This guest post is part two of a two part series. See part one.
Previously, I discussed how media whoring may bring attention, but does not increase relevance. Now, I’ll show why the manosphere is essentially irrelevant outside its protective bubble and why outside media attention is unlikely to provide any benefit.
I performed a Google search for “Dalrock”, excluding locations and businesses with that name and restricting the search to the last 6 months. There were many irrelevant entries. Out of 16 pages of results, I analyzed the first 8 pages. These are the relevant mentions in order of appearance:
Who is talking about Dalrock? The answer, it turns out, is us. Literally us, right here at this post code. That echo chambered bubble that grants Dalrock his status as leader in the Christian manosphere? It’s us, Warhorn, and Larry Kummer, and others mostly in the manosphere.
I moved from Google search to Google news. Perhaps, I thought, I had merely missed the media coverage of Dalrock. I hadn’t, but what I found was interesting. I found fifteen news items from Fabius Maximus, Larry Kummer’s site. Larry, who criticized Dalrock for whining about Warhorn interview, appears to be a media expert. He also writes about Dalrock often. I also found two from Suzanne Titkemeyer on Patheos. She recently criticized Sigma Frame. Nothing else registered.
So, who is talking about Dalrock outside the manosphere? No one of consequence.
I recently wrote a blog post on the Gillette saga. There I linked to criminal defense lawyer Scott Greenfield’s blog Simple Justice, a blog that is not in the manosphere. His WordPress blog received the pingback and he allowed it. In short, he potentially shared his non-manosphere audience with my blog.
Sigma Frame then updated his own post with a link to the Simple Justice article. The pingback from the Sigma Frame blog was deleted. This is not unusual: external exposure to the manosphere is extremely difficult to achieve.
After Lori Alexander’s post “Men Prefer Debt Free Virgins Without Tattoos” went viral, she made a follow-up post containing quotes from a Dalrock post. She didn’t link to him, calling him “A man who runs a popular blog for men.” Even someone who (presumably) likes Dalrock won’t directly promote him.
A year ago, I got into a debate with atheist Bob Seidensticker on the Wintery Knight blog. Seidensticker, sealioning, demanded evidence for my claims, so I pointed him to my blog. Once there, rather than address my points, he just link spammed to an article—on his blog—whose primary points I had already refuted in the OP. I was irrelevant to him, except as a tool to drive traffic to his site.
Dalrock is well-known inside the echo chamber (or bubble) of the manosphere. Those aware of the ‘sphere, but not part of it, may also know who Dalrock is, but they rarely talk about him. Outside, he is virtually unknown. Few, if any, media outlets even mention Dalrock. Warhorn may be the most notable thing that has ever happened to Dalrock and he bungled it.
When Dalrock makes challenges against his foes, they generally ignore him. Why not? Dalrock is irrelevant to them. The same goes for (almost?) everyone in the manosphere.
The outside world, including the media, looks at the manosphere as an aberration: a bunch of angry kooks. It doesn’t take it seriously and it doesn’t have to. It is irrelevant. What reason is there for this perception to change?
I read the comments of Boxer and others at this old Dalrock post. They defended Dalrock’s anonymity as a tool to support his role in the manosphere and his very important work. I don’t think this has aged well.
What’s the point of anonymity if you are irrelevant and no one cares? What’s the point if you don’t have a meaningful impact on what you care most about? If nobody cares, you are not at much personal risk. Only if your message goes viral might you be at significant risk. Anonymity helps protect against going viral, but isn’t going viral exactly what you want to happen in order to spread your message?
The Warhorn interview showed that anonymity is, quite ironically, a significant barrier to information dissemination. It doesn’t matter if we want to be judged solely on our message, because our opinion doesn’t matter. It’s not fair, but it’s the way it is. The media (and society at large) hold all the cards and they are not interested in dealing with those they cannot validate. So the message of the anonymous goes unheard.
Little is gained from seeking media attention or wider cultural influence. If you put your hopes in outside attention, you’ll likely be disappointed. It’s a nice dream, but little more. The manosphere is isolated and flawed. It is a useful echo chamber, but it still has all the limitations characteristic of an echo chamber. We should acknowledge the limitations and irrelevancy of the manosphere and act accordingly—to not think more highly of ourselves than is merited.
The target audience of the manosphere is mostly men who have not (yet) been burnt and broken or bitter men who have been. The manosphere offers them practical and theoretical knowledge and wisdom as well as a sense of community. This is where its primary value lies.
For those that wish the manosphere did more than this—that it truly and meaningfully challenged feminism at large—a different strategy is required. Waiting for the media to pay attention or for our posts to go viral has not been successful. I don’t know what this new strategy looks like. Maybe you do?