Male supremacy misrepresents all women as genetically inferior, manipulative and stupid and reduces them to their reproductive or sexual function — with sex being something that they owe men and that can or even should be coerced out of them. Driven by a biological analysis of women as fundamentally inferior to men, male supremacists malign women specifically for their gender. Their thinly veiled desire for the domination of women and their conviction that the current system oppresses men in favor of women are the unifying tenets of the male supremacist worldview.
In their own words
“Pussy is the only real empowerment women will ever know. Put all the hopelessly wishful thinking of feminist ideology aside and what remains is the fact that it is men and pretty much men only who draw power from accomplishment, who invent technology, build nations, cure disease, create empires and generally advance civilization. Women whether acknowledging it makes us feel warm and fuzzy or not, depend on men for all of that and the only tool they have at their disposal to have any sort of influence on any of it is the power of pussy and pussy is powerful indeed…Sexual robotics may well prove to be the best thing that ever happened to women from the standpoint of their humanity.... what would that do to the vast majority of women who would suddenly have to prove their worth as human beings beyond simply being the owners of said pussy."
— Paul Elam, An Ear for Men, Sex Robots: Part 3 - Disempowering Pussy, October 2017
"Women, please listen to Whoopi Goldberg. If you don’t want to be slapped, backhanded, punched in the mouth, decked or throttled keep your stinking hands off of other people. A man hitting you back after you have assaulted him does not make you a victim of domestic violence. It makes you a recipient of justice. Deal with it."
— Paul Elam, October is the Fifth Annual Bash a Violent Bitch Month, “A Voice for Men,” September 2015
"We've shouted endlessly at a deaf world that we were on the path to destruction, and we have watched our predictions of men being reduced to indentured servants to a malicious matriarchy come true, even as society continues to dismiss and humiliate us for speaking."
— Paul Elam on Men's News Daily site, quoted in Angry White Men
“Make rape legal if done on private property. I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds….If rape becomes legal under my proposal, a girl will protect her body in the same manner that she protects her purse and smartphone…. After several months of advertising this law throughout the land, rape would be virtually eliminated on the first day it is applied.”
— Roosh V., “How to Stop Rape,” Return Of Kings, February 2015
“No means no — until it means yes.”
— Roosh V., 30 Bangs, March 2012
“If a girl is in favor of abortion, there is evil dwelling in her soul. If you let her into your life, she will do her best to ruin you and bring you down to her level…If a girl is so revolted by a lifeform that is genetically 50 percent her that she’ll go to Planned Parenthood to get it flushed out, she will treat everyone else in her life with the same level of cruelty.”
— Matt Forney, “Why You Should Shun Girls Who Support Abortion, Return of Kings,” August 2016
“No functioning, healthy society would allow Pulse—or the kinds of men who frequented it—to exist…. No healthy society would mourn their passing. Indeed, depending on your perspective, Mateen was just taking out the trash, eliminating societal parasites via natural selection…. When a man and a woman are attracted to one another, they are seeing the continuation of their tribe and the formation of the next generation... Babies are produced by heterosexual relationships; all homo relationships ever produce is cum.”
— Matt Forney, “The Orlando Nightclub Shooting and the Moral Sickness of Whites,” Matt Forney blog, June 2017
“Women should be terrorized by their men; it’s the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps.”
— Matt Forney under the pseudonym Ferdinand Bardamu, “The Necessity of Domestic Violence,” In Mala Fide blog, 2012
Male supremacy was fundamental to the foundation of the racist “alt-right,” and in many ways served as its “gateway drug.” It is characterized by angry rants blaming feminism for the decline of Western civilization, deriding feminists as “Social Justice Warriors” and spreading fear over interracial relationships drew many to the "alt-right." Personalities like "alt-right" facilitator Milo Yiannopoulos, conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, pick-up artist Roosh V. (a.k.a. Daryush Valizadeh) and Return of Kings and altright.com writer Matt Forney also constantly straddle the line between more formal “alt-right” circles and the male supremacist world.
Though male supremacy lives in a coalition of online spaces, its most established proponents are two hate groups: A Voice for Men, a men’s rights website started by the violently bigoted Paul Elam, who has described men as “indentured servants to a malicious matriarchy,” regularly talks about the world as gripped by “misandry” (hatred of men) and called for October to be renamed the “Bash-A-Violent-Bitch Month.” The other is Return of Kings, founded by pick-up artist Roosh V., who advocated for the legalization of rape on private property (then claiming unconvincingly it was satire) and wrote that the path to saving Western civilization is repealing women’s suffrage.
On these websites, much like on myriad subreddits, forums, 4chan and 8chan threads where male supremacists gather, the harassment of women is encouraged. In fact, this is sometimes a stated objective: in Paul Elam’s words: “the progress we need will only be realized by inflicting enough pain on the agents of hate, in public view, that it literally shocks society out of its current coma” — or, in other terms, “rattle the cage of feminists.”
Gross mischaracterizations of all women are the bread-and-butter of male supremacist websites. Roosh regularly depicts women as manipulative, fickle liars with no life, who have to be battled and conquered, writing that the “only reason very few girls are seen as losers is because they have a pussy, and just about all pussies feel good, regardless of who it’s attached to.” Similarly, Elam has declared that sexual robotics would force the “vast majority of women [to] suddenly have to prove their worth as human beings beyond simply being the owners of said pussy.”
Male supremacy is an ideology with many faces. Its unifying thread is virulent, at times violent misogyny, and the practice of blaming women and a large feminist conspiracy for the ills of (mostly white) men today. Like other hate groups, male supremacist hate groups propagate conspiracies that see the world as a matriarchy propped up by “cultural Marxism” meant to eradicate or subjugate men. It is driven by the belief that men are entitled to a superior place in society than women, which are biologically and intellectually inferior — as a result, any advancement that women might have obtained is nothing more than a usurpation. Like white supremacy, male supremacy is driven by fear and anger at the loss of white male status.
There are different paths and constituencies in male supremacist movements: between men’s rights activists whose focus appears to be defending the rights of men, all the while decrying their infringement by women; Red Pillers, who claim to be the only ones aware of the existence of a feminist conspiracy running society; pick-up artists, whose goal is to lure women into sleeping with them, while constantly debasing them; involuntary celibates (or incels), who, having failed to find women either willing to have or to be coerced into sex, turn their anger into calls of violence; and men going their own way (MGTOW), who present themselves as male separatists and have chosen to remove themselves from the negative influence of women entirely.
History: the men’s rights movement
The respectably named men’s rights movement has roots in the “men’s liberation” movement that emerged in the 1970s, which embraced female liberation and its critique of gender roles. The movement sought to free men from the constraints associated with the male gender role, which removed men from the home, precluded male emotional intimacy and made men their family’s exclusive provider.
In the late 1980s and 1990s, however, as recorded by the sociologist Michael Kimmel in his book Angry White Men, this critique of the traditional male role “morphed into a celebration of all things masculine and a near infatuation with the traditional masculine role itself.” The problem was no longer oppressive gender roles: “The problem was, in a word, women — or more accurately, women’s equality, women’s empowerment, and feminism.”
As women gained ground in the workplace and family structures loosened, some men’s rights activists started blaming feminism for all of men’s ills, whether real or imagined. The traditional masculine role was seen as either worth reestablishing, or, rather than being limiting to both genders, actually benefiting women. Men’s rights activists decided to blame women (where others blamed minorities or immigrants) for taking away jobs, for the decline of the family, or for alimony and child custody issues after a divorce, rather than focusing on larger political and structural issues. The father’s rights movement served as a common entry-point into the men’s rights movement and its focus on domestic abuse: large portions of the movement were based on resentment of women and sustained by junk psychiatry, debunked statistics as well as anecdotal evidence, as was recorded by Pam Chamberlain in a 2011 report for Political Research Associates.
The father of the Men’s Rights Movement, Warren Farrell, gave voice to those feelings of male oppression in his 1993 bestseller, The Myth of Male Power, which has since become the bible of the Men’s Rights Movement. A former National Organization for Women board member who used to rub shoulders with prominent feminists like Gloria Steinem, Farrell, after his divorce, declared men were as oppressed as women, if not more.
Though claiming to be equally dedicated to the liberation of both men and women, Farrell, in a section of the book called men the new “nigger” with the male role “akin to the field slave — or the second class slave” and the female role “akin to the house slave — the first class slave.” The book drew equivalences between “slaves g[iving] up their seats for whites” and “men g[iving] up their seats for women,” and paying child custody and “taxation without representation.” Women, Farrell decried, had become too powerful and dangerous because, on top of holding sexual power over men, they could then lead to men’s downfall with accusations of sexual harassment and assault.
While some corners of the men’s rights movement focused on legitimate grievances (male homelessness and rates of suicide, male conscription, lack of male shelters for domestic violence victims or some discrepancies in the family court system around the issue of child custody and alimony) to draw in followers, it then oriented those followers to who they believed was the root cause of all these issues: women, aided by a large feminist conspiracy.
The men’s rights movement lives in a pseudo-academic, seemingly respectable bubble, using litigation to challenge female-only spaces or defend men accused of campus sexual assault though airing more disturbing ideas behind the scene. Often, these men’s rights advocacy groups, like the National Coalition for Men (NCFM), founded in 1977, and on whose board of advisors Farrell sits, distort or cherry-pick statistics to indicate female privilege, blame women or create false equivalences between the oppression of men and of women, rather than simply seek to advance the cause of men and fathers. Groups like NCFM use litigation to challenge what they perceived as discrimination in favor of women and try to influence policy on domestic violence, sexual assault, divorce and custody cases. In reality, they offered little help to men other than blaming women or advocating to deny women the structures that they did have to resort to discrimination or violence — one of the biggest grievances of the men’s rights movement, for instance, is the Violence Against Women Act in 1994.
The men’s rights movement has a dedicated international following, including in the United Kingdom and in Australia. Women, too, have helped give the men’s rights movement a veneer of even-handedness. Prominent MRAs also include anti-feminist female voices, such as popular Canadian YouTube personality Karen Straughan, American psychologist Helen Smith, and the former head of a domestic-violence shelter for women, the British Erin Pizzey. Men’s rights issues also overlap with the rhetoric of equity feminists like Christina Hoff Sommers, who give a mainstream and respectable face to some MRA concerns.
Most recently, Cassie Jaye, an American documentary filmmaker became a men’s rights activist after producing The Red Pill documentary, a foray into the world of men’s rights activists. As David Futrelle, who monitors the manosphere on his blog “We Hunted the Mammoth”, decried, Jaye accepted funding directly from MRAs, notably taking money from Paul Elam and from regulars of the violently anti-woman The Red Pill subreddit, a misogynistic forum on Reddit. The misogynistic conspiracy theorist, Mike Cernovich, donated $10,000 to become an associate producer. The documentary, which sees Jaye interviewing MRAs and never challenging them on their myriad of misogynistic positions, sparked outrage in Australia. A campaign denouncing it as “misogynistic propaganda” succeeded in getting the film dropped by an Australian cinema. In the US, The Village Voice reportedly refused to run paid ads for the film in its paper.
Prominently featured in the film is rape apologist Paul Elam, the founder of one of the most virulent misogynistic websites feeding the men’s rights activist movement, A Voice for Men (AVFM). It publishes a plethora of writers decrying feminism and blaming women for a diversity of ills, often with violent rhetoric. Elam, one of the most public faces of the men’s rights movement, is most famously known for declaring October to be “Bash a Violent Bitch month” — he later called the piece satirical but has been republishing it every October with equally violent introductions. He has claimed that were he to serve on a jury for a men accused of rape, he would automatically declare the defendant not guilty, regardless of the facts of the case.
Founded in 2009, AVFM and its podcast “Ear for Men” combines men’s rights issues and rabidly misogynistic and violent rhetoric. Elam’s writing and interventions make no mystery of his delight in violent fantasies against women. In 2011, A Voice for Men launched Register-Her, a website listing women alongside their picture who they argued belong in prison (the website has since been taken down). It included women deemed to have falsely accused men of rape or domestic violence, others for having protested men’s rights activist gatherings, or those Elam simply disagreed with. The effect of Register-Her was an explosion of online harassment. After finding herself targeted, feminist writer Jessica Valenti was forced to leave her home in fear of her safety. Elam, catering to these hordes of harassers, had no qualms egging them on.
Elam remains at the center of the contemporary men’s rights movement, however: he hosts the yearly international conference on men’s issues bringing together men’s rights activists from various countries. He is also a close friend and protégé of Warren Farrell. Elam has defended his foulest writings as ways to bring attention to the men’s rights issues that AVFM features. And though Farrell himself told Mother Jones that harassment and violent rhetoric made him uncomfortable, he too asserted that they were strategically necessary:
“I’ve seen how Martin Luther King alone was dismissed. It took Stokely Carmichael and Eldridge Cleaver to say things that were pretty ridiculous in some ways, but that brought the attention that led to Martin Luther King being seen as the nice, centered, balanced person.”
Roosh, pick up artists and the red pill
One of the defining strands of online male supremacist movements is pick-up artistry. Pick Up Artists (PUA) have focused on teaching men how to manipulate women into sex, all the while constantly disparaging women and the idea of consent.
The most prominent PUA is Roosh V. who has called for the legalization of rape on private property on his popular website, Return of Kings, founded in October 2012. Roosh has repeatedly boasted of raping women in his Bang books, accounts of which were collected by David Futrelle on his website, We Hunted the Mammoth. A website festering with misogyny and incitements to rape, Return of King headlines have included “When Her No Means Yes,” “The Intellectual Inferiority of Women,” “Why Women Shouldn’t Work” or “Don’t Let Your Girlfriends Have Homosexual Friends.” Roosh has organized a “fat shaming week” to coerce women into losing weight.
Roosh easily qualifies as both the most visible pick-up artist in the world, with his videos regularly reaching 30,000 views. He has a combined Twitter following of over 55,000 as of January 2018. In 2016, Roosh organized a series of meet-ups in 43 countries, leading thousands of people in various countries to petition their government to ban Roosh from their countries. Some 58,000 people signed a petition to ban Roosh from Scotland and 92,000 people signed a petition to ban him from the UK. Since then, he was reportedly banned from the UK.
Initially coming out of an industry emboldening men to seduce women, according to Alex DiBranco, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Yale University who had written on male supremacy for Political Research Associates, pick-up artists and men’s rights activists have increasingly become muddled in the online space, especially with the emergence of the Red Pill subreddit, a virulent misogynistic subreddit which includes over 245,500 subscribers as of January 2018.
Set up by Republican New Hampshire state representative Robert Fisher, who resigned from his seat when he was revealed to be the page’s creator, the Red Pill is chock full of misogynistic comment, coming from all corners of male supremacy. Fisher, who asserted that rape wasn’t all bad because the rapist enjoyed it, wrote that women were inferior to men intellectually, that only their bodies made them worth it and that feminists (or most women) actually want to be dominated and raped.
Though Roosh is perhaps one of the most well-known pick up artists, scores of pick-up artistry niches have developed online, from subreddits like /Seduction (264,026 readers in January 2018) to online forums like pick-up-artist-forum.com, some of which offer sometimes expensive courses to teach men how to lure women into sex. However, their often predatory, cruel and inconsequential advice on how to manipulate women sometimes disappoints its practitioners. Men who felt deceived by these seduction methods but still felt entitled to sexual attention from women eventually gathered on the now defunct “anti-PUA” website PUAhate, or the still live Sluthate.com. They call themselves “involuntary celibates,” or incels.
The violence so omnipresent in PUA hate first made headlines in 2014: the website was frequented by Elliot Rodger, whose misogynistic, hate-filled rants, which he attributed to his rejection by women, eventually led him to murder six people and injure fourteen in Isla Vista, California.
It was on PUAHate that Rodger found “a forum full of men who are starved of sex, just like me.” It “confirmed many of the theories I had about how wicked and degenerate women really are.” In his 140-page manifesto, he declared:
“This whole viewpoint and ideology of abolishing sex stems from being deprived of it all my life. If I cannot have it, I will do everything I can to DESTROY IT. My orchestration of the Day of Retribution is my attempt to do everything, in my power, to destroy everything I cannot have. All of those beautiful girls I’ve desired so much in my life, but can never have because they despise and loathe me, I will destroy. All of those popular people who live hedonistic lives of pleasure, I will destroy, because they never accepted me as one of them. I will kill them all and make them suffer, just as they have made me suffer. It is only fair.”
While Rodger represents an extreme case, the kind of violence and hatred that led Rodger to action was not particularly surprising given the nature of the incel community. Incels, who luxuriate in their hatred of women, found a home for their hate-filled, misogynistic rants. One of the incel community’s common complaints is that women prefer “Chads” (empty-headed, good-looking men) to nice men like incels, and for this they deserve punishment. The violent rhetoric of this community finally led to the banning of the /incel subreddit — which claimed some 40,000 subscribers — in November 2017. The now banned subreddit had long featured content like posts entitled “all women are sluts.” Participants often decried women’s lack of brain capacity, genetic inferiority, cruelty, or designated women by the terms "femoids" or even, poetically, "cum dumpsters.”
Revealingly, since the Isla Vista shooting, Rodger is sometimes referred to by incel communities as St. Elliott. A Salon overview of incel blogs shows support for Rodger in many corners of the incel community. One, called That Incel blogger, wrote:
What happened is punishment for evil and violence of feminists and liberals. Any of you supporting atrocities like women’s suffrage, immodest clothing, child support/alimony, no ban on adultery, ban on prostitution and a lack of female premarital chastity, all the things that drove this young man to be unable to find a girlfriend, are disgusting, horrible people and you created a culture where this is possible.
Rodger is not the first to have committed deadly violence in the name of male supremacy: in fact, his bloodshed is referred to as “going Sodini,” after the murder of three women by George Sodini at a Pittsburgh gym. Along with Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, who slaughtered while 77 decrying feminism and “divorce on demand” in his manifesto, misogynistic violence has taken many lives in the U.S. and abroad.
On the borders of the hateful incel community, a community advocating for male separatism has also emerged: calling themselves MGTOW, Men Going Their Own Way, these men decided to withdraw themselves from the toxicity of women increasingly, eventually “going monk” by abstaining from sex altogether. Decried by Roosh as “passive and meek,” they also deem women inferior and harmful and think they get in the way of male achievement.
Though male supremacy has very much found a comfortable home on incel and PUA spaces and on The Red Pill, as Robert Fisher wrote under his pseudonym redpillschool, it is only one of the domains where misogyny thrives on the far-right:
“There's a reason the_donald, gamer-gate, and other groups have adopted the phrase "red pill." It really doesn't apply to only sexual strategy. But that doesn't devalue the phrase "red pill" since the thread that ties ALL of these groups together is a mutual disdain for feminism (and by extension the liberals who use feminism to push their racism and communism).”
Gamergate and online harassment
TRP is only the tip of a vibrant but hateful online subculture, where men’s rights activists who have taken the “red pill” now see male oppression everywhere they turn. A constellation of anti-woman websites, subreddits, blogs, and forums constitute the so-called manosphere. Several harassment campaigns have emerged from these loosely defined communities, all of which are united by misogyny.
The capacity for online harassment among this subculture rushed into full view during the 2014 #Gamergate campaign. Ignited by a blog-post by an ex-boyfriend of female video game developer Zoë Quinn — which led to unfounded accusations that Quinn had slept with men in return for positive coverage of her game — #Gamergate turned into a full-blown campaign of harassment against women in the video game industry.
Coordinated from gaming platforms to image boards like 4chan to Reddit and YouTube, the campaign was defined by digital death and rape threats. Fueled by a familiar male supremacist narrative, some “gamergaters” claimed to be motivated by their indignation over the supposed collusion between media industries and feminism, rather than by misogyny.
Though many attribute the intensification of male supremacy to #Gamergate, DiBranco instead sees “Gamergate as significant in that it brought some leaders to the movement.” Rather than broadening the base of male supremacist networks, #Gamergate helped to propel into the mainstream virulently anti-feminist personalities, most prominently Breitbart’s "alt-right" launderer Milo Yiannopoulos and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich. As DiBranco writes, Yiannopoulos and Cernovich rose “to prominence primarily on their misogynist rhetoric.” Yiannopoulos seized onto the #Gamergate controversy to voice his support of Gamergaters against “sociopathic feminist programmers and campaigners,” adding to his rich bibliography of anti-feminist and sexist comments.
Cernovich, too, is another career misogynist: his first blog “Danger and Play” (“The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything”) offered such dating advice as “Misogyny gets you laid.” Soon, Cernovich also cheered on #Gamergate, calling it “the most important battle of the culture war this century.” According to Roosh, Cernovich obtained Quinn’s legal complaint against her ex-boyfriend and gave it to Roosh so that he could write a piece attacking Quinn on his popular website Return of Kings.
In An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right, Yiannopoulos and his co-writer, Allum Bokhari, wrote that “the so-called online ‘manosphere,’ the nemeses of left-wing feminism, quickly became one of the alt-right’s most distinctive constituencies.” As a Buzzfeed article revealed, Yiannopoulos invited neo-Nazis, white nationalists and members of the alt-right direct access to the editing process.
A tight overlap exists between the "alt-right," white supremacist and male supremacist circles, which feed each other’s narratives of the dispossession and oppression of white men, which is blamed on minorities, immigrants and women. Both the alt-right and the manosphere agree that feminism is the cause of Western civilizational decline. In fact, the misogyny intrinsic to the "alt-right" might very well be one of its distinctive feature, or a “gateway drug.”
Xenophobia and racism had found a home in some corners of the men’s rights activist movement from the beginning. Fathers Manifesto, an early fathers’ rights group, included a call to exile blacks from the country on its website. The National Coalition for Men protested that undocumented people could use the Violence Against Women Act to stay in the U.S. In male supremacist subreddits, whether /TheRedPill, /incels, /MGTOW or others, xenophobic rhetoric abounds.
The overlap between "alt-right" and manosphere can be seen among several far-right figureheads: Christopher Cantwell, the neo-Nazi arrested at Charlottesville, once wrote for A Voice for Men. He also interviewed MRA Karen Straughan for his website, Radical Agenda. In August 2017, some "alt-right" activists organized a Make Men Great Again conference. Matt Forney, a prominent racist and sexist writer at Return of Kings who has written that raping or beating women is often justified (or that feminists actually want to be raped), now writes on alt-right.com.
The overlap isn’t surprising: indeed, Return of Kings regularly spouts anti-immigrant rhetoric (although it is open to attractive female immigrants.) Its founder, the widely reviled Roosh, positively reviewed the influential book from "alt-right" and antisemitic Kevin MacDonald. In 2015, Roosh spoke at Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute. Soon enough, the backlash to Roosh’s presence in the "alt-right", as a non-white man who had sexual contact with white women, led Roosh to break with the movement. As “a frustrated mob that wants to control the sexual choices of all men,” he wrote, the "alt-right" was no better than feminism. Despite this, Roosh rushed to support Richard Spencer when he was caught on camera speaking to an audience, which broke into Nazi salutes at his cries of “Hail Trump! Hail our People! Hail Victory!”
In many ways, white supremacy and male supremacy are one and the same. A perfect embodiment of this is the concept of “white shariah,” a shock-value concept that has been gathering steam in white nationalist circles. “White shariah” is the idea that the submission and rape of white women by white men is the only way to save the white race, since white women tend to leave white men for their non-white counterparts, thus making violence necessary.