The Incel Stratagem
Carly nodded. An awkward start to be sure but it couldn’t be denied that, burrowed amongst the waves of misogyny and fanaticism, there lurked a twisted sort of logic. Again, those velvet tones of Slater’s were his most sinister weapon. Carly, wordlessly, began to unbutton her shirt. The quicker she was able to carry out THE IDEA, the better.
‘What are you doing?’ demanded Slater, as Carly, with a little smile on her face, slid the first two inches of her shirt apart, unfurling her collar like the wings of a butterfly.
‘It’s awfully hot in here, isn’t it?’ gasped Carly, fanning herself, stirring up the thick, perfumed air. ‘Don’t you think?’
‘I hadn’t noticed,’ Slater’s icy reply squeezed its way out from between a pair of stiff, thick lips.
‘So, Eric,’ said Carly, ‘do you mind if I call you Eric?’
‘Eric’s fine,’ said Slater. ‘We’re all friends here.’
‘So, Eric,’ sighed Carly, flashing her long, dark (and false) eyelashes. ‘A lot of people have accused your movement of being dangerous. You’ve been described as, and I’m quoting a recent Guardian article here: ‘A loathsome pack of backwards misogynists, who have come foaming from the depths of the internet and, like the fox from Aesops’s fables, have convinced themselves that the thing they cannot obtain is not all it’s cracked up to be- indeed, that there’s something wicked and corrupted about the nature of women…‘
‘Self-righteous, long-winded and riddled with projection,’ cackled Slater, his previous discomfort dissipating in a burst of euphoria. ‘A typical Guardian piece, in other words. Well, if you don’t mind, I’d like to correct a few things-’
‘Of course, Eric,’ sighed Carly, leaning towards the politician. Slater faltered and, with a spasm of delight, Carly noticed that the man’s eyes had started to crawl down her neck, before they were yanked back into submission by their owner.
‘Firstly, there’s nothing dangerous about the British Incel Party,’ insisted Slater. ‘Well, dangerous…yes, perhaps we are dangerous. We’re a danger to the Feminist Duopoly of the two party system…we’re a danger to the estsblishement but, to the common man- or woman, if you like…’ Slater beamed. ‘I’m pleased to announce that there hasn’t been a single recorded instance of BIP-related violence, since I founded the party!’
No recorded violence, thought Carly, but there have been rumours, haven’t there, Slater? Whispers of assaults…women dragged out of their homes by masked men. You’ve heard these stories haven’t you, you bastard? ‘Inceldom has a PR problem,’ said Slater. ‘I’ll be the first to admit it, but that’s largely thanks to media bias against us. Feminists run the media, you, as a freelance journalist, you’ll have to agree with this, won’t you? I mean, find me an MRA running one of the major papers and, well, if you can do that, I’ll disband my party on the spot!’
‘Oh, no,’ breathed Carly, her chest rising (and rising) and falling, eyes fluttering. ‘I think you’re quite right, Eric.’
Eric Slater’s tongue, thin, grey and greasy, probed the top of his lower lip. The politician smiled, showing both rows of polished teeth.
‘I have to say,’ muttered Slater. ‘I’m a bigger fan of your…interview style than that idiot from Channel 4…yes, so, as I said, to clarify a few more things…the idea that we’re somehow bitter…yes, rejection forms a key component of the Incel philosophy but, of course, there’s more to it than that. We certainly don’t hate women! We want to take care of them! We want to create a society that caters to the needs of males and females, and not one that forces women to engage in certain, unsavoury behaviours, whilst chewing up
and spitting out men. That’s all we want. I’m not sure what this woman – I presume it was a woman?- was doing, bringing up Aesop’s fables-’
‘I thought that was stupid,’ said Carly. ‘After all, you’re a Volcel, aren’t you? Officially?’
There was a thin, cold silence. Then, licking his lips, Slater responded with a whispered: ‘I’m surprised you’re familiar with the term.’
‘Oh, silly Eric!’ laughed Carly, touching her nose, in a pantomime of bashfulness. ‘I am a journalist, after all.’
‘Of course.’ Eric Slater wiped his mouth with a stiff, taloned hand. He tried to smile but the smile, somehow, couldn’t quite reach his eyes. Perhaps because they were too busy, despite the best efforts of their owner, sneaking their way back down to Carly’s padded chest. ‘Technically speaking, I’m a Volcel. A Voluntary Celibate. I’ve chosen not to participate in sexual relationships with-’
‘But why!’ cried Carly. With all her might, she summoned several small tears into the corners of her eyes. ‘You’re such a handsome man!’
Slater coughed and, once again, wiped his lips. He looked away from Carly, then back at her, then away, then back at her, his eyes bouncing back and forth, like a pendulum.
‘Flattery will get you everywhere,’ mumbled Slater. The politician crossed his legs, in a show of arrogance, only to stop when Carly, with a rehearsed, demure smile, mimicked the gesture, wrapping one long leg around the other.
‘I’m not the only one who thinks so,’ said Carly. She whipped her phone out of her pocket and offered the screen to Slater. ‘There’s a Facebook page. It’s called Stacey’s for Slater. It’s full of young women who want to sleep with you. It’s all anonymous, obviously. Here, look at what they’re saying!’
Carly watched with delight as Slater’s wandering eyes scanned the screen, the politician growing paler and paler with every moment that passed. The Facebook page was genuine. Hardwicke had found, as she was rehearsing for her interview with Slater. The page had several thousand followers, most of whom were women in their thirties and forties. Apparently, being the head of an
anti-woman party was quite a turn on for a minority of women, flitting across the fringes of the internet. ‘
“I know this is bad,’ read Slater, his voice hoarse and quivering, ‘but I really just want Eric Slater to shove me against a wall and choke me. I want to feel his fingernails on my throat. I just can’t help getting turned on by the thought of Eric Slater choking me. Say what you want about his politics, but that Incel guy is a really sexy dresser. OMG. I think I’m falling in love with Eric Slater-”’