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The manosphere (portmanteau of man and blogosphere) is a name given to an informal network of blogs, websites, and internet commentators that focus on issues relating to men and masculinity, in opposition to feminism. The content of these online forums varies from self-improvement,[citation needed] bodybuilding,[citation needed] and antifeminism to the seduction community's advice for pick-up artists [1] and various men's rights forums.[2] Some of these forums have been described in the media and by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as promoting a misogynistic worldview.[3][4]


The Manosphere has been described as "a vast, diverse network of blogs and forums";[1] 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."[5] Notable examples of manosphere sites reportedly include the Red Pill Room, A Voice for Men and Roosh V's website Return Of Kings as well as his personal blog and forum.[1][6][5][7]

Reddit is a popular gathering place for manosphere supporters, and there are several subreddits that are geared toward its ideas. One of these, the Red Pill subreddit, has over 100,000 subscribers. [5]


The manosphere has its own distinct jargon. Manosphere websites commonly use red pill and blue pill imagery as an analogy; accepting the manosphere's ideology is equated with "taking the red pill", and "blue pill" refers to those who disagree with their philosophy. The terms "alpha male" and "beta male" are also commonly used.[1]


According to one author, 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."[1] Another states that "Advocates of the men's rights movement are united by their belief that feminism is the enemy."[5] One writer claims that the manosphere is eclectic: "there is a tendency ... to mistake the manosphere for a collection of readers and writers who are in general intellectual agreement. There is a kernel of truth to that belief, but it misses the truly profound differences in worldviews held by the main schools of thought in the manosphere", but nevertheless "nearly everyone in the manosphere agrees on ... the extensive tearing of the social contract by decades of feminist tinkering."[8] They are also strongly opposed to circumcision, and believe that a double standard exists in society in how circumcision is viewed relative to female genital mutilation.[citation needed] GQ's Jeff Sharlet described A Voice For Men as "surprisingly pro-gay, or at least anti-anti-gay".[9]

Commentary and criticism[edit]

Rod Dreher of The American Conservative has said that the Manosphere "dehumanizes both men and women".[10] Caitlin Dewey of The Washington Post accuses them of excluding gay, lesbian, and transgender people.[1]

Mark Potok, a spokesman of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), claimed that the forums are filled with "pure unvarnished women hatred" and compares the manosphere to white supremacist websites.[11] The SPLC later added a caveat, saying, "It should be mentioned that the SPLC did not label MRAs as members of a hate movement; nor did our article claim that the grievances they air on their websites – false rape accusations, ruinous divorce settlements and the like – are all without merit. But we did call out specific examples of misogyny and the threat, overt or implicit, of violence."[12]

Michael Brendan Dougherty of Business Insider criticized the SPLC for including Manosphere sites on its list of "hate-groups" and for providing pejorative personal details on the sites' authors.[13] Mike Riggs of Reason magazine also criticized the SPLC for defining Manosphere sites as "hate-groups." Said Riggs, "Take note, America: Having consensual sex (Roosh is not a rapist, but a seducer) with someone you don't actually like and then never calling her/him again will land you in a reputation-ruining SPLC report."[14]

Eva Wiseman of The Observer has written that commenters on manosphere blogs often make statements to the effect that "women are designed solely for sex and sandwich-making" and has suggested that the tone of these websites creates a culture that contributes to violence against women.[5]

Following the 2014 Isla Vista killings, many mainstream news sources reported links between the killer Elliot Rodger and an anti-PUA forum.[15][16] Many Manosphere commenters strongly rejected any attempts to blame the manosphere for the killings, with one commenter writing that "His [Rodger] is a perfect case of someone who needed the red pill...Because it's somewhere he could come to vent, and be angry, and not have his pain be dismissed, ridiculed or ignored." [5] Professor Michael Kimmel similarly opined "it would be facile to argue the manosphere ... urged [Rodger] to do this. I think those places are kind of a solace ... They provide a kind of locker room, a place where guys can gripe about all the bad things that are being done to them by women".[17] In the days immediately following the shooting, other manosphere sites, such as A Voice For Men, saw a huge increase in traffic. [9]

Nicholas James Pell of Taki's Magazine said that the Manosphere "asks difficult questions and poses uncomfortable truths." Pell criticized a report by ABC News on the Manosphere for not giving the topic "a fair shake" and concluded that "the men’s-rights wing of the manosphere is distinguished by a class and refinement totally missing from the shrieking hysteria of modern feminist blogging".[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Dewey, Caitlin (27 May 2014). "Inside the ‘manosphere’ that inspired Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Wiseman, Eva (1 Jun 2014). "The everyday fear of violence every woman has to cope with". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 Jun 2014. 
  3. ^ Southern Poverty Law Center (Spring 2012). "Misogyny: The Sites". Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Pry, Alyssa; Alexa Valiente (16 October 2013). "Women Battle Online Anti-Women Hate From the 'Manosphere'". ABC News. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Eva Wiseman (2014-06-01). "The everyday fear of violence every woman has to cope with". The Guardian. 
  6. ^ Greenwood, Arin (12 March 2012). "Southern Poverty Law Center Lists 'Roosh V' On Misogyny Report". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Sharlet, Jeff, "Are You Man Enough for the Men's Rights Movement?", GQ, March 2015
  8. ^ What is the manosphere?, 2013-05-15, retrieved 2014-06-24 
  9. ^ a b "Are You Man Enough For The Men's Rights Movement?". 
  10. ^ Dreher, Rod (29 May 2014). "Women Who Love Men Who Hate Women". The American Conservative. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Paulson, Amanda (28 May 2014). "Santa Barbara killings: Did misogynist hate groups play a role?". Christian Science Monitor/Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Goldwag, Arthur (15 May 2012). "Intelligence Report Article Provokes Fury Among Men’s Rights Activists". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  13. ^ Dougherty, Michael Brendan (9 March 2012). "A Civil Rights Group Is Now Criticizing Random Jerks For Not Calling Women Back After Sex". Business Insider. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Riggs, Mike (9 March 2012). "The Southern Poverty Law Center Is Now Writing About Pickup Artists as Hate Groups". Reason. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Amanda Hess (2014-05-24), The Pick-Up Artist Community’s Predictable, Horrible Response to a Mass Murder, Slate 
  16. ^ James Nye (2014-05-27), Women-hating 'Pick-Up-Artist' groups laud the 'virgin killer' for his vile and murderous comments online, Daily Mail 
  17. ^ Nelson, Libby (2014-05-29), 'It's a way to retrieve your manhood': a cultural explanation of the Santa Barbara shooting, Vox 
  18. ^ Pell, Nicholas James (26 October 2013). "We Have Nothing to Fear but the Manosphere Itself". Taki's Magazine. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 

External links[edit]

Notable manosphere sites[edit]