Incels are a movement you may have heard about on the news over the last year or so due to some high-profile incidents, they have actually been around for much longer than that, since about the 1990s. The incel or "Involuntary Celibate are a movement of men who feel unable to have sex or find love and express hostility and extreme resentment towards women.
The risk is that sexual frustration and the blame incels placed on women are leveraged into violence.
The most notorious attack was carried out by Elliot Rodger, 22, who killed six people and himself in a rampage in California in 2014. He left behind a 137-page "manifesto" and a YouTube video revealing that he carried out the attack because he could not secure a relationship with a woman, which led to his hatred for those in relationships. Rodger is frequently idolised and venerated in incel forums, sometimes referred to as the "Supreme Gentleman".
More recent and closer to home was the story about Jake Davison, he went on a shooting spree in Plymouth and killed six people including a 3-year-old girl.
It is clear that this movement poses a clear and current danger to all women, recent research was carried out on one of the largest incel forums and the term rape was posted every 29 minutes. These forums are not an inclusive place and certainly not a place where young, inquisitive and malleable minds should be hanging out to learn about how life works. One story was about a 15-year-old boy who went on the forum, to complain about being flagged for carrying a knife at school, the users of the forum offered him advice about how to go unnoticed but also congratulated him for stopping his psychiatric medications which they referred to as "Jewpills", reference to an incel conspiracy theory that psychiatric medicine is part of a Jewish conspiracy to pacify white men.
More than a fifth of posts featured misogynist, racist, antisemitic or anti-LGBTQ language, with 16% of posts featuring misogynist slurs. The study of more than one million posts over 18 months found that posts mentioning mass murders increased by 59%.
I am sure you can start to see why this movement isn't exactly the kind of people that should be role models for children, unfortunately, that is not the only danger they pose to children. The rules of this particular forum were changed in March to accommodate paedophilia, changing from "do not sexualise minors" to "do not sexualise pre-pubescent minors". Clearly, this movement of 'individuals' now gives their tacit support to the sexual abuse of children. This is just another community of people who will now actively share paedophile material but also advice on how to perpetrate such acts and not get caught, let's not forget that they are also advocating the use of violence.
This is not a group of lone wolves, as Jake Davison was advertised as being, this is a group that comes together in an online environment to egg each other on, give advice to each other and fuel each other's hatred.
The study found that forum users most frequently shared content from YouTube, where incel channels have more than 136,000 subscribers and 24.2 million video views. The forum received an average of 2.6 million monthly visits, with 17,118 members. In the 18 months covered, only 4,057 wrote posts. Almost half (43.8%) of traffic to the forum came from the US, with 7.5% from the UK. Discourse is driven by 406 "power-users", who produce 74.6% of all posts, some spending more than 10 hours a day on the forum.
Considering this movement operates on the internet and tries its hardest to remain hidden I definitely feel like awareness needs to be spread throughout the community regarding the danger they pose to children, especially young males who might be seeking answers. This is another fine example of why you need to have good levels of communication and trust built up with your child. Maybe have a chat about this particular danger, or be very aware of any terminology they start to use that could be a sign of the influence this movement is starting to garner.
As always please drop any questions in an email to me and I am more than happy to have a chat about this or any other topics on the subject of child safety.