What is an incel? Definition explained

INCEL are members of an online subculture who define themselves as unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one.

According to studies, the size of the subculture ranges from thousands to hundreds of thousands of members.

What is an incel? Definition explained

Incels are defined as involuntary celibates of an online subculture who characterize themselves as unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one.

Characteristics of incel's are often resentment, misogyny, misanthropy, self-pity, self-loathing, racism, a sense of entitlement to sex and the endorsement of violence against sexually active people.

The Southern Poverty Law Center described the subculture as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem" that is included in their list of hate groups.

According to the outlet, incel's are mostly male and heterosexual, and claims to be predominantly white.

According to reports, since 2014 at least six mass murders, which resulted in 44 deaths, have been committed by men who have either self-identified as incels or who had mentioned the group in writings or internet postings.

Who started the incel subculture?

The first online community to use the term incel was reported in 1993, when a Canadian university student known only as Alana, created a website in order to discuss her sexual inactivity with other.

The website, Alana's Involuntary Celibacy Project, was used by people of all genders to share their thoughts and experiences.

In 1997, Alana started a mailing list on the topic for anybody of any gender who was lonely, had never had sex or who hadn't had a relationship in a long time.

In 2000, the student realized she was bisexual, becoming more comfortable with her sexual identity and gave up the site to a stranger.

Since the early 2000s, the subculture has expanded onto websites like love-shy.com, IncelSupport, as well as into online communities like Reddit, 4chan and Gab.

Which mass murders have been identified as incel?

In May 2014, Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 14 others before killing himself in Isla Vista, California, near the campus of the University of California.

Rodger stabbed three men to death in his apartment, then drove to a sorority house and shot three women outside, next he drove past a nearby deli and shot to death a male student inside.

He then began to drive through Isla Vista, shooting and wounding several pedestrians from his car and striking several others with his car.

He exchanged gunfire with police twice, and was injured in the hip.

After his car crashed into a parked vehicle, he was found dead inside with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Rodger self-identified as an incel and left behind a 137-page manifesto and YouTube videos in which he detailed his involuntary celibacy and discussed how he wanted revenge for being rejected by women.

In April 2018, Alek Minassain killed 10 people when he drove a rental van on to a crowded Toronto sidewalk.

He was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

Shortly before the attack, Minassain had allegedly posted on Facebook, "the Incel Rebellion has already begun" and applauded Rodger.

In November 2018, Scott Beierle killed two women and injured four women and a man before killing himself in a shooting at the Hot Yoga Tallahassee studio in Tallahassee, Florida.

According to authorities, Beierle had been a follower of incel ideology for a long time, and had a history of arrests for grabbing women's buttocks.

In 2014, he allegedly post several YouTube videos of himself supporting extreme hatred for women and expressing anger over not having a girlfriend.

He reportedly also mentioned Rodger in one video.

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