An entry on a Monday? What madness is this? It’s something new I wanted to try. See, once again some friends of mine were talking about a subject related to the “manosphere” (which I described here). It inspired me to jot down a quick post on the subject, but I don’t really want to spend too much time on it; my other interests are more important, IMO. Thus, I thought I’d do something I call “Manosphere Mondays.” On the first Monday of every month, and no more, I’ll do a brief post on something related to the “manosphere.” Only if something there catches my eye or a friend of mine brings it up/wants me to talk about it, of course. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll just forgo it entirely. Still, this way I can occasionally talk about manosphere-related stuff in a sensible, limited fashion instead of interrupting my regular blog schedule and having it hog a disproportionate amount of time and energy.
This entry was inspired by a link one of my friends shared in a Skype chat last week. A little while ago the manosphere site “Return of Kings” posted an essay titled “Five Reasons You Should Date Chicks With an Eating Disorder.” It is, obviously, exactly what it says on the tin.
I’m not gonna try and refute it, I suspect it’s just satire or playful trolling. It’s possible Tuthmosis (the author) is genuinely sincere, but even if he is I don’t really think it matters too much. Folks around the Internet, however, viciously disagreed. My friends just laughed at the post, but many women and feminists got really, really pissed off. They even wrote articles about the article, which you can read here, for example. Tuthmosis and the guy who maintains Return of Kings have, predictably, received more than a few death threats and calls to shut the blog down. In fact, the furor generated was so great that RoK actually did go down for a little while—their server couldn’t handle all the pageviews and had to get upgraded.
What interests me most about all o’ this, and what I’d like to talk about today, is the reaction of Roosh and the “manosphere” to this little brouhaha. RoK is still up, and for the most part they’re portraying this as not only a triumph of free speech but some sort of victory for the manosphere as a whole. The reasoning is that any attention is good attention, pageviews are awesome even if they come from people who hate you, the more coverage their articles get the more men join their cause, and the fact that everyone is so up in arms about Tuthmosis’ article is proof that the Manosphere is gaining influence and “winning” against feminism.
The thing is, this isn’t the first time a manosphere article has “went viral.” It’s happened before. And I continue to be mildly amused by the lack of impact these “victories” seem to have traditionally made.
Some years ago a guy named “Pro-Male/Anti-Feminist Tech” wrote a long article on how women ruined science fiction. As it happened, PMAFT’s piece “went viral” and got a whole lot of attention. I heard of it on Livejournal, and IIRC even Brent Spiner (Star Trek’s Data) got in on the fun, calling the author an “asshat.” The Spearhead, the site on which PMAFT posted his entry, had a response to the hubbub boasting about how their traffic had surged and how they were “making waves.”
Now, this was in 2009—over 4 years ago. Has anything changed since then? Has The Spearhead become a famous blog? Has PMAFT gained a great deal of fame and notoriety? Truthfully, no. After the furor over his article died down, so far as I can tell the original blogger has returned to obscurity. The most attention he’s gotten in recent years has been some other manospherian calling him a “parasite.” So much for making waves, I suppose.
A little later another “Men’s Rights Activist” by the name of Paul Elam started a site called “Register-Her.” This was to be a wiki (with high editorial standards, of course–lol) where people could name and shame female sex offenders, criminals, and “bigots” in order to strike a blow against feminism. Elam’s goal was to “fuck their shit up.” And, just as RoK did, when those guys started getting a lot of negative attention they took it as proof they were “winning” and that the feminists were running scared (or, to use Elam’s phrase, “bent out of shape”). All well and good, I guess, but look at the date on that article—it was written in 2011. At the end of 2013, what has register-her accomplished? As far as I can see, not much. How many people have heard of register-her? Looking at its Alexa rankings, it’s essentially unknown.
This is a fairly telling historical record, IMO. Over the years people from the manosphere have consistently claimed all the negative attention they’ve been getting is proof they’re finally “making waves” and getting noticed, but they seem to be forgotten and subsequently ignored pretty much every time they’ve said this. I have yet to see any manosphere prediction of “breaking out” actually come true. Every time one of them writes or does something “offensive” there’s a brief uproar, which quickly subsides and returns everything to essentially the exact same status quo.
Given how much the manosphere has failed to accomplish anything or even change anything over the course of the past few years, despite their loud protestations to the contrary, I feel pretty safe in assuming Return of Kings and Tuthmosis won’t make any kind of long-lasting impact that people will remember for more than a month. Sorry, Quintus, but everything will probably remain pretty much the same.
Still, I’m no fortune teller. Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps “Five Reasons to Date a Girl With an Eating Disorder” really does mark a new era for the manosphere. Perhaps Return of Kings will finally break out into the mainstream, and lead the charge that finally brings the evil edifice of feminism/leftism/International Jewry/whatever crashing down…
But I don’t really think betting on it is a wise idea.