The Incelosphere, populated by Incels, is an online subculture of people who define themselves as unable to get a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one (Involuntary Celibate). It is mainly male-dominated and has been connected with "Male Supremacy" and the Men's Rights Movement. Media coverage of the incelosphere tends to scapegoat the movement as a threat akin to terrorism, describing its influence on young males in infantilizing terms and using a few isolated examples of violent incels to characterize the entire movement. The effects of this anti-male bias throughout the media have doubtless been to increase resentment and thus the number of self-identifying incels.
Taylor Lorenz has stated (albeit in a highly tendentious article for the Washington Post) that in 2022, most members of the biggest incel forum support "pedophilia". From a cursory analysis of the slanted language used by Lorenz (and some of our users' reading of the forum) it appears that she is referring to hebephilia instead - i.e. the attraction to pubescents. Contrary to the Post's presentation, online incels who support the normalization of intergenerational relationships commonly draw the line at puberty (see incels.is graphic to right), using terms such as "agecuck" to describe men who repress their natural attraction to teens. "Pedocels" are a marginalized group within the incelosphere. Owing to their celibacy, incels also typically display an awareness of legal repercussions relating to unlawful sex with a minor.
While the incel movement is both amenable to socially libertarian positions on the Age of Consent and considerable in size (2.6M people per month at one of the more popular forums in 2022) MAPs tend to criticize it as inward facing and defeatist in its philosophy. Progressive and leftist MAPs typically criticize the incel movement for widely held attitudes towards women deemed incompatible with civil rights discourse.
- Incels Wiki FAQ
- Incels Wiki: Incelosphere
- Everything You Need to Know About Incels (YouTube)
- Wikipedia article