Are Incels an extremist group? Some people would say yes, and others would say no, but why is? Some argue these men are Traumatised by a traditional society; others suggest they are an extremist group.
Incels are one of many; you may also know of the Men’s rights activists, Men Going Their Own Way, Fathers rights groups or even Pick-up Artists. These are all groups that spawn out of Toxic Masculinity. They fight for the rights of men and oppose Feminism.
Many of these Incels-like groups have been known to commit acts of terrorism. One of the most recent attacks to make the news was the Plymouth shooting on the 12th of August 2021. This story
riled up many communities, and further articles of the shooter identifying as an Incels led to many questions for if the shooter was a terrorist or just had mental issues.
Let’s consider how other terrorist groups groom people into their organisations. A grooming process occurs when a person develops a relationship of trust and emotional connection with another to
manipulate, exploit, and abuse them. Many of these people are unstable in one way or another; maybe they had a bad date/day or have other underlying mental conditions. Many of these groups can feel like supportive environments- they give advice or show them understanding. Once they
have the person, violent acts may follow.
So, for those who act on their newfound values in ways of violence or intimidation. Then, in theory, they are purposely causing terror within the community- terrorism.
Those who don’t act on their newfound values…by definition, are not terrorists. It’s more complicated than labeling people as being a terrorist or not. It is essential to consider why men turn to groups like these. what does this tell us about society and how we handle mental health for men.
Words by: Christine Kobrin