What is the “incel” movement, which is claimed by someone who “planned violent action”?

What is the “incel” movement that Alex G., 26, seems to be close to? The young man was arrested in Eysines, near Bordeaux (Gironde), and placed in police custody on Tuesday, after posting “a worrying message” on social networks, just before the passage of the Olympic flame this Thursday.

Motivated by hatred of women

According to a police Source, the report at the origin of the suspect’s arrest actually mentioned a video clip referring to Elliot Rodger, author of the Isla Vista massacre ten years ago, accompanied by the word: “You misses Elliot. » Motivated by his hatred of women, Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured thirteen others before committing suicide on May 23, 2014 in Isla Vista, California.

The day before the events, he posted a video online where he violently attacked the girls who rejected him. On the day of the killing, he also sent a manifesto to his parents and his psychiatrist, in which he wrote in particular: “All my suffering on this earth has been caused by humanity, especially women. » Elliot Rodger is today a “hero” of the “incel” movement.

The author of another killing, Alek Minassian, who killed ten people with a car ramming on May 23, 2018 in Toronto, also belonged to this movement. On his Facebook account, he posted: “The incel rebellion has already started. »

Women who have “too many rights”

Originating in North America in the late 1990s, the term “incel” is short for “involuntary celibate”. It initially referred to people who are simply single even though they don’t want to be. But after various turns, it took on a radical masculinist connotation.

Since the 2010s, “incels” have referred to men who consider that they are single because of women, who do not want them. A deeply misogynistic ideology. This term is also associated with a community found on social networks, and known for its violence and hatred of women.

They criticize women for only being interested in “LMS” (“look money status”) men: these are men who have beauty, money and social status at the same time, reports Clara Delhaye on the Gender in Geopoltics Institute website. “Incels” “defend an archaic and stereotypical vision of society,” she writes, “and assert that women who campaign for their rights would endanger the current social balance, already damaged by feminist ideology. They therefore plead for a reversal of the current order in which women would have too many rights and freedoms. »

“Necessary to realize the danger”

Interviewed in December 2023 by 20 minutesthe journalist Pauline Ferrari, author of “Trained to hate women”, explained that if it is “complicated to draw up a composite portrait of the masculinist”, we nevertheless observe in most “incel” profiles “that they are young heterosexual white men, who would be socially downgraded, or in any case who would have several life problems, beyond the difficulties in maintaining a romantic relationship.”

The journalist warns of this movement. “It is necessary to realize today the danger represented by this ideology, which can give rise to terrorist acts in real life,” she explained during this interview. It is estimated that since 2014, seven crimes have been committed in the name of this ideology in North America.

What exactly did Alex G. plan for his part? Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin wrote on X that he was “planning violent action during the passage of the Olympic torch relay in Bordeaux”. Public prosecutor Frédérique Porterie confirms that he admitted in police custody “to having considered committing the act”, but that “no reference to the Olympic flame was mentioned”. The investigation, which has just started, will have to clarify these elements.

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