There is a story about a game preserve in Kenya. The young bull elephants were running amok, attacking the females, tearing down buildings, and threatening humans. One set of administrators advocated shooting them. But a game warden had a radical notion: there were no older bulls, and without them, the young bulls had no guidance for their behavior. They trucked in older bull elephants from another preserve. And in short order the older bulls had dominated the young ones, corrected their behavior and gentled them down. All was well, the natural order restored.
The link above leads to vileness. I can understand why it would be easy to consider these men inhuman. Frankly, I’ve had the precise same thoughts when strolling through racist forums, where men and women (disproportionately but not exclusively men) say even worse things about blacks. And IMO the vileness comes from the same space: fear.
The answer is the same, as well: strength and love.
There are things to be said about this being a “human” problem, and it is. But MORE of this problem is about male-male transactions, especially laying out road maps for navigating the maze to get the relational cheese. Fathers, grandfathers, and men who have “solved the maze” of healthy, passionate, lasting relationships need to speak up and stand up. These Incel guys are clueless, and frightened of the degree to which the world is changing/has changed/will continue to change. No going back.
I would say that 80% of the real problem is in 20% of these guys. The other 80% can be reached. EVERY human being is motivated by pain and pleasure. Every human behavior, no matter how terrible, is ultimately a cry for connection with a deep wellspring that some call “God” and others might simply call “peace.” Yes, I suggest understanding, and compassion. Always have about racism, and can see even less reason to consider sexists outside the human species.
Yeah, I’m bundling them: want me to consider men evil? I’ll raise you drawing the same conclusion about Caucasians. Don’t start nothin’, won’t be nothin’.
We are what we are, as a species. We want the same things. What we’re seeing is the cost of upsetting an order that has existed for generations, and in all probability, EVERY time you get a sea-change like this, there is push-back, and panic, and anger, and the potential for violence.
The solution is love. But…FIRST the solution is strength. Be safe. And then, come love, to love yourself enough to hear what people are saying without accepting guilt, blame or shame. That’s their shit. But you’d better understand your opponents, or you are helpless to affect their behavior. Even if you thought they were animals, hunters understand the psychology of their prey if they want to eat. Soldiers must understand the psychology of the enemy if they want to survive.
“Know your enemy and know yourself, one can go through a hundred battles without danger. Know not the other, yet know yourself, the chance of victory is only half. Know not your enemy, and know not yourself, every battle is certainly a defeat.”–Sun Tzu
This is human stuff, things we’ve dealt with since the beginning of time: violence stemming from anger stemming from fear. Those who need to demonize the broken souls will not be a part of the answer. The answer will be implemented by those who see the abnormal as on a continuity with “normal” ranges of human thought and action, who can see where these young men have gone wrong, what they are really saying behind the bravado and venom. If you can’t see that, then I don’t blame you for simply consigning them to another species.
I don’t have that luxury. Never did. And cannot do it now.