by Mary Harrington
Thursday, 5
January 2023
Dark Web
07:00

Why are incels turning themselves into girls?

The rise of 'transmaxxing' is a sign of things to come
by Mary Harrington
The 73-page manifesto contains many examples of boys who have ‘successfully’ transitioned

A new report from Sanjana Friedman at Pirate Wires documents a phenomenon that’s been a source of discussion among the extremely online for a little while, and has now made it into the open. “Transmaxxing” is a subculture of young men who embrace trans identities not because they believe they were ‘born in the wrong body’ but simply because they can, and because they think it’ll make their lives better. 

It’s a phenomenon that reveals more nakedly than ever before the true face of the cyborg era: a culture caught between increasingly powerful technology, and the collapse of any coherent narrative about how best to use it for the good into a general sense that all narratives are interchangeable.


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As Friedman tells it, the transmaxxers are strikingly post-ideological about their self-remodelling, at least compared to the official trans narrative, which draws heavily from 20th-century civil rights discourse. In this view, ‘gender identity’ is immutable and trans people are just ‘born that way’. 

Many transmaxxers, though, modify themselves just because they want to (examples are shown on this 73-page ‘transmaxxing’ manifesto). Some report making up stories of gender dysphoria for medical professionals, while others then self-induce gender dysphoria by watching ‘sissy hypno’ — a type of video in which hypnotic (and sometimes also pornographic) stimuli are combined with messages encouraging the male viewer to embrace feminine looks or behaviour. The post-ideological feel of the phenomenon is underlined further by how often such individuals shift from embracing the ‘incel’ ideologies associated with the Right, to ‘trans’ identities associated with the Left. 

For the most part, the contest between trans activists and their feminist opponents has been conducted on the field of ‘gender’: what it is, whether it has discrete categories, how (or whether) it relates to physiology and so on. A smaller handful of writers have drawn attention to the transhumanist implications of claiming a right to remodel one’s physical body based on an unfalsifiable inner feeling. 

This vision sees medicine not as a restorative practice intended to return us to a shared understanding of ‘normal’, but as a potentially limitless method of upgrading ‘normal’ according to personal desire and preference. This has been openly advocated for some time as well by some trans activists, such as pharma entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt. But the debate has so far stayed largely within the pre-cyborg moral frame of equality, justice and rights. 

Yet as Friedman notes, what’s striking in the transmaxxers is the way they’re cheerfully abandoning the civil-rights narrative, in favour of an open, wholesale embrace of the transhumanist outlook. Many transmaxxers report that the interventions have significantly improved their lives; why, such individuals might ask, does anyone need a ‘born in the wrong body’ story to justify something that works on its own terms? 

And it’s here that we catch a glimpse of the real face of the cyborg era: an emerging cultural paradigm in which technology is the ideology. The opinions someone endorses while down an internet rabbit hole matter less than the cumulative psychological impact of spending all day every day in that rabbit hole: a condition of radical body dissociation and (increasingly measurably) real-world social isolation

Once self is thus dissociated from body, there’s no obvious reason not to treat that ‘meat suit’ as an instrument to be optimised, whether via hormones, surgery or other interventions, in pursuit of greater happiness — and again the story matters less than the fact you’re simply doing it because you can.

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Pil Grim
Pil Grim
23 days ago

It will be interesting to see how the gender identity people react to this development once it mainstreams. I can only imagine that the majority of them will get very annoyed indeed and we will see a purity spiral in which the centrifugal force separates ‘real’ from ‘fake’ trans based on a true inner feeling. It’s pretty obvious at this point that gender identity is an ersatz replacement for what was more commonly termed the soul. Cut off from a concept of the latter, the modern ego has no choice but to deify its feelings.

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
23 days ago
Reply to  Pil Grim

Totally. The enemy within!

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
22 days ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

”’ ‘sissy hypno’ ”’
the world has really gone mad….

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
21 days ago

Only some of the “Western World” (UK, USA, Angloshere)

Sami J
Sami J
19 days ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

Thailand would like a word.

Eliza Mann
Eliza Mann
7 days ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

…Germany, Sweden, Norway, Spain….

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
23 days ago
Reply to  Pil Grim

Probably already underway some time ago, at least for the “extremely online”. Pull up your chair and I’ll pass round the popcorn. Should be an entertaining show.

Last edited 23 days ago by Richard Parker
Sue Frisby
Sue Frisby
23 days ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

All I can say at this moment is it’s fascinating to see how quickly things are evolving in this sphere. What a show!

Gavin Stewart-Mills
Gavin Stewart-Mills
23 days ago
Reply to  Pil Grim

Interestingly, a trans advocacy organisation (Translucent) recently released what they called a groundbreaking paper which set out to “demonstrate that being trans is a biological condition”. One might imagine this would be cheered as a victory by trans folx & wannabes obsessed with outside ‘validation’ of their identity etc. However it became a spectacular own-goal as the poor poppets reacted with horror – “nobody defines me” – “it will be used to hurt us” – blabla and the usual bleatings about social stigma and Nazi othering.
Ultimately the trans loons are incapable of accepting any definition of reality beyond what’s in their own mind at any given moment. The only positive is that this sees them sleepwalking into alignment with other lunatic and/or criminal groups such as paedophilia advocates – now reborn of course as the fluffy term “Minor Attracted Peoples”. Eventually enough of this idiocy will start to register with normal people.

jmo
jmo
23 days ago

I believe they call the old-school transexuals who believe there’s a standard “truscum”.

john O'Neal
john O'Neal
22 days ago
Reply to  jmo

True Scum?

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
23 days ago

Is ‘translucent’ a sort of invisibility thing? Or does it mean to be seen through? If I identify as translucent, do I become a being of light & air?
This is fun!

David Harris
David Harris
22 days ago

“Translucent”?
So would a trans version of MumsNet be TransParent? 🙂

Last edited 22 days ago by David Harris
Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
23 days ago
Reply to  Pil Grim

Deify and reify.

Pil Grim
Pil Grim
23 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Exactly

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
21 days ago
Reply to  Pil Grim

This phenomenon says gobs about the prevailing lack of mental health in today’s youth.

John Sanchez
John Sanchez
20 days ago
Reply to  Pil Grim

I don’t think they will be too bothered, after-all they are very happy to claim that all those sex offenders really are trans and go to great lengths to defend them.

D Walsh
D Walsh
23 days ago

The decline of the West continues

Gavin Stewart-Mills
Gavin Stewart-Mills
23 days ago

Another outstanding piece from Mary Harrington which also introduced me to a rather unsettling new categorisation of people – “the extremely online”. I have little to add apart from a growing sense of horror at how technologies & post-modern theory are feeding the self-absorbed fantasies of the young. My old worry that it might take a violent realignment to shake the West out of its decadence, is starting to be overtaken by a worry that these lunatics might prevail in creating a new normal.

Brett H
Brett H
23 days ago

Not much of a choice is it?

Gavin Stewart-Mills
Gavin Stewart-Mills
23 days ago
Reply to  Brett H

The 3rd choice is that the vast majority of normal citizens and “people of goodwill” (and generally happy to support gay rights, minorities etc) finally wake up and detach their sympathies from the trans activist movement. Too late for Scotland, sadly.

Claire England
Claire England
23 days ago

It’s only going to get worse. I’m a substitute teacher at the moment and the kids are on laptops IN KINDERGARTEN!!! 5 year olds are already happier in a virtual rather than a literal world. No blackboards or paper in classrooms- exercises are done individually on a screen ( no group work where students help each other). I’m subbing in order to have the flexibility to care for my elderly parents, and when I tell them what I’m seeing in the classroom they’re beyond appalled. It’s clear our Silicon Valley Overlords are intent on creating a huge underclass of people with expert -if basic- tech competencies and no critical thinking capabilities.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
23 days ago
Reply to  Claire England

There is no need for critical thinking skills when you are raised to know that government thinks for you.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
22 days ago
Reply to  Claire England

I’ve been fighting against the over-use of technology in schools for ages. I was a teacher-trainer ten years ago at one school which quite happily abandoned all of its textbooks in favor of iPads. I brought up the fact that Silicon Valley executives send their own children to traditional schools, but none of this seemed to register with school leaders. The teachers themselves were often burnt out because children often forgot (or pretended to forget) to bring or charge their iPads which resulted in many missed lessons and hours spent on catch-up time. They really added very little except to serve as distractions.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
23 days ago

I’m beginning to feel the need to escape to some island, or land far removed from the day to day cultish, quasi-religious woo that’s in the air at the moment. It really feels as if we’re in some dark dystopian novel. Movies used to be made about this that we all agreed were horrifying & “thank goodness that’s not real”. Like when we read 1984 & thought “We’ll at least that will never happen now, because we’ve been warned”.
But it’s beginning to feel as if it is happening. It was meant to be a warning, not a manifesto. But a big gulf is opening up between the generations that’s far more dangerous than it ever was before. They didn’t get the warning – or maybe we didn’t pass it on properly.
The internet is the Pied Piper & it’s stealing a generation.
Genuinely frightening..

Dr. G Marzanna
Dr. G Marzanna
21 days ago
Reply to  Jane Awdry

Same here. I’m ready to colonise that island just give the word …

Eliza Mann
Eliza Mann
7 days ago
Reply to  Jane Awdry

“The internet is the Pied Piper & it’s stealing a generation.” Great comment!

Justin S
Justin S
23 days ago

Just one more example of a what is very clear about all Trans people and their supposed stories.

It is a mental health issue, a sever self delusion and in effect a fake.

It suits these men to claim to feel like or to ‘be’ women.

No male born human can ever become a woman.

When society re-learns the truth of that, and regains its courage to say those truths – then this tiny particle of our population can be viewed and treated as what they are – mental health cases.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
23 days ago
Reply to  Justin S

Therein lies the issue. There is no truth today. Truth is relative. And if truth is relative, then anything goes.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
22 days ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

All of it is just philosophical arguments of course. In the real world, you still need to look both ways before crossing the road & if you stick your fingers in an electrical socket you’ll still get a shock.

Paula G
Paula G
21 days ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

This is a con! They say this to exploit.

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
21 days ago
Reply to  Justin S

or wierdos as we used to call them

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
23 days ago

Turned 70 recently. Even with a good run I should be dead within 25 years. But is that soon enough?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
23 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Society can’t wait 25 years! It needs your pension.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
23 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

OMG – I’ve genuinely had the same thought. I don’t think I want to be in this bizarre world of the elevated Self..
And what’s even more frightening is that the champions of this new ideology don’t want us in it either.
Maybe one day books will be written about when the world went mad & those people sane enough to question the prevailing orthodoxy were crushed. Not much consolation but we may be remembered as warriors of reality in some future…

Brett H
Brett H
22 days ago
Reply to  Jane Awdry

“we may be remembered as warriors of reality in some future…”
They’ll either be wonder-struck at how we managed, or condemn us out of hand for the ‘hardships’ they have to endure because we only thought of ourselves..

N Forster
N Forster
23 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

You could always move to Canada…

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
22 days ago
Reply to  N Forster

Or more usefully, Ukraine?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
21 days ago
Reply to  N Forster

You’re joking? It’s even worse there. Look at the way the Canadian Psychiatric association is chasing down Dr. Jordan Peterson. They want to ‘re-educate’ him a la the CCP’s MO.

Paula G
Paula G
21 days ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I am pretty sure he was joking.

Dr. G Marzanna
Dr. G Marzanna
21 days ago
Reply to  Paula G

No it’s true. The college of nurses in bc is similarly threatening a nurse for Wrongthink.

Paula G
Paula G
20 days ago
Reply to  Dr. G Marzanna

No, the Unherd commentator was probably joking, aware of the Canadian situation.

Dr. G Marzanna
Dr. G Marzanna
21 days ago
Reply to  N Forster

Gosh no. I’m in Canada ATM and it is fully captured.
Not that everybody likes it. But the Cultural Revolution cadres are in control.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
12 days ago
Reply to  N Forster

Yes it’s MAiD for folk like me.

Eliza Mann
Eliza Mann
7 days ago
Reply to  N Forster

… where dystopia is even more advanced than in the U.S. …or Scotland!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
22 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

My thinking too at the age of 60. TF I retired and didn’t have to face dealing with this rubbish at work. I feel sorry for my grandkids who are already being brainwashed on this stuff at school.

Last edited 22 days ago by Ian Stewart
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
23 days ago

This makes perfect sense. If you are a normal man whose tastes tend to the feminine why would you not wish to slough off the male carapace that sets you up as a toxic patriarchal potential rapist – the but of feminist caricature – and adopt a female persona one where achievement is lauded rather than disparaged. Of course, you may eventually be accused of sexual appropriation but at present that accusation is not levelled at those who currently adopt a different sexual persona.

Last edited 23 days ago by Jeremy Bray
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
23 days ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Well said. If I could come back as anything it would be as a queer black female, with above 13% American Indian descent. My prospects would be limitless in today’s world.

Aidan Trimble
Aidan Trimble
21 days ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Well the Warren element of your name gives you some precedent.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
21 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Trimble

and Elizabeth is a very nice name too.

Last edited 21 days ago by Jeremy Bray
Chris Amies
Chris Amies
23 days ago

The headline jumps on the ‘incel’ bit – how very unlike Julie Bindel’s article about abused girls transitioning – but the report (and this piece later on) sees that as one part of a trifecta: ”involuntary celibacy, social isolation, and professional mediocrity.” That’s to say, being in an exploitative or badly-paid job (if they have a job at all) and feeling that society really doesn’t care about them. I’ve always felt the sex bit of the ‘incel’ narrative isn’t that big a deal, it’s more about isolation and possibly the untreated psychological results of abuse.

Last edited 23 days ago by [email protected]
Andre Lower
Andre Lower
23 days ago
Reply to  Chris Amies

Chris, you make a good point. But the issue is not that this is becoming a common choice. The issue is just how lightly everyone choses the path of “otherizing” Incels – as some sort of losers that are the only ones to blame for their own misery – instead of ever scrutinizing the drivers for it. Above all, I am disgusted by the wholesale female response along the lines of “good riddance”, as if somehow their own individual “deserved pairing” was guaranteed by some inexplicable narrative that they nurture in their mind. It is as if they chose to ignore what numbers mean… The “otherizing” of Incels is at least as alarming as the Incel phenomenon itself, and it seems that by the time society as a whole decides to act honestly upon examining the causes for the current level of antagonism and disconnect between the genders, it may be simply too late to revert.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
17 days ago
Reply to  Chris Amies

Good point, Chris. Men’s position in societt has become devalued to the point where men need female validation to be seen as worthy of respect. If women don’t respect them, the society won’t respect them.

Imagine being a boy in this world who had an abusive mother. You would be surrounded by constant feminist propaganda about how men were abusers and women were incapable of abuse in a patriarchal society.

Never mind transitioning, how many boys have been driven to suicide by feminism?

Steve White
Steve White
23 days ago

The latest Marry Harrington articles almost never dissapoint. 🙂

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
22 days ago
Reply to  Steve White

She gave us the amazing ” ‘sissy hypno’

But very disappointingly failed to bring in the whole topic of:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/4692554/weird-world-furry-fetish-adults-dress-animal-costumes/

”AROUND quarter of a million people in the US now identify as “furries” – a subculture where members dress up as cartoonish animals, sometimes as a sexual fetish but more often as a fun escape.”

I think Mary is being way too prudish and mainstream – there are universes of preversion and deviancy yet to plumb and weave together in some kind of giant Macrame of end of the world weirdness.

p.s. worth clicking on the link to see the ‘Furries’

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
20 days ago

How about ‘Bronies’?

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
23 days ago

Can’t help but think of “Trainspotting”, and Renton’s comment (which I’m probably misquoting, but the gist of it is):
“…there won’t be any men or women, there’ll just be w**kers”.
Surprisingly prescient, now I reconsider it. I don’t see the appeal but apparently (disturbingly), some do. Their worlds must be pretty messed up, to look for this as a solution to their problems.

Last edited 23 days ago by Richard Parker
R Wright
R Wright
23 days ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

“It’s all about aesthetics” – Rent Boy Renton
They really have a short term view. Their view of women (and the advantages some women get in our modern western society) is so distorted that they don’t realise the consequences of their actions a decade or two down the line.

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
23 days ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

There’s a line in the film Gregory’s Girl: “In another million years there will be no men, no women. There’ll just be people. Just a whole world of [email protected]”.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
22 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

Interestingly consistent theme in Scottish films….

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
23 days ago

Is it ignorance or arrogance that makes people think they can improve on millions of years of evolution? Or is it a reluctance to make the effort to push the boundaries of what evolution has enabled them to do with the brains and bodies they were born with.

monicasilva999
monicasilva999
23 days ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

I actually find it rather refreshing. They are not pretending there’s any meaningful reason for it other than their want. Like hair implant or pennis enlargement. It’s not improving anything, but the consumer gets to feel better about himself, while someone makes money out of it.

Harry Gray
Harry Gray
23 days ago
Reply to  monicasilva999

I suppose the big problem is that men and women are normally identified by the clothes we wear. If everyone wore whatever they liked we would just accept a person for what they presented themselves to be.
Harry

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
23 days ago
Reply to  Harry Gray

I think you’ll find most people find it very easy to identify a man in a dress.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
23 days ago
Reply to  Harry Gray

I think you’ll find most people find it very easy to identify a m an in a dress.

Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre
21 days ago
Reply to  Harry Gray

Trust me, you can tell a man from a woman without looking at the clothes they’re wearing. The actual big problem is women are still the second sex. We’re paid less over our lifetimes, have lower earning potential, are murdered by men at a rate of almost two a week and endlessly abused, harassed and assaulted. If men start “identifying” as women they keep their male privilege, if women identify as men they don’t gain it although they might be harassed a little less. Doubling down on Gender stereotypes like this is undoing at least a century of women’s rights activism. You can be a man and wear a dress. That does not make you a woman no more than wearing trousers makes me a man.

Unknown Imp
Unknown Imp
21 days ago
Reply to  Jane Eyre

Men are 80% of suicides, 92% of workplace deaths, 75% of the homeless, and probably the only sex that contributes more in taxes than it takes out in benefits.
Women earn less because they work less hard compared to men (Men work more hours per week than than women on average), women also pick easier jobs (nursing) rather than harder work (petroleum drilling), likewise women prefer people jobs like secretarial work, this is all evident in the gender “neutral” land of Sweden. The more economic freedom women have, the more they act like traditional women, go figure.
Most violent deaths are men, Women have no violent cause of death in their top 10 causes of death according to the CDC.
Western Women are the most privileged group in the history of the world.

Sami J
Sami J
19 days ago
Reply to  Unknown Imp

Yes, raising the human race is notoriously easy.

Men are also overrepresented in the areas of violent crime, should we brag about that,too?

Women are risk- averse out of biological necessity- we are also beaten, abused, and killed by our partners. In fact, women are more likely to be murdered by men that supposedly love us than anyone else. The same can’t be said for male victims of murder – who (just like women) are far more likely to be killed by…ba dum tiss….other men.

You bemoan the “state of men,” yet women are working harder than their male counterparts now more than ever. A

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
17 days ago
Reply to  Sami J

Women barely do any “raising” of the himan race any more. Big Daddy Government does.

Feminists only ever focus on predominantly male evil, like violence. They never focus on predominantly female evil, like manipulation. Murder is rare in our society, and in statistical terms, murder sof women by men are miniscule in scale.

The culture depsises men and glorifies women as the elites wanted this after WW2. F to M transitioners frequently state how much less the world cares about them once they are seen as men. The transmaxxers are just gaming a biased system.

Paula G
Paula G
20 days ago
Reply to  Jane Eyre

These are men with means to transition and who probably are already active in IT or tech, so their earning power won’t go down.

Female cleaners could transition, with state aid, and could maybe get state education on top, to get higher paying jobs. Although, they would be in the low paying incel position, then, probably.

Best then, to just fund your lifestyle with Only Fans.

In the end, we won’t have ambulance drivers or nurses, so, whatever way you get ahead, get far enough ahead thwart you have your own surgical facility and REALLY well paid doctor and nurse on call. Society ain’t going to have essential workers, when the boys want to w**k their multiple orgasms, and bio women turn to Only Fans.

Last edited 20 days ago by Paula
Muad Dib
Muad Dib
14 days ago
Reply to  Jane Eyre

I agree with some of your points, I think that overall attitude is clearly one of misandry which is not helpful.
Men are in deed much more violent, and always have been, and there is a gender bias in this violence, it is against other men. Around 70% of all murder victims are men. While violence against women I find particularly disgusting, in our society it is safer to be a woman.
Most men I know are wired to protect woman, even strangers, for important women in their life (mother, partner, daughter…) most would give their life without second thought.
Yes, there are gender injustices, lack of opportunity etc., but not everything is in favour of men.
Remember that in this society of ours men are three times more likely to find life so unbearable that they commit suicide.
Dirty & dangerous jobs are overwhelmingly men’s territory, as is homelessness etc.
I think we need more empathy for each other, there is no world which is good for men if women are not able to be safe and achieve all there potential, same is true the other way around.

miss pink
miss pink
23 days ago
Reply to  monicasilva999

I wouldn’t call it refreshing but I agree that it’s the next step in the relentless self-improvement/reinvent yourself industry. Changing sex can be added to what’s on offer. The change doesn’t have to be permanent. Lots of people present themselves as girls some days and boys on others.
I like Mary’s writing a lot but sometimes she overthinks things and I wonder if getting out and about with the ordinary folk would give her a different perspective? It’s not always about something deep and meaningful. People can be pretty shallow.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
22 days ago

Good article, but any association with incels being on the right, is wrong. William Costello’s research shows they span the political spectrum, with a distinct lean toward the left and centrism.

People just stupidly assume that someone they don’t like and wish would disappear, must be on the right.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
23 days ago

Judging from many of their photos, there seems to be a widespread desire to look like a 1960s housewife or typing pool secretary.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
22 days ago
Reply to  Pete Marsh

Yes – none of them want to look like Ellen DeGeneres.

Nic Cowper
Nic Cowper
23 days ago

One word on trans ness: Supercharged Narcicism. “Look at me” syndrome beautifully framed by walliams and lucas in their great thought essay “little Britain” Every kind of human identity disorder laid out before you… Meanwhile normal is not a thing anymore… try harder, give me a disorder, make me different. Truth is stranger than fiction though. Historically from the teds to the punks this was easy, then the space became muddy, and now we have every kind of ‘alternative’ that is possible to imagine and many that are not. True fact: at my daughter’s 6th form there are a group who identify as animals: the furries. They have their food served in bowls by the oh so sympathetic deans and wear furry tails. Oh yes, we are sick. Luckily my daughter and friends laugh, but maybe they are extreme right wingers now? I am going to identify as a “meldrew” and no regrets. Bring on armageddon. Me? An ex communist and green, now reduced to reactionary babblings (thank you Unherd btw)

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
22 days ago
Reply to  Nic Cowper

And now Little Britain is banned – what a surprise, the mocking of the narcissists.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
23 days ago

Non binary seems to be heading in the same direction if Sam Smith and Father Bingo is anything to go by. Once it meant not conforming to gender stereotypes and now it seems to be non conforming to style, taste and common decency.
https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/local-news/yorkshire-non-binary-priest-bingo-25873680
https://www.standard.co.uk/showbiz/sam-smith-body-confidence-animal-print-bikini-bottoms-b1049557.html

Last edited 23 days ago by Lindsay Snoman
Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
23 days ago

The opposite type of transition (female to male) shed’s quite a bit of light on the headline question.
There’s several youtubes & other reports out there where a former lass tells how society becomes more hostile & gives them much less +ve attention once they start presenting as male. So backing up the Incel’s own diagnoses that contemporary life is near unbearably harsh for a low status male.
Which is not to argue for any simplistic alt right narrative that society has became excessively biased in favour of women at the expense of men. The worrying fact that female to male transitions have recently caught up with MtF transitions in terms of frequency does indeed support the idea of of subtle forms of misogyny making some young women uncomfortable with their own womanhood.
Not sure if you read these comments Mary, but your fellow unherd write Naama Kates has done a podcast on Transmaxing. She’s a big fan of yours! The pod backs up some of what you say, such as a former incel pivoting from alt-rightish to progressive views after they trans. PS very few incels actually support transmaxing right now, but yeah perhaps that will change.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
23 days ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

There was a video I saw of a F to M person who was a bit shocked that when he was attacked by another male in a subway station no one intervened to help. Women generally are unaware of the threat of violence that men have to deal with from other men – particularly when they are younger. There are pros and cons to being either sex – western women have just been programmed to believe they are the worlds great victims.

Sue Frisby
Sue Frisby
23 days ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

That’s a very good point- there are pros and cons to being either sex! The grass is greener…

Unknown Imp
Unknown Imp
21 days ago
Reply to  Sue Frisby

The cons for western men seem to be “unbearable hell” (75% of homeless, 80% of suicides, 92% of workplace deaths, bias against fathers in custody, getting 60% longer sentences than women for the same crime, etc.)
The cons to women seem to be the air conditioning being set too low, and “Waaah the men want rights!”

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
22 days ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Yup, young men more likely to die from male to male violence; but there is still a huge risk risk of women of any age dying from male violence – 2 per week in the U.K. over the last 10 years.

Unknown Imp
Unknown Imp
21 days ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Women are the safest group in the history of the human race and always have been within the civilized western world.

Shelley Crowley
Shelley Crowley
17 days ago
Reply to  Unknown Imp

That is ridiculous.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
17 days ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

2 a week (which I suspect is a generous rounding-up) is statistically irrelevant.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
23 days ago

This is the absolute nub of the ‘trans’ debate. If it’s all about ‘feelings’ & endorsing, affirming & validating those ‘feelings’, then who’s to say whether someone is faking a ‘feeling’ about anything at all? A psychologist’s job used to be to investigate those feelings to discover what might lie behind them, especially if a patient seemed about to harm themselves (self-mutilation is now the go-to with breasts being hacked off – but penises mysteriously remaining in situ – can anyone delve into this particular fetish please?)
But psychiatrists & therapists may soon be out of a work. The patient is now the Physician & the Physician will heal himself (herself? themself? itself?) by making the corporeal fit the fantasy. Never mind the nonsensical idea that a child can self-diagnose with any accuracy a pathological condition that may or may not exist. This is now an out & out battle between voices & whoever shouts loudest wins.
It is the most unnerving dive into woo and cultism I’ve ever witnessed.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
23 days ago

In the graphic novel series, “Saga”, by Brian K. Vaughan, there is a sex planet where literally any depravity that can be imagined is indulged. Little did I know that the books’ unnamed planet was called Earth.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
23 days ago

Ha. No need to invent a new planet as this was already tried in places such as Sodom, Rome, and Corinth of the ancient world.

Sarah Hubert
Sarah Hubert
23 days ago

Interesting, three great phrases Mary used sum it up I think, ‘technology is the ideology’, ‘meat suit’ and ‘because you can’

Janet G
Janet G
22 days ago

“Some report making up stories of gender dysphoria for medical professionals, while others then self-induce gender dysphoria by watching ‘sissy hypno’ — a type of video in which hypnotic (and sometimes also pornographic) stimuli are combined with messages encouraging the male viewer to embrace feminine looks or behaviour. ”
This sounds like conversion therapy.

Last edited 22 days ago by Janet G
Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
22 days ago

Further proof that once liberated from the burden of giving life to new humans, the female identity (will the term “gender” gradually pass into irrelevance?) increasingly appears to be a preferable route in life for young biological males. Free oneself from the stigma of “male toxicity,” be celebrated for embracing your inner goddess and emulating the increasing pantheon of heroines breaking through glass ceilings to stick it to the Patriarchy. And the thrill of presumed sexual desirability – online atleast. One wonders why any young male at this point would even choose male identity.

Brett H
Brett H
22 days ago

“Further proof that once liberated from the burden of giving life to new humans, the female identity (will the term “gender” gradually pass into irrelevance?) increasingly appears to be a preferable route in life for young biological males.”
That is such an interesting comment. Being male is just too tough for them and being female so much easier. I’m going to think about that. 

Last edited 22 days ago by Brett H
Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
22 days ago
Reply to  Brett H

Almost a no-brainer: preferential hiring by public and private sectors, women-only election lists, favorable child custody bias, the right to single mother taxpayer support, and the right to withdraw sexual consent in hindsight.

And then there’s military conscription, still men-only in most countries, and the cause off literally millions of young men’s deaths in horrific circumstances, including the UK in the 20th century. If reinstated, look for an increase in “female identities.”

Sue Frisby
Sue Frisby
23 days ago

Thank you, Mary Harrington and Unherd for another brilliant topic and discussion. I’ve not found such a sound, exploratory community anywhere else.

Brett H
Brett H
23 days ago

I guess, these days, life’s better as a girl. Wait a minute! The life of a girl, but the brain of a man. Sign me up.

Last edited 23 days ago by Brett H
polidori redux
polidori redux
23 days ago
Reply to  Brett H

Maybe it is just me, Brett, but that sounds slightly creepy. Particularly if you consider what goes on inside the head of most young men. ( I used to be one).

Brett H
Brett H
23 days ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Yes, I have to admit it’s a very dangerous combination.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
23 days ago
Reply to  Brett H

But you’d have a blast trying!

polidori redux
polidori redux
23 days ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

now cut that out!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
22 days ago
Reply to  polidori redux

And this type of trans may explain the demand from trans activists to remove the ‘cotton ceiling’ – another creepy phrase with cotton referring to womens knickers, and the purpose being to convince lesbian women to have sex with men who claim to be women.

Cant help thinking this is just an old fashioned male goal to ‘straighten out’ the lesbians with a good ‘stag’.

Brett H
Brett H
21 days ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

“the ‘cotton ceiling’”

At this rate I’m going to be illiterate by 2024.

Steve White
Steve White
23 days ago

Right now the whole Trans movement is built on the shoulders of the prior civil rights movement. Which itself was built on common Western Christian right/wrong standards. Yet, those old objective standards on which the subjective movement was based are themselves disappearing, even shunned. So, what does the next generation (if there is one) do after this, when there is no more common/objective “common ground” standards to borrow from?
This is why top-down-authoritarianism is the only option, and they know it. That and the Metaverse really is the only option. The question is, will it be leftist and Marxist, or right-wing and fascist? They already have the Western shock troops in the BLM/Antifa style waiting to be activated to assure that it goes in the leftist direction. 

Last edited 23 days ago by Steve White
Will Rolf
Will Rolf
23 days ago
Reply to  Steve White

Don’t count out the fascists. In the US there are 20 million assault rifles in private hands. One assumes 95% of those are right leaning to outright fascists. Antifa and BLM would be no match.

John Riordan
John Riordan
22 days ago

I’m not sure what I think here except that this is possibly only a story at all because of the political dimension.

“Once self is thus dissociated from body, there’s no obvious reason not to treat that ‘meat suit’ as an instrument to be optimised, whether via hormones, surgery or other interventions, in pursuit of greater happiness — and again the story matters less than the fact you’re simply doing it because you can. ”

There’s the final paragraph, and if it had appeared in a junk science magazine instead, it would be a pretty unremarkable point to make about the future within the context of the other ambitions for techno-augmentation of the human race. Or maybe it’s just that because I’m a libertarian, the trans debate for me has never been about how other people choose to live, but merely the demands that such choices might impose upon everyone else.

If there is a future in which humans can change sex or indeed invent new flavours of hermaphroditic hybrids and then change on a whim into those, that’s fine as long as it makes them happy and it doesn’t cost anyone else anything. We are however very far away from that sort of future and we’re getting further away from it even as technology advances, because the politics of radical transgender rights is expressly intended to confiscate freedom of conscience from everyone else on the matter.

That aside, there’s one further thing to say about incels going trans, and it’s simply surely that they improve their chances of getting laid? The trans-identity affords access to a layer of youth society which treats it at a premium, so there’s the slim prospect of pulling an idealistic lefty straight girl (though I must confess I’m not sure how I’d estimate their chances). They also might think that by converting to the appearance of womanhood, pulling a lesbian is on the cards, which sounds mad except that apparently lesbians are reporting these days pressure to accept the advances of men identifying as women. Perhaps this incel conversion thing explains why it’s happening – though that doens’t change the fact that I’m firmly on the side of lesbians retaining their right to say no without having to explain themselves, no matter who does the asking.

Last edited 21 days ago by John Riordan
Brett H
Brett H
21 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

It occurs to me that these incels are nothing. They exist without any real agency. Drifting into the guise of a girl is so easy because the life of a girl looks so easy. You just drift around, smiling and cooing and everyone likes you and you’re something without even trying.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
19 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

“there’s one further thing to say about incels going trans, and it’s simply surely that they improve their chances of getting laid?”

My assumption was that if they have a ‘J Arthur’ then at least a girl did it for them.

To be honest though, the headline is pretty misleading.

Last edited 19 days ago by Al M
Dominic A
Dominic A
23 days ago

Why? Perhaps so they can get likes….and articles written about them.

John Taylor
John Taylor
21 days ago

If we live in a time of liquid modernity, as Zygmunt Bauman memorably phrased it, then today’s celebration of transgenderism should come as no surprise. A liquid protean self, always changing on personal whim, becomes the epitome of the post-modern self, the atomized conformism of people stripped from any foundations. And this, of course, leads to a series of one-upmanship. So now we see a growing number of trans activists claiming to secretly be animals such as wolves. And today’s trans fixation is reflected in the tales of those getting plastic surgery to look like Kim Kardashian, a space alien, the human Barbie (and Ken) doll and so forth (Google all for verification.) This is the restlessness of the perpetually dissatisfied consumer…

Brett H
Brett H
21 days ago
Reply to  John Taylor

So true. A generation raised as consumers not even comprehending that it’s not a natural state.

cara williams
cara williams
20 days ago

they are not turning themselves into anything other than butchered versions of who they are. there is no such thing as transition.

Veronica Lowe
Veronica Lowe
21 days ago

I’m still waiting for the trans diet: Catkins, not nuts, pollen, not grain. Surely they don’t think only humans can change sex. Cocks’ eggs and bulls’ milk next.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
20 days ago

Three aspects not explored in this article:
1) The implication that in our society it is better to be a woman than a man, or at least an effeminate man
2) Despite all the propaganda, do women have a preference for masculine men over effeminate men, hence leaving effeminate men incels?
3) What is the sexuality of these incels before transitioning and after? Presumably they were heterosexual while they were male incels. Do they continue to aspire to have relationships with women or do they attempt to have relationships with heterosexual or bi men?

Matthew Waterhouse
Matthew Waterhouse
20 days ago

And in Scotland, they’ll be able to do this for a few months, get a certificate and then inhabit ‘female’ spaces all they like.. Oh boy…..

Paula G
Paula G
21 days ago

The early 80s were the sweet spot. Young men wore makeup when going out, and still identified as men. A guy could dress in a nurse’s uniform on Halloween, or at a weekend university hall party, and he didn’t lose his male identity. It was hot and transgressive and it was fun. It was not ideology.

When men started plucking their eyebrows in the 2000s, I thought that young women might as well just become lesbians, as the masculinity of men was being sold out on by men. They were unattractive.

Maybe some women get a thrill of a transitioned still being a guy? I can’t see it being a real turn on, though. The transgressive, fun male is gone, and the consumerist/ get ahead by any means necessary/angry/detached man would be in your bed—for five seconds. Yeah, I can’t see human happiness here.

Fun, transgressive males come back. Mostly, with unplucked brows, except for those who can really pull it off.
——

I am so old-fashioned. I had no idea that spending hours with a curling iron made me female, and a female with superpowers, even, that would get me ahead on the job.

I always thought that male and female were elastic concepts, that every human contained multitudes and could go after whatever job they hoped for.

I also had my own mind, and didn’t feel compelled to play the games and get ahead by whatever means necessary. I felt my cynicism, but didn’t give into it.

That said, there were no gender and race quotas. We didn’t have so many ideological tests to prove our loyalty/worthiness of having a job.

Last edited 21 days ago by Paula
Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
20 days ago

The elites elevated women above men as the managerial class after WW2. . In a world where men are either evil or stupid, and women are wonderful no matter what, and if you disagree you are an incel, then it is not hard to see why some incels would “become the girlfriend” they could not otherwise get. Get vilified and ridiculed as a lonely male sexual failure or be “validated” and venerated by the online Left as a transgender queen.

I don’t think people realkse how much money transgender male to female people can make online on social media. Playing computer games, livestreams, podcasts. Some even do Onlyfans on the side. Young people would love to be influencers, and being trans is a pathway to that.

There are girls at a local school near me transitioning a boy. Now, for a young teenage boy, that is five girls who would not give him the time of day otherwise. Many boys would see it as a means of just having more friends, and getting male admirers into the bargain.

Edwin Blake
Edwin Blake
23 days ago

Thank you. Very educational. I really find this approach to being trans much more positive than the “race-based” victimhood story.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
22 days ago

Incels deciding that they might do better at getting sex if they become female. Might work for some but still might be just as lonely given their inability to cope with society. The tranmaxx stuff was some rather odd science mumbo jumbo to justify males becoming women. Can’t see how that resolves the ability to cope but maybe the act allows them an escape.

William Shaw
William Shaw
22 days ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

If you read the manifesto you will see that the MtF converts don’t claim to be female.
They are just changing their appearance for the easier life afforded to females, that’s all.

Last edited 22 days ago by William Shaw
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
21 days ago

Most of us neither know not care what an incel is…

stevie.martin.mailer
stevie.martin.mailer
21 days ago

This is hilarious. Can’t pull as a guy become a girl lesbian with a d**k.

Paula G
Paula G
20 days ago

I read a bit of the 73 transmaxxers PDF. No way will young minds be unchanged from being exposed to this sort of thing. All of this because one won’t deal with their anger toward women, or one wants to org*sm continually in a female fashion, or just live with less sex, if they truly lack social skills. Because one’s hormones do lead one by the nose when one is young.

The stats show some of these transitioners seem to gain in happiness. For how long? I do think that they are wise to bank their sp*rm, and yet, will they have the families they want?

What of the semi-Chads, who sleep with some of these good looking transitioners? I wonder how their egos will take it? (You who have sympathy for normal heterosexual males might care.)

I suppose, some will sink and some will swim, but the transactional nature of all of this…all the energy…will this make a good life? I am stressed by reading it. Not for me, trans society. Luckily, I won’t be attracted by the good disguises of these folks. Thank God I am not done in by 20 something hormones. Although I am truly sad for young people. Avoid college. Avoid work colleagues. Find some sanity, somewhere, although I cannot point where that is. People my age and older, like Bob Dylan, are watching old British series from the 70s and 80s, but we are not trying to find partners or at the workplace. God bless you!

Last edited 20 days ago by Paula
Max Price
Max Price
19 days ago

I am officially an unashamed reactionary.

William Brand
William Brand
23 days ago

If you can’t get laid as a male change sex and be an easy girl you don’t have. Pregnancy fear like a real girl. For prisoners a female jail is safer and the girls are so horny even you get laid. One incel jailbird got 6 women pregnant

Paula G
Paula G
21 days ago

Last edited 21 days ago by Paula
Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
23 days ago

Because they hate and fear women. So do many of the people who will inevitably comment here.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
23 days ago

Do feminists hate and fear men?

Brett H
Brett H
22 days ago

“Because they hate and fear women.”
Strong words and rather harsh for half the population. I think you may be talking about rapists who are still a tiny percentage of the population. If I try to put myself in the shoes of these young males then I think it’s more likely to be that society allows me to play with theses ideas. Just like I played with ideas about being part of a social revolution as a youth, or living on the land, or a commune, which I was allowed to do, contrary to the tough judgement many had/have of the previous generation. I don’t know how old these people are, but compared to other things going on it seems harmless. They’re not pretending to be anything, they’re actually “playing” with appearances instead of saying they’re females or denying their sex. And maybe girls might like to go out with them. Sometimes things are just fun, there’s no agenda.

Last edited 22 days ago by Brett H
Dulle Griet
Dulle Griet
22 days ago

Was hoping the article would say more about the MRA to TRA pipeline. Back in 2016, it seemed so farfetched that it was ridiculed by Magdalen Berns:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYjfq8AeHYo&list=PLuOlMcFZ5pbCnZCliBLDPdzzvGHPiNgYz&index=1

William Shaw
William Shaw
22 days ago

That manifesto is a serious piece of work. Impressive.
And who cares that people want to dramatically change their appearance.
Adults get to customize their meatsuit as they see fit.