CWSG mewn hedd/rest in peace Maxine Davison, Sophie Martyn, Lee Martyn, Stephen Washington and Kate Shepherd. And so many others.

Why? Male entitlement is the short answer. The long answer won’t end in Plymouth either. Women everywhere need to wake up to the fact that we are under attack and the attacks are getting worse.

Incels are a case in point. The term ‘involuntary celibate’, abbreviated to incel, was coined by a Canadian student in 1993 who simply wanted to discuss her sexual inactivity with others online.

Nowadays, its meaning has changed. An incel is a member of a very nasty online white male supremacist subculture.

Journalist Laura Bates went undercover to investigate chat spaces like 4chan, routinely accused by experts of being a ‘hotbed of alt-right radicalisation and misogyny’. Bates found comments from incels about “inflicting violent death on the women who won’t sleep with them”.

And it won’t surprise you, discussions among incels revolve around self pity and victimhood, a sense of entitlement to sex without taking responsibility for their own inadequacies. And, quite frankly, we’ve all met men like that. And they need to change.


What about those who go on to kill? Numerous mass murders since 2014 have been linked to men who have either self-identified as incels or who had mentioned incel-related names and material. At least 61 people have been killed.

Canada has prosecuted its first incel-inspired terror attack, which is a step in the right direction and must, of course, happen here immediately.

But a change in the way the law is administered must also be accompanied by a change in the way we address the growing threat of terrorism.

At the moment those ‘at risk of terrorism’ are monitored through the discredited UK Government Prevent Programme.

Of the few who do make it to the programme, the number of right-wing extremists grew by 21 per cent during year ending March 2019, compared to a rise of one per cent for religious extremism.

What is surprising is that half of all referrals fall into neither category, described unhelpfully as ‘mixed, unstable or unclear’. This figure is up from 10 per cent in 2016-17 and that is concerning.

So who are the 50 per cent? Prevent’s figures show 88 per cent of all referrals to be men so logically incels fit the bill.

Does that mean therefore that many forms of terrorism have misogyny at their root to some degree or other? Logically, yes, which brings me back to my short answer.

Addressing the root cause of terrorism means confronting and removing male entitlement.

It means targeting the would-be killers seriously, taking their families’ calls for help seriously, rather than turning a blind eye, because, well, men are like that sometimes, aren’t they?

And so, once again, we return to the responsibility all men bear to understand misogyny in the first place and stamp it out before more blood is shed. Will they step up to the mark?

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