We review podcasts that span across the deepest and darkest parts of the web, but nothing prepared us for the journey Incel took us on. It’s difficult to know even where to begin when covering a topic like the deranged Incel community. And to be frank, before we go any further, this is not a true-crime podcast. Incel is a podcast that focuses on the exploration of a self-identified community. An Incel is best described as a member of an online subculture that defines themselves as “involuntary celibate.” Involuntary celibate describes a person, typically a man, who identifies as being frustrated by a lack of opportunities to have sex.
As you can guess, this is an extremely complex and nuanced topic to cover, and Incel could not have a better host to bring you through this twisted journey. Producer and host, Naama Kates, sets the tone instantly by exploring the background and rise of this online subculture. Admittedly, I did not have much familiarity with this topic, which in many ways made me the perfect listener. That is where the strength of host Naama Kates comes into play. Naama is an extremely talented actress, musician, and filmmaker that has expanded her talents into podcasting. She met instant success. The background of this project is interestingly non-linear for her. Naama has always had an interest in the emergence of technology and online profiles. But it wasn’t until she received a DM from an incel that she brought this podcast to life.
The intimacy of the podcast format is the perfect medium to explore such a complex topic. Naama utilizes a variety of investigative formats – narrated online posts, personal interviews with doctors and nurses, and other members of this subculture to explore this web-based phenomenon. Not only is her narration and hosting style a perfect fit for the topic, but also Naama’s personality also brings a sense of calming for her guests so they can comfortably discuss such a twisted topic.
Since Incel’s launch in August of 2019, it has become increasingly popular not only amongst podcast listeners but as a voice to better educate society on the important online subculture. There’s no question why Incel was featured in the New York Times as one of the best new podcasts in 2019. I went into my first listen of Incel with little to no knowledge of this topic, Incel educated me in an extraordinary eye-opening, and respectful manner.