What is an incel? A former member of the internet subculture explains 2 years ago

What is an incel? A former member of the internet subculture explains

The community of 'involuntary celibates' is growing and might be responsible for spawning the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people

Alek Minassian has been charged with 10 counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder after a van was driven down a mile of pavement on a busy Toronto street.

Police inspect a van involved in a collision killing 10 people at Yonge Street and Finch Avenue in Toronto, Canada, that may have been carried out by an incel Police inspect a van involved in a collision killing 10 people at Yonge Street and Finch Avenue in Toronto, Canada (Credit: Cole Burston)

A now-deleted post was published on Minassian's Facebook page shortly before the attack took place on Monday.

It used language in praise of Elliot Rodger, a mass-shooter you could call the spiritual leader of the 'incel' subculture. It also said: "The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!"

Incel is an abbreviation for 'involuntarily celibate' but has become a catch-all term. It broadly refers to an internet community of men who blame women for not having sex and relationships with them.

"Chads and Stacys" are physically attractive, successful men and women.


Incels are critical of feminism and women in general but are distinct from 'volcels,' voluntary celibates, who actively choose to avoid sexually interacting with women, like Men Going Their Own Way.

An unidentified body at the scene after a van plowed into pedestrians on April 23, 2018 An unidentified body at the scene after a van plowed into pedestrians on April 23, 2018 (Credit: Cole Burston)

Toronto Police Services Detective Sargeant Graham Gibson told a news conference that those killed and injured were "predominantly" women but declined to discuss a possible motive.

Police Chief Mark Saunders said: "All the lanes are open with this investigation."

That being said, Facebook has confirmed the page and post belonged to suspect Alek Minassian.

JOE spoke to a former incel about the community, its attitude towards violence against women and his motivations for joining.

He asked to remain anonymous.


What is an incel?

Incels are mostly losers who don’t get laid — involuntarily celibate. Basically it’s a giant pity party that started on the 4chan board R9K. R9K is a board on 4chan where inceldom started.

They have their own terms and stuff like that. For example if you’re over 30 and still a virgin they call you a "Wizard."

How did you become involved with the incel community?

The closest I’ve been to an Incel community is “feels threads” on /fit/ [a 4chan board]. You just talk about your feelings and shit with your “/fit/ bros.” I’d occasionally go on R9K to make myself feel superior.

Why do people become part of this?

People join incel groups in order to vent online in a place where they can feel “safe” and “unjudged” by “normal fags”. A “normal fag” is a term basically for someone not well versed in weird internet sub cultures.

Is the opinion that it's ok to use violence against women normal in the incel community?

Incels never get women so they can’t really use violence against them unless they do what that Toronto loser or Elliot Roger did. From what I hear they talk about a “beta uprising a lot”… Kinda like when fascist retards talk about the “day of the rope.” Like they talk about some kind of day of reckoning for their beliefs.

Do the members come from a wide spectrum of society? Is the stereotype of lonely men living in their parent’s basement accurate?

They actually come from all sections of society… Some incels are really buff chads that got fit late in life and don't know how to socialise properly with the opposite sex. I’ve seen it in /fit/ threads a lot. Buff incels talking about their unsuccessfulness with women due to poor social skills.

How can we stop incel spree killings from happening?

Get these virgins fit and laid lol.

Why did you leave the incel community?

I wasn’t that heavily involved to be honest. I got fit and I got laid and then I realised I was gay. Roller coaster of a three months lol.