What the manosphere and liberal feminism share
Both worldviews advocate the same thing, but in different flavours
There are probably too many definitions of the “red pill” now to enumerate. But one consistent theme among those who embrace a worldview dubbed by one progressive as “the heart of modern misogyny” is overt hostility to feminism.
If one of its most prominent advocates is anything to go by, though, the “red pill” should be seen not so much as opposed to feminism as structurally identical to it — just with the poles reversed.
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Rollo Tomassi, the “Rational Male”, is a famous (or, if you prefer, notorious) figure in the online manosphere. His prolific output promises, for the young men who pay to access his teaching, to reveal the secrets of “Game”, which is to say the hidden key to manipulating women into wanting sex with you. This, he asserts, turns on becoming a “high-value male” and thus triggering women’s innate, evolved tendency to desire high-status men.
But what does such a high-value male look like? Tomassi this week tweeted his cheat sheet for attaining this elusive status. Avoid early marriage; work hard at staying in shape; focus on your career goals; earn lots of money. And, most startlingly of all: neuter yourself in your twenties.
A high-value male, then, is a rich, workaholic, commitment-phobic gym-rat who can’t give you kids. I suppose there must be some women for whom this is an appealing picture, but what struck me about Tomassi’s guidelines are just how startling a resemblance they bear, with superficial adjustments in aesthetic, to this wildly successful classic of liberal pop-feminism, which sold two million copies in its first two weeks: Helen Gurley Brown’s 1962 Sex and the Single Girl.
The book advises women to keep themselves in shape, focus on their careers and social lives, and have as many sexual affairs as they like — especially with married men — until they’re ready (if they ever are) to settle down. At that point, Brown points to her own story to reassure women that they’re sure to find a great man who will admire their success and ambition.
The principal difference between Tomassi’s and Brown’s visions is that Brown promises her readers, with the aid of glowing anecdata, that you can have the singledom, the career, and all the sex and then get married in your late thirties – at which point you’ll still be able to have all the babies you want, and to hire someone else to take care of them. She was obliged in the end to omit the chapter on birth control; but the Pill, approved by the FDA two years before Sex and the Single Girl was published, is implicit everywhere. How else is anyone to take seriously a book that celebrates female unmarried promiscuity, while mentioning pregnancy only once?
For Tomassi, meanwhile, even Brown’s optional, high-end, staff-assisted version of professional coupledom is too tied down. “High value” in his vision means foreclosing stable relationships and parental obligation altogether. Later generations of women following in Brown’s footsteps are already there, too: we need only glance at her intellectual descendants, such as the liberal feminist writer Jill Filipovic, to see paeans of praise to those women who take the Tomassi approach.
But the central takeaway for me is a simple one: that if Tomassi is anything to go by, the “redpill” manosphere worldview is anything but antagonistic to liberal feminism. Both worldviews advocate broadly the same thing, just in pink or blue flavour: an idealised vision of money-grubbing atomisation, in which sexuality is redirected from generation to leisure activity, and life has no broader purpose beyond the optimisation and gratification of self.
Rather than wasting energy taking the side of either liberal feminism or of the “red pill”, we might ask ourselves about the prospects of survival for a culture that grants any credence at all to such literally sterile ideologies.
Isn’t this just the logical outcome of the liberal goal, to have freedom without responsibility? Men historically had the power to do this but were constrained by laws and customs to be heroic. Women validated and used those laws and customs wisely – chivalry, marriage, religion. Feminism did away with that. So we are where we are now.
Once you have done away with the laws and customs it is not just the logical outcome it is all you have left.
Perhaps these two groups should get together, sounds like they deserve each other. At least for a few hours anyway.
A few hours, a disappointing 30 minutes more like
Ok, that was a little generous.
I normally get a stitch after 5
Or as Johnny Rotten once characterized it ‘two and a half minutes of squelching’!
Tbf I’m quite glad to hear that such selfish minded people will not be breeding. Crack on, I say!
Yeah, there is something of a long-haul Darwin Award about it.
I’ve always been wary of the ‘manosphere’. I feel that it is one of those things that real men don’t engage in, much like crying and whinging about how unfair life or how oppressed they feel.
Indeed. I think it’s closely related to ‘nanosphere’, the equivalent of the brains of those who engage in it.
It’s simply the new version of all those self help books that used to claim they knew the secret to pulling any woman you wanted. Obviously the only people that ever bought them were the ones who struggled to pull women in the first place.
It’s one of those movements that takes a kernel of truth and then extrapolates all sorts of madness from a set of limited claims. A bit like Marxism, really.
“vision of money-grubbing atomisation, in which sexuality is redirected from generation to leisure activity, and life has no broader purpose beyond the optimisation and gratification of self.”
Very well put. Entirely agree. And what a sad life that bloke has led, if he thinks that an occasional knee-trembler even comes close to genuinely making love to someone.
Surely highvalue men are those who value others and support others to become like them. Men like my dad and 2 of my brothers. Like my partner and my male friends. They all do a variety of jobs. They volunteer in their communities. They have taken full responsibility for raising their children. They value their women friends and family. They are worthy. Anything else is a con and young men need real role models who “get it”. Not this crap from a man who only wants to make money and be idolised!
That is the old romantic version of high value men. And perhaps still the case for us conservatives. But money, power and sex have been, and continue to be, the most important things in life to men of the world. And women want it now too.
And then their women walk out on them taking the kids, the house and the money. No fault needed, no shame. Well, shame on the men, of course: they must have deserved it.
As if we needed another reason to question the prospects of survival for our culture! I’ll file this one as reason number 247.
In a modern society where loneliness seems to be the national malaise especially in the USA, these two parallel ideas have caused such emotional destruction. Coming of age in the late sixties and early seventies I witnessed what attitudes like Sex and the Single Girl wraught emotionally on women. Things didn’t work out like they were supposed to. It left a generation who didn’t take any responsibility for the consequences of their indulgences.
…the “Rational” in Rollo’s moniker, is the giveaway. Left brain dominants seem to think the same, male or female.
“But one consistent theme among those who embrace a worldview dubbed by one progressive as “the heart of modern misogyny” is overt hostility to feminism.”
Harrington lost me at that second sentence. Fortunately, I continued to read and wasn’t disappointed.
There’s no necessary correlation between hostility toward women (misogyny) and hostility toward feminism. The latter is an ideology, despite its many competing versions, like any other ideology. Opposing some or even most of its doctrines on moral or philosophical grounds does not necessarily add up to hatred. I disagree with just about everything to do with this “manosphere,” after all, and that doesn’t make me a man-hater.
Another good piece, another light bulb moment, libfem women tend to think that on the balance far more women & girls are reproductively coerced than will remain childless, that’s true but we should stand & fight against that, rather than encourage privileged western women to be “child free”
Men don’t really mature until their early thirties…so perhaps they Tomassi’s strategy is just stating the obvious?
They don’t mature until they get married. Neither sex does.
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