An Answer to Red Pilldom

In mid-2022, I found myself unexpectedly engulfed by the pervasive and disturbing influence of ‘red pill’ ideologies. Previously, I had encountered these ideas sporadically over 2-3 years and dismissed them as isolated incidents. However, in 2022, it became alarmingly clear that these misogynistic beliefs, stemming from the darker corners of the internet and diverging from their original meaning in the Matrix movie, were not only prevalent in my industry and social circles but also actively promoted by colleagues, friends, and even those closest to me. This discovery was both shocking and deeply unsettling.

The following is a culmination of a year and a half of exploration and understanding, transformed into concise responses to common red pill assertions. While these could serve as points for debate, my intention is different. Recognizing that such ideologies often serve as a crutch for those grappling with their own self-worth, this compilation is not meant to assail but to inform and equip. It is a resource for quick dissemination, aimed at those who wish to effectively counter these ideas without engaging in fruitless arguments.

Moreover, this is a guide for understanding, especially for women like myself who are continuously confronted with these harmful notions. Understanding is crucial in shielding and fortifying one’s self-concept against a mindset intent on its diminishment.

Here is the topic list with links for easy sharing:

Patriarchy is the Natural Way
Why were so many things invented by men?
Men and Women are not the Same
Hypergamy
Women want men to do things for them
Reverence of the 1950’s “trad wife”
“Motherhood is the Highest Form of Fulfilment for a Woman”
Gender Roles
“The War on Masculinity”
The Wall
“Men are Dominant”
“But women tell me that they want a dominant man!”
The Dominance hierarchy
Humanity is a Mesh Network
Growing Pains
“Women are Naturally Submissive”
The Newage Patrarcy
“But women tell me this!”
Corrosive to Body and Soul
“Men are Leaders”
“Women are more prone to social contagion”
“But Women Like to Be Dominated in Bed”
Relationships Can’t be 50/50
Why Did These Ideas Become Popular?
A Lack of Purpose
Men’s frustrated attempts to take on responsibility
Modern dating
Understanding gender
A reaction to Wokeism
Summary

“Patriarchy is the Natural Way”

There has indeed been a lot of patriarchy in the world in the past 2-10k years. But ya know, humans are ~200k years old. So let’s zoom out a bit and take a look from a broader perspective examining gender roles, monogamy, patriarchy, etc.

But first, I suspect that the last 10k years of human history wasn’t actually nearly as patriarchal as we thought. What if it’s simply that men have always specialised in the protecting, and when that goes awry then we have men specialising in war and dictatorship. And we currently have this cultural fetish with rulers and war. (Have you ever noticed that history books are mostly just the timeline of wars? They leave out everything else, baffling and sad.)

So what if we are simply looking at history through a patriarchal lens as we are a culture obsessed with violence and men are in general much better at violence? But I digress. Let’s zoom out…

For most of human history, 95% of it, we have lived as hunter gatherers. This means that pretty much all our instincts were formed and optimised for life in hunter gatherer tribes. It seems that in these societies there were some gender roles, but not much patriarchy, and not a strong emphasis on monogamy.

I theorise that patriarchy was mostly an unfortunate side effect of logistics. Specifically the logistics of pregnancy and violence in certain eras of human history.

  1. Pregnancy is THE difference between men and women and is very @#$#% impactful. That physical burden, pregnancy, recovery from childbirth, breastfeeding, etc keeps women a bit immobile. It tends to keep women’s work in and around the house. Now that by itself in no way requires patriarchy, but we can see why it would tend to bring that about at certain moments in human history, especially in the more urbanised eras. It would be men that leave the house to attend government meetings, etc. Men simply had more physical freedom to take on those tasks. We can also see that with the introduction of quality birth control, women are more able to make clear choices about when and how many children to have and can take on more outside the house roles. When reliable, female controlled, birth control is introduced to a society, patriarchy tends to diminish pretty quickly.
  2. Violence, men are better at it. Both physically and temperamentally. This is not to talk sh*t about men. This came about because biology conscripted women into the work of bringing new life into the world and conscripted men into the work of protecting that life. However, when a society goes astray and becomes ruled by violence, it only makes sense that men will rule. In a world ruled by violence, the most violent will rule.

So looking at that in the hunter gatherer world, both men and women have their rote work, women with early child care and gathering, etc. Men with the hunting, protecting, etc. Although some evidence shows that there would likely at times be overlap in these roles. Sometimes dudes gather, sometimes ladies hunt, etc. and everyone looks after children after infancy.

But decision making in these small groups likely would have happened very locally, around the campfire. Here there is no logistical reason for women to not be involved. You can breastfeed a baby while sitting around the campfire. Also I would imagine that in places where violence was common, lots of conflict with neighbouring tribes etc, we might also see some patriarchy. Again, in a world ruled by violence, the most violent will rule.

Monogamy and the nuclear family were also probably not that common as raising kids was much more of a community project. I once watched an interview with a woman from a hunter gatherer tribe in Brazil. She was asked about her relationships with men, kids, etc. She explained that when women in her tribe wished to have a child they would go to bed with men who had qualities that they would like for their child. They would sleep with a man who has a great sense of humour, then sleep with a man who has great hunting skill, etc. As there isn’t that strong nuclear family unit, paternity isn’t a big concern.

But humans certainly do form strong pair bonds. I haven’t seen any studies on this one, but I suspect that humans naturally partner in 4-5 year cycles. I think we still have instincts that meet with the above situation. Long term monogamy is tough for most humans.

Men tend to be more aggressive… doing that whole protecting thing. Women tend to be a bit more social… doing that whole early childcare thing, etc. And while there is some evidence to show that on aggregate men and women might have slightly different intellectual specialties, there is no difference in average general intelligence between men and women.

But the logistics changed a lot once agriculture came around and we settled down a bit. You gotta decide who is going to live in your house… ya gotta pick a spouse. If property is passed down to children, then paternity does matter. If we are living in cities and Mom is at home breastfeeding and trying to keep a toddler from throwing herself into the fireplace, well then it’s Dad that goes to the town hall meeting. He becomes Mayor, not her. When we are stationary and there are more humans, we tend to fight over land. More war, more violence, thus societies become led by those who are best at violence, men.

Patriarchy isn’t necessary in an agricultural society, for example as best we can tell the Indus valley civilization was both peaceful and egalitarian for a 1000 years. But the logistics do tend to push it that way.

I once watched a short documentary on one of Europe’s few matriarchal societies. An island off the coast of Estonia. What happened there is that the primary industry is fishing. The men are gone fishing most of the time. So it’s the women that go to the town hall meetings and become Mayor. Logistics.

Now then we go from being hunter gatherers who larped as agriculturalists for a few thousand years straight into the industrial revolution. Here wages became the primary logistical consideration, and again pregnancy was the component that kept women largely out of wage earning. But with modern birth control, 1st wave feminism, moving past survival mode and having the luxury to care about human rights, etc., now we have an end to formal patriarchy.

Gender roles have broken down somewhat as they were survival roles and we have less need for them. …but that pesky pregnancy issue remains. Now we have quality birth control so we can have children when we choose to, and we have paternity tests so we don’t necessarily need monogamy to pass down property to children. But still, the burden of childbearing is carried by women. And this is a constant issue. How do we balance that burden?

How to now divvy up the burden of childcare is a tough one. This stuff matters a lot in a wage driven world, the stay at home parent, generally the mother, is in a more vulnerable state. Dad can just go get another job if something doesn’t work out, Mom can’t just go get another husband. Not nearly as simple.

Compared to our 200k year history, this are changing really, really fast for humans. When you zoom out a bit and look at human history, it all makes sense! We’re actually doing pretty damn well handling all of this!

“Why were so many things invented by men?”

Looking at the past few thousand years, this is true. Most of the inventions and accomplishments noted in history were achieved by men. Why?

Is it because men are just more capable? Is it because men are repressive monsters that steal credit? …How about neither?

Now of course there are a plethora of well documented examples from recent history of women being legally and/or structurally prohibited from participating in the inventing of things or from getting credit for those inventions, but I don’t think that accounts for all of the discrepancy here. For most of human history we were just surviving. Creating art, building amazing structures, scientific inventions, etc. were mostly done by people who just so happened to be in incredibly privileged positions and didn’t have to worry about survival. In the past thousands years or so that was generally very wealthy men. That is due to logistics. Most people were just surviving and women were conscripted into the battle of continuing humanity by creating children. A very important war that has been won. Nice work ladies!

It’s once we get past survival mode, and once we have reliable female controlled birth control that we see an evening out of this situation.

So we don’t need to diminish women’s creative abilities, we don’t need to deride men as monsters, we just need to appreciate how difficult most of human history has been and work to keep things at this historically speaking very luxurious state.

Men and Women are not the Same

Agreed, men and women are mostly the same, but not entirely. Pregnancy is THE difference between men and women. Everything else is downstream of that and I don’t think you can properly understand humanity until you have experienced or witnessed childbirth.

Men are bigger and physically stronger. Why? Women’s bodies are specialised for the epic task of child bearing. Men and women tend to select sexual partners differently. Why? Women carry the burden of sex due to pregnancy. Women tend to be more empathetic and socially inclined. Why? Cuz infants are attached to the woman, and if she doesn’t experience empathy for them the human race dies out. And on, and on, and on.

But despite our childbearing differences, men and women are 98% the same, after all we are the same species. Whatever feelings or thoughts are going through a man’s head are probably also going through a woman’s head, and vice versa. It’s just that, ya know, we are obsessed with each other, and the human brain is really, really good at spotting differences.

The red pill crew likes to really, really lean into the differences between men and women, and I think this is largely a reaction to people who deny that there are any sex based differences.

Do you know why some people are so resistant to the idea that there are fundamental differences between men and women?

Because for a long time the “common knowledge” was that women are very different from men and not just different, but inherently less than. Less capable, less fit for leadership or decision making, etc.. The concept of men and women as different was a tool for the suppression of women.

And the cultural pendulum always swings too far. We went from women as less than, to no differences at all, and now to huge differences all in the last hundred years.

I do worry about the focus on the differences between men and women being used to hold women back once again, but even more I worry about the opposite. I worry about ugly concepts of masculinity damaging men. Particularly this idea that I see that understanding yourself and your emotions is a female thing. …that will destroy men. There isn’t anything, non-physical, that is quintessentially masculine or feminine. We all nurture, we all protect, we all provide in one way or another, we all experience a wide range of human emotions, etc. etc. We’re all just humans and 98% the same.

Hypergamy

As with most of the red pill ideology it starts with a small grain of truth and then veers wildly off into angry delulu land.

There is this idea that women are really only attracted to men with money and status and that they will always select for that over other traits, and that they will leave a poor man to “level up” with a rich man whenever possible, hypergamy.

First, let’s dispel this very quickly and easily…. Go to the grocery store. Ya, that’s it. Just look at the couples around you. If this theory were true you would not see all the average Jane + average Joe couples walking around the grocery store. The vast majority of the “average Joes” that I know are happily coupled. This would not be the case if these theories were true.

And now, that grain of truth. If a woman is interested in starting a family, then that provider role is likely to be very important to her, and she is likely to leave a man that can not provide. That is not a failing. That is very logical, necessary, and responsible.

Childbearing is a very difficult, dangerous, and intense undertaking. Being heavily pregnant, recovering from childbirth (which can easily take 6 months+), breastfeeding around the clock, etc, etc. This is a full time job! It would be cruelty and insanity to expect someone to be doing two full time jobs at once. A woman would be irrational to mate with a man that could not or would not provide for her at this time.

But you really don’t need to be Elon Musk to cover the bills while your wife recovers from childbirth. You can just be an average Joe with a decent job. And a psychologically healthy woman interested in starting a family will have “can provide ” on her list of criteria alongside many other things that are uniquely important to her when selecting a partner. We all have unique needs and wants. What makes a great partner for one woman would lead to a disastrous partnership for another.

And ya know, humans can simply just like other humans. It does happen, a lot really.

Women want men to do things for them

Yes, sometimes they do. But women want men to do things for them, not because they want a man to lead them, but because they want a man to demonstrate commitment and competence.

Ya gotta remember that prior to reliable birth control choosing which man to get into bed with was a monumental decision. If ya get preggers, the worst case is that you die a gruesome and painful death in childbirth, and the best case scenario is it will be 2-3 years before you are back in action and ready to pick a man again.

Women want men to demonstrate commitment and competence before they risk their life and commit years to him and his offspring. This is only logical and fair.

This is the genesis of the engagement ring. It takes competence to earn it and commitment to give it.

Women don’t want to “do it all”. That’s a shitty deal. Women want competent, responsible partners that will carry life’s burdens with them. Biology stuck women with the burden of childbearing, and so women look for men who can carry other burdens in their life together.

Reverence of the 1950’s “trad wife”

If you idealise the 1950’s housewife you are ignorant of human history. Such an arrangement is quite an anomaly for humanity.

The household model of the wife staying home devoting herself childcare while the husband earns the money and does very little childcare is an absolute historical anomaly, and the pressure for this arrangement is arguably what kicked off the feminist revolution as it’s just not suited to human nature. It creates misery.

Mothers have always been working mothers. Don’t believe me? Go talk to your Grandma about the life of her mother. Go watch a few episodes of Little House on the Prairie. Go read some anthropological studies about ancient humans. Mothers have always been “working mothers”.

Your great grandmother may have had 7 kids, but she was also a skilled seamstress, a small scale farmer, an expert in food preservation, a community leader, a school teacher, etc. 

When a woman has just had a child there isn’t much she can do besides rest and recoup. Childbirth is like surviving a serious car accident. It takes months and months of physical therapy to recover. And the mother infant bond is very strong. But once that kid is 1-2yrs old, that relationship gets boring. That kid doesn’t want to be right next to its mother all day, and she gets bored with that too. And that’s healthy. If someone is dedicated only to raising their children, then their children become their whole life. This creates a situation where a parents self concept is based on their kids performance in life. It creates a really overbearing parent and an unhealthy level of pressure for kids.

An overbearing mother can stunt a child’s development into an independent adult.

There are some issues with how we raise kids now. I was at home with my kids for 4 years and it was a very difficult and isolating job. That insulation, keeping the nuclear family separate from the broader community is not natural to humans and is very difficult. Through most of human history, as best we can tell, child care was spread out amongst a whole community, involving both men and women.

Another difference in today’s world is that because our work is often very different, sitting at a desk in an office instead of tending a garden, the modern working woman is often required to work miles away from where her kids are. That is a bummer. That is hard on both mother and child. But thankfully we now have wonderful tech to help fix this.

The idea that there is going to be an intellectual, capable woman, who has children and suddenly loses interest in all activities not involving her children is utter lunacy. This has never been the case in human history.

I was talking to my Dad about this 1950’s housewife obsession and he says that he understands why some people might idealise the time as it was a relatively comfortable time, but not only are human mothers not 1950’s housewives, 1950’s housewives weren’t 1950’s housewives.

His own mother, my grandmother, was a 1950’s housewife and she was very involved in the world outside her home. She was on the committee that rewrote the Illinois state constitution, and when he and his brothers were old enough to attend school she went on to run the nursing departments of two local hospitals.

He notes that most other mothers had a lot of outside the home involvement. One of his friend’s mothers worked 20 hours per week or so for the Israeli Red Cross, etc, etc.

It is utterly without evidence or any kind of support to push the idea that women are most fulfilled spending their time only on raising their children. To even have that as an option is an anomaly in human history. ..there never was a 1950’s housewife.

“Motherhood is the Highest Form of Fulfillment for a Woman”

This section is largely a continuation of the above section “trad wives”, but as this trope is quite common, it’s earned its own headline!

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use” – Galileo

With the exception of the occasional person with intellectual disabilities, I have never met a woman who was not endowed with sense, reason, creativity, curiosity, and intellect. And I am not obliged to believe that the same god who endowed women with these qualities intended them to forgo their use.

Caring for small children, looking after a home, making dinner, etc. are very, very important things, but they do not fulfill our need to make use of our intellectual gifts. Just the same as brick laying or plowing a field is very important work, but also does not satisfy our need for intellectual stimulation.

In order to be well rounded, fulfilled people, we all need to make use of our intellectual gifts.

Never has there been a point in human history where humanity didn’t rely upon women’s sense, reason, and intellect. Your great grandmother may have had 7 kids, but she was also a skilled seamstress, a small scale farmer, an expert in food preservation, a community leader, a school teacher….

It’s only now that we have this insane idea that women should just sit in their house playing patty cake with 3 yr old’s all day.

Overbearing parents are not healthy for children.

“The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of it’s parents.” – Carl Jung

Mothers have always been working mothers. And the idea that there is going to be an intellectual, capable woman, who has children and suddenly loses interest in all activities not involving her children is utter lunacy. This has never been the case in human history.

Gender Roles

Gender roles were survival roles, now they are over and we are forced to embrace our own individuation.

When humanity was just trying to survive, most of our history, women got conscripted into the role of creating new members for the tribe, and men got conscripted into the roles of providing for and protecting those new members. And we kept doing that, because it worked, and we got used to it.

At moments in our lives we may find ourselves in a situation where traditional roles do make sense, and always, always, do what makes sense for you, traditional or not. But, thankfully, our survival no longer requires us to shove ourselves into traditional roles. 

In many parts of the world, we are past survival. Now we are not being conscripted into these roles. They still exist, but the pressure has come off. For those of us who have not yet developed an internal source of value, this is terrifying. If you don’t know yourself, if you don’t have your own values and goals, then not being viscerally needed by the tribe feels like death. And in those situations people desperately cling to these roles and deride any modernization that lets go of them.

The gents have hit this issue first as we still need the ladies to make the babies, but we have much less of a need for the protector and provider roles. But the ladies will hit their crisis soon with the artificial womb.

But of course the real solution here is that we all need to mature a bit. We’ve got to lean into finding our own value separate from the tribe. We are all being forced into a bit more individuation.

Being needed gives one a sense of value. But the important part here is that it’s an external source of value. It’s a crutch based on circumstance and real value always comes from your own heart and mind, not circumstance.

“The War on Masculinity”

I understand how this one comes about. There are plenty of people out there who will openly bash men. …all men, men in general. That’s pretty ugly and destructive.

And it’s a common narrative in some subcultures that men are good for nothing and should themselves be submissive. On top of this there are certain structural things which are harder on men and boys. For example the school system seems to be harder on boys. Again, it’s just logistics. Our industrial era school system requires that all the kids sit still in the same room for hours and hours on end, day after day. For boys who tend to be more physically active than girls, this is damaging.

However, this “war on masculinity” all hinges on how we want to define “masculinity”. 

The term “war on masculinity” is a big red flag for me because it’s often code for support of patriarchy. The thought process being that men are “dominant” and it’s men’s rightful place to rule… especially over women. So if men are not “allowed” to rule over or “lead” women then they are being kept from their rightful place. And trying to make men less dominant or telling them that they shouldn’t tell women what to do is then interpreted as a “war on masculinity”.

Unfortunately, I think it’s still very common in our culture for there to be a concept of masculinity that says a man is only a man when he controls a woman. This red pill man movement has that idea baked into it. A man is a “conqueror”, is “dominant”, etc. etc. A man who does what a woman asks him to is a “simp”, etc. etc.

In some circles, where the man hating radical feminists lurk, there is a bit of a “war” on men. In other places, where “masculinity” is defined as being dominant or as “conquering”, taking issue with that is considered a war on masculinity. In the second case here, I will lead the charge in that war. These things are not suitable for human progress, and they are actually very damaging to men as well. These ideas encourage men to have a very comparative self concept. A cancer that will eat at their soul.

The Wall

“The wall” is a tool of emotional revenge that appeals to men who feel rejected by women.

The origin of human sexuality is obviously reproduction, however, it’s gotten a lot more complex since that genesis. Humans are interesting, it’s just Humans and a few species of whales where the females live well past menopause. And if sexuality were just about reproduction there would never be a post menopausal woman with a love life…. and I can assure you that there are… most of them really! (I suggest having a friend who has worked at a nursing home. They’ve seen some things 👀)

However, because of the origin of human sexuality, a healthy looking 25ish woman is kinda the lowest common denominator of hetero male sexual attraction. Men will generally notice the young attractive woman. It’s not too dissimilar for women.

For young men specifically, there is a certain sort of spell they often fall under when a very attractive woman is standing in front of them. It’s a powerful effect, but short lived. Most women instinctively know how to work with this. And some women come to rely on it as a means of navigating life.

For that subset of women, they may notice the reduction in the power of this spell as they age. And for someone who is relying on that it can be a frightening change.

Again, there is no “wall”, just like ageing, it’s a slow, steady process. The demographics that the spell works on slowly, over decades, reduces. It never goes away, but the demographic evolves and generally to a more niche audience.

Now, most women do not rely on this method of navigating the world. Nor should they, it’s not terribly healthy. For these women “the wall”, if it existed, would be very welcome. In a room full of men under the spell a certain percentage of them will be predators, it’s dangerous. 

Now menopause is very, very real. For any woman that thinks she might want to have kids this is a big consideration. Once a woman gets to her late 20’s she should probably be considering this and making appropriate plans.

And again, humans being the sexuality complex creatures that they are, for any person, regardless of age and gender, if you take good care of yourself and you’re a responsible, pleasant person, etc, you will always have some opinions for coupling.

If we actually care about women, and are not simply seeking emotional revenge, then we wouldn’t tell young women about “the wall”, instead we would give them two bits of advice…

1. If you want kids, you’ll need to plan that carefully and not wait too long. Medical intervention can expand that fertility window a lot, but it’s expensive and not guaranteed to work.

2. Don’t rely on the sexual impulses of young men to navigate life. This effect is fleeting and unreliable. Develop skills, develop quality relationships, etc, etc. Navigate life using much more solid methods.

So, in summary, “the wall” isn’t a thing. Sexuality and other’s sexual responses to you change very slowly over time. Human sexuality is complex and continues all throughout adult life. Your love life will evolve, but will never cease, if you don’t want it to.

The concept of a wall appeals to those who feel very rejected and are waiting for the comeuppance of those who they feel hurt them.

“Men are Dominant”

Men are in general more aggressive than women.

That is indeed a problem in the modern world and I don’t think we should lean into it… but we also shouldn’t demonise it either. It came about as a survival technique. And here we all are so it worked. Nice job saving the tribe from the lions aggressive men 👏

But men are often demonised for this survival instinct that they inherited and the large portions of society telling men they are wrong for being who they are is obviously going to cause some collective trauma. And I think this is where the “men are dominant and leaders” comes from. It’s just men trying to find some way to integrate this reality into modern society without shame. …I so get that!

But instead of trying to make that aggression a good thing, let’s just acknowledge that it was a necessary thing and channel it into something positive for today’s world. Aggressive men aren’t wrong or bad, they’re just outdated. And the ladies are too, just in different ways.

Being “dominant” is the ugly side of masculinity. Just like being emotionally and sexually manipulative is the ugly side of femininity. If we worship these things, if we are so desperate to distinguish between masculine and feminine that we lean into the ugly sides, then we will wind up with a world full of Cardi B’s and would-be tyrants.

The need to be “the leader”, the “boss”, the “alpha”, the “dominant” one, the need to be above others in the hierarchy, etc. is not healthy and comes from a place of insecurity. From feeling like you are on shaky ground.

“Genuine self-esteem is not competitive or comparative. Neither is genuine self-esteem expressed by self-glorification at the expense of others, or by the quest to make oneself superior to all others or to diminish others so as to elevate oneself”  – Nathaniel Branden, Honoring the Self

And I get it all this. As human society goes through dramatic changes due to technology, etc. it’s understandable that our sense of value may suddenly be on shaky ground. But maybe let’s channel that energy in some positive directions. You don’t have to do or be something specifically “masculine” to bring value to the world. Just be an awesome creature and develop some useful skills. Or hell, just be an amazing lover. It will be a million years before that goes out of style!

“But women tell me that they want a dominant man!”

I believe this, I’ve seen it. A lot of times this sub/dom dynamic in relationships is a way to negotiate responsibilities in partnerships. A woman claiming that she is “submissive” or wants a “dominant” man is often looking for a way to escape the pressure to “do it all”. That is a shitty deal. And women seeking “dominant” men are often attempting to rid themselves of relationship freeloaders or men who want their partner to be their mother. Women absolutely want competent and responsible partners. … and sometimes a very trendy and unfortunate word gets used to express that.

The Dominance hierarchy

Another common and corrosive concept here is that “dominance hierarchies” are just natural to humans and we should embrace them. I believe we have Dr Peterson to blame for this one. While he gets quite a lot of undeserved hate, he’s wrong here, and very destructively wrong. 

Borrowing from this post, (Disclosure: It’s written by my father) I’ll summarise the problem with this.

“Peterson’s argument is that status and hierarchy are built into us, therefore we’ll be healthier and better if we embrace them. The first part of that is true, but the second is false.

It is the case that humans differentiate between high and low status presentations within a mere 40 milliseconds. That’s faster than conscious thought, and so it is built into us. But so are a lot of things we don’t act upon. We become angry just as fast, but we don’t immediately slap the snot out of everyone who makes a stupid comment or tries to shortchange us. And we don’t do those things for good reason: Cooperation is far more important to us than the animalistic satisfaction of punishing norms violations.

Humans, radically unlike animals, are hyper-cooperative. Without this, we couldn’t have the aforementioned hospitals and symphonies. In fact, without incredible levels of cooperation, we couldn’t have bread, cars, central heat, books, medicine and everything else that makes our lives worth living. And we became hyper-cooperative precisely by transcending animal-level impulses.  …

Suffice it to say that hierarchy and status remain because we carry manipulable primate chemistry. But that’s an unfortunate circumstance, not something we should embrace.

The path that has carried us far beyond animal life is that of cooperation and co-dominance. And so the facts we should act upon are these:

The dominance strategies of animals generate animal results.
The cooperative strategies of humans generate human and humane results.

We would be fools to cultivate the former, and we’re not fools.”

Humanity is a Mesh Network

Humanity isn’t a hierarchy, it’s a mess network.

So, yes, hierarchies exist. You could argue that my business is a hierarchy. If there is a disagreement on how to handle a project, or on which project should be taken on, or on which direction the business should go in, etc, well sooner or later that decisions is going to come back to me. So looking at a chart of decision flow, we can see that I’m right at the “top” of it. …hence my business is a hierarchy!!

Okay cool, that stands… until you zoom out a bit. When ya do that, that hierarchy structure starts to become a mesh network.

You could say that I’m at the “top” of the hierarchy in my business, but I’m accountable to my clients. If you charted the decision making there I’d be right at the bottom of that one. And a number of the people that “work for me” at my business are independent contractors with other clients as well. They are at the “bottom” of my hierarchy, but at the “top” of their own.

The more you zoom out, the sillier it gets.

Growing Pains

Humans are halfway between Chimpanzee/Bonobo and enlightened creatures. Most of us have some very enlightened instincts and also some very old school primate instincts. To fit into the modern world, and to continue human progress, we have to manage our outdated instincts.

A common red pill talking point these days is that men are “dominant” or that masculinity is “conquering”, etc. And that to suppress this is to suppress men. And there is a grain of truth to this, there are a lot of men who have rather aggressive, Chimpanzee, instincts. But to ask men to manage those instincts, ya know to play sports rather than to physically intimidate their wife, is not an attack on masculinity, but simply a growing pain in human progress.

And if you think that’s rough, just imagine what the ladies have gone through. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that hunter gatherer societies didn’t have much emphasis on monogamy. And Bonobo’s are some of the most promiscuous creatures on planet earth. Most humans, most women, don’t have monogamous instincts. But when humans settled into cities and started passing down property through the generations, all of the sudden female monogamy became absolutely vital to the structure of society. And this is why we get such intense repression and shame around female sexual desire. So most women, since the adoption of agriculture, have been living lives of intense sexual shame and repression. …that can kinda mess someone up! Should we be calling that a war on femininity?

But the point here is, stop feeling sorry for yourself. Don’t try to turn this into gender wars. Just grow up and manage the regressive instincts that you happen to have inherited.

“Women are Naturally Submissive”

This is an old school religious idea that has recently seen a resurgence both in red pill communities and in some spiritual communities with concepts like the “divine feminine” and the “divine masculine”.

I was concerned the moment I heard it, but I really did try. I gave it the benefit of the doubt for a solid 6 months. I looked at it up, down, left and right. At first I thought perhaps it was just a tragic choice of words to use to discuss kindness. And there is a decent argument to be made that women are more kind than men. Well more accurately it would be empathic and agreeable. But nonetheless these are beautiful things and we could argue that women tend to have more of these qualities. But I was wrong, the people I talked to insisted that this is not what is meant.

When I pushed and pushed for examples I realised that they all had one thing in common, a lack of decision making for the woman. What is meant is usually the dictionary definition, “ready to conform to the authority or will of others.” It kept coming back to the classic, “I’m the man, I make the decisions.”

It’s very important to be very clear here, encouraging or expecting a partner to be the dictionary definition of submissive, to forgo decision making and conform to the will of another, is psychological abuse. Not only is it psychologically abusive, it’s a prerequisite to physical abuse.

Unfortunately, I think it’s still very common in our culture for there to be a concept of masculinity that says a man is only a man when he controls a woman. A woman who will not be controlled can potentially destroy the self-concept of a man like this, an offence so egregious it must be stopped at all costs… sometimes even with violence.

(To be very clear, I mean the desire to control and not the desire to be valued or trusted, etc. Those are healthy things.)

The Newage Patriarchy

When this pops up in the spiritual community I like to call it newaged patriarchy. It gets cloaked in lots of positive sounding words like leadership and service, but it all comes back to decision making. If you have one partner who deems it appropriate to be making the decisions, that is robbing the other of their autonomy.

Trust, “yielding”, leadership, service, etc, etc, these are all beautiful things to have in a relationship. But when it is unbalanced, when one party consistently yields to the will of the other, that is abuse.

To say that women are or should be submissive is to disrespect the minds and decision making of women. It is to treat them as children. It is abuse no matter how many lovely words you use to describe it.

“But women tell me this!”

There are damaged people everywhere who do a wide variety of bizarre things. You can find someone to say anything. Also with this one there is a huge history. Many people were taught that this is the way God wants it. They lean in as to do anything else triggers in them a deep fear of burning in hell for eternity. …pretty ugly stuff.

Also, as discussed in the “Men are Dominant” section, a lot of times this sub/dom dynamic in relationships is a way to negotiate responsibilities in partnerships. A woman claiming that she is “submissive” or wants a “dominant” man is often looking for a way to escape the pressure to “do it all”. That is a shitty deal. And women seeking “dominant” men are often attempting to rid themselves of relationship freeloaders or men who want their partner to be their mother. Women absolutely want competent and responsible partners. … and sometimes a very trendy and unfortunate word gets used to express that.

Or, at times a woman declaring herself to be “submissive” is a way for her to signal that she is not a man hating radical feminist which some men have been rather damaged by. Among a certain crowd, it’s a way for her to signal that she is safe.

Corrosive to Body and Soul

To understand why this concept is so damaging to human well being, we need to reference both psychology and medical science.

Suggested reading:

  • Honoring The Self by Nathaniel Branden
  • When the Body Says No By Dr Gabor Maté

Agency and autonomy are core to mental health. Autonomy is a freedom from external control. We have autonomy when we have the freedom to choose what we do and how we do it. Agency is a very similar concept but refers to our power to act in the world. Having agency and autonomy means being able to both choose and act. 

As you can see, decision making, and being the leader in one’s own life is required in agency and autonomy, it is required for mental health. Anyone who seeks to take these away from another, damages their health. 

But not just emotional health will be damaged. Someone who manages to convince a partner to be “submissive” is very possibly putting their “loved one” in an early grave.

Someone who does not properly look out for themselves, someone who is lacking in autonomy and agency, someone who does not prioritise their well being, and/or who is not leading their own life, will put themselves in a state of emotional repression. This state of suppression causes chronic stress which leads to autoimmune conditions, cancer, etc.

From a simple biological perspective, it may appear that the survival of the physical organism ought to be nature’s ultimate goal. It would seem, however, that the existence of an autonomous, self regulating psyche is nature’s higher purpose. Mind and spirit can survive grievous physical injury, but time and again we see that the physical body begins to succumb when psychic integrity and freedom are jeopardized.” – Gabor Maté

If you love someone, if you wish to protect them, you protect their autonomy.

To wish for the submission of your partner is to plan for the slow destruction of their mind, body, and soul.

Maybe you mean trust

I once had someone tell me that he likes to date submissive women as that makes him feel more like a man. My first response was disgust and anger… and that’s rather appropriate.

If trampling on someone’s autonomy is what you need to feel like a man, then you don’t get to feel like a man. Tough shit.

But, what I think is more likely happening in these situations, that probably this particular dude just didn’t know how to articulate, is that it makes him feel like a man when he has a very important role in a woman’s life. When she leans on him and trusts him. And that is a healthy thing. It’s a part of a functioning and healthy relationship when both partners have very important roles to play in eachothers lives and can lean on one another and trust one another. And perhaps that is something that is commonly missing from some modern relationships. …but that has no relation to obedience.

“Men are Leaders”

Well of course men are leaders. Many wonderful leaders have been men, including my personal favourite, although fictional, Captain Jean-Luc Picard! But often what people mean by this statement, is that men should be leading women. Especially in their personal lives. The man is the “head of the household” etc.

When we are speaking about men being the leaders in their home life we need to head back up to the “Women are Naturally Submissive” section. Because of course what this means is that women should be making less decisions in their lives than their male partners. This is of course psychological abuse and leads to corrosion of one’s mind, body and soul. See above for details and reading suggestions. 

Sometimes however this “men are leaders” statement is meant in a more general way, as in men in general just have more of the skill set to be leaders. Often when someone is espousing this idea they lean on recent human history as evidence, recalling the recent prevalence of patriarchy. This is a very limited perspective on human history. For a more thorough perspective on human history see the “Patriarchy is the Natural Way” section.

Debating the idea that men are naturally better leaders gets into a maze of studies on male vs female characteristics, hormones, and brain structure. A common starting point is that men are more aggressive and thus more decisive and willing to take on risk which makes for better leadership. This is short sighted. There are moments when making quick decisions and having a high risk tolerance is indeed an advantage, but this very much depends on the situation. And of course most of the time risk should not be taken on without careful consideration. Risk by itself is not of value.

A common rebuttal to the idea that men are inherently better leaders is to reference a number of studies showing that women in general have a more developed and much more active prefrontal cortex. And of course this part of the brain is responsible for decision making, understanding of consequence, etc. So the argument goes that women are going to be better at long term planning and thus better leaders. …and then you wind up in a debate about what exactly leadership is. …it’s exhausting. 

But here is why all of this is silly, we can break down which characteristics are “masculine” or “feminine” but once we make that big long list we will quickly see that a good leader is capable of all of these things. Going back to my favourite, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, he demonstrates consistent consideration, long term planning, and understanding of consequence, as well as the willingness to take on risk and to make quick decisive decisions when necessary. 

A good leader has both “masculine” and “feminine” characteristics.

“Women are more prone to social contagion”

Well, not in my life experience. I’ve seen a wide variety of social contagions, I’d argue that the red pill movement is one of them. This one isn’t a gendered issue, it’s a human issue… and a big one, we really do have a hard time with this one, we have a lot of tribalism embedded in us.

Where there might be some truth is that it’s plausible that men and women have slightly differing vulnerabilities here. 

In broad generalities women tend to be more empathetic and thus perhaps more prone to social contagions that rely on empathy and close social connection.

In broad generalities men tend to be more aggressive and thus perhaps more prone to social contagions that rely on aggression. 

We’ll skip the nature vs nurture debate here even though it is very relevant. But we can see that these tendencies are commonly exploited. Men are easier to whip up into a violent frenzy, which is part of why we ship them off to war. Women are good at empathy, and that is commonly relied upon by marketeers and politicians. 

We shouldn’t be bashing one another, we should be helping one another not be abused.

“But Women Like to Be Dominated in Bed”

I commonly hear it reported that women like to play the “sub” role in bed and I think there is some truth to this. So why might that be? I can clearly see 5 reasons for this behaviour and here I will dive into them one at a time, ranked in order of least healthy to most healthy…

But first, we should differentiate between different types of “sub”. I see three major categories here, first, just wanting your partner to direct the operation, second, light bondage, third, the much more intense BDSM world. 

Trauma:

Unfortunately quite a lot of women have been violently sexually assaulted. A weird thing happens sometimes with difficult experiences, we try to recreate them so that we can re-write the story. Of course these things are quite complex, but I think this is often a factor in the desire to play the “sub” role particularly when we are talking about BDSM. I do believe that nearly all “subs” in the BDSM world are survivors of horrific sexual abuse.

Shame:

In so many cultures around the world women are taught a paralyzing amount of shame about their own sexual desires. So much so that at times they are unable to voice or even know their own desires. Playing sub, whether that means just letting her partner direct traffic or more intense BDSM interactions, gives her a cheat code. Women are often taught not to have their own sexual desired but are taught to appease their partners desires. So if she is doing something “for him” that gets her around the shame. If he initiates the act then she is just being a “good wife/girlfriend” by satisfying his desires and she doesn’t have to feel the shame of having her own desires.

Guarding your body:

Most men don’t understand that women spend nearly every waking moment of their life guarding their bodies. It’s a program that runs in the background, constantly. It is very very rare that a woman gets to take a break from it. Some “sub/dom” scenarios, especially some light bondage, provide this break. Often the experience of bondage for a woman can be a relief. If she trusts the man playing the “dom” role then this scenario is a very visceral way to pass on responsibility for the guarding of her body.

Luring:

Men and women tend to have different sexual partner hunting strategies. Men opportunistically pursue, and women very strategically lure. For a woman, the level of intensity in which a man pursues her in bed is the level of her success in luring.

Displays of physical strength:

This one is very base, …strong man make strong baby! Women select for men that can be good providers and protectors. That means physical ability and strength. If a man can pick a woman up and throw her over his shoulder, he is strong enough to plow the fields or fight off invaders. Displaying physical strength is a way to display fitness for mating.

Let’s go into a bit more depth on trauma and on luring.

First trauma. Not understanding how trauma works can cause a vicious cycle of misunderstanding and more trauma.

I’ve often had red pilled dudes explain to me that women do indeed want men to tell them what to do and as proof they reference the lovers they had who wanted them to be the “dom” in the bedroom. And, saddly, it’s often these same dudes who don’t believe that sexual assault of women is endemic in our culture.

What these red pillers don’t understand is that BDSM is very commonly a form of therapy that people who have sexual trauma engage in. Most people who want to play “sub” have a history of sexual trauma. …it’s that endemic sexual assault that causes this behavior … that then gets interpreted as a general lack of autonomy for women. …and the world thinking women aren’t fully autonomous creatures leads to more abuse of women… What an ugly little cycle.

And now back to the luring. 

Here I have written female sexual “submission” using very “domineering” terminology.

The way people commonly talk about female sexual submission just feels off to me, and I have a hypothesis that this is because we are looking at it via a rather unhealthy lens. I don’t think a sub/dom lens is at all needed here, but for those who want to see it that way, here I explain female sexual “submission” via that dominance lens. In this case “sub” refers to someone wanting their partner to direct the action.

Women hunt their prey far more than men hunt theirs. Men are opportunists. They just wait for a decent target to come into their field of view and then pursue. Women on the other hand lure. And not just any target will do. When a woman hunts, which is most of the time, she has a very specific target or very specific set of criteria.

A woman conquers her prey by causing him to be consumed with desire for her. Women spend an epic amount of time manufacturing desire in a specific target. (Just do some people watching at a nightclub.) His desire is her success.

So ya see when a man behaves aggressively in bed, when his desire is so intense he can barely control himself, she has won. That bliss isn’t the bliss of submission, it’s the bliss of victory. The intensity of his actions are evidence of her complete capture of him.

“Relationships Can’t be 50/50”

Any relationship between adults that’s not 50/50 is abuse.

But let’s add the nuance here. One can imagine a relationship where all decisions needed to be joint unanimous decisions and can clearly see how that would be very tedious. I would not recommend that. In relationships of all sorts, and certainly in life partnerships, divisions of labor is very, very helpful.

In relationships division of labor comes about naturally. And in healthy relationships partners are capable of staying on the same page, and trusting each-other with their respective duties. One partner may manage the household finances while the other manages car maintenance, or maybe one partner becomes the social organizer while the other plans vacations, etc, etc.

To add to that, sometimes one partner is going through a hard time, or is ill, and the other steps in to help them in their usual areas of responsibility and may take on more decision making than usual. But once that partner is back on their feet, the usual division of labor resumes.

Big decisions need to be made jointly and anyone who has been in a long term partnership knows that marriage is the art of compromise. But for it to be healthy, it needs to be mutual.

If you have a relationship where one partner thinks that they alone have veto power, or that they “get the final” say, that is abuse. That robs one partner of their autonomy and agency in their life and is very damaging to them. (for more details on this see the “Women are Naturally Submissive” section.)

If a life partnership does not include mutual respect in decision making it is damaging to all participants.

This stuff is complex, but there are two major reasons here, men feeling a lack of purpose, and a reaction to wokism.

A Lack of Purpose

Here we repeat a lot of what is in the Gender Roles section. When we zoom out a bit on human history we see that gender roles were survival roles. All of the things which we can define as masculine or feminine were simply biological specialisation in the pursuit of human survival… and it worked. We should be thankful for it, but now we have less of a need for it. 

In a sense, men, or the specialisations that men generally have, physical strength, a lack of physical caution, aggression, etc. are much less needed. We aren’t fighting off nearly so many Lions or Bears these days and now the machinery plows the fields. The default way to feel valuable is nearly gone. If you don’t know yourself, if you don’t have your own values and goals, then not being viscerally needed by the tribe feels like death. It’s difficult.

If you zoom out you can see that this is a growing pain in human development and progress. And it is indeed painful. Getting past this requires us to learn and embrace our own individuation.

Men have hit this issue first as we still very much need the ladies to make the babies. But if you feel sorry for the men, I can assure you the women will have even more of a crisis when the artificial womb becomes a reality. 

So let’s be a bit kinder and help one another learn to individuate and not lean so much on the crutch of circumstantial value.

Men’s frustrated attempts to take on responsibility

We all have a need for responsibility, it gives us a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. Women have responsibility baked into their bodies… women get pregnant. That’s a MASSIVE responsibility to bear.

In a world where there isn’t a military draft, where women can work and take care of themselves and decide where, how, and with whom to have children… in a world where women say things like “I don’t need no man”, well a dude who needs responsibility may have a lot of trouble finding it.

But the rep pill crew goes astray. Instead of seeking out partners who do want them to carry responsibility in their lives together, or instead of finding other ways to carry responsibility, they seek to justify old ways that required women’s dependence on men and as a result forced men into taking on responsibility.

Modern dating

It would seem that finding a partner, especially for millennials, can be quite a challenge. Lots has been said about this and there are many theories, unrealistic expectations, dating apps which make it much easier to move on to someone else rather than do the difficult work of resolving the issues with your current partner, etc.

It’s very possible that the rep pill contagion is a side effect of a generation’s inability to couple. Having a partner is a deep need for most humans, and it’s easy to imagine the anger, frustration, and twisted beliefs that could result from that need being continuously frustrated.

Understanding gender

There are some widespread beliefs about gender which are untrue, for example that there aren’t any differences between men and women, or even that binary biological sex isn’t a reality.

A lot of people can see that these beliefs are false and go looking for alternatives. For a man, often a young man, who has been frustrated in his relationships with women, the red pill ideology is an alternative explanation which also works very nicely as a coping mechanism.

A reaction to Wokeism

The “woke”, the “libtards”, the “man hating radical feminists”, whatever you want to call it, in the past few decades there has been a growing subculture that is very hostile to men. It is now cool in common culture, at least American culture, to have men be the butt of the joke, at least white men. We can see how this one came about too, it’s a reaction to the legal and cultural disrespect and outright oppression that women faced in recent history. But it’s not okay. It is collectivist, it’s ugly, it shows a lack of values and respect and, it’s just plain damaging to men.

History has always been a series of pendulum swings, but the individual doesn’t have to get caught in that.” – Robert Johnson

Humans have a number of issues and deep flaws, this is one of them. We tend to swing wildly from one extreme to another. The answer here is to have some values and principles. 

When you take a step back, it’s both sad and amusing to realise that the radical feminists and the red pill crew are nearly the same. Damaged people caught up in hate and blame, only looking at their own pains and very recent human history. They are lacking in both perspective and values and very guilty of collectivism.

The man hating radical feminists are awful. Let’s not become them.

Summary

I recommend not engaging in too much debate on these topics. When someone’s self concept is tied up in a world view, changing that view would nearly be a form of murder… and they will doggedly defend themselves from that death. Speak your mind once, and walk away. 

And let’s all practice some kindness.

Women are hunted. Men are disposable.

Women need to feel safe. Men need to feel valued.


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