The world became aware of the term “incel” twenty years ago. A woman called Alana came up with it. Incel is an acronym for “involuntarily celibate”. The term was initially used to describe the community of people who couldn’t find themselves a partner.
Nowadays the phrase has an exceptionally negative connotation. Alana bitterly comments, “It feels like being the scientist who figured out nuclear fission and then discovers it’s being used as a weapon for war.”
Let’s use the great and powerful Urban Dictionary to find the current interpretations of the term:
“An incel is a person (usually male) who has a horrible personality and treats women like sexual objects and thinks his lack of sex life comes from being "ugly" when it’s really just his blatant sexism and terrible attitude. They believe that women owe them sex, and many of the more extreme incels like to spend time in incel communities on the Internet coming up with ways to make women have sex with them, taking rights away from women, raping them and other horrid, disgusting things.”
For the first time, the world realized that the incel phenomenon was a problem after all in 2014. Back then, Elliot Rodger stabbed 14 people and killed 6 at the University of California. He wrote a manifesto accusing women of refusing to sleep with him. This manifesto became a real postulate for men with similar issues. Incels even half-jokingly encourage each other to go E.R. which is a pun as E.R. is both Elliot Rodger’s initials and a contraction for Emergency Room.
On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz shot 17 people in one of the schools in Florida. Before the mass shooting he posted the following message on the Internet, “Elliot Rodger will not be forgotten”. In April of the same year, a 25-year-old Alek Minasian made a van attack when it ploughed into a crowd in the center of Toronto. Fourteen people were injured, and ten more were killed. Most of the victims were women. The investigation showed that it was not an ISIS trick at all. It was an incel ideology that pushed Alek towards committing a crime. A few minutes before the monstrous incident, the man posted a message to his timeline in which he praised Elliot and declared, “The Incel Rebellion has already begun!”
You might ask what does it all have to do with Joker the movie? Why may it be dangerous for emotionally unstable people who feel like they’re falling into the abyss? Joker makes you feel sympathy towards incels whom people usually fear because of the threat of terrorist attacks and killings. Joker is the first incel movie character who turns pain into aggression like an expert. In a thesaurus, the word “incel” will have a screenshot from the new movie instead of a definition because the main character doesn’t fit into “normal” society. He’s lonely, not much to look at and in general puts people on guard.
Like a true incel, Joker dreams of the girl next door who will never reciprocate. Basically like any other woman, though. That is why at not a young age at all, he still puts newspaper clippings with naked women into his little “joke book”. Since childhood Joker has been boiling in the cauldron of bullying and hatred. At first, he is rejected by his biological mother, then the betrayal of his foster mother awaits for him. The men, on the other hand, who are more brutal and stronger than him, beat him up and humiliate him.
Everything comes to an end, and so does suffering. When there’s no energy left for self-pity, explosive outbursts of anger automatically switch on. Laughter can help a lot. It neutralizes fear and kills the pain. Laughter is even better than sex.
If you still think that incels are ordinary nerds who are only good at talking shit about women on the Internet and in comments to their beautiful pics, you’re so wrong. Everything described above proves the contrary. Incels are well stuck in our newsfeeds.