The appeal of online Incel communities to autistic men

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ASPartOfMe
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13 May 2020, 6:33 am

Radical online communities and their toxic allure for autistic men

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Last September, a man with the screen name ‘XavierInTheForest’ wrote an unsettling post on the online forum Reddit. In it, he recounted his long history of rejection by women. In his 34 years, he said, the closest thing to a relationship he had achieved had lasted for only a couple of months in high school. “I’ve given up on the idea of ever finding a ‘significant other,’” he wrote. He told the other users that he had promised himself if he was still without a partner when he turned 40, he would either kill himself or be surgically castrated. “No, I’m not joking,” he added.

XavierInTheForest titled his post “Testimony of an Incel with Autistic Spectrum Syndrome.” The term ‘incel’ is short for ‘involuntary celibate,’ and it has come to be associated with online communities of men who have lost any hope of finding a partner in the age of dating apps. The men on these sites obsess over their looks, exchange edgy memes and mine psychological studies for proof that the dating universe is viciously tilted against average-looking men. They sometimes call women ‘sluts’ or ‘whores’ but mostly refer to them as ‘femoids,’ ‘foids’ or even ‘female humanoid organisms’ — in other words, not quite human.

XavierInTheForest is, in fact, a young man called Álvaro. (He declined to provide his last name because of the stigma of the incel label and the potential for it to harm his work prospects.) He wrote in the forum that he did not “condone in any way the ideas and abhorrent behavior of incels,” but he identified as one anyway. And as the title of his post indicated, he also identified as autistic: “My [autism] is pretty mild when compared to more serious cases, yet it’s still bad enough that my social skills are severely impaired.” Álvaro lives in South America, and in a photo he shared of himself, he has short, dark hair, brown eyes and a stippling of beard. He has struggled with insomnia, depression and anger issues. And in 2010, he was prescribed antipsychotic and antidepressant medications following a schizophrenia diagnosis, which he later came to believe was incorrect. Two years ago, another doctor told him he had schizoaffective disorder. Finally, last year, a psychiatrist diagnosed him with autism, which he says jibes better with his life experience.

Apart from his limited social skills, Álvaro says his short stature — he is 5 feet 3 inches tall — has been a significant impediment to his finding a partner or even a temporary dalliance. “I am invisible to women,” he says. When he went back to college in 2014 to pursue a degree in translation, for example, he developed a crush on a classmate, but he says the young woman told him there was no way she could be attracted to him because of his height. “I decided to end the friendship because it was doing me more harm than good,” he says.

Álvaro first heard the term ‘incel’ last year, when he was watching a video that mentioned Elliot Rodger. In 2014, Rodger killed 16 people and injured 14 others near a university campus in Isla Vista, California, before killing himself. Rodger — whose mother reportedly described him as a “high-functioning autistic child” in divorce papers — left behind a widely shared manifesto blaming women for his actions. Álvaro was horrified by Rodger, but he was curious about what it meant to be an incel: Was he one?

He began to research incels on Google and found their misogyny off-putting. “Those people are deluded,” he says. At the same time, he was becoming more and more alienated from women, whom he saw as speaking of body positivity and the tyranny of beauty standards, and yet demanding tall, manly partners. The isolation began to take its toll: “It’s psychologically and emotionally damaging to not have the connection with another person.” Álvaro began to seek answers on Reddit.

Incels can be found pretty much anywhere on the internet that young men congregate: playing online games, trolling the comments threads of news articles and videos, and on social-media sites such as Reddit and 4Chan. One of the most popular incel forums, the braincels subreddit, had more than 16,000 followers as of April 2018. The forum was banned last year for “posting content that harasses or bullies” people, leading users to scatter to other websites, including the now-defunct braincels.org, “a place for involuntary celibates to joke around, get support, shitpost, find friends and relax;” yourenotalone.co, “a non-violent, gender-inclusive support group for involuntary celibates and allies;” and incels.co — women are “banned on sight, no exceptions.”

These forums tend to attract a disproportionate number of autistic men. In an October 2019 user poll on the website incels.co, for instance, roughly one in four of the 550 respondents said they have autism. Certain traits of autistic people — a heightened response to perceived slights, a strong sense of social justice and difficulty understanding what others are thinking and feeling — may make them amenable to extreme views, says Clare Allely, associate professor of forensic psychology at the University of Salford in Manchester in the United Kingdom. The only social outlets for some autistic men are the internet’s anonymous echo chambers, so their exposure to toxic chatter may be extensive, she says. “It’s like a conduit to the outside world,” Allely says. “It’s no small wonder that they end up in all these forums and sites.”

These sites are breeding grounds for hateful views, and spending time on them may be increasing these men’s detachment, diverting them from at least trying to expand their real-world social lives, she says. Some of the views may even encourage aggression or self-harm. Incels may refer to a happy couple in public as ‘suicide fuel.’ Another now-banned subreddit — the incelgraveyard — memorialized those who killed themselves. In the incels.co survey, two-thirds of the respondents said they had considered suicide, though it is unclear to what extent their time commiserating online contributed to these thoughts.

Researchers are still trying to get a handle on the degree to which men with autism are influenced by the messages on these sites. They are also trying to determine what might attract autistic men to the extremist groups on the sites — with the hope of preventing or mitigating the attraction. “We’re all kind of anxious,” says Rachel Loftin, a clinical psychologist in Chicago, Illinois, who specializes in autism. “It’s a scary area to start to investigate.”

Lonely hearts:
The term ‘incel,’ ironically enough, may have been coined by a woman. In the 1990s, a college student known only by her first name, Alana, launched a website called Alana’s Involuntary Celibacy Project as a forum for both men and women to seek support for their loneliness. She abbreviated it as ‘invcel’ until someone told her that ‘incel’ was easier to pronounce, according to a story published in 2018 on BBC Radio 5. “It definitely wasn’t a bunch of guys blaming women for their problems,” she told the program.

And yet that is exactly what most incels now do. With its cryptic lingo and inside jokes, the world of incels can be baffling to an outsider. Incels posit that when the sexual revolution of the 1960s freed women from monogamy, women focused their attentions on the most attractive men — ‘Chads’ — excluding lonely introverts with recessed chins and weak jawlines.

“[Women] love Chad because Chad ensures her children will have favorable genes,” one user wrote on the braincels subreddit, providing a Darwinian explanation.

“Just say it WOMEN ONLY DESIRE JAWLINE,” replied another.

If a man is not attractive enough to be a Chad but manages to find a wife anyway, the incels deride him as a ‘normie’ and his wife as a woman past her prime.

They commonly subscribe to what they call the ‘Blackpill,’ a view that their sexual success — or lack thereof — is determined at birth. The Incel wiki includes descriptions of peer-reviewed studies in the fields of psychology and sociology that supposedly back up this belief. It paints a desperate picture of the sexual prospects of men whom incels deem to be not tall enough, wealthy enough or good-looking enough to attract women. One cosmetic surgeon in Indiana has become famous on incel forums for giving some members the kinds of faces they believe will increase their sexual success.

Although the websites offer a social outlet and affirmation, they also have the potential to amplify negative thinking and to encourage extremist and antisocial views. A linguistic analysis of the now-suspended incels.me forum estimated that about 30 percent of its threads were misogynistic, 15 percent were homophobic and 3 percent were racist. About half of all users posted hateful messages at least once, though a few prolific users accounted for most of the total. People who spend time in these forums become desensitized to the disturbing content, such as jokes about rape and sexual slavery, says Loftin, who, in addition to her clinical work, has served as an expert witness in legal cases involving incels. “The longer they are exposed to it, the more normal it appears,” she says. “The restrictive interests or the focus you see with somebody with autism could make them more susceptible to that.”

On many of these forums, being a ‘sperg,’ a person with Asperger syndrome, is considered to be both a badge of honor and a ‘death sentence,’ a macabre reference to the lower life expectancy of people with autism. (Asperger syndrome is no longer a diagnosis distinct from autism.) Autistic incels often refer to themselves as ‘mentalcels,’ a category that includes anyone struggling with mental health problems. The term ‘autistcels’ is also used, albeit less commonly. “Even worse than being ugly,” is how one autistic poster described his plight on incels.co. One meme on Reddit contrasts a sort of Hollywood version of autism (‘The Chad Autism’) versus the reality for most (‘The Virgin Asperger’s’). Members allude to the scrawny virgin who “gives off school shooter vibes,” “will probably kill himself alone at 30” and “has stupid interests like World War II or politics.” The autistic version of a Chad, meanwhile, “memorizes entire books” and “girls think he’s cute.”

“It’s psychologically and emotionally damaging to not have the connection with another person.” Álvaro
The amateur psychology proffered in these forums is catnip to anyone who embraces black-and-white thinking, to which autistic people are particularly prone. Some of this scientific fodder reinforces their sense of inadequacy: “44.6 percent of high-functioning adult autistic men remain virgins, despite high sex/relationship drive,” reads one section on the Incel wiki, describing a 2017 study. “Autists are judged as awkward, less physically attractive and less approachable within seconds,” reads a synopsis of another 2017 paper.

The lead investigator of the latter study, Noah Sasson, was dismayed to learn from Spectrum that his research was being used to support what he calls a “misogynistic and sophomoric” ideology, and says his work was misinterpreted. The study applies to both men and women and is not about women’s feelings toward autistic men, says Sasson, a psychologist at the University of Texas at Dallas. In a follow-up study, he and his colleagues found that neurotypical people’s perceptions of an autistic adult depend heavily on whether they know that the adult is autistic, are familiar with autism and have met the autistic person in question. “What this means is that negative judgments about autistic adults are in no way absolute and uniform,” Sasson says. The Incel wiki makes no mention of this more nuanced report.

At the same time, there is no denying the profound sense of otherness that many autistic men seem to experience. “I kinda believe that if I talk a lot, I would reveal my inceldom and everyone will be disgusted,” an autistic Reddit user from Western Europe whose screen name is Growware told me. “Lacking in looks is a big handicap. And years of isolation and social rejection will eventually f**k with your mind as well.”

In her private practice, Loftin says her strategy is to try to bring these people out of their online universe and remind them of their real-world experiences and connections. When she has had experiences with clients making remarks about sexual violence being overblown, she says, she challenges them to “do a little homework” by asking their family members about their experiences: “I have found that to be the most helpful way for people to shift their thinking in therapy.”

Nursing grievances:
The third rail in any discussion about incels and autism is the potential for violence. Though rare, some incels have voiced a need to right the perceived injustices they face through a violent uprising. “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!” read a Facebook post on 23 April 2018 by a software developer named Alek Minassian.

Later that day, Minassian drove a white rental van onto a sidewalk in Toronto, Canada, killing 10 pedestrians and injuring 16 others. Afterward, he climbed out of the van, pulled a dark object out of his pocket, and pointed it at a police officer as though it were a gun. He demanded that the officer shoot him in the head; he eventually raised his hands and allowed the officer to arrest him.

Minassian attended special-needs classes in high school, and his mother has been quoted as saying her son has autism. During a three-hour interview at the police station, he told a detective that he had spent time in incel forums, nursing a grievance against a woman who he said had rejected him years earlier. “I felt it was time to take action and not just sit on the sidelines and just fester in my own sadness,” he said.

This desire for revenge for real or perceived wrongs is common in other groups as well. A Washington, D.C.-based think tank called Women in International Security has characterized the incel ideology as a form of violent extremism that overlaps with other forms of “militant misogyny,” such as white nationalism and jihadism. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has funded research about the role the internet plays in radicalizing incels. The study’s chief investigator, psychologist John Horgan, has attributed 47 deaths in the past five years to the incel ideology and called it “nothing less than a new form of terrorism.” Incels say such characterizations are absurd. “[The researchers] are not interested in nonviolent incels and thus miss the bigger picture of large groups of men dropping out of society,” a user with the handle Ricecel X wrote about the research. Still, although the latest incels.co user poll indicates that most incels believe they have been unfairly portrayed in the media, 13 percent say they agree that “incels are dangerous.”

Logically, this characterization would include the subset of incels with autism — but the idea that having autism is a risk factor for violence is highly controversial. The Sandy Hook massacre in 2012 opened up a heated debate about whether, how and why people with autism might end up engaging in mass violence. In that tragedy, Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old on the spectrum, shot and killed his mother and 26 others, most of them children aged 6 and 7. Others followed, including Elliot Rodger in 2014 and Chris Harper-Mercer, who killed a professor and eight others in Oregon in 2015. Prompted by such incidents, Allely reviewed the histories of 75 mass shooters for links to autism, using court transcripts and newspaper articles, publishing her results in 2016. For at least 6 of the 75 individuals, she found an autism diagnosis or at least a strong suggestion of autism, based on statements from family or doctors.

“This stands to highlight the need for education early in school on how to interact with others in a social and romantic way.” Clare Allely
The connection to autism is far from airtight, however. Spectrum’s own review of those shooters found that two of them — James Holmes and Seung-Hui Cho — were diagnosed with a suite of serious mental health issues, but never definitively autism. Cho shot and killed 32 students and faculty members at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2007. He had been diagnosed with selective mutism and depression as a child but received a special assessment in high school to rule out autism. And in a response to another paper Allely wrote on autism and terrorism, published in 2018, researchers at Sheffield Hallam University in the U.K. pointed out that many of the autistic offenders she tallied had other conditions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcissism and intellectual disability.

Lanza had experienced depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder as a teenager. Others noted that the diagnostic criteria of autism have no direct link to violence, and overall, autistic people are more likely to be the victims of violence than perpetrators. “There is absolutely no evidence or any reliable research that suggests a linkage between autism and planned violence,” wrote the Autism Society, an advocacy and support group based in Rockville, Maryland, in response to media coverage about the Sandy Hook shooting. “To imply or suggest that some linkage exists is wrong and is harmful to more than 1.5 million law-abiding, nonviolent and wonderful individuals who live with autism each day.”

Allely says her goal is not to stigmatize people with autism, but to understand the extraordinarily rare instances when they resort to violence. She says people with autism are more likely than other people to have mental health issues. In a 2017 study, she and a colleague analyzed Rodger’s case using the “Path to Intended Violence” model. This model is designed to distinguish ‘howlers,’ who utter threats but are unlikely to commit actual violence, from ‘hunters’ who may actually carry it out. Rodger was unusual in that he had both extreme narcissism and autism, which Allely characterizes as “an explosive combination.” Autism, she says, may play a role in creating the grievance but may not be the critical factor that later leads to violence. Some data point to an association between autism and low self-esteem, and interviews with people who have engaged in terrorism suggest that they are drawn to it not just by their sense of being slighted, but by a profound need to matter in the world.

Combating angst:
It was clear from reading Rodger’s manifesto that he felt he did not matter to women, according to Allely. He described spending hours in cafes and bookshops, but apparently he made no attempt to ask anyone out on a date, presumably because he did not know how. Deterring violence depends on preventing the grievances about such isolation from taking root, Allely says. “This stands to highlight the need for education early in school on how to interact with others in a social and romantic way — what’s appropriate, what’s inappropriate and when you should back off,” she says. “That’s something schools don’t do.” For instance, a program in the Netherlands called Tackling Teenage Training offers young people with autism private counseling to improve their sexual knowledge. Other programs offer sex education to autistic adults.

Some researchers are investigating how autistic people find extremist online communities, with a view toward preventing their participation. Loftin, for instance, is working with researchers in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. to use machine-learning techniques to identify autistic posters in anonymous online forums. Their goal is to identify some of these individuals and interview them to find out what draws them to the incel forums and keeps them there. Loftin says she hopes this work, along with her other research, will help the team create a model for assessing the risk of violence in the autism community and to help families recognize and intervene when a loved one is moving toward extremist thoughts.

Meanwhile, the internet community is also at least partially policing itself. The subreddit incels without the Hate seeks to “provide a positive and helpful community” for people who have struggled to find intimacy. And then there is IncelTears, the “part-mocking, part-watchdog subreddit,” which was created to counter what it called “hateful incels” and had more than 346,000 members as of late March. IncelTears often challenges incels on their dubious claims about autism, such as the idea that women with autism have a much easier time than men in the dating world. It also offers a counterbalance to the negativity found in such forums.

Álvaro posted his own experience not in a forum for incels but in a subreddit for radical feminists. He says he chose that forum because he thought he would get more constructive feedback there than he would have anywhere else. He did find it enlightening to interact with women who had faced harassment and abuse at the hands of men and had still found a safe place in a troubled, damaged world. “They are honest, sincere and open to self-criticism,” he says. “That’s the thing I’m looking for in a woman.” The best advice he says he got from them? “Get off social media.”

I reached out to Álvaro again in January to see how he was doing, and he told me he now has a female friend in his city who is a vegan like himself, but he still does not have any romantic prospects. He is working with a psychologist to help him be more assertive and communicate better, and he has had some sessions with a speech therapist to make him sound less, as he puts it, “robotic.”

Part of him still wants an intimate relationship, but he says he is also feeling at peace with the possibility that it may never happen. As for Reddit, he had stopped using it, he says, and was trying to go out and socialize more — until the coronavirus hit. These days, he has found himself in the same place as so many other singles, staying home, swiping right on Tinder and hoping for a match.

One issue I noticed is that all the therapists and researchers quoted in the article are women. IMHO an incel going to a female therapist is going to obsess about the fact a female is talking to them and is interested in what they are saying rather than actually what the therapist is saying. If the therapy does not work out it will only reenforce their views of women as conniving b*****s.


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13 May 2020, 7:54 am

In short, they blame everyone and everything except themselves for their lack of popularity.  Then they reject and deny any advice or claim that it is within their power to change all that.  Of course, if someone simply cannot improve themselves, then maybe they should just accept that they will always be single and get on with their lives.

The Incel culture is a self-defeating one, in that the more they complain, the less likely they'll ever get girlfriends.


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13 May 2020, 8:22 am

Boy has life changed,as a gen X'er I came of age in the early 90's,the age of grrll riot feminism,Kathleen Hanna,Kim Gordon and even Courtney Love was sort of grrll riot.

They would say overweight woman weren't like by men,only the size 4 girls could get a date,men put pressure on women to be ultra slim,overweight woman loathed themselves.

You don't hear that talk from women and feminists much anymore,your hearing more men today say they can't find a date or a partner,the world does change,things are very different than when I was young.

Let's hope things improve for younger autistic men in the dating world,maybe they need to start boooy riot punk bands,maybe consult Kathleen Hanna on how to start a movement.


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13 May 2020, 8:28 am

vermontsavant wrote:
... you're hearing more men today say they can't find a date or a partner...
These seem to be the same men who say they would never date a fat girl, a goth girl, a tattooed woman, a single mom, et cetera ... in other words, they seem to have a very narrowly-defined "type" that they are attracted to, and that "type" usually seems to involve her already being in a relationship.
vermontsavant wrote:
Let's hope things improve for younger autistic men in the dating world, maybe they need to start boooy riot punk bands, maybe consult Kathleen Hanna on how to start a movement.
Well, there does seem to be a lot of interest in male J-Pop and K-Pop artists, so maybe you're on to something there.


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individuals should be judged or defined only by their actions and choices,
and not by what we only imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


techstepgenr8tion
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13 May 2020, 8:34 am

I think our culture makes a huge mistake, potentially fatal as technological leverage goes up (see the Rob Reid TED talk on synthetic biology) when we outright lie to men and women that sexuality is a meritocracy. If anything it's harder for women to be gas-lit on this because they can see, plain as day, that most men only care about looks or at least hold looks as a particular minimum threshold (ie. nothing will get them through the door without it) and there isn't a convincing deflection about male attraction or lack of merit that can be used against them.

Going in the opposite direction we have all kinds of load-bearing fictions that are placed on men and one of the most awful and disingenuous promises society makes to men - whether it's going out for the football team and making starting line in high school, whether it's getting the degree, the job, the car, and the house, or whatever else, is the dangled promise of women. Absolutely no one can assure a guy that he'll be given a partner, if they could we wouldn't be in a democracy but rather some sort of very traditional culture that very few people would want. Also if a guy whose 5'3" does go out and get a killer career he's probably going to do about as well with women as an unattractive woman does with men who goes out and gets that killer career - ie. in both cases the lie has been exposed it's just that for the later the lie has been told less fervently. All of this is to keep men active and participating in a system that by and large means to just spend them like fuel rods and throw them away. The new myths they've giving women to put them through the same ringer have been equally 'You're emancipated - now work 60 hours a week for it otherwise you're not empowered'.

I think this is where the 'incel' issue is so explosive - it's not just a group of men that most in power agree should just find some peaceful way to vanish from the planet because society has cast its verdict on their genes (and with reductive materialism taken seriously your only purpose was to successfully pas them on), it's a corner of society's fabric of lies that points at all kinds of incredibly embarassing truths about what we are and what our system is doing. It has a way of shredding the moral high-ground of the so-called 'winners', and it does so in a way similar to which Sam Harris was talking to Andrew Yang about a few days ago on Making Sense where Andrew did bring up the savageness of our current meritocracy (it's gone beyond that - it's just social Darwinism anymore) and Sam brought up that even if the rich are absolutely knocking themselves out to get there and stay there, and a great many of them truly are incredibly hard working people and they do deserver, relatively speaking, to be where they're at, there's a lot that went in their favor along the way that was indispensible and that no amount of effort would have gotten them there if they hadn't had certain doors opened to them.

A good example of the lies the US, as an exmple from where I live, is big on - that you can get anywhere with enough hard work. Our upward mobility isn't in great shape. All the more reason to double and triple-down on that! When that's the case, can you see any other reaction to the incel movement other than absolute hostility? They're not just at risk of having the cover blown on their narratives - it's a cover that's being imperiled by people who've lost the game - people who are supposed to be seen as something like living defects.


What do we need to do differently? Have the f---ing humility to admit that plenty of people get screwed by genes, by birth, by family, by place they grew up, and especially in this situation - where men or women are discarded by the opposite sex - go in the complete opposite direction of what we're doing now. Find a dignified narrative for what they can do or be for society. Utilize these men and women in civic organizations, cultivate them into saints and philosophers to whatever degree you can, but make some type of useful control arm for society with their presence. To just throw them under the bus and say 'f--- you die' isn't just showing that we don't care at all about each other and that it's just genes, it also shows that we have absolutely no capacity to think beyond a month into the future and that the people who think this way also could give an f' about culture, about society, about what generations will look like coming up after them - they're leading our whole culture to sociopathy and that's a culture that's doomed to collapse at best and become something completely unworthy of existence that perpetually mangles life at worst.


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13 May 2020, 8:49 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
... we outright lie to men and women that sexuality is a meritocracy...
[mode=nitpick]

On this one small point we disagree.  The "merits" of good looks, good health, and pleasant disposition (i.e., empathy, rationality, sanity, et cetera) play important roles in our perceptions of sexual attractiveness and courtship, and these "merits" seem to be, at least in part, genetically pre-determined at conception.

[/mode]

This rest of your post seems to makes sense to me.

:D


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Since there is no singular, absolute definition of human nature,
nor any ultimate evaluation of human nature beyond that which we project onto others,
individuals should be judged or defined only by their actions and choices,
and not by what we only imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


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13 May 2020, 8:56 am

Fnord wrote:
vermontsavant wrote:
... you're hearing more men today say they can't find a date or a partner...
These seem to be the same men who say they would never date a fat girl, a goth girl, a tattooed woman, a single mom, et cetera ... in other words, they seem to have a very narrowly-defined "type" that they are attracted to, and that "type" usually seems to involve her already being in a relationship.
vermontsavant wrote:
Let's hope things improve for younger autistic men in the dating world, maybe they need to start boooy riot punk bands, maybe consult Kathleen Hanna on how to start a movement.
Well, there does seem to be a lot of interest in male J-Pop and K-Pop artists, so maybe you're on to something there.

Grrl riot changed a lot for woman,maybe things will get better for the man,your a baby boomer so you may not remember Kathleen Hanna and Bikini kill and all that stuff.I actually saw Sonic Youth in concert,you know your gen X if you saw Sonic Youth live LOL.


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13 May 2020, 9:01 am

Fnord wrote:
On this one small point we disagree.  The "merits" of good looks, good health, and pleasant disposition (i.e., empathy, rationality, sanity, et cetera) play important roles in our perceptions of sexual attractiveness and courtship, and these "merits" seem to be, at least in part, genetically pre-determined at conception.

So if we take the South Korea model, where people plastic-surgery their way into beauty and sue each other for ugly kids - sure, we could do that. That would work for people who have enough money to get plastic surgery and it would work for men who are tall enough (no surgical way I can think of to add inches or even feet to height that I'm aware of) or women who have thyroid issues who can't lose weight.

Also on sexuality, preference, and how evolution has set our gears over time both Geoffrey Miller and Diane Fleischman are great but I think this particular Diane Fleischman video hits a lot that goes in the undiscussed stack. If we're even just talking about men's personality traits - there's a very narrow set of 'who a guy can be' to be attractive and the guy who showers every day, works out, and has a job has not cleared these hurdles. In fact if he had secular humanism and philosophic approaches to life drilled into him he's practically guaranteed to be invisible to women becuase all of this behavior shows roundly that he doesn't understand the human condition - ie. that the human condition is first and foremost a war over resources, it's violence and the threat of violence, women have been living all of history beneath the storm cloud of violence, and no man is a man without capacity for significant violence against other men - otherwise other men come around, kick her husbands arse, have their way with her, harm their kids, and possibly cart them all off as slaves. Is that last part likely in modern society? Well... depends if we let our institutions go far enough that we end up in early 90's Serbia with multipolar civil war, it's not likely but - our genes don't care and women can't go for either weak men or men who don't seem to grasp the following message at their deepest levels - 'Life is a war, and if you don't know that it's a war you've already lost'. Pretty much - any guy who seems remotely naive about human nature is a lost cause, and beyond that - any guy who'd have a target on his back or who seems like he'd be treated badly by other men - is also a lost cause.


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13 May 2020, 9:08 am



The Empirical Evidence Shows that Late in Life
as i approach 60 on 6.6.2020 that in 2000 or so Dance
Photo Selfies; i have become somewhat of an expert on
Bringing Joy to A Woman's Smiles and Eyes;The Advice
i Give in close to 7 Years Now of Golden Age Intense effort is this:

1. Don't Believe the Porn; the way to a Woman's HeART is NOT Through Your Penis.

2. If you Don't Understand what the Metaphor HeART Means, You are well beyond the small side of the
Bell Curve for Winning what counts; Yes, the HeART; NOT the T, And A, And P; For 'Normal' Women HeART
comes First.

Side Note: Spirit of Soul is BEST.

3. Social Science Shows, the Number 1 Factor BY FAR to Attract Women is Fearless Confidence; Needy Males
Who Are Not Confident; And Move That Way through Non-Verbal Language of Timidity are A HUGE TURN-OFF.

Fearless is Rated at over 60 Percent in the Studies For 'Success'; A Fat Wallet is In Single Digits;

i Never carry Money when i Dance.
i Never Buy A Woman A Drink.
Butt Yes, they've offered Drinks to me; but i Do Not Drink; i Only Dance; i Let Them Have Their Drink.
They've Offered me their 'Behinds' for Booty Dances; i am not so Cruel to Hurt Their Feelings and Refuse.

Side Note: You WiLL Change That; Step one: Get Off Your Butt and Leave the Screen Behind;
When You Walk Learn to Move Your Arms :Second Step. Third Step: Make it a Fearless Dance;
Winning Step: Do It In A Way That Hasn't Been Done Before; Creativity is A Huge Turn-on For
Women; It Means when the Sh8t Hits the Fan: You Will Figure Out a Way to Play Dodge Ball And WIN LIFE.

4. Video Games are not Going to make you a Man; Neither is Collecting or Shooting Guns.

5. A Man (Human) is a Human Being With a Heart. Even the Study of Apes Shows the Winning Alpha Ape is
one with Enough Empathy to take care of the Weakest Members of the Tribe of Hairy; or Hairless Apes.

6. When You Are Fully Focused Engaged in What You Are Doing And Fearlessly Enjoying it;
And not Even Paying Attention to Women; That is When They Flock to You Most With Smiles.

7. A Golden Rule at Any Age Male: Become A Best Dancer and Poet/Singer You Can And Will;
Then You Will Never Be Without a Woman's Touch in Your Life; as Deep As Deep Will Come.

8. Crazy Rule 8: If you live Your Life trying to Impress other Dudes, You Have no Clue; More Likely to Lose.

-Lady's Man and so easy to prove...

Butt True, 'The Weakest Fish in the Aquarium in
School'; the Boy confused as a Girl; Called Names
of Skank As Ugly; that no one wanted to sit next to at Lunch;
Literally Assessed by Peers that i did not deserve to Exist Just
For my Biology as is, THEN; Couldn't Speak Until 4 Autistic
And All of that And More too;
Yet THEN
doesn't
exist
Now..

Guess what...

i never gave up:

The Secret to every success
Where Victory comes as Hope and
Love over Vengeance of Fear and Hate.

Other than that; become an Eccentric Uncle;
Stand on a Desk and Teach someone to Dance Naked and Be Free.

At Least before you die you Can and Will Say And Do You Breathed;
At Best You Dance And Sing Until the Last Blink; Life is Long Enough to Smile.

My only Son; my only Child; Lived 51 Days Only In Pain with NO SMILE;
He Never Breathed on HiS on;

Yes, he taught me that/this Lesson.

Trust me or Not; On the Dance Floors of Life i have
Taught Innumerable Young Men What It means to be a Man without Saying a Word.

A Fearless Dance is All It Takes; So Much Evidence i Will Provide, in Innumerable Links for that.

Keeping in Mind, i did all of this After Being Shut-in in my Bedroom For 66 Months with
19 Life-Threatening in Synergy Medical Disorders; Given No Chance For Recovery by Doctors;
My Life Really Didn't Even Start
to Begin until age 53.

Final Lesson:
Always Until You
Do Not Breathe Anymore

DO NOT GIVE UP.

Be Human Enough to
Exclaim! GoD AM IT! NoW!
i Lived This Life is Gift at Last Breath SMiLE.

Honestly, Life is all About Perspective, NoW.


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13 May 2020, 9:10 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
... <a lot of good stuff> ...
^ ... Interesting ... ^

There were three points in my life when my popularity with women seemed to take a sharp increase.  The first was when I gave up trying to "get a girlfriend" and accepted that I might always be single, the second was when I went home on leave right after boot camp and stood up to my dad, and the third was when I became engaged to my girlfriend (now my wife).

I wonder what "Darwinic" traits I was displaying at each of those times.


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nor any ultimate evaluation of human nature beyond that which we project onto others,
individuals should be judged or defined only by their actions and choices,
and not by what we only imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


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13 May 2020, 10:39 am

Fnord wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
... <a lot of good stuff> ...
^ ... Interesting ... ^

There were three points in my life when my popularity with women seemed to take a sharp increase.  The first was when I gave up trying to "get a girlfriend" and accepted that I might always be single, the second was when I went home on leave right after boot camp and stood up to my dad, and the third was when I became engaged to my girlfriend (now my wife).

I wonder what "Darwinic" traits I was displaying at each of those times.

I try to avoid anecdote in general conversation about this because it's common practice, speaking of conversations among friends and most places in general, that any time you have an experience that other people haven't they'll need to fill it or counter it with their own projections and retrofit any gap or unseen area left to their imagination to conform to the worldviews they presently have - ie. it's a much better way to bring down an interrogation and intervention session on oneself than it is to communicate what you've been through.

I'm probably an odd case because most of what's keeping me single, admittedly, is not that I literally couldn't be in a relationship - it has more to do with some combination of deep-seated high standards for compatibility, not being someone most people can relate to, and on top of that having found myself in a strange place where I end up being perceived as a threat and consequently sabotaged in short order when people see difference (my best understanding of this anymore - people with average minds tend to hammer down on people who seem different not because of the likelihood that the person is a serial killer, the behavior will look that way but I'm getting more convinced that it really revolves around the likelihood of something they're more afraid of - that the person might have an unusual competence that they can't compete with, ie. the risk that the person might actually be a genius on some level). When you go through enough of that you have no social status. If you open your mouth and get attacked because something in you shown too brightly then you're inclined to have shy body language. Shy body language is a sign of the vanquished, ie. that someone has been ostracized by the group. From history - keeping themselves alive and safe as well as their children - women haven't been able to justly sort out which guys have been vanquished for being stereotypical losers and which guys are vanquished because they trigger a socially combustible reaction from society - if the end result is the same, ie. loss of safety and massive risk taken on for home and children, they can't bother with either case and they're technically better off not getting to know the guy who was socially combustible.

What bothers me about our current culture, and this goes back to Eric Weinstein again, it's been brought up that we've had 70 years of - relative - peace time in that there were no drafts, no major battles (some campaigns by the US but only voluntary enlistment and little effect on the culture outside of the service men and women touched by those conflicts), and so what you have is a peace time environment where what's selected for isn't people who handle emergencies well but rather people who handle peacetime haggling well. That increasingly shades away from deep competence and shades toward social power for it's own sake. That's an environment where competence might not only be selected against but even outright hated in its more overt forms and what gets hated gets ostracized and falls off the social hierarchy unless it has some way to absolutely force itself unignorably on the world - you have that to some degree with athletic talent and you have that with the genius who, after getting kicked out of enough corporations starts their own company and makes a killing. What that means - only genius or competence that's able to clear a bar set somewhere up on the moon makes it.

That said I have no interest in laying claim that the paragraph above is immediately my case, I have my own neurological difficulties and times where I realized that things went wrong because the needle skipped. I think my goal here is just to say that the social world is an ever-changing Darwinian landscape, that its values change, that what it selects for changes, and for as much as people wanted it to select for 'good little boys and girls' such as we were trying to mint in the 1990's when I was in school (when secular humanism was taking on Scientology-like flavors), there's one common factor - people want to survive, they want to get their genes into the next generation, and whatever mentality has the whip hand on society is going to decide what that flavor is. Accordingly what becomes anathema tends to be both extremes, the losers (will always get crapped on) and the dangerous (those who are a threat to how that current group in control does things).


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13 May 2020, 11:08 am

SMiLes if You Are Truly
Originally Creative Don't
Expect A Target Audience
For Context of What You Are Doing...
Truly It's Why
It is so
Rare...
We Are Social
Animals And by
Very Nature Original
Creativity Is A Solo Hobby..
But Of Course it is Lighting
Up So Many More 'Colors of
Christmas Lights' From Head
to Toe in the Journey of Original
Creativity That is Heaven Enough
Within Reward Now to Do It.. Of
Course Again those Who Never
Color Their 'Christmas Tree
Of Life' This Way have
Zero Clue what any
of this
Even
Means...
Nature of
The Beast More
Colorful or Stagnate
Continuing Ashes more till Death
Living Death Continues even more...
It's true There are a few who Will Relate...
Not A Chosen Few but those who make their own way...
But Anyway when You really Live in Heaven within There
are
Zero
Labels
that Count Outside...
This is What Naked Freedom Means


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13 May 2020, 11:16 am

vermontsavant wrote:
Fnord wrote:
vermontsavant wrote:
... you're hearing more men today say they can't find a date or a partner...
These seem to be the same men who say they would never date a fat girl, a goth girl, a tattooed woman, a single mom, et cetera ... in other words, they seem to have a very narrowly-defined "type" that they are attracted to, and that "type" usually seems to involve her already being in a relationship.
vermontsavant wrote:
Let's hope things improve for younger autistic men in the dating world, maybe they need to start boooy riot punk bands, maybe consult Kathleen Hanna on how to start a movement.
Well, there does seem to be a lot of interest in male J-Pop and K-Pop artists, so maybe you're on to something there.

Grrl riot changed a lot for woman,maybe things will get better for the man,your a baby boomer so you may not remember Kathleen Hanna and Bikini kill and all that stuff.I actually saw Sonic Youth in concert,you know your gen X if you saw Sonic Youth live LOL.


I saw Sonic Youth live several times. Great shows. Yes, I'm a Gen Xer.

It's human nature to fixate on things we want but can't have. For some it becomes pathological. I agree with things said in this thread, specifically that each of us is responsible for our own lives and our own choices.

If for whatever reason a person can never get a date no matter how they try they can do one of three things as far as I can tell:

1) Keep trying and don't give up.
2) Choose to find fulfillment in other things in life (healthy things rather than unhealthy).
3) Remain obsessed, develop a caustic attitude and end up ruining your life over it.


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"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world" -Van Morrison

"Are you Bluish? You don't look Bluish."

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


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13 May 2020, 11:19 am

Also I apologize if my response above might seem complete tangent from what was quoted.

The trouble with my ancedote or your anecdote (speaking to Fnord) - it stops at us. You mentioned showing no interest in women switched them on or appearing to be both in good shape and disciplined along side that. I discovered that I wanted to show no interest in women by the time I was 20 because it was a sign of weakness and I genuinely persuaded myself that it was tangle I didn't want to deal with, which lead to the idea that if she was interesting enough she'd approach me. None of that happened - meaning I wasn't approached. I found a few dates on EHarmony and those were situations where we'd like each other as people but no real chemistry. That seems to be what happened a lot in my late 20's whereas before that I'd be in the restaurant industry and every single month a new girl would like my looks and then hate my personality and hate me within a week for having made the mistake of liking me. I try to think of what was so off about my personality and I figured out - it's not anything I did, it's what I didn't do. Monday Blue, when he was on Youtube (he closed his channel back in November) used an analogy of trying to play basketball and people telling you how to do layups and all that but having the problem of not being able to find the ball. I would attribute that last part to not being Darwinian enough in temperament - ie. if you don't have sexual body language or sexual intention that melds with the rote scripts that society expects no one will register you as sexual or they'll wonder where your sexuality is balling up if they assume that you're sexual but not showing it in any normal sense.


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13 May 2020, 11:35 am

What if a person wants more than anything, to be rich and successful? It's a dream and a desire they've had since as long at they could remember. It's an obsession. People tell that person that they can achieve that goal of they work hard enough at it and put their mind to it.

They are very aware of people who have become rich and successful. The person works hard, goes to business school, reads voraciously on the subject and tries their best. They refuse to give up after they fail time and time again in achieving their goal or even making any appreciable stride toward the goal.

For whatever reason, or maybe due to many different factors, that person can not become successful nor get rich no matter what they try. It perpetually eludes them.

They can take stock in their life and change their perception as to what fulfilling and shift their goals to something else.

Or, they can end up hating the rich and the successful and even get to a point where they feel success and riches are owed to them for all the work they put in toward the unattained goal.

Same kind of thing.


_________________
"There is no love of living without despair of life." - Albert Camus

"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world" -Van Morrison

"Are you Bluish? You don't look Bluish."

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


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13 May 2020, 11:55 am

Magna wrote:
They can take stock in their life and change their perception as to what fulfilling and shift their goals to something else.

Or, they can end up hating the rich and the successful and even get to a point where they feel success and riches are owed to them for all the work they put in toward the unattained goal.

Same kind of thing.

So admittedly I didn't read the full length of the OP article but I waded about half way in and it was talking about a gentleman from South America who, while he identified as an incel and happened to be on the autistic spectrum, was turned off / repulsed by the anger and misogyny side of the culture - ie. the article was point out that there are plenty of guys like him who don't stack to the stereotype. The article stated that he was 34 and suggested that if he was still single by 40 that he wanted to either take his own life or be chemically castrated.

I think part of what's happening - he's still on a trajectory from his 20's where - per friends, per family, per every Disney movie you were raised with, the way of telling whether you 'made it' or not is whether you have a spouse, 2.2 children, white picket fence, etc.. To some small degree it's grappling with lack of sex and biological panic over fear of termination of both soma and germ (ie. being an evolutionary dead-end) but it's equally taken as a sign of failure. Working through that issue and reorienting to make lemonade out of lemons is not easy and you have to carve through many layers not only of conditioning but your own biological imperative - which isn't going to leave you alone lightly, and on top of that it takes swimming against the current of a society who measures success in such ways and taking a stance on yourself that won't be edified by other people. Sure - you can indeed do it but I don't know if it's in everyone's reach. That last part is why I really think we need to focus on giving permanent singles a healthy or even positive alternative place to be - it's one less place where we're damaging our human resource.


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