Monday 21 April 2014

Is The Manosphere A Cult

Humans have a tendency to naturally group together, possibly because it was essential for survival in our primitive past. Thus starting at family groups, tribes, villages, towns, cities (what's next - perhaps arcologies and megacities, possibly larger if we ever get our asses off this planet in significant numbers).

There are smaller groups too, where we become members of: friends, gangs, clubs, gyms, organisations, churches, movements (transhumanism anybody?), communities (LGBT), chuck out there whatever you choose. It can be a specific community of immigrants, like-minded individuals, cults, etc etc (Scientology and Jim Jones) - the relatively benign and the toxic, when you're in the middle of it it can be hard to see the path things have taken.

Thing is that we don't necessarily choose our groups with care. Your friends were probably chosen from a bunch of people who irritated you the least. If you're in a gun-owners association, well, you probably avoid the crazies. If you're a gym-rat you probably aren't out there getting pissed as a newt every Friday through Sunday.

Of couse, this doesn't necessarily mean that we are the smartest at choosing the groups that we hang around with. Many of the people effectively come into our lives by default, without some thought of their fitness as friends. And there are obviously some real weirdos in any group!

So my question: is the Manosphere a cult

It espouses some good things, mostly self-improvement and taking action to get what you want.

Yet there is a lot of toxic thinking here also, mostly in the form of unthinking sycophantism and reflexive hatred. (Yes, despising feminism and it's mindset and actions and the like is a form of hatred.)

Like most things in life, the Manosphere probably comes by default to certain types of men in certain situations. We don't necessarily exercise good judgement in what we take in - hell, just look at the suicide of the 39 members in the Heavens Gate cult in 1997.

As men, we try to seek truth. We try to figure out what the hell is up with the world. We try to look at the hard and painful things in life. That includes taking a good hard look at ourselves - at the Manosphere as a whole - and deciding if we are exhibiting some mindless, self-destructive cult-like symptoms.

In some ways we do seem to. Yet in my somewhat-reasoned opinion there is a lot of good to be found here as well.

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