I have only recently become aware of “The Incel Movement.” On April 23, 2018, a van allegedly driven by Alek Minassian, drove onto a sidewalk in downtown Toronto, killing ten people and wounding eighteen others. On his Facebook page, Minassian pledged allegiance to the “Incel Rebellion.” “Incel” stands for ‘involuntarily celibate.” As Vox.com explains, the “rebellion” is “not an organized militant group but rather an idea developed by…An online community of men united by their inability to convince women to have [intimate relations] with them.” David French observed the movement, “essential blames women for being attracted to strong or rich men. And it’s a theory that’s steeped in sexual entitlement, the belief that men somehow have a right to have sex.”
The frustration and loneliness felt by younger men is only a natural consequence of the sexual revolution. Ross Douthat wrote in his column “the culture’s dominant message about sex is still essentially Hefnerian……a message that frequency and variety…..is as close to a summum bonum as the human condition has to offer…..virginity and celibacy are at best strange and at worst pitiable states.” The reality for some young men is the expectation and entitlement concerning sex cannot be fulfilled in the real world. “Sometimes, to love someone…..you gotta be a stranger” is a typical sentiment.
Here are a few of my thoughts as I celebrate 53 years of marriage (June 11) to the same woman, who is like good wine – better with age.
1) Don’t forget to check with the creator of sex. Jesus reminds us that from the beginning, “God made them male and female…Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split what God has joined together” (Mat 19:4 & 6). The sexual revolution of our day has rejected God’s design for man and woman being joined together in life long commitment. God patterned human love on his love for us. To be fulfilled it is best to consult with the creator.
2) The Incel Movement is the result of the wide consumption of pornographic activity on the internet. Young men especially have found a safe, hidden place to indulge their sexual fantasies without absolutely no emotional investment. Any man, who has a happy, fulfilling marriage, will attest to marriage being what the early monks called a ” white martyrdom.” The fullness of sexual intimacy involves the hard work of establishing emotional intimacy and spiritual oneness before the actual act.
3) These are broken men who believe sexual relationships with a woman is a right. But fulfillment comes not in the getting but in the giving to the other. The sexual revolution made personal pleasure and fulfillment the norm. Thus lonely, frustrated and confused young men demand that others fulfill their fantasies. “Ideas have consequences,” John Stonestreet notes, “and bad ideas have victims.” These young men are victims. The incel movement proves that the sexual revolution was full of bad ideas.
4) Disorder desires make for “bent sexuality.” It is our disordered desires that lead us astray. The sexual revolution elevated the sexual experience to a kind of quasi-religious status. Every spiritual man reading this blog is aware of “the tiger in his tank.” Many years ago I took Paul’s advice to heart. “It is better for them [young men] to be married than to be tortured by unsatisfied desires” (I Cor 7:9 – Phillips). White martyrdom with my bride has helped me deal with my disordered desires.
5) One final thought, which is revolutionary in our day Sex is holy. It a search for union. Sexual union finds its meaning ultimately in union with Christ. Paul tells us, “The marriage relationship is a great mystery, but I see it as a symbol of the marriage of Christ and his Church” (Eph. 5:32 – Phillips).