Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The "Manosphere"

In the past few days I've been rather shocked after stumbling upon a portion of the internet apparently named the "manosphere."  I've heard it mentioned in two Catholic blogs that I read this past week, with a response to a post by Darwin Catholic written here, that apparently brought down the rage of this little realm of internet existence.

After reading a few "manosphere" posts I began to see a trend, could unfortunately understand the manosphere lingo, and could almost stop shaking my head after clicking away from the posts.  It was more difficult however, to stop the constant stream of blog-post worthy thought that began in response to the adolescent screech of the manosphere.

Let me sum up what I saw, by beginning with what I believe is the underlying foundation of the manosphere.  The existence of the far out there radical feminism that left me shaking my head in college (when I was about as liberal as one can be) has led to a reactionary movement, equally disturbing and twisted, where men tout themselves as "Alphas" and call other, less manosphere worthy men "Betas" (really guys, Brave New World?  That's what you want to emulate?) and talk about how women aren't worthy of their greatness but are (insert crude term here) who need to be forced back into their place as serving wench, with our obviously inferior minds and anatomy.

I wasn't surprised that guys like this still exist.  I mean, the media tells us they exist all the time.  But these men and their "Brave New World" aren't religious conservatives clinging to an imagine image of some bygone day.  No, these men aren't "constrained" by religion or moral beliefs at all.  They fancy themselves a new kind of man, in a new kind of world.  They are the response to radical feminism and, in taking the opposite extreme have annihilated any shred of credibility that might have existed in their view of world problems or the solutions to those problems.

I'll admit that my first thought, as I read these manopshere posts, was that in my experience, the most masculine men that I know, don't usually go around talking about how masculine they are.  They don't go around calling themselves "Alphas" and labeling other men as "Betas."  They're kindly respectful of women, regardless of whether or not the woman is acting like a lady.  They would never think of using the crude terms flung around the manosphere.  They help the people around them and live by their own code of honor, because they know what's right and they know what's wrong and they have chosen the better part.  They stand up against the evil and the base and speak out against it, because they know that someone must stand against the darkness and the chaos of our fallen world.  However, they don't go around beating their chests and asserting that they're more manly than everyone else.

In fact I'd have to say my first reaction to a man acting in that manner is that there must be something fragile and threatened that causes them to shout: "I am a man!  I am great!  I am better than you!" from the rooftops.

The most common response that I've witnessed, to any critique of the manosphere is that those who question are simply of inferior intelligence, unable to understand the superior intellect of the manosphere blogger and his followers.  They don't realize that the insult: "you're so dumb you don't can't understand me" doesn't actually win an argument.

It's all really quite sad.

It's also the perfect example of how we can take a good thing, like masculinity and the desire to strive to "be a man" and we can twist it into something perverted and damaging.  In our pride we can take a tiny grain of truth and goodness and turn it into something that is hardly recognizable, but that retains a certain appeal that is not totally base because one small part of the idea remains true.

And this is why it's so important that we raise sons who know what it truly means to be a man, so that they will never be tempted to latch on to this new societal definition of masculinity that tells them that they must raise themselves up by smashing everyone else around them into the mud.  That should never be any societies definition of masculinity.

The Sequel.

25 comments:

Zachary J. Adam said...

Bravo!

Venite, Missa est! said...

Pay no attention to this kind of faux masculine dribble.

I am a man and consider myself a masculine sort in the manner of which my very macho, boxer,black belt, soldier, bread winning father taught me.

Given that, I was taught that real men fall to their knees in adoration and humility before God,mothers and children.

True manly strength is quiet and humble but harbors courage and the fight for beauty, truth, justice and the defense of the defenseless.

LostSailor said...

If you've only read "a few" postings or blogs, you haven't really done the research to understand the Manosphere. Yes it is a reaction to feminism, but it is a broad place encompassing a wide range of issues, but it can be generally broken down into two broad camps.

One contains the Men's Rights Advocates (MRAs). These men focus on issues of our social and legal system having been tilted too far in favor of women and the need for a more balanced approach, especially in the areas of divorce, child-custody, etc. There are reasonable MRA blogs, but many of these men can come across as angry and bitter, even if they do have a point.

The other camp is the "Game" camp, which can be generally broken down into two sub-camps: PUAs and Game bloggers. The Pick-up Artists concentrate on sometime superficial tips and tricks to make men more successful with women. My opinion is that PUA culture has been just about played out, mainly by the rise of the Game bloggers.

The Game bloggers (who are actually not all men) have evolved a deeper philosophy, much of it backed by science, of understanding the nature of women and teaching men how to be better men and thus have more success in the socio-sexual marketplace.

The terms Alpha and Beta are not derived from Huxley, but from evolutionary psychology. Alphas are the natural leaders who are usually most attractive to women, and the genuine articles are rare. Betas are the rest of us (though some Game bloggers break the spectrum down to more categories). Think "bad-boys" and "nice-guys." Betas have been raised in a feminist society that has taught them that to be successful in relationships with women, just "be yourself," be deferential, and you'll succeed. Unfortunately, actual experience is very different. Female hypergamy naturally causes women to be attracted to the Alpha and dismiss the Beta. They simply don't notice the Beta, or when they do, they think of them as "friends-only" or losers.

The Game bloggers teach men to understand true female nature, to be better men, more traditionally masculine, and to better manage relationships with women, whether that is dating, long-term relationships, or marriage (though most of the manosphere does not support marriage in the current social and legal culture).

It's not about forcing women back into the kitchen (though it would be nice if you brought us a sandwich from time to time), but about making both men and women happier in their relationships by giving women what the show, by their actions, they want rather than what they (and feminism) say they want. This area of the manosphere is growing because it works, and more men are choosing the "red pill" and reclaiming their masculinity and their lives.

Cam said...

Hi Lost Sailor,

That's a very interesting analysis and I'm grateful for a view from the other side that's insightful and not loaded with profanity.

I do have a question for you. In the posts that I read, and in the comments from "manosphere" posters in response on the blog I sited in the above post, most of the writers referred to women in extremely derogatory terms. Is that generally the norm on all of these posts?

I can certainly understand the need for legal adjustments to correct some of the over adjustments that were made in the past decades.

Yet I have to admit I find the idea of the "Game" blogs troubling. It seems to reduce all of us to far less than we're meant to be (of course I'm coming at this from a religious angle as a person who's life is centered on God). Treating the finding of a spouse as a "game" sells both sides short.

I agree that the feminization of our culture is troubling on many levels. Moving away from a part of California that was pretty much the birthplace of "metero sexual" was a huge relief.

And while I could certainly find things I agreed with in the posts I read, each seemed to take the truth and then go a step further. It wasn't enough to assert that masculinity was good. Women had to be degraded (because that's what we like? That seemed to be the implication...). Therein lay the problem I had with both the comments and the blogs I've run across.

I'm all for authentic versions of masculinity and femininity. In our house DH is certainly the leader and gets not one but two home cooked meals a day (it's cereal for breakfast, so that doesn't count). But maybe you can tell me whether or not degrading women is a theme across the manosphere, or did I just run across the worst of the worst? Are women always referred to as S@#$, B*&^%$ and worse? That was my main problem with all the posts I saw...

GK Chesterton said...

I also didn't see your last comment. There are some men in the sphere who have a negative overall opinion of women. Usually these men have lot there children in very brutal ways.

This is a good example recently posted here:
http://www.the-spearhead.com/2012/04/05/comment-of-the-week-a-life-not-worth-living/

Read the whole thing all the way through. Now I hope and pray you'd never do that but you can imagine why some come unhinged after experiences like this. There is the projection of the individual onto the group.

That being said there are evil women. The Bible uses some very rough language to describe women who are evil. "Whore" for example sees very frequent use (a bevy of mentions in Ezekiel alone). One of the evils of modern society is a displacement of the adoration that belongs only to God onto women. This is a form of false worship.

The Devil is crafty in using good things since he can't create himself. To this end using the love of women against men and women (because both sexes love women) is one of his chief modern goals. That love has been corrupted into a false adoration that prevents us from describing evil women and from accusing those who need to be accused. That you, who obviously live up to the biblical standard, have a hard time accusing women who are evil using biblical language exemplifies the issue.

Yes, some go overboard in the manosphere, but the manosphere like the blogosphere isn't an exclusively Christian place.

(this was a follow on comment...it seems my original was inadvertently lost)

GK Chesterton said...

Two more since I lost my original post...

Your understanding of Game and Alpha/Beta is seriously flawed. Game is the assumption that women are attracted to things that men aren't. Most everyone in the Game section of the manosphere/androsphere (there are many sections just like your own general blogosphere has many sections) will admit to being a beta. That is, your assault on chest thumping claims of alpha is all wrong. The assumption with Game is that we are all (mostly) betas. Just like you all are mostly not super-models.

I imagine you go through some trouble to look attractive for your husband as is only natural and good. Game attempts to teach men what is attractive to women. And yes, because we are different, those attractions are different. Worse, what natural behaviors we might have that are attractive are dampened by the near universal feminist culture as we are taught at a very young age not to act like boys (see: http://www.amazon.com/The-War-Against-Boys-Misguided/dp/0684849569).

The fact is you are more of an ally of the manosphere than you may know. You are mostly having a cultural reaction to the language. If you want a good female perspective on the problem that lacks the language you find distasteful I suggest Grerp's site which I think is an admirable read:
http://grerp.blogspot.com/

She's a proud card carrying member of the manosphere and well respected inside of it. I would also hazard a guess that you didn't read there.

LostSailor said...

Hi Cam:

As I said, there's a wide spectrum of "manosphere" sites with a wide spectrum of opinions. It's the internet, after all, and I've found anger and vitriol on cooking web sites. So it's not surprising that topics like gender relations and male-female relationships will attract some more volatile personalities.

Also, I don't know what sites you're reading. There are some manosphere sites that are better than others. Some I don't read because of the anger and even race-baiting. Personally I don't bother with the MRA sites, since that is where you'll certainly find men left angry and bitter by divorce, and what they call the subsequent "financial rape" at the hands of the courts. It's not that I don't agree that the courts, particularly the family courts, have become heavily one-sided because of feminist influence (where women seem to have rights, but men have only responsibilities), but the anger and bitterness are self-defeating.

I also don't bother much with the PUA sites, since they're generally just trying to sell you something. And the focus is just picking up and sleeping with as many women as possible. Plus, I'm far too old for some of the antic tactics they advocate. Personally, I think the PUA types have already had their day.

Perhaps a little background is in order. I stumbled on this sphere of the web a couple of years ago after a mutually-decided and entirely amicable divorce. I dated a few times and quickly realized that not just dating but overall inter-sex relationships had changed quite a bit in the 18 years I was off the market. It took me a while to weed through what was worth reading and what wasn't.

Yes, some of the sites can be a bit rough-and-tumble, and on many sites the commenters can use degrading language. But if you can get past that, then the underlying theory and concepts are eye-opening.

Above I used the term "red pill" which come from the film The Matrix. If you have seen it, the main character Neo--and everyone else--is living a world that just a computer simulation. He meets some rebels who offer to show him the truth about the Matrix everyone is living in. He is offered a choice of taking the "blue" pill and going back to his normal life or taking the "red" pill and seeing the real world, a world where the earth is ashes and dust and ruled by machines whom the rebels are fighting.

For many men, myself included, understanding the theory and concepts of "Game" was a very similar experience. I felt like a veil had been parted and I wondered why I'd apparently forgotten so much of this truth. It took a while to get to this point, for the very reasons you mention. I didn't like the sometimes crude language, I didn't want to believe the concepts because "women aren't like that." But when I started noticing those concepts being played out in my real social interactions, I was gobsmacked. The final realization for me was that if I'd found these concepts years earlier, my marriage might have been saved (and while that ship has sailed, my ex and I are still quite good friends). I realized that over time in my marriage, I gradually lost what Alpha traits I'd had going into the marriage and became far too Beta, which kills attraction. (con't)

LostSailor said...

Hi Cam:

As I said, there's a wide spectrum of "manosphere" sites with a wide spectrum of opinions. It's the internet, after all, and I've found anger and vitriol on cooking web sites. So it's not surprising that topics like gender relations and male-female relationships will attract some more volatile personalities.

Also, I don't know what sites you're reading. There are some manosphere sites that are better than others. Some I don't read because of the anger and even race-baiting. Personally I don't bother with the MRA sites, since that is where you'll certainly find men left angry and bitter by divorce, and what they call the subsequent "financial rape" at the hands of the courts. It's not that I don't agree that the courts, particularly the family courts, have become heavily one-sided because of feminist influence (where women seem to have rights, but men have only responsibilities), but the anger and bitterness are self-defeating.

I also don't bother much with the PUA sites, since they're generally just trying to sell you something. And the focus is just picking up and sleeping with as many women as possible. Plus, I'm far too old for some of the antic tactics they advocate. Personally, I think the PUA types have already had their day.

Perhaps a little background is in order. I stumbled on this sphere of the web a couple of years ago after a mutually-decided and entirely amicable divorce. I dated a few times and quickly realized that not just dating but overall inter-sex relationships had changed quite a bit in the 18 years I was off the market. It took me a while to weed through what was worth reading and what wasn't.

Yes, some of the sites can be a bit rough-and-tumble, and on many sites the commenters can use degrading language. But if you can get past that, then the underlying theory and concepts are eye-opening.

Above I used the term "red pill" which come from the film The Matrix. If you have seen it, the main character Neo--and everyone else--is living a world that just a computer simulation. He meets some rebels who offer to show him the truth about the Matrix everyone is living in. He is offered a choice of taking the "blue" pill and going back to his normal life or taking the "red" pill and seeing the real world, a world where the earth is ashes and dust and ruled by machines whom the rebels are fighting.

For many men, myself included, understanding the theory and concepts of "Game" was a very similar experience. I felt like a veil had been parted and I wondered why I'd apparently forgotten so much of this truth. It took a while to get to this point, for the very reasons you mention. I didn't like the sometimes crude language, I didn't want to believe the concepts because "women aren't like that." But when I started noticing those concepts being played out in my real social interactions, I was gobsmacked. The final realization for me was that if I'd found these concepts years earlier, my marriage might have been saved (and while that ship has sailed, my ex and I are still quite good friends). I realized that over time in my marriage, I gradually lost what Alpha traits I'd had going into the marriage and became far too Beta, which kills attraction. (cont.)

LostSailor said...

(cont.) While many of these sites are still oriented toward dating or finding relationships, understanding the laws of attraction, and managing relationships, the theory can be applied to many aspects of social interaction. Indeed, many of the concepts are borrowed from the rules of good salesmanship.

I did read the linked back-and-forth between DarwinCatholic and Dalrock (who I read sometimes, but not regularly). I think they're talking past each other and DC hasn't really delved into the manosphere in enough detail to fully understand it; he seems to have read a few blogs and dismissed the whole idea. Plus, they're talking more about religion, which confuses the issue.

Game is not necessarily at odds with religion or Christianity. Indeed, many tenets of socio-sexual relations espoused by Christianity are basic to Game. You mention your relationship in your marriage in ways that are fully compatible with Game.

As with anything, different people will take away different messages from any information source and will apply it in different ways. Some men learn Game and become Cads trying to bed as many women as possible. Some learn to become more charming and charismatic (the heart of Game) to be more successful in dating and finding a relationship (which is my case). And some learn to make their relationships or marriages more stable and solid.

Since I don't know what blogs or posts you've been reading, I'll take the liberty of suggesting some of the ones I read semi-regularly:

http://www.marriedmansexlife.com/

Athol Kay blogs and has written a book about keeping a healthy sex life within marriage using Game or "Red Pill" concepts. Probably a milder place to start for a beginner.

http://www.hookingupsmart.com/

Susan Walsh's blog started out as a guide for young women on how to navigate the "hook-up" culture, but it has grown well beyond that and has gained quite a following. Susan isn't necessarily an advocate of Game, but she understands and agrees with much of the underlying theory and concepts.

http://theprivateman.wordpress.com/

A blog primarily aimed at older men (40-50) who are navigating the dating market, so this is primarily about dating advice, but teaches Game concepts (though PM doesn't like the term Game; he uses "Charisma").

If you read the comments sections of those blogs, you'll likely see a fair amount of overlap.

Then there are some more challenging sites:

http://www.alphagameplan.blogspot.com/

This is a relatively new site set up by Vox Day (who has a long-running separate blog on economics and politics). Vox is quite conservative, strongly worded, and takes a more intellectual approach. He's also a fairly vocal Christian and frequently posts about Game from a Christian perspective.

http://heartiste.wordpress.com/

This is the big Kahuna of Game blogs, and the one that really opened my eyes. But it's not for the faint of heart. Heartiste (aka Roissy) writes quite well, but can often be much cruder. He started out as more of a pick-up blog, but quickly evolved to focus more on plumbing the depths of female nature using concepts of evolutionary psychology. Now, he's a mix of both, with the occasional post on conservative politics. He can be quite cutting at times, but he also frequently links to scientific studies that validate the underlying concepts of Game. If you can get past the language and strong opinions, this is perhaps the single best place to learn about the deeper aspects of Game. But it does take some investment of time.

This is a bit long, so I'll leave off here with one last comment. Game isn't about degrading women, but not putting up with a woman's bad behavior, commonly referred to as "fitness testing" or, more crudely "S#!t testing". Avowed feminists are usually the objects of vitriol, but not all women.

LostSailor said...

One last missive. Game doesn't mean that dating and relationships are "a game." The use of the term, as I understand it is more like the basketball phrase "having game," meaning a player plays with skill. In the relationship context, "having game" means having the attitude, personality, behavior, and skills to attract attractive women. Like anything on the Web, a whole terminology has built up. Some of which takes a while to absorb.

I note that DarwinCatholic, in another post, mentioned the PUA/Game concept of the "Neg" and, like most people who encounter it, failed to understand it. (this one is picked up by feminists bloggers all the time). The theory here is that extremely attractive women, especially extremely attractive younger women, usually have an extremely highly developed self-regard and sense of entitlement. In order for a man, who may be punching above his weight-class so-to-speak, to overcome this and start to build attraction with her, he must first get around that self-regard. The unfortunately termed "neg," when used correctly, isn't a "negative compliment" or "backhanded compliment." If done correctly, it's in the realm of confident, light, playful teasing. Since most men don't have the confidence to playfully tease very attractive women, especially women they've just met, it quickly places that man outside the woman's normal experience. Which is inherently attractive. At least she'll continue the conversation rather than walking away.

A prime, if fictional, example is found in Gone With the Wind. Scarlet O'Hara is much sought after by the men in the region and consequently has a very high self-regard. She likes Ashley, the "nice" guy, but she's powerfully attracted to Rhett, the charming man who teases her and won't bow down to her sense of self regard.

Rhett Butler was the master of the so-called "Neg." He definitely had Game.

Cam said...

Hi you guys,

Thank you so much for the responses. I'd just finished a post about the responses to my post this morning (in the manosphere) and published it and saw your answers and am definitely looking forward to reading them as soon as the girls are asleep and I have another minute to sit down when the living room is not about to be destroyed by a three year old and a one year old who are trying to unpack every single dress up dress they can find! But let me thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my questions and give me so much insight!

LostSailor said...

Hi Cam:

Last one. Promise! But thought you'd like to see this from the lastest post on Chateau Heartiste, the last site I mentioned. It's perhaps the most succinct definition of "Game" I've seen (he does write well).

That’s really what game is — the active transformation of your personality from mundane to mesmerizing, based on a conceptual foundation derived from evolutionary biology and real world feedback that the male personality attributes which most women find sexually attractive are identifiable, objective and acquirable.

Cheers.

Cam said...

Okay, I did read your comments (I'm afraid to look in the living room... I'm pretty sure they destroyed it!) and thank you for the explanations (although I just had to respond to the other blog posts with a tongue in cheek title and some of the major disagreements I had with the posters which mainly involved the idea that men can't be "good men" and "good at being men."

I definitely can understand the anger men have about family law, particularly no-fault divorce and child support.

And thank you for the explanation of "game" blogs because I can see how it can be helpful for some men when dating (and I'm sure I'd agree wholeheartedly with most manosphere bloggers on the over-feminization we see in many areas of our culture). I think I've seen the downside because I've seen other bloggers whose husbands take the instructions of acting like an "Alpha" to heart and it was definitely done in a hurtful way that seemed degrading.

I am interested in reading more of the links (I read the Spearhead post G.K. and it is heartbreaking. I know I like to think that our religious beliefs insulate the little world we live in (living at a very orthodox campus means that my world at the moment is quite different), but I know that people do lose faith and destroy things that should be preciously guarded.

Anyways, thank you for your explanations!

Cam said...

I just had to add, amidst the manosphere posts... explaining... how I'm wrong/feminist/ect (which kind of makes me laugh because honestly, feminists really don't usually love me, as you might imagine) there was another forum talking about this post as a "manosphere" post and saying I was cozying up to misogyny.

Maybe they didn't get past the title?

LostSailor said...

Cam:

I don't usually read the Spearhead since I'm not really interested in MRA. Much of it comes off a sharing sad stories, and I've seen enough of that. In the last couple of years I helped a colleague whose wife moved their son halfway across country and made him follow under threat of ruining him in divorce; he had to live separately. But gradually, a little Game knowledge gave him the courage and confidence to challenge her. He's now divorced with shared custody, no child support and no alimony. Game saves lives.

If your friends' husbands are acting "Alpha" such that it comes off degrading, they don't understand it and are doing it wrong. Done correctly, it should never be degrading, should make the wife happier, and the marriage stronger.

I hope you have some time--once you've reconstructed the living room--to read some of the blogs I mentioned. I guarantee you won't agree with all of it, especially given your traditional religious beliefs, but I would encourage you to at least try to understand it well as there is a lot of truth there.

Good luck

Legion said...

Hey Cam,

Sorry you got a rough indoctrination into some of the Manosphere posts and comments out there. I think what you are seeing is a vocalization of mans frustration with the quagmire that relationships and marriage has become. Consider this

The Average Woman is going to have something around a 10-20+ sexual partner count by the time she's ready to marry. In any other period she'd be shamed as a SXXX. But today instead men are shamed as immature for not marrying these gals.

The average woman will cheat far more often than a generation ago.

The Divorce Rate is hovering between 40-50% with 70% of those initiated by Women.

Men are going to lose the kids 85% of the time. The Ex can move 500 miles away, introduce a boyfriend, and reduce the father to a mere visitor. It happens so much it's foolish to get married AND MOST MEN WANT TO MARRY.

With all the traditional options removed (such as marriage, a chaste bride, and a fathers assurance he will raise his kids) men are just sick of it!

Consider this explanation: http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/a-case-for-anger/

And when men speak to women about the crappy relationship scene that awaits them they are predictably shamed, belittled, mocked etc. and face a united front by what is affectionately called "Team Woman" where. To be quite frank that was your initial tone too.

Chances are the relationship issues I speak of won't affect you. They will affect your children though. So take a little time to wade through the facts and experiences and I think you may get a better perspective of why men are rejecting the current morality offered them. The language you'll see is unfortunate but the underlying basis is warranted.

Iguana said...

Hi Cam!

When I first read your post, I was eager to comment. Thankfully, I had the time to read through the comments you had already received.

I am glad that the comments from these gentlemen were respectful and informative. In my view, they describe the situation well.

I now feel compelled only to add that one should not underestimate the extent to which radical feminist ideology has permeated government policy and the court system. It has even made its way into most police departments, with special "advocates" who "advise" police on handling domestic violence cases, for example. These advocates are generally hardcore feminists steeped in the radical ideology you briefly touched in college.

The outcomes of current policy are dismal. A massive increase in single mother families. Feminized schools that treat boyhood as a disease or a disorder. High divorce rates. Fathers that are left financially devastated and, worse, pushed out of the lives of their children. I could go on, but I will spare you.

I suspect that in the Christian culture you have chosen to surround yourself with (which I admire) you are not running into these issues on a daily basis. Indeed, many well meaning women who live in the culture at large without particular emphasis on their religious beliefs are somewhat oblivious to the extreme policies, policing, and judicial bias all around them. I do not know if that is willful because they think it benefits them or if they simply do not get any messaging from media and culture except those that reinforce a distorted view of what is "normal." I suppose a mixture thereof. Typically the more thoughtful among these women are quite surprised when their eyes are opened to reality. Seeing the truth can be very hard initially and many women reject it and go back into the safe-zone as defined by contemporary culture and media.

Since you live in a Christian environment, happily married and with your family, I would not expect you to become a warrior for change. However, I do believe that you are among those thoughtful women that can see reality for what it is and factor it into your view of the world. Seeing the pitfalls of the adoption of so much radical feminist ideology is hopefully not necessary for you and your husband's happiness, but I would suggest that it might be something to consider as you usher your children out into the world. Especially your son.

I think GK and LostSailor provide a good breakdown of the various elements of the so-called manosphere. I would simply add that what is shared among these men is a realization that our culture has changed and they need to change as a result. Some fight back, hoping to get a degree of justice (the MRA group). Others hope to point out the damage that has been done and are simply hoping to improve the situation (there are not many of these people and the best and most effective among them, in fact, are women). Others have thrown in the towel and are simply looking for a way to enjoy the less than ideal circumstance.

I suppose there is another group composed of men who were raised by single mothers, never had a male role model, and are struggling to figure out their own definition of masculinity. This latter group is not exactly organized and hard to pick out, but they seem to have at least learned that the contemporary cultural definitions of masculinity are simply wrong. How they will end up defining masculinity is anyone's guess, but I am not optimistic.

In any case, you are living the good life. Your husband and children are fortunate. And I wish you and your family the best.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cammie,

I just wanted to add my thoughts. Like you I fell into the manosphere in a similar way. I am very grateful for your sake that you have been treated well. However, the manosphere seems, as you have alluded to, highly toxic. I made the mistake of commenting on a non-sin issue that was mentioned on one of the sites that was mentioned by the commenters as being more balanced.

The vitriol and comtempt with which these men (and some women) treated me with was like nothing I have ever known. As I said these was regarding a non-sin issue, not sexual partner history or anything moral. I was accused of many of being many of the terms you will have read. I don't claim to be sinless, I'm a Christian, but one, I might add of some standing and respect within my church, I teach Sunday School.

I am glad, as I said, that you were treated well. But I fear whenever these topics come up and men come on to argue, that no, you're not the enemy. Sometimes the men involved in the manosphere are so blinkered they will lash out at anyone and everyone.

And my fear of further reprisals is so strong I am only happy to say all this anonymously. How sad is that?

Anonymous said...

It's hard to buy what you're saying without seeing both sides of the issue.

What was it EXACTLY that you posted that supposedly got your "vitriol and contempt"?

On the whole, men in the manosphere are not hateful or irrational. Biased? Yes absolutely. Some bad elements also, like with any other group.

However, I rather doubt some of what you said.

Richard Ford said...

I think the easiest way to understand the manosphere is that it is a forum for men to talk about feelings and experience- possibly for the first time in history.

When we think about it we realise that the female media talk about relationships and so on but male specific media does not. It talks about motorcycles, golf or any number of things but not about the business of being a man.

In fact it can be rather dangerous to express emotion if you are a man. Women see it as weak while men can see it as gay. Both have bad outcomes for the man concerned.

Along came the internet and men began to talk. I think it is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

" They're kindly respectful of women, regardless of whether or not the woman is acting like a lady."

Hmmm imteresting

Cam Wollner said...

Is that such a hard idea to understand Anonymous? I would also advocate treating men respectfully, even if they don't deserve it by their actions. I think we can just throw petty name calling and disrespect out the window altogether.

Anonymous said...

A lady gets respect when she acts like a lady not because she feels entitled to it no matter how she acts,and your comment about treating man the same?if I was a betting man I would most sincerely doubt that by the way I was the poster of that comment

Cam Wollner said...

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I think that humans are worthy of respect and that we lower ourselves by petty namecalling. I don't think that stating that I disagree with you and asking if the concept is truly difficult to understand (I do think you can understand it, I was hoping for something more than sarcasm and perhaps a coherent argument to tell me why you thought it was ridiculous) is disrespectful.

So if you think it's hard to believe that I treat men with respect because I asked you if you were truly struggling to understand my straight forward statement, that inspired you to leave a comment on my site anonymously, then it seems that perhaps your expectations and standards for "respect" are seriously skewed.

It's interesting. You're wrong, but that's okay. You can be wrong. Most people can see that there's a difference between debating a point or having a lively conversation and using crude terms to describe another person.

Just in case you feel like commenting again, I'd like to say that it does lend weight to your comments when you actually have the courage to sign your name. To be clear I'm not trying to be disrespectful by pointing out that I generally don't publish hostile anonymous comments, but going around and randomly leaving sarcastic comments anonymously doesn't lend to your credibility in any sphere.

GoldRush Apple said...

I'm glad you commented on this. I'm new to the manosphere Game type blogs, and I find them thoroughly depressing.