Roosh V and the Failure of Neomasculinity

Roosh V started blogging at DC Bachelor on March 3, 2005; moving to his current blogging domain Roosh V on November 6, 2006. Apparently on July 10, 2007 Roosh self-published his book “Bang” selling 66 copies in the first 5 days. On August 11, 2008 the Roosh V Forum got started (after a previous failed attempt to start a forum in 2006).

The Return of Kings website got started on October 16, 2012. The original About page described this new website as follows:

“Return Of Kings is a site for masculine men who like having sex with thin, feminine women. It’s meant for a small but vocal collection of men in America today who believe men should be masculine and women should be feminine.

ROK aims to usher the return of the masculine man in a world where masculinity is being increasingly punished, shamed, and—in some cases—outlawed, all in favor of creating an androgynous and politically-correct society that is allowing women to assert superiority and control over men. The site aims to be a safe corner of the web who don’t agree with the direction that Western culture is headed.”

By 2015 Roosh V had developed himself into a big name Manosphere leader; he had his Return of Kings group website with many different contributors, he had his Roosh V Forum, and he had several books teaching “game” to his name. He was one of the “Three Rs” of the Manosphere; Roosh, Roissy, and Rollo.

On March 4, 2015 Roosh V launched his new project; Neomasculinity; into the Manosphere. From the post announcing this new term “neomasculinity” Roosh V wrote:

“I would like to propose the term neomasculinity to precisely describe the developing ideology that has been refined here, on Return Of Kings, and on RVF from a primarily game foundation dating back 15 years with additional influence from non-game disciplines.”

Roosh V then lists 24 different parts of what “Neomasculinity is” as he puts it; the first 5 aspects of neomasculinity being: Game, Traditional sex roles, Self-improvement, Understanding the true nature of women, and Patriarchy. These just being the first 5 parts of neomasculinity mind you; there being 19 more in the complete list.

Roosh V then saying “To be neomasculine would be to believe or advocate for more than half of the above list.” Considering there are 24 items in the list then presumably you can consider yourself “neomasculine” if you support or agree with 13 or more items in the list.

I remember seeing this post of Roosh’s when it first came out and I was part excited and part baffled and part suspicious that it didn’t represent as much forward progress as I wanted to see.

I was excited that this clearly represented an effort by Roosh to move the manosphere in a more conservative more traditional direction; something I had been hoping to see for a long time. Maybe the manosphere was finally going to produce something good and socially constructive?

I was baffled because a list of 24 different items that supposedly all together represented “neomasculinity” made no sense considering that the 24 different items often contradicted each other or were simply off-topic or only peripherally important. It read like simply everything that Roosh V personally believed in rather than being a cohesive vision statement of important related concepts that other people could rally around. Roosh V then saying you count as being neomasculine if you support “more than half” of everything he listed just made the confusion worse. Sure, of course, you don’t have to agree with Roosh on everything, but to say “more than half” of a long incoherent list doesn’t give any real sense of what the boundaries of Roosh’s neomasculinity identity are supposed to be.

Lastly I was suspicious that there was too much old thinking in what Roosh was proposing; that it wasn’t traditional enough, that it catered to already existing weaknesses and sins rather than actually representing a new positive traditionalist patriarchal future for the manosphere.

Those were my personal initial reactions to hearing about Roosh’s new “Neomasculinity” idea. I was hopeful that it would catch on since it was clearly better than what was usually advocated for in the manosphere but I didn’t personally feel ready to support it myself and it basically just seemed muddle-headed; new and not new at the same time; and I didn’t know what Roosh wanted from me or what he was asking of me.

So Roosh V launched “Neomasculinity” on March 4, 2015. He got his first show of support to his new idea from Quintus Curtius, a contributor to the Return of Kings, on March 9, 2015 with Curtius’ post “The Origins of Neomasculinity.” In this post Quintus Curtius drew a history of the origins of Neomasculinity, how what would come to be called Neomasculinity, developed over time; his history spanning from the 1980s to the current time (2015).

In this post Curtius proclaims:

“Thus was born the neomasculist ethic. It is a hybrid of old and new elements. The old elements are the traditional masculine virtues of the past: stoicism, the acceptance of brutal struggle, the solving of complex problems, the breaking through of barriers, the overcoming or conquering obstacles, the code of ethics of the good father and good brother, the rejection of degenerate or effeminate behavior, and the submerging of the personal identity in the pursuit of some altruistic goal. The new elements are simply the flexible, tactical means used to implement the older, traditional goals.

Neomasculinity employs new methods to achieve old aims. At its heart, neomasculinity is a corrective movement: it seeks to right the wrongs of our forefathers.”

On May 6, 2015 Roosh V posted a follow up article going over what Neomasculinity meant in more detail; basically he expanded on his 20 point list (he reduced the number of elements of Neomasculinity from 24 to 20) giving a description of what each of his 20 points meant more precisely; the article being titled “What Is Neomasculinity?

In this article Roosh elaborated:

“Neomasculinity combines traditional beliefs, masculinity, and animal biology into one ideological system. It aims to aid men living in Westernized nations that lack qualities such as classical virtue, masculinity in males, femininity in females, and objectivity, especially concerning beauty ideals and human behavior. It also serves as an antidote for males who are being programmed to accept Western degeneracy, mindless consumerism, and immoral state authority. The purpose of this article is to list and describe the principal doctrines of neomasculinity.”

And then Roosh goes on to explain in detail what each of his 20 elements of neomasculinity entails.

After Roosh laid out in detail what he intended with his new ethic of Neomasculinity he got some encouraging support from outside of the Manosphere for his new idea; Paul Joseph Watson from Infowars put out the video “Neomasculinity: The Male Backlash Against Toxic Women” on May 18, 2015.

At the beginning of this video Watson says (0:00 to 0:26):

“Neomasculinity can be defined as the behaviors, traits, and lifestyle choices that modern men have chosen or been forced to adopt in order to biologically survive and prosper. This is a movement based around reasserting and reclaiming what it means to be a man in the face of decades of cultural Marxism and feminism that has scorned and undermined traditionally masculine characteristics and male confidence in general.”

In this video Watson made some attacks against MGTOWs; attacks that did not go unnoticed!

After this initial success; Roosh getting support from Quintus Curtius and Paul Joseph Watson; then the backlash came.

On May 20, 2015 Sandman, a big name MGTOW, put out the video “Neomasculinity is MGTOW 1.0”. In this video Sandman specifically mentioned the video Paul Joseph Watson put out, responded to previous attacks Roosh V had made against MGTOWs, and then belittled Neomasculinity as not being a real movement like Watson suggested.

From 2:02 to 2:23 in the video Sandman says:

“Doesn’t this sound like TradCon philosophy or MGTOW version 1.0? Doesn’t this all sound like an attempt to get men back to the plantation in an Orwellian double-speak kind of way? On one hand neomasculinity says that men should understand the true nature of women, but then it also endorses the idea that both genders should just accept going back into traditional relationships.”

Also from 6:42 to 7:10 in the video Sandman says:

“Roosh, you also mention that neomasculinity should be about hedonistic moderation, and that was really surprising because that statement comes from a man that advocates game culture. I would really like some clarification on all of this when you have the time. Do you believe that men should get married to traditional women and have traditional relationships or not? Or do you believe guys should just basically stick to game? I would like some additional clarification because from where I’m sitting the neomasculinity thing and the game thing are completely diametrically opposed.”

On May 22, 2015 Roosh V put out the post “Neomasculinity Receives Mainstream Recognition” where Roosh V bragged about the video Paul Joseph Watson put out advocating for the neomasculinity idea and furthermore Roosh gave unflattering characterizations for all the other parts of the manosphere ending with the paragraph:

“I will help develop neomasculinity with the community—and its analogous form neofemininity—into a complete philosophy that doesn’t focus only on Western-style casual sex. Men will need answers for how to live and understand the world not just during their most horny years, but also for a long time thereafter. The other men’s groups are needed, for they serve men at a specific point in their lives, but ultimately those groups will be stepping stones for the final destination of neomasculinity.”

The Red Pill subreddit on Reddit did not take kindly to this article by Roosh as shown by the post “RooshV slams the Red Pill” posted shortly after and in response to Roosh’s article “Neomasculinity Receives Mainstream Recognition”; both articles posted on May 22, 2015.

Still on the same day, May 22, 2015, Roosh V finished things off with the video “Schism with The Red Pill.”

In this video Roosh states (6:01 to 6:55):

“You may be wondering, what is the differences between the red pill and Neomasculinity? Neomasculinity puts more importance in tradition, patriarchy, nuclear family. It is more political. It has a stronger anti-socialist platform, and it leaves space open for this to provide a deeper political platform. It leaves room for more spirituality, for men who believe in a higher being. It places less importance on the theory of evolution. Also there will be no homosexuals in neomasculinity.”

And also (9:37 to 10:30):

“I won’t let the mob steer the ship that I have made. This new ship which already, if you include the traffic on my forum, my blog, and on Return of Kings, is reaching over 1 million people every month. This isn’t new, we’re not starting from scratch, we’re just putting a name to what we have been doing. And in fact, we are already larger than men’s rights, than MGTOW, and the red pill subreddit. That’s a good start for a new philosophy I think. So that’s all I wanted to say. While the Red Pill and the MGTOW guys throw their temper tantrums, I’m calm. I know where the future is, and the future is with having neomasculinity, it is.”

With this confident declaration of the inevitable triumph of neomasculinity neomasculinity died. No major efforts to promote or develop neomasculinity occurred beyond this point.

On May 28, 2015 a kind of post-mortem discussion took place between Roosh V and Quintus Curtius where they talked about the opposition Neomasculinity saw and contemplated how to move forward; this discussion taking place in the post at Roosh V’s blog titled ‘Neomasculine Dialogue: “A New Beginning”’.

In this discussion, in the paragraph that I believe best reveals Roosh’s justification for giving up on Neomasculinity, Roosh said:

“While it’s tempting to jump into things with big plans, I’m certain we should move slowly. For every idea we put out there, we must listen to men and see what their thoughts and concerns about it are. Yet there still has to be some friction to what we’re presenting, because only through conflict and debate can the right ideas and arguments rise to the top, and have them last for generations.”

Roosh V finished things off saying:

“While it will be hard to remain steady in the face of rapid change never before seen in the history of humanity, let us now do our best to provide the guidance and knowledge that men need to survive these times. I hope we retain both the strength and energy to improve the lives of men for decades to come.”

Then finally the last gasp of Neomasculinity came on June 8, 2015 in the form of an article by Quintus Curtius titled “The Ethical Principles of Neomasculinity”; this seeming to be the last effort made to promote or develop the neomasculine ideal or philosophy.

The last major media splash Roosh made was his effort to create real life meet-ups on International Meet Up Day on February 6, 2016; Roosh canceling these meet-ups on February 3, 2016 due to safety concerns and privacy concerns.

Roosh saying in his cancellation announcement:

“I can no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend on February 6, especially since most of the meetups can not be made private in time. While I can’t stop men who want to continue meeting in private groups, there will be no official Return Of Kings meetups. The listing page has been scrubbed of all locations. I apologize to all the supporters who are let down by my decision.”

On October 1, 2018 Roosh suspended his website Return of Kings; it just being an archive now, no new articles have been posted since October 1, 2018.

On March 25, 2019 Roosh declared that he had taken the “God pill”; he is now part of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox church. As part of this religious conversion Roosh has renounced sexual promiscuity and game including changing the rules of what can be discussed on his Roosh V Forum and no longer selling many of his previously written books.

Looking back on all this I wonder why Neomasculinity never took off, why it never gained traction, why Roosh gave up on it immediately after receiving opposition from the MGTOWs and The Red Pill subreddit regarding the idea? Did Roosh really think that his traditionalist direction would just be accepted with open arms in large parts of the Manosphere right off the bat? It is like Roosh felt like he had no support base after the MGTOWs and The Red Pill turned against him, like he was all alone or something. It is like he was a leader with no followers; perhaps he didn’t believe in his own cause or his own purpose strongly enough to fight for it.

There is no need to despair however; the torch of traditionalism in the manosphere has been picked up by Anthony Johnson with 21 Studios with his statement on September 23, 2019:

“We’ve even done the unthinkable this year: we’re openly celebrating and promoting fatherhood, family, marriage, and a new western patriarchy.”

It is looking to me like Anthony Johnson will be able to succeed where Roosh V failed, that the manosphere has a bright future ahead of it after all.

Related articles:
Anthony Dream Johnson Promoting Fatherhood, Family, Marriage, and a New Western Patriarchy
The Beginning of the God Revival among Secular People and Atheists
Roosh V has Reduced Women to Sexual Commodities

About Jesse Powell TFA

Anti-Feminist, MRA, Pro-Traditional Women's Rights Traditional Family Activist (TFA)
This entry was posted in Gender Politics Analysis, Research and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Roosh V and the Failure of Neomasculinity

  1. Norwegian lotus says:

    Roosh couldn’t be taken seriously by traditionally masculine men because of his history of promiscuity. While that’s great that he turned away from that life, the damage has already been done.

  2. Agirl says:

    I don’t think any faith can ever be placed in someone like Roosh V. He’s hopeless and will let you down. Next!

  3. Pingback: The 2010s was the Beginning of the End of Feminism | Secular Patriarchy

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