What role does feminism as a social movement play in society’s ills? Is it a cause of the fundamental problems or merely a symptom? While many people in the manosphere have asserted that feminism plays a key causal role, this notion has been questioned. I’ll be examining this broad question over a series of articles. In the first article in this series, I’ll be considering the validity—and societal impact—of the claim that hormonal oral contraception (“the pill”) negatively changes the way a woman selects a mate.
To answer this question we will consider the recent research done by Gurit E. Birnbaum entitled “The Bitter Pill: Cessation of Oral Contraceptives Enhances the Appeal of Alternative Mates” and the commentary by anthropologist Edward Dutton.
Before discussing the pill, let’s consider the evolutionary imperative: to reproduce. Evolutionary biology leads a fertile woman towards a somewhat unconscious reproductive strategy that maximizes her chances to pass on her genes as many times as possible. This involves the following three primary areas:
(1) Reproductive Fitness
A normal fertile woman will prefer alpha male traits : physically fitness, good looks, and masculinity. These traits are proxies that indicate underlying good genes that give her the highest chance to produce healthy children with the lowest risk of genetic mutation.
(2) Compatible Immune System
A woman uses the body odors of men to help find the best genetic match that indicates immune system compatibility. Ideally, she should find a match that is not too similar, but also not too far away. The goal is to produce healthy children by avoiding both inbreeding and conflicting alleles. Historically, this meant marriage involving the genetic equivalents of distant cousins.
(3) Seeking Men of High Status
A woman will seek a man of high status. Her goal is to have as much wealth and support for her and her children. From an evolutionary standpoint, hypergamy is a proxy for genetic fitness.
This is a fertile woman’s natural state.
Having established the natural tendency of women, we now ask whether the pill has any effect on this? The research indicates that it does.
While the natural reproductive strategy is expressed most strongly during a woman’s peak fertility—while she is ovulating—her overall preferences do not change throughout her cycle. By contrast, the pill works by taking a woman out of her fertility cycle and causes her to enter a period of semi-permanent infertility. This results in mental and physiological changes that cause her to unconsciously seek a non-reproductive strategy—inverting her default, natural strategy. Her focus shifts from reproductive success towards personal success.
(1) Reproduction is unimportant
A woman on the pill will seek beta male traits : nice, fun, woman-like, unattractive. These traits make a woman feel validated and supported. She may become repulsed by the alpha traits that she would find attractive in her fertile state.
(2) Genetic Incompatibility
Rather than finding a good genetic match for having children, a woman’s desires shift:
“…women’s perception of men may serve a different function: pursuing cooperative partners who assist with child care (“good parents”) rather than genetically compatible partners. Women may therefore revert to having opposite mate preferences, becoming fixed on seeking less genetically compatible men whose body odor resembles that of their apparently supportive genetic relatives.”
A man who is genetically like her brother or a close cousin is going to be much more likely to support her than a more distant match, even though any offspring would be less genetically fit.
(3) Seek Men of Any Status
If children don’t matter, then a good genetic match is unimportant. Any man will do. If she wants sex, status doesn’t matter. If she wants wealth, she’ll be able to temporarily extract wealth from almost anyone. If she wants a husband, the average beta will suffice.
The Consequences of the Pill
Of course these effects are not absolute. Individually, woman both on and off the pill can make alternate choices. Nevertheless, the overall negative effects should not be ignored.
The pill alters a fertile woman into an infertile woman, changing her life plan. She’s biologically no longer interested in children (outward focused), but in what makes her most comfortable and supported (inward focused). The hormones in the pill cause real physiological changes that change her perception of men. Even her sex drive can change. While this is listed medically as a side effect, biologically-speaking it seems to be the point.
There are two potential major scenarios where this will cause problems.
First, a woman on the pill before marriage selects a poor genetic fit (beta). Eventually when she stops taking the pill, she will have reduced attraction to her husband and suddenly be strongly attracted to the alpha men she would have naturally been attracted to before marriage.
Second, a woman marries a good genetic fit (alpha), but who goes on the pill after marriage (to avoid children), will develop a lack of sexual attraction to her husband. She may start criticizing her husband for his masculine traits and viewpoints that she was previously attracted to.
The marriage in both scenarios faces a heightened risk of sex-starvation, infidelity, or divorce. But even if these things do not happen, the swings will likely cause personal relationship instability and discontent. One can easily imagine this contributing to mental disorders like depression.
Analysis and Summary
Dating and marrying a woman while she is on the pill should be avoided. Men married to women who go on the pill after getting married should be aware of the risks.
The pill contributes to genetic and relationship mismatches. Divorce risk for most marriages is highest during fertile childbearing years, precisely when she is most likely to change pill usage. Contrast this with a pill-free normative natural marriage entering the infertile years: the relationship is firmly established and her husband has likely developed sufficient beta traits needed for her long-term support. Such a marriage is unlikely to end in divorce.
When women on the pill hook up with or marry poor genetically matched men, it does two things: (1) it leaves their otherwise best matched man unmatched and (2) takes someone else’s best matched man. What does this look like? Well, women on the pill can potentially have sex with as many “bad-boy” men as they can, but they generally won’t marry them. They’ll marry poorly matched men. Single men will be left with fewer prospects, as their best matches are marrying the wrong men. Married men will be left with greater divorce risk as the women who should have been their wives marry the wrong men. It’s an unmitigated sociological disaster for both married and unmarried men.
So what is the role of feminism? Feminism promotes female supremacy through its key tenets—careerism, marriage-avoidance, and children-avoidance through easy contraception, abortion, and divorce. All of these are, of course, counter to the evolutionary imperative.
The pill, while not essential to feminism, is a tool with a synergistic feedback effect. A number of red-pill memes demonstrate this: (1) women reproducing with feminine men produce more genetically feminine men, (2) women reproducing with masculine bad-boys have feminine men raise their (now) sociologically feminine boys (e.g. marrying single mothers), and (3) the pill amplifies feminine marital discontent. The pill helps enable these and more.
 He has been accused of anti-semitism and supporting eugenics, demonetized by YouTube for various red-pill positions, and had his work rejected by academic publishers. He is friends with Bruce G. Charlton, who is not loved by our host. YMMV.
 What is meant by alpha and beta in this context? While there are certainly men who—from an evolutionary standpoint—should not breed, each woman’s ideal alpha may be very different. Alpha should be defined as the best evolutionary choice available to a particular fertile woman. The beta is a man who does not maximize her offspring’s genetic odds of survival. He’s a bad genetic fit for her. He may be someone else’s alpha or no one’s at all. The terms are relative and contextual.
The terms alpha and beta are not value judgments. For example, alpha men often have low dependability and beta men have high dependability. A woman will probably be doing well if she finds a man with a good combination of alpha and beta traits to see her through various life stages.
While the terms are frequently assigned motives and morality in the manosphere, the use here is merely descriptive of the ways a normal population of fertile women find the best genetic match for reproduction. Trade-offs can and do occur, resulting in deviations from the mean or expected behavior, but the general concepts hold.
 As with alpha and beta, high status is relative. Women seek the highest status that they can attain relative to their own status. This doesn’t mean they don’t marry men who have low-status in the absolute sense, nor does it imply that low-status men and women are unworthy of marriage. They are merely trying to maximize their genetic fit.
 Wedekind, C., & Füri, S. (1997). Body odor preferences in men and women: do they aim for specific MHC combinations or simply heterozygosity? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 264(1387), 1471–1479. (download here)