2021 Student Research Conference:
34th Annual Student Research Conference

Oppositional Dialectics and Myths: Naturalizing Misogyny in the Incel Community on 4chan’s /r9k/


Lesley M. Hauck
Dr. Brian Ott, Faculty Mentor

Extremist subgroups have found space to gather and form collective identities on Internet forums like Reddit and 4chan. Incels make up one of these groups, sharing a mutual social ineptitude and disgust with popular feminism. While prior research has explored antisocial masculinity and the digital spread of hateful ideology, more extensive research on antisocial masculinity in online spaces is needed. By performing a content analysis of posts made on 4chan’s popular incel board, /r9k/, I uncover a framework based in myth and oppositional dialectics that legitimizes male victimization and encourages violence towards women. Through memes and mythic characters, incels naturalize misogyny while reinforcing their collective antisocial masculinity. Contradictory constructions of women are upheld in this homosocial environment in order to justify misogyny. Anonymity and ephemerality are central aspects of 4chan and provide a unique space for this ideological framework to be formed online while also impacting life outside of 4chan.

Keywords: masculinity, incels, 4chan, misogyny, anonymity, ephemerality

Topic(s):Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Face-to-Face Oral Presentation

Session: 302-3
Location: SUB Activities Room
Time: 2:00

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