What does manosphere mean?
Are you a meninist? Advocate of men’s rights? Just plain hate womankind? Then the manosphere might be the place for you! As for the rest of the population, y’all probably wanna steer clear …
The manosphere is a loose network of blogs, forums, and websites like 4chan and Reddit dedicated to men’s issues, ranging from topics such as life philosophies, self-improvement tips, strategies for success in life, relationships, and sex. They’re typically opposed to feminism, full of misogyny, and overlap with parts of the alt-right.
Where does manosphere come from?
The manosphere is a part of something called the Men’s Rights Movement or Activism (MRM or MRA), which has its roots in 1970s male backlash to second-wave feminism. They believe that, due to feminism, men have now become disadvantaged in today’s society. Women are manipulative, they say. Male jobs are sparse. Male criminals do more time than female criminals. Colleges enroll more women than men. Domestic violence cases are biased … and so on.
The manosphere doesn’t hold any one specific ideology. Some simply believe the world is gynocentric, or is biased toward women. Some are Pickup Artists, who focus their attention on how to attract and seduce the female sex. Others are Father’s Rights advocates. There’s a separatist group known as MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way), who warn men against serious relationships with women, especially marriage. Then there’s incels, men who blame their so-called involuntary celibacy on women.
Generally uniting many manospherians are the beliefs that 1) feminism violates the natural order of how men and women should act and 2) men should embrace dominant alpha-type behavior to force women to stay in line.
Apart from hateful language and sexism, the manosphere has an extensive set of in-group words, imagery, and memes. Inspired by The Matrix, the manosphere, for instance, refers to red and blue pills to represent the choices a man can make in life. Like Neo in the film, taking the red pill means seeing “true reality” (i.e., men are oppressed), while taking the blue pill is remaining in the clutches of feminism. As another example, some call conventional, sports-loving, successful men Chads and the “promiscuous” women who sleep with them Stacys. Other jokes include the Rationalization Hamster, an analogy for the thought processes of women, and “it was my privilege,” a sarcastic meme about rejected chivalry.
Men’s rights blogs and websites have grown in number since the early 2000s. However, the term manosphere appears since at least 2009 when a blog of the same name began. The term riffs on words like blogosphere, the realm of internet blogs and their readers, but manosphere is primarily for male interests. The blog called for a community of men’s interest advocates who could engage in conversation and share their opinions.
The blog Private Man published an article in 2011 called “Manosphere — The New Men’s Club,” which called attention to the increasing amount of forums, blogs, and sites dedicated to so-called masculinist issues. Manosphere then spread as term for the collection of various sites rather than one in particular. Some prominent websites include The Rational Male, Return of Kings, No Ma’am, Sluthate, Chateau Heartiste, A Voice for Men, and Lookism.net. Then there’s the many darker, more fetid corners of 4chan and Reddit dedicated to MRM. Nobody wants to brave those.
The manosphere has faced considerable backlash for their content and beliefs. In 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center denounced the manosphere as a hate group for promoting a misogynistic worldview, even comparing it to white supremacy and concerned that it promotes violence against women. The 2014 Isla Vista killer Elliot Rodger was found to be a contributor to the manosphere, notably mentioned by Alek Minassian before he perpetrated a van attack in Toronto that killed 10 in 2018.
Examples of manosphere
Who uses manosphere?
The two biggest references to the manosphere are from proponents and critics. Those who advocate for the manosphere often highlight the meaningfulness of their online community, stating that it’s a way for them to unite with their brothers.
Why are feminists in such an uproar about men having their own spaces, and having online groups and places to chat such as the manosphere? Why don't feminists want men to connect with each other?
Unity is strength. Unite with your brothers.#FeminismIsCancer
— MARS God of War 🔥 (@Patriarchal_God) July 21, 2018
We are brave men.
We are strong men.
We represent Manosphere.
And we'll prevail.
— Mr Nwosu (@_Nwosu_) July 21, 2018
Some of them highlight the importance of the manosphere to their life, whether personal or professional.
The Manosphere helped me understand life in a way I never thought I would. Ready for today's and tomorrows challenges.
— Idhakho (@Van_Dijks) July 16, 2018
I'm very excited to see competition drive down the cost of competent therapy
You see guys in the manosphere & entrepreneurial spaces giving amazing actionable advice to build oneself up – this'll drive down the value of traditional therapy
Lower costs = more access = more help
— Dax🇨🇦🇺🇸 (@DaxThoughts) July 21, 2018
Critics of the manosphere highlight that the rhetoric is hateful and hurting society with its toxic masculinity. They highlight the importance of feminism, not only for women, but for men as well.
I've been reading a bit about the "Manosphere," MRAs and the subculture of misogyny on the Internet. Holy hell, these people are nuts, and dangerous, and feeding into a culture of fascism and intolerance.
— Dr. Sean Munger (@Sean_Munger) July 22, 2018
Feminists have done more to help & support me and other men than any MRA has ever done in the history of the toxic Manosphere.
— Tauriq Moosa (@tauriqmoosa) September 28, 2015
the more i read about redpills & the manosphere, the more i'm reminded of a male version of the klan…no wonder they hide their identities.
— barbie angell (@barbieangell) September 26, 2015
Some seem to stand in the middle, not quite supporting the manosphere, but not quite denouncing it either. They seem to “get” men’s frustration and need for a male space online.
I agree about feminism.
The support that key men in the manosphere are offering to others in understanding women and not losing their masculinity is key.
More women need to hear their voices and their pain. It will make them think.
What for? Human evolution in harmony?
— Almudena (@okara24) July 21, 2018
Are you seriously trying to equate the entirety of the mansophere with the alt-right? What you’re doing is toxic feminism and it helps nobody. In fact it’s why the manosphere came into being. We should explore gender diverse perspectives. The men need equal empathy not contempt.
— Edward (@EqualityEd) April 24, 2018
Others will make fun of the manosphere, their beliefs, and their members. They’ll often depict them as men who are sad, overweight, pathetic, resentful basement-dwellers.
Ah yes, the manosphere ! So strong that they are afraid of a plant! Ooooh careful boys that there soy's got phytoestrogen in it ! That'll make ya all girly! — Btw phyto means plant. Hint: plant estrogen don't do shit to a human body. Then again, I *am* a tofu eating trans. 😛😉
— Anne Forget (@AnneForget8) July 21, 2018
I can't help it, manosphere makes me think of dudes who've eaten way too many burgers. Then I start laughing.
— Damien Walter (@damiengwalter) September 29, 2015
Constantly bitching about girls using smartphones at the same time they are using a smartphone.
— Michael Mason (@MichaelPorfirio) September 24, 2015
This is not meant to be a formal definition of manosphere like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of manosphere that will help our users expand their word mastery.