Settle in with a nice tofu sandwich and some edamame as I tell you about soy boy and how it became the insult of choice among alt-right troglodytes – the sort of chuckleheads who call Trump “god emperor.”
All this autumn, the stories have been tumbling out: about sexual harassment, sexual “misconduct” and, in some cases, actual rape, perpetrated by men in positions of power. Men in Hollywood (Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey), men in the media (Mark Halperin, Leon Wieseltier, Michael Oreskes), men intech (Uber, SoFi, Tesla), men in politics (Roy Moore, Donald Trump). The stories have been told by famous women, by almost-famous women, and by non-famous women who took to Facebook and Twitter, sometimes revealing no more than the #MeToo hashtag.
There has been shock, anger, and even backlash. Overwhelmingly, though, there has been a demand for reckoning.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, a role-playing video game released in 2012.
Dad Bod: “A nice balance between a beer gut and working out.” – Clemson University sophomore Mackenzie Pearson, who popularized the term by writing about it in The Odyssey Online, a publication that serves college communities around the United States. Also spelled dadbod.
From Pearson’s essay, published March 31, 2015:
The dad bod is a new trend and fraternity boys everywhere seem to be rejoicing. Turns out skipping the gym for a few brews last Thursday after class turned out to be in their favor. While we all love a sculpted guy, there is just something about the dad bod that makes boys seem more human, natural, and attractive.
(Yep, I noticed “turns out/turned out.” The Odyssey Online does not appear to be edited, or proofread; “Berkeley” is misspelled on the About page.)
The manosphere has its attendant jargon: there are men’s rights activists (MRA), pick-up artists (PUA), and Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW, a male-separatist movement). The Red Pill (TRP, a reference to the 1999 movie The Matrix, in which the protagonist swallows a red pill to enter the real world) is often invoked, as are “alpha” and “beta” males (but not omega males).
The Manosphere is an angry place. Feminists love to talk dismissively about the anger there, as if male anger invalidates any reasonable point behind the anger. But that anger is understandable by any objective measure. That’s because our culture has treated men, as a class, very poorly while asking so much for them. …
For the last 40 years, men have been trying to adapt to the chaotic result of the Sexual Revolution and the dictates of feminism, and at long last they’re getting fed up.
In late June a Washington Post reporter, Monica Hesse, attended the first International Conference on Men’s Issues in St. Clair Shores, Michigan where, she writes, about 200 attendees—“mostly white, college-through-retirement-age”—found confirmation for their belief that “the world had become a hostile and dangerous place for males”:
This conference, billed as the first of its kind, was sponsored by A Voice for Men, an online publication for the men’s rights movement and one of the more prominent outlets in the “manosphere.” Originally, it was to take place at a Doubletree in Detroit, a city picked because it was an “iconic testament to masculinity,” according to promotional materials. But then something happened to the original plans. A Voice for Men said the hotel was issued death threats by feminists for agreeing to hold the conference; the hotel never confirmed or denied these reports. The conference was moved from the Doubletree to the suburban VFW, a yellowish linoleum room that organizers argued was even more appropriate and more masculine of a location.
Advocates of the men’s rights movement are united by their belief that feminism is the enemy. It’s made up of a mix of men – pick-up artists, male victims of abuse, father's rights proponents – who come together online. One of the most successful communities in the “manosphere” is Reddit's Red Pill. It has almost 53,000 subscribers who believe that women are designed solely for sex and sandwich-making. (I’m paraphrasing, but barely – one email I got this week suggested that “the women’s movement is breaking the circle of life, and our humanity”).
Although the online manosphere is often characterized by vitriolic anti-woman language, the Post’s Monica Hesse saw something else when she attended the ICMI conference: “an island of misfit boys and damaged men, who claimed to have believed in the system until it failed them.”