Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Want to Attract Women? Try Not Hating Us

The recent attack in Toronto by a man who identifies as an “incel” has called attention to the disturbing and flourishing online incel community. “Incel” stands for “involuntarily celibate.”

These are straight men who, frustrated by their lack of romantic success, channel their feelings into hatred of women. Some even resort to violence. In Toronto, that meant striking dozens of people with a van, killing 10.

Others post online about how much they enjoy simply following women around in a threatening way, getting some kicks by scaring them.

I would hazard a guess that many of these guys have been sold an unattainable model of masculinity. Sociologists talk about masculinities, plural. There’s more than one way to identify as a man. Just like there’s more than one way to identify as a woman.

Some men might want to be physically strong, fearless, or popular with women. Perhaps they see themselves as the providers and protectors for their families.

Men in professional careers might derive their masculinity through their role as experts. Maybe they couldn’t go out in the woods for a week and come back with an elk they shot themselves, but they can dominate a courtroom as a lawyer, or perform surgery, or even demonstrate more knowledge of Star Trek trivia than anyone else around.

Others might take a more modern view. A man can wash the dishes. A man can share housework with his partner. He might even take paternity leave and take pride in his role as a new dad caring for his baby.

This guy doesn’t have to prove himself with muscles or rigid gender roles. He can share decision-making and power with his partner without feeling like he’s doing “women’s work.”

Feminists said in the 1970s that being a woman is what each woman wants to make of it. If you want shopping and fashion and babies, you go girl! If you want to run for president, you go do that.

More men need to embrace this message for themselves. They can be whoever they want and their “manhood” isn’t at stake. It’s cool.

You know what isn’t cool, though? Taking your insecurity about your masculinity out on women. It’s not our fault you subscribe to some ridiculous idea of masculinity that says you must achieve prowess in the bedroom — and worse, that it’s our job to help you attain it.

The view of women espoused by incels is, frankly, disgusting. It assumes we do everything with reference to men. We exist for men. When we get dressed in the morning, we’re trying to attract men. We want them to look at us. We consider ourselvessuccessful when alpha male types want to sleep with us.

I don’t know even a single woman that would describe herself in that way.

Women exist for ourselves. We dress in ways that make us feel good, to express ourselves. Sometimes we do things for an audience of other women. (I often get compliments on my purse from other women, never from men.)

We aren’t looking for some stereotypical alpha male to pick us up. We want to meet people who treat us like human beings and engage with us as equals.

The single biggest reason a woman might reject sexual advances from an incel isn’t because of the size of his body parts, his bank account, or anything else. It’s because he holds a view of women that’s hateful and disgusting.

Want to attract women? Try not hating us.

More articles by:
May 23, 2018
Nick Pemberton
Maduro’s Win: A Bright Spot in Dark Times
Ben Debney
A Faustian Bargain with the Climate Crisis
Deepak Tripathi
A Bloody Hot Summer in Gaza: Parallels With Sharpeville, Soweto and Jallianwala Bagh
Farhang Jahanpour
Pompeo’s Outrageous Speech on Iran
Josh White
Strange Recollections of Old Labour
CJ Hopkins
The Simulation of Democracy
stclair
In Our Age of State Crimes
Dave Lindorff
The Trump White House is a Chaotic Clown Car Filled with Bozos Who Think They’re Brilliant
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Domination of West Virginia
Ty Salandy
The British Royal Wedding, Empire and Colonialism
Laura Flanders
Life or Death to the FCC?
Gary Leupp
Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation?
Katalina Khoury
The Notion of Patriarchal White Supremacy Vs. Womanhood
Nicole Rosmarino
The Grassroots Environmental Activist of the Year: Christine Canaly
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
“Michael Inside:” The Prison System in Ireland 
May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail