Red Pill

The manosphere (or androsphere) is an informal network of blogs, forums, and websites where commentators focus on issues relating to men and masculinity, as a male counterpart to feminism or in opposition to it. Some of these forums have been described in the media and by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) of the United States as promoting a misogynistic worldview.

The content of manosphere articles varies widely. Common topics include the men’s rights, fathers’ rights, and Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW, a movement cautioning men against romantic relationships with women) causes; male victims of abuse; antifeminism; self-improvement; and pick-up artistry (PUA, a collective of men discussing seduction and sexual success with/access to women).

The manosphere has its own distinct jargon. Manosphere websites commonly use ‘red pill’ and ‘blue pill’ imagery, popular cultural symbols dervied from the 1999 film ‘The Matrix.’ The red pill represents knowledge, freedom and the (sometimes painful) truth of reality, while its counterpart symbolizes falsehood, security and the blissful ignorance of illusion. Accepting the manosphere’s ideology is equated with ‘taking the red pill,’ and those who disagree with their philosophy are seen as ‘blue pilled’ or as having ‘taken the blue pill.’ The terms ‘alpha male’ (dominant, sexually successful men) and ‘beta male’ (weak, emasculated men) are also commonly used.

According to ‘The Guardian’ columnist Eva Wiseman, the manosphere is ‘a mix of men – pick-up artists, male victims of abuse, father’s rights proponents – who come together online.’ Notable examples of manosphere sites reportedly include the ‘Red Pill Room,’ ‘A Voice for Men,’ and pick-up artist blogger Roosh V’s website ‘Return Of Kings’ (RoK). News aggregator and forum website ‘Reddit’ is a popular gathering place for manosphere supporters. Several forums on the site are geared toward its ideas. One of these, the ‘Red Pill’ subreddit, has more than 200,000 subscribers.

According to Caitlin Dewey of ‘The Washington Post,’ the manosphere’s ‘core philosophy basically boils down to this: (1) feminism has overrun/corrupted modern culture, in violation of nature/biology/inherent gender differences, and (2) men can best seduce women (slash, save society in general) by embracing a super-dominant, uber-masculine gender role, forcing ladies to fall into step behind them.’ Wiseman wrote in the ‘The Guardian’ that ‘Advocates of the men’s rights movement are united by their belief that feminism is the enemy.’ They are strongly opposed to circumcision and believe that a double standard exists in society in how circumcision is viewed relative to female genital mutilation.

‘Chateau Heartiste,’ a blog written by James C. Weidmann, known as ‘Roissy in DC,’ was an early manosphere/pickup artist website. The blog advises readers to replicate the traits of narcissists and sociopaths in order to attract women. Weidmann argues that women’s economic freedom combined with racial miscegenation, immigration, and declining birth rates among White women threatens the collapse of Western civilization. Weidmann has written a popular online list of rules, ‘The 16 Commandments of Poon,’ described by pornographic film director Anna Arrowsmith as reading ‘like an adolescent list of desires and fears, as though representing two sides of the same coin, spoken by somebody with little or no dating experience.’ A recurring theme in Chateau Heartiste is that ‘chicks dig jerks.’

‘PUAHate’ was a website for men who felt they had been tricked by members of the pick-up artist or seduction community by promises to teach them how to get attractive women to have sex with them. ‘PUAHate’ criticized ‘the scams, deception, and misleading marketing techniques used by dating gurus and the seduction community to deceive men and profit from them.’ The site did not criticize objectification of women or stereotyping of women but rather complained that the seduction gurus’ techniques did not work. Journalist Patrick Kearns noted that the site had threads such as ‘Are ugly women completely useless to society.’ Users would also ask each questions such as ‘what’s your rape count?’

Elliot Rodger, perpetrator of the 2014 Isla Vista killings, was active on PUAHate, where he expressed confusion about how women could resist him. He wrote, ‘One day incels [involuntary celibates] will realize their true strength and numbers, and will overthrow this oppressive feminist system. Start envisioning a world where WOMEN FEAR YOU.’ In his manifesto, Rodger remarked that PUAHate ‘confirmed many of the theories I had about how wicked and degenerate women really are.’ Some of PUAHate’s users argued that the shootings were the fault of the women who declined to have sex with Rodger. PUAHate was listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, and in May of 2014 was shut down. Later that month, ‘SlutHate’ was created and many of PUAHate’s users migrated there.




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