They raise masculinist discourses that present feminism as an attack on men. They have emerged as a backlash against the advancement of women’s rights and the LGTBI collective and are articulated in different online spaces. are part of the call manosphere (from English man –man– and sphere), with which the group of communities politically associated with the extreme right of men on the Internet that are based on the propagation of misogynist and anti-feminist discourses is called. They victims, feminism, a movement that curtails them.
Learning to detect sexist violence is as important as learning to read
The manosphere It has worried the Anglo-Saxon world for years, but in Spain research is still incipient. A study published this Wednesday by the Reina Sofía Center on Adolescence and Youth of the FAD approaches this phenomenon in our country and concludes that it plays a “determining” role in the social perception of sexual violence against women. The latest barometer on youth and gender warned that the number of young men who believe that gender violence does not exist has doubled compared to 2017 and fewer and fewer believe that it is a serious problem.
The report rates the manosphere as a “crucial element in the socialization” of young people in terms of gender, as they are digital spaces “in which we find many of the conceptualizations that are being articulated from anti-feminist political spaces”, such as that “violence has no gender” or that it is “an ideological invention”. This in a context of increasing polarization and a “denial” rise of machismo that “has begun to penetrate the Spanish public sphere” as Vox has gained electoral support, the investigation concludes.
The study is based on the idea that there is a masculinity in crisis in the face of the challenge posed by feminist and LGTBI advances. Or what the sociologist Beatriz Ranea has described as cracking, a term with which she describes the process of delegitimization of typically masculine values and that, therefore, “destabilize the rigid processes of subjectivization of men.” In this framework, the Spanish manosfera stands “as a space that allows the restoration of traditional masculinity”, which is “in conflict” with feminist ideals and the changes they have brought with them.
The investigation has delved into the online community and has mapped the main anti-feminist agents that move on the Internet. The men of the manosphere Spanish, he assures, “they are organized in forums, social networks, with special relevance on Youtube and Twitter, and on their own web pages”. In them, men share their values or advise each other “on how to be a man”, they find “consolation”, they can get to “create links” and develop “affective fabrics related to masculinity around feelings of anger and wounded pride ”, concludes the study, based on interviews with experts and discussion groups of young Spaniards.
Although the manosphere it is a “heterogeneous” space, the report describes, its main base is anti-feminism, which is the backbone of the discourses and the vision it has of women. There are three central ideas that drive all the communities that make it up: the first, gynocentrism, the belief that society privileges women and relegates men to a position of subordination, that is, the opposite of what really happens . The second is male victimhood, that is, the self-perception that men are victims, and the third is the trivialization of violence against women.
Among the subcultures that make up the manosphere there is a common language, discourses and dynamics that underpin the feeling of belonging. And they follow the so-called “red pill philosophy”, based on the movie Matrix, specifically, in the scene in which Morpheus offers Neo to choose between two pills: the blue one will allow him to be happy and forget everything he had discovered about reality; the red one would allow him to know the truth and reject deception. The manosphere it is sold as that “revealing process” that aims to “wake men up from the misandrical feminist nightmare”.
Youtubers and content creators
Among the identified subcultures are the Seduction Gurus, who spread a set of practices based on the instrumentalization of women with the aim of achieving sexual conquest. “The practices are usually predatory and manipulative, whose objective is to undermine the confidence of women to make them vulnerable and fall into what they call their play”, clarifies the study. The study identifies Mario Luna or Álvaro Reyes as the main seduction gurus, but also Luis Tejedor, Álvaro Tineo or the tiktoker Rubenji.
Another of the communities manosphere are the so-called Men Who Go Their Own Way (Men Who Go Their Own Way, in English), who are convinced that feminism “will mean the end of society”, see women as “manipulators” and seek to limit their relationships with them. The incelsfor their part, self-identify as incapable of having sexual relations with women, for which they blame women, whom they consider “extremely superficial and bad” who only look at traditionally attractive and hypermasculine men.
To manosphere There are also those known as Men’s Rights Activists, who are convinced that there is “a feminist conspiracy that aims to subjugate men.” Common experiences they have lived have to do with the withdrawal of custody of their children in favor of women or being immersed in processes of gender violence in which, according to them, they were the victims. One of his usual arguments is that the vast majority of complaints from women are false.
According to the research, within this group there are two currents, that of the parents who demand custody and that of the men who seek to “dismantle feminism” through their speeches. Among the examples offered are the Silenced Association, Papa Maravilla, the Movement for the Rights of Man, a community with almost 45,000 followers, or the Twitter accounts of GrisA (@grisasexual) and the account of the Association of Abused Men ( @AsocMaltratados), which reaches 25,300 followers. It also names personal profiles of lawyers or professors with thousands of followers.
Lastly, there is the category of anti-feminist youtubers, who are based on content creation and “usually rely on sexist humor” or discuss current issues. According to the study, both the incels and the Men Who Follow Their Own Path are a minority in Spain, where the main channels of “pollination” of anti-feminist messages are Youtubers (Roma Gallardo, UTBH, Jordi Wild, LYLQS, Rubén Gisbert, FO ), WhatsApp groups and some content creators like Jordi Wild and Wall Street Wolverine.
echoes of the manosphere
The study has identified different discursive traces of the manosphere present in the discussion groups with the young people. Among them, the questioning of the presumption of innocence of men, the idea of the existence of media trials against the aggressors, the fear of persecution for being a man, the prevalence of false accusations or the existence of “feminist beach bars”. What prevails among young people with anti-feminist discourses is that the world “is already egalitarian” and current feminism “is only trying to unbalance the balance in favor of them.”
Regarding sexual violence, there is a “lack of knowledge” of the prevalence of sexual violence in Spain or a “problematic understanding of consent”, as well as other alignments with the manosphere, like that a legal system “that discriminates against men” is being created; the criticism of the ‘Yo Sí Te Creo Movement’ and the consequences of “blindly believing the victims” or criticism of the law of only yes is yes.
“The manosphere it satisfies an emotional void and covers the care needs of many men, while it has immense potential for the politicization of antifeminism”, concludes the research, which insists that antifeminist discourses “permeate in society as a whole” in largely thanks to multiple pollination strategies, such as video creation, live streaming, social media posting, or meme warfare.
Given this, the Reina Sofía Center on Adolescence and Youth demands that public policies take charge of their communication and training actions when working to prevent sexual violence “of the predominant emotions” that “many men” are having. . “Putting the focus on the socio-affective needs of men is imperative in order to try to dismantle misogyny and anti-feminism in which young men build their identity due to their feeling of being victims,” she concludes.