A Broken Idea of Sex is Flourishing. Blame Capitalism

Source: The Gaurdian

In this world, women are marketed as toys and trophies. Are we surprised when some men take things literally?

Since the Toronto bloodbath, a lot of pundits have belatedly awoken to the existence of the “incel” (short for involuntary celibate) online subculture and much has been said about it. Too often, it has been treated as some alien, unfamiliar worldview. It’s really just an extreme version of sex under capitalism we’re all familiar with because it’s all around us in everything, everywhere and has been for a very long time. And maybe the problem with sex is capitalism.

What’s at the bottom of the incel worldview: sex is a commodity, accumulation of this commodity enhances a man’s status, and every man has a right to accumulation, but women are in some mysterious way obstacles to this, and they are therefore the enemy as well as the commodity. They want high-status women, are furious at their own low status, but don’t question the system that allocates status and commodifies us all in ways that are painful and dehumanizing.

Entitlement too plays a role: if you don’t think you’re entitled to sex, you might feel sad or lonely or blue, but not enraged at the people who you think owe you. It’s been noted that some of these men are mentally ill and/or socially marginal, but that seems to make them only more susceptible to online rage and a conventional story taken to extremes. That is, it doesn’t cause this worldview, as this worldview is widespread.

Rather, it makes them vulnerable to it; the worldview gives form or direction to that isolation and incapacity. Many of the rest of us have some degree of immunity, thanks to our access to counter-narratives and to loving contact with other human beings, but we are all impacted by this idea that everyone has a market value and this world in which so many of us are marketed as toys and trophies.

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