Well, folks, this is it. The dating website to end all dating websites has hit the internet, and it caters to the forever angry and alone: dateanincel.com.
The term “incel” is short for “involuntarily celibate.” The term was originally coined by a Canadian woman hoping to provide an online community to and for lonely hearts but has in recent years been coopted by a specific misogynistic subculture of men who express themselves with physical and sexual violence against women.
Men who call themselves incels blame women (who they call “femoids”) for their lack of romantic relationships and sex. Because they believe women are inherently inferior to them, they consider rape and all other violence against women to be a made up concept. Alek Minassian — the man who barreled down a Toronto sidewalk last April and killed ten people — claimed he did so because he couldn’t get laid.
The incel community is alive and thriving, despite Babe.com’s having helped get the largest incel group on Reddit banned last fall. Read some of their users’ posts here, though I must warn you: they get more and more terrifying the longer you look.
Makes you wonder whether all that effort they used to put into reliving their sexual assaults on Reddit was funneled into creating dateanincel.com, a website that seeks to normalize violent misogyny by presenting incels as marginalized, misunderstood, and misrepresented.
“Romance for impact,” reads the heading on dateanincel.com. Underneath, the banner welcoming users to the dating site features a couple true incels would undoubtedly label a “Chad” and “Stacy” (incel terms for stereotypically attractive men and women who seem to effortlessly date and mate.)
Underneath this banner, an introduction reads: “Changing the world…. two people at a time. A new dating company looking to heal the world.”
Then, a mission statement.
“We help form relationships that spread a message of love and peace. Many people suffer from the negative effects of Involuntary Celibacy. These ‘Incels’ often share the same common goals as the rest of the population- a desire for acceptance, love and community. We built #DateAnIncel to bring this minority group into the forefront of the online dating scene, providing them with a platform to be connected with regular partners.”
The language here is astounding. Calling incels a “minority” and asserting they “share the same common goals as the rest of the population” is offensive and wrong. Most of the population does not function off pure hatred alone. Most people do not dream about stabbing women in the face. They do not believe Larry Nassar is “a legit god” and they do not miss their bus stops because they are so engrossed with rubbing themselves against trapped, unwilling strangers. The statement continues:
“If you have felt moved by the recent media attention around the incel movement and have been looking for a way to turn your romantic life into a message of hope, #DateAnIncel is the service for you. We match the attributes and interests of both incels and other site users to aim to form romantic relationships that by their very nature reduce risks that plague society.”
At the bottom of the website is a testimonial from 32-year-old “Rebecca,” who definitely exists.
“I had been looking for a way to contribute to solving the problems of the world with incredible love, integrity and humility. Having been single for a few years whilst actively lobbying for Democratic reform, my friend showed me an ad online she has seen for #DateAnIncel. It felt like the perfect way to unite both my professional and personal desires.”
“Unlike other dating sites, this platform provided a safe space for me to discover myself and the incel community… and then eventually Brad. Brad had never been with a woman before and had been nervous of signing up but had also been encouraged by a friend. We started chatting and developing a magical online secret world we could escape to. This secret world didn’t care about your relationship history, your successes or where you’re from. It cared about your interests, passions and desires.”
“3 months later, Brad and I agreed to meet in person. I knew instantly Brad was the man I loved. I knew I could help him and that in my helping him, I would be utilizing my romantic life as a signal for greater change.”
It would be cool if by dating Brad, Rebecca cured him of years of misogyny defined by violence, but it’s also impossible and not Rebecca’s damn responsibility. Incels do not deserve a service that introduces women to them because incels think they are owed sex by all women. There’s more at play here than a few dudes unable to recognize the impact of their own flaws on their lack of sexual success — and a website designed to trap women by positing incels as misunderstood loners is one of those things.