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How Racist Misogyny Shapes Online Male Supremacist Communities

Ten years ago, a misogynist incel declared “war on women” before embarking on a deadly rampage in the beachside community of Isla Vista, California. On the evening of May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger stabbed his two housemates and their friend to death before traveling to his ultimate target: a UC Santa Barbara sorority house. In his manifesto, he wrote that these women “represent everything I hate in the female gender.”

After he was unable to gain access to the sorority house, Rodger shot three women outside the house. He then proceeded to drive around Isla Vista, shooting at pedestrians and running others over with his car. Before finally killing himself, Rodger murdered six people and wounded 14 others.

The violence in Isla Vista was the first misogynist “incel” (involuntary celibate) terror attack, and it continues to serve as a blueprint for similar violence. In the years since, law enforcement officials have disrupted copycat attacks planned to commemorate the anniversary. The Anti-Defamation League has documented dozens of incidents of incel violence and plots, which have cumulatively resulted in over 100 deaths and injuries worldwide. In addition to many acts of mass violence, high-profile arrests have highlighted the involvement of misogynist incels in incidents of aggravated stalking, murder and bomb threats.

Misogynist incels are just one community within a much broader landscape of male supremacy. While male supremacist hate groups and communities differ in their assessment of societal issues, they share the same misogyny, antifeminism and male entitlement. In addition to the rise of misogynist incels, in the last decade we have seen extreme anti-abortion legislation and violence and a rise in transphobic attacks. We have witnessed the popularity of misogynist ideas among teenage boys, stemming from such figures as Andrew Tate, a male supremacist social media influencer who preaches women are property and is currently facing charges for rape and human trafficking in Romania.

The Isla Vista attack – and the hateful manifesto and video diaries the killer left behind – helped spark a movement of male supremacist men willing to embrace violence to punish women for denying them their perceived right to sex. Less attention has been given to the role Rodger’s racist manifesto had in laying the foundation for the white supremacy that remains commonplace within the misogynist incel movement.

Nascent coverage of male supremacy has largely prioritized the experience of white women and girls and downplayed or ignored the impact on those who are Black. This is known as misogynoir – a term Moya Bailey coined in her book Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women’s Digital Resistance to capture the dual threat Black women face from anti-Black racism and misogyny. When introducing the term, Bailey explains, “‘Misogynoir’ describes the uniquely co-constitutive racialized and sexist violence that befalls Black women as a result of their simultaneous and interlocking oppression at the intersection of racial and gender marginalization.” She points to how white supremacist power intersected with sexist stereotypes about Black women as promiscuous and incompetent to justify outrageous attacks on their bodily autonomy through 1940s state policies that allowed doctors to perform hysterectomies on Black women without their knowledge or consent. Black women face hostility and abuse for their gender and race, yet all too often they are left out of conversations about both, cast as the perpetual other.

Elliot Rodger’s manifesto – which went on to become a foundational text within the misogynist incel movement – is filled with racist tirades detailing the “envious rage” he felt when he saw blonde, white women with non-white men. “How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me?” he wrote. “I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more.”

He made similar comments in posts on – a now defunct site that was pivotal in facilitating the organization of the early misogynist incel community. When another user called out his racism, Rodger doubled down: “Here we are suffering on PuaHate when these lesser, undeserving men that I saw today are walking around with hot girls. It doesn’t make sense.”

Today, misogynist incel forums are filled with posts expressing their frustration and disgust toward interracial relationships, particularly those involving white women. One user using an image of Rodger as his avatar posted about his rage seeing a white woman at his college with a Black man. “I couldn’t help but stalk them,” he posted, adding, “f---ing n----- lover I hope he beats you up.”

This combination of racial and sexual entitlement is prevalent throughout the misogynist incel community and is also reflected in their vision of a social hierarchy. Misogynist incels see the world as divided into a three-tiered hierarchy based on physical appearance, with incels at the bottom. “Chads” and “Stacys” dominate the hierarchy and represent the ideal white beauty standard for men and women. Stacys are hyperfeminine, attractive, unattainable, and white. They are the “beautiful blonde” women Rodger developed such a rage for throughout his manifesto.

Incels typically see women of color as less desirable, unfeminine, more sexually available, and inferior to the white Stacy archetype. Many use this framing to justify violence. Throughout incel forums, women of color are the targets of both sexist and racist abuse. One study analyzing the misogynistic discourse on the largest incel forum found nearly a third of forum participants used racist misogyny in their posts.

This persistent devaluation of Black women is also evident throughout the Black Manosphere, which emerged out of the broader and ostensibly white Manosphere – a collection of male supremacist websites, blogs and online forums that tout men as society’s biggest victims. The Black Manosphere maintains the core beliefs of its predecessor but presents itself as a voice to uplift Black men. All too often, this comes as the cost of denigrating Black women.

Some of the earliest voices of this movement were Donovan Sharpe and Mumia Obsidian Ali. Both were active within the broader Manosphere and contributed to hate-filled blogs like Return of Kings and A Voice for Men. Echoing the incel belief in sexual social hierarchies, Sharpe claimed Black women are “the bottom of the sexual totem pole” and published two articles listing his reasons for not dating Black women on the now defunct hate website Return of Kings. Similarly, Ali wrote, “The worst stewards of children in American life, are Black women” in an article for A Voice for Men and claimed white women would be better mothers for Black boys. Instead of recognizing systemic white supremacy, for Ali and others, Black women are primarily to blame for the supposed shortcomings of the Black community, including dysfunctional family dynamics, crime and incarceration rates –beliefs that mirror those of white supremacists.

Like many male supremacist communities, the Black Manosphere relies on a unique and dehumanizing lexicon to signal their involvement with the movement to others. Aaron Fountain Jr., a historian who has extensively researched the Black Manosphere, consolidated many of these terms into a glossary. This glossary highlights the rampant misogynoir within the movement with many derogatory terms specifically targeting Black women, such as “Hyena” and “Scraggle Daggle.” Black women are presented as hypermasculine, undesirable and disobedient.

Key figures within the Black Manosphere encourage followers to “save” themselves by rejecting Black women for interracial relationships. “Save Yourself Black Men” or SYSBM is a philosophy that teaches Black men they can improve their lives and social status by distancing themselves from Black women and Black communities. Babatunde Umanah, author of the self-published book, Negro Wars: A Short and Critical Examination of the Modern Day Black Woman , listed the “basic fundamentals” of SYSBM on his website in 2019. He wrote, “SYSBM ... IS NOT ABOUT SAVING THE BLACK COMMUNITY. As far as we are concerned the black community is dead and black women were the ones who killed it.”

The misogynoir of the Manosphere is on full display on the popular podcast “Fresh and Fit,” hosted by Walter Weekes and Myrone Gaines. The podcast covers “females, fitness, and finances,” and boasts more than 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube – though the show was demonetized by the platform in 2023 after repeatedly violating community guidelines.

The hosts are known for mistreating the Black women who appear as guests on their show and for their comments about Black women. In one clip, Gaines explains how he and his cohost are not interested in dating Black women, whom he derogatorily refers to as “Shanequas.” The name Shanequa is frequently used as a symbol of a racist caricature of low-income Black women. Despite backlash, the two men later doubled down on these comments, and Weekes explained: “I love my Black queens, however, when they be acting out of pocket ... they making us all look bad. ... Do I want to deal with all that negative, masculine energy? Hell no.”

Weekes and Gaines have also repeatedly provided a platform to white nationalist Nick Fuentes. As a guest on their podcast, Fuentes has discussed falling birth rates (a core concern for adherents of the racist  “great replacement ” conspiracy theory), engaged in Holocaust denial, used the N-word and called women “baby machines.” This strange alliance reveals that rather than uplifting Black men, the hosts and the broader Black Manosphere are more invested in denigrating and subjugating Black women.

Like the broader Manosphere, the Black Manosphere stokes resentment and aggrieved entitlement over men’s position in the world. However, while the former casts itself as the persecuted victim of a decline in the status and privileges of white men, members of the latter seek to create that social status that was denied to them. Rather than working to dismantle the various systems of supremacism, the Black Manosphere seeks to right the wrongs of white supremacy through the enforcement of male supremacy. They blame Black women for denying them what they perceive as their rightful authority.

In 1979, Audre Lorde warned: “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.” The endemic devaluation and erasure of Black women will never lead to Black liberation, nor will it advance women’s liberation.

The misogynoir within the misogynist incel and Black Manosphere is the same misogynoir that reverberates throughout the rest of society, excusing, ignoring and enabling violence against Black women and girls. Black women experience higher rates of psychological abuse and are almost four times more likely to be murdered than their white counterparts.

Despite being the targets of so much racist and misogynistic violence, Black women and girls are often sidelined by the very movements that claim to fight these injustices. Too often we are told to isolate racism from misogyny to effectively combat either. As the threat of male supremacy and its violence continues to loom over the next decade, we must remember the lessons of the last one. We can never tackle male supremacy if we continue to ignore the role of misogynoir or silence the experiences of Black women and girls.

Photo illustration by SPLC

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