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 a name given in the early 21st century to a loose and informal network of blogs, forums[2] and websites, with internet commentators focusing 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. Their content is varied, and includes Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW),[3] men's rights issues, fathers' rights movement activists, and male victims of abuse,[4] self-improvement, bodybuilding,[not in citation given] antifeminism, and seduction community commentary for pick-up artists.[2][5]

Content

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][6][7]

The manosphere has its own distinct jargon. Some manosphere websites commonly use red pill and blue pill imagery as an analogy; accepting a manosphere's ideology - that "nice guys" (men who are very meek or socially submissive) are less sexually attractive and socially respected than "bad boys" (men who are very confident or socially dominant) - 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, while seduction and pickup artistry techniques and ideas are often refered to as "game".[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 100,000 subscribers.[4][8]

Ideology

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.[9] GQ's Jeff Sharlet described A Voice For Men as "surprisingly pro-gay, or at least anti-anti-gay."[7]

Some sources have attempted to connect the manosphere to the alt-right. Some Manosphere bloggers and authors including Jack Donovan (who authored The Way of Men) pickup artist Roosh V of the Return of Kings website, Mike Cernovich of the Danger and Play blog, James C. Weidmann ("Roissy") of the Chateau Heartiste blog, and Vox Day of the Alpha Game Plan blog, have also written articles in favor of alt-right politics and criticizing political correctness and social justice within mainstream media and academia, however the alt-right as a whole is not equatable with the manosphere.

Sites

Return of Kings

Return of Kings
Rok-new.png
Web address returnofkings.com
Commercial? Yes
Type of site
Culture, masculinity
Available in English
Owner Kings Media
Launched October 2012[10]
Alexa rank
Negative increase 19,027 (May 2017)[11]
Current status Active

Return of Kings (RoK) is a prominent[12] neomasculinity-focused blog, edited by Winston Smith and published by Roosh V as his flagship website,[13] that is well-known for its antifeminist articles.[14] 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.[15][16] The site has hosted articles critical of same-sex marriage.[17] The Village Voice describes RoK's coverage of the 2017 Berkeley protests as "the kind of journalism you won't get from the Lame Stream Media".[18] The New York Times has described its articles as "thought-provoking".[19]

The estimated number of unique visitors in the United States for the thirty days ending August 5, 2015, is 357,037.[12] In February 2016, there was a spike to 607,000 unique visitors when RoK anounced 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.[13]

RoK is distinct from men's rights forums such as PUAHate in that it is a pickup artist site[21] championing "game" (i.e. seduction) techniques that those sites denounce.[22] 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.[23]

Chateau Heartiste

Chateau Heartiste, written by a blogger formerly known as Roissy or James Weidmann,[17] was one of the forerunners in the manosphere/PUA scene.[24] Heartiste advises his readers to replicate the traits of narcissists and sociopaths in order to attract women.[25] 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".[26] A recurring theme in Chateau Heartiste is that "chicks dig jerks."[27]

The Rational Male

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.[26] 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

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.[28] 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.[29]

PUAHate user Tom remarked, "The moderation policy was very laissez-faire. There was racism; definitely a lot of misogyny."[30] Journalist Patrick Kearns noted that the site had threads such as "Are ugly women completely useless to society?"[31] Users would also ask each questions such as "what's your rape count"?[32]

Elliot Rodger, perpetrator of the 23 May 2014 Isla Vista killings, was active on PUAHate,[33] where he expressed confusion about how women could resist him.[34] 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."[24] 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.[31][32]

PUAHate was listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.[35] On 24 May 2014, PUAHate was shut down. On 26 May, SlutHate was created and many of PUAHate's users migrated there[36] or to /r/puahate.

Commentary and criticism

Rod Dreher of The American Conservative has said that the manosphere "dehumanizes both men and women".[37] 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.[38] 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."[39]

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.[40] 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."[41]

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.[42][43] 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".[44] In the days immediately following the shooting, other manosphere sites, such as A Voice For Men, saw a huge increase in traffic.[7]

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".[45]

BBC television personality Reggie Yates made a documentary on Britons who take part in the manosphere.[46]

See also

References

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  3. The Manosphere
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