Queer Majority 🌈 Penned by Chris Ferguson. Recommended by Christopher Owens.

In 2019, the movie Joker sparked a rather remarkable moral panic. The film considers the origin of the Joker as a socially awkward young man named Arthur Fleck (played by Joaquin Phoenix) with neurological and mental health problems. He is unliked, ignored, and bullied by society. He hallucinates a relationship with a beautiful neighbor, being otherwise unsuccessful with women. Eventually, pushed to the limit, he becomes, well, the Joker. It’s a fascinating film that evokes a controversial modern archetype: the incel.


The term “incel”, short for involuntarily celibate, refers to people who are unable, for various reasons, to secure romantic partners despite wishing to. The term originated with a woman but has come in recent years to describe mainly young, heterosexual men unable to find girlfriends. In its most current form, “incel” invokes not merely a socially awkward dorkiness, but also a menacing misogyny — men who can’t get laid, and who hate women because of it. Thus, particularly among the chattering classes and elite journalism, incels are a target of both high-school-like scorn and deep worry.

That might help explain the oversized reaction to Joker. Many reviews of the film clutched at pearls over its potential impact on viewers. 

Continue reading @ Queer Majority.

Boutique Bogeymen 🌈 The Incel Panic And The Failure Of Empathy

Queer Majority 🌈 Penned by Chris Ferguson. Recommended by Christopher Owens.

In 2019, the movie Joker sparked a rather remarkable moral panic. The film considers the origin of the Joker as a socially awkward young man named Arthur Fleck (played by Joaquin Phoenix) with neurological and mental health problems. He is unliked, ignored, and bullied by society. He hallucinates a relationship with a beautiful neighbor, being otherwise unsuccessful with women. Eventually, pushed to the limit, he becomes, well, the Joker. It’s a fascinating film that evokes a controversial modern archetype: the incel.


The term “incel”, short for involuntarily celibate, refers to people who are unable, for various reasons, to secure romantic partners despite wishing to. The term originated with a woman but has come in recent years to describe mainly young, heterosexual men unable to find girlfriends. In its most current form, “incel” invokes not merely a socially awkward dorkiness, but also a menacing misogyny — men who can’t get laid, and who hate women because of it. Thus, particularly among the chattering classes and elite journalism, incels are a target of both high-school-like scorn and deep worry.

That might help explain the oversized reaction to Joker. Many reviews of the film clutched at pearls over its potential impact on viewers. 

Continue reading @ Queer Majority.

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