By Justine Jones
"I've come to the realization that I hate women. They give pussy to almost everyone except me. At the club, I get no pussy. At school, no pussy. Dating apps? No pussy. I’m fucking sick of it all. All I want is to build a rotation of bitches I can fuck. I don’t give a fuck about how females feel, and I don’t want them as friends. Just for sex. I hate my life.” — Incel on the internet
Incels aren’t really looking for companionship or even sex for that matter are they? What they seem to be longing for, above all else, is absolute male domination. Which makes sense as it’s generally the weaker ones who are obsessed with power and authority. (Hatred always springs from feelings of impotence).
Obviously people who are lonely and suffering should be treated with some level of sympathy (after all being lonely can literally trick the brain into feeling like it’s under attack) but, and while their loneliness may be real, the majority of people who self-identify as “Incel” simply hate women. (If their existence was only about being lonely dipshits, they could quite easily organize fun little soirées for themselves or even advocate for the legalization of sex work). Instead they choose to blame women for their problems. They’re scant angry misogynists who view women as automatons in which to occasionally plunge their unimpressive cocks and frustrations into. (In other words, Incels are people who cannot get laid and they violently loathe anyone who can).
Essentially, they’re a hate group who utilize the same type of illogic employed by the Klan when declaring that black people are genetically inferior. (The difference being, we’re more used to hearing and classifying the Klans rhetoric as hate speech).
As Angela Nagle writes in her book: Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right: “There is a really interesting irony in the incel style of quasipolitics – they are both a response to and advocates of almost an Ayn Randian view of romance and human relationships. So they rail against the loneliness and the isolation and the individualism of modern life, but they seem to advocate it as well, in that they love the language of the strong triumphing over the weak. But they themselves are the weak.”
This is the world CoinciDate entertains and decisively examines. The ignominious world of the Incel. Which at times is extremely dark while also managing to be side-splittingly hilarious. Low does a fantastic job dissecting the darker side of “romance” through the eccentric capitalist firm known as CoinciDate, an unscrupulous dating service which, for a price, will stalk anyone's desired partner, gathering personal information for their clients to then use in an attempt to endear themselves to their victims (i.e. love interests). Out of the many who utilize the service most are maladjusted, potentially violent, and/or struggling to cope with the day-to-day experience of modern human relationships, giving us a warped reality in which ephemeral desire quickly turns to unbound mania and deception is far more prevalent than virtue. (One reviewer aptly described the book as: “Minority Report meets Tinder.”)
It would be a mistake however, to view CoinciDate as Pro-Incel, as a few people have suggested. (I even had one friend exclaim to me that the author must be: “One sick son of a bitch!” after I described the premise to them). Yet the book is quite obviously a satire intended to poke fun at the ridiculous and misguided ideology permeating the darker corners of the internet.
I’m tempted to make a Palahniuk comparison here, but after finishing the book I no longer believe that's generous enough. Because part of Low’s genius is not just the simplicity of his writing, but that he makes it look easy and natural. You're reading it thinking: "I could write like this," and then you sit down and attempt to write like this and quickly realize you can't even come close. His style easily lends itself to creating a world in which you are able to engross yourself in situations that clearly parallel our own shit-stained reality. Which makes the book not only come alive off the pages, but leaps out at you like a vampire after a half-century fast.
I could most assuredly sing Low’s praises for the rest of the year, but I'll content myself with saying that if you’re a fan of transgressive fiction, or in all honesty someone who simply enjoys a good story, this book is for you and it’s an excellent starting point to an amazingly underrated genre.
(Kharms & Bowler Publishing 2021)
Justine Jones is a regular contributor to a A Thin Slice of Anxiety. Her work has been featured in several anthologies over the years and has appeared in several documentary films dealing with gentrification and urbanization. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and three sons.