From what I understand, the chad is someone who has accomplished more relative to the work they put in, usually without any sort of forethought for themselves or others. The virgin is the opposite: an individual who has accomplishes less relative to the work they put in, usually with significant insecurities and tendencies to overthink. I will first describe this through my understanding of some existentialist writers.
Albert Camus, who had been the figurehead of existentialism throughout his entire life and had notable social and sexual success until his early death, would be a chad. He grew up playing soccer in a French Algiers and died in a sports car crash in France. Throughout his multiple marriages, he also had numerous affairs because he did not believe in the institution of marriage. A virgin would be Jean-Paul Sartre, who was overshadowed by Camus even as he won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his contributions to existential literature. Self-described as an ugly man, Sartre had a dangling eye that was a source of insecurity throughout his entire life.
That being said, the chad and virgin labels can also be applied to schools of thought. For example, French existentialism would be considered a chad because it has gained and retained significantly more popularity than its Eastern European alternatives. Among the philosophers, Sartre, even as he was overshadowed by Camus, had significant more success than German existentialists such as Kafka or Nietzsche. While Sartre had a blooming open relationship with Simone De Beauvoir, a passion for Communist revolutions, and literary success for his works, Kafka and Nietzsche both died alone, rejected by all romantic partners, and without ever seeing their works appreciated.
Reading these works now, I have always been bothered by some of the relationships between experiences and ideas. Although I have finished of Camus’s major works and essays, there is a part of me that will never accept his ideas because Camus simply did not experience the amount of sadness necessary for me to respect him for his experiences. Camus writes happy endings, but life, to me, is not of happiness. Meursault in The Stranger is to be sentenced to death, but he greets such a prospect with the excitement of seeing a crowd shouting at him. The town in The Plague is eventually relieved of the plague for seemingly no reason. Sisyphus in The Myth of Sisyphus is smiling as he is pushing the boulder up a hill for eternity.
When I finished Nausea by Sartre, I did not understand the plot very well, to be honest, but I did find a lot of insights through the under-baked one-liners that he laced throughout the novel. Part of the reason I respected his writing so much is because I thought of him as someone who is a virgin. But, in a later confession, he revealed that the time he wrote Nausea had been the happiest time of his life. Upon learning that, I respected his work less, mostly because the act of being a virgin is very important for validity in perspective, at least relative to the perspective that I hold. Virgins are not individuals who are happy, and although I will continue to work myself through Being and Nothingness, there will always be a part of me that questions the validity of his claims because he is not as sad as I imagined.
I enjoy the writing of Kafka, not because I like his style or ideas, but purely because Kafka’s life is such a paradigm of the virgin. Suffering from an abusive father throughout his childhood, Kafka suffered from a crippling anxiety and depression throughout his entire life, which prevented him from achieving any romantic or social success. Writing, for him, was an obsession that served as the only means for him to redeem his otherwise traumatic experiences, and it shows in his writing. Gregor in The Metamorphosis suffers from a deformity that causes his entire family eventually to despise him, which leads him to commit suicide. Georg in The Judgement is sentenced to jump into a river by his father for his good intentions, which he obeys. The hunger artist in The Hunger Artist becomes broke because no one wants to see someone starve themselves anymore.
As for Nietzsche, although I have grown out of my Nietzsche phase in high school where I would misinterpret his understanding of the Übermensch, I have found a newfound love for his views on artistic redemption, but that’s just recently.
When I was young, I had wanted to be a chad. Everyone wants to be a chad when they are younger. // When I started to write this blog post, around a year ago when I was alone and studying abroad (I shelved it because I didn’t really know how to articulate myself at the time), I wanted to be a virgin. I feel like that was very incel-like of me. Now, I personally find the label useless and don’t think about it so much.
If anything, in retrospect, the chad-virgin spectrum seems like an invention by “virgins” to victimize themselves through the privileging of chads. It gives virgins a systematic identity to blame, which in turn allows them to channel their hatred towards individuals who allegedly were privileged by the system that has supposedly turned on them. I wouldn’t say it’s pathetic because I used to think like that. But, nonetheless, it’s a predictable way of thinking — blaming the “system” for individual shortcomings that may or may not be able to be resolved through limited individual effort.
Whatever, this topic is so last decade.