Brett Kavanaugh's Popularity Surging on 'Incel' Message Boards After Claiming to Be a Virgin

Brett Kavanaugh's Popularity Surging on 'Incel' Message Boards After Claiming to Be a Virgin

One of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's first defenses against the mounting allegations of sexual assault was to say that he had not even lost his virginity at that time. In an interview with Martha MacCallum on Fox News, Kavanaugh said, "I did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter."

Even if this is true, which people who knew him at the time dispute, it is completely irrelevant to the claims against him, as none of the three named accusers claim he did anything to them that would require loss of virginity.

However, according to the Daily Beast, Kavanaugh's plea of virginity has endeared him to one group in particular: the toxic online community calling themselves "incels":

In response to that line, incel forums lit up with discussion of the Supreme Court nominee, with one user saying they now saw Kavanaugh as one of them. David Futtrelle, a writer who tracks right-wing internet groups like incels, noted on his blog that the Fox News interview appeared to have earned Kavanaugh "some enthusiastic new fans."

"Kavanaugh being an incel once makes me him more lol," wrote one poster in an incel forum.

Another poster wrote that Kavanaugh’s claim about his virginity boosted his support for the nominee "to 110%," while one user on a Reddit forum devoted to incels said that Kavanaugh had inspired a new kind of incel, "Kavanaughcels."

"Incels" (or "involuntary celibates") are a group of online misogynists who blame their failure to find sex, relationships, or social status generally on the refusal of women to give them what they deserve. The premise makes no sense, as "celibacy" is by definition a voluntary activity and there is no inherent right to sex with another person.

However, some young men have been dangerously radicalized by "incel" doctrine. The community considers Elliot Rodger, who murdered six people and injured 14 more near the University of California-Santa Barbara and left behind a manifesto condemning womankind for rejecting him, to be a patron saint of sorts. And Alek Minassian, the terrorist who murdered 10 in a vehicle-ramming attack in Toronto, had pledged allegiance to the "Incel Rebellion."

For the record, despite all of Kavanaugh's considerable faults, he has never given any indication that he has ever identified as an "incel." In fact, Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was "privately proud" of preserving his virginity — although if any of the allegations are true, his virginity has little bearing on his virtue.

For all of Kavanaugh's attempts to paint himself as a champion of women, the battle lines of this nomination have now been sharply drawn by gender, with women voters opposing him. His appeal to online misogynists only emphasizes this further.

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