Manosphere

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The manosphere (compounding of man and sphere) or androsphere[1] (from Ancient Greek: ἀνήρ, anēr, genitive ἀνδρός, andros, "man") is an informal network of blogs, forums[2] and websites where commentators focus on issues relating to men and masculinity, as a male counterpart to feminism or in opposition to it. Many of these are men's spaces.

The content of manosphere articles varies widely. Common topics include the men's rights, fathers' rights, and Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW)[3] movements; male victims of abuse[4]; antifeminism; self-improvement; and pick-up artistry.[2][5]

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.[6][7]

Content[edit]

Caitlin Dewey of The Washington Post has described the manosphere as "a vast, diverse network of blogs and forums."[2] 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."[4] 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.[2][4][8][9]

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 those who disagree with their philosophy are seen as "blue pilled" or as having "taken the blue pill". The terms "alpha male" and "beta male" are also commonly used.[2]

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.[4][10]

Ideology[edit]

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."[2] Eva Wiseman of The Guardian said that "Advocates of the men's rights movement are united by their belief that feminism is the enemy."[4] 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.[11] GQ's Jeff Sharlet described A Voice For Men as "surprisingly pro-gay, or at least anti-anti-gay."[9]

Sites[edit]

Return of Kings[edit]

Return of Kings
Return of Kings screenshot.png
Type of site
Culture, masculinity
Available in English
Owner Kings Media
Website returnofkings.com
Alexa rank Negative increase 19,027 (May 2017)[12]
Commercial Yes
Launched October 2012[13]
Current status Active

Return of Kings (RoK) is a [14] neomasculinity-focused blog, edited by Winston Smith and published by Roosh V as his flagship website,[15] that contains antifeminist articles.[16] Jacqueline Allain writes that RoK's "raison d’être is to denounce 'sluts' and gay men". Allain and Timothy Haverda note that the site condones gender essentialism.[17][18] The site has hosted articles critical of same-sex marriage.[19]

For the thirty days ending August 5, 2015, RoK received an estimated 357,037 unique visitors from the United States.[14] In February 2016, there was a spike to 607,000 unique visitors when RoK announced plans for an in-person meetup, after the publication of Roosh's article "How to Stop Rape". This led to threats to dox or commit violence against the attendees.[20] The Washington Post suggests that RoK's traffic may not be indicative of Roosh's following, since on both Twitter and Facebook, Return of Kings has fewer than 13,000 followers, and Roosh V Forum has only 19,600 accounts, half of which have never posted.[15]

RoK is distinct from men's rights forums such as PUAHate in that it is a pickup artist site championing "game" (i.e. seduction) techniques that those sites denounce. RoK writers also criticize the profeminism men's movement, The Good Men Project, arguing that it leads to feminized, passive, weak men who are content to remain on the lowest rungs of the social hierarchy.[21]

Chateau Heartiste[edit]

Chateau Heartiste, written by a blogger formerly known as Roissy or James Weidmann,[19] was one of the forerunners in the manosphere/PUA scene.[22] Heartiste advises his readers to replicate the traits of narcissists and sociopaths in order to attract women.[23] Heartiste has written a popular online list of rules, "The 16 Commandments of Poon," described by 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".[24] A recurring theme in Chateau Heartiste is that "chicks dig jerks."[25]

The Rational Male[edit]

The Rational Male is a blog by Rollo Tomassi. It explores such topics as "shit tests," which Tomassi says are used to test men's confidence, options, and ability to provide security.[24] After Roosh announced in-person gatherings of his followers in February 2016, Tomassi opined, "'Tribe' meetings are more about inciting the protests for Roosh's notoriety than any real connections among men."[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 how to get attractive women to have sex with them.[26] 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.[27]

PUAHate user Tom remarked, "The moderation policy was very laissez-faire. There was racism; definitely a lot of misogyny."[28] Journalist Patrick Kearns noted that the site had threads such as "Are ugly women completely useless to society?"[29] Users would also ask each questions such as "what's your rape count"?[30]

Elliot Rodger, perpetrator of the 23 May 2014 Isla Vista killings, was active on PUAHate,[31] where he expressed confusion about how women could resist him.[32] 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."[22] 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.[29][30]

PUAHate was listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.[33] On 24 May 2014, PUAHate was shut down. On 26 May, SlutHate was created and many of PUAHate's users migrated there[34].

Commentary and criticism[edit]

Rod Dreher of The American Conservative has said that the manosphere "dehumanizes both men and women".[35] Caitlin Dewey accuses it of excluding gay, lesbian, and transgender people.[2]

Mark Potok, a spokesman 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.[36] 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."[37]

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.[38] Mike Riggs of Libertarian magazine Reason 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."[39]

Eva Wiseman has written that commenters on manosphere blogs often make statements to the effect that "women are designed solely for sex and sandwich-making."[4] She has suggested that the tone of these websites creates a culture that contributes to violence against women.[4]

Following the 2014 Isla Vista killings in California, many mainstream news sources reported links between the killer Elliot Rodger and posts to a manosphere forum about the pick-up artist community.[40][41] Caitlin Dewey, writing for The Washington Post, said that while the manosphere was not to blame for Rodger's attack and it would be irresponsible to make that claim, "Rodger's misogynistic rhetoric seems undeniably influenced by the manosphere".[2] Many manosphere commenters also 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." [4] 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".[42] 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 paleoconservative site 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".[43]

BBC television personality Reggie Yates made a documentary on Britons who take part in the manosphere.[44]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wilson, Jason. "The 'man-o-sphere' is outraged about Mad Max? Hand me my popcorn!". The Guardian. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dewey, Caitlin (27 May 2014). "Inside the 'manosphere' that inspired Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  3. ^ The Manosphere
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Eva Wiseman (2014-06-01). "The everyday fear of violence every woman has to cope with". The Guardian. 
  5. ^ Wiseman, Eva (1 Jun 2014). "The everyday fear of violence every woman has to cope with". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 Jun 2014. 
  6. ^ Southern Poverty Law Center (Spring 2012). "Misogyny: The Sites". Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Pry, Alyssa; Alexa Valiente (16 October 2013). "Women Battle Online Anti-Women Hate From the 'Manosphere'". ABC News. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Greenwood, Arin (12 March 2012). "Southern Poverty Law Center Lists 'Roosh V' On Misogyny Report". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c Sharlet, Jeff (March 2015). "Are You Man Enough for the Men's Rights Movement?". GQ. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Love, Dylan (16 September 2013). "Inside Red Pill, The Cult For Men Who Don't Understand Women". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Geddes, Adam (27 March 2012). ""Circumcised or Intact?!" Screw Her Preference!". Splitsburgh. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "ReturnOfKings.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  13. ^ http://www.returnofkings.com/archives
  14. ^ a b Lilly, Mary (2016). "‘The World is Not a Safe Place for Men’: The Representational Politics of the Manosphere" (PDF). 
  15. ^ a b Dewey, Caitlin (4 February 2016). "How a radical misogynist fooled millions of people and hundreds of journalists". Washington Post. 
  16. ^ Washko, Angela. "Tightrope routines: a feminist artist interviews the internet's most infamous misogynist". UC San Diego Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 
  17. ^ Haverda, Timothy, Reinvigorating Neo-Masculinity: Gender Discourse of a Men’s Rights Leader 
  18. ^ Allain, Jacqueline (2015). "Finding Common Ground: A Feminist Response to Men's Rights Activism". On Our Terms: the Undergraduate Journal of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College. 3 (1): 1–34. 
  19. ^ a b Lyons, Matthew N. (20 January 2017). "Ctrl-Alt-Delete: The origins and ideology of the Alternative Right". Political Research Associates. 
  20. ^ Bender, Stuart (February 2017). ""Happy to provide the knives": Governmentality and threats of violence via social media in the case of Roosh V and Return of Kings". First Monday, [S.l.] 22 (3). ISSN 1396-0466. doi:10.5210/fm.v22i3.6945. 
  21. ^ 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". Soc. Sci. 5 (2): 18. doi:10.3390/socsci5020018. 
  22. ^ a b Dewey, Caitlin; Dewey, Caitlin (27 May 2014). "Inside the ‘manosphere’ that inspired Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger" – via washingtonpost.com. 
  23. ^ Kristin Dombek (16 August 2016). The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 
  24. ^ a b Arrowsmith, Anna (3 March 2016). Rethinking Misogyny: Men's Perceptions of Female Power in Dating Relationships. Routledge. 
  25. ^ Stephen Jarosek (9 January 2015). Tyrants of Matriarchy: Debunking Feminism and the Myth of Patriarchal Oppression. Lulu Press. 
  26. ^ "Welcome to the manosphere: A brief guide to the controversial men's rights movement". 
  27. ^ Hess, Amanda (24 May 2014). "The Pick-Up Artist Community’s Predictable, Horrible Response to a Mass Murder" – via Slate. 
  28. ^ Woolf, Nicky (30 May 2014). "'PUAhate' and 'ForeverAlone': inside Elliot Rodger's online life" – via The Guardian. 
  29. ^ a b "The extreme misogyny of 'pick-up artist' hate". 31 May 2014 – via www.bbc.com. 
  30. ^ a b "The Sexist Pseudoscience of Pick-Up Artists: The Dangers of “Alpha Male” Thinking". 
  31. ^ "PODCAST: Soraya Chemaly on Elliot Rodger, PUAHate, and #YesAllWomen". 30 May 2014. 
  32. ^ http://genderstudies.nd.edu/assets/162635/website_construction_and_destruction_masculinity_and_violence_in_america.pdf
  33. ^ http://cupola.gettysburg.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=surge
  34. ^ https://www.ruor.uottawa.ca/bitstream/10393/35055/1/Lilly_Mary_2016_thesis.pdf
  35. ^ Dreher, Rod (29 May 2014). "Women Who Love Men Who Hate Women". The American Conservative. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  36. ^ Paulson, Amanda (28 May 2014). "Santa Barbara killings: Did misogynist hate groups play a role?". Christian Science Monitor/Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  37. ^ Goldwag, Arthur (15 May 2012). "Intelligence Report Article Provokes Fury Among Men’s Rights Activists". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  38. ^ 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. 
  39. ^ Riggs, Mike (9 March 2012). "The Southern Poverty Law Center Is Now Writing About Pickup Artists as Hate Groups". Reason. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  40. ^ Amanda Hess (2014-05-24), The Pick-Up Artist Community's Predictable, Horrible Response to a Mass Murder, Slate 
  41. ^ James Nye (2014-05-27), Women-hating 'Pick-Up-Artist' groups laud the 'virgin killer' for his vile and murderous comments online, Daily Mail 
  42. ^ Nelson, Libby (2014-05-29), 'It's a way to retrieve your manhood': a cultural explanation of the Santa Barbara shooting, Vox 
  43. ^ Pell, Nicholas James (26 October 2013). "We Have Nothing to Fear but the Manosphere Itself". Taki's Magazine. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  44. ^ "Men at War". Reggie Yates' Extreme UK. Season 1. Episode 2. January 12, 2016. 22 minutes in. BBC. BBC Three.