What the Red Pill Means for Radicals - 2018-06-07
Taking the red pill, for both the manosphere and the alt-right, is the beginning of a process of radicalization in which an individual becomes enculturated in an extreme, reactionary worldview.
Alek Minassian's vehicular attack in Toronto in April has brought the term "incel" into the public spotlight. "Incel" signifies an "involuntary celibate" — a male oppressed by the injustice of women who refuse to have sex with him. The term came into prominence in the corners of the "manosphere," a loose coalition of men's rights activists, bloggers, participants in pick-up artist forums in addition to audiences across social media platforms, primarily Reddit and 4chan.
The incel identity is violently misogynistic. Writing in The New Yorker, Jia Tolentino argues that sex is "defined to them as dominion over female bodies." What is interesting about this claim to women's bodies is that it is articulated through a sense of victimhood: It is not, apparently, the incel's fault that he is unable to find sexual partner. Rather, it is a form of oppression perpetrated upon him by women who ignore him or reject his advances. Incel engenders a hateful identity toward women premised on male fragility.