What do incel think of feminists

Misogyny and right-wing nationalism : The revenge of insecure men

A woman who refuses to sleep with a man deserves to die. This is how the philosophy of the "Incels" can be summed up. This stands for “involuntary celibates”, ie men who do not have sexual intercourse against their will. The group, which mainly exchanges information in Internet forums, attracted attention when the 25-year-old Alek Minassian killed ten people and injured sixteen others in a truck in Toronto in April 2018. He had previously written on Facebook about the "Incel Rebellion" that had already started.

Another well-known misogynist is the right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Oslo and on the island of Utoya in 2011. "The rise of feminism means the end of the nation and the end of the West," wrote Breivik in his manifesto. The western men would effeminate and so open Norway to "colonization" by Muslims. Not only does Breivik's anti-feminism and misogyny become clear here, but also their overlap with right-wing nationalist ideas.

The Pick-Up Artists started out as a self-help group

The Swiss gender researcher and sociologist Franziska Schutzbach deals with these connections. In her text “Dominant masculinity and neo-reactionary world views in the pick-up artist scene”, which recently appeared in “Feminist Studies”, Schutzbach addresses the radicalization and politicization of the masculist scene in recent years. She pays particular attention to the Pick-Up Artists (PUA), which once started in the USA as a kind of self-help group for insecure men who wanted to learn to “conquer” women. They are now active in large parts of the world, in blogs and forums, but also offline in the form of workshops, lectures and books. They are of the opinion that a man has a right to sex at all times and that men have to develop an "alpha masculinity" in order to get along with women.

"She wants what you want"

The hallmarks of the PUA are undisguised ruthlessness and open claims to dominance, as Schutzbach writes. Women are play objects. “You should proceed according to the maxim: She wants what you want,” writes pick-up artist Lodovico Santana in his book “In Praise of Sexism”. And further: “It is the most normal thing in the world for you to touch other people. To take this right to do so is the Alpha’s privilege. ”The PUAs emphasize the biological differences between the sexes. Women are emotional and irrational, while men have evolved to learn to think logically. In addition to women, PUAs also differentiate themselves from so-called nice guys or beta men.

The scene is increasingly working with right-wing national groups

Schutzbach documents how the group - especially in the USA - increasingly collaborates with right-wing national movements. This can be seen, for example, in the Internet forum “The Red Pill”, where anti-feminist and right-wing nationalist groups come together. “The PUA have long been more than a self-help group. They are a hinge that connects contempt for women, anti-feminism, masculism, racism and right-wing nationalism, ”writes the scientist. Anti-feminism is compatible with all groups who suspect “totalitarianism” from above in human rights and the protection of minorities. This imagined “threat of equality” would be countered by ideas of society in which people are naturally hierarchically ordered. Similar to the identity movement, the PUAs adorn themselves with a subversive attitude. They feel like punks in a society supposedly dominated by political correctness.

Male superiority is emphasized because the gender balance is changing

Schutzbach sees male "attempts at re-sovereignty" in the PUA ideology. The constant emphasis on male superiority refers to its fragility in today's world, in which conventional gender relations are slowly changing and, for example, the income model is no longer the norm. The defense against feelings and weakness can also be read as the starting point for the development of a fascist masculinity. Soldier masculinity can already be heard in the PUA vocabulary, which speaks of “mission”, “target”, “conquests” and “field reports”.

While Incels, PUA and Breivik are extreme examples, the connections between anti-feminist and right-wing rhetoric can be observed everywhere today. In her recently published book “The Rhetoric of the Right”, Franziska Schutzbach deals with current right-wing populist discourse strategies. This includes self-styling as the savior of liberal democracy, with which right-wing populists have made it into the middle of society. A typical strategy is the rhetoric against “minority terror” and “political correctness” (PC), in which conservatives and liberals would also agree. Just think of the discussions about all-gender toilets or the debate about Kramp-Karrenbauer's carnival jokes at the expense of intersex people.

"Defending hierarchies is portrayed as defending freedom"

"Anti-PC rhetoric and do-gooders bashing is ultimately a subtle strategy with which a policy of responsibility and equal opportunities is warded off," said Schutzbach's analysis. In particular, the politicization of gender and sexuality issues is, according to Schutzbach, the common denominator of many right-wing populist actors, with the aim always being to cement traditional gender relations. This strategy also enables connections to the Christian conservative as well as the masculist camp, such as with the pick-up artists or the homophobic campaign against “early sexualization” in schools.

“The maintenance and defense of hierarchies and inequality is presented as a defense of freedom, while all those who want to make a broader spectrum possible are assumed to be in line and totalitarian,” explains Schutzbach. Despite legal equality, existing differences between men and women are considered naturally declared, social conditions hidden.

Schutzbach analyzes that in recent years there has been a shift from anti-feminism to anti-gender discourses, often paired with anti-science. Today, a right form of feminism is even integrated into populist discourses in order to cement one's own supremacy against allegedly misogynistic Muslims, while gender is the new enemy image. The best example is the AfD, which always discovers its feminist side when it comes to protecting “our women” against allegedly misogynistic Muslims.

Anti-Semitic and anti-feminist arguments were already combined in the German Empire

The connections between anti-gender discourses, anti-feminism and right-wing populism can be observed throughout the western world. In Spain, the right-wing extremist party Vox is taking action against a supposed “gender ideology” in schools, while the AfD wants to ban gender studies as a subject, which is already a reality in Hungary. An illustrious mixture of conservatives, right-wing and literary figures recently signed an appeal against “gender nonsense”, while allegedly soft latte macchiato-drinking men have been discussed since Carnival.

None of this is new, as Franziska Schutzbach makes clear in her texts. Even in the anti-modernism of the empire, anti-Semitic and anti-feminist arguments were combined and a weakening of the nation due to the alleged softening of men was deplored. Ideas that became even clearer in the Third Reich. And now, paired with Islamophobia, seem to be arriving back in the middle of society.

Franziska Schutzbach: “The rhetoric of the right. An overview of right-wing populist discourse strategies ”, Edition Xanthippe, 143 pages, December 2018, 19.80 euros. - A conversation with Franziska Schutzbach and Sabine Hark from the Center for Interdisciplinary Women and Gender Studies at the TU Berlin on the rhetoric of the right will take place on April 10 at 6 p.m. at the TU Berlin. Location: Telefunken high-rise at Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 8th floor (TEL 811).

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page