With the creation of online communities over the years, some have had a positive impact in the lives of those that partake in them. However, there are some communities that do more harm than good to its inhabitants, such as the “manosphere”.
The “manosphere” is a collection of online groups that follow a shared toxic set of ideals about men’s interactions with the world around them, especially those involving women.
The development of these communities has been gradual over the course of a few years, but has recently blown up into the public consciousness due to popular figures within the community receiving attention and violent/non-violent attacks.
While there have always been similar cases of misogyny, there has not always been a manosphere. It was formed because of the Internet's ability to connect and discuss with anyone across the world at any second. With this ability, individual cases of misogyny became collective cases.
The best-known of these groups are incels, who believe that, at no fault of their own, they cannot find a sexual partner. Incels became infamous due to a number of attacks that aligned with their ideology. An example of this was the Toronto van attack of 2018, where the perpetrator declared himself an incel and murdered 10 people.
Another example is the cult of personality developing around figures such as Andrew Tate. Tate is currently one of the most influential within the manosphere. Tate was one of the most googled figures in the world at one point.
Though currently banned on most platforms, Tate still remains relevant through discussion. While we at the Alestle would have preferred not discussing him, Tucker Carlson of Fox News interviewed Tate on Aug. 25. Tate’s contribution to the public’s knowledge of the manosphere cannot be ignored, either, as his ideas encapsulate all that the manosphere believes in.
Tate embodies the ideal man within the manosphere: a rich, athletic man that sees women as disposable and subservient to him. Tate specifically believes that men own their female partners, that a woman can’t be smarter than him, and that victims of sexual assault bear some responsibility. This conception is common within the manosphere, as it focuses on men being hyper-individuals that don't conform to society’s norms. Despite believing this, they rigidly align themselves with the “traditional” gender norm for men.
The issues caused by the manosphere could be generational. Isolation is a big issue among men in the modern day, and directly correlates to the formation and propagation of the manosphere. The book “The Emergence and Development of the Manosphere” by Lisa Sugiura delves deep into the manosphere’s formation. Within isolation, men try to find an outlet for developing into adults; the manosphere community eventually finds them and then digs deep into them by introducing the true solution to their problem — working on themselves — and then supplementing that solution with the easiest escape — hatred.
Solving the manosphere problem is not simple. It comes with understanding your own faults, working to fix them and not pushing the blame onto women or any other group. We at The Alestle encourage anyone that finds themselves identifying with the manosphere to take a step back. Try to see things from the perspective of constant improvement and empathy for others, and soon you’ll realize that the manosphere has lied to you, and that you can be a better person without being hateful.