December 16, 2021
We loved her so much, Natalie Wynn is back! The youtuber and political commentator joins Jameela this week to go deep on incel culture. They cover the origins of the culture, why it is so toxic, the societal issues that encourage incel ideology, the body issues which plague its community, other internet communities with similar toxicity, the issues with how we teach sexuality as a society, the role parents play in raising children that are impervious to the twisted teachings of incel culture, and more.
You can find transcripts for this episode on the Earwolf website.
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89 — Natalie Wynn (ContraPoints) Returns
Jameela [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to another episode of I Weigh with Jameela Jamil. I hope you’re all right, and if you’re not, it’s completely understandable. As ever, the news is fucking horrifying. But I would say if you throw in what’s happening to women in the Supreme Court and the horrific, deadly natural disasters as a result of complete political failure, devastating and criminal failure when it comes to climate change. And you also look at these new looming COVID fucking restrictions as people are preparing to finally be able to spend Christmas with the people they love and seeing all these numbers going up and countries being restricted and everything feeling really scary again, like nothing has changed since year and a half ago. It’s just a lot. And I can understand if you know the end of this kind of two year fever dream, you feel like we haven’t really gotten very far. I would just like to offer you the perspective that I think we actually have in many ways. We might have had a lot of time and energy taken away from us, but a lot of us, I’d say damn near most of us have grown in ways that maybe we can’t see right now. If you’d asked any of us in 2019 if we would be able to withstand what has happened in the last two years, we probably would have said no because it was too much. But we’re still here, and even if we’re in pieces, pieces can be put back together again. We’re still here. We still somehow have the energy or hope or whatever the fuck it is to get out of bed and try. And that is remarkable. And while it is so frustrating that it often takes trauma to build the human spirit. Nobody can now take away the strength that we have. And the endurance that we have. It is just remarkable. And so I say this in a way that I don’t mean to sound at all condescending, but I’m very proud of you and this entire community, and I’m proud of myself and my friends for still being civilized and for still having even a modicum of faith. We carry on because there’s a part of us, even just subconsciously, that believes that things are going to get better and they are. It just maybe doesn’t feel that way this week right now because we’re exhausted, but just don’t feel bad. Don’t feel alone if you’re feeling demoralized. Things are moving in a better direction, ever so slowly, and we are moving forward as better and more powerful people than we have ever been. Anyway, moving on to today’s episode. Now, I know it probably feels a bit odd, that I’ve had a recurring guest within just a few weeks, but she’s so fucking excellent that I knew the second I finished recording my last episode with her a few weeks back that you would want more because it was so excellent and I was proven right because it was so good and I was proven right because you almost broke my Instagram with the amount of messages you sent me about how profound it was. Not because of me, because of my excellent guest, Natalie Wynn. She’s so interesting. And it’s it was a complex issue where we were having to do quite an intricate dance with one another as we talked about some hairy topics. And I think we had a really rare connection and she taught me a lot in that episode and made a lot of you really think. You sent me some really deep and introspective and personal messages afterwards. And so I was really thrilled and it made me feel really good about the decision to bring Natalie back immediately because I have like a billion things I want to discuss with her because I’m just so obsessed with her mind. This time, I wanted to talk to her about incels. I am fascinated by incels, not in a malicious judgey sort of way, but in a in a terrified way really. The word incel is short for involuntarily celibate, and it is a whole culture that exists in the world but is perpetuated and most heavily distributed online. And it is bleeding out into everyday life where we are seeing school shootings. We are seeing attacks on women every single fucking day and it’s becoming out of control. And if we continue to just ignore it or ridicule it, it’s only going to get worse. And so I wanted to bring Natalie back on to teach me about incel culture and teach all of us about incel culture because we have to understand what we’re dealing with here in order to be able to manage it and stop it and turn it around because this is dangerous and sad for everyone involved. And she really blew my fucking mind. She’s really, really researched heavily into the subject. And in this episode, we’re not just trying to scare the shit out of you. We’re trying to learn about what incel culture is, how it came to be and and why it exists and who is part of it and how it functions and how it gained strength. And also, more importantly, how we could move as a society in a way that could perhaps lure people away from incel culture. I try to maintain as much empathy as possible in this episode because I’m trying to become less of a judgmental prick because not getting anyone anywhere. And so if you feel like I’m a little bit soft in this episode, sorry if that disappoints you, but I would really like to live in a safer world, and perhaps part of that means understanding our enemy. And finding a way to meet them somewhere in the middle and finding a way to coerce them into being humane and safer for us all to be around. So I hope you enjoyed this episode. I couldn’t cut it down because she blew my fucking mind every minute. And I think you’ll want to send this to everyone you know, because it’s fascinating. It says so much about where we’re at as human beings, and I’m dying to hear your thoughts afterwards, as always. So for now, here is once again the absolutely excellent. Natalie Wynn. Natalie, welcome back to I Weigh. How are you?
Natalie [00:07:04] I’m good, thank you for having me back.
Jameela [00:07:06] I this is the fastest I’ve ever had anyone else back
Natalie [00:07:09] I’m very flattered.
Jameela [00:07:11] I enjoyed our chat so much last time. It was it not a contentious chat. There wasn’t like there was. There was space for it to be tense. And yet it wasn’t. I left our chat feeling like like I wanted to be friends.
Natalie [00:07:28] Yeah, that’s about as good as it can go, isn’t it? Because I mean, a little bit of tension it make you think, you know, keeps things exciting.
Jameela [00:07:35] Yeah. What is it like pressure builds the diamond or something like that? I don’t remember. I don’t think it builds the diamond. I’m sure it does a different adjective anyway.
Natalie [00:07:46] I don’t know how diamonds work. Yeah.
Jameela [00:07:49] How have you been?
Natalie [00:07:51] I’ve been fine. Slowly getting slowly getting better from from horrible at the beginning of this year? So.
Jameela [00:07:59] What do you mean?
Natalie [00:08:00] I’ve ascended to fine. Well, I just had a horrible year last year and like, you know, like covid stuff.
Jameela [00:08:07] Why did something happen? No, I’m kidding. I’m joking. It’s a worldwide disaster. Go on.
Natalie [00:08:14] No. Well, that’s one thing that’s nice about this year is you don’t have to explain why things are bad. You can just kind of like, you know, just you kinda just gesture and throw out the window and people get it.
Jameela [00:08:27] Yeah, but this year, things are starting to get better.
Natalie [00:08:31] I like to think so. I think I’m climbing out of it.
Jameela [00:08:34] Yeah, I’m glad to hear that because we need you. I have been watching your videos religiously and going back over them again since our last chat to see what I could bring you back to discuss with me because I love the way you put information across. And today I really wanted to talk to you about incels because I am fascinated by incel culture and I no longer think they are like a kind of like niche subset of our society. I think it they they are a symptom of the really giant cause that we have to understand. We can’t just reject and ridicule these human beings. I think it is, I think, to understand incel culture and more about patriarchy and toxic masculinity would only help not only them but us. It would keep everyone safer and make everyone happier. And so I come to you from a place of no intentional judgment of incels, but mostly just to learn because I really admire your work and investigation and also nuance when discussing the issue. What made you interested in incel culture?
Natalie [00:09:40] Well, at the time I’d kind of been interested in. I mean, I first started talking about this in 2016, 2017. And at the time, I mean, it was a whole different internet back then that there was a close called the manosphere, which was just this whole like interconnected web of communities that we’re sort of focused around so-called men’s issues. A lot of this kind of later became like the alt right and Trumpism. But at the time, I was really focused as a backlash to feminism,
Jameela [00:10:12] like the men’s men’s rights activism, right?
Natalie [00:10:14] Yeah. Men’s rights activism. There was a lot of different ways that it kind of explains itself, but it was really all the same thing. So, yeah, you have men’s rights activism. There was I mean, incels there was it’s called MGTOW is an acronym for men going their own way. And it was.
Jameela [00:10:33] Is that going their own way away from women or from other men who they feel like have been? I don’t know, like indoctrinated into the evils of feminism.
Natalie [00:10:41] It’s away from away from women. I mean, it’s basically it’s basically incels but just with a different framing device, which is we are choosing to be celibate as opposed to as opposed to like we don’t want to be celibate, but we’re stuck like this, which is incels.
Jameela [00:10:56] So incel is involuntarily celibate. And I guess what you’re describing is a volcel a voluntarily celibate person?
Natalie [00:11:04] Yeah, yeah. I think that the ideological differences between these groups are pretty trivial. It’s sort of more just like interpretive difference or a difference of experience. I feel like a lot of times people who like, I don’t know if you’re like a divorced, middle aged man, you’re not going to identify as an incel, probably because, you know, you have experienced relationships with women before, so that incel doesn’t really fit. So that but people who share a kind of worldview would say they would call themselves MGTOW or volcel like you said, Yeah.
Jameela [00:11:37] Fascinating. And so when it comes to incels, are you suggesting that they are all under a certain age?
Natalie [00:11:45] I would say that most of that community was like late teens early to mid 20s with some older people. I guess it, you know, it’s kind of a community based on the shared feelings of oppression and, you know, resentment and any time you have a community that’s founded on that, you get this escalating gatekeeping of like, Oh, if you don’t have it bad enough, you’re not allowed in here. And I think usually with incels, the rule was like, you have to you got you can’t ever have had a sexual relationship with a woman, ever. So I would say that it’s there is there be some people in there who are in their thirties or older. But for the most part it was we’re talking about young men.
Jameela [00:12:29] Right, OK. And so what is the cause? I mean, such a huge question, but what would be the most easily identifiable cause of an incel?
Natalie [00:12:40] Well, I guess we should. We should explain exactly what incel means because I think does it just mean any man who has had no success in dating or does it does it imply that you have to specifically buy into this ideology?
Jameela [00:12:55] Yeah so talk to me about the ideology
Natalie [00:12:57] because I think there’s nothing. I mean, we we we talk about in in a very harsh way because usually what we’re talking about is we’re talking about these, this ideological disposition and this community built around it. But I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with being an unsuccessful in dating right.
Jameela [00:13:15] That’s most of my life.
Natalie [00:13:17] Yeah. Well, it’s really what you do with that. That’s that that makes a difference. And so what causes incels well at first things that are very easy to relate to. I think frustrated desires life that is and that is disappointing and painful. A feeling that, you know, the experiences that were promised to you have not ever materialized and maybe never will. And then I would say that the toxic turn happens when they basically start assigning blame for this and they blame well they blame women or they blame feminism or they blame, you know, some some kind of aspect of modernity, like usually associated with progressive politics that they sort of attribute to their own disappointments.
Jameela [00:14:14] And I guess also societal beauty standards for men.
Natalie [00:14:17] Sure.
Jameela [00:14:17] There’s a lot. There’s a lot of talk about that. Yeah.
Natalie [00:14:22] Well, because I think, you know, and incels despite claiming to have given up all hopes by by the time they enter their forum, like obviously for a lot of them, the attempts to improve the situation are still fresh in the mind, which is why there’s all this talk about bone structure and plastic surgery and going to the gym and so on. Like, they’ve definitely considered how to improve their situation often through these like really like superficial things like direct address, like just physical appearance, which I guess kind of what they say is mostly about thats what they’ve decided it’s mostly about and but so, so yeah, they did. That is they certainly do blame beauty standards, although they don’t really play beauty standards, they blame, I guess they blame women women
Jameela [00:15:09] Women for their standards
Natalie [00:15:10] For having standards yeah.
Jameela [00:15:11] Yeah, because you see we aren’t expected to look any certain way, you know, we don’t have a beauty standard that we are expected to live up to.
Natalie [00:15:21] Men they’ll just date any woman. I’s crazy.
Jameela [00:15:22] Yeah, it was really rude of us to invent that. I can’t believe we invented that. We continue to just be the most toxic.
Natalie [00:15:28] Diabolical.
Jameela [00:15:29] Yeah. And would you would you say that and I don’t again mean this in a derogatory way. I’ve definitely used the term incel in a derogatory way. Sometimes to shut down a asshole on Twitter. And in the last year and a half, I’ve been trying to grow the fuck up and realize that actually what I’m dealing with is potentially someone who’s extremely unhappy and potentially quite unstable in their emotional kind of, I don’t know, approach to life. And so a it’s probably not safe to antagonize someone like that, but b, it’s not very helpful. And I would like I would like to be more helpful. I’ve definitely asked someone who said something, you know, fucking outra- the way that some men talk to women online is so hateful and violent and vitriolic that there’s a part of you that just wants to snap back. And I’ve sometimes remarked that I didn’t know that there was wifi in the incel basement. And that’s just not this is not getting us anywhere.
Natalie [00:16:31] Well, I don’t blame you for snapping back. I think anyone, everyone has been tempted to do that. Most people have done it at some point. I mean, especially when you’re in your position online where you have a lot of people commenting at you and a lot of it is really, really ugly and toxic and abusive, even like it’s it’s definitely tempting to to get them.
Jameela [00:16:52] Yeah, and to be reactionary,
Natalie [00:16:53] to be told totally to be reactive. But I think like, like for me, like a, you know, pragmatic perspective, does it help anything to shame people? No, it doesn’t. And then it maybe feels satisfying for a moment, but does it help? No.
Jameela [00:17:09] No. And also, you know, this is no longer just a case of men using their words to hurt us, like this is becoming increasingly violent. It’s an increasingly it’s I mean, it’s a culture that I’ve spent way too much time now on Reddit and 4chan, just kind of again, almost almost against my will, learning too much about the ideology of like some of the more extreme groups and some of the things that you know, we hear. And I just want to quickly offer a trigger warning for anyone who’s listening. There may be some mention of sexual assault because that exists within the ideology of some of the more extreme incel groups. But, you know, reading the things that they want to do to women, the things that they feel that they’re entitled to, like mandated was it having a mandated partner. You’re just entitled to a partner. You’re entitled to. I mean, was there something about sex slaves that there are some people who believe that men should be allowed to have sex slaves?
Natalie [00:18:00] They floated the idea of sexual Marxism like state assigned girlfriends or something.
Jameela [00:18:05] Unfucking believable. So reading all of this stuff and and then also reading that a lot of these school shootings, a lot of these murders are often committed now increasingly committed more and more by young men who have spent a lot of time in kind of incel chatrooms like subscribing to and being indoctrinated into this ideology. So this is becoming, like, really fucking scary and it’s being perpetuated and like heavily perpetuated online by other men, like they are dragging each other down further in these chat rooms with the comment sections they are, they are making each other. In particular, young men like lose hope that they will ever step out of the incel existence. It’s really it’s very it’s really wild to watch.
Natalie [00:19:01] Yes, I think I mean, I agree with you that it’s fake. That is becoming like, well, it’s become a frequent source of violence of murder. I think I guess the first thing I want to say is that like, I think that this, you know, young men have always kind of been I mean, this is the demographic from which soldiers have always been drawn. It’s it’s like it’s I mean, look at a history like I even the 911 like terror attacks like it was like this, a kind of incel like frustration was not completely absent from the motivation for that. I mean, there was a lot of trying to reduce it just to that, but I don’t think it’s new for.
Jameela [00:19:42] What do you mean? How does how does incel ism tied to like 911 or?
Natalie [00:19:47] Well, I think, like sexually frustrated young men has sort of done a disproportionate amount of the world’s terror attacks.
Jameela [00:19:54] Right yeah.
Natalie [00:19:56] I think it would be fair to say, and I think like the way that that the justification for this is articulated changes from context to context. But I mean, I think there’s like a real, almost universal problem here that every society has to have something to do with these people. Like what like, what do we do with them? Like what? I think, you know, it’s kind of dangerous almost to have, like a lot of, you know, young men with, I think testosterone is a hell of a drug and to, you know, you have to have something productive to do with this energy. This frustrated desire or else it can turn into this like ugly and violent thing. So I mean, religion traditionally is supposed to kind of deal with this is supposed to help people cope with, you know, craving desire.
Jameela [00:20:47] Well it depends. It depends on which, like, it depends on which subset of religion, because in some of the more extreme religions, you know, I can speak, I guess, you know, from experiencing Islam growing up and obviously not all Islam, a lot of Islam like Islam. As I say, the vast majority of Islam is deeply light loving and and healing and and not not meant to be antagonistic at all. But, you know, within like the more kind of extremist groups, some of these young men who are sent out to harm mass groups of people are told that in exchange for their sacrifice, quote unquote, they will be given, you know, 70 virgins.
Natalie [00:21:25] It’s very incel.
Jameela [00:21:27] It’s very incel. That’s that’s like huge incel energy it’s like oh I will be given 70 virgins also. Like what? Like, Oh, great, 70 people who don’t know how to have sex. I don’t know what they’re like. I don’t know what I’m. I was no good for a long time, but my point being that like, what is your life that it’s worth killing yourself and other people for this fantasy of all of this sex, this kind of limitless sex with limitless amounts of willing, untouched, pure women?
Natalie [00:21:57] I mean, well, if that’s the promise, at least that’s the kind of makes sense from like a, I don’t know, self-interested perspective or at least just a promise of pleasure. What’s even more wild is when it’s just purely negative. It’s like there’s nothing to be gained through this murder suicide. It’s just like vengeance, vengeance against society and some vague I mean, it’s almost like rage against the physical world itself. But yeah I think that it’s it’s very important to sort of keep an eye on men who are kind of young men who are feeling this way because it can turn dangerous so easily. And like you say, like real religion, it can make things better. It can make things worse. There is an incel murderer in Florida this year who killed a bunch of, I think, mostly Asian women. And his justification for this was rooted in, like fundamentalist Christianity as he sort of conceptualized the women as temptations. And so he blamed women for his desires for them. And then exacted vengeance through mass murder. So that’s kind of like the that’s their rationalization of this. But I think that. The danger is when you have the ideology that directs the blame at people who you can kind of who who you then begin to foster like vindictive feelings towards, I think that’s kind of what generates a violent attitude.
Jameela [00:23:32] So this started with a woman, correct? A woman coined the term bisexual woman coined the term.
Natalie [00:23:39] That’s right. Yeah, there was a term incel I mean, despite what a lot, what these men think, men are not the only people who have difficulty dating. I think it’s actually quite common for women to have difficulty dating. I haven’t really had much in the way of success myself. I think women, I think I can think of be almost, I think, basically zero cases of women who become murderers because of this, however. So that’s worth examining because it does seem to have. Is it because it’s not just about frustrated desire. Plenty of women desires are frustrated as well. It has to do with how masculinity conceptualizes itself as under threat and how masculinity can kind of restore itself through violence. At least that’s that’s something that I notice. It’s like, I don’t know. Like for a lot of incels, the pain of this, it’s it’s beyond just frustrated desire. It also has it has to do with more basic ego feelings. It’s like, what does their failure to date women say about them as men? It says that they’re not that they’re failures as men.
Jameela [00:24:53] Yeah I want to talk about some of the kind of like the the menu that exists within incel culture, like the different names they have for different people just to kind of break down the ideology kind of via the terminology. Can you talk me through some of the sort of nicknames within the language? So, for example, calling women femoids, which is extraordinarily dehumanizing. I think quite deliberately, maybe to make them feel less guilty about their kind of alienating of and dehumanizing of women.
Natalie [00:25:28] Well, femoid implies almost like assigning an alien existence to women as like something some. I mean, and it was kind of an ancient part of misogyny, right? The idea that like women are sort of mysterious other beings beyond the comprehension of men. And I think that that sort of function here is the right it does cause them to. They stop seeing the shared humanity that exists between men and women and women is something entirely other. So, yeah, I think you’re right that it’s absolutely serves a kind of distancing the use of weird jargon and inflates the ordinary word women. And the jargon is always evolving. I think for the last time I checked in, they had shortened it from femoid to foid, and I’m sure I’m sure that they’ve moved on to something else now.
Jameela [00:26:20] I mean, these are I mean, that’s one of the more humane, not humane maybe humane isn’t the right word but that’s one of the less the less violent words.
Natalie [00:26:28] It’s gets a lot uglier than that.
Jameela [00:26:28] Yeah, there’s a lot of bitch or cunts et cetera.
Natalie [00:26:31] Yes.
Jameela [00:26:31] I couldn’t believe what a roasty was. I learned that from your video. You said in the video, I’m sorry to inform you, but it refers to the incel belief that the human vulva became mutilated through repeated penetration by different men, not through penetration with the same man, just with different men. And thereby they come to resemble and I quote roast beef. Unbelievable.
Natalie [00:26:59] Well there’s a lot of like questionable female anatomy going on in these circles, but yeah one of them. I mean this this is it’s not just an incel thing, I think. I mean it. I feel like most people probably knew a guy in high school who thought that women’s, would get somehow stretched out or loose physically through through having sex with a lot of men. I mean, it’s it’s it’s that sort of attempt to anatomically justify feelings of repulsion and resentment.
Jameela [00:27:31] And rejection. Ultimately.
Natalie [00:27:33] And rejection. Yeah.
Jameela [00:27:33] OK, so talk to me about what the becky is.
Natalie [00:27:36] So they classify they classify both men and women into kind of different like it’s almost like archetypes of attractiveness with women you have like Stacey’s and Becky’s, for example, Stacey’s being an archetypal archetypely like the kind of most attractive woman who had the all men want and who are, you know, universally desired. A Becky as a kind of more ordinary, middling woman,
Jameela [00:28:09] A Stacey is quite striking and quite voluptuous in the kind of breast and buttock region, but generally quite slender. And then a Becky doesn’t necessarily have to have those same physical attributes.
Natalie [00:28:20] Yeah. Well, I think Becky is understood to be more plain and this is this is important to them because the I guess the incels seem to believe that justice so sexual justice would be that everyone, everyone sleeps with people who are the same level of attractiveness as they are. And so.
Jameela [00:28:43] Right but I want to talk to you about this. I want to talk to you about this because I was thinking about that after I saw that in your video and I was like, That seems like a fine ideology. I mean, according to what fucking beauty standard, though, did we even get to estimate like what is equal to what? What is attractive, what isn’t attractive? But I find from what I’ve been looking at online is that it’s a very specific type of woman who generally these young people want and it’s a it’s a type of woman that often doesn’t exist, that is made created by, you know, Photoshop and filters online like the beauty standards. I think I think it would be hugely disingenuous for them to say that like, Oh no, I’m not looking for a particular type of unachievable beauty standard. And like, there is a desire for a very like they are from what I can see more so out there looking specifically for to quote them the Stacey, do you know what I mean? They want an Emrata. So they’re saying, Oh, I would like to be with someone who is like, I said, How could this are so subjective? But someone who is as attractive as I am, but they are looking for truly like the most deemed societally kind of quote-unquote Perfect Woman to be on their arm. And so because they are only trying to date those women who just don’t exist in enough numbers to be able to date all of the men. And it’s fucking ridiculous and reductive and awful. So I feel like some of the rejection also comes from the fact that they are seeking out this sort of almost like digitally altered, digitally produced version of a woman. And that contributes further to perhaps a lack of success because those are those women are few and far between. If if they exist at all, naturally.
Natalie [00:30:24] Yeah, so it’s definitely worth keeping in mind that incels are, by definition, men who have never had sex with a woman. So all of their ideas about women and about sex are pretty heavily based in speculation and fantasy
Jameela [00:30:36] and porn, I imagine. Like, porn must be playing a part in this culture.
Natalie [00:30:42] Yeah absolutely. So I do think that, you know, a lot of things they say really have no correspondence to anyone’s actual experience with the world or with normal human beings. It is. It is kind of this construct of like pornography and internet memes that has. But I think um, and I actually I don’t know that it’s true that incels only want to be with Staceys. I think what they think they want. They think that they want women who are equally attractive as them to be into them. And they seem to think that the the terrible injustice is that women only want to be with Chads. So I think I think I think maybe what they’re doing. I mean, maybe they’re projecting their own selective ness onto women. And because the complaint is that women only want to date the most attractive men. And so they have no chance because women will only date men more attractive than they are.
Jameela [00:31:31] Lol.
Natalie [00:31:32] So, yeah, so
Jameela [00:31:36] Talk to me about what a Chad, what a Chad is.
Natalie [00:31:38] So like like they have like they classify women as just Beckys and Staceys, they’ll classify men into different categories. A chad is their sort of archetype of the like, very attractive, masculine man who all women want to be with and who. And so is our sort of. They fundamentally understand themselves in this like this is belonging to an inferior cast. So they they kind of it’s like they there’s an intense level of envy towards the Chads right towards like or attractive men, but a lot of times incels will even, you know, it’s not that you have to be a child to to have to date women. It’s that. I guess there’s like an it’s you have to have a Chad, you have to be a Chad to have, as you know, a relationship that benefits you because they think that then again very sinister motives are assumed part of women. They think that if you’re not a child, if you’re a beta and women date you, the women must be only doing it for money. So they believe that marriage is like some kind of matriarchal sham designed to, you know, turn beta beta males into cash cows, basically.
Jameela [00:32:49] Famously, women are so happy in marriages.
Natalie [00:32:51] Yeah, so. You know, the female institution of marriage designed by women.
Jameela [00:32:55] Yes, absolutely. I heard you talking about the fact that there’s like a belief system that I think it was you who said this that a Stacey, she’ll go out with a baiter, take all of his money because she’s only with him for the money and then leave him for a Chad with all of his money. Is that correct? That’s like one of the the kind of the fear mongering beliefs.
Natalie [00:33:19] I think they think that any woman will do that. She doesn’t have to be a Stacey’s level. I think I think they think that. Yeah, absolutely. One of the fear mongering beliefs is that like the average normal man will basically like throw himself on the swords, like working for a woman who will eventually leave him. Yeah, because because the whole thing is, it is kind of rooted in this like insecurity that gets projected. So they don’t think there’s just this assumption that no woman would stay with them almost. It’s although I guess if they think they’re incel’s, they don’t think women’ll be with them in the first place. But even the men who are slightly above them, they think, well, the only reason any woman would want them is for is for the cash.
Jameela [00:34:12] Talk to me about the appearance of a Chad, what creates the Chad? There’s a lot of it that’s in bone structure, correct?
Natalie [00:34:17] Yeah, they’re very fixated on bone structure. I say that it’s like a strong jawline, heavy brow ridge kind of tall height. Oh my God, the height is a big thing for them. So preferably six feet tall or more. Masculine sort of build, I guess, is I mean, there is a I haven’t if I haven’t looked at these communities in a while, to be honest, but like last I was checking and there was, I mean, there was kind of a body dysmorphia that was the product of this that was leading to some plastic surgeries. Of what essentially must like facial masculine ization. So chin implants, things like that, things that end up making a face more masculine because again, not and the structure of it incel’s justification for this is like, it’s not like, Oh, this makes me feel more comfortable, or makes me feel more attractive. It’s no. This is like what’s scientifically calculated to attract women. Like that’s the kind of way that they think about plastic surgery.
Jameela [00:35:24] Yeah. Talk to me about the skull, the like, the sort of I’m just I’m so fascinated about how the human skull plays into this and how that kind of is consistent with other forms of discrimination that we have around people.
Natalie [00:35:38] Well, I think that I mean, I mean, there’s kind of an ugly history of like skull measuring and science. I mean, like racist science. The 19th century was heavily based around skull analysis. So I think that
Jameela [00:35:55] What was the belief back then about skulls?
Natalie [00:35:57] Well, in the 19th, I mean, 19th century, you know, race, I guess really racist science. Like they they they sort of thought that you could classify human racial skull types that showed some kind of like progression to more so civilized skulls of the European type, which also was often the kind of based on a Greek sculpture rather than actual human anatomy. And so I guess there is a kind of echo of that, and what incels are saying.
Jameela [00:36:27] So talk to me about how the skull is given a kind of importance within incel standards.
Natalie [00:36:36] Well, I think. It’s a kind of botched analysis of beauty standards, because I think like what you which was saying about, you know, there’s a feminist tradition of critiquing, you know, beauty standards for women that are sort of promoted in advertising and using Photoshop and so on. I think that you can probably apply something like that to beauty standards that exist for men. And I think I think especially in the last decade like Hollywood has kind of moved towards this ideal male body that’s very unattainable. So you could talk about that’s not really what they talk about, though.
Jameela [00:37:18] Do we blame the Hemsworth’s? I blame the Hemsworth’s.
Natalie [00:37:22] Yeah, I think I think that was probably a devastating blow to a lot of men. Yeah.
Jameela [00:37:25] Yeah. Fuckin Hemsworth. Sorry, go on.
Natalie [00:37:29] But yeah, I guess. I guess they tend to. I think I think part of the appeal of talking about obsessing about the skull is there’s something kind of unchangeable bone, right? So I mean, it’s the same it’s the same reason that like race science gravitated towards this is that you’re looking for something sort of essential that explains your position in a hierarchy so
Jameela [00:37:54] It can’t be subjective. It’s just sort of like physical and factual and scientific.
Natalie [00:37:57] And it can’t be changed. So you know you can’t do anything about your skull. I guess some of them do attempt this plastic surgery stuff, but most people can’t do anything about your skull. So you just have to accept that you’re just genetically incapable of being loved by a woman. And that’s kind of the conclusion that that’s they call the black pill. That’s their like doomer conclusion where they decide that because of their, you know, genetic features, height, skull shape, whatever that, that’s why they’ll just never succeed.
Jameela [00:38:31] I want to talk about the black pill in a second, but I also just kind of want to run through just for the audience. And if you can jump in, if you think I’ve missed anything, but I mean how far this language goes. There are height cells due to their inferior stature mental-cels due to mental illness or autism, drug-cels due to drug addiction, wrist-cels where they feel as though they are doomed by their overly delicate wrists, which I found to be more extraordinary in how much these people are torturing themselves.
Natalie [00:39:03] It gets pretty funny. I mean, I mean, it’s it’s terrible for them. But yeah, if I find the concept of a wrist-cel to be hilarious, but then there’s, you know, they’re torturing themselves. Absolutely.
Jameela [00:39:14] I mean, they they they they worry that something like the average dildo has got more girth than their rest and therefore that will contribute we’re not laughing. We’re we’re just exploring. But it’s just like that is so, so extreme. And by the way, women are having earlobe-plasty. You know, let’s all just calm down about thinking that men are being ridiculous because all men have ridiculous standards. Now some men do, because we’re getting our armpits lifted. You know, I someone was I was joking about my sort of armpit vagina with someone and they were like, Oh, you know, you can get something done for that. And I was like, Fuck off, I don’t want anything done for it. Just commenting that looked a little bit like a vagina. It was only a matter of time before it bled out onto men as well. Not to say incels are only men, but this is a predominant
Natalie [00:40:03] There is an increasingly universal about this kind of thinking, this kind of self torture. I think it’s like, I don’t know human. Like we’re not really humans are we’re not really supposed to be photographed 600 times a month like this, this kind of thing is new, and I don’t I don’t think it’s going well. Like, I think that constantly having to like, take pictures
Jameela [00:40:22] Document yourself,
Natalie [00:40:24] Document yourself, constantly see images of yourself. This can’t be good. I think that this kind of this element of the incel like sort of obsessing over your own appearance and like your deficiencies like this is nothing at all unique to incels. I mean, I would say that if anything, it’s probably more common among women than men. I think that what is kind of like fascinating about incels is like the solipsism of their particular concerns and the way that they, in a lot of ways don’t actually correspond to even any social beauty standards like the wrist-cel thing like
Jameela [00:40:56] Never noticed a man’s wrist ever in my life
Natalie [00:40:58] Are there prevalent beauty standards around the size, the gerth of a man’s wrists. I don’t really think that it’s something that the culture emphasizes. So this is like they’re they’re on their own like headtrip about wrist size that.
Jameela [00:41:10] 100 100 percent. And it’s really it’s really just what it says is that they’re not only not having sex with women, but it feels like they don’t know any women like it feels like they’re not talking to women because these are not the things. It’s not to say that women can’t be esthetically focused in what they’re looking for in a partner for either sex or relationship. But fuckin ell, no woman I know is really that concerned. Like, there are other emotional needs that we wish to be met by a partner or, you know, humor or ambition or. It’s very nuanced and colorful, and there’s like a whole spectrum of different things that women are looking for in men, not a fucking bone structure, not like not a height. I mean, obviously, height is a huge issue that we need to stop fucking dogging men over but.
Natalie [00:41:57] Yeah, sometimes sometimes there’s like a grain of truth to what they’re talking about. Like, I think the height thing I do think, like
Jameela [00:42:04] As soon as I said it, I caught myself and I was like, I’ve seen so many things being like six foot or over on Tinder, which makes me feel really sad.
Natalie [00:42:11] Yeah, there’s like, I mean, women worry about it too like that straight women don’t want to date a man who’s shorter than them, and I don’t know people it’s a thing people worry about, I think. But yeah, I think that, you know, if you do, if you if you spend time living, you’ll notice there’s a lot of men who are having very successful relationships with women and a lot of these men are not very beautiful. So I do think that I think that physical appearance actually matters less for men than it does for women in this area. And I think that but you know, if you bring this up with incel they immediately change the subject and say, well, those men are rich or those men are, you know, the are celebrities or those men are they have some other thing that is the reason. Even though the entire thing that they were just saying was, Oh God, how the only thing that matters is physical appearance. And I think that that’s.
Jameela [00:43:06] Well, they’re looking at that man as as a normie who’s a mug who’s been taken for a ride by a Becky or a Stacey. I can’t believe I’m sort to use these terms as like I understand them. I speak the language now. I was really amazed to learn about the the rather astonishing different names for incels because I mean, these kind of Chad Becky Stacey. These are quite white names. These are Caucasian names, and this feels like they’re referring to Caucasian people. I also feel like whenever I’m thinking of an incel in my head, it is often a young white straight man. But there are incels from different countries. Of course. Of course there are. And so they even have really unbelievably derogatory or reductive and embarrassing names for those people. I’m going to repeat them with much embarrassment. And Natalie shall be listening with much embarrassment. But a black-cel, a rice-cel to refer to Asians, curry-cel to refer to South Asians. And then they have the chads of those demographics would be Tyrone, Chang’s or Chad Preetz. I mean, for fucks, for fuck’s sake, it’s so detailed.
Natalie [00:44:25] Like, again, they’ve they’ve come on like they hit upon something where there’s there could be a real basis for some kind of critique here. Like, obviously, people dating is going to intersect with the race in a way that is going to refer to social prejudice. But what incels tend to do is they sort of reproduce that they just sort of reproduce that prejudice in their own vocabulary rather than like really challenging it. I mean, of course, the whole point of incels is not to challenge it. It’s not really to challenge anything it’s to spiral into it into a funnel of doom and despair.
Jameela [00:45:00] So speaking of which? Right? Talk to me about what the red pill is. What’s the red pill?
Natalie [00:45:05] Well, the red pill is a kind of more broad, like the internet and manosphere kind of term that. I mean, obviously it comes from The Matrix, which is a matrix, is like a more shocking thought that anyone can read anything into, apparently. But I think that basically it means embracing like politically incorrect ideas about dating. So the idea that you know the way to get with women is to ignore feminism and to, you know, learn pickup artist techniques, for example. I would say that’s like being red pilled or this idea that, well, we’re women just want to take your money, so you have to take that into consideration. That’s being red pilled. This is sort of just dismissal of of what, if anything, considered politically correct ideas. I want to cut when it comes to dating the idea that what really matters is your personality. That’s a blue pilled idea where the red pilled idea is what really matters is your skull. So I would say that that’s kind of where it starts, but you can be sort of red pilled and not an incel. You can be, for example. I feel like I haven’t heard of a pick up artist in a while, but it was a big thing.
Jameela [00:46:11] I’m fascinated. And in fact, I met someone recently. I worked with someone who had resorted to reading and learning and becoming a pick up artist. Will you explain what the what like this iteration of pickup artist means?
Natalie [00:46:29] Well, they basically were men who decided to try to gamify dating where they would kind of. I mean, this goes back to the early 2000s, the book The Game. I mean, basically, they they refer to it as game. It’s like techniques for basically sleeping with as many women as possible as fast as possible, but of
Jameela [00:46:53] By tricking and manipulating them, play mind games with them.
Natalie [00:46:55] More it’s whatever means necessary. No attempt to build real relationships with people. No attempts to build any kind of human connection. Purely an attempt to kind of psychologically maneuver someone into sleeping with you. That’s generally how it is approached.
Jameela [00:47:11] Yeah, I remember I was on my lunch break when I was like 20 in Covent Garden in London, and this guy came up to me and did like a full routine on me, and it was very clear that he wasn’t listening to my answers. He was carrying on with his script, and there was a lot of there was a lot of negging, you know, as in kind of I can’t remember exactly what it feels like, kind of like prodding and provoking someone and making fun of them a little bit to make them feel smaller and make them, then kind of, I don’t know, try to impress you. And so he was doing a bit of that and it was just like very odd prescribed behavior. And so finally, I just sort of called him on it and I was like, What are you doing like, you’re not even listening to me? I I feel no connection with you right now, like, is this a am I being filmed? What’s happening? And he just sort of broke, he was a young man and he was like, I’m sorry, I’ve just done a course called The Game. Where they’ve done, they’ve got these courses based on the book, The Game, which is all about this kind of practice of, you know, being a pick up artist and they train these men for two weeks and then take them out into the wild, so to speak. And they give them a challenge of getting like three women’s phone numbers every lunch break and being able to sleep with this many women per week. It’s a full group of men, and then they come back and regroup together, and it’s fucking terrifying. And this was how he was spending his day like he was just doing the same thing to three to five women every single lunch break, just trying to see which one it would work on and not caring if he strikes out, just moving on to the next.
Natalie [00:48:41] Yeah, I mean, some of some of what they say has some basis in real psychology. It’s true that I think on some level and I think on some people negging probably works like you, if you make someone feel sort of insecure like they have to earn you, you know your affection, they have to earn your respect even. Then, I think a lot of people that does have the effect that, like you kind of do start getting worried what they think about you and you want to like, make them like you and things like that.
Jameela [00:49:07] Yeah, my friend was ignored for three days by a girl, and it’s like he instantly became ten times more attracted to her and I was so angry with him. It was so interesting. One hundred percent. I mean, it wouldn’t be so successful this. But these are this isn’t this isn’t as niche as one might think. The Game was a huge cultural shift, and The Pick Up Artist is also read by subscribed to by millions of people around the world.
Natalie [00:49:32] Well, any time you have something that a lot of people want and can’t have, you have an industry appearing sooner or later that it attempts to solve it for you, for you. And so that’s definitely what I mean there’s a lot of men who want to know how to date women and like, unfortunately, this is the thing that has kind of appeared to try to make that happen. You know, I think like a lot of times. When it’s men who are not very experienced in relationships and things like they sort of maybe don’t even have, because inevitably these people end up discovering how unfulfilling it is to just treat people as objects and try to gamify relationships and like, you know, most pick up artists at some point end up renouncing it. I think what’s his name? Neil Strauss is the author of The Game? I think he eventually sort of recanted and.
Jameela [00:50:26] Too late.
Natalie [00:50:27] Yeah, yeah. I know another one who like this, you know, became like a religious conservative and was like, Oh, I now want a monogamous life, and I will only marry a woman who is virgin. And of course, sorry.
Jameela [00:50:39] Oh my god.
Natalie [00:50:40] So I think, you know, I think that. I mean, how could it possibly be satisfying in the long term to to basically treat dating like cigarettes? I mean, like a quick hit of this pleasure that, you know, that immediately gets thrown to the curb.
Jameela [00:50:59] So tell me what a black pill is. What’s the black pill?
Natalie [00:51:02] Well, black pill is like embracing total hopelessness and nihilism about dating. So if you if you’ve taken the red pill and you accept that oh the cold reality is that all that matters is how you look and that women are these manipulators and so on, then the black pill is understanding that you as an incel are sort of, by nature, an inferior cause of being. There’s not really anything you can do about it. You can’t improve. You can’t do better. Your skull is just bad. I’m so sorry. You know, and no one will ever want you and you just have to, you know you just
Jameela [00:51:39] Because of your jawline, because of your height, because of whatever may be going on with you that society has deemed or that you have deemed inferior. You’re hopeless. You’ll never be loved. Jesus Christ,
Natalie [00:51:50] That’s basically it yeah.
Jameela [00:51:50] That’s such a terrible thing for any like all of the the awful ideology aside. Just to try to activate any like salvageable empathy here is like what struck me aside from how scary it was, is how sad it is. Like how
Natalie [00:52:09] It’s very miserable
Jameela [00:52:12] How dangerous this, you know and I’ve written about this before in essays that I the I fear that men fear their redundancy with women because women no longer need men. And so it’s a matter of actually being wanted. It was so much easier to be needed to have us be dependent upon them for shelter, for safety, for food. And now we have Postmates and doors and locks and windows, and there are less at least tigers around most of us to harm us. You know, we are generally, we are generally safer and more independent, at least in many parts of the West or many parts of the world. And so because we don’t need them anymore, and there’s very little emphasis put on, you know, in our society, put on put upon the relationship between men and women, like the companionship, the the work relationships, the things that we can build together societally. There’s no fiction really about that in the film about that, the woman and the man always end up getting together, even if they just start off as best friends or allies trying to get laid at a wedding or whatever the fuck their friendship arc is. We don’t have a lot of literature about the importance of companionship between men and women that doesn’t just have to be romantic. And so, so many men I know, or maybe not the people that I’m friends with because obviously they know that there’s value to, you know, a woman’s company outside of just sex. But a lot of men that I have met fundamentally still believe that men and women can’t be friends and that that’s not what that their personalities and their qualities are not worth anything if they can’t provide and protect.
Natalie [00:54:01] Yeah, I think this is a pretty. I think that’s a very deep observation about where a lot of this comes from is that I think yeah fear of redundancy is a good way to put it. I think. Male masculinity, as it has sort of been conceived in past decades or centuries, isn’t really even necessary anymore in a lot of and a lot of contexts. So there is a sense of purposelessness, and I think I think that especially is acute when it comes to dating. And I I remember there was a subreddit Ask Men, which is a very general subreddit. There is a I think there was a question I saw thing was late last year. It was like, What is the one thing that you want, you know, in relationships that you that you don’t feel like you get? And I guess the question was addressed to straight men, and the top upvoted answer was, I want to feel desired or desirable. And so that which is like sort of not conventionally like wanting to feel desirable is not or wanting to feel desired it’s not really understood as a masculine trait. It’s men are supposed to desire women and women are supposed to want to be desired. But I think that a lot of men. Because they kind of don’t have that sense that they’re bringing, you know, this traditional provider role to the relationship. They don’t know what they are bringing. And so that they, you know, there’s like that’s I think, maybe the source of a lot of this despair.
Jameela [00:55:35] And not to be dangerously nuanced about this nuance is becoming less and less welcome in our current society. But also, there is like this odd paradigm shift that we are kind of right in the middle of which is the bear with me. I’m just figuring this out as I’m going along. So this is considering what my life has been like on Twitter. This is probably going to be a mess but I’m going to just try it. OK, so what I’m trying to say is that I feel as though men are suddenly recognizing that women don’t want to be hit on all of the time. We do not want to be shown constant attention and aggressive attention and and that sometimes we can find them coming onto us cumbersome or intimidating or scary or just a problem. And there are huge problems within it. For example, the fact that you have to even lie and say you have a boyfriend when someone’s asking you out, rather than just say, I’m not interested because you know you’re afraid they might be violent and awful to you, and that they respect that you belong to another man. And therefore they might leave you alone rather than just your own autonomy to decide not to date them. It’s so fucking problematic. But at the same time, we don’t really have a normalized societal system for women than, if, you know, expressing their interest first with men. Women have often, like back in, back in my day, were considered crazy and desperate if they were to be the ones to dare to approach men. And so we’re in this weird moment of like, OK, so great. We have kind of created a boundary between men approaching women somewhat at least. We’ve interrupted it, at least. So what are we where do we go from here? Did any of that make sense?
Natalie [00:57:19] Oh yeah completely. I mean, I think that I think dating is completely fucked at the moment.
Jameela [00:57:24] Yeah that’s a much, much clearer way of what I was saying.
Natalie [00:57:27] I think that like, there’s no script, people don’t know what to do. I mean, well, as far as how do we fix it? Well, I think that new scripts kind of need to be developed because I mean, like, I mean, I’m I’m a woman in charge to women. So like, if you’re gay, there’s never there’s always it’s just probably always been this problem. Like, which is like, you have to figure it out for yourself because society doesn’t tell you how to do that. But now I feel like straight people increasingly are also kind of don’t know what to do, and they don’t have a script either. So I think you know, what I would say is that helps you have to scripts have to be developed. And like one of the key things is that I agree that it would be good if it were to be normalized. If you know, women can also initiate that and they’re doing nothing unusual or shameful about that. And I think also that people have to be in order for people to feel like they’re not being predatory by asking someone out, you have to be assured that the person you’re asking can safely and comfortably say no. So that’s important, right?
Jameela [00:58:33] Yeah. And that’s a whole other conversation about consent, rejection, understanding norm, hyper normalizing rejection from a young age, which I think is really important not just how to give it, but also how to take it. Mostly how to take it.
Natalie [00:58:45] Mm hmm. Yeah. But that both are important, I think, because I think whether there’s there’s two, there’s two sides to it. One is you have like you people, really. I mean, especially, I think still men and boys need to be taught that like, no is no. The way this game is not. The game is not going to work the way I used to work or no means keep trying. Right? Which I think is something that was considered normal as recently as 10 years ago. And then. You know, you have to also be able to stand up for yourself. Which is know how to say no because I think some people don’t aren’t good at that,
Jameela [00:59:21] yeah, 100 percent. We just again, like we’ve just been kind of left in the dark around these like hugely important areas, like areas where if they’re not given the correct instruction and attention, can lead to interactions, behaviors, conversations that can be like damaging for our society in the long run, we’ve seen it with literally damaging our society in the long term. And I just want to be clear that if it sounds like I’m taking like a very sympathetic or like trying to see things through their eyes and that is offending you, I totally understand that. Please know, I’m not pro incel red pill, black pill, any of the pills. I’m I’m purely trying the approach of trying to understand this issue that needs to be resolved for everyone’s benefit. I’m just trying to see where they’re coming from because. It isn’t OK, but as you said that within all of their obscene ideologies, there is like a rice grain of truth somewhere in there that just gets bastardized along the way because it’s being met with pain, trauma, rejection. And so then it never like. The the grain of truth never really gets to be realized. It’s like, Oh shit, OK, this is what we need to change in our society. This is what we need to educate kids around. This is these are the toxic gender norms that are affecting everyone. It just becomes about blame and shame and sadness. What do we do Natalie as the global expert and ambassador on the subject of incels no I’m joking. What do you think we should do?
Natalie [01:01:10] Well, I think that your analysis of it, as the inside ideology it has nothing actionable about it, right? There’s nothing that’s the black pill means is that there’s nothing you can do. This is an ideology of resentment it has to be recognized as being that as beings, as being basically this, you know posturing against their own sense of hopelessness. That’s not helpful. Right, I think that a lot of things that we’ve discussed are kind of identifying problems that have potential solutions, right when it comes to things like developing alternative scripts as opposed to just critiquing the previous ones. I think that, you know, it’s it’s difficult exactly to say who whose job is to do that and how has that be done? I mean, I personally think that like sex education should be like a much expanded and much more developed and sophisticated part of education. Fortunately, the political will for that is tough because of reactionary concert puritanical nonsense. So it’s hard to actually like, but it’s like without that, I don’t know. Then it’s just education via movies and porn, and it’s like,
Jameela [01:02:19] which is all a fantasy. It’s all a patriarchal, predominantly patriarchal, misguided fantasy that is designed like it’s a capitalist system that is designed to make us feel as though what we have isn’t enough, so we should always be striving. And if we’re always striving, then we will keep consuming content that reaffirms that this this fantasy could be a reality for these two fucking fictitious characters. And so it keeps us thinking like, Oh, I will be able to get that girl or I. The girl will be able to get the bad boy who treats me like shit and turn him around and turn him overnight into a sensitive, caring being who’s going to be there for me. Like all these, all this bullshit is fed to us through media and through pornography in a much more problematic way. And so it kind of reinforces this. We have to have more social education outside of just sex and relationships like generally just how to interact with each other just as friends.
Natalie [01:03:17] Yeah, I mean, you can kind of trace a lot of the issue back to the fact that there’s a decreasingly any sense that you can have. I mean, like look at the trajectory of the children’s television, for example, over the last three decades, like the idea that you can that there’s any kind of responsibility to provide for for media to do something beyond stimulate desire and inform like addictive loops of consumption like yeah, I mean, I mean, education absolutely does not prepare people for that. And so I mean, you and I, we ended up doing education like, you know, there you can. You can do something about it. I guess as an individual, if you have a podcast or YouTube channel like that, there’s kind of ways to fill in to attempt to fill
Jameela [01:04:00] you and I are on the front lines mate.
Natalie [01:04:03] But it’s like, it’s this you can’t. I mean, that’s not it’s kind of not enough because most people aren’t going to watch that. And and I think when it comes to something as basic and as vital as like, you know, we’re talking about about rejection and consent and things like these things, I really passionately think that should be part of universal education. And it so isn’t. Like, I mean, I don’t know if it’s any better than when I was when I was a teenager.
Jameela [01:04:32] No. It isn’t, they don’t touch it.
Natalie [01:04:33] There wasn’t a word about consent and like.
Jameela [01:04:37] Well the problem is, is it’s a generation who was never taught about it being expected to now educate the next generation around it. It is like no one has the vocabulary we have to start now. I have a more controversial question just to end on getting myself in as much trouble as possible, potentially. I. I wrote a post and it was heavily circulated about incel culture and I’d say the like hundreds of thousands of people agreed with me, but there were some people who got angry with me for this post, classic me. So I said this is after the murdering of a mother in Plymouth, and I think some other women, by an incel, by a man. I think maybe in his late 20s or 30s who subscribe to incel ideology. I think quite black pill is hopeless incel culture. I said incel culture is born of bad parenting. I wasn’t specifically meaning his mother I was talking about incel culture at large. I said incel culture is born of bad parenting, delusional pornography, toxic masculinity, no education around consent, no education around rejection, Hollywood fantasies of women and love and male entitlement, patriarchy, toxic media, loneliness, lack of mental health funding and support and reddit. That was my exact post. I feel like I’ve crossed off a lot of the things that you and I have been discussing here. But the thing that pissed some people off, and I understand I do understand why, but I don’t agree with it is when I said lack of mental health funding or support. I was kind of shut down at even being allowed to suggest that there is a mental health issue among men at large, that is not being looked at. We’re seeing the the rising statistics of violence. I think something like two thirds of gun violence is men shooting themselves, committing suicide. We are seeing that men’s mental health is on like this, like a fast decline. And so perhaps when we read these, you know, when you read the stories of these incels online when they’re talking to themselves or to each other. It is depression, anxiety, hopelessness, sometimes suicidal ideation. I don’t believe that just bringing up the fact that potentially these men aren’t just randomly born evil that may be, they are struggling with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, etc.. I don’t. I don’t think that suggesting that should then be framed as me saying then as me kind of stigmatizing mentally ill people, that’s not what I’m trying to do.
Natalie [01:07:33] You know, so I think I think people that people need to realize is that for every incel who goes on a murder rampage, there’s, you know, 20000 who will never do anything of the kind, but who are living the lives of the sort of.
Jameela [01:07:49] Despair.
Natalie [01:07:50] Despair yeah, yeah. So I think that’s
Jameela [01:07:53] I mean, there has to be something wrong with you to believe these like fucking wild things that they believe that these belief systems is terminology like these rules they have are just really delusional and sometimes slightly. And I don’t mean to sound awful, but like slightly deranged, they don’t make any sense.
Natalie [01:08:13] Well, I think that there does need to be a kind of therapeutic approach to people who fall into this kind of stuff because it is, like you say, it is like a delusional and irrational and unclear thinking. And yeah, that’s I mean, that’s an irrationality is something that you can kind of like. If you can sort of work someone out of if you have if there’s someone there to intervene, but there isn’t a lot of time.
Jameela [01:08:41] Yeah, absolutely. But more importantly, because what I’m talking about is how incel culture is born. I’m also not. I’m not even just talking about the therapeutic aspect of once someone has become an incel then reforming them, which I also think is incredibly valuable and important and kind of vital for our safety, unfortunately. I am talking about these men would not be susceptible to this culture as easily if they were more stable, if we had more resources, more children’s education, more counseling in schools, more ability to spot this loneliness, this depression, this isolation, this, you know, feeling of irredeemable despair. If we had more systems set up to support young people and I understand the frustration because like women aren’t going out here and doing all of this, like we have way more stacked up against us. And we also don’t have mental health resources and we also don’t have counseling. And yet we’re not going around murdering mass murdering people. But women are also, this is the one slight pressure release is that we are encouraged to talk about our feelings, at least with one another. Men do not have that. And I don’t think it’s helpful to look at them all as just evil and scary and malicious and not at all people who might have been ill or unstable and vulnerable, therefore to this indoctrination because a well person would look at this shit and be like, I don’t want to be a part of that.
Natalie [01:10:08] Yeah, I think I think I think that it just as you’re right, that something about masculinity. And I mean, because in a sense, the incels when they post on these forums like that is their way of talking about their feelings. But it’s kind of not the way that you would talk about them to a friend. I do think being able to I think having friends that you can talk to is vital. And by friends, I do not mean people on Reddit who will say, confirm all your worst fears and accelerate your your deep sink into a pit of of hopelessness, because that’s what they do. Like, it’s it’s like a I mean, the way like cults always work is simply by preying on people like lack community or lack friendship, people who are lonely. And that’s kind of what happens with these online communities instead of, like, you know, responding to a person clearly crying out in pain instead of responding by in a way that would be constructive in a way that a friend would respond by kind of getting you just to see.
Jameela [01:11:11] Hope.
Natalie [01:11:12] Getting you to see hope and getting you to try to encourage, encourage you to you know, build self-esteem. Instead, they just crush you down deeper and deeper and deeper. That’s not. That’s not friendship. These people are not your friends. People in this community are not. They’re not helping you. They don’t have your interests in mind.
Jameela [01:11:27] They want to kind of keep each other down and build a kind of community and stop anyone from, like leaving the incel culture, especially like black pill, like the way that people talk to each other because it’s not actually women who are abusing these men online, it’s other men abusing them being like looking at photographs of them being like, You will never be successful. You will never have this like give up now. It’s men dragging other men further down and like and almost making like tattooing on them, the fact that they have no way out of this because they want to keep the community strong.
Natalie [01:11:59] Yeah, I think that’s a really important point that this is abusive, right? These communities are abusive to their own members and I mean, look at the way that they talk about themselves and talk about, I mean, if you talk to, if you talk about anyone this way that this is an abusice way of talking about it, you’re fundamentally unlovable. That’s an abusive way to talk about someone. And the fact that there’s whole communities where it’s just normal to talk about each other in these abusive ways like that’s you know, that these people need help to see that for what it is.
Jameela [01:12:28] If I may, you brought up an amazing point in your video, among many other amazing points, but you talked about the fact that I think it was on 4chan. There’s a there’s a kind of subchannel called TTTT that is regarding the trans, sort of like a section of the trans community where some people upload photographs of themselves and other people kind of comment on them. And and you noticed that there was like a vague correlation between the people and the way they speak to each other there and incel culture. Is that correct?
Natalie [01:13:01] It’s almost identical. Like obviously, the specifics of the concerns are different. But I mean, there’s there’s like a trans section of 4chan, which is basically just trans incels in terms of it’s like the exact same kinds of concerns and the exact same abusive way of talking about it each other.
Jameela [01:13:18] But the other way around.
Natalie [01:13:19] And talk about themselves. Yeah, but it’s just how best to target the concerns of trans women as opposed to targeting the concerns of men. But it may as well be the same thing, the exact same kind of like the endless doubling down on hopelessness and self-loathing to the point that you end up with a deeply distorted view of yourself and deeply distorted view of each other. And no one is hitting the brakes. No one is saying touch for us. No, no one is saying, you know, this is not a constructive type of criticism. No one is saying this is not realistic perspective. Everyone is kind of enabling everyone else’s worst impulses until it becomes, you know this this whirlpool of of of hopelessness,
Jameela [01:14:00] you talked about spending a lot of time on those sites. And you talked about the fact I don’t know. I don’t remember if you said that you ever uploaded your own photograph onto any of those sites, but I know that photographs of you through your transition circulated and you were kind of hailed as an example of a very flattering like example of like, you know, this, this is the type of femme, I guess, standard to aspire towards. But what did that site ever do to your self-confidence, especially, you know, during your, you know, transition?
Natalie [01:14:36] I think that there was there was a kind of brief period of about six months where I had a sort of almost addictive relationship to that kind of community where, you know, I think I think and part of the appeal of it is that. You do kind of come to suspect that in these like so so I suppose I suppose you’re you’re person who spends too much time on the internet. I mean, there’s different parts of the internet you can you can go to at a time. Trans Twitter was very well.
Jameela [01:15:10] Underground.
Natalie [01:15:11] The word was like very I was going to say it’s very like SJW. So-called Very. So it was all kind of based on sloganeering, these sort of self affirmative sloganeering. Right? And the thing is like, if you’re if you have like a dark and depressive tendencies. You’ll become jaded from that at some point, and you will suspect that you’re having thoughts that are not being expressed. And in the legitimate spaces. So you end up going to these like you end up going to the filthy basement of the internet and you express your dark thoughts there. And there is something that there’s kind of an initial rush, I guess, of being able to say and find other people saying these like, I mean, this is like I’m basically describing the thrill of being red pilled just in a different context, right? It’s the thrill of like getting
Jameela [01:16:01] Getting something off your chest
Natalie [01:16:02] Yeah, getting something off your chest. Exactly. Is it feeling like you’re saying the way it really is instead of this politically correct nonsense, right? So I think all kinds of different people find this kind of thing to be thrilling. I feel like if it’s stopped there, it would there would be nothing wrong about it. But if you become, like, kind of hooked on it to the point where you’re returning to these spaces and they become. Thus, you know, this just becomes what you believe. Then and obviously then the problems that we’ve already discussed begin to apply, which is, you know, this is it’s anti therapy is really what it is because in therapy would, you would do say these kinds of thoughts to a therapist and then your therapist if they’re good therapists will kind of backing away from the edge.
Jameela [01:16:48] Yeah, they’d challenge you.
Natalie [01:16:50] Yeah, they would challenge you. Push back against the more irrational things, push back against the overly negative self-talk and the self-abuse and that they would they would show you the way that you’re thinking is kind of self-destructive and not helpful to you, but instead, in these spaces, all of your worst tendencies are encouraged. And and so it snowballs.
Jameela [01:17:11] And I mean, I found it so interesting learning that, you know again and things that I hadn’t really when I was thinking about incel culture, I’d kind of forgotten about the pressure on trans women in particular, but also trans men, I guess, to have a certain delicate bone structure, delicate nose, like a delicate brow bridge and all this kind of the exact opposite to the things that are required for the Chad and like certain feminization of the face according to current social or like societal standards. And so there are people similarly to in black pill shaming women saying that you will never look like a real woman. You will always just look like a man in drag and you won’t like your face shape is the wrong shape. Your jawline is too broad, blah blah blah blah blah, and just decimating
Natalie [01:17:54] Yeah that’s the exact tone of it yeah.
Jameela [01:17:55] Decimating each other’s confidence just being like, give up now. Just go back to just living your life as as the gender you don’t subscribe to, because that’s the only place you’re going to fit in. I mean, so just breeding so much hopelessness and pain and and it it did really frame, interestingly, to to hear this community that I think traditionally at least those of us who aren’t total fucking bastards have much more kind of like openness and sympathy towards and more kind of like hope to understand the fact that you drew that parallel between those expectations and that treatment and what’s happening to some young men within the black pill community and incel community was extraordinarily kind of it just sort of shook my framing of it and opened my mind. And I really thank you for being so open.
Natalie [01:18:49] Yeah, I’m I’m I’m glad I put that part of the video, and I think at the time it was something that I just have as when I was making my video, this is 2017. I happened to just notice that there was this kind of interesting parallel between the way these incel forums work, and there’s other thing I’d kind of been struggling with in my life. And so but I think yeah making that connection made me, made me more like come off as a more sympathetic narrator, maybe, whereas it was kind of the opposite of what people usually do with incels, which is just tell them, stop being like this I hate you, and that and that’s kind of as far as it gets.
Jameela [01:19:23] Totally, totally. And I’m totally guilty of that as well. And I think after that last murder, I was like, OK, I like, what am I as an individual and an individual with a big platform doing to stop this or help this? Not much. And so that was part of why bringing back that old video and bringing you in to kindly educate me about this and educate all of us about this was so important to me because if we don’t examine and understand this, we’re not going to know how to stop it and we have to stop it because this is just like an ever growing downward spiral. And I cannot imagine how much it grew during the pandemic when everyone was just sitting online. I cannot imagine
Natalie [01:20:04] I’ve been thinking about that too. Every and every bad tendency that the internet has surely got 10 times worse in the last year, and we probably have not even really seen the consequences of that play out.
Jameela [01:20:17] Yeah, I think I think there is hope. I think that the further we push towards abandoning gender stereotypes and obviously to that there is like a backlash because now some people are trying to double down, especially on masculinity, because they feel as though masculinity is being taken away from them as if it’s fucking served anyone thus far. And so I do think that we I have a lot of faith in the next generation to be able to break down these barriers and stop seeing each other as these aliens stop seeing each other as different, have more meaningful connections that aren’t always sexual or romantic. I do. I do think there’s hope, but any parents listening to this, you do have a duty and that’s why bad parenting was. The list wasn’t in order by any stretch of the imagination, but bad parenting was in there because if you are just burying your head in the sand, I know this isn’t my right to say because I’m not a parent, but I do urge people to not bury their head in the sand because your children are seeing all kinds of things online and they’re learning all kinds of things at school and they are vulnerable and impressionable. And if you do not go out of your way to make sure you get ahead of that and educate them and work to render them less vulnerable to this misinformation online, you are doing your children a disservice. And you do have an amazing and wholesome and unique opportunity to guide them at this hyper impressionable, impressionable age to to have more self-esteem, to have more understanding around consent and rejection. To have more understanding of different genders and gender stereotypes. There’s so much that you can teach them now that will go on to make our society safer. And don’t expect that to happen in your school because our schools are fucked. So that’s just what I would say that that is part of my hopeful vision for the future.
Natalie [01:22:15] Yeah, I like to think that as we kind of, as a society understand these problems a little bit better, because this all happened very fast. A lot of the things that social media have given us happened very, very fast. Yeah. And like, we’re still kind of reeling from it. No one knows how to make sense of it yet, but I do hope that like as we kind of learn how all this works. It will start being able to spot the problems at a sooner period and like discover, I guess it’s going to take trial and error basically, but discover the ways to fix them.
Jameela [01:22:47] Yeah, and telling someone just to stop it isn’t going to work. It’s not working
Natalie [01:22:52] No it’s not enough.
Jameela [01:22:54] If anything, it is just building a stronger divide. We’re seeing that politically. We’re seeing that in every aspect of trying to integrate society. It just doesn’t work. So thank you so much. This has been so much food for thought, and I’m going to stop using the word incel as a way to put someone down online when I’m angry with a rude man. I’m just going to block him or report him. And I’m going to continue to try and learn about this and understand. And encourage men to do more work to become better and safer and kinder and more realistic.
Natalie [01:23:32] Yeah, I think it’s a nicer way to do it. I mean, I think like I said, I don’t blame you for wanting because sometimes sometimes people are fucking around it and you want them to find out. But I just think that shaming and that this cause a person doesn’t really. I mean, it’s only satisfying in the moment. And no, it’s not a solution at all.
Jameela [01:23:51] No, it just further reinforces the idea that I’m a woman like a glamorous actress looking down on them.
Natalie [01:23:57] That’s exactly yeah that’s right.
Jameela [01:23:59] I mean all I’m doing is I’m literally confirming it. Well, thank you so much. It’s been so interesting to talk to you. Come again. I’ll see you in like three weeks.
Natalie [01:24:06] All right. I’ll look forward to it.
Jameela [01:24:08] Thank you. Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode. I Weigh with Jameela Jamil is produced and researched by myself, Jameela Jamil, Erin Finnigan and Kimmie Gregory. It is edited by Andrew Carson, and the beautiful music you are hearing now is made by my boyfriend, James Blake. If you haven’t already, please rate review and subscribe to the show. It’s a great way to show your support. We also have a bonus series exclusively on Stitcher Premium called Ask Jameela Anything. Check it out. You can get a free month of Stitcher Premium by going to Stitcher.com/premium and using the promo code I Weigh. Lastly, over at I Weigh, we would love to hear from you and share what you weigh at the end of this podcast. You can leave us a voicemail at 1-818-660-5543 or email us what you weigh at IWeighPodcast@gmail.com. And now we would love to pass the mic to one of our fabulous listeners.
Listener [01:25:03] I weigh my complete confusion and the beauty of it being a 21 year old. I weigh the excitement I have for my mental health recovery, my parents who prioritize our mental health above all. And let me come home from school when I needed to. My friends as my support system and my and my wonderful dog who is begging me right now to give her love. Oh, thanks Jameela. Love you lots.
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