- File Size: 2390 KB
- Print Length: 487 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Red Pill Press; First Kindle Edition edition (June 4, 2013)
- Publication Date: June 4, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00D74DQ8E
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #811,459 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Manosphere: A New Hope For Masculinity Kindle Edition
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So I will start with the flaws. This book will never be a work of scholarly repute. The editing is shoddy, the scholarship is weak, and the references are abysmal. Technical errors abound. While there are fewer technical errors than your average blog, more work should have been put into a publication of this magnitude. There are also several scholarship errors that have been pointed out by previous reviewers, such as "Victor Assange" etc. How did that happen? And as for by far the WORST flaw, the references. The book is full of quotes. He does set each quote as such, and usually he credits the author (or at least the author's online pseudonym), but there is no credit for the work itself in most cases. One might get away with that in the internet blog world, but not in the case of a work of non-fiction like this. There is also a big problem with many of the claims he makes without citing the sources. For example, I was stunned to see that there were serious claims in feminist circles that men are genetically inferior and should be enslaved or exterminated. But he didn't cite where this information came from. It took a while but I did find that there was a basis in this, the SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas (1967). This may be fringe and extreme, but it exists and pops up repeatedly. It would have been helpful to know where to look.
Yet, if you are still reading this, I want to HIGHLY recommend this book. Particularly for men, because it is written for men, but for women as well. If you (women) want to live a fulfilling life with fulfilling relationships that LAST, and you are frustrated about the lack of quality men around you, or you have sons that you want to have a happy life, or if you have daughters who you want to have happy relationships... or if you, just in general, love the men in your life: father's, son's, boyfriends, husbands, brothers, friends, and you see them suffering at the hands of a cruel and uncaring society. Because of the highly controlled narrative over the last 40 years, we have been trying to treat this suffering with more of what is causing it! It's like trying to pray the gay away. In the first place it's simply not going to happen, and in the second place, the idea is predicated on the idea that the problems of being gay are inherently due to being gay and not because society has rejected them as unfit. As we have progressed, we have learned as a society to except and even celebrate the LBGTQ community because it is considered "safe" to society, but masculinity has suffered the opposite effect. The more "progressive" we have become, the more regressive and oppressive we have become towards masculine men. So, women, whom (most of us) adore, we implore you to read this and other books like it so that you can stop mistaking the disease for the cure.
But this is not written for women. This is written for men.
I became aware of the various philosophies that the "manosphere" encompasses late in the game. While I was vaguely aware of it, I didn't recognize it's broad scope until recently. I started learning about terms like MRA, MGTOW, and PUA. While all of it seemed to make sense, I felt like I was coming in at the end of the story, learning about the specifics only while a broad explanation eluded me (other than men are sick of being treated like animals). What was the difference between MRA and MGTOW. Why are they disagreeing all the time? Why are PUA's even part of the conversation (I had a very low opinion of PUA's before this book, and now I think I may just pick up some material)? Most importantly, what is this Red Pill everyone keeps talking about? It was like a secret code that only the initiated understood. So how do I get initiated?
That was the quest that led me to this book. In the first place, it answered all the questions that had consciously motivated me to buy it. But more importantly, it answered questions about my own life that I thought would never be answered, but were always on my mind whether consciously or not! Why was I miserable? Why did my ex-wife divorce me when I was doing everything "right"? Why was my life still a complete wreck even after getting past the emotional devastation? This book was a dose in tough love. The Red Pill is painful, powerful medicine.
I cannot look at my life, my past, or my future through the same eyes I once did. In spite of it's painful flaws, this book is largely responsible. Like a black swan, it's importance (at least for me) FAR outweighs it's problems. Four stars with high honors (if that makes any sense).
When I disagree with a thing, I make sure I do my research, and in the past twelve months I’ve read rather a lot in a feminist vein and in opposition. Ian Ironwood’s The Manosphere! A New Hope for Masculinity falls into the latter category.
Agree with them or not, contrarian thinkers often seem fresher and are more fascinating than adherents to the current orthodoxy. “The manosphere” is an after-the-fact grouping of a range of men’s subcultures, from those of men’s rights activists (MRAs) and pick-up artists (PUAs) to gay men attempting to create a masculine identity amid a culture that expects their feminization. I first came into contact with the term through a friend with an interest in the broader ideological movement called “neoreaction”—which some consider the manosphere to be a part of.
Writing in the manosphere is often unruly, raw, and confrontational, even downright offensive. This is not the realm of New York and London big-5 publishing, but of group blogs and self-published e-books. I hope we are beginning to move on from disdaining such work: as it was back in the mid-2000s when I was a videogames researcher, many writers with the best feel or most interesting take on the available material are doing their work outside of big-name journals, sites, newspapers, and publishing houses.
The rise of independent publishing helps the emergence of such movements and writers, giving them retail exposure without a publisher as gatekeeper and intermediary. As thriller novelist Michael MacConnell writes, there is an indentifiable left-wing bias among writers on average. It is tempting to speculate that this is entrenched by the ability of left-biased publishing-house staff to deny authors who do not share their prejudices access to the channels they control.
Ironwood’s is a self-published book, and its rawness comes in the form of several repeatedly misused words, and a range of other not-too-prevalent mistakes. I’ve come to accept this sort of thing as part of the indie publishing landscape, provided that it doesn’t compromise readability—and this is by no means unreadable or poorly written. Further rawness comes from its sources: the aforementioned blogs and e-books rather than academic journals and the canonical texts of gender politics. Ironwood also anticipates that readers of a feminist bent will take offense to the material, and makes little apology for that.
The book is less Ironwood’s own statement, though, than it is a summary of the different subcultures within the movement, the bloggers that represent them, and the ideas that they hold. Here we see MRAs and PUAs covered, as well as Christian conservatives, “old married guys” (OMGs), alpha dads, puerarchs, and “men going their own way” (MGTOW). All of these are identified as part of “red pill” culture. The term is taken from the original Matrix movie, and here signifies a willingness to accept and act on the basis of uncomfortable truths rather than the myths of a politically correct orthodoxy, which are intended to subdue you.
Such “truths,” in the manosphere, tend towards:
* ideas from evolutionary biology
* a belief that men and women are different by nature as well as nurture
* skeptical views of the claim that we live in a patriarchy, that men possess male privilege, and of claims about sexual assault incidence that hinge on a redefinition of “rape” and surveys where the researcher, not the subject, decides whether they have been victimized
* observations that women are attracted by displays and exercises of male dominance in and out of the bedroom, including the accumulation and dispersal of wealth, and the exercise of physical strength
Dismiss all this as misogyny if you like, hopefully with an awareness that the word now means “counter to feminist orthodoxy” more often than it refers to genuine hatred or denigration. That dismissal is so predictable it can be taken as given. What’s more interesting here are some of the other discoveries to be made:
* The manosphere includes gay men trying to recover their masculinity from a feminized culture.
* Lots of manosphere talk is about good health and eating, career planning, the benefits of travel, self-employment, and education, valorizing blue-collar work, and trying to stay happily married.
* “Men going their own way” are about recovering their independence not only from a culture that sees their primary value as being their ability to support women and serve their interests, but also from the institutions where they are expected to seek employment, and the consumer culture where they are expected to spend what they earn at the office or factory.
Let’s sum this up as simply as we can: the manosphere is about men being comfortable with their own gender identity and sexuality while pursuing good health, prosperity, and independence.
Given this, it’s somewhat inevitable that manospherians spend time criticizing feminism and feminists, which feminist commentators accuse them of spending too much time on. Why? Because manospherians’ view of feminism is that it means women serve their own interests while men also serve women’s interests.
I’m in broad agreement with this, and also in broad agreement with earlier strains of feminism. Health, independence, and a positive view of one’s own sexual identity are important for human wellbeing. Feminism’s claim is that women have been denied these goods, and it has sought to recover them for women.
The problem is, much contemporary gender feminism attempts to recover these goods while denying them to men—particularly the assertion of a positive sexual identity. Just one loathsome example of contemporary comment, written by a man, insists that modern men are trained to hate women. Really? I never was, and I never did.
In fact, I have since childhood been exceptionally comfortable with women and interested in them as people, and regarded them as my equals, a situation I’ve viewed as totally compatible with my interest in them as sexual partners. Precisely because of this, and the apparent necessity of mentioning it in my defence, the repeated insistence that, I and my male peers must in some way hate and fear women, be oppressing them, or be constantly enjoying a privilege that we are obliged to apologize for, has made me decreasingly sympathetic to contemporary feminism and calls for attention to women’s interests.
Magnify that for confirmed manospherians. Against a feminism that pursues specifically female interests to the exclusion and detriment of men’s interests, the manosphere’s subcultures raise their banner: “we are men pursuing our own interests and valorizing our own sexual identity.” And they will pursue those interests against the interests or claims of women if necessary.
If feminism is reasonable in calling for female self-determination, it then seems reasonable that men might attempt to do the same.
Though I don’t recall that Ironwood says this explicitly, one of the tantalizing offers that the manosphere makes to men is this:
"Men don’t have to do what women want them to do. Or, for that matter, what anyone else wants them to do."
And not only can you do what you want, but, so the red pill observation goes, you will get laid more if you do, because women are attracted to assertive men who are in control of their own lives and don’t submit excessively to external demands or goals that others have set. And not only that, but it’s fine to view getting laid more as a goal. It looks like that’s what male sexuality is about, and it’s fine to be a man.
In the manospherian view, men don’t have to:
* be feminists or feminist allies
* crusade any further for sexual equality
* wash the dishes using the exact method that their wives or girlfriends or mothers-in-law prefer to see them use when they are looking over their shoulders (yes, this happened to me—it was a mother-in-law)
* wonder if they are rapists because the willing girl who came home with them was tipsy when they went to bed, or because they hadn’t filled out a consent form, or if they are sexual assault victims because they really wanted to sleep but had sex with their insistent girlfriend instead (yep, that’s sexual assault according to some survey methodologies)
* commit to a relationship and have or support children
* pander to a culture of discourse that views emotivism, faulty logic and rhetoric, personal attacks, and unwarranted extrapolations of personal experience as a praiseworthy counterpoint to the supposed masculine use of reason as a tool of oppression
Through his survey of the manosphere’s subcultures, Ironwood repeatedly gave me this kind of lightbulb-over-the-head moment where I understood that there is actually no deep moral or rational obligation for me to be on-board with the contemporary gender-feminist project, or to make apologies for my sex, sexuality, or rationality.
This should all sound hauntingly familiar: it is a mirror of some feminist outlooks. And it should be viewed as perfectly logical and defensible that, in a world where women make these assertions, men will make them, too. If we don’t like what is in the mirror, we should also look critically at what it is reflecting. In contemporary feminist and masculinist culture, there is a lack of concern for the other, and for society at large, that some (myself included) may find disconcerting.
Similar in this regard to Neil Strauss’s The Game, Ironwood’s book is an illuminating tour of male subcultures, albeit with an identity-political bent. It will fascinate most, offend many, and empower others.
Top international reviews
Ian Ironwood's book is an amazing summary and guide to the Manosphere as it is right now. He's a compelling writer with a real gift for emotionally-convincing rhetoric that rushes along like a bullet train. He's also a happily married man and father who by his account, turned his life around after reading Athol Kay's book, and it seems to be working for him. Listen, if you are a man, and you are not happy either with your marriage to a mostly reasonable woman who still has her looks; or if you are a bachelor who would like to get laid more often; or if you have been shafted by your now ex-wife and her lawyers and want to know if you're the only person who feels like this; or if you really want to quit the chase after girls who, let's face it, mostly aren't that girly any more; or if you are wondering quite why there are so many adverts and movies with clueless men being saved by smart women... then start with this book and head off to the blogs and forums Ironwood suggests. This guy knows his stuff and is one of the Inner Circle of Manosphere bloggers. He's also a marketing manager at a large porn business.
But but but. If you think women are God's Graceful Creatures, or incarnations of the Virgin Mary, then you are going to get a nasty, nasty shock. They know about women in the Manosphere. Lord knows they have bedded, wedded, been divorced by, dumped by, flaked by and generally disappointed by enough of them. And they are more than happy to share this knowledge with whoever browses by.
This is a very American book, and English readers may think Ian is exaggerating. I doubt he is. Any Englishman who has been worked over by a vindictive wife and social worker will certainly recognise the tone. Anyone who wonders what the fuss is about, or thinks it's a load of wusses commiserating, needs to remember that the average married man is forty per cent divorced. That means if it's not your best mate, it's you to whom the statistics will deliver the D-bomb.
"Compelling writer with a real gift for emotionally-convincing rhetoric that rushes along like a bullet train" means that this is not a reasoned contribution to the social policy debate. It doesn't have to be. It's a call to personal action, and one that, well, forty per cent of men who enter live-in relationships should heed.
Este es el momento justo de informarse y asegurarse de que los hombres sigan teniendo valor y prestigio en la sociedad, aunque ciertos grupos sociales intenten lograr lo opuesto.
Está claro que el autor está bien informado sobre las tendencias actuales en lo que denomina el "Manosphere", pero siento que algunas de sus afirmaciones las deja sin respaldarlas con datos duros, como estadísticas o estudios científicos. No creo que eso invalide su opinión completamente, pero es algo para tener en consideración.