The Danger of Incels

The Danger of Incels – how the internet is radicalising young men

You may recall the dreadful case in Plymouth in August 2021 when 22-year-old Jake Davison shot himself after killing five others including a three-year-old girl. The Plymouth attacker who was a licenced firearms holder, expressed misogynistic and homophobic views and portrayed himself as a man in despair who raged against his mother and his failure to find a girlfriend. The inquest is currently taking place in Plymouth.

One of the key questions for investigators was what, if any, role his belief in “Incel” (involuntary celibate) culture played in his murderous decisions. His motive was never established, but, following the incident, Davison’s Youtube account was found to feature videos of Davison talking about Incels and using terminology and ideas linked to the subculture.

Incel Culture & Misogynistic Manosphere

Meanwhile, controversial influencer Andrew Tate made headlines recently when he was arrested by Romanian police as part of a human trafficking and rape investigation. The 30-year-old former kickboxer rose to prominence through his misogynistic content.  Tate is known as one of the prominent faces of the ‘manosphere’. The manosphere is a wide range of misogynistic content aimed at men. A key aspect of the dark side of the manosphere is its proximity to ‘Incel culture’ which has risen online over the last few years.

Whilst ‘Inceldom’ / Incel culture and the manosphere may be a niche subculture engaged in by a small, but vocal, minority, it is impacting the main-stream and influencing young men. Its ideology has begun to spread among teenagers and particularly young boys at secondary school age.

Incels – A Form of Radicalisation

Examples of misogynistic manosphere content creators range from Pick Up Artists (PUAS), Men’s Rights Activists and MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way). Many of these videos, podcasts, forums and articles all centre around prejudice against women and are in direct opposition to feminism, with some having connections to the far-right. The real concern at the moment relates to not necessarily Incels themselves, but people promoting Incel and misogynistic messages and microaggressions.

In September 2021 the National Grid for Learning (NGfL) published learning relating to ‘Incels’ and the ‘Manosphere’. 

What is it all about, why are Incels and the Manosphere a danger to others (and to themselves) and how can we proactively identify concerns?

There is a very interesting Q and A media clip between Professor Veronika Koller and Dr Mark McGlashan who studied this area as part of the MANTRap project. Topics covered include:

  • Incels and Manosphere- what are they? Are they new?
  • Why do we particularly need to worry about this area? What is the red/blue pill? What do they believe about women?
  • What are the links to race, racism and far right? What’s a Chad?
  • Language- What words should we look out for/understand?
  • What messages can we send home to help families?
  • Primary schools- why and how is this area relevant for younger children too?

Click on the link below for access to the full Q & A session >

Takeaway messages published in this session were:

Incels are part of a large, sprawling, and ever-changing network: the Manosphere.

  • Incels post a risk to themselves, to women and girls, and to gender relations.
    • Certain words and phrases are typical of nanosphere, including incel, language: femoid/foid, roastie, hit the wall, looksmaxx, cuck, simp, AWALT, LDAR…
  • Apart from words, members of the manosphere:
    • compare men against women in absolute and emphasised ways
    • often draw on genetics and evolutionary psychology to do so
    • believe that society has been hijacked by feminists and is biased against men
    • see women as duplicitous and having the power to hurt men, but also as sexual objects

Please note that showing an active interest in the world of Incels/ the Manosphere is a Prevent issue. Follow normal CP and Prevent referral procedures for your school and area for matters relating to Incels


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