Everyone wants to have that special someone in their life. Someone that they can talk to, laugh with, and spend time with. Romance constantly comes up in stories, Hollywood, social media and our everyday lives. Generally people can agree that having a relationship with a significant other can be healthy and add more meaning to a person’s life. But lately there have been instances where relationships are wanted for the wrong reasons.
A 25-year-old man in Toronto, Ontario, Canada named Alek Minassian used a rented van and deliberately ran over and killed 10 people while injuring 16 others on Monday, April 23. After further investigation, it was discovered that Minassian was part of an “incel rebellion.” He called himself an “incel” who was trying to overthrow the “Chads” and “Stacys” in the world. Before going deeper into the story, it’s important to actually understand what all these names and terms mean.
An “incel” or “involuntary celibate” refers to someone who is a misogynist and blames women for denying them their right to sexual intercourse. The “incel rebellion” that Minassian took on meant that he would attempt to overthrow the oppressive feminism of society, bringing a new take on male supremacy. He was determined to destroy all “Chads,” who are men that have been successful with women, and “Stacys,” which refers to women who reject incels.
According to an article by The New York Times, the incel group on Reddit has been banned. This happened in November of last year when an online community of incels were blaming and inciting violence towards women. An online petition asking for the removal of the incel group discussed the dangers of the online incel community and how that “dark corner of the internet” needed to be removed. In the incel group, Elliot O. Rodger, a man who killed six people in Isle Vista, California in 2014, was referred to as “Saint Elliot” after he discussed how he was being oppressed by women because he was a virgin at the age of 22. Minassian praised Rodger and looked up to him like many others on Reddit.
This dangerous ideology that people are having is starting to stir up events that take away innocent lives. These men in the “incel community” have become so obsessed with the idea of sex and relationships that it has taken over their lives and is the only thing that they think about. They become so lonely and depressed because they feel the need to have a relationship in order to have a good life, but that is not what a relationship does. While a relationship can make life better or happier, that does mean that it is the determining factor of whether or not you have a good life.
Our society often depicts people who aren’t in some sort of a relationship to be lonely and sad, and then lonely people seem to think that finding a significant other will solve all of their problems, but that is just not the case. Relying on someone else to take away your depression, sadness and loneliness will not solve the issue, and blaming others for it will only make it worse. We need to realize that when it really comes down to it, our happiness is most importantly determined by us and not by others. We have find ways to make ourselves happy and be confident in our own lives before others can ever really contribute to that.
If society continues to make relationships a commodity, then the world will struggle to find out the true value of relationships. In a world where sex is seen as a necessity for happiness, those who are left without it will not only hate themselves but turn their hatred towards others.