Understanding Black Pill Ideology

Hold my Drink Podcast Blog, Episode 49

If you’re anything like me the term “incel” may be new to you. It stands for “involuntary celibate” and is a loosely organized internet group of men who have had a hard time finding and being in intimate relationships.

According to Naama Kates, who runs the Incel Podcast, these men are typically young and often suffer from depression or other mental illnesses, and quite a few are on the autism spectrum. Given the anger and depression that typically characterizes incels, they are often considered violent.

Naama dispels this stereotype, but also asserts that the black pill ideology – an ideology that affirms and accepts the bleak state of intimacy for those in the incel tribe – does lend itself to misogynistic trends. And in fact, several violent crimes have been ascribed to incels, although Naama queries the simplistic assumption that violence and incels are synonymous.

Incels, differ from other “male only” movements like MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way). The demographic of the latter is mainly of older men who for a series of reasons, often a disillusionment with romantic relations, have decided to keep their hearts to themselves. Incels, on the other hand, would love to “ascend” into a relationship, but find the current climate, especially in the internet era, a barrier to love, isolating many from exercising and developing social etiquette IRL (in real life).

Despite the differences in the various groups in the “man-o-sphere” there is commonality in the literature and messaging they consume. Women, who were once more dependent on finding a mate for financial support, have become more “elitist” in their selection of men, thereby contributing to the incel phenomenon. In essence, not all incels hate women or are violent, and there are many that Naama has interviewed who upend this caricature, but if you hate women, it is possible you may have swallowed the black pill!

Despite the growing concern for this movement both within our society and even our government, who keeps them on a watch list, what is interesting is that incels aren’t necessarily white men. This is another common misconception that Naama dispels, even though we tend to lump them into this racial category.

However, many incels have become victims of the social justice narrative that categorizes people as either oppressed or oppressors. While many of the white men who do identify as incels are categorized as oppressors in our new lexicon, they see themselves as anything but, and the social justice framework only entrenches their social isolation, creating further misunderstanding.

While this phenomenon is one that creates concern, so many simply feel unheard. Unloved. Unappreciated. And isn’t that the reason so many, incel or not, become bitter? Why the black pill or any other pill becomes a seductive sedative to life’s woes?

Naama gives them the space to share their stories and unveils the heterogeneity of a community that doesn’t match the socially imposed monolithic narrative. Join us.


In the Hold my Drink — navigating culture with a chaser of civility, and Counterweight podcast, Episode 49, we speak with Naama Kates, host of the Incel Podcast. Naama gives insight into the counter-cultural movement of incels and black pill ideology, unveiling both uncomfortable truths and dispelling shadowy myths. We also explore the current social justice narrative of oppressor and oppressed and the mismatch this creates for incels. All discussed with a chaser of civility, of course, a mango smoothie and a shot of bourbon.

Hold my Drink welcomes all people with all kinds of beverages to join us as we explore the truths of a chaotic and beautiful world, together.

Find us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, or watch the conversation unfold on YouTube, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Podcast Resources

What the media gets wrong about incels, Unherd, Naama Kates

This was not an incel shooting, Spiked, Naama Kates

The Incel Phenomenon Is Not a Movement (Or A Terrorist Group). Unspeakable Podcast with Naama Kates


Naama Kates is a writer, producer, and creator of Incel, a popular weekly podcast for Crawlspace Media. You can follow her on Twitter @naamakates and @TheIncelProject