out? Did he have a heart attack? A seizure?

The answer was none of those. Soon people started talking about him being an incel. I figured that was some sort of terrorist group and it is. It’s just their reasoning and targets are slightly different.

Incel stands for “involuntary celibate”, I guess mainly because they don’t like the more accurate moniker of misogynist. They hate the rest of humanity, who they refer to as “normies” or Stacy for the girls who aren’t interested in them (that would be all women) and Chad for the men who have managed to have relationships. They had a huge group in Reddit (I’ve heard it’s been removed) and congregate on 4chan, which isn’t a surprise. They also pretty much worship Elliot Rodger, the self described incel who killed 7 people in Isla Vista, California.

incel idiocy1One of the first things I noticed when I read the post to the left is that the poster doesn’t have any concept of personality, mutual interests, or intellectual attraction. His only thought is physical attraction on a 1 – 10 high school rating system, kind of like in high school. He’s mad at woman for cheating the system by wearing makeup to make her look prettier then he assumes that cute guys are only into her for her “fake” looks. He even goes so far as claiming good makeup skills should be punishable by law.

Cue a conversation in jail…
“Why are you here?”
“I, umm, put on some Covergirl…”

incel idiocy2He gets right into setting out the teenage boys’ hotness scale as law. Makeup gets banned immediately as it “falsely advertises their beauty”, granting them sex with “guys above their league”.

Then he gets into even more government regulations, this time calling for a state mandated hotness test for all adults, again based on a high school 1 to 10 scale. He presumes that everyone has the same ideals for physical beauty and, of course, ignores intelligence, kindness, animation, and sensuality. So, in his world, if a 3/10 man clicks with a 5/10 woman, that can’t happen no matter how much they love each other. What’s love in an incel world?

incel idiocy3Apparently dick is a big, dirty problem because it seems to taint women. Each dick she copulates with brings her down a notch on the scale. And she can’t move back up the scale unless she exercises. Note, there is no corresponding drop for men. If they have sex with nine women it’s celebration time. And, finally we come to state mandated rape. Every woman with more than nine partners and every single Mom has to date and have sex with the men too repellent to get dates on their own. They don’t have a choice in the matter. You broke up with your abusive husband? Okay, well here’s Bill. He has fantasies of choking a woman during rape and he’s all yours now. Find a sitter and go make sure he has fun!

These men live in a two dimensional world where everyone is straight and worth only their physical appearance. And as I’ve said already, nothing else matters. When I fell in love with Lenny, I didn’t fall in love with his physical appearance, although I did find him attractive. I fell in love because we had similar interests. We both were working on a blog, we were both vegan, we both loved cats and music. We could talk for hours. But none of that matters to incels.

Women don’t matter to them at all. We exist as objects formed only to provide them sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure they feel is owed to them. Women are simply objects to dole out to men who can’t find someone to date them. I’m a single Mom. My worth did not increase when I was dating my exes and it didn’t decrease when our relationships ended. I am not a bone to throw at some stray dog, in hopes it will stop growling. I am a human being with all the rights that entails.

It would be nice to think that post was a one off but it’s not. Another post is making the rounds on Facebook.

incel stalking

Just a bit of harmless psychological fun, chasing a young teenage girl and frightening her half to death, just so she’ll notice you. And he enjoys it enough that he goes from city to city harassing women. He says he abhors rape but how long will it be before he, or one of the “lonely incels” he’s encouraging, decide the chase isn’t fun enough. What happens when he actually catches someone?

incel mandated girlfriendsJust in case someone thinks that these misogynists are strictly American, despite Alek Minassian being Canadian. Here’s a post for you. One where, once again, women have no value of their own and no rights to their thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs. If a guy needs a girlfriend, there’s a girl right here. Who cares about her personality or interests? It’s her vagina that counts.

Plus it’s women who are at fault for men’s actions. It’s not a man’s job to stop himself from mass murder. It’s women because no one stepped up and spread their legs. It doesn’t matter if they’re uninterested, actively repulsed, or not even interested in men. He feels that single men are made to feel like trash and they should be handed the first available woman as if she’s his due.

 

 

I have an blog post that I’m going to link here that shows, in depth how depraved and out of touch these misogynists are. The blog post needs a trigger warning because it discusses how they are planning on attacking people, women in particular.

I have no idea how to help the misogynistic men we already have. Their personalities are set and they’re aimed at sad, delusional lives. What I do think is we need to work with our children. We need to teach them that both boys and girls have feelings, that it’s okay to cry. We need to let boys do “girl things” like play in the house centre in kindergarten and wear pink. It’s okay to like glitter and stuffed animals and Barbies. I believe that restricting these from boys and claiming they’re only for girls does two things. One it sets them up with a sense of outrage because only girls can do what he wanted and, two, it sets them up to think girl things and girls are lesser because if they were equal, he could do the same things as them.

I think we’re slowly raising more and more boys who believe in equality and who seek women for more than their looks. With any luck incels will turn out to be a dying breed.

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What does a woman look like?

What is it with women arbitrarily defining other women? How does someone wake up in the morning and decide they are the gender police, taking up Gandalf’s role and his line of “you shall not pass”? Goodness knows I can barely manage to remember to put my own glasses on in the morning (probably because my eyes aren’t open). No way in hell am I ready to start judging others.

A few months ago I posted a rebuttal to Emilee Danielson regarding her Facebook letter to Caitlyn Jenner on “what defines a woman”. Now I’m seeing articles about an elderly feminist named Germaine Greer and her views on trans women. Which means a conservative anti-feminist and a vocal feminist are both on the same side. Both of them want to define women to mean nothing more than genitals and appearances. Emilee claims someone isn’t a woman if she hasn’t birthed her children without pain medication while Germaine insists that trans women do not “look like, sound like or behave like women”.

Seriously Germaine? You sound like my grandmother’s elderly neighbour who informed me that ladies are not supposed to climb trees. Like my grade two teacher who pulled me aside because my voice was too low to sing with the rest of the class. Like the Sunday School teachers who informed my friend that I, at age four, was going to hell for swinging on the bus seats like Tarzan and colouring pictures of meadows instead of baby Jesus. I’ll see everyone there… I’m bringing vegan marshmallows for s’mores… it’ll be a blast!

So, Germaine, how does someone look, sound, and act female? Is there a checklist I’m supposed to be following? Do I lose points for singing tenor and gain points for birthing two 9lb babies? Now that I put iridescent glitter laces on my runners, do they pass muster feminine wise? Do I need to wear dresses? Do I have to cross my ankles on the bus?

Our bodies are more complex than you imagine. Were you aware that trans women can breastfeed? Did you read about the woman who’s genetically male (XY chromosomes) but gave birth to a baby? Or the woman who was born without a womb or vagina yet was able to become pregnant thanks to a womb transplant? Where do they fit on your checklist?

I have friends who have the XX chromosomes you consider so important and who feel female (which is what I consider important) who think their hair is long when it’s past crew cut length, camp in the wilderness, drive motorcycles, and think body-checking is a fun way to spend the weekend. I have friends with XY chromosomes who feel male and happily spend the weekend sewing, cooking, and knitting.

How about we throw away your 1970’s guidelines on women and move on to the novel concept of letting people be in charge of their own gender. We can let women be treated like individuals. We can let them be the judge of themselves; we can assume that adults should have the right to self-government and bodily autonomy. We can move away from the concept that society is the judge and jury on what makes a woman; that girls are supposed to look, sound, and behave a certain way.

Feminism is about standing with people who aren’t being treated equally and helping them climb up to an equal footing. Feminism isn’t sitting in an armchair and whinging that your opinion should be valued above people’s rights… especially when your feet rest upon the heads of the trans women who have been forced to a societal level beneath you. You claim you use female pronouns to be polite. Fuck that! Do you know why I use the right pronouns? Because they’re the right pronouns. I’m not here to be polite. I’m here to make a difference. I’m here for change.

My thoughts on modesty…

The stories all seem to blur over the years into one message. Girls and their bodies tempt men. That’s not a message I want for either of my kids. The message I’ve aimed for is that their bodies are their own.

This message started when they were young. Emma was extremely shy, to the point where I was looking into getting her in to see a doctor about selective mutism, before she finally started speaking outside the house when she was four years old. I think she was closer to six years old before our family doctor ever heard a word out of her mouth and those weren’t to him, she was explaining the digestive system to me while he was around the corner (The Magic School Bus is a great show). When she was at home she was the biggest chatterbox ever (and still is). In public she was completely silent, unless she had something urgent to whisper in my ear.

I got pressure from friends and family members to push her to speak to them, to urge her to hug and kiss them when she showed every sign of not wanting to. I stood my ground.

Her body, her rules.

Jeremy was pretty much the opposite of Emma. He never met a stranger he didn’t like. He’d talk to anyone, hold anyone’s hand, and when I had company he’d work his way around the room, sitting on everyone’s lap and hugging everyone in turn. When he was three, I think he proposed to everyone I know.

His body, his rules (although I made sure he didn’t wander away with the mailman).

I am very sensitive to touch and textures. I don’t like seams or tags (the back of my neck crawls at the thought) and I was in my mid to late teens before I could even tolerate wearing jeans or any pants with a button. But the touch I found the hardest was tickling.

I loved being tickled, to a point, and I reached that point very quickly. That’s when I’d say “no” and “stop”. But those were ignored because I was laughing, so I must be having fun. Except I wasn’t. By that point the tickling was almost painful and I was crying while I laughed. My father and/or grandfather didn’t stop until I wet myself and then I’d run into the bathroom, totally humiliated, to cry alone. There I’d vow never to get tickled again. Then I’d watch as my two sisters got tickled. They were having so much fun and I wanted to have fun too, so eventually (days, weeks, or months later) I’d join in with the same results as before.

I learned another lesson then. It was my fault. I shouldn’t have joined in if I didn’t want to be tickled. Except I did want to be tickled. I just wanted it to stop when I said “no”. And it was my fault because I laughed. How was anyone supposed to know I wasn’t happy? How was anyone supposed to know that my gasped “no, please stop” meant anything since I was laughing at the same time? Except I couldn’t stop laughing. You can imagine my fury when I discovered it’s an involuntary reaction to tickling.

I tickled both Emma and Jeremy when they were little but I had strict rules. Both “no” and “stop” were sacrosanct. Tickling stopped that exact second and did not start again until they said they were ready. I made sure to enforce this with my parents as well. I did not want my kids to go through what I did. At first Emma was irritated.

“I didn’t mean it,” she once informed me when I stopped because she’d said “no”.

“If you didn’t mean it then don’t say it,” I replied. “I will stop every single time you tell me to.” She quickly learned the rules.

Jeremy was trickier since he was non verbal (due to autism) until he was three. I went with non-verbal cues with him for the most part although anything that sounded like a “no” was honoured.

I hate being tickled now. I can’t remember which child tickled me but my automatic reaction was to yell “no” and burst into tears. Neither of them have tried again.

My body, my rules.

And then there was clothes. I bought them for the purpose of keeping the kids warm in the winter and cooler in the summer, and that was it. I horrified one of my friends by allowing Emma to roll down a hill in a school outfit. What if it got dirty? I equally horrified one of my sisters when I exchanged a present she’d bought Emma. It was a crop top with three quarter length sleeves. Emma was four years old and had never asked for a tight fitting short shirt. I simply told Emma it was too small and exchanged it for two loose and comfortable shirts. Not out of prudishness, if Emma wanted to take her shirt off and run around topless that was her choice. The shirt wasn’t one she’d chosen.

Clothing continued to be an issue with Emma. She has an eclectic style that involves short shorts paired with ripped tights, layered shirts with spaghetti straps, and lots of jewelry. It suits her. Her father has made several comments over the years, one memorable occasion involved a Christening on his side of the family. He spent an entire weekend referring to Emma as “that one” and claiming her choice of clothing had destroyed his whole trip. When the two of them were finally dropped off, he made a point of only saying goodbye to Jeremy with a very sarcastic “I love you” added, loudly enough to ensure Emma could hear and emphatic enough to make her realize she was being excluded from that love. She started cutting herself the next day. Clothing should not be a reason to withhold love.

And I have a long standing argument with family and teachers over Jeremy’s hair. He has grown it long multiple times since he was eleven years old and each time you’d think he was setting fire to the Canada flag, using kittens for kindling by the reaction he’s got. It’s hair people, get over it.

I lost a Facebook friend last year when she posted a story about Mohammed Ali talking to one of his daughters, telling her to protect her modesty and virtue; saying she was like a precious pearl or gem. That she needed to stay hidden until the right man searched hard enough to find her. And I argued recently in a parenting group that virginity should not be a source of pride in your child. You can be proud of values and beliefs that lead to that choice but not the virginity itself. You can have those same (or similar) values and beliefs without virginity.

I was at work yesterday and one of my young coworkers made a comment that got everyone laughing. I asked him what he’d said. He stared at me in horror and said he couldn’t tell me, while everyone giggled at the thought. In real life I’m seen as bubbly, cheerful, friendly, and a hug dispenser (yes to anyone I’ve issued online hugs… I am a massive hugger in real life). I’m also seen as completely and utterly innocent and naive. Which I am. But that hasn’t stopped me from dispensing the most complete and real sex education I could manage for both my kids simply because it’s important.

There are several things I’ve taught my kids over the years. One (which started way back at the tickling age) was that “no” and “stop” mean just that. I don’t care when it’s said. I don’t care if you’re half a heartbeat away from intercourse. You stop and that’s it. Two is that consent has to be both verbal and sober. Your time together will mean so much more if no one vomits and both of you remember it in the morning. And three is that no one’s “asking for it”. I don’t care if they’re stark naked, they still aren’t asking for anything (except maybe a sunburn).

The articles and comments regarding modesty worry me, especially when it comes to Emma, as they are all one sided. I haven’t read a single article, blog entry or meme aimed at modesty and teenage boys (other than ones asking girls to be modest so they don’t tempt teenage boys). Jeremy’s had people scream at him from car windows but he’s never had the experiences Emma’s had. He’s never had adults offer him open containers of alcohol, demanding he take a sip and getting angry at his refusal. He’s never had repeated demands to give out his phone number. Emma told me of one incident where a man repeatedly asked her out, ignoring her repeated refusals. She finally lied and told him she was a lesbian AND had a girlfriend. He ignored this and continued to ask her out. Then followed her onto the bus and sat down beside her (ignoring countless other empty seats) and proceeded to harass her for the whole twenty minute ride. No one at the stop said anything, despite the fact she was obviously underage and uncomfortable. No one said anything on the bus either. Jeremy’s not concerned about waiting at the bus stop at night time. I can’t say the same for Emma anymore.