TFW No Incels

TFW No GF by Alex Lee Moyer is a very watchable documentary about “disaffected young men searching for meaning in the dark corners of the internet”. These “dark corners” are mostly popular Twitter accounts posting Wojak memes, but hey — you gotta titillate the normies with the blurb. The normies are fulfilling their part of the bargain, posting cringe reviews about “the rise of extreme violence” and “ramifications of terrible misogyny” that Moyer “fails to investigate”.

It’s inevitable, in part by Moyer’s own design, that TFW No GF will become forever known as “the incel documentary”. The only question is: does it document incels?

The movie follows five men, all sharing a similar story of growing up alienated in families that don’t support them and a society that shits on their aspirations. They go online, find solace and brotherhood in forums of sad personal stories and edgy memes, then master the sadposting and memetrolling art themselves. Having come out the other side with some pride and a bunch of followers and friends, they assure their 18-year-old past selves that life gets better if you meme instead of hanging yourself.

december wojak

What about the whole celibacy part? Aside from a few jokes about virginity, none of the subjects seem particularly preoccupied with seeking out girls, being rejected by girls, or thinking much about girls at all. Words like “Chad”, “Stacy”, “beta” don’t appear even once. Also: one of the guys is much taller than me, one is a much better dresser, one is in much better shape, one is funnier and more popular — yet even I manage to date somehow. The fifth guy, spoiler alert, has a girlfriend. The movie is about “that feeling”, not about “no GF”.

This is reminiscent of that other “incel movie”, The Joker. Arthur Fleck deals with mental health issues, family issues, money issues, political issues, and rage. Women and sex are not at the forefront of his mind. And of course, after finding an avenue for his creative expression, the Joker (in the extended universe) finds his self-esteem and gets to bang Harley Quinn. This is perfectly echoing the theme of TFW No GF, only with actual gun violence replacing our own universe’s gun violence memes.

guns-seized-red-flag-over-joke-meme
Charels, one of the stars of TFW No GF

The movie’s star, the esteemed Dr. Kantbot, agrees:

kantbot tweet

Now this is all fine and uplifting, except for the fact that involuntary celibate men very much exist. No one is making movies about them, but they show up in my comments every single time I write or tweet anything about dating. They fill the subreddits and MRA forums in their hundreds of thousands. They’re not all white, not all misogynists, and almost none of them are violent. But they can’t get laid, and they certainly don’t have any culture-shaking artistic talent (neither do I). That sort of talent is very rare, and it’s very attractive to romantic partners.

So what’s actually happening under the “incel” umbrella?

I know I’m going to get shit from both incels and incel-haters for attempting this psychography no matter how I write it. The epistemic status for everything below is if you think I’m full of shit you’re right, now fuck off and read another blog. But my theory of the red pill and blue-haired pill was quite well received, so fuck it, let’s do the black. (The pill colors mean different things in different contexts, so just follow along with what I’m gesturing at.)

An End to Suffering

Suffering comes from unfulfilled craving; if both the Buddha and Kaj Sotala agree then it must be so. I laid out the predictive processing gloss on suffering and the black pill on Ribbonfarm, so in brief:

Craving creates a loop. You first imagine a desired reality (money/sex/power), then suffer when that reality or any reasonable plan of attaining it fails to materialize. But mere disconfirmation doesn’t eliminate the craving, and it arises again and again to cause pain. To stop the craving from arising, one has three options: attain the goal, attain nirvana, or deeply internalize that your goal is utterly impossible. The first two are very hard.

The third is very hard to do by yourself, but it can be done with the help of others. If a community constantly reinforces a story about your craving being unattainable, eventually the craving may go away.

There are two such stories: the red and the black. The red lays the blame at the feet of female sexual strategies and the society which promotes and reinforces them. It vows, like Neo, to fight back. The black gives up the fight — the world is too cruel, and you’re too much of a fuckup to do anything about it.

loop wojak

I don’t know what pushes a man towards the red or the black, whether it’s mere circumstance or political leanings or psychological factors of neuroticism and disagreeableness. The merits of each worldview as an accurate model of the world are also not important since the goal of each is not to describe reality but to alleviate the immediate suffering. But the two pills have very different impacts on the men who take them.

Humans who feel pain and anger need those feelings acknowledged and validated; young men are no exception. But they are exceptional in that large swaths of society aren’t set up to provide that validation for them in particular. Male suffering is often met with scorn, male anger with fear. Both are met with discourses on “toxic masculinity” which are the exact opposite of respect and compassion. Men who aren’t lucky enough to have supportive families or close friends turn to the online pilled communities.

When you’re going through a time so rough you’re idly wondering whether you should kill yourself, and then you post your story to r9k and a commenter idly suggests that you should kill yourself — that’s validation. It means that at least one other person out there agrees that that suicidal desperation is a legitimate emotional reaction to your circumstance. You may despondent, but you’re not alone.

The red pill does a better job of validating anger than it does pain, but at the cost of feeding it. Since it places the onus on things a single angry man can’t change (female sexuality and modern society), it sustains a feeling of eternal frustration that drives the sort of mass movements that move nowhere in particular. It can end up making a man feel more powerless than if you told him you’re a powerless loser, lol.

Group Dynamics

But again, the story itself is less important than merely having a community you can feel a kinship with. No one thinks that spending their days in online spaces that are ~99% male is a good way to get laid. Getting laid is far secondary to the goal of being accepted as a human, equal and not inferior.

wojak group hug

Of course, groups of men have their own dynamics. If a group agrees on what is valuable and can tie value to people’s identity, it will develop a hierarchy and men will compete to climb it.

It is no coincidence that the red pill, with its focus on Greek-letter hierarchies, lives mostly in places like Reddit which prominently displays the karma of every user and post. Red pill conferences sell thousand dollar tickets for men to listen to more alpha men on big stages.

In contrast, the black pill with its message of “we are equally fucked” thrives on anonymous forums like 4chan. With no persistent identity, there can be no hierarchy. The best shitposters, however, having honed their skills and tested the boundaries of acceptability under the protection of anonymity tend to find their way to Twitter where they can accumulate followers and status.

Both communities are also hostile to female encroachment, and for the same reason. When women enter a space, at least some men will compete to please the women rather than to provide value to the community, which subverts it. This is why I think the bellyaching about incel misogyny is overblown. The overt misogyny is usually not an expression of genuine hate but a defense mechanism designed to keep the space free of (known) women. A safe space, if you will.

And finally, a community creates an identity of belonging to it. Here’s a shocker: being attached to an identity of involuntary celibacy is going to keep you from getting laid. As the meme goes: sex is nice, but have you ever felt part of a group of guys who understand your deepest pains and insecurities?

Back when I was young and foolish and thought that inceldom was actually about not knowing how to flirt with women I was constantly surprised at how far incels would go to self-sabotage in the dating arena. Now I’ve stopped trying to offer incels dating advice, thank God.

A Different Game

It’s too late for trigger warnings in this post but trigger warning, incels.

quarterback no joke

Haha, I was just kidding. Incels don’t get triggered, let alone by 4chan screencaps. It’s triggering to the guy who was the quarterback in the photo 20 years ago and now he’s divorced and on his way to Orlando for the red pill convention. The guy who’s chained to this image, forever nostalgic for a time when “women were women” — aka when they kissed him without asking uncomfortable questions about the actual value he brings to a long-term relationship.

But the black pill says: You were never going to be the quarterback. And inside the black pill is a white pill that says: It’s OK. Being the quarterback is not the only game in town.

Normality is a difficult game. If you don’t look normal, working out won’t always help. If you’re too autistic to make normal small talk and have normal political opinions, you won’t be able to fake it. Normal women will not date you because normal people are extremely good at identifying who’s normal and who isn’t. No normal person wants to be contaminated by your weirdness.

The message of TFW No GF, and of the black/white pill in general, is one of radical acceptance. Posting Pepe memes under anime avatars isn’t going to gain the respect of normal society or shake it up, but at least it gives you something to do and some friends to do it with. If you discover a talent for it you may gain some self-confidence and subculture notoriety. Eventually, a woman will make a movie about you and other women will want to date you. Women can be weirdos too, as many guys discover to their shock and delight.

But even if you don’t climb the incel hierarchy out of literal inceldom, radical acceptance will still save your soul. The craving to be rich/sexy/powerful is the craving to be someone you’re not, and accepting who you are will lift that craving and the suffering it causes. If the movie is about “TFW” and not “No GF”, the suffering is about the “involuntary” and not the “celibate”.

I would rephrase Kantbot thus: incels don’t exist, for insofar as they do it’s because they want to. If you no longer want to, you are free.

enlightened wojak

34 thoughts on “TFW No Incels

  1. I have posted in incel forums for years (not an incel though, just found that it was the only no-BS place to discuss lookism and the “looks theory of attraction”) and the part about craving being a loop, as well as the three solutions, is very accurate. Nice work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wait, why is “looks theory of attraction” in quotes? Is there more to it than the theory that good looking people are vastly more desirable as romantic partners and that what counts as good looking is to a large extent common across cultures and not entirely malleable through effort? Because those things are probably only controversial in communities that are dense on purpose on this subject.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s about it, yes.

        While it may seem like a no-brainer to you or I, it’s controversial in basically all circles:

        In the mainstream, it’s because dating is supposed to be a magical fairy tale and people are frustrated and don’t want to be told that they need to improve themselves.

        In PUA circles, it’s because men are sold on the idea that they can improve their game and suddenly land 8+/10 on the regular.

        While there is some mainstream idea of the fact that looks are a factor in attraction, the mainstream has yet to accept the gargantuan extent to which they are a factor, especially with the rise of online dating, and especially when competing for mainstream attractive women.

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  2. Really nice article, thanks for writing it.
    It helped me to understand incels better.

    But, one questions still bothers me, are incels more common than before the internet or is it just easier for them to gather and look more common than they really are?
    I tend to believe is the first one, because of falling marriage/sex rates reported, but I cannot find what was different before and got lost to make it harder for people to get sex or marriage.
    If humanity hasn’t changed genetically in 50 years, than the not-normal ones were getting sex and marriage before, and probably if the incels had been born before they would have been more like normies with a marriage and family.

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  3. Important and much needed post. Most reasonable people seem now fed up with the false perception of “young straight men” as misogynists universally obsessed with and entitled to sex/attention from specific women. Your reflections debunk this myth and identify the true problem – unmet universal human needs for being understood, respected and loved.

    It seems to me that the “radical acceptance of hopelessness” promoted in the “black pill” echo chambers doesn’t really work. Basic needs are deeply hardwired in the human reproductive strategy, and manifest with varying intensity. Some people can happily stay alone for months or have zero sex drive, some can partially cope through other hobbies, others cannot normally function without a fulfilling relationship. To some degree, romantic deprivation mirrors the seasonal depression spectrum: many people enjoy winters, many develop minor symptoms, some become completely dysfunctional without constant bright light. If you have a severe case of “romantic deprivation sensitivity” (anecdotally a large group of people of all genders and attractiveness levels), no amount of coping strategies will alleviate the pain. I don’t know much about Buddhism (though its secular forms seem increasingly popular here in the Bay Area), but even I heard about the number of sex scandals among the teachers, so nirvana probably doesn’t liberate from such basic instincts.

    Then there’s the question of compromising on one’s preferences. If there’s no relief beyond finding a relationship, you have to adapt to the circumstances, and this may involve abandoning the standards once considered as granted. I had few lengthy and surprisingly pleasant discussions with some men facing this dilemma. They were more physically attractive and interesting than the sneaky feminist allies who engaged in incel-shaming them on Twitter. The thing is, most guys don’t feel good with dating visibly less attractive women, being in open relationships, or making disproportionately large efforts (financial or not) to appeal to the women. They want what they consider a fair deal, enabling them to safely express their dedication without being exploited, yet they’re faced with a binary choice: either you accept what the modern dating scene can offer you (and suffer from feeling humiliated/coerced), or you end up alone and suffer from unmet basic needs. Since there’s no third way (finding a peace of mind in a secure, old-fashioned relationship), they’re doomed for the excruciating internal conflict.

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    1. Relatively good looking guys who care a ton about dating good looking women but can’t seem to get a “fair deal” are on the far side of the spectrum from the frogtwitter/4chan guys in the movie, to the point that it doesn’t really make sense to squeeze all of them under the “incel” moniker. This post is mostly about the middle of that spectrum and the Kantbot corner of it.

      For the guys in the movie (and those like them that I know) it’s actually a bigger challenge to find a woman whose intelligence and interests they respect. They don’t care so much about the status of being seen with a more or less attractive woman. Their dating lives may actually be easier even if they’re on average less attractive, because the competition for generically good-looking girls is fierce and tough for weirdos, while the competition for smart women who like anime is more balanced and “fair” (I should probably mention that my wife is really smart and loves anime).

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      1. Typical incels (the least attractive men, 20% of male population) have always been in a hopeless position, although their lives seemed more bearable a decade ago. They were then recognized as shy, nerdy kids and losers of the genetic lottery. Teachers and employers reminded the bullies of all genders not to bully these boys and men, because decent people don’t bully others for things beyond their control. These days, unattractive guys struggle even with finding reassurance and meaning in volunteering, art or intellectual work that benefits the society, because low-status straight men became widely considered as inherently oppressive, unwelcome, or even borderline subhuman.

        OK, so while things are worse for the bottom 20%, I would still put more emphasis on the broader spectrum, as 4chan incels and upper normies from few years ago are going down on the same ship. Why?

        DNA studies (https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/21/11/2047/1147770#20340635) estimate the historical female-to-male ratio of reproductive success to be at least 2:1. Since all the dehumanizing aspects of female sexual strategy now get a powerful boost from ideology and technology, this proportion may easily become worse. Other factors, like self-segregation effects you covered in the past also play a huge role, though they seem secondary to the runaway hypergamy in the age of social media. This is the issue of 50-80% men unwilling to abandon basic standards, and the reason why incel spaces now seem to have many objectively handsome guys, husbands and fathers.

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        1. I feel like the elephant in the room on these discussions is obesity. From the genes’ point of view, people really have just gotten less attractive over the course of the last 100 years. Matching doesn’t do much to alleviate the unpleasantness of this.

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          1. I’m not sure this could play a major role. Obesity rates for men and women in Western countries are comparable (see http://metrocosm.com/map-world-obesity/), so the related burden of attracting and keeping partners should be distributed equally. Female obesity seems more tolerated: in practice, men are not and will never be truly embraced within the body positivity movement. There are many male admirers of thicc girls but almost no female admirers of fat or skinnyfat guys. Overall, obesity rates didn’t change drastically in the last years when quite attractive guys suddenly became genetic dead ends.

            I think the reason is simple but politically incorrect, and therefore suppressed as less desirable than any vague explanations. Please note it’s intended to be descriptive, I don’t want to shame anyone or make moral judgments:

            Women are naturally twice as choosy as men.
            More sophisticated civilizations tried to balance it with monogamous norms and matchmaking based on factors other than instant attraction, like deep compatibility and spiritual motivations. Both men and women were assumed to be similarly entitled to love and starting a family with someone. Both men and women had to make careful choices and cooperate on keeping the love alive. Great initial choice + incentivized cooperation = higher success rate in good and bad times.
            Half a century ago, women were granted the unilateral and concealed control of birth (aka the pill).
            In the meantime, religiosity declined and got gradually replaced with the increasingly cult-like strands of feminism specialized in normalizing uncooperative female behavior. At the same time, male agency got limited: many millennials and zoomers believe now that complimenting or inviting a woman to grab a drink is a form of sexual harassment. This is increasingly true here in US and in other Western countries: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2017/11/17/over-friendly-or-sexual-harassment-it-depends-partly-on-whom-you-ask
            A decade ago, we got global social media that thrive on outrage and image crafting, form echo chambers, and multiply the attention gap between men and women. We also got dating apps, now the dominant and least risky way to get dates. They are optimized to profit from making people addicted, self-conscious, and unsuccessful in the long run. Most men send thousands of messages and get nowhere. Women are frustrated by getting dumped by the narrow pool of the most attractive, commitment-phobic men, and vent on the rest of guys.

            TL;DR Hypergamy + the pill + feminism + Tinder = it’s over. Not just for incels, but for the entire society.

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          2. This is going to sound kinda mean, but since you’re an anon then just take it as talking to a class of people and not you personally.

            but for the entire society.

            I was kinda confused about how this stance, that love is out of reach for everyone, fits into my model. If that’s the story you’re going for then you’re going to be contradicted and upset by anyone having romantic success and good relationships. You can double down, of course, and I’ve had commenters try to convince me that my own marriage is a sham, but that smells of desperation more than straight delusion. It’s a weird hill to die on. The nostalgia for “a time when men were men and women were women and love flowed freely” is also absurd. If you told people in the pre-pill days that your goal is to find someone to love forever and have sex with every day you’d get laughed at, unless you were 16 years old.

            I wonder if the purpose of believing in this belief is to prevent people from teaching you about good women and good relationships. If you convince yourself that my wife is going to drop me for a richer higher-status Rationalist blogger any day now, you don’t have to admit the possibility that you could also one day have a good relationship if you tried.

            This externalizing of the problem (blaming the world) is a lot less effective than internalizing it (blaming yourself), but it protects your ego. I guess the point of my article was that if you could let go of your ego, you’d immediately feel better whether you got laid or not.

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          3. Why are you assuming that women being twice as likely to reproduce means women are twice as choosy? About 1 in 200 people is descended from Genghis Khan, but this is not because Genghis Khan was exceptionally desirable and women were throwing themselves at him like a 12th century Mick Jagger. It is because he and his sons and grandsons raped a lot of women (for example when sacking towns and in their harems). In polygynous cultures, marriage decisions are often made by the father rather than the daughter. In the FLDS church, men sometimes have forty to sixty children; their child brides did not marry them out of a deep-seated desire to have a fifty-year-old husband. In fact, a man having an absurd number of children through coerced sex seems far more common than a man having an absurd number of children through purely consensual sex. (Which is as you’d expect if you’re poly; women given their free choice are about as uninterested in being Wife #4 as you would expect.)

            Liked by 1 person

          4. so the related burden of attracting and keeping partners should be distributed equally.

            Which is the rub. You see this as zero sum and it affects your entire analysis of the situation. Track the effects deeper.

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        2. I really don’t think this scientific data (most recent common ancestor date differences between mtDNA and Y chromosome) justifies any assumptions about relative male and female reproductive success. For a start, this 2003 study has been updated, and now the date ranges for “Adam” and “Eve” overlap. I prefer completed fertility ratios for men and women (not historical unfortunately). Over the last 50 years completed female fertility runs around 90%, while I recall completed male fertility in a Swedish military service army cohort ran about 80%. Male reproductive success looks a little more skewed than females but not much. If you agree with me that 90% of women reproduce, then an over 2 ratio would mean less than 45% of men are completing fertility. Also, remember that men can become fathers much later, so you can’t stop counting after 45 years. I’d like to see some data that backs up this assertion.

          On the other hand, 20% of men not reproducing is a big group for developing-identity purposes.

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      2. I would disagree the competition for smart women who like anime is all that easy. 😉 Though maybe you’re a decade younger than me and the culture really has changed that much. (I’ve seen evidence of that.)

        Keep in mind you have a good job and are probably significantly more masculine than the average American nerd given your stint in the army. (Yes, I know you weren’t in spec ops and read your funny bit about being a bad border guard, but there’s a baseline of physical fitness, etc. that helps.)

        Re obesity: both sexes are getting fatter, no question. This probably affects men’s happiness more than women’s as men are more tied to appearance. (It affects men’s health more than women’s, as has been extensively documented.)

        I’m not so sure it’s the contraceptive pill. After all, men have condoms. IMHO, as women’s status improves and jobs in general are more scarce (and the bottom tier are in service industries more suited to women for personality reasons–how many guys want to be nurse’s aides?), (a) the bottom 20-30% (?) of men no longer have anything to offer women financially and (b) given hypergamy (which redpill aside is basic biology and isn’t really more reprehensible than men’s obsession with physical beauty) there are a lot more women looking upward.

        You can argue that it’s not fair to keep women down to let a bunch of loser guys form families, and there would be strong arguments from the classical liberal, utilitarian, feminist, and socialist points of view for that. I’d say every social change has winners and losers, and even if you think it’s justified, don’t expect the losers to bear it well.

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        1. Some minor corrections:

          a. As of 2020, for most men having basic standards, there’s no easy competition for women at all.

          b. Unrestricted hypergamy doesn’t select for the good outcomes in advanced societies. Consider that Jeremy Meeks (or local thugs/drug addicts) and a shy, collaborative Asian epidemiologist are on the opposite sides on the sexual success spectrum.

          c. Of course there’s a bad side of male sexuality, but it doesn’t even out with unrestricted hypergamy, as demonstrated by the existing disproportions of attention and affection men and women enjoy.

          d. The contraceptive pill is widely regarded as a major game-changer in the gender relationships, drastically lowering the costs of hooking up with the most appealing men without considering their caring nature or provisioning qualities. Unlike condoms, it is a concealed form of contraception, therefore giving women the unilateral control over reproduction: they can strategically lie to men that they’re on the pill or not, whereas the use of condom is non-concealed. Unlike in the recently debunked misconception about the pill increasing attraction to less masculine (“beta”) men, the pill promotes dual mating tendencies: having fun with hot guys during the party years, then looking for a resourceful provider. I’m not saying that these things happen in each case in the most exaggerated forms and that the pill is evil (it might make more good than harm globally), it just changes the entire game.

          Interesting fact: women are less likely to use a condom with a more attractive male partner. In the following study, the more attractive a man was judged to be, the less likely women were to intend to use a condom during sex (r = -0.552, p = 0.007): https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0217152 – it matches other findings suggesting that risk information about a partner is ignored when he’s attractive.

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          1. I think the ever increasing abundance of single mothers just shows how faulty their hypergamous mating instincts really are. A lot of women are getting knocked up by the hot guys they meet at clubs/bars/parties and becoming single mothers. This leads to large amounts of irresponsible men passing down their genes instead of stable, committed men who weren’t manly enough for women to consider having children with, but were still useful as utilities for women to extract resources and security from. A generation or two down the line, and you end up with heaps of dysfunctional people on top of all the ones we already have. This is why I discourage men from supporting single mothers. It’s because: a.) Supporting an irresponsible mother and her child who is bearing the genes of two irresponsible adults is to perpetuate the dysgenic situation. b.) Supporting another man’s child is a slap in the face for a man. It’s basically saying you weren’t good enough to have your own children, but you are good enough to raise someone else’s.

            You could argue that the government creates this dysgenic scenario by subsidizing single mothers with tax money collected from everyone, including men deemed genetically unfit by women (which I think is total bullshit). But nevertheless, it shows that once a ruling class is corrupted, you count on the merits of female mating instincts being a total bluff and expect society to plunge head-first into a dysgenic catastrophe.

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  4. I’m curious why you’re so fascinated with this subject? I ask because I’m fascinated as well and I can’t really explain why.

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    1. Three reasons:

      1. I am good friends with many incel-adjacent guys, kinda-autistic kinda-misfit weirdos. For all my love of women and general optimism, I’m at least incel-adjacent-adjacent.
      2. Like all Rationalists, I’m interested in psychology and group dynamics. More than most Rationalists, I’m fascinated by sexual psychology and mating dynamics. So a community of self-identifying involuntary celibates is doubly curious.
      3. 99% of everything written about “incels” in mainstream sources is obviously and pathetically wrong. Not even a strawman version, but some utterly alien fantasy. This in itself is fascinating.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Political disagreements aside, your empathy for a bunch of people who don’t get a fair shake and who nobody cares about is quite affecting.

        I’m glad you wrote this, Jacob. Hopefully you don’t get too much s*** for it.

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  5. I’m glad someone is pointing out how cringey the reviews are!
    It’s like: you guys understand that you’re writing almost word for word what everyone watching this space thought you would write, right? It’s like all y’all are just reading off a script.

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    1. I originally was going to include some links, but then I realized that anything that comes up when you google “TFW No GF review” will be exactly the same and exactly what you’d expect.

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  6. Re: Jacob (https://putanumonit.com/2020/05/01/tfw-no-incels/#comment-51707)

    No worries, I don’t find it mean. But I also never claimed that love is out of reach for everyone. My claim is that various norms and social circumstances have various effects on the relationship satisfaction for people of different genders, ages, preferences and attractiveness levels. And the current situation seems to push people into the self-reinforcing spiral of frustration, exploitation and intersexual hostility.

    The nostalgia for “a time when men were men and women were women and love flowed freely” is also absurd. If you told people in the pre-pill days that your goal is to find someone to love forever and have sex with every day you’d get laughed at, unless you were 16 years old.

    This “good old days fallacy” is another point I’ve never made. I just suggested how the past order, while imperfect, solved many (not all) important problems we face right now. I also don’t call for making any steps back, I essentially point out that powerful inventions and memes may have undesirable side effects.

    I wonder if the purpose of believing in this belief is to prevent people from teaching you about good women and good relationships. If you convince yourself that my wife is going to drop me for a richer higher-status Rationalist blogger any day now, you don’t have to admit the possibility that you could also one day have a good relationship if you tried.

    I don’t have beliefs for “purpose”, but adopt beliefs it there’s strong evidence supporting them, including really unpleasant ones. My beliefs depend more on studies and analyses than personal experiences, as the latter form a limited and biased dataset. I know many good women, I’ve seen and been in good relationships as well, but I was born with enough undeserved advantages to land sufficiently high in the male hierarchy. I know rather little about your personal situation, but I wish nothing but the best for you and your wife.

    This externalizing of the problem (blaming the world) is a lot less effective than internalizing it (blaming yourself), but it protects your ego. I guess the point of my article was that if you could let go of your ego, you’d immediately feel better whether you got laid or not.

    Regardless of whether the growth mindset works or not, or whether I’m protective about my ego, specific things are either within or beyond our control. I wanted to emphasize that for many (if not most) straight men, their dating success is now subject mostly to the external locus of control. In addition, dating may get so humiliating that the conditional and fragile affection will no longer be worth the efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Should have responded to this instead of the one above. I really agree with you–things have just shifted so that a lot of guys aren’t getting laid, and they’re going to be angry because, well, they’re hungry and they’re not getting fed. (It’s a metaphor, but it’s another strong biological urge, so the principle is the same.)

      Like you, I’ve got a reasonably high income so I can have partners, but that’s due to (1) IQ and (2) parents having the money to pay for school a while back, neither of which I ‘deserved’ in any sense or did anything to earn. (Though, as a famed Hollywood auteur other than Woody Allen said in one of his roles, ‘Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.’)

      Thing that bothers me, there’s a way societies have dealt with surplus young men with no aims and no prospects in life. It’s called war.

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  7. Good, I’m glad incels are being dehumanized. There is literally nothing admirable about the super majority of the human species. Being categorized as non-human is a compliment.

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  8. I utterly despise the incel community, but not at all for the trite reasons the majority of the population despises them. IMO, the hatred and contempt for women by incels is wholly justified. My beef with them has to do with their value system, their victimhood complex, their contradictions, their narrow-mindedness (the list goes on).

    They hate women yet they indulge in fantasies of being with them. How does one square off misogyny with wanting to be in a relationship? If you despise women, wouldn’t it make sense to at least exorcise some restraint and try not to indulge in these fantasies? I get that we’re hardwired to want women, but doing “tfw no gf” ironybro posting on Twitter or /r9k/ everyday is beyond retarded. Like seriously, find something else to do with your time. Play video games. Fucking anything.

    They rightfully despise normies for their cruelty and utter indifference to the humiliation, debasement and misery they inflict upon incels, yet they elevate normiedom as the highest plateau of humanity. Eh… incels, can you explain yourselves here?

    Their narrow-mindedness is intolerable. Fulfilling the biological imperative of reproducing is the be-all and end-all of human existence for them. To an incel, deriving happiness and fulfillment from anything other than sticking your peepee in a vagina has no legitimacy. All the cultural heroes throughout history were apparently fools for preoccupying themselves with creating timeless art instead of simply frequenting the local brothel.

    Incels, through their veneration of normiedom, give credence to value system that completely degrades them. For an incel, as it is for normies, your only value comes from your appeal towards, and success with, women. This absurd and debasing value system needs to be discredited. For a man to derive his self-worth from his appeal to some vapid, hypergamous whore is peak lunacy (and yes, I’d say that women are primarily whores for as long as they’re shelling out sex in exchange for resources and security). Incels have every reason to discredit this value system yet they do precisely the opposite. They embrace it. What a missed opportunity we could have had here by creating something beautiful, inspiring, and possibly revolutionary. Instead, incels just internalized normie morality. This is why I reject Kantbot’s comparison of incel culture to the artistic heroes of the past. Sandman has described them as failed manginas. Maybe that’s why I cannot stand them. Incels are basically normies who couldn’t make the cut.

    Their victimhood complex is disappointing to say the least. These people have to be the most wretched beings to ever walk the Earth. They want nothing more than to wallow in self-pity, and seek to drag everyone down to the hole they’re in rather than actively improve their situation. I suspect they’re waiting for some white horse to ride in and magically make their problems go away – as if that were the case for all the normal guys they envy! Life is what you make of it. You get out of it exactly what you put into it. If you don’t do shit, nothing happens. Those are the rules. But good luck explaining that to an incel who prefers the feeling of self-pity over self-improvement.

    Their LDR (Lay Down & Rot) mentality, which ties in with their victimhood complex, is utterly revolting. They’re actually opposed coping. Coping is this apparently stupid idea where you take the cards you were dealt in life and just run with it. But no, if you’re not getting women, you’re supposed to feel horrible and that’s the end of it.

    Last but not least, the toxic incel community is responsible for God knows how many suicides among involuntarily celibate men who I identify with and want to help. So I believe I have very good reason to loathe the incel sub-culture. They’re irredeemable scum.

    Of all the red pill sub-cultures, incels are easily the most contemptible. The Alt-Right is more respectable with its rejection of slave morality, its promotion of white identity as a bulwark against the omnipresent anti-whiteness in the West, for its criticism of liberalism (which is as valuable as the libertarian critique of government and the communist critique of capitalism), and for addressing race realism and the mother of all taboos, the Jewish Question. But the Alt-Right is traditional and thus wants a continuation of the abominable state of the human species – a species whose evolutionary design is predicated upon a significant portion of its population (incels, homosexuals, trannies) getting thrown under the bus for the greater good. No thanks. And it wouldn’t make sense for me to make saving a gene pool that has determined me a genetic dead end the hill to die on. You’re entitled to my sacrifice out on a battlefield, but I’m not good enough to pass down my genes? LOL fuck off.

    The only red pill community I can see eye to eye with is MGTOW. They manage to speak the truth about women and gender dynamics without encouraging you to kill yourself. MGTOW also rightly discredits the normie value system with women being the sole arbiter of a man’s worth. They’re anti-traditional, unlike the other red pill sub-cultures, which makes them open to progressive ideas that could lead to improving the human condition.

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    1. First of all, most incels don’t really hate women and normies. The actual hate is an unjustified, strong negative response resulting in mistreatment or violence. Incels engage in offensive but non-violent venting, as agreeableness and introversion are one of the most common predictors of being involuntary celibate. Outliers that grab all the media attention like Elliot Rodger are, well, severely disturbed outliers that run against the dominant trend. Genuinely nasty, uninhibited criminals are sexually successful and popular, polite autistic nerds are in the lost position.

      How can incels (or anybody) dislike things and people they crave? It’s simple. People need to be loved and feel included in the society. Incels are disliked by women and normies because they’re not attractive enough, plus deal with lots of extra stigma due to the mainstream narrative. If you can’t meet your basic needs, you develop negative sentiment towards those who constantly reject and hurt you. You may peacefully despise the soulless corporation and write lengthy rants, but in the end you need a living wage.

      Yes, people who suffer should channel their misfortune into doing something original and productive, like science or art. Unfortunately, the pain of rejection and mistreatment can be too strong to think of anything else. Being hopelessly heartbroken and stigmatized prevent people from sleeping and eating, not to mention more complex activities.

      Indian and Asian men make up a large fraction (if not the majority) of incels, while Jews are heavily represented among the scientists who outline the cruel gender dynamics. While virtue signalling through the anti-white and anti-male sentiment got out of control in US, these contemporary forms of “socially acceptable” racism and sexism should be combated with reason and moderation, not the nonsensical, old-fashioned racism and anti-Semitism of alt-right.

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      1. I don’t think the alt-right’s anti-semitism has anything to do with Jews being overrepresented among evolutionary scientists. If anything the evolutionary scientists are sympathetic to these guys from what I’ve read.

        I’ve read a lot of this alt-right stuff. (I’m of partial Ashkenazi ancestry and have (moderate!) populist leanings, so the degree of antisemitism on the alt-right is obviously of interest to me–I can’t find a political club that will have me as a member! There are many worse problems, of course, but you may have a chuckle at this.)

        Alt-right antisemitism is one part reaction to Jewish overrepresentation on the left and in particular the elite left responsible for pushing the standard SJW narrative, one part ‘well, someone smart enough has to be pulling the strings behind this SJW stuff’, and two parts ‘well, every other racist has hated these guys so we have to also’. It’s more than a little surreal to log onto Unz and find articles ranting about perfidious Israeli attacks on America…from 1968. But, of course, the Israelis were behind 9/11, the coronavirus, and the Kennedy assassination, so what do you expect? (You can find articles arguing for all these things on Unz.)

        The incels are antisemitic (to the extent this is the case, of course, and many are not) because of interpenetration with the alt-right. They’re both young men hurt by modern leftism, so of course there’s a lot of common ground.

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        1. I agree with you and enjoy your comments. I wanted to say more or less the same – that there’s no point in being anti-Semitic, because Jews are heavily represented in many influential circles, both the good and the bad ones. There are malicious Jewish ideologues, there are great Jewish researchers that elucidate the true nature of inter-gender dynamics. As in any case, what matters is not the ethnic background but intentions and consequences of one’s actions.

          I think that alt-right circles are not friendly to the well-formulated case for low-status men (including but not limited to incels), because incels tend to be ethnically diverse and agree with many liberal talking points. Alt-right may seem temporarily attractive to them, because it lures with the promise of being dignified in one’s masculinity. But if fails for the same reasons Trump fails at being a masculine leader, ending up as a cringeworthy parody of the populist right-wing figure.

          I have recently learned that there are quite a few black and brown incels who feel so humiliated with the treatment they get from modern women that they form alliances with white supremacist circles, at least temporarily. As ridiculous as it sounds, it shows how the female supremacy disguised as “egalitarian feminism” leads to so much misery that non-white men associate with their official enemies in order to oppose it.

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  9. I’d like to add that the societal narrative on which women are looking for guys who have good character or otherwise deciding based on a virtuous assessment of the whole individual makes things much much worse.

    Truth is that all sexual preferences are arbitrary, unfair and pretty shallow. I mean what’s more unfair: finding out at 35 you no longer are as attractive to the opposite sex or never being attractive to the opposite sex because of your annoying nasal voice or low socioeconomic status? NEITHER gender chooses romantic partners based on moral worth.

    When we tell this narrative on which women are looking for a ‘good’ guy that implicitly turns romantic rejection into a judgment about your worth as a person. Cut that shit out.

    Tell young men with romantic difficulties the same thing we tell women with romantic difficulties. Yah, women are shallow pigs just like men and they pick guys on all sorts of shallow features that have nothing to do with your worse as a human being.

    Not only is this a message which consoles rather than radicalizes it also offers practical advantages. I’ve seen so many guys having dating problems being told by their female friends how they wish they could just meet a nice guy like them and insisting that they just need to show women what a nice thoughtful guy they are and it will all work out.

    Of course, that’s bullshit. If it wasn’t those female friends would be screwing them not giving dating advice. Exactly because they don’t find their friend sexually appealing they tell them what to do to become the kind of guy they’d like to see their friend or mom date (unthreatening, unsexual but caring and supportive). But this actually makes things worse because the advice to ‘be nice’ tends to encourage guys to be uninteresting fawners rather than being interesting and passionate about something. Worse, when the guy finally realizes that it’s a lie and that being a ‘nice guy’ isn’t what gets you dates the only people left offering an explanation are the ones going on about how women love jerks and talking about Stacies.

    More accurate, advice that didn’t try to pretend that women’s sexual preferences are about good character would both encourage guys to be interesting and passionate about something making them better romantic prospects and avoid sending the message that romantic failure is failure as a person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This, with the exception of the claim that both genders are similarly uncaring about the “moral” traits. Men are attracted to “nice” women, but women are not attracted to “nice” men.

      Researchers evaluated niceness (also called “responsiveness”), defined as “a characteristic that may signal to potential partners that one understands, values and supports important aspects of their self-concept and is willing to invest resources in the relationship.” It has been found that men who perceived potential female partners as responsive found them to be more feminine and more attractive. When men found women to be responsive, it increased their sexual arousal and desire for a relationship. There was no significant relationship between male responsiveness and women’s attraction to the men: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167214543879

      Men should be taught from the early age that the romantic success is largely beyond their control, as it depends on their facial bone structure, height, skin color, strong psyche and financial status (rather than “personality”, making smart choices or trying to improve social skills). They would adjust their expectations and priorities early, and wouldn’t let the others shamelessly monetize their pain (expensive gifts, PUA courses, exploitative forms of prostitution). They could develop better coping strategies and separate spaces, so women and the most attractive men wouldn’t feel bothered. The myth of accessible, mutual, lasting romantic love could be universally regarded as fiction, and the society would likely re-organize itself with the benefit to all sides.

      When you start to acknowledge the dark side of intersexual dynamics at 20, 30 or 40 (it often requires a painful divorce or rejection rather than just a bibliography), it shatters your entire value system with hundreds of false beliefs constituting your entire identity. You may suffer beyond comprehension. This is why so many knowledgeable guys struggle with idealistic “blue pill” cravings, seeking exceptions beyond 3 standard deviations, as they can’t imagine the possibility of shaping their new identity in such a cruel and rapidly changing world.

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      1. Exactly. By far the biggest thing I’m infuriated about is all the romanticized lies that Western Liberalism has spoonfed me all my life. I can live with the cold hard truth about reality. I can NOT live with lies though. Nothing is more insulting to downtrodden men bearing the brunt of hypergamy than for someone to tell them some dumb, gushy romanticized hogwash and false hopes. Telling the truth is the most pragmatic act.

        However, the pessimist in me does not expect this to change since the majority of the human species are irrational, stupid animals that prefer emotionally-reassuring lies over inconvenient truths. I’m done with Operation: Save Mankind. Our only recourse is to try to sidestep the insane and retarded society we dwell in and try to reach out to the disaffected and carve a path forward for them.

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      2. Psyche and financial status are improvable, though only on an individual level.

        I do think a movement similar to feminism that specifically looks out for the rights of men would be a good thing, but it’s too tricky with all the divisions (MRA/PUA/MGTOW/incel/tradcon) that hate each other. Of course, other movements have dealt with this same problem. I don’t know what the solution is, but someone wiser than me may. Perhaps they are even reading the post.

        “He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.”

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        1. Wow, I was lucky to discover this blog. People can still have meaningful, uncensored conversations about controversial issues!

          You should do everything to improve your resilience and financial situation at the individual level, but genes and circumstances severely limit the outcomes. Mental health treatment options and assertiveness or social skills training have limited impact showing in better studies, plus the field has a known anti-male bias. If you’re subject to constant bullying and isolation from the kindergarten (haha, a whiny nerdy loser nobody wants to play with!) to the workplace (yikes, an entitled mansplaining broflake!), you can’t really un-traumatize yourself.

          The capital gets centralized, the role of inheritance is increasing, it’s more difficult to maintain a high status thanks to the social media, the anti-male bias in the workplace, and the divorce laws if you ever plan to risk a marriage. Not only there are no equal opportunities, but if you’re a regular guy, they constantly get worse.

          I don’t know much about these divisions, but it seems that they agree when it comes to basic things – like opposing the absurd claims that we care too much about male suicide (or that it’s driven by toxic masculinity), that we should end the male privilege in dating, that “men have a higher death rate, women are most affected”, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t expect a solution. Remember that “men’s rights” were first mentioned in XIX century, the contemporary men’s rights movement started in 1970s, and we know how much they achieved by looking at the present state of things.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You can improve, though. There are philosophies like Stoicism dating back millennia that deal with adjusting to unpleasant circumstances and are well suited to male psychology. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has similar ideas and acknowledges its Stoic philosophical roots. There are other approaches, I am sure. I don’t have that much deep knowledge about Christianity but it teaches that all human beings have worth and worldly success is not the end-all and be-all. (I am sure the Jewish tradition has something to say as well!)

            BTW, a lot of your complaints in that third paragraph would be familiar to any socialist. Myself I’m about 40, have assets of slightly north of a million (started late, saved a lot), and am debating whether a family’s worth the risk. I did well through a combination of IQ, hard work, and parents being able to pay for some schooling, and given that only one of those is available to everyone I cannot view the current state of affairs with any degree of approval.

            For that matter I don’t actually think women are necessarily that advantaged in all circumstances, it’s just that there’s no movement to look out for low-status/unattractive men, unless they belong to a minority group, etc.. They have their movement! We need ours.

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