How do incels feel about women? You’ve probably got a vague idea, but a new documentary lifts the lid on the notoriously secretive group.
In Channel 4′s Untold – The Secret World of Incels, presenter Ben Zand meets men who self-describe as incels, which stands for “involuntarily celibate”.
One of the members of this underground, online community is D, a man in his early 20s who admits he hasn’t spoken to a woman other than his mother for years.
Zand and D head to the pub and the presenter asks him how he feels about potentially speaking to a woman.
“I think there might even be a bit of a safety concern, in terms of false rape charges, you could incite that,” says D, whose identity is kept anonymous.
“From what I read on the internet, I read that it’s even unsafe to be in a room with a woman without a third party.”
D goes on to explain that he believes there’s a chance a woman will beat herself and later accuse him of domestic violence if he’s even near her.
A group of women overhear their conversation and one of them agrees to answer some of D’s questions.
D tells her he identifies as a NEET and explains that means he’s someone who’s not in education, employment or training. He is visibly shaking as he pulls out a piece of paper with questions on.
“What do you think is the necessary traits... what are the necessary applications of being in a relationship?” he asks.
The woman tells him she believes there’s “someone out there for everyone”. She also calmly responds to his question on whether a man’s height will prevent him from finding a “mate”.
“There’s loads of short girls out there, I really wouldn’t worry about it,” she says. “Everyone has their own type... I think what you need to do is get some time away from the computer.”
The interaction ends positively, with Zand and D reflecting that there is “hope” for men who’ve been sucked into incel forums. But the show still makes for disturbing watching.
We see members of this online community say that women are the enemy, a “different species” that is “either going to reject them anyway or cheat on them”. We hear there’s a so-called “male virginity crisis”, where men can not find women to have sex with them.
And some self-identifying incels proudly share extremist views that women should be raped or removed from the workplace.
Shockingly, these views are not as niche as you may think. Research highlighted in the documentary found the community is rapidly growing. One of the most extreme incel forums has 18,000 members with around 2,500 from the UK.
It’s why activists like Laura Bates, author of Men Who Hate Women, want to work to prevent men from being radicalised by incel ideology.
“I visit perhaps two schools a week, a very large number of young people, and I started to notice there was a very dramatic and concerning uptick in the last couple of years in the number of boys I was coming into contact with in schools who had been radicalised or groomed,” she said in an interview.
“If it was any other form of extremism or hatred of any other group, we would describe it that way, but because it’s just women, just misogyny, we don’t use those words to describe it.”
Untold – The Secret World of Incels is on All 4 now.