No, it’s not nostalgia. Life was simpler in the good old days. Sex for example. When I was growing up, people were either heterosexual or homosexual. Then male homosexuals and female homosexuals had a falling out and we had three divides: heterosexual, gay and lesbian. I had just settled into the three when they exploded into four, to include bi-sexual. Not satisfied with that parsing, someone added a “T” for transgender. I was working on that designation when a woman on Facebook announced she was “pangender.” Unless she has a passion for goats, I have no idea how pangender differs from bi-sexual or transgender. And please, don’t bother to explain. I’m still struggling with 50 shades of grey.
My complaint isn’t that we have more variety in our lives. I just can’t keep up with the parsing. All these new labels must be driving Webster’s and the Oxford Dictionary crazy.
Incels is a new word I’ve learned. Members of this bubble organized in 2016. Its members are angry young men who hate women who deny them their inalienable right to sex. (“Talking Points,” The Week, May 11, 2018, pg. 17.) Attractive women are labeled “Staceys; attractive men are “Chads” and those not worth counting are “normies.” Why these young men call themselves Incels, I don’t know. Wikipedia doesn’t have much to say, either. (Click)
Incels are a subset of a large group of misogynist men, members of the “manosphere.” The manosphere includes “men’s rights activists,” and “pickup artists” — those who advise other men on how to manipulate women into having sex. I should think pickup artists would want to bond with Incels, but that hasn’t happened, yet. What matters, in any case, is that all these groups share is an abiding contempt for women. The attitude isn’t new. It’s Biblical. The only difference between the past and the present is the internet. Now, misogynists can refine their hate bubbles.
If this new lexicon of sex seems confusing, I understand. That’s why I propose we go back to two labels: “man” and “woman.” Who is attracted to whom is none of my concern, so let the sheets fall where they may. I only ask that all these labels fall under the rubric of “human,” and we treat each other accordingly.
(Originally published May 15, 2018)