Crabs in a bucket is a metaphor for a bunch of animals trying to achieve something so furiously and selfishly, that as soon as one being makes it to the top of the bucket to, “ascend”, the rest pull that being back down to the bottom. Many incel forums have been accused of being “Crabs in a bucket” type forums, or forums where individuals are not given space or opportunity to “ascend”.
The mentality is the antithesis to the "rising tide lifts all boats" mentality.
Crab bucket spaces
The spaces criticized as being “crabs in a bucket” tend to view the dating sphere as a close-proximity 0-sum game, where the sexual success of a friend diminishes your own sexual success. This type of mindset is mainly informed by PUA and our lizard brains. Turns out, in a globally networked dating sphere, a friend’s success is probably not going to decrease your own success. Any more than a person spending a dollar in a separate state is going to cause a noticeable increase or decrease in your spending power in your own separate state.