Conservative leader courting the misogynist incel vote on YouTube sparks condemnation from Brampton, Pickering MPs
Published October 6, 2022 at 8:13 pm
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is under fire today after the revelation he tagged videos on his Youtube channel to target the misogynist “incel” online movement, including criticism from Pickering-Uxbridge MP Jennifer O’Connell and a pair of MPs from Brampton.
Global News broke the story on October 6 that Poilievre’s channel had been tagging videos with MGTOW, an acronym for Men Going Their Own Way. MGTOW is an online anti-feminist community and part of the “manosphere,” a collection of male supremacist movements.
The manosphere generally believes women should submit themselves to male partners, and restrict themselves to “traditional” gender roles, while men adopt “hyper-masculine” traits with a focus on sexual prowess and domination.
There are numerous constituent groups within this manosphere such as incels, a community of the “involuntary celibate,” and many have been linked to violent acts and murder against women, from the Polytechnique mass shooting (a similarly motivated attack in 1989, long before such groups existed online) to Alek Minassian, a self-identified incel from Richmond Hill who drove a rental van down a Toronto sidewalk, killing 11 and injuring 15 in 2018.
The 1989 attack in Montreal is often described as an antecedent to incel attacks and ideology.
Evidently these are people being courted by Pierre Poilievre and the Conservative Party. Over the last four and a half years Poilievre’s Youtube channel has tagged at least 50 videos with MGTOW, Global found, including a tribute to Queen Elizabeth and his endorsement from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Viewers cannot see these tags, but the uploader can. They’re used to tell Youtube about the content of the video so the website can promote the material to viewers who watch similar things.
Poilievre’s videos include numerous standard tags as well such as “House of Commons” and “Justin Trudeau.” The tag “Rona Ambrose,” the former leader who resigned in 2017, supports Pollievre’s argument that his team have used these standard tags for years.
Regardless, the use of the tag at all has sparked widespread condemnation. Trudeau rose in the House of Commons today to demand an apology saying, “These are anti-women movements and they have had devastating real-life consequences. Mr. Speaker, I call on the Conservative leader to stand in this House, take responsibility and apologize.”
We can’t believe we have to say this in 2022: women’s rights are human rights. pic.twitter.com/hiSqURSdc2
— Liberal Party (@liberal_party) October 6, 2022
While Poilievre did not apologize, he did say he had the tag removed when he became aware of it. He said, “I condemn the organization… I condemn all forms of misogyny.”
He then pivoted and attacked Trudeau for his treatment of Jodi Wilson-Raybould and for wearing blackface years ago. He did later confirm that the party would investigate who attached the tag. However, the party later cancelled the probe.
Also today Pickering-Uxbridge MP Jennifer O’Connell rose to attack the “horrific practice of using hateful, misogynistic YouTube tags.” She said Poilievre and his team worked to “connect and target incel right-wing, anti-woman, violent, rhetoric for their own personal and political gain.”
Today I called out @PierrePoilievre for his horrific practice of using hateful, misogynistic YouTube tags to attract incel groups known to promote violence towards women.
— Jennifer O'Connell (@JenOConnell_) October 6, 2022
“These incels promote the murder of single women and the men who date them. They want to decriminalize marital rape. They have very real consequence,” she said, “Nobody believes the leader of the opposition didn’t know this has been going on for more than four and a half years.”
Politicians should appeal to the best in people and fight against injustice and discrimination.
This article is shocking.
Appealing to misogyny to spread your message is reprehensible. We condemn this. The Conservatives should too. https://t.co/0PLPhbbfCe
— Sonia Sidhu (@SoniaLiberal) October 6, 2022
Brampton South Libral MP Sonia Sidhu agreed. “Appealing to misogyny to spread your message is reprehensible. We condemn this. The Conservatives should too.”
Her colleague in Brampton West, Kamal Khera, was even more direct in her disgust over Poilievre’s actions, saying that the Conservative leader “seeking support from the darkest corners of the internet is disgusting and not surprising. From day 1, he sought to assemble a coalition of anger and pessimism.”
The discovery that @PierrePoilievre is seeking support from the darkest corners of the internet is disgusting and not surprising. From day 1, he sought to assemble a coalition of anger and pessimism.
Will he denounce and apologize for his actions and stand up for women? https://t.co/sH0Xgg3PmY
— Kamal Khera (@KamalKheraLib) October 6, 2022
While the various groups associated with the incel movement come to different ways to voice and act upon their misogynistic views, each believes society is dominated by feminism and biased against men, who need to fight or otherwise take action to protect themselves from this imagined cabal.
These communities have been linked to numerous violent criminal acts over the last decade. These include assaults, sexual assaults and killings targeting individual women, virulent and sustained online and in-person harassment campaigns and multiple mass killings.
In the first attack linked directly to incels, Eliot Rodger killed six people and injured 14 others during a rampage of shooting, stabbing and car-ramming in Isla Vista, California in 2014. Prior to his rampage Rodger released a video manifesto describing his attack as “retribution” to punish women for rejecting him. Rodger is often held as a hero to manosphere groups.
Before Minassian drove his van down a crowded Yonge Street sidewalk in 2018 he posted this message on Facebook: “The Incel Rebellion has already begun… All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”
While Incels lament their inability to get laid, the related MGTOW relish it. They believe feminist thought has corrupted society and men need to segregate themselves for safety.
The groups largely congregate on 4Chan and Reddit. When Reddit shut down r/Incels and its successor r/Braincels, r/MGTOW became the largest manosphere subreddit on the site. MGTOW was later banned for content that “incites violence or promotes hate based on identity or vulnerability.”
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