Alek Minassian, who killed 10 people by driving into them with a van in Toronto, was linked to an online community who call themselves “incels”: involuntary celibates. These are mostly men who want, but cannot get love or sex (although the term was coined by a woman). Becoming frustrated about their inability to attract women, they radicalize in their viewpoints on modern gender roles and feminism in general.
Men in traditional societies generally make the rules: they are the strong head of the family and often claim a more dominant socioeconomic position. Men in transitioning or modern societies have opposed feminism and a more egalitarian role for women referring to this “nostalgic image” from earlier days. In the 1970s, there was the “men’s rights movement”, which claimed that the role and male identity were crushed by the force of liberal and progressive movements (like feminism). However, this movement was always confronted with the real world, in which women gained more rights and worked their way up, hence these men had to square their beliefs with their real-life practices (i.e. having a woman as a boss or preparing food when one’s wife was working) and never really gained widespread support.
Increasing radicalism in filter bubbles towards women and progressive movements in online forums in general is one extreme reaction to “involuntary celibacy”; another reaction is escaping into one’s own imagination and fantasies. The rise of “sex games and robots” can be understood as a manifestation of this type of reaction, as one’s needs can be digitally satisfied in this way. As such, these physical virgins search for virtual satisfaction of their needs and frustrations, even falling in love with their robots, virtual characters or voice assistants.