I first discovered the existence of MRAs about 7 years ago. At first I was overjoyed to find that there were so many people “like me” who hated feminism and were strongly opposed to feminism just like I was. To see people refer to feminism as “female supremacy” was exhilarating as it was a thought I had thought many times myself but had never seen expressed before openly. I thought I was all alone in the wilderness but after specifically searching for “patriarchy” and “anti-feminist” online I quickly ran into the MRA phenomenon and could tell it was quite big by the number of different websites and forums on offer. I was in heaven, it was great, I was “not alone” anymore.
This initial love affair with the MRAs ended after about 2 weeks; after I discovered to my shock and horror and bafflement that MRAs did not like Chivalry (the male duty to provide for and protect women). Not only did they not like Chivalry they seemed to despise it with a great passion, every last one of them. This enraged me. “How dare they claim to support patriarchy and claim to be against the social harms feminism is causing while at the same time being opposed to the precise thing that makes patriarchy good, the precise thing that society needs most in order to recover from the wounds of feminism and make society and family and relationships between men and women good again; Chivalry being that thing” I thought to myself.
Right away after discovering the MRA dislike of Chivalry I set myself up as being in opposition against the MRAs; as being pro-patriarchy and pro-Chivalry and anti-MRA. Something strange was going on with the MRAs. They were manipulators. They wanted the benefits of patriarchy but not the responsibilities of patriarchy. They wanted gender equality based on denying their responsibilities and duties towards women. They were consistently opposed to the protective privileges granted to women that were actually derivative of the patriarchal mindset of “protecting women” implying that they were opposed to feminism because of the lingering patriarchal elements still within mainstream feminism; that they were in effect more feminist than the feminists themselves, more stridently in favor of gender equality than the feminists themselves, more opposed to true traditional patriarchy than the feminists themselves.
So these past 7 years in terms of my self-identity I have seen myself as being against the MRAs on the basis of the Chivalry issue; their being opposed to Chivalry means that they are opposed to patriarchy which then means that they are opposed to what I stand for; what I stand for being patriarchy.
I thought of MRAs as being 4th Wave Feminists, the next stage of feminism, a more extreme level of social deterioration whereby the last vestiges of patriarchal protection of women are being attacked.
I am now thinking that I am probably wrong about this view of MRAs and the Manosphere in general. I am now thinking that MRAs are actually the first wave of patriarchy in the secular realm; that they are the beginning of patriarchy rather than being the end stage of feminism. That the MRA phenomenon and the broader Manosphere in general is actually the emergence and starting phase of patriarchy in the secular realm. There being a parallel emergence of patriarchy in the religious realm going on at the same time.
There are 3 different things I ran across that triggered this insight; this new way of looking at the MRA phenomenon.
The first was a post in the Relationships forum of Reddit (referred to in TheBluePill Reddit forum) with the headline “My (25F) Boyfriend (27M) has become controlling, rude and sexist out of nowhere. What do I do?” The subject of the post was about a woman whose long term boyfriend had just recently discovered the “Red Pill” and the changes in the man this led to that were upsetting the woman and threatening the relationship the woman was in. The key surprise for me in reading this post was that the man was “taking charge” in his relationship with the woman in a patriarchal or traditional direction including the demand / expectation that the woman would play the role of being a stay-at-home mother in the future. In addition the man was clumsy and awkward in the new role he was assigning to himself. In commentary about this post in TheBluePill subreddit Smurfcorp says:
“I don’t even think most RPW [Red Pill Women] would put up with it either, honestly. They want strong, assertive, traditional men to lead them, but they don’t like RP men and even say outright that they wouldn’t want to date them. It’s…strange.”
To which Perritoburrito responds:
“It’s because TRP are not strong, assertive, or traditional. If they were strong they wouldn’t have a full fledged melt down when every little thing doesn’t go their way. Being assertive requires confidence, otherwise it’s simply aggression born of insecurity. And finally, when most people think of a “traditional” man they think Captain America: someone set and resolute in their values but also fair and just. TRP is none of that.
I’m not really into that whole deal, but I understand why RPW can seem confusing on the surface.”
The importance of all this from my perspective was that The Red Pill subreddit was encouraging men to be patriarchal and to take control in their relationships with women and to take on the responsibility of financially supporting their wives to enable them to be stay-at-home mothers for their future children; this is what the actions of the man who was influenced by TheRedPill forum at Reddit shows. In addition to this the man newly influenced by TheRedPill showed evidence of incompetence and apparently in general the men at TRP (The Red Pill) are “new at” the overall enterprise of being a “Red Pill Man.”
The concept of “The Red Pill” is a central theme in manosphere ideology and this little episode shows both incompetence and inexperience among Red Pill men and in addition shows that The Red Pill has a great deal of patriarchal traditional content in what it advocates for and teaches.
After this discovery that maybe The Red Pill is better than I thought it was; more healthy and idealistic and positive than I thought it was; I decided to investigate TheRedPill forum on Reddit more closely and this led to my second discovery of importance; a post at TheRedPill titled “Your struggle and pain? Women neither understand nor give much of a fuck.” This was a hugely popular post at TheRedPill indicating that the sentiments expressed were widely shared and likely indicative of the community as a whole. The post was brilliant with a lot of “manly” attitude and it demonstrated a patriarchal “take charge” mindset quite well. In addition the post “spoke to me” quite well in terms of my own feelings of struggle in terms of what it takes to be “good enough” for a woman. This post made me feel “welcomed” into TheRedPill community; like I would fit in there. It also spoke to my desire to be a winner; that the effort to improve myself to be worthy of a woman was me fighting the good fight. The most significant part of the post was that it indicated to me that what drove men to TRP was the same thing that drove me to embrace patriarchy so long ago; that I had to overcome the societal brainwashing of feminism to be able to get a woman.
The third discovery of importance was me listening to the David Futrelle interview with Matt Binder on The Majority Report where Futrelle gave an overview of what is going on with the Men’s Rights Movement and various different aspects of the Manosphere overall. This interview highlighted to me that my personal history actually matches up quite well with what is going on in the Manosphere overall and that the Manosphere is a multi-faceted phenomena made up of several different growing branches indicating that “something big” is happening with this Manosphere phenomenon and that indeed the underlying drive of the Manosphere is patriarchal in orientation. Of particular interest to me was this little snippet where Futrelle talks about the MGTOWs or Men Going Their Own Way (22:23 to 23:10 in the video):
“They don’t go anywhere, they’re tied to women by this hatred, but it’s a hatred mixed with desire and that’s what I think gives it its sort of added nasty punch. They’re angry at women because women can say no to them and women do say no to them and that they can’t have women on their, the men’s, own terms. I think that this kind of sexual frustration is actually a major part of the motivation for not just Men Going Their Own Way and obviously the Pick Up Artists but also for a lot of Men’s Rights Activists.”
I’ve always thought of the MGTOWs as rather ridiculous, the most libertarian and anti-family of the whole bunch. The ones most opposed to traditionalism and in particular the traditional duties and responsibilities of the man in marriage; hence their “going their own way” abandonment of their masculine male duty and role. This quote from Futrelle however puts the MGTOWs in a new light. It indicates that even the MGTOWs are patriarchal in their intent; that what they want is a relationship with women on their own terms, to be dominant in their relationships with women. The MGTOW attitude then is that women are not expected to live up to “their end of the bargain” in a marriage so that marriage is now exploitative and dangerous for men so that they will then Go Their Own Way and avoid marriage altogether in response.
Even more striking is David Futrelle’s observation that MGTOWs and PUAs and MRAs and really the whole Manosphere bunch are in large part motivated by their sexual frustrations and failures / difficulties with women. This definitely fits in with me; definitely the origin of my decision to become a supporter of patriarchy was to overcome my failures with women and become more desirable in women’s eyes. Furthermore, years ago, in thinking about what would probably be the driver for the return to patriarchy my expectation was that men’s romantic failure with women would be the ultimate fundamental driving force behind the coming patriarchal revolution; that men’s romantic failure with women under the system of feminism would be the mechanism by which support for patriarchy would grow larger and larger and eventually take over. Now here is Futrelle stating point blank that in his opinion it is romantic failure with women that is the unifying theme behind the rise of the Men’s Rights Movement and associated phenomenon. This being exactly what I predicted now apparently coming true!
The real breakthrough or insight was understanding how it could be that the manosphere in general is so messed up. If the manosphere is patriarchy or inspired by a drive for patriarchy then why all the woman bashing and hatred of women, the hostility towards Chivalry, the negativity of just wanting to withdraw from society rather than trying to create something positive, the blatant advocacy for gender equality and the focus on fighting against “unfair privileges” for women that serve to benefit society and are in accordance with residual if fading patriarchal moral principles of providing for and protecting women? What the manosphere advocates for is far far removed from patriarchy and is often nasty and downright destructive of relations between the sexes. Furthermore it is very selfish and defensive and only seems to take men’s interests into account. How can patriarchy be so messed up like this? How can all this mess be associated with or come from a drive towards patriarchy?
The answer is that the men becoming MRAs and entering into the different myriad aspects of the Manosphere are first of all reacting to abuse from women and failure with women, in other words they are low functioning and under attack to begin with; and that furthermore they have no idea what they are doing in trying to build success for themselves and for society overall because they are inventing everything from scratch. They are starting from ground zero with no guidance or teaching regarding how to do things right. In addition they are enduring withering attacks from everyone around them trying to force them back into the feminist mold that led to their failures and problems in the first place.
When looking back at the patriarchy of the 1950s or better yet the 1850s what you see is very high functioning stuff with well developed and strictly adhered to gender roles that developed over a very long period of time to reach their high functioning state to begin with. Looking at the Manosphere today is totally different because there is no background of prior existing high social functioning; instead the Manospherian has to start from ground zero making it up as he goes along in a sea of lies and hostility with a personal history of failure and abuse that led to his need to rebel against feminism in the first place.
That is the explanation for why the manosphere doesn’t look like traditional patriarchy at all even though the manosphere is in actuality the beginning of patriarchy and the expression of patriarchy in the secular realm.
Patriarchy is also growing and emerging within the religious sphere let us not forget; most prominently in the form of Christian Complementarian churches as exemplified by the Acts 29 Network. Patriarchy however is far more functional in its current religious expression in the form of Christian Complementarianism than it is in its secular expression of the Manosphere; this being because of the cultural history the church can fall back on in trying to understand and reconstitute positive gender roles for men and women within marriage and other advantages of Christianity such as obedience to God serving as ones moral center point and the ability to organize effective sub-cultures based on physical churches that one attends.
The manosphere being the beginning of patriarchy as expressed in the secular realm has big big implications. It means that the manosphere will simply grow and grow and grow without limit until it takes over the culture overall side by side with the parallel never ending growth that can be expected in Complementarianism and Patriarchy within Christianity. It also means that over time the manosphere will become more and more functional and closer and closer to traditional patriarchy. The move of the manosphere towards traditional patriarchy can already be seen; the surprisingly good stuff coming from The Red Pill at Reddit being an example of this.
So I guess the moral of the story is that I am seeing the manosphere much more hopefully now compared to how I saw it a week ago; that the manosphere is the beginning of patriarchy rather than being an extension or continuation of feminism. This would indicate that perhaps I should rethink my oppositional identity of seeing myself as anti-MRA.