How a shy, queer Canadian woman accidentally invented one of the internet’s most toxic male communities.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people. In each episode Francesca Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better for it. Listen on sport, fi or wherever you get your pot. This episode is brought to you by a Sana. A saga is an app designed to help teams, plan, organise and execute all the work they do together. It helps you it sure nothing falls through the cracks. So you can focus on the work that matters most learn more. Try us honour for free visit, assign a dot com to get started. That's a ass, a dot com
from your mind, with repeal enclave out before I wanna try to change the world before she rose exactly how catastrophically train change the world could go she's, just a college get in Ottawa back then she had so use your last name in public through stats. Major. I had a little office cubicle, where I could do my math assignments until late at night and I was doing that one night and working really hard on some difficult math problem and it was a long way floor. No one else was around, but those okay I was used to that sleep at night in the Mass department. And then some stranger a man of never seen walks up to the door of my office and knocks eddies. He doesn't introduce himself, the name. He says, I'm twenty seven alive
ever been on a date wow. What did you do well because- I didn't understand much about in stocking end and creepy behavior. I but that's unusual, but he clearly needs to talk to somebody, so I can have taught him for a while and uncomfortable and a little scary and ways. I didn't understand why he was looking for support.
And so, when I listen to him, she listened, as he told her about his friend, had committed suicide, but he's how sad and out of place he he followed school. The main thing seemed just be that he was lonely, but he was afraid he be alone forever. They charge for while that night, eventually guy laughed, but the conversation stuck in honest mine for a long time, because she in the sky they actually have something. In common of all the students in all the math departments in Ottawa, he'd happened to walk up to the one with the exact same problem she'd never been on a date either I was able to live without waiting for a long time and I was willing to forego it because in our some friends, and I had some other interests and the idea of ask. I was just too scary. They found my academic skills came faster than others. Bull and my social skills came later so getting rejected for any
was a reminder that I maybe I asked in the wrong way. Maybe I said something rude: when I was in all asking someone for favour or ask them to hang out and do something on a in being friends, so asking someone in a date would be even more scary and which could you would you talk to friends about it Did you do you're? You could talk about actually because, because of that, like that embarrassment problem, like my friends were No that I wasn't dating back say I didn't want to discuss it much because then they would like be alerted to the fact that it wasn't dating and we'd have to discuss something. That's embarrassing! It's like this great silence. There is actually this other great silence, which is that honours queer, but she wasn't out, but there actually more resources available to her for dealing with that secret. She started Ray,
searching or sexuality on the internet. She found queer dance parties to go to and when she was twenty four, she met a woman and they started dating she's out. And I learned that in lesbian dating everybody pulls out their wallet and both people should foot the bill. That is, that is normal and lesbian, dating but where did you learn that you just kind of do at once in figure it out? Maybe making a rude mistake. I am expecting the other girl to pay because she's more butch. No, that's not that's not the way to do it, so, in other words, she had finally made the transition that oughta people make from awkward Lee. Not eating too aquiline dating when that transition for started having in my high school. What I remember is that it felt like a rasher like a sex rapture like one day, you have friends in far side, T shirts time of star wars and then the next day they were just gone. They were in this other place,
that's more like hair gel, we had to target girls on the phone all the time and it was really hard to figure out how to get there. The one thing obviously one roll everybody scenario is that once you finally over. You did not back. You didn't want to be associated with the thing that you are leaving a Lana, though when I did something really unusual, which is out when she finally started dating somebody at twenty four, she immediately look back decided the decade were: she'd been alone. She wanted to do something about that. You want to help people who are stuck the way she had been. I came up with the idea to create the the support group on line, because I recognise that town other people who have this kind of situation and if, if I can get out of it, if I start dating after a long period of being singled, and maybe other people can t And the reason I knew about going through that process of Reducing shame was that I had come
the closet and that's the exact process you go through out when you were discovered that there are other queer people in the world, and maybe your queer to and then you talk to the other queer people and you get used to the idea that you have that identity and the new, more able to tell other straight people about it, so that was in really wonderful and empowering process for me in my the twenties. So I think the group the same idea that meeting real people, even just on the internet, helps you understand hey. This is a thing that's happening to me and maybe there is some hope maybe I can get some support jet. A vision for the website is gonna, be simple. Just a place with a bunch of resources were people could talk black taxed white background, but the first thing she needed to rise, which is to give all these people a name because the new
so we will make her were pretty awful. You know phrases like the lonely virgin in his mother's basement bus kind of dominant in the culture. And and was worthy of attack as well. So I wanted subtly neutral and cannon precise. I didn't want to use virginity in the name, because quite possible for someone have sex and then stop having sex again for a long time. So. I dont where exactly coming up with names, the mysterious creative process, but I you remember noticing that Ella BC was I full accurate descriptor by it was firstly, a religious terms but priests and none priest, the nuns or celebrate, and in fact, if I research, Jennifer Books articles on celibacy, they would all be about religious. Voluntary vows of celibacy. So pretty
involuntary in front of it solve that problem, and then we went off to the raises. She called her sight, a lan as involuntary celibacy project if I'll write to her and he felt right to the community that showed up. They embraced the term there. Virgins, they weren't losers. They were involuntarily solve it, felt more respectful and so did that and you know it it. It became fairly well known who was showing up on us. Demographically there was. There were few women in a lot of men. We know there was There was a guy who was always kind of depressed in Sab. He was talking to us and there was a man who was in a marriage, but it sounds like the marriage is kind of lovelace or cyclist and he wanted to stay married and not get divorced for some reason: they're teenagers, middle aged people that are gay people there straight people, there's an astrophysicist.
The poets wrote high coups. The little black dress shows more than I wanted and less than I desired Dmitri genes wrote songs CUP without a saucer. They were this international group of very shy people meeting online to compare notes on all the ways in which they felt trapped some of them were kind of stock not going out, but I think or others who were in that state Well, I have this female friend and I have a crush on her, but I can't really think if she's interested or not, but I oh ask. I think that situation Is our common for four lonely people in all the The. How do I approach somebody? How do I ask them out? It's so scary, and what would people say in response? There was lot of empathy, but nobody really had the answers. One of the challenges of having a peer support group is that you got a bunch of people who don't
really like they're all, have the same problem and they don't have a solution right and nobody in the group has a solution. What was your role in the product like? How did people look to you were you gonna mean? Oh yeah. That's a good point. Yes! So on this mailing list, because I had started it in the mailing list and because I had already started dating people kind of looked up to me. So that fear I was in my mid twenties and not really comfortable without role, and I didn't have any health training either. So I was definitely not suited to be. Counselor or adviser to to celebrate folks Furlano being present, vision, you just scary and awkward, which he hoped was that if she brought everybody together, they who compare notes and they could start make progress together, but that our happened had never felt they made progress as
Group, if asked what she had was a bunch of individuals who wanted to resolve their problems like she's back in the library time that twenty seven year old guy except her whenever he left there is another just like him. You know what was kind of an endless litany of people needing support and people, long stories about the difficult lives. It's it's an important thing, but not a fight. Then so I was really disappointed that my project had become small mailing list and had not yet made a huge difference in the actual problem of people being lonely for love. So yet another project that put effort into and it didn't go anywhere tat a lot of those in life junior. The group would be fine without her. Somebody else could take over at this point
It mostly stop calling themselves. They involuntarily celebrate a bit shortened. First, they are in the cells and then because I like imbeciles shortened again in south Ninety nine seven. I walked away sure that normal what has happened. She would never hear about entails again. She could not have been moron. This episode is brought to you by better for it a new podcast from HTTP hosted by Francesca Ramsay. We all make mistakes better for it
How mistakes have shaped the lives and careers of visionaries and business leaders and helps them think differently about what their working for you'll hear from an entrepreneur who ventured out on his own, and so I went out. I took seven hundred dollars. I had in the bank, but my own pickup truck took some flyers business cards and. Later I had a business and in aid. Our role breaker, whose learned why we all care about work in the first place. But you are proud of the work do you want to be able to tell your friends about it. You want to be able to feel like you're, making a different you'll hear how they work their way through their mistakes and came out better for him. The non Spotify or wherever you get your PA casts. This episode is brought to you by a Sana picture there a world where you spend less time juggling email meetings and status, updates and more time doing the work that matters. The most your team, that's the world economy,
bill to create a saga is an app designed to help teams, plan, organise and execute all the work they do together its built to give teams clarity. You can all understand your goals and how to achieve them together and whatever your next, object, is a sonnet can help reduce the busy work that waste your time from small. Companies to global enterprises, more than a million teams across a hundred and ninety five countries get work done with Sata learn more, and I s. Honor, for free visit, assign a dot com to get started. That's a s. Dna dot com when Olano walked away from her hundred person mailing list. She fully expected that the movement that started there when Peter out it didn't this was three weeks ago,
This is CNN Breakin story out of Toronto, where we now know that police have been questioning the driver behind the wheel of his White Van who basically mode people down for as long as a mile girls this morning, we're learn more about the suspect, including made cryptic facebook methods that was posted. The count right before the massacres. Twenty five year old, Halleck Monastic calls himself in in cell involuntarily, celebrate its believed. He carried out the attack to exact revenge, and women for rejecting him. Regrettably, there are an estimated forty thousand other in cells out their men who communicate on read it mine, is original one hundred entails. There are now forty thousand and one of them and murdered ten innocent people. I wanted to know what had happened, how D gotten here, I e mail
I had been, a land is born suck round for decades after she laughed and he said, he'd seen the changes said they didn't happen overnight. Avril Anna left, the committee tried to police itself, as if Europe, though there, which meant that if new members shut up who are blaming women for their problems or espousing misogynistic ideas, the committee would try and respond they develop. This thing they called the seven deadly sins of in so apt. The excuses or justification over analysis naivete fear rage. Shame the idea. Was you couldn't blame other people? You had to work on yourself If people were willing to do that, they were kicked out. The problem was, as internet grew, these toxic people increasingly just begun to form their own communities, and then those communities would grow and splinter off. Now they weren't just in cells. Some of them cited. They were Vall cell voluntarily solve it or Jim cell in cells who are willing to exercise. Poseurs were fake cells,
then take in cells were true cells. At the same time, Lolly splinter groups reforming the man is fear, is flourishing, men's rights activists, red pillars. All these different groups of men who promised first in south who said if you want a way out of your situation, follow me interested connecting deeply with other people, including women. What was so little event where we work on the stuff? It's called the infinite man summit. There's one coming up soon, like there's the pick up artists who will tell in cells, the answer of loneliness just to learn how to pick up checks. This city is sex. My friends and would they'll tell you, is young women actually easy or use knows how to manipulate them, and if you pay me, I can teach you an end. Today
video on bringing you my number one life philosophy for success with women success in Dayton? If that doesn't work for you, you can join a backlash group like who I hate people who will tell you that women are just two shallow and vapid to go for you that you ve already lost a genetic lottery. That happened when you were born that the world is just a bunch of blonde Stacy, pursuing buff, Alpha Chad's and beta guys, like you, don't have a chance good morning, Missus John host of Mig towers freedom. These s leave. You should just of women anyway, because relationships with women will weaken you, so I drew this up for everybody right. This makes our guy has a big whiteboard. Explain. The theories he's got men written on one side, women
written on the other side and then underneath it as companion. I got a question mark over here. Why are women companions? I was the answers now. Will they like to use that phrase? I want a companion forever by twenty third in this is what the internet had to offer. The involuntarily celebrate young man, the better of land? As original group were still out there? They still existed, but they were nearly impossible to find underneath all the noise at the end of the year, their sight, crashed and you're trying to get it back on line. Something else happened in May. Twenty fourteen one of the toxic entails from the poor hate forms posted a video online high, Elliot Roger Ear. Well, this is my last video it all has to come to this. Tomorrow is the day of retribution
The day in which I will have my revenge against humanity against all of you for the last eight years of my life. Ever since I took puberty forced to endear in existence. Loneliness rejection and unfulfilled desires? Because girls have never been attracted to me? Girls gave their affection and sex and love to others. But never to me and twenty two years old, still a virgin I've, never even kissed a girl. In those years I've had a rotten loneliness. I don't know why you, girls are attracted to me, but I will
punish all of you for it after uploading, the video Roger murdered six people and then killed himself to most violent fringe of the UN's Elliot Roger became a hero, the leader of the rebellion to people like the guy from Land s board. This is the end. He wrote after the twenty fourteen killings, only the toxic entails. Gain momentum in twenty fourteen. We began losing interest in our temporary board, and efforts in fixing until support were eventually abandoned, both for are gone now, and everything positive and supported from the entire community from the last fifteen years has gone to, despite still being in so this is one I stopped associate myself with the entire community, a land I didn't know about any of this. She found out one data bookstore. Patients are amazing when she's on article about a murderer from California named Elliot, Roger the article mentioned
He identified with this new group. Everybody was talking about in cell, immediately recognized. Oh my god. This is what happened. To that thing I created and You know I was pretty disturbing. I felt that flash of guilt. You know that the one that makes your face flush read as if I have done something you know deeply raw, it wasn't she felt responsible for Elliot Roger is more like Twenty years ago she seen this problem and she tried to solve it and she'd failed, and she's been having lately is it? Maybe it was a mistake to stop working on it. I feel responsible for basically creating a safer Place, maybe on the internet, may be elsewhere. For for people who having difficulty with dating and is not just a safer place. It's there
the research, in the understanding of why this is happening, and why is it your problem? How come you have to fix it? I don't think I'm going to be able to fix it What I think, how can I why you here? Why do I might So why am working on this again? Yeah? Well, because I have I guess because not enough other people are because I recognise the problem I have spoken to many people who I done What is involuntary celebrate twenty years ago, and- and so I still care about both them in the abstract. It feels like one of the things when the many That is bad about all this. Is that, because the people
were angry and violent- take up so much base. It feels like it's now hard for somebody like you to talk about the problem of loneliness, because what I think some people here is, oh you're asking me to feel bad for a bunch of violent, massage he's exact. I have to be very careful with what they say because of that. Cs- I am it this so there's not enough space on the internet to create forums, they are safe and friendly and nonviolent cause. They tend to get taken over apparently by the violent ready. No one has a right to sex by everybody deserves respect and everybody deserves love. So how can we help people ff and the love they want in a respectful way. Alas, as the big mistake she made back when she started movement in her twenties, was it she over which he now calls the student government problem.
You can't built a movement of people whose whole reason for drawing the movement is alive. It is not just the people who find love than go disappear if you don't get have with every other movement. Take for granted. The old guard Instead, the people who stayed in until we went to that stock. The people who felt the most bitter the most abandoned when young people showed up with questions the people who should have been there to give them hope moved on even eventually Alina in the last few weeks, she decided to come back to this new research project called love, not angry
dedicated to answering the question, she first started with. How might lonely people find love? One thing you know she starts to do come up with a name described the people she's trying to help in cell isn't her word anymore. The virus hosted by me Pga vote now its golden or shows Bruce by shrewdly, eliminating, abandon damietta Mark Hetty, kill and Robert and those with glass are editors, TIM Howard. He is now in Berlin. Please tweet Gutentag, that Adam and, while he's
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-13.