I see we’re not done talking about incels.
After Alek Minassian’s deadly attack on innocents in Toronto, scores of people decided to share their hot takes about how to “handle” the incel problem. Of course: like as not, the “problem” they focused on was that incels were angry virgins instead of the hate and misogyny that was radicalizing young men.
Worse, the solution wasn’t to deal with the anger, but to deal with the virginity.
Never was the absurdity of this argument more visible than when economist Robin Hansen attempted to equate being a virgin to financial inequality – leading many to wonder just what the absolute fuck was wrong with him.
(Considering that Hansen has described infidelity as being akin or worse to rape and that maybe women who cuckold their husbands should be tortured – but don’t quote him on that – the answer is evidently “a lot.”)
Now, one might be forgiven for thinking, as I did, that most people would recognize the idea that maybe we should ask women to “take one for the team” in the name of preventing future attacks is both idiotic on its face and disgusting to boot. Sure, someone at The Federalist was undoubtedly limbering up their hands to produce their next hot take but c’mon. It’s The Federalist.
This, of course, was like daring the universe to prove me wrong. I may as well have stood on a mountain and declared that God has shitty aim.
On Wednesday, I was coming back from a lovely trip to the UK to see friends. After a nine hour enforced vacation from the Internet, I turn on my phone to discover that New York Times contributor Ross Douthat picked up the Baton of Stupid Arguments and ran with it.
So we need to talk about just what’s so mind-bogglingly wrong with the argument that the problem with incels is some sort of “sexual inequality.”