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Festival of Politics
19-23 August 2024

Friday, August 23, 2024

Incel culture

Time: 1pm to 2:30pm

£7.50 full price and £5 concession

Book tickets for Incel culture now *

Event description

The rise of misogynistic influencers and ‘incel’ (involuntary celibate) culture where ideologies of blame, distrust and hatred towards women have gained huge traction online. From incel slang to misogynistic memes and fake statistics there is an increasing risk of young men and boys being radicalised through their identities as men, with the impact being felt by young women.

Why are so many young men seduced by this toxic masculinity, what are the policymakers doing and what tools are educators and youth workers using to address this?

Chair: Vicki Ridley is currently working in the public health field of violence prevention at YouthLink Scotland and specialising in pioneering work around positive masculinity. The Imagine a Man initiative, she leads on is Scotland's first positive masculinity programme now entering its fourth year. Some of her key achievements over a career in the charities sector spanning over 30 years have included; establishing youth work organisations and developing work in youth volunteering and peer led approaches 


Festival of Politics panellists

Clare Duffy is the founder and artistic director of Civic Digits and co-director of Unlimited Theatre. Her newest play Many Good Men examines the causes and effects of the incel movement. She won a Pearson Award for her first full-length play, Crossings, in 2003. In 2018, Clare’s play Arctic Oil was presented at The Traverse Theatre, receiving four stars from the Stage and the Herald. She is an associate artist at Perth Theatre and is touring The Big Data Show, which integrates ethical hacking, digital gaming, and live performance. 

Dr Sophie King-Hill is an associate professor in the Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham, UK. She specialises in sexual behaviours and assessment in children and young people, sexual health, sibling sexual behaviour/abuse, misogyny, incels, masculinities and relationships & sex education and the importance of youth voice. Previously she worked in the field of education and sexual health with many diverse groups such as teenage parents and young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.  

David Russell is the development lead and service manager at Thriving Survivors and previously held the position of community safety and justice manager at Midlothian Council. Prior to this he was a senior practitioner with Barnardo's specialising in work with children and young people with harmful sexual behaviour and / or who had experienced sexual abuse or exploitation. David is also the lead author of Restorative Justice & Sexual Harm: The voices of those who have harmed. He is currently supporting an innovative research project with the University of Birmingham, exploring vulnerability within the Incel subculture. 


All Scottish Parliament event locations:

  • are accessible by lift or level access, and venues are accessible to wheelchair users
  • welcome guide dogs or other assistance dogs

Some venues are fitted with induction loop facilities.

Please contact us in advance if you have any access requirements.  

Further information on accessibility at the Scottish Parliament.

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