Incel violence and Beauvoirian otherness

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

In this chapter, Filipa Melo Lopes looks at incel violence, and argues that the two most common feminist analyses of their actions—their objectification of women or their sense of entitlement to women’s attention—are insufficient. They fail to account for incels’ distinctive ambivalence towards women, namely their oscillation between obsessive desire and violent hatred. Melo Lopes proposes instead that what incels want is a Beauvoirian ‘Other’—discussed by Beauvoir in her chapter on myths in terms of the ‘Eternal Feminine’. For Beauvoir, when men conceive of women as Others, they function as sui generis entities through which men can experience themselves as praiseworthy heroes, but also risk the denial of their so-called exceptionality. Melo Lopes then goes on to give an illustrative analysis of Elliot Rodger’s autobiographical manifesto, My Twisted World, showing how Beauvoir’s analysis of the myth of woman sheds light on Rodger’s racist and classist attitudes and gives us a better understanding of his ambivalence towards women. Beauvoir, according to Melo Lopes, therefore constitutes a powerful and overlooked theoretical alternative to accounts centered on objectification and entitlement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeauvoir and Politics
Subtitle of host publicationA Toolkit
EditorsLiesbeth Schoonheim, Karen Vintges
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781003366089
ISBN (Print)9781032431918, 9781032431925
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2023
EventDe Beauvoir: New Perspectives for the 21st c. International Conference - KU Leuven
Duration: 2 Jun 20214 Jun 2021


ConferenceDe Beauvoir: New Perspectives for the 21st c. International Conference
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Incel violence and Beauvoirian otherness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this