I’ve been in the middle of forums – and I’ve never been afraid
– #Ive #middle #forums #Ive #afraid
It was the end of April 2018 and a white car had just cut a lot of pendestroyed Toronto.
As a reporter. I was following the report of the attack – which led to 11 deaths and 15 injuries – and stumbled upon the word incelused to describe the driver of the car, Alek Minassian, 28.
I had never heard the word before, so I googled it.
She led me to a platform, full of happy men, celebrating Minassian’s murderous crimes. One of the first comments I came across was: ‘I will drink a beer to celebrate every victim who becomes a woman between the ages of 18-35’.
As families buried their loved ones, the perpetrator became a hero in the incel movement – they felt it was true.
Three years later in Toronto, the UK would have its first fatal attack.
In 2021, Jake Davison, 22, shot five people in Plymouth – including his mother and three-year-old daughter. He then turned the gun on himself.
Davison had views related to incel, and his massacre was celebrated in the incel forums he frequented, where he became a martyr. Traffic to affiliate forums increased sixfold in nine months.
I started dive into these forums, and of all the research I’ve done, as a writer and journalist, this has been the worst – the darkest.
I have never seen so much anger, frustration and violence from men, with glasses on their computers, hating the women they share the world with.
Incel means involuntary celibacy. Self-identifying men often gather on Internet forums to share their hatred of women, who, they believe, are deliberately denying them sex.
The language used is often very aggressive. Females are often referred to as ‘femoids’. They are not seen as people. In the best case they are seen as objects, or, in the worst case, sexual slavery and targets.
- Chad: attractive men
- Staceys: Attractive women
- Becky: A typically attractive woman
- Normal: Normal people
- To go to the ER: To do Elliot Rodger. Mass shooting
- The Black Pill: The moment an incel realizes he’s a human being
- Bone cutting: To injure yourself in the face, jaw, to make it grow
- Femoid: A derogatory term for women.
- Wristcels: Someone who thinks he’s an Incel because of his thin wrists.
Terrorist groups rarely target human beings. For example, ISIS is said to call Westerners prostitutes, imperialists and pigs – all to make it easier for their followers to physically harm and kill them.
Some incels advocate for state-run rape camps, as they believe that men have the right to have sex.
Others talk about joining ISIS with the possibility of getting sex slaves. Some admit to rape, or attempted rape.
Others, in management roles, talk about how they try to break women into their workplaces. They glorify mass shootings and often share their thoughts of violence: dreams of raping, beating and torturing women.
Inels killed about 50 people in different attacks in the United States and Canada between the years 2014 and 2021 alone. And there are many incels in our world – and the number is growing.
I think that incel numbers are increasing as western society moves away from traditional gender stereotypes and as women experience economic and sexual freedom.
These women no longer have to depend on their husbands to meet their needs, having a partner is now as necessary for a woman as it used to be.
My country Sweden is not only about ABBA, Kurt Wallander and IKEA. We are also the most populous country in terms of population, according to a comprehensive analysis of the user bases of international forums.
Around 5% of these users are from Sweden, a country of 10.4 million. Why that is, I can only imagine. But I would consider it a reaction to our early advances in feminism.
One survey – which followed 900 000 Swedish women – showed that the increase in financial income of the woman in the relationship, also increases the risk of being a victim of domestic violence.
This phenomenon is referred to as the rebound effect. One of the answers that scientists have come up with is that the balance of cultural power in the relationship has been thrown overboard.
The growing number of men in Sweden who identify as incels is what prompted me to write my novel, Femicide, which is set in Stockholm.
In my story, three women are found murdered, and at first it seems like an innocuous investigation. It looks like they are victims of domestic violence, until the situation begins to point to the trigger movement.
But, as the data shows, this horror community is growing everywhere, so it could easily be located in London or any city in the UK – or the world.
As a crime fiction writer, I – of course – want to entertain people with a gripping story. But I hope that Femicide can serve another purpose, too, by helping to raise awareness of the growing threat to women everywhere.
Now is not the time to be silent, this threat is real and affects us all.
Femicide by Pascal Engman will be published in the UK by Legend Press on 22 September.
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