Arrogant and entitled

It’s women’s fault.

The gunman who killed five people in a mass shooting in Plymouth ranted at a 16-year-old girl that “women are arrogant and entitled beyond belief” in some of his final online exchanges just a few days before he embarked on Britain’s worst mass shooting in more than a decade.

Arrogant and entitled in the sense of not offering to have sex with him?

His comments and membership of the incel community again raise questions over the police’s decision not to treat the worst mass shooting in Britain since 2010 as terror-related.

It depends on how you’re defining “terror-related.” If you decide that it means having explicit demands addressed to specific governments, then the Plymouth slaughter doesn’t count, but that’s not the only way to define it.

The incel movement is known to promote violent misogyny and has inspired a number of high-profile murders in the US.

These include the case of US student Elliot Rodger who in 2014 shot dead six of his contemporaries before killing himself after leaving a message saying that he was angry because he had failed to form a relationship with a woman.

Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, said: “Incels are terrorists. They seek to teach women a lesson, to remould society, to change through violence that which they could never possibly achieve through the ballot box or persuasion.”

Ahmed said that ungoverned online spaces were allowing hateful views to propagate and radicalise new followers.

“Male supremacist incel communities form specifically to share and deepen one another’s hatred of women. There, they undergo a process of radicalisation unchecked by broader social norms because of these digital spaces’ isolation from the rest of society’s tempering institutions and forces,” he added.

Of course, society’s institutions also feature quite a lot of contempt for women, belief that women are subordinate to men, assumption that women are required to be attractive and compliant to men, and the like.

Ahmed added: “That so many malignant ideologies – from anti-vaxxers to antisemites to incels – are accelerating their radicalisation and developing violent mobilising elements is a function of both the ease with which they can build their communities online and the inherently radicalising nature of those spaces.”

Little slime pits everywhere.

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