Involuntary Celibacy: How Maladjustment Became a Movement

Recently, Christopher Wayne Cleary of Denver, Colo., was arrested on a terrorism charge after he posted a threat on social media, stating his intention to carry out a mass shooting against women.

“All I wanted was a girlfriend, not 1000 not a bunch of hoes not money none of that,” he wrote. “All I wanted was to be loved, yet no one cares about me I’m 27 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend before and I’m still a virgin, this is why I’m planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter cause I’m ready to die and all the girls the turned me down is going to make it right by killing as many girls as I see.”

Concerned about several upcoming women’s marches in the area, local and authorities located Cleary in Provo, Utah, and apprehended him.

The incident has sparked a conversation about the dangers of misogyny and male entitlement, and the embodiment of such ideals are held in a rising hate group known as involuntary celibates or “incels.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, incels represent a male supremacy ideology, and incels have been added to their list of hate groups tracked, “because of the way these groups consistently denigrate and dehumanize women, often including advocating physical and sexual violence against them.”

“To an incel, sex is a basic human right for all men,” the article continues. “So the women who deny them that right are committing a heinous — and punishable — crime.”

But Cleary’s is not the first incident involving a male supremacist. In 2014, Elliot Rodger killed six people and wounded 13 others less than 24 hours after posting a seven-minute video to social media documenting his rage against women for rejecting him.

In 2018, Alek Minassian drove his van onto a Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people and wounding more than a dozen others after praising Rodger on social media and declaring, “The Incel Rebellion has already begun!”

While the concept of male supremacy is not new, the reality of a group carrying out the so-called punishments of the ideology is horrifying, and eradicating these groups should be of utmost importance, though no monumental movements or outcries against these incel groups have been made.

Lives have been lost and destroyed over these violent beliefs, and the fact that these groups are on the rise and attacks are more frequent indicates that this is just the beginning. While there has been increased awareness of the incel movement, a solution to combat these groups has yet to come.