It's no secret that women are often objectified by creepy men. But some of these men, specifically those known as "incels", or "involuntary celibates". The stereotypical incel is a fedora-wearing neck-bearded creature, but the incel culture can be hiding in any man's brain. And that's friggin' terrifying.MetaphoricalProverb
asked: Women of Reddit, have you ever had a run in with an Incel? If so, what happened?
"Met one in college. He seemed normal at the time although we rarely talked. Had literally one class together.
He friend requested me on Facebook and I accepted. Soon after he asked me out on Facebook and I rejected him. He started staring at me in the one class we had together and followed me around a lot.
One day I got a text from my mom telling me I should check my Facebook. I maybe looked at it once a day at the time.
He had commented on every single post I made, every picture, anything on my wall. Literally everything he could. Every comment was different too, but all some variation of how I'm a slut. How all I'm good for is to please a man and produce his offspring... if he finds me worthy.
He planned it out well I think I because the semester ended the week before. Which was good for me I guess, didn't have to see him anymore.
I blocked him then deleted my Facebook. I was rarely using it anyway. He put so much effort into those comments, hundreds of them. Just weird."
What a huge red flag.Giphy
"I started chatting with him on Tinder, about an hour later I run into a friend of mine and we decide to grab a beer together. I tell the guy cause I was still chatting with him and he explodes.
Goes on a huge rant about how if I have a straight male friend I should just sleep with him then since the only reason a straight single man would be friends with a girl is to sleep with her. Also that if we were dating he'd never let me have male friends cause they'd just want to sleep with me. Noped out of that one pretty fast."
"I met a guy online who turned out to be an incel. We chatted casually for maybe a month, nothing sexual, just friendship as we had a hobby in common we were discussing. One day he asked me to check his dating profile for him. Hoping that a woman's perspective would tell him why he wasn't getting any messages. I didn't mind as he'd been polite up until this point. But I didn't read that this was his way of flirting with me.
I just told him his bio was far too long. It was the longest profile on a dating website I'd ever seen. It would have been pages and pages of paragraphs if you printed it out. I just said it's easier to read if you shorten it and make it about the lasting impression you want a woman to have of you. And I sent him an example since I knew about his hobbies. I just wrote something like, "I like philosophy, debating and discussing psychology" and leave it at that instead of discussing every topic in detail and what you like and don't like about them.
Also, his page was filled with more negatives than positives. Paragraphs upon paragraphs about what he found unattractive in women. His standards were ridiculously high. They couldn't have had any previous relationships. No tattoos. Can't be into hobbies he doesn't like. He accused anyone who didn't like his hobbies of being stupid and he thought other people were all 'vapid and shallow for only caring about looks'. Also, he required a woman to have a very specific body and face type.
When I told him maybe he should cut this part out and stick to what traits he likes in a woman...he suddenly flipped. Out of nowhere. He'd shown no sign of craziness before he asked me about his dating profile. Suddenly he starts ranting about how women don't want him but he's a catch. And if I wasn't such a bitch, I wouldn't be single. And he could show me a good time if I learned to be more passive and not speak my mind as much.
I told him to calm down and he wouldn't. He sent me pages and pages and pages of hateful, venomous messages about hating women for not seeing how intelligent and insightful he was and how I would be single forever if I didn't take his offer to date him because he could 'improve' me by making me more alluring to other men.
I tried to give him another chance but my message was drowned out by the paragraphs he sent me over the course of a few hours. So I blocked him on Skype and his original account that we spoke on on another platform disappeared the very next day. Never heard of him since."
Nope, he was definitely an incel.
"This was over a decade ago now, I think. But, at the very least, he was pretty convinced that women were the issue.
The issue was that he was obese. And unwashed. And looked exactly the way you think an incel would. We got along very well and I tried to get past all that, but you can't force attraction.
Basically, we hung out alone once and it was pretty much a disaster. Awkward, uncomfortable. Smelly. Anwyay, after that, I tried to diplomatically let him down. He basically told me I was a slut, tried to rake my name through the mud, and cut me out of his life.
So, yeah. Pretty much a paint by numbers."
Where do these men even come from?Giphy
"I went on a date with one about six months ago. It was so, so uncomfortable. He was asking me what I was looking for in a relationship, and the conversation went something like this. M represents me, and D will represent him.
D: So, do you know what you're looking for?
M: I'm new to the state, so I think that for now I just want to go out a bit and meet new people. I'm the commitment type, though, and I'm not at all opposed to finding something serious. What about you?
D: Well, uh, I don't really think I want a girlfriend, you know? I don't want to feel smothered. I mean, sex is nice, of course, but... I just like hooking up. I hooked up with some girls this summer and the sex was fun.
M: Ah. Yeah, I'm not really the hook-up type. I feel like healthy relationships are pretty balanced and no one needs to feel smothered. But I can see how going out with no strings attached could be a good time.
D: Yeah. I really just like sex, like any other dude, yanno? I don't need a girlfriend. Of course, there are the times that I see a stupid couple holding hands and being all cute, and that makes me mad, of course. I don't like seeing it flaunted like that.
I kind of froze at that point. It's difficult to explain the tone of voice he used when he said that last thing, but it made me uneasy. I could see the anger/hatred in his eyes and he went from casually conversing to seriously mad. And he kept saying "of course," like everyone felt the same way, or like he was trying to gauge if I felt similarly.
Needless to say, I never went out with the guy again. I met my now-boyfriend two days later and we've run into D together while on campus (D and I go to college together). Every time, D glares at me and shoots my boyfriend dirty looks.
Edit: I realize that he said he was screwing girls, which would make him not an Incel, by definition. But he seemed to be lying about the sex, and the way that he spoke about his anger toward couples/women with boyfriends made it really clear that he had an Incel-like mindset."
"This was freshman year of high school and I swear I have about a hundred stories on this one boy. Let's call him blue (because his hair used to be blue).
So I first met blue on a bus ride to a field trip where we were visiting a local college to go through a "practice" course. He and I were both put into the computer programming course, so we spent the whole day together. He seemed like a pretty chill dude, so I invited him to come hang out with my friends at the football game that night. No big deal, right?
Well, he arrives and jokes about how he told his parents we were on a date. I cut him off right there and clarify I invited him to hang out, I did not ask him on a date. He shrugs and continues the story. His father apparently asked if he should bring condoms and his mom asked if I was spending the night. Oooookay now this feels awkward. I emphasized once again we were not in a relationship, I did not ask him out, and nothing was happening tonight. He agreed.
So a small bump in the road, but I still don't feel comfortable around him. To get away for a bit, I offer to go wait in line for snacks while everyone else watches the game. He offers to go with me to "keep me safe": yeah, no. I try to talk one of my girlfriends into helping me leave alone, but she thinks he's cute for me and tells us both to go. Yaaaaay.
So he and I are walking to the snack bar, my friends money in hand (they were paying for their own snacks, I was just going to wait for them) and he's following. As we get close to the stand, a cute girl walks by and he very obviously checks her out. I honestly don't care, but it's what he says that made me cringe.
"Damn, I'd rape that."
I immediately go off on him, that that's not funny, that he's a high schooler and should know better, that some jokes are funny but that's a bit far. He is shocked saying. "What? I do you first!" Apparently he thought I was jealous or something? I give him the money and tell him to order for our friends, I'm leaving. He keeps trying to get me to stay, but I'm just done. He then offers to drive me home, which is a BIG hell no at this point! You just made a joke about raping me I am NOT having you drive me home ALONE after that!!!
It gets worse.
For about a month, he would follow me to my gym class, wait for me to walk into the girls locker room, and then go to his class. After I realized this was a common occurrence, I talked to a mutual friend of ours, and then it stopped. Don't have confirmation, but I'm assuming our mutual friend (let's call him pink for his fav color) told blue I knew and he stopped.
Skip to sophomore year, when us three are all in a club together. Pink keeps trying to set me and blue up together, and it's making me really uncomfortable. Blue and I are in a different club together where I compete and he is taking pictures for the yearbook. Turns out almost all the pictures he took were of me. Creepy.
What was weird was he found a crappy homemade ring in the hallways apparently? With a heart charm as the charm of the ring. He snuck it in my bag with a note of "just thinking of you" and it just weirded me out.
This was when I decided "okay so we just can't be friends." So I cut myself off from him, but not from everyone else in our group. Meet black, a kind of emo chick I used to be friends with and at one point dated blue. She came over to my house to hang out, and he texted her 52 times and called 7 times in the span of the 3 hours we hung out, because apparently blue didn't "trust me". They broke up later when he came out as gay. Weird.
LITERALLY A DAY LATER he comes up to me and asks me out. I ask him I thought he was gay: nope. Apparently that was his excuse to break up with black, and he blew up her phone in hopes that I would be the one to pick up the line. DUDE.
Then I moved at the end of sophomore year. I was finally going to be away from blue, or so I thought. Though I still liked pink and black, those friendships disintegrated when I stopped hanging out with blue because they sided with blue. Whatever, like I care.
Because I moved I made it so he couldn't contact me at all: blocked his account on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, everything I could. Kept his number in my phone but named it "Don't Answer" so I'd know it was him. I thought I was rid of him.
Cut to January. At this point I haven't seen them for 8 months. The ahole hacked into my Facebook hoping I wouldn't notice. For a solid hour I was "in a relationship" with him, he was unblocked, and he had posted a picture of him on my account titled "I love my honey ♥️" LIKE WTF???
Gladly this was late at night and I was up studying, so I had gotten an email about logging into a new device on my phone. Instantly changed everything back, deleted and cleared everything, and changed my password on everything. I was not about to have this happen on another account.
Is this an incel? Or just a stalker? Or a creep? Whatever he's categorized as, it's f**king creepy. He never did the classic break down at being rejected, he just... Never took rejection."
"He said sexism in the workplace wasn't real. Then proceeded to give an example of a person being denied a role because of their gender.
"Women aren't discriminated against in the workforce. We had a lady put in her resume at our construction company and the workers wanted to hire her but the boss didn't end up hiring her because his wife would be jealous".
Yeah the cognitive dissonance hurt my head."
Trust no incel.Giphy
"It happened more frequently in my younger years say late teens/early twenties. Almost, exclusively online. I used to be one of those "super nice-but-actually pushover-y" girls and gave everyone the time of day to at least chat and small talk, now I do not 100% because of incel run-ins.
Worst run-in I've had was a boy, after agreeing to exchange phone numbers (I don't know why I did) would call/text sometimes as early as 7 am...I never answered and eventually got pissed off and told him to stop calling me. He was WAY too obsessive and I barely knew the guy. He later threatened to post my social media pictures and phone number on craigslist and back-page on the casual sex ads. No idea if he ever did but for weeks, almost months would text just "$" and say nothing else.
So men, if you approach a lady and she seems short & snotty with you like she has her guard up she's probably actually a really cool girl but has had one or two really disturbing run-ins with an incel so she's protecting herself from the trouble. We all watch too many episodes of Dateline to play around with that. Incels seem to make life a little more shitty for everybody even other men, sadly.
I can't tell you if I ever ran into one in real life but I know I have. I'm 100% sure I did but it was completely non-memorable and I can't say I even notice them in passing. Maybe that's why they get so upset with people. It seems like a sad life but they make it impossible to feel sorry for them. Poor."
"I dated a guy who became an incel after we had been dating for 7 months. It was my first time dating anyone so I was ~nervous to do any thing major ya know~ He was a virgin as well and made me very clear of this fact anytime things were a little bit romantic.
One night we got in an argument about the definition of consent and how I wasn't sure if I wanted to have kids one day.
He said, "Hypothetically, if a man and a woman were to get married, and the husband wanted kids and the wife didn't, isn't it the wife's duty to provide the husband with a child even if she doesn't want one?"
I told him no it would be rape to make a woman forcefully have a child she does not want. This made him extremely angry and he stormed off. He then texted me later that night around 9pm asking if he could call me. I had work the next morning and knew this would be a long call so I asked if it could wait until the next day. He said it couldn't wait and that he needed to say something tonight. I asked him if he could text it to me, thinking it would be a paragraph or something. I could not have been more wrong.
I woke up at 4am to a text from him. It was so long that it couldn't be read in messages and had to be opened in notes. It turns out this "text" was a 9 page long essay describing how my thoughts were completely wrong and how I needed to allow him to screw me whenever he asked and how it was my duty as a woman to bear him children.
I broke up with him the next day I was so appalled. He was obviously very mad at me for deciding I didn't want to have sex with a guy who viewed me as just a 'baby maker'."
"I've had a few, but the worst interaction I've ever had, personally, was with a dude named Brandon. He was friends with some of my friends, I don't think anyone actually liked him but they felt bad for him so they let him hang around.
He developed an obsession with me and would message me on every platform of social media he could, wrote "fanfic" about us (which was VERY inappropriate and made me 10/10 uncomfortable) and eventually started messaging me about all the ways he wanted to assault me. I blocked him but he always found a way to keep harassing me.
I ended up moving out of state for other reasons, but after that it died down, thankfully."
"This is before they started calling themselves incels -- or maybe before we knew they did -- but this dude hit all the markers.
High school. I made the mistake of being polite to him. Not flirty, not overly friendly -- just basic kindness. "Hi, how are you today, sorry to hear that" kindness. He spewed their typical hateful, self-pitying nonsense at me before I knew better than to sympathize with him.
When I told him I wasn't interested in a romantic relationship, he terrorized and stalked me for years, showing up at my work and extra curriculars and threatening to do me bodily harm. He made up truly insane stories about a made-up "childhood romance," harassed my friends, tried to isolate me from them. He made my high school experience a living hell. It didn't stop until I got a restraining order, and he still tried to indirectly contact me for a while. I was afraid for years after graduation that he'd show up and kill me at work.
A decade later, he found my professional e-mail and apologized. It was short, to-the-point, polite, and sounded like a therapist had helped him write it. (I doubt I was the only woman he did this to over the years.)
I agonized over replying because part of me was afraid it would just reignite his obsession. Ultimately, I sent him a similarly short "thank you for saying that, I wish you well" note and never replied to his follow-up message.
He hasn't contacted me again, so I do believe he's changed, or is trying to change. But I never made the mistake of giving too much kindness to an abuser and/or psychopath of that particular strain again."
"Nice guys" are almost as bad.
"Are incels the same as niceguys? I think maybe they are different... somehow. Anyway, I was once tricked into a helping a niceguy.
Backstory. Am a girl, and in college I had a crush on this guy, and because of this I offered to tutor him in one of his classes that I had already taken. It was... a short lived crush. Because after tutoring him I discovered that he was dumber than a box of rocks. Like... so, SO dumb. But I had committed and I was kind of in his same friend group, so I also learned that he was highly religious (another way we were totally incompatible), and he was totally into another girl in this friend group. So I gave up my crush.
We graduated. Or, well, I did. Some time later he messages me on Facebook, all heartbroken and shit. Apparently he had managed to get together with this girl, and had even slept with her (despite being, you know, MEGA Christian) but she had broken up with him. And he was so upset, why didn't she like a nice guy like him, he had a dream sent from God where he saw them getting married, it was meant to be. And would I please reach out to her for him? This was a little before everyone was woke about this shit, so my dumb ass did it. It's one of the things I regret having done in my life.
So I reach out to her and ask her how she is and then bring the conversation around to him. She tells me that he's basically fucking stalking her. Like this dude's been creepily driving by her house to see if she's home. I was like oh damn, ok, btw he asked me to talk to you for him, sorry.
I forget what I told him after that, but I was washing my hands of it. I wish there was a better ending, but I was mortified that I had acted as his agent and bothered this poor girl.
Bonus: I didn't defriend him on Facebook until he got pissy that he got a ticket for parking in the fire lane. It was "just for a few minutes" and didn't give a single shit that, you know, people could have DIED IN A FIRE because his dumb ass was in the way.
Also he had IBS and I eat way too much chili, so that's another way this was never gonna work."
At least he grew up.
"I'm a male, but I used to be an incel.
In high school I would ask out a bunch of girls (one I asked on Facebook) and each time I got rejected I would yell at them for not giving me a chance. I would stalk them and message them constantly, even using Words with Friends to message them. I would threaten to kill myself because of how angered and depressed I was, but also using it as a way to get someone to reply back to me.
I'm horrified by what I used to be, I hate reliving my past. I really want to apologize to the women I tormented, but also feel like it's best I leave them alone. This is one skeleton I have in my closet that I want to be burned and buried."
"A guy I met on tinder before I started dating my boyfriend.
He knew a creepy amount about me, or guessed a lot of stuff correctly (height, bra size to a T, etc.) that a random stranger wouldn't know. And one of his pick up lines were "I hope you don't mind I have a huge cock."
But I was young, inexperienced and so I disregarded his creepiness.
We were supposed to meet up, but it was the same day I was supposed to go on a date with my now boyfriend, so I had to tell him that I wasn't able to meet him.
The guy lost his shit on me, the usual "fucking shallow bitch" and "all women are the same" and how he was so sick and tired of women doing this to him. It got really intense, and I was wigged out. It was the first, and last, time I experienced something like that."
We hope he gave them their money.
"I was friends with one in college. He thought he was the coolest, hottest guy ever, and would resort to pathetic tactics to picking up chicks, including getting a puppy and walking it around campus solely so girls might come up and talk to him.
A friend of ours took him to a bar and the guy started crying because no girls were coming up and talking to him. Before that time, he had bet us $300 that he could "go to any bar in this town and pick up a chick". Our friend set him up on a date with a friend of his, and the dude was creepy and rude the entire time."
He didn't seem like an incel while we were talking a few days before our date, but he also used fake/heavily altered pictures so that says a lot. Arranged to go to a bar and maybe get something to eat if I was feeling happy to after a long day of work.
That didn't happen...met at the bar and he said he wanted to take me somewhere better which I was happy to do, turns out we were headed to his place. I objected and said "oh I'm really hungry could we just go somewhere to eat instead" and turned out he had a plan for us to make food and smoke together. I wasn't getting super weird vibes from him so I thought he probably had good intentions and it was a fairly easily place to get away from need be.
Went in, and I felt very uncomfortable (bear in mind he looked NOTHING like his pictures and was acting like I was his girlfriend, we matched on tinder like a week before), so uncomfortable in fact that I didn't look him in the eye even once the whole night. Strange note: his entire place was like a Doctor Who museum...bed sheets, pillows, posters, figurines, dolls, and costume pieces. That gave me some vibes.
Anyways, he made a pie while I awkwardly stood in the kitchen corner and watched him trying to impress me and saying "we should do this together a few times a week, you will really love this" and awkwardly laughing in response. Had we been in a relationship and he looked/acted any way he had online I'd have loved it, but he was a stranger...also I have coeliac disease and refrain from animal products for my health so couldn't eat it..smelt like soap but he tried.
We sat and watched Doctor Who (what a surprise) for 5 hours while smoking, which would be fine with me but whenever I got a message he would ask who it was and would move progressively closer to me and look at my phone. He also got a little carried away (?) with smoking. Now I can hold myself pretty well with weed, and I don't think he expected that at all. A few joints in and he was a mess. The pie he was trying to eat was just crumbling and falling on the floor which he sort of mushed in the carpet trying to pick up, and he was saying shit like "why aren't you high yet" "you need to smoke more you should have passed out by now" at that point I was freaked out. Called a taxi and left, he had passed out when I had left.
I said the next day thank you for the evening but I didn't want to see him again, tried to guilt trip me with how much money he put towards smoke and food and drinks (I never actually agreed previous to that evening to what happened that night, I thought we were gonna get chips) and how he deserved compensation (you can guess what he meant). I turned him down as gently as I could. He got my Tinder account banned, showed a screenshot of me pissing around saying something t along the lines that I'm 13 as evidence (I'm not and my pictures made that pretty obvious) but yeah, said if I was on Tinder going in dates I should follow though with the arrangement (there was literally no dirty talk) and that I shouldn't be on tinder if I was just going to use people for freebies and take away what they deserved. I never responded to him.
Every couple weeks for MONTHS I got a message from him, usually responding to something I post or just a picture of a random thing (no dick pics thank GOD), which I ghost and are usually met with some very threatening angry emojis and a "what did I do to deserve this". Blocked him, problem solved. Still pissed about my Tinder account though."
We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."
This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.