On the “manosphere” or “Red Pill”

Someone wrote:

I’m a reader of your blog and enjoy your thoughts on a wide variety of things. I’ve gone in the deep end regarding the Red Pill, I just don’t know what to believe and I’m seriously doubting myself at this moment. I picked up a book called The Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi and while it has good stuff in it, I can’t shake the feeling that it treats women like objects and whores ready to move on to the next guy. My gut tells me that isn’t the case but I could be totally wrong. I guess I’m looking for a deep connection with another woman and in that denial phase with all this information. I was inspired by your articles “Getting good with women and how I’ve done almost everything in my life wrong,” thought you could have some answers. I’m lost and it all seems so insane, if this stuff is true.

First, I wrote about some of the issues with the communities formed by guys who lose or aren’t succeeding with women in “The appeal of ‘pickup’ or ‘game’ or ‘The Redpill’ is a failure of education and socialization” and Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser.

Second, men in the communities you’re referencing ends up in them because they’ve failed in sense. I am not the first to observe that the hardest core feminists and hardest core Red Pillers are more alike in tone and stridency than they’re like normal people who are curious.

Some readers and writers are mostly intellectually interested in the matters discussed by the communities. In many domains, it’s a bad idea to take advice without knowing something of the person giving the advice, what their interests are, so and forth. Taking advice from a pseudonymous stranger on the Internet who knows nothing of you and your life, while you know nothing or them or there life, is… unwise. As Gildor says in The Fellowship of the Ring:

” ‘… The choice is yours: to go or wait.’ [Gildor said.]
‘And it is also said,’ answered Frodo, ‘Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes.’
‘Is it indeed?’ laughed Gildor. ‘Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill. But what would you? You have not told me all concerning yourself; how should I choose better than you? But if you demand advice, I will for friendship’s sake give it.’ “

Gildor’s reluctance is the reluctance of wisdom.

Be wary of taking advice from anonymous strangers on the Internet with no stake in the outcome of the event itself (this includes taking advice from me, though I do at least use my real name). Some things in The Red Pill and the constellation of related sites are interesting and possibly true, but those things are dwarfed by nonsense, so relying on it for life guidance is at best perilous. What’s the incentive for posting there?

Online communities adversely select for pontificators, because doers are doing. I read the Rollo Tomassi book, The Rational Male, and it’s interesting in places. But it’s also badly written, badly edited, and badly laid out (the version I read suffered from all three). There’s a better book lurking in the book I read. Writing a good book, from the level of the individual word to the level of the book as a whole, is hard—which is why few people do it. Writing a good book is poorly remunerated relative to other activities that take similar time and dedication. On the whole, the number of people with the skills and grit necessary to learn to write a good book are better financially served doing other things. Robertson Davies famously said that the only reason to write a novel is because you feel like you must, or go mad, or die. Few writers have that drive. Maybe Tomassi will. Or maybe he’ll remain overly dogmatic.

Avoid dogma.

Finally, the people who really matter are the artists and the movers. Be one or the other or both. Talk to real people in real life. Get off the computer. The people on Reddit and Twitter and whatever succeeds those two have no sense of art or beauty. The really important things aren’t happening there: they’re happening in the actual world. Diversity exists and matters—not in the politically correct sense of the term “diversity,” but the real sense. Ideas do matter, but they matter most in art and science. If you aren’t taking an idea and spinning it into art, or science, or technology, or business, the idea doesn’t matter. How many angels dance on the head of a pin? For centuries theologians cared. No one does today. Choose what matters: there is some truth in the stuff you’re reading, but the whole story is bigger and broader than any of the reducers to celestial mechanics can imagine.

One response

  1. Pingback: Links: The story around stories, the bored and the lonely, Danielle Steel’s mania, and more! « The Story's Story

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