Manosphere

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The manosphere is a loose collection of predominantly Web-based misogynist movements associated with the alt-right.[1][2][3][4]

Movements within the manosphere include antifeminism, fathers' rights, Incels (involuntary celibates), MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way), volcels (voluntarily celibates), pick-up artists, the Men's rights movement, bloggers and commentators, among others.[5][6][2]

Prominent websites and forums in the manosphere include Chateau Heartiste, Return of Kings, 4chan and SlutHate.[7][8][2][3]

Terminology[edit]

Manosphere is a neologism, a portmanteau of man and sphere. A related term is androsphere (from Ancient Greek: ἀνήρ, anḗr, genitive ἀνδρός, andros, "man").[9] First appearing on Blogspot in 2009, the term was eventually adopted by men's-rights activists (MRAs) and journalists to describe a loose online network defined largely by misogyny and the concept of the "Red Pill", a metaphor borrowed from the film The Matrix. A person who frequents online communities associated with the manosphere is sometimes called a manospherian.[10][11]

The manosphere has its own distinct jargon. Red pill and blue pill imagery is common: accepting the manosphere's ideology is equated with "taking the red pill", and those who do not are seen as "blue pilled" or as having "taken the blue pill". A red piller (or redpiller) is someone who has shifted from previously held mainstream or feminist persuasions, towards those that are widely held within the manosphere. They sometimes pejoratively refer to their detractors as blue pillers. The terms "alpha male" and "beta male" are also commonly used.[12][6]

Content[edit]

The manosphere comprises various online groups who promote certain forms of masculinity and are generally hostile to feminism.[13] They include men's-rights activists, pick-up artists, and fathers' rights activists, among others.[14] The Guardian columnist Eva Wiseman defines the manosphere as "a mix of men – pick-up artists, male victims of abuse, father's rights proponents – who come together online".[7]

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.[7][15] Members of the incel community also frequent the manosphere.[16] Some analysts have described the manosphere as an online version of the man cave.[17] Social stratification is a common theme of discussion on manosphere websites.[18] Men at the bottom of sociosexual hierarchies are sometimes referred to as BAFC (below average frustrated chump) in PUA communities[19], truecel in incel communities[20] or omega male by manospherians in general.[21]

The author Donna Zuckerberg writes that the growth of the movement and the more political tone adopted by some of its leaders as of 2016 has led to more adversarial internal relationships, such as between pick-up artists and men's-rights advocates.[22]

Ideology[edit]

Manospherians believe that feminists and political correctness obscure the feminist dominance of society, and that men are the victims of a misandrist culture and must fight to protect their existence.[23] Caitlin Dewey of The Washington Post argues that the ideology of the manosphere can be reduced to:

"(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."[24]

"Red Pill" philosophy is a central tenet of the manosphere, which concerns awakening men to the supposed misandry and delusions of feminism.[25] The term originated on the antifeminist subreddit /r/TheRedPill and was later taken up by men's-rights and Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) sites.[26] Zuckerberg writes, "Red Pill represents a new phase in online misogyny. Its members not only mock and belittle women; they also believe that in our society, men are oppressed by women."[22] Zuckerberg links the manosphere with the neoreactionary, white nationalist alt-right movement: many alt-right members are either pick-up artists or MGTOW, while "the policing of white female sexuality is a major concern" of the alt-right.[27]

Many manospherians view the sexual revolution of the 1960s in a negative light.[28][further explanation needed]

Sites[edit]

The manosphere comprises various websites, blogs, and online forums concerned with masculinity and men's issues.[14] Noted sites 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.[6][7][29][30]

Chateau Heartiste[edit]

Chateau Heartiste, a blog written by James C. Weidmann, known as "Roissy in DC",[2][11] was an early manosphere/pickup artist website, begun in April 2007, on WordPress.com.[6]

Zuckerberg describes Weidmann as an "open white nationalist".[27] Weidmann has argued that women's economic freedom, combined with racial miscegenation, immigration, and declining birth rates among white women threatens Western civilization.[2]

PUAHate[edit]

PUAHate was a website for men who felt they had been tricked by members of the pick-up artist or "seduction community" who had promised to teach them for money how to get attractive women to have sex with them.[31] 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 complained that the seduction gurus' techniques did not work.[32]

One PUAHate user remarked, "The moderation policy was very laissez-faire. There was racism; definitely a lot of misogyny."[33] Journalist Patrick Kearns noted that the site had threads such as "Are ugly women completely useless to society?"[34] Users would also ask each other questions such as "what's your rape count"?[35]

Elliot Rodger, the perpetrator of the 2014 Isla Vista killings, was active on PUAHate,[36] where he expressed confusion about how women could resist him.[37] He wrote, "One day incels will realize their true strength and numbers, and will overthrow this oppressive feminist system. Start envisioning a world where WOMEN FEAR YOU."[6] 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.[34][35]

PUAHate was listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.[38] In 2014, PUAHate was shut down.[citation needed] Later, SlutHate was created and many of PUAHate's users migrated there.[39]

Return of Kings[edit]

Return of Kings (RoK) is a blog written by the pick-up artist Daryush Valizadeh, known online as Roosh V.[3] Valizadeh has advocated for the traditional nuclear family and against socialism and same-sex marriage, while also writing how-to guides for male sex tourists.[11] Matthew Lyons at Political Research Associates writes, "Valizadeh doesn't dwell on his own glaring inconsistency, but does suggest [..] that the dismantling of patriarchal rules has forced men to pursue 'game' as a defensive strategy".[11] The actual size of the site's following is difficult to measure, but has been estimated to comprise a scattered readership throughout North America and Western Europe.[3]

RoK is distinct from men's rights forums such as PUAHate in that it promotes seduction techniques, known as "game", that those sites criticize. RoK writers also criticize the profeminism men's movement and The Good Men Project, arguing that they lead to feminized, passive, weak men who are content to remain on the lowest rungs of the social hierarchy.[40]

Return of Kings has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a male supremacy hate group.[41]

Public perception[edit]

The manosphere has received significant coverage in the media from its association with high-profile incidents such as the 2014 Isla Vista killings in California, the 2015 Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon, and the sustained online abuse towards female gamers that came to be known as GamerGate.[42] Following the Isla Vista shooting, many mainstream news sources reported links between the killer Elliot Rodger and posts to a manosphere forum about the pick-up artists.[43][44]

Dewey writes that while the manosphere was not to blame for Rodger's attack, "Rodger's misogynistic rhetoric seems undeniably influenced by the manosphere".[6] 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."[7] The sociologist Michael Kimmel argues "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".[45] In the days immediately following the shooting, other manosphere sites, such as A Voice For Men, saw a huge increase in traffic.[30]

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), said that the forums are filled with "pure unvarnished women hatred" and compares the manosphere to white supremacist websites.[46] 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."[47]

Wiseman writes that commenters on manosphere blogs often make statements to the effect that "women are designed solely for sex and sandwich-making" and suggests that the tone of these websites creates a culture that contributes to violence against women.[7] Dewey says it excludes gay, lesbian, and transgender people.[6] BBC television personality Reggie Yates made a documentary on Britons who take part in the manosphere.[48]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Landsbaum, Claire. "Men's-Rights Activists Are Finding a New Home With the Alt-Right". The Cut.
  2. ^ a b c d e Nagle, Angela (2017). "Entering the manosphere". Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right. Alresford, UK: Zero Books. ISBN 978-1-78535-543-1.
  3. ^ a b c d Dewey, Caitlin (4 February 2016). "How a radical misogynist fooled millions of people and hundreds of journalists". The Washington Post.
  4. ^ Description:
  5. ^ Manosphere:
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Dewey, Caitlin (27 May 2014). "Inside the 'manosphere' that inspired Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Wiseman, Eva (1 June 2014). "The everyday fear of violence every woman has to cope with". The Guardian.
  8. ^ Hern, Alex (25 April 2018). "Who are the 'incels' and how do they relate to Toronto van attack?". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  9. ^ Wilson, Jason. "The 'man-o-sphere' is outraged about Mad Max? Hand me my popcorn!". The Guardian.
  10. ^ Ging, Debbie (10 May 2017). "Alphas, Betas, and Incels: Theorizing the Masculinities of the Manosphere" (PDF). Men and Masculinities: 2–3. doi:10.1177/1097184X17706401.
  11. ^ a b c d Lyons, Matthew N. (20 January 2017). "Ctrl-Alt-Delete: The origins and ideology of the Alternative Right". Political Research Associates.
  12. ^ Sculos, Bryant W. "Who's Afraid of 'Toxic Masculinity'?." Class, Race and Corporate Power 5.3 (2017): 6.
  13. ^ Hodapp, Christa (2017). Men's Rights, Gender, and Social Media. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-49-852617-3.
  14. ^ a b Hodapp (2017), p. xv.
  15. ^ Love, Dylan (16 September 2013). "Inside Red Pill, The Cult For Men Who Don't Understand Women". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  16. ^ http://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n06/amia-srinivasan/does-anyone-have-the-right-to-sex
  17. ^ DeKeseredy, Walter S., Alexis Fabricius, and Amanda Hall-Sanchez. "Fueling aggrieved entitlement: The contribution of women against feminism postings". Crimsoc report 4 (2015): 1–34.
  18. ^ Lilly, Mary. The World is Not a Safe Place for Men': The Representational Politics of the Manosphere. Diss. Université d'Ottawa/University of Ottawa, 2016.
  19. ^ Clift, Elana. Picking up and acting out: politics of masculinity in the seduction community. Bachelor of Arts (Honors), University of Texas at Austin (2007)
  20. ^ "Accused van killer praised as 'saint' by involuntarily celibate men | Canoe". 2018-04-26.
  21. ^ Ging (2017), p. 13.
  22. ^ a b Zuckerberg, Donna (2018). Not all Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 15–17. ISBN 978-0-67-497555-2.
  23. ^ Lumsden, Karen (2019). "'"I Want to Kill You in Front of Your Children" is Not a Threat. It's an Expression of a Desire': Discourses of Online Abuse, Trolling, and Violence on r/MensRights". In Lumsden, K.; Harmer, E. (eds.). Online Othering: Exploring Digital Violence and Discrimination on the Web. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 99. ISBN 978-3-03-012632-2.
  24. ^ Dewey, quoted in Hodapp (2017, p. xv)
  25. ^ Ging, quoted in Lumsden (2019, p. 99)
  26. ^ Ging (2017), p. 8.
  27. ^ a b Zuckerberg (2018), p. 20.
  28. ^ Nicholas, Lucy; Agius, Christine (2018). "Real Victims, Real Men, Real Feminists, Real Sluts. The Persistent Masculinist Collapse of Gender-based Violence Discourses". The Persistence of Global Masculinism. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 61–87. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-68360-7_3. ISBN 978-3-31-968360-7.
  29. ^ Greenwood, Arin (12 March 2012). "Southern Poverty Law Center Lists 'Roosh V' On Misogyny Report". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  30. ^ a b Sharlet, Jeff (4 February 2014). "Are You Man Enough for the Men's Rights Movement?". GQ. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  31. ^ "Welcome to the manosphere: A brief guide to the controversial men's rights movement".
  32. ^ Hess, Amanda (24 May 2014). "The Pick-Up Artist Community's Predictable, Horrible Response to a Mass Murder" – via Slate.
  33. ^ Woolf, Nicky (30 May 2014). "'PUAhate' and 'ForeverAlone': inside Elliot Rodger's online life". The Guardian.
  34. ^ a b "The extreme misogyny of 'pick-up artist' hate". BBC News. 31 May 2014 – via www.bbc.com.
  35. ^ a b "The Sexist Pseudoscience of Pick-Up Artists: The Dangers of "Alpha Male" Thinking". The New Republic. 2014-06-07.
  36. ^ Woolf, Nicky (30 May 2014). "'PUAhate' and 'ForeverAlone': inside Elliot Rodger's online life". The Guardian.
  37. ^ http://genderstudies.nd.edu/assets/162635/website_construction_and_destruction_masculinity_and_violence_in_america.pdf
  38. ^ http://cupola.gettysburg.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=surge
  39. ^ https://www.ruor.uottawa.ca/bitstream/10393/35055/1/Lilly_Mary_2016_thesis.pdf
  40. ^ Rachel M. Schmitz 1 and Emily Kazyak (12 May 2016). "Masculinities in Cyberspace: An Analysis of Portrayals of Manhood in Men's Rights Activist Websites". Social Sciences. 5 (2): 18–. doi:10.3390/socsci5020018.
  41. ^ "The Year in Hate: Trump buoyed white supremacists in 2017, sparking backlash among black nationalist groups". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  42. ^ Ging (2017), p. 3.
  43. ^ Amanda Hess (2014-05-24), The Pick-Up Artist Community's Predictable, Horrible Response to a Mass Murder, Slate
  44. ^ James Nye (2014-05-27), Women-hating 'Pick-Up-Artist' groups laud the 'virgin killer' for his vile and murderous comments online, Daily Mail
  45. ^ Nelson, Libby (2014-05-29), 'It's a way to retrieve your manhood': a cultural explanation of the Santa Barbara shooting, Vox
  46. ^ Paulson, Amanda (28 May 2014). "Santa Barbara killings: Did misogynist hate groups play a role?". Christian Science Monitor/Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  47. ^ Goldwag, Arthur (15 May 2012). "Intelligence Report Article Provokes Fury Among Men's Rights Activists". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  48. ^ "Men at War". Reggie Yates' Extreme UK. Season 1. Episode 2. January 12, 2016. 22 minutes in. BBC. BBC Three.

Further reading[edit]