The Incel Movement and the Repugnant Logic of the Sexual Revolution
The Story: A terrorist attack in Canada has exposed the violent misogyny of the incel movement—and the repugnant logic of the sexual revolution.
The Background: Last month, a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian was charged with 10 counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder for intentionally driving a rental van into pedestrians in Toronto, Canada. Most of the victims were women, ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s.
The [incel] movement has few mainstream defenders. But in response to news of the attack, economist Robin Hanson wondered why society is concerned about those who lack access to money but not about those who lack access to sex:
What It Means: Do men and women have a “right” to sexual activity? Many people claim we do—and that the right is fundamental.
Over the past decade, sexual-rights advocates have advanced the claim that, as the International Women’s Health Coalition says, “sexual rights are human rights.” They argue, “Without sexual rights, [women and girls] cannot realize their rights to self-determination and autonomy, nor can they control other aspects of their lives” and that “sexual rights underpin the enjoyment of all other human rights and are a prerequisite for equality and justice.”
The logic of sexual rights will compel, as Hanson noted, that sex may need to be redistributed using the power of the state. Hanson may be the “creepiest economist in America,” but he’s also able to follow the presuppositions of the sexual-rights advocates to their logical conclusion.