Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rest in Peace, Manosphere (Guest Post by Shackleford)

Roughly a decade ago, some anonymous guy started a blog called The DC Bachelor. He lived a typical Washington DC life: 9-5 job, then bar hopping in DuPont Circle and Adams Morgan trying to pick up girls. He claimed to have extraordinary success with women, but there was little evidence that he was doing better than the average guy living the same lifestyle. The blog itself was mostly standard Mystery Method game philosophy in a re-packaged form, but it had an interesting distinction: the inclusion of heavy scare tactics regarding uber-alpha male boogeymen. If you did not imitate the dominant behavior of these men, the DC Bachelor maintained, then you are a beta.  And if you are a beta, then you would lose out in the competition for women against this alpha man.

The alpha boogeyman established a new game tenet.  Whereas previous forms of PUA primarily targeted hopeless men who had little success with women, DC Bachelor's brand of PUA also targeted men who had experienced some form of success.  It went after the average man, saying "you may get dates, but I get better quantity and quality by acting more alpha than you.  Adopt my methods or every girl you date will ditch you for me or someone like me."

The DC Bachelor had a regular commenter who jumped on this fearmongering alpha/beta distinction and rode it ridiculous heights, continually cherry-picking from evolutionary psychology studies to emphasize the idea that females have a primal urge be with this alpha boogeyman. He maintained it is a woman's natural desire to be in an alpha male's harem (the 80/20 theory), and that women are driven to crush weaknesses by cuckolding or humiliating beta males.  This commenter also made himself out to be a veritable god with women, the embodiment of all this aforementioned alpha behavior. Soon, this commenter started his own blog, called Roissy in DC.

In reality, Roissy was just another regular DC bar hopper like the DC Bachelor (who later revealed himself to be Roosh), but that didn't stop him from being completely delusional. In Roissy in DC (now Heartiste), Roissy took the extreme version of evo-psych alpha/beta scare tactics and added a combination of hard-right politics and Steve Sailor racial HBD science. Does this now sound completely incoherent to you? Welcome to the manosphere.  

Incoherent is the key word. Roissy, Roosh, and all the subsequent copycat blogs all had a design for life that basically meant acting like an obnoxious, thuggish frat guy. But whenever evidence was presented to them, especially to Roissy, that guys who didn't act this way also got chicks, the manosphere would backtrack and redefine the definition of alpha from a dominant caveman dude to that of a guy who can score lots of girls, regardless of looks and behavior. The guys who look like pussies and don't use game but still get laid, therefore, are actually alphas. But these "alphas" are also pussies, Roosh and Roissy said, so you shouldn't act like them. Act like a dominant caveman.

The anti-feminism and racial politics would garner Roissy and the manosphere a larger audience for a temporary point of time, but it was inevitable that the jumbled game philosophy that was at its core would be its undoing. Although Roissy was not involved in the embarrassing DC meetup, his fingerprints are all over the pathetic thug behavior of all the major players in the post-Roosh/Roissy generation of manosphere bloggers. These guys prioritize the imitation of dominant meathead behaviors over actual success with women.  In fact, it's evident that they have little success at all, but it was surprising just how sloppy and clueless a blog like University of Man could be in blatantly revealing that reality. Generational rot indeed.

The biggest smoking gun, however, was the deflation of the Alpha boogeyman concept.  These guys certainly act like super-alphas storming around ready to take your woman, but their results are no better than the average man they abhor so much.  In fact, they are probably worse than average, if you took 15 men with no knowledge of game and dropped them into a bar crawling scenario similar to that of the Manosphere DC meetup. Imitation of behaviors can't invent attraction.

After the the DC Meetup got slammed, the University of Man shut down, and it's now evident that the manosphere is dying.  Let's look at the evidence:

  • Roosh has transitioned to a lifestyle blog:  In his writings, he has continually distanced himself from Roissy and barely believes in game.
  • Roissy dances in the corner alone. MRAs have disavowed him, and the current generation of gamers doesn't like his racial politics.  
  • The next generation of manosphere bloggers are realizing the lameness of the cause and are dropping like flies.  University of Man is dead.  Another blog, Alpha Persona, closed recently.

These quotes from the closing post of Alpha Persona are very telling:

It just isn’t what it used to be anymore, though. A lot of readers are keyboard warriors, a lot of readers are just looking for a place to be angry, and the number of you who actually practice this shit and work on yourselves and try to be better is frighteningly slim.
There have been too many game blogs for a while now. I get this email all the time, “Dude, I’m starting a game blog – help me out/link to me/help me name it/come up with a gimmick?
The facade is now gone, and the manosphere stands exposed for what it is:  absent the evo-psych window dressing and racial science, it's just the avocation of a 20-something frat boy lifestyle, with meaningless distinctions like wearing a suit and sex tourist traveling. Every guy who goes out and approaches girls on a Saturday night now thinks he can be an expert. The headless chicken remains of the manosphere will have dozens of blogs of this type, but no more relevant ones. It's just a small, insignificant world, much like it was in the beginning with the DC Bachelor.  Full circle.


  1. Glad you finally started addressing Roissy more. He's by far the worst, both in terms of content and in terms of influence. What's really bad is his sloppy interpretations of science studies. I know Sleazy keeps saying he can't get past the first few sentences or paragraphs of Roissy's stuff, but at the very least try his twitter account to see how bad it is. It's not just the racism, but the fact that he keeps playing so coy and passive aggressive about it.

    My favorite recent tweet:

    In what universe is that actionable advice and not just mental masturbation?

    1. Yeah, I held off on Roissy because I was under the assumption that the guy's relevance had faded considerably. Like, he may even get more readers nowadays, but they are all complete dregs due to the racism and bitterness.

      If you want a good source for Roissy bashing, however, check out omegavirginrevolt. He has a different approach (primarily MRA based, while I'm focused de-mystifying these guys as living ordinary lives), but there's a lot of articles there with good comments from Alek Novy. Full credit goes to Omega and Novy for being the first to really stand up to Roissysphere.

      I wanted to go after Roosh, however, because of his limited worldview, his promoting this grand lifestyle that isn't grand at all if you read between the lines, and his promotion of thuggery when he himself admitted that he has never been in a fight. Yes, he's honest, but that doesn't make him worthwhile.

      Then there was the University of Man, the hier apparent blog that re-packaged Roissy ideas (haughty tone, junk science, dubious stories) under a more "normal" guise. We all saw how well it worked out for them when they were called out.

  2. Also, got a theory about Roissy. He was outed a while back by a looney broad named Lady Raine. He laid low a bit, deleted a bunch of his more controversial posts, then came back, but it was a little toned down.

    Then he spread a rumor that his blog now had multiple authors and was being farmed out to underlings. But the blog content and flowery overwritten style seemed exactly the same!

    somehow his gullible commenters bought this new story! They even started bitching about how new writers were awful and not as good as original Roissy even though the writing was exactly the same! lol

    Next move: He changes the name of the blog from Roissy in DC to Citizen Renegade.

    My guess? after he was outed, he semi-sanitized his site and started the multiple new author myth and new blog name so he could create distance between his blog and his real name. Cuz that chick killed his anonymity.

    He had to create illusion that the real him was no longer behind the blog. The racism also became more veiled and implied.

    I'm guessing that didn't work cuz one day without warning his old site just vanished. No page redirect, no explaining, no info where to find his new blog, zip, zilch, nada. The only way to get the new blog address was through manosphere grapevine.

    The new site was a total clone of his old blog. Only difference is now in his new posts he was going apeshit and more blatant with the pseudointellectual racism, scaremongering, controversy.

    all a series of moves to regain anonymity so that he can go back to being extra noxious and over the top. Why else would a guy relaunch an IDENTICAL version of his blog in such a undercover way? how do his fans not see through this shit? how exactly is all that passive-aggressive crap "alpha"?

    1. It's funny you bring this up, because I haven't actually read Roissy in any regularity in three years. I became too disgusted with the bullshit science, zero-sum cynicism, and the endless fucking similes and metaphors. I do check into Heartiste every 4 or 5 months, usually through a link, and stay for about one minute before closing the site in annoyance. I have cobbled the story of his outing and rebranding together, however, through PUAhate and omegavirginrevolt. I felt confident in writing about him because he's been repeating the same material for years.

      Yeah, Roissy's handling of the Lady Raine scenario was a major embarrassment. I'll give credit to Roosh; his worldview is extremely limited and narrow, but at least he isn't hiding anything. A smart reader can ascertain that outside of getting income off of game books, his life isn't that special. His foreign experiences are the opposite of exotic; he spends his time endlessly grinding in bars and clubs for a handful of joyless "flags," and to continue the RPG analogy, his skills never level-up.

      In regards to Roissy, when you make yourself out to be a god with superior scientific knowledge, and then also snap photos with your iphone of "herbs" and then rip into them on your blog (how misandrist, btw) like Roissy, you essentially have to hide your identity, because it's is impossible to live up to that image of yourself, and you also risk retaliation from all the dudes and girls you've trashed. The de-mystified version of Roissy is nothing special: a generic 9-5 guy in an LTR whose bar hopping prime was a decade ago.

    2. The Lady Raine exposure was really a bad look for Roissy. This is what happens when you are a keyboard warrior hiding behind your computer and conjuring fairy tales and racists tirades. You will get found out and exposed

      and yes he is racists as fuck but he seems to have something for Justin Wayne

    3. He's also good friends with Virgil Kent, who was one of his regular wingmen, despite all his talk about the genetic inferiority of blacks and how immigrants ruin America (Virgil Kent is black and has immigrant parents).

      Even stranger is how oblivious Virgil Kent seems to have been to Roissy's racist views all these years. According to his twitter account, he only just realized this year how racist Roissy's blog, and even then he seems to think Roissy just tolerates the racists in order to not hurt his popularity rather than being a true believe who eggs the commenters on.

      Don't be fooled by the fact Roissy posts Justin Wayne videos. It's part of his sneaky shtick. He keeps posting the Justin Wayne because he knows showing a black guy hitting on white women and apparently succeeding will bring out the rabid racism in his commenters full force. He's baiting them. Then he can just sit back and enjoy the fireworks while maintaining plausible deniability because he doesn't make the comments himself. (Even though he does nothing to police them or speak out against them. And it's not like he's that hands off on all comments. If commenters say something he doesn't like he has no problem banning them or flaming them, so his silence on even the worst racism in his comments section speaks volumes.)

    4. Yeah, it's amazing that Virgil Kent just recently found out about Roissy's racism. I feel like a lot of manosphere dudes are now just noticing this, which proves to me that most of them are bad at reading comprehension. Roissy has had the racial angle from day one, since he started his blog in 2007ish.

      There is a general rift between Roosh and Roissy, and I think part of that is because Roosh has a number of black fans now. It makes some sense; culturally, the mainstream black American club scene and white frat-bar scene (exemplified by Adams Morgan, DC) are more similar than you think. Loud, aggressive environments where being tall and meatheaded is advantageous. I really hope non-meatheaded black guys don't take Roosh's advice and go into some club trying to act alpha, because there is a likelihood that you could get your card pulled in the worst way.

    5. Yeah, it's amazing that Virgil Kent just recently found out about Roissy's racism. I feel like a lot of manosphere dudes are now just noticing this, which proves to me that most of them are bad at reading comprehension. Roissy has had the racial angle from day one, since he started his blog in 2007ish.

      I don't think it's reading comprehension that's the problem, because when Roissy started he was way too backhanded and passive-aggressive to ever overtly state anything racist. I think the word you're looking for is called "subtext." That's what the manosphere guys lack. The ability to read social subtext: the less obvious messages and implications under the explicit messages. I think that handicap is what attracted a lot of them to game in the first place. They couldn't read between the lines to figure out what a woman really thought of them without an explicit, step by step roadmap. The same inability to read subtext that frustrated them with women and led them to game is the same trait that kept them unable to figure out how racist Roissy was (or how ordinary the lives of manosphere authors are), until he kept getting bolder with it until the point it couldn't be ignored anymore.

      Bold by Roissy standards, of course. Which is still passive aggressive by normal standards, as you can see in Justin Wayne post. That's why even now many are still willing to give him partial benefit of the doubt about being racist, because he still hasn't explicitly said "I hate niggers" or anything like that.

    6. Yes, subtext. The reason why I have been able to predict the collapse of the manosphere was because I could read the subtext from these idiots. They probably think I'm telepathic.

  3. I think this post was very beta

    1. ...and I think you are an idiot.

    2. If you were being tongue-in-cheek, well played.

  4. Shackleford this is brilliant, you should start your own blog. Your dissection of these guys was flawless.

    1. Thanks. It's funny you should mention starting a blog of my own. I actually did; for about 12 hours. I had the name and design finished, one launch post written and another two in planning before I would make it official. Most of the material would be targeting the PUA manosphere in the same style as my posts here. I was planning for University of Man to be the biggest target, because it was being positioned to be the heir apparent to Roosh and Roissy.

      Then the University of Man shut down. I took it as a surrender before I even started (along with Roosh starting a new lifestyle blog), and figured targeting the rest of dregs wasn't worth the time sink (I refuse to read Roissy even to get material to mock him). Most of these other manosphere blogs are either sad or repetitive.

      One interesting note, though: my launch post was live on the blog for about three hours before I shut it down. It was a post making fun of the launch or Roosh's and pointing out how trolls outnumbered his fans, how his knowledge of living well is too limited to provide advice etc. There was exactly one page view on this post. Guess where it came from? Good ole' Canada, where Roosh happened to be at the time. Dude must live in front his laptop searching his

    2. Shackleford, if you're looking for something different to blog about with manosphere blogs, go after the marriage/LTR gamers like Athol Kay & Hawaiian Libertarian. Unlike the rest of the Roissyites who presumably try to pick up a woman once every 5 years or so, these guys don't even do that, but think they are actually "picking up their wives". They can't provide any evidence that they have done anything except that they aren't divorced yet. Even though a few of the married gamers have ended up divorced, it still hasn't gotten through their thick skulls that game doesn't exist.

  5. Great essay, Shackleford! I would love to read any blog you got started. I'm not sure if manosphere bashing could sustain the concentrated effort you bring to bear on it, since as you've noted, all this stuff seems to be going the way of the dodo.

    Roissy subconsciously believes that all women are Ghengis Kahn with tits. How can you live past 25 and not have experienced the profound and rejuvenating power of a woman's love? I guess its a testament to how much man shapes his own experiences.

    Women will be fools for us. They will love us to the point of their own embarrassment and befuddlement and misery. They think about us for years. They secretly treasure their moments with us, which they count among the most precious of their lives. Of course they also cheat, flake, lie, and flip out. Each guy gets a woman who is his match, which means that Roissy is really really fucked. He is really going to need all the thousands of pages of advice on his own blog. Actually that blog can be seem as a long prologue to Roissy's first sincere relationship, which will most likely start around the time that blog ends. He is preparing himself to face himself, knowing that things are going to get pretty iffy. Just a couple hundred blog posts more, and he will finally be ready..

    1. No offense friend, but your philosophy to me is as dangerous and unrealistic as Roissy's. The idea of a woman's love as the ultimate redemption for men is as noxious to me as the idea of a woman's pussy as the ultimate redemption for men. At the end of the day, both philosophies are about pedestalizing women, just different aspects of women, and makes a woman's approval (sexual approval for Roissy, emotional approval for you) the ultimate goal. I think self-validation should be viewed as the ultimate goal and redemption for men.

    2. I agree Grizzly. If something good is to happen, its most likely going to come from the Self.

      I guess I wanted to clarify that there are experiences available that are 180 degrees opposed to that worldview. Anyone who has been loved by a woman will know how seriously they mean it. It has been quite inspiring and life-changing in my experience. That said, I certainly wouldnt wait for that experience or think it was some necessary stepping stone. But it ended for me forever the blame game.

      Your point is probably the larger and more important one, actually.

  6. "Roissy dances in the corner alone. MRAs have disavowed him, and the current generation of gamers doesn't like his racial politics."

    might be the other way around. roissy disavowed MRAs as being "dateless creepy virgin losers" (note the identical verbiage a feminist would use) without provocation, and the entire MRM was forced to either distance itself from PUA-game bullshit or else discontinue the pretense of working towards men's rights. university of man actually did neither, and that worked out quite well if I do say so.

    it really shows what the genuine motivation is behind PUA, they are terrified of being thought of as unappealing to women and unloved by a corrupt society. their egos are bound up in this perception that they are the alpha king of the hill, and any attempt to puncture the fantasy bubble is considered a direct attack on their masculinity.

  7. Hey guys, can someone deal with this PUA shill. I'm super busy this weekend. Look at the stupid "PUAs don't need to prove shit, because PUA is like painting and cooking, and therefore we shouldn't challenge PUA bullshit"

    PUA Shill Vomitting All Over

    1. I can't even listen to that dude...


      Sorry, I meant the comments section :D

      The actual video is from an AntiPUA who's on our side. But the comments section is getting bombarded by PUA shills. I linked directly to a comment thread from a PUA shill.

    3. Ah, OK. I just watched a few seconds of the video and found the voice odd. Maybe it's the equipment he's using.

      Right now I don't have the time to engage in some kind of flamewar on Youtube, though.

  8. *sigh*

    I'm really quite ashamed of all the time I wasted wandering round like a massive socially cockend, when I could have just got on with leading a fulfilling and purposeful life. I guess I can take some comfort in the knowledge that I've come out of the whole twisted charade a wiser and more balanced character. It's just a shame the price was so high.

    1. I've come out of the whole twisted charade a wiser and more balanced character. It's just a shame the price was so high.


      That's EXACTLY how I feel too. Many ex-community folks would summarize their experience the same way too "I came out a better person, but the price was way too high".

      We came out of the process a stronger and more rounded, worldly individual. But so do people going through famines, and prisoners of war. I wouldn't recommend the later two to anyone.

    2. To quote Oscar Wilde ;

      "Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives."

      After spending so much of my youth feeling lonely and devoid of hope, the 'community' was a life raft in an ocean of abandonment. The only problem was that metaphor was too literal. I spent years bobbing around in the same 'ocean', going almost nowhere socially and crudely supported by something that really was a poor and unsustainable substitute for a real refuge.

      After finally having admitted to myself that my blinkered fumbling around the social scene in London had done nothing more than completely ruin some opportunities to build lasting and substantial relationships with really special women, I now find myself well equipped with the experience and knowledge I accrued along the way, but I would give anything to go back and give my younger self a damn good slap and a very lengthy talking to.

      BTW Alek, I read some of your debates on youtube etc. and although it's commendable that you really stick at putting people straight on the futility of being part of this scene, another quote popped into my head, namely;

      "Never argue with stupid people; they will take you down to their level and beat you with experience"

      I only mention this because it was clear that some of those guys were in no fit state to accept your points, regardless of how well you articulated them or how obviously correct they were.

    3. I actually respect Alek (and similarly Sleazy) for sticking with this. Most people once they understand clearly that this whole thing was shit, never bother anymore with anyone and move on with normal life. This leaves behind a whole lot of stupid people.

      Of course I can't measure this, but I am sure Sleazy and Alek have had a massive impact on getting a lot of people away from the PUA community, literally saving thousands of hours, money and mental peace in the process.

      Great work you guys!

  9. Shackleford I linked your article at trying to scorch out a bit of the deadwood around there. Useful. You, Aaron, and Alek are all doing a good thing; thanks for writing this, because I see negative online influence leak over into real life all the time, and I think we all deserve better.

    Cheers and keep it up, respect.

    1. Thanks for the props. Do you a link/thread title for the Sosuave thread? I couldn't find it...


      NP. I should honestly find a new place to kill time on the net but it's kind of sad to see a place that was once so imagination-driven, enthusiastic, and aspirational (even if a bit irrealistic in its lofty ideals) get so dragged down and tarnished by negative people.

      Who knows... maybe the pendulum will swing back one day but it does feel a bit like the lights have come on at the end of the night. I will keep an eye on you guys though; what you're saying here has been too long time coming. Too many guys have cheated themselves by drinking the Kool-aid instead of facing their own imperfect selves.

      Take care.

    3. Can you be more specific? What's your screen name over at sosuave? What page is the link to Shackleford's article?

  10. Of course.

  11. Roissy wrote a lot of stuff back in the day and I didn't read all of it. However, I still think that, in his heyday, his blog was a clever, hilarious mix of evol-psych, right-wing libertarian politics, and PUA with a surreal, vulgar slant. I agree that a lot of his PUA commentary was sort of contrived and not really relevant to real life, but it was bombastically written and very entertaining. I liked the commenters too--they were quite passionate and usually outrageous in their own right. His blog was like some kind of kingdom/zoo of troll-philosophers. I really enjoyed it.

    What really proved to be his undoing was the whole Lady Raine fiasco. To this day, I can't really fathom what she did to piss him off so much. He spent so much time going off on her in ways that I thought were really inappropriate and boring (dedicating whole posts to her, linking to her personal pictures, describing her personal life). I almost wondered if they were in cahoots or something and it was just supposed to be some entertainment spectacle. In any case, it failed miserably. It was really boring and eventually led me to stop reading his blog. As I understand it, his blog has since been somewhat sanitized. It's a shame though, cos back in the day I thought it was pretty entertaining.

  12. Well, it's been over three years, and Roosh, Roissy, and many, many others are going strong and in fact growing on Youtube.

    Is it safe to say that this "prediction" was a bit premature? Or maybe we should give it another three years...


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.