How do we protect our sons from becoming incels?

  1. Don't forget to always show examples of respecting yourself. Man or woman, don't be a pushover or overly people pleaser, show that it is healthy to have boundaries and healthy to collaborate and compromise with your partner. Show respect for your body and others: don't body shame yourself or make fun of other people's bodies and definitely NEVER body shame your kid. Encourage bodily autonomy for your child and allow them to push their limits on the playground or climbing a tree so they gain confidence in themselves. Emphasize consent and ask before giving them a hug or kiss and make sure they ask their friends, and do not allow family to give physical affection without consent. Grandma's hurt feelings will not be as bad as your kids not knowing their boundaries and their consent respected

  2. Recognise that it's not about women or sex; it's about socialisation and respect. Everyone wants sex sometimes, the fact that "incels" want it too isn't pathological. The pathological thing is not having the social skills to deal comfortably with social interaction or the ability to find love, respect and social support from others.

  3. To add: teach people how to accept rejection in a healthy way. One aspect of inceldom that is insidiously toxic is their fundamental inability to accept rejection.

  4. do you really think that the reason for the ascendancy of incel culture is because of a generational dip in love and attention given by parents 40-15 years ago?

  5. I disagree. Radicalization is dangerous and shockingly effective on people you would never suspect. Don’t be overbearing, but monitor the online content your children consume to some degree.

  6. Are you saying that people should actually raise their children instead of just handing them an iPad? That's a pretty big request.

  7. Yeah, the answers on here are ridiculous. "Remember to take regular showers, y'all!" "Teach your son not to be an asshole, there you go, easy as pie".

  8. I’ve gotten some of the best life advice from this site. It’s not all bad. A lot of garbage insight but there’s good stuff to be found. Like Today You, Tomorrow Me.

  9. Yeah and I feel that movies, TV and music give boys the wrong idea about this. As though if you don’t have love in your life, your life is worth nothing at all. Also, many old romcoms push the idea that men should keep on trying and eventually they’ll turn no into yes, when really that’s generally quite bad advice

  10. As someone who was once a teenage guy - yeah you could say that, and I'd even agree with you at the time, but that sure as hell didn't make it feel any less lonely/miserable not being in a relationship.

  11. How many logical factually supported comments on social media arguments do you see shut down with the ...

  12. Yes! We talk a lot about how we shouldn't shame women for having sex. Nobody talks about the fact that we also shouldn't shame men for NOT having sex. Teaching boys that they are less-than if they dont have sex is the key point that will turn them into incels. You can only tell someone that they are worthless for so long before they become angry and radicalized.

  13. It's so coincidental I was thinking about it last night. Rewatched Hocus Pocus since I was a kid, and they give the main male character some guff for being a virgin. First time I saw it I was 10 and barely had an idea of what sex was when I first saw it and was its target audience

  14. Teach them that getting "rejected" by girl isn't a bad thing, and it's normal. You're not going to be every girl's type and that's fine. If you have to ask out 10 girls before 1 says "yes", that means 9 of them did you the favor of not wasting your time.

  15. I think the biggest things are healthy socialization and fostering self confidence from a young age. Kids need to learn how to behave around other people and need enough self confidence to not be absolutely shattered by one rejection.

  16. This is rough for those that have never gotten that one yes, even if it didn't work out. Going from 1 to 2 is acceptable and at least one person liked you so others probably do

  17. It takes a lot of emotional intelligence to come to understand that, and it's not necessarily something that can be taught. Maybe fostered by good friends and a supportive family.

  18. If you only bat 1% then you need to swing at 100 different pitches before you get a hit. Important to note that this doesn't mean harassing the same person repeatedly.

  19. Teach them that friendships and relationships of ALL types can be fleeting and aren't something you want to throw your full emotional attachment into until the relationship has a bit of time to develop and be understood.

  20. I was on the incel path. This does not help. Being told "You're not my type," the first time is fine. Being told every time sucks.

  21. The problem is for an unattractive guy you're probably looking at more like 1 in 100. It takes a superhuman amount of emotional strength not to take 100 straight rejections personally.

  22. But you're forgetting that girls don't want to be approached and bothered though, it's almost impossible to ask out girls now

  23. Awful take imho. If you ask out 9 girls and are rejected, people will see you as the guy who is always rejected, which lowers your social standing.

  24. The amount of teasing I received was mind numbing. My parents are great, but damn for a time I felt like I couldn’t be anywhere near a girl. I eventually got over it, but damn it sucked going through school and having absolutely no clue how to interact with any girl, let alone a girl I actually liked. I still struggle to get the courage to ask out a girl, but that’s a whole different issue.

  25. This was a big one for me. My parents actively tried to embarrass me and tease me every time they found out I had any sort of interaction with a girl. This taught me that I should hide any sort of female interaction from them, and made it seem to me like pursuing girls was just going to invite ridicule from them. I'm sure they thought they were just having some good-natured fun and enjoying the "cuteness" of their son growing up or some shit, but it fucked me up a lot for many years. Throw into the mix several big doses of Christian purity culture and guilt, and you won't be surprised I went to therapy for it.

  26. Yeah I swear people here have 0 idea about incels. I actually subscribed to the shortcel subreddit when it was around, it was actually dark comedy gold in a lot of ways, and at the same it was a collection of suicidal incredibly defeated men. Like people here comment on how a lot of incels isn't even that bad looking but have 'shit personality', but people don't seem to understand the dynamics of it at all.

  27. This should be the most upvoted comment. Everything else is bs, other people who are commenting think that incels are mysoginistic depressed weirdos.

  28. It’s not necessarily about “protecting” them from becoming incels, as it’s not an extraterrestrial force or disease.

  29. To add for those who don’t know: men tend to use more lethal means, especially firearms, so while there are more suicide attempt by women, men are more likely to complete it.

  30. I would also add that not only is it a sense of detachment but also lack of self esteem. Socialize your kids, build their core personality by doing things that make them happy and proud. It doesn't matter what it is. Try to help them foster good relationships. Limit internet and gaming, that's especially important imo.

  31. That's the starter pack for a neckbeard, not an incel. They're related but still not the same.

  32. I have a buddy who had to work with FBI for an investigation and the agent had told him that something like 90% of pedophiles hes caught have swords.

  33. As a reformed neckbeard I find this offensive. Incels are a toxic bunch of bastards by default, but neckbeards can be perfectly harmless, even if just looking at them gives you second hand embarrassment

  34. I won't name names but when I see and listen to some of the famous incels (not just the mass killer ones) they are average or above appearance, they are average or above intelligence, but their personality is dirt. Stuck in their heads. Creepy as all.

  35. Haha yeah there are these constant reddit posts where it's like "I'm horribly ugly and will die a virgin AMA" then they post a picture and it's just a totally average looking guy.

  36. Elliot Rogers was like that. Good looking kid, family was decently well off, but he was rotten to the core. Absolutely entitled,and bitter he didn't have even more.

  37. Every one I've known has completely unrealistic expectations, and a warped view of what the world owes them. Also, a strong victimhood complex.

  38. So true. I briefly lurked a reddit "ugly incel" type of sub before it got banned, and it was amazing how nearly all of them were completely normal-looking dudes yet utterly CONVINCED that their appearance was the problem. But then I'd click on profiles to see what their personalities were like, and most of them had majorly antisocial personalities, to put it mildly. But if you pointed that out, they'd just fixate back on their looks.

  39. I know two incels and I’m pretty sure they both have cluster B personality disorders and that has everything to do with why they are incels. They don’t have great relationships with anyone really, women are no exception. They are frustrated with feelings of being unwanted and undersexed. They do not see themselves as the problem and have turned into absolute misogynists.

  40. There's already some great comments here so I just wanted to add my own thoughts as a romantically challenged dude.

  41. I think many of the answers here are wrong. They seem to think that incels are how they are due to how they were raised or what they were taught. I see them as people who have constantly been rejected throughout life and have become bitter because of it. With that said, how do you prevent it? Make sure your children are socialized well. Encourage them to go play with other children. Teach them to share. Encourage them to talk to those of the opposite sex. If your child sits in their room all day and doesn’t have any human interaction, they have no idea of how to act around people. This makes them undesirable. Their own undesirableness can make them bitter and lead them down the incel road. I’ve never seen someone who was socialized well become an incel.

  42. Also, teach them resilience. It’s ok to fail or be rejected. It’s ok to be uncomfortable. Teach them how to navigate it.

  43. I..I'm not saying you're wrong, at all. Just gently pointing out the irony of saying it's not about how they were raised or what they were taught, and then going on to give examples about how to teach and raise them not to be undesirable

  44. Your answer is the probably the most head on response. I think as todays society we have more people isolated at home than we had in the past. A lot of younger people don’t have the avenues to bond socially like other generations in the past. Men especially bond well with other people in healthy ways by doing things. With what you said at the end I can attest to another analogy because someone who invests in social groups that may be weird as hell is less likely to become a radicalized dimwit than someone who spends their time locked up in their room.

  45. To throw in a contrast opinion, one of my close friends was an incel. He was very charismatic and talkative, but he always had trouble with women because he was misogynistic (especially because of the people he started to hang out with), didn't really care about other people, and was a terrible listener who only loved talking about himself. He would always tell me about "that bitch" that he went on a date with and was resentful when it got nowhere.

  46. Mostly agree but many people who have experienced a lot of hurt and rejection don't go on to become incels. The difference to me is that some people are taught how to deal with their feelings, take responsibility for their actions, and practice empathy versus harboring resentment and deciding that their only choice is to dehumanize and hurt other people based on how they were treated.

  47. While I agree that getting them out there to socialize is a huge thing, I think it's more about how they deal with feelings. A part of it is to be introspective and understand your insecurity and low self-esteem without putting it all on external factors, and I think that comes from parents that show and teach emotional security and stability. So they can relax about being themselves and accept their own insecurity, which usually develops into self-acceptance and then comes more self-esteem and confidence, and the insecurity stop gnawing on them in that scale as before. Which also makes them understand the world better. They still will maybe be sad, feel rejected and insecure but they also know it's ok, and have more empathy, which will then lead to more emotional development and not get stuck in a insecure and anxious loop.

  48. The term incel is a label used solely against men and was not the original intent of the author in a graduate research paper.

  49. Yes--they have to know that people are individual, unique human beings first and foremost and that includes women. The danger comes into play when people start lumping large groups together and attributing the same set of motivations to all of them, totally separated from reality.

  50. Incels or angry relationship craving types mainly exist because they see people who act really unpleasant and aggravating to you and others managing to have physical intimacy at a strangely early age. Trusting your kind social instincts becomes a hard task when you see people getting ahead who are largely everything you hate to see when you get up in the morning and to go school.

  51. easiest way to do that is to send them to a school. If you want your kids to be able to deal with society, let them fucking be PART OF SOCIETY by practicing with other children.

  52. I would add that we don’t help young men with confidence training , understanding women or social media education navigating in the modern world.

  53. I was never taught this, per se, but I always looked at it like "am i an asset or a liability?" Do i bring literally any value to friendships/ relationships/employers/society? Or am I only detracting in some way? Do I make people feel good in any way? Am I funny, generous, or even just baseline considerate? If you're in literally any part of the "asset" spectrum, you can have friends, lovers, etc. But if you are only mean, bland, smelly, rude, or some other thing that makes people go "ugh" when they see you, you're a liability to their life. Even if super mild, nobody wants to be with a net liability. You better have some "asset factor" to balance that shit out.

  54. I think there are LOTS of people for everyone. I'd say the singular soul mate thing is bullshit. No one is perfect but there are a lot of people that can compliment and enrich each other's lives.

  55. My hypothesis is that it started to gain popularity when large scale dating apps became popular. Just my 2 cents. Things like tinder, not ok Cupid or some old school dating app.

  56. I feel like not allowing them to cocoon themselves in their own room and walling themselves off from society is a good start. If you let/encourage them to be free to go out whenever and spend a lot of time outside with friends then they should be fine.

  57. Shit I spend all day in my room and am not an incel just teach them to respect everyone reguard less of color or sex and your good

  58. I’m just here to point out that being an introvert isn’t a pipeline to becoming an incel. You can be antisocial and not be a flaming asshole.

  59. Introvert here. You're spot on. Happily married too. In my spare time I'm usually doing something productive (reading, writing, playing an instrument, working out) and not sitting in front of a TV feeling sorry for myself. Introvert just means I prefer more downtime to myself then social interactions.

  60. You mean asocial. A-Social is when someone is just not very social, like A-Theist. Anti-Social is when someone goes contrary to whatever social norm, like killing cats for fun or vandalizing shit.

  61. I have an idea from my own experience. I’m not an incel but I haven’t dated in 2 years and like many post here point out: struggle with self worth and confidence. Im a perfectly normal guy but I just don’t want to deal with the inevitable rejection and embarrassment that comes from socializing let alone dating.

  62. I was never under the delusion that women are not people or that they were just sex objects. This is some kind of fallacy. Lets use an analogy, if you were picked last, to join a baseball team that means that nobody wanted you, and you are a burden to the team you end up on. In real life you get "benched" and don't even get to "play ball". So in the analogy, the last picked baseball player isn't under the delusion that the other team are inhuman objects, that is an irrational leap in logic. The problem is definitely that your son lacks the qualities that attract women in 80% of cases.

  63. Make sure you don't constantly shut him down when he's trying to express his feelings, problems, and issues. Listen to him, and don't dismiss him. Make sure he knows that he's being heard, and you are listening.

  64. So I think the word "incel" has lost much of the meaning that it may have once had by virtue of simple overuse - similarly to how "bigot", "misogynist", etc have. People like Elliot Rogers are the archetype of the incel and are what most people think of when the word is used, I believe, but I'm referring to people who are more in line with it's more "traditional" definition.

  65. People don’t like admitting that the ‘losers’ of society have reasons outside of their control that they were put there. And that human beings have fucked up genetic programming to subconsciously dehumanize the ‘losers’ and outcast them to protect their own tribe and their place in that tribe.

  66. I can offer some insight from my own journey in and out the incel space, with the caveat that, obviously, this is just my "own" perspective and may not be universal, and that it happened many years ago (back when there were still various incel subs on reddit). The incel "community" has changed drastically since then but I think what I have to say is still largely applicable.

  67. Plus sexism will always exist and it’s not always fuelled by the lack of sex. Many married men or men with girlfriends are sexist as well. You can give all these men women and sexism will still prevail.

  68. It's literally just empathy. Being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes, even if that person is a woman.

  69. I think this may be counterproductive, because it underestimates to what extent boys would answer "yes" to the questions in your second paragraph. E.g. I know that as a boy I was attracted to every woman (or at least every women who I could plausibly safely have sex with, i.e. excluding women with certain medical conditions). And I knew multiple girls who were are always moping about how they can't get a boyfriend and saying how men suck, all of whom I liked and would have happily dated.

  70. Of course, for this to work, it would also require the rest of us to empathize with incels too. It's an age old problem. People want to solve a problem, but they don't want it so badly that they are willing to actually view the problematic people as human beings. Drug users are the obvious example because that view is outdated, but we still treat incels and pedophiles this way too. Telling someone that they are either A) Not human or B) not worthy of love is a terrible way to convince them to behave well. Ironically, I think that societies lack of empathy towards these people reinforces their own lack of empathy towards others. That in turn makes them far more likely to be radicalized or to do horrible things and them blame other people for them.

  71. Yep. This goes beyond 'incels' - empathy is the key to breaking through all forms of tribalism in society. It enables you to socialize in groups outside of your normal circles and is the civil glue holding us all together.

  72. Thanks for saying this, I think it’s the right answer. A huge problem is that a lot of these guys do not think of women as people, much less people they can relate to. I partly blame media; so many movies and shows geared towards boys show them being pretty much awarded the girl of their choice when they do something cool or just simply grow up. And now that we have more female protagonists which should help boys see girls as people, it isn’t necessarily getting better because the female protagonists are written to be absolutely perfect and overpowered without struggles or insecurities boys (and girls frankly) can relate to. (I have a pet peeve about writers/studios being too scared to write flawed female protagonists, but I digress).

  73. I'm gonna be real, a lot of the answers here aren't very good. Teaching them to respect women and stuff won't stop anybody from becoming an incel because that has nothing to do with how incels are created.

  74. Thank you very much for this honest and correct answer. Tell boys that they're expendable useless monsters and bad just because they're male and straight and you're going to create incels.

  75. Dead on. Incels are created when their complaints are ignored and their observations about societal double-standards are denied.

  76. Therapist here who has worked with both incels and dads extensively. Once someone has been blackpilled, it's very hard to get them back. The difficulty is usually proportional to how long someone has been in the community. The hopelessness breeds hopelessness and the difficult of facing rejection only increases as someone puts it off. It's best to nip it in the bud early. Otherwise, you're looking at potentially years of intensive therapy work.

  77. Fantastic, brilliant comment. Finally someone who has diagnosed properly the root of the problem: the fact that these guys haven’t learned (sometimes through no fault of their own) to deal with the trauma and pain, and that this can be nipped in the bud early on.

  78. I had some “incel” tendencies but I’m not completely lost. I think my biggest thing was to stop looking at partners as emotional supports. I was always sort of looking for the idea of a relationship where I was free to talk about emotions and realized that women aren’t my therapists and most times the girls I dated were just about as damaged as I was and definitely weren’t in any way shape or form good to be talking to about that sort of thing anyways and it really ruined what could have been okay relationships.

  79. You should be able to share emotional stuff with your partner and vice versa. If you just heap stuff on your partner everyday, yeah, that gets old and is a burden. But just working through your feelings with another person occasionally? Totally healthy

  80. I wouldn't say that's an incel tendency, it's perfectly normal to want that and any good relationship will consist of both parties being open about their feelings and emotions. But if you're looking for a partner purely to save you from your problems, then I imagine it'd be pretty exhausting for them, especially if they're dealing with their own issues. It'd be more incel to internalise your emotions and not deal with or confront them. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence are foreign concepts to people like that.

  81. All these random ass answers just kinda shows no one here actually understands the viewpoint of these people lol.

  82. As a son from a single-mom household, NEVER emasculate your son. No matter what. My mom was a victim of domestic violence when married to my dad. She ultimately left but I was the only other one around. She would get threatened by what she perceived as negative male flaws and would tell me terrible things, the worst of which was 'You're just like your father.' and other mental abuse. She would lose her damn mind when big things would happen and I wouldn't do what she wanted, but what I wanted. This ended up ruining my high school graduation, engagement, baptism of our child, etc. among other life events.

  83. I feel like incels may have broader problems that become expressed in their attitudes with women. If they feel loved and support within their families and maintain good friendships with other dudes, chance of becoming an incel goes down dramatically. There's no such thing as an incel that's well adjusted in all other areas and just messed up when it comes to women. By the time you're giving them the "women are people too" speech it's too late.

  84. Referring to a consensual sexual relationship with a woman as “getting pussy” probably doesn’t help much in terms of steering someone away from the incel mindset.

  85. I believe my brother is moving in that direction. He acts very defensively, believes that everyone is against him, and talks to my mother in ways that I would never even have thought were conceivable for someone with even the most basic level of decency.

  86. Being the only male and the youngest should have nothing to do with how lenient you are to him. I fail to see the logic of this decision.

  87. Make society less toxic towards men and masculinity. Encourage them to embrace their masculinity but in healthy and productive ways. Encourage men at risk of becoming incels to take personal responsibility and actively improve themselves to make themselves more desirable instead of being a whiny loser.

  88. Society needs to stop bullying them for being virgins and they'll stop lashing out. I can't say I'm ever surprised when supervillains arise from bullying.

  89. Teach and model empathy morning, noon, and night. It’s a lot harder to denigrate or put down someone who’s shoes you are actively walking in.

  90. society could start off by not using the term...I see that as being no better than parents treating autistic like a prefix ie "my autistic son/daughter brings such joy to my life".

  91. Encourage them to socialize and speak respectfully to all children regardless of gender. If they do that they'll be fine.

  92. Normalize the body. Emphasize there are no alpha and beta people. Take them clothes shopping. Expose them to activities usually attributed to the opposite sex: cooking classes, cleaning rituals, spa and salon visits.

  93. Stop punching down on men and making them the bunt of every joke, punch down on everyone and allow jokes about everyone. It won't slove it but it will help. Oh, and for boomers to retire so young men can get a job

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