Irrelevancy of the manosphere

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It might be beautiful, but it’s still isolated.

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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?

15 thoughts on “Irrelevancy of the manosphere”

  1. FIFY ..

    The media (and society at large) hold all the cards and they are not interested in dealing with those they cannot validate DESTROY. So the message of the anonymous goes unheard.

    If validation was the key .. then validate the message / facts. No personal offense taken for peer review .. if that is what they truly want.

    The fact is they only want to be in control of the success or failure you obtain through their (i.e. MSM / Government / People whom you do not know) control. So, toe the line mister!

    ALL human condition is based on ego these days. No longer is it about “what is right.” .. but rather .. “who is (allowed to be) right.”

    Check NZ out for the lastest on thought crimes via electronic forms of expression. We are next when few know what the 1st Amendment actually says. [1]

    [1] https://www.studyfinds.org/survey-half-americans-dont-know-what-first-amendment-protections/

  2. @honeycomb

    It is naive to think we are ever going to be judged solely on the message/facts. The media and society are under zero obligation to do that. They won’t even consider the message without first considering who we are. Guilt by association may be a logical fallacy, but it isn’t irrelevant. People don’t think or act logically and routinely judge you on the company you keep. The manosphere can’t dodge that by being anonymous or demanding that we be taken on our words alone. It won’t work.

    Read blog posts and comments. Many in the ‘sphere strongly want greater influence. Perhaps not you, but certainly others.

    At best media attention will be neutral. At worst it will try to destroy (e.g. hostile interview). The manosphere is a protective bubble for a reason—anonymity is a part—but it’s still a bubble. There are consequences for this. The manosphere is still meaningful inside a bubble, but if, and it is a big if, we want wider cultural influence and changes, we’ll have to put ourselves at personal risk. Boxer called on us to do our part to MAGA and suggested local, meatspace-oriented changes. It’s safer and more effective that way. It also helps avoid the delusions of grandeur pitfall that comes with popularity.

  3. Yes .. we evaluate posters .. on merit.

    I have posters that I ignore .. by name. Only narcassists (imho) carry about personal glory. And don’t kid yourself .. pride of life / ego is not what we Christians should be shooting for .. right Derek?

    I don’t need personal data on posters to evaluate them .. because with or without a name & personal info I know this ..

    ALL MEN ARE LIARS. (Prove me wrong brother.)

  4. Consider the audience. Quantity doesn’t mean quality. Personally, I don’t write for money, and I don’t write for those who consider the men’s sphere irrelevant. They are little more than a risk to be mitigated. I write for my own record, and for the benefit of others who may be encouraged by my messages. Truth will never be wildly popular. So if my posts are valuable to only a hundred people, including my son, grandsons, and friends, then I’m satisfied with that. The people who matter the most will know who the author is.

  5. Derek:

    To begin with, these are very good articles. Thanks for writing them.

    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.

    I honestly don’t see the manosphere as having one distinct target demographic. Look at it. Sunshine Mary and Mrs. Scott at Lujubuju Farms write for married women. Dalrock used to attack feminists from a Christian perspective, now he attacks Christians, some of whom are antifeminists. Heartiste used to be a well-written pickup blog, now it’s veered into being a place for antisemitic kooks to pin the bad deeds of wimminz onto Jewish men (as though every wimminz has a Jewish escort, telling her to do what she does). Not only is there not a coherent message across blogs, but no one blog has a coherent message across time, and the audience is ever changing.

    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?

    A knowledge of Marxist-Leninist philosophy is useful in positing an answer to this important question. There are certain historical inflection points in which mass action can actually change things. We are not at that point now, and it is not even on the horizon, yet. Fukuyama’s last man (at the end of history) isn’t going to rebel, because his needs are met.

    The best we can hope for is a sort of aesthetic underground (I’m plagiarizing Walter Benjamin here). Writing as we do, we know we’re powerless to effect social change, but we hope that we give our readers a vision of some potential world that is better than this one. To be clear, that potential is only partly similar to St. Paul’s, in that we’re concerned with material conditions in the physical world, rather than a mythical Valhalla we awaken in after death.

    In that regard, our target audience isn’t the broad masses (of asses), who will never revolt until they feel that they have nothing to lose. Our target audience is those men with the foresight to see that those days might arise in the future. This will be the cadre who will act when the time is right.

    My hope is that young men who feel aimlessly adrift in the world can find this blog and learn a few tricks to get their needs met, and take some comfort in the fact that they’re not alone. Aaron “Captain Capitalism” Clary tells these men to go on welfare and commit suicide.

    I tell them to get as much education as they can, make as much money as they can, be decent to parents and extended family, and enjoy life. My suspicion is that we only get one go-round, and we ought to make it count.

    Boxer

  6. Ever since I started exposing Dalrock, my 2 main criticisms of him are:
    1: His retarded super moderation of his blog, which is so strict it makes SJW’s look weak, and………
    2: His cowardly wish to remain completely anonymous. What Dalrock doesn’t realize and as this thread piece so clearly shows is that, he could have reached outside the manosphere and done some actual good for us men. Just think of how widely he could go viral if he had a YouTube channel, a Facebook and a Twitter following….Instead of reaching an isolated bubble of 100 hardcore men, he would literally reach millions. Dalrock’s greatest enemy is himself.

  7. “I performed a Google search for “Dalrock”, excluding locations and businesses with that name and restricting the search to the last 6 months. ”

    I performed a duckduckgo search and Dalrock’s blog was the very first hit. I also found other blogs criticizing him dating back to 2013 high in the ranking. Why did you limit your search to the last 6 months? Old but visible posts are as legit as current ones for attracting traffic.

    “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.”

    We cannot be significant until our enemies voluntarily give us publicity? Many men have commented on Dalrock’s site that he has helped them a great deal, and few of them became regular commenters. I myself was red-pilled by Dalrock and Vox Day, and am grateful. No need to see Dalrock featured in Christianity Today magazine.

    My own blog may be quiet but fully half my daily views are from searches. Brenton’s manifesto and the Charles Starks shooting together produced roughly 200 new visitors to my corner of the Manosphere. Even old posts such as my denunciation of Nancy Sehested for witchcraft get regularly hit on. And I’m just a nobody!

    So what if the lamestream media ignores us? Those who look will find us.

    And what’s this about an echo chamber? A limited number of “official” voices is not the same thing as an echo chamber. Dalrock, Vox Day, Rollo Tomassi, Roosh, Misandry Today and Wintry Knight are very different people with very different ideas even though we’re in the same tent. Unlike all the diverse Leftoids singing the party line in perfect harmony. NPCs, I tell ya.

    “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?”

    Yes, I’ve seen this before. You want to brand and trademark the Manosphere in order to make it marketable… and thereby profitable, for either fame or fortune. You might not even know it yet but this is the destination you’re pointed towards. It’s what the pickup artists did when they went commercial.

    Rejecting anonymity allows you a public presence, which you clearly hope to leverage into mainstream publicity so more people will listen to you. In other words, so you’ll have a market of potential consumers for your product (even if just your opinions). By contrast, we who stay anonymous yet speak publicly want our ideas heard, not our names. We aren’t selling anything and experience has proven that nobody will hear us, not even our own friends, until life has prepared them to listen.

    When the student is ready, the master will appear.

  8. @honeycomb

    Right. Desire for personal glory leads to pride. I know this temptation, I won’t deny it. There is nothing wrong with attention, per se, but one’s reaction to it (e.g. overvaluing it). I was fortunate that nobody (including my family and friends) cared about anything “special” I did. It gave me a useful perspective. I hope that I made this clear in my first post.

    @jack

    I appreciate your comment and I feel the same way as you.

  9. @Boxer

    Thank you for the opportunity to write on your blog and share your audience.

    I agree with your analysis, especially about the inflection points. I think the inflection point, when it comes, will likely be external and our role (and that of our children) will be to be ready for it.

    “…get as much education as they can, make as much money as they can, be decent to parents and extended family, and enjoy life. My suspicion is that we only get one go-round, and we ought to make it count.”

    We disagree on many things, but not this.

  10. @Gunner Q

    My methodology was informal. It has all the statistical weaknesses of a non-randomized survey. But it’s still interesting and, I think, highlights my point well. It isn’t that Dalrock has no influence. He certainly has some. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets hundreds or even thousands of organic search clicks a day. They could be reading his articles or linking to them in droves and I wouldn’t know. Yet, Necron said it best above:

    “Just think of how widely he could go viral if he had a YouTube channel, a Facebook and a Twitter following….Instead of reaching an isolated bubble of 100 hardcore men, he would literally reach millions. Dalrock’s greatest enemy is himself.”

    It could be much, much more.

    “We cannot be significant until our enemies voluntarily give us publicity?…So what if the lamestream media ignores us? Those who look will find us.”

    I agree with you on this. My posts serve as a warning to those who look to the media as saviors.

    “And what’s this about an echo chamber?”

    I take this as a given, an obvious truth, but clearly it requires more proof to be convincing. The first step is to note how isolated Dalrock, as a Christian Red Pill leader, is. There is a huge disconnect between his manosphere influence and his non-manosphere influence. This creates an echo chamber. Perhaps I’ll write more on this subject.

    ” You want to brand and trademark the Manosphere in order to make it marketable… and thereby profitable, for either fame or fortune. You might not even know it yet but this is the destination you’re pointed towards.”

    No, I’m not. Like Jack’s comment above, I’m content with the manosphere doing what it can, being humble, and not biting off more than it can chew. But I also read the blog posts and comments and realize that this feeling is not unanimous or universal. Many wish to change the world in a big way.

    “Rejecting anonymity allows you a public presence, which you clearly hope to leverage into mainstream publicity so more people will listen to you. In other words, so you’ll have a market of potential consumers for your product (even if just your opinions). By contrast, we who stay anonymous yet speak publicly want our ideas heard, not our names. We aren’t selling anything and experience has proven that nobody will hear us, not even our own friends, until life has prepared them to listen.”

    Did you read part one? I said this about mainstream publicity:

    “You’ll inevitably sacrifice your standards and your intellectual freedom. And for what? It does nothing to guarantee that you will change the world for good.”

    If, instead of whoring yourself out, you can maintain your humility and standards while simultaneously increasing your public presence, then why wouldn’t you do that? St. Paul leveraged his identity to promote his message, and he isn’t the only one. There are no upper limits to the Great Commission.

  11. @necron

    Over at Dalrock today, Novaseeker wrote the following:

    “Dalrock has a very light hand at moderating, as everyone who reads here knows (it’s one of the main sources of criticism of his blog from his enemies), but some people really do more damage than good — like Artisanal Troll and now Sharkly. If you’re worried about censorship, this isn’t the blog to worry about, to be very frank.”

    This comment is so far off the mark.

    Dalrock is obviously not using a light hand at moderation. But as someone who isn’t subject to censorship, Novaseeker doesn’t see the problem. I wonder if he was referring to us as Dalrock’s enemies. Our criticisms of Dalrock are basically that he’s his own worst enemy. Our criticism, while harsh, is intended to be constructive. We want him to reachmillions and help win the fight against feminism…. but we are his enemies.

  12. Derek,
    A good article with good points. I don’t agree with half of it, but still it is quite thought provoking.

    If Dalrock wants to keep his identity secret, that’s entirely his choice, and we can only speculate what would become of him if he was a public figure. It might help him, it might hurt him, it’s not my business. I think, considering my current employer, I should keep my identity secret for now also.

    I don’t think Dalrock botched the Whorehorn Media duel. I think you’d have to be a media genius to figure out how to pull fame and gravitas out of a podcast with some irrelevant soy boys who are determined to punk you for challenging their false teaching mentor. I think his responses were excellent, prior to the release of the podcast. Then it seems he was offended that they did to him what everybody else saw coming. I understand his desire to defend his ministry, and to set the record straight. However, I think you are right that it was also his ego that led him to believe they were planning Dalrock’s public introduction party, his debutant ball, his promenade, and then he freaked out when they dumped the bucket of blood on him. At some point he ceased to be defending his ministry from the young mockers, by continuing to dignify their snark with serious responses. Like Brer Rabbit continuing to battle with the Tar Baby until he was completely soiled and entangled, you sometimes have to recognize when to let your critics last word, be the end of it. However, considering it was going to be a shit-show form the get-go, there was no way he was going to come out of there clean anyhow.

    Tinkelmeyer is just a looney-toon. I laugh just remembering some of the shit she wrote while meaning to be serious.

    Derek, although you are obviously a genius, it is still amazing what all you have accomplished with such a defeatist attitude. I can only wonder if you wouldn’t be far more accomplished if you had a more optimistic approach to life.

    Being humble in the Christian man-o-sphere is one thing, but telling us we’ll never amount to anything, is just defeatist.

    Let me encourage the others:

    The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

    In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd. ~Miguel de Cervantes

    Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare the truth thou hast, that all may share; be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare. ~Voltaire

    Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. Do you believe in free speech? Then speak freely. Do you love the truth? Then tell it. Do you believe in an open society? Then act in the open. Do you believe in a decent and humane society? Then behave decently and humanely. ~Adam Michnik

    Fortune favors the bold. ~Virgil

    Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win. ~Bernadette Devlin

    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” ~Arthur Schopenhauer

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

    “The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails too, they finish by loading honors on your head.” ~Jean Cocteau

    If Dalrock has gone from being ignored to being ridiculed, he is making progress, and if he is keeping his identity hidden he might just be doing so in preparation for the violent opposition and beatings to come, so that he may be around for the victory party, when everybody claims they always knew Feminism couldn’t last, it was just self-evident Feminism would jump the shark and implode.

    Keep the faith! Keep the Hope! Keep being a rock of offense!

  13. I found Dalrock when Instapundit linked him, as he does from time to time, for whatever that’s worth.

  14. @Sharkly

    “Derek, although you are obviously a genius, it is still amazing what all you have accomplished with such a defeatist attitude. I can only wonder if you wouldn’t be far more accomplished if you had a more optimistic approach to life …. Being humble in the Christian man-o-sphere is one thing, but telling us we’ll never amount to anything, is just defeatist.”

    As I was writing these posts, I wondered if the tone was too negative. Yet, I wanted it to be that way, as a stern warning against selfish ambition and overconfidence. It’s fine to be successful, but ambition has crushed so many people. Consider these posts to be a counter-point to those over-the-top motivational speakers that tell you that you can do anything.

    These are not, strictly speaking, mutually exclusive messages. Find a happy medium. I don’t want anyone to think they won’t amount to anything. Just be humble about it, work hard, and be content with what you are given. But by all means strive for more than you are!

    I value the things in my life that I’ve done without the need for more. The fact that I’ve (currently) authored ~0.5% of Wikipedia articles is pretty wild. The coolest—and little known—thing was creating the citation template referenced by this xkcd comic. The effect of these things are incalculable. That’s way more than enough, especially since all I did was just get there first. Because of Wikipedia, I also mastered the skills to be an expert nature photographer. I get a lot of personal enjoyment hiking around and taking photos.

    Besides my faith, my wife and my five kids are the primary joy of my life. This is my life’s core ambition and it does not require additional accomplishments (those are icing on the cake). In the ‘sphere I try to be the moderating voice defending marriage and family. Rather than being defeatist, I think following God and building family are orders of magnitude more important than anything else that I could do.

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