Taking 5-1 on Roosh vs. MGTOWs

Vox posted a video by Roosh about a schism that’s going on in part of the manosphere. The first thing I saw claimed it’s between Roosh and Rollo, but the video makes it sound like it’s really between Roosh and a group of MGTOWs who dominate the red-pill subreddit. I’ve never been there, but based on the way many MGTOWs have been acting elsewhere lately, my immediate sympathies are with Roosh.

I’ve been following the general topic of socio-sexual relations since the mid-1990s, when I discovered Ross Jeffries’s work and the Usenet group alt.seduction.fast. Back then, the main focus was on practical results: how to be attractive to women and succeed with them – how to get the number, the date, the kiss, the lay, etc. Common topics were pick-up lines and specific techniques for the point of attack, along with self-improvement methods for looks and bearing.  NLP and hypnotism were big.

Over the years, the scope and the body of knowledge have expanded greatly and shifted. There’s been an increased focus on overall philosophy and less on specific techniques. Christians have carved out a section of what was previously a completely secular movement, offering a scriptural alternative to the evo-psych explanations that had dominated. The scope expanded from getting a lay or relationship to include maintaining one, and even to cover marriage.

The vocabulary has changed too. How many guys in the manosphere today know what I mean if I say, “I went out sarging last night and split a mixed three-set with an AMOG destroyer, then took the HB8 for two venue changes before heading back to my place. Hit too much LMR, though, so I had to settle for the k-close”? Terms like manosphere and red pill came along later.

And yet, from my perspective, there’s been an ongoing, organic development from then to now. So Roosh’s “Manospherians, I am your father” routine just makes me laugh. (But as a rhetorical device to smack around MGTOWs: awesome, go for it.) He’s been one of the critical developers, but he built on the work of others just as others have built on his. The manosphere has many “fathers” who have changed or added to it, and it’s such a loose confederation that there may be no one man who could write an accurate history of the whole thing. One of the biggest influences for me was DeAngelo, whose DYD assembled a ton of good info and presented it well, but if you missed him and caught someone else, you might not count him at all.

One difference between now and then which this has brought to my attention, is that back in the “sarging” days, all the guys involved in the discussion liked women. Some only liked them for sex, but that’s why they were there: they wanted a woman/women and needed help to make that happen. It wasn’t until the last few years that the manosphere started picking up a lot of men who really don’t like women – they don’t want a woman at all, or at least claim not to want one. That wouldn’t be a problem, except that many of them seem to think it’s their mission to convince other men to emulate them. They’re not willing to Go Their Own Way alone; they’re determined to take all other men with them. My impression is that the thinking is, “If I can’t be getting laid and happy with a woman, no one else should be either.”

So if Roosh is under attack from MGTOWs, I’m on his side. I can’t say I’m thrilled about the term “neomasculinity,” though. “Neo” makes me think of “neo-conservative” and “neo-Catholic,” and in both of those cases the “neo” actually means “not really but pretending to be.” I’m willing to be convinced, though, or maybe someone will come up with a better term. (Obviously we don’t need a “new masculinity,” as original-recipe masculinity would work just fine, but I understand the need for a catchy term.) “Ortho-masculinity”? Nah, too much of a mouthful.

“Red pill” was a handy term because everyone saw the movie and instantly got what it meant – seeing the true reality behind the “pretty lies,” to use Roissy’s term. It was never perfect, though, and I’ve seen some confusion between red/blue pill and pink/blue science fiction (where blue is good), not to mention the backwards red/blue states in US politics, so maybe it’s time to get away from that anyway.

A last thought: one great thing about Men is that we can disagree, even beat each other bloody over it, and then shake hands and walk away as respectful associates, if not friends. We don’t have to do the SJW thing of deciding who/whom and then casting the whom into the outer darkness. Yet that’s increasingly how the vocal MGTOW subset works (which supports the recent observations I’ve seen about how they act like women). I hope Roosh and Rollo are both able to handle this like Men and not let the troublemakers drag them down to their level. I’m more familiar with Rollo’s work (he’s written a ton of foundational stuff) than Roosh’s, but they both deserve the respect and thanks of countless men. We wouldn’t gain by losing either of them.

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32 thoughts on “Taking 5-1 on Roosh vs. MGTOWs

  1. I tend to pronounce it MgTow (as if it were Scottish).

    Red Pill is visually easy to grasp, and will surely stick. Name changing tends to indicate that an attempt to re-brand an inadequate product.

    I am not too keen on these ‘my dick is bigger than your dick’ competitions: there are many Androsphere (as TFH would call it) Fathers: most are from your side of the pond, but how about Angry Harry and his incomprehensibly constructed site, Anti-Feminist, or the rather original Anglo-Bitch (to name three excellent blogs) emanating from GtBritain.

  2. One difference between now and then which this has brought to my attention, is that back in the “sarging” days, all the guys involved in the discussion liked women.

    Keep in mind how much has changed since then. Ten to twenty years have passed since those first “pioneers.” And society has not stood still. I can say with confidence that women have not become any more pleasant in the west since then. Misery in male/female interactions has only grown. It is only natural that more men who don’t like women have shown up. [Been meaning to do a post on this at some point, should aim for next week.]

  3. Donalgraeme, that’s true, and it’s much easier today for a man who’s been burned to get online and see how many other men are in the same boat. Maybe the ease with which that misery can find company contributes to the bitterness too.

  4. Cail, there is probably a negative feedback effect in play as well. Every miserable story and experience men hear about amplifies and magnifies their own negative experiences.

  5. I just call it tradition. The specific program Roosh has named neomasculinity relies heavily on rediscovering the wisdom of our ancestors and the great achievements of Western civilization. Of course even the word “tradition” carries more than one meaning depending on the audience.

  6. original-recipe masculinity would work just fine

    Original-recipe masculinity was invented by societies where it was necessary for every single man to make a contribution to his community and country as a father and husband, as a farmer or a factory worker or a craftsman, as a soldier or policeman or vigilante if necessary. Such contributions were expected and incentivized. Those who provided it were respected and lauded. Men were trained and encouraged to provide it from boyhood.

    In other words, societies completely alien to us.

    Original-recipe masculinity wouldn’t work at all.

  7. The “problem”, from mainstream society’s point of view, is the increasing passivity and disconnectedness of men, which is something no society has ever tolerated. Simply put, a growing number of men aren’t getting with the program – any program. Every loudmouth in the world – PUAs, MHRAs, feminists, white nationalists, tradcons, megachurch preachers, lifestyle gurus, pundits, talk show hosts – is imploring them to do this, do that, make sacrifices, fight the enemy, take one for the team, bust their asses. But they just aren’t doing it, which makes these loudmouths more and more shrill, desperate, frustrated, irritated, turning on each other. Hence Roosh’s latest publicity stunt.

    The PUA prophecy isn’t coming to pass. It was said that Game will spread, PUA will be a growing business penetrating the mainstream, men will re-learn how to be “real men”, seduce women, turn them back into feminine cuties and save this civilization. But it’s a fantasy.

  8. One of the conceits of modernity is the idea that modern people and society are different from those of the past in some essential way. Therefore we should discard the structures and solutions of the past, which no longer apply, and find new solutions tailor-made to our specialness. Every age has thought it was “special” in this way (at least since the advent of modernity), and every age has been wrong. Building, rebuilding, or fixing society has always meant going back to the old virtues and knowledge and restoring their importance. Human nature doesn’t change.

    It’s true that technology changes — reliable contraception is a genuinely new problem — and circumstances vary, but there’s no reason to assume the timeless virtues cannot address new problems. Masculinity is a Good which in all past ages has benefited humankind when properly applied. There’s no reason to think it no longer has that power — and if it does not, no reason to think we’re going to find some new Good to replace it.

    So if masculinity is now powerless, we’re doomed to live as animals, grubbing for food and sex in a matriarchy. Some may wish to make that argument, but I’d prefer to see it tried before giving up on it.

  9. “I’m more familiar with Rollo’s work (he’s written a ton of foundational stuff) than Roosh’s, but they both deserve the respect and thanks of countless men. We wouldn’t gain by losing either of them.”

    No, Roosh and Roissy deserve our absolute disdain. Their anti-Godly masculinity agenda is a direct assault to Christianity. They refuse to marry and produce (white) offspring. Christian men and women, take heed who you claim is your “friend” in this “cultural war”. You should be directly criticizing and shunning them rather than tacitly endorsing them.

  10. “Ah, shaming. How original.”

    Shaming rarely works, especially with pariahs such as Roosh and Roissy.

    “I never said they were perfect, but I don’t expect perfection from allies, and they certainly are that.”

    No, they are decidedly NOT allies, considering they are moral degenerates. Hitching your wagon to them destroys your credibility as a Christian. Roosh and Roissy despise women who are on the cock carousel, yet offer ways to “pump and dump” those same women, or even those women who are holding out for the right guy. Christian men in increasing numbers are being swayed to learn how to say sweet nothings in a young woman’s ear until her amygdala is overloaded. Plowing every orifice until his heart’s content, the supposed moral superior (men) never calls back…and has the audacity to call the woman a slut. She is now left to believe the only way to get an “upstanding fella” is to give in and have sex with them. Guys claim they want virginal women, or women with little sexual experience. They employ every trick in the book to bed them; when women refuse, guys label them “cold”. When they succumb, guys call them “sluts”. It’s a lose-lose situation.

    The solution is to take Vox Day’s advice when dealing with SJW’s…destroy them entirely.

  11. One of the conceits of modernity is the idea that modern people and society are different from those of the past in some essential way. Therefore we should discard the structures and solutions of the past, which no longer apply, and find new solutions tailor-made to our specialness.

    Cail, the simple fact is that modern society is indeed different from that of the past in various fundamental ways, and the structures of the past have already been discarded by the ruling elite and the vast majority of the populace as well. If you can’t notice this with your own two eyes, you’re probably blind.

    Reliable and easily accessible contraception is just one completely new development. Large inter-state wars have disappeared due to nuclear arsenals, which has enormous consequences, because male populations are no longer culled regularly, which in turn frustrates female hypergamy. We can also mention automatization. And the list goes on.

    Old-school masculinity had a very particular social and cultural context. Building a cargo cult around it will be a futile effort.

  12. And all previous ages have thought they were different in fundamental ways (if you really think large-scale wars are a thing of the past, recall that people thought that after WWI too), and previous elites have discarded the structures of the past. Then those were brought back in the next cycle by men who wanted to be civilized.

    I’m not saying it’ll be easy, and I don’t really expect it in my lifetime, not as a culture-wide thing. There’s a cycle, and while it has some different features each time, the basic idea of civilizational growth and decay is consistent. I think the larger culture is still on the way down, but that doesn’t mean all individuals have to go along with it. People who respect the traditions of the past can form families and communities were civilization is maintained.

    And no, not a cargo cult of masculinity, but real masculinity. A man should want that for himself, regardless of what he chooses to do with it.

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  14. “Then those were brought back in the next cycle by men who wanted to be civilized.”

    Here we go yet again with the term “civilized”. There are various meanings of this term–what is YOUR definition?

    “but that doesn’t mean all individuals have to go along with it…”

    Yet, you are willing to befriend the Roosh’s and the Roissy’s of the world. Listen, just like SJW’s, they both sell evil. They personify anti-Christian values, yet someone you give them a “free pass”. Listen, I get it, they’re your boyzzz. You have to keep your man card, so you protect them.

    “but real masculinity.”

    There is no observable thing called “real masculinity”. Just “masculinity”. So, praytell, what are your metrics?

    “People who respect the traditions of the past can form families…”

    And just how specifically does Roosh and Roissy promote this good?

  15. No, you don’t get to demand that I follow you down the rabbit role of defining common terms to your exacting satisfaction on my own blog. Get a dictionary.

  16. (if you really think large-scale wars are a thing of the past, recall that people thought that after WWI too)

    There was strong pacifist sentiment in France and the UK. That’s all there was to that. It didn’t stop the arms race. Today’s great powers, on the other hand, couldn’t fight a large-scale war even if they wanted to.

    and previous elites have discarded the structures of the past. Then those were brought back in the next cycle by men who wanted to be civilized.

    Such as…when and where?

  17. “Get a dictionary.”

    I did. No where does it state “real masculinity”. I ask again, what are your metrics? Does Roosh and Roissy fit in here?

  18. Such as…when and where?

    Greek, Roman, and European, to name the big three. All were founded on the same set of masculine virtues. Even when the religion changed drastically from the very fallible Greek and Roman gods to the all-good Christian God, the masculine virtues underpinning society remained much the same. The husband and father was considered the inviolate head of his household. A man and his society were judged by masculine virtues like courage and self-control. While those societies valued feminine virtues to some extent, they were considered properly a matter for the home, not the wider society. If atheists were to go off and build a lasting civilization (I doubt that’s possible, but let’s pretend), it too would be based on those masculine virtues.

    If you really don’t know what “masculinity” means, watch some old John Wayne movies and read Xenophon and Homer. No, Roosh and Roissy aren’t perfect examples — unsurprisingly, since they’re products of such a feminized time. But they’re pointers in the right direction on some important aspects of it. If I thought most men were so dense that they’d only read those guys and never move on from there, maybe I’d tell men to avoid them. I have more faith in men than that.

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  20. “It wasn’t until the last few years that the manosphere started picking up a lot of men who really don’t like women – they don’t want a woman at all, or at least claim not to want one. That wouldn’t be a problem, except that many of them seem to think it’s their mission to convince other men to emulate them.”

    I’ve wondered about this. Although I self-describe as MGTOW, it isn’t the sort of thing one would actively recruit for. There are many good reasons to hate modern women but not for teaching that hate, let alone preventing a man who knows the risks from seeking happiness in marriage.

    MGTOW’d OUT @ May 24, 2015 at 12:23 pm:
    ““I’m more familiar with Rollo’s work (he’s written a ton of foundational stuff) than Roosh’s, but they both deserve the respect and thanks of countless men. We wouldn’t gain by losing either of them.”

    No, Roosh and Roissy deserve our absolute disdain. Their anti-Godly masculinity agenda is a direct assault to Christianity.”

    They’re honest and insightful. They gave me a window into a world I’ve never been allowed to see and taught me things the Church should have but didn’t. Just because they’re Godless doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

    Human nature is hardwired because we are a created species. There is no godly or ungodly masculinity, only masculinity directed towards good or fell purposes.

  21. “Greek, Roman, and European, to name the big three.”

    You are conveniently leaving out the Zhou Dynasty and the Mali Empire.

    “While those societies valued feminine virtues to some extent, they were considered properly a matter for the home, not the wider society.”

    For those societies whose members willingly exercise their liberty to incorporate men and women of varying faiths into their institutions, it is just and proper.

    “The husband and father was considered the inviolate head of his household. A man and his society were judged by masculine virtues like courage and self-control.”

    Based on your metrics, Roosh and Roissy are decidedly NOT masculine. You defend them merely because they oppose feminism, despite the observable truth that their body of work is an affront to Christian virtue—piety and humility.

    “If you really don’t know what “masculinity” means, watch some old John Wayne movies and read Xenophon and Homer.”

    Great stuff there, except Hollywood and classic literature have their ways of trumping up what is and what is not ideal. But you’ve still avoided the fundamental question—what is “real masculinity”?

    “No, Roosh and Roissy aren’t perfect examples — unsurprisingly, since they’re products of such a feminized time.”

    They are products of their own design. Why are you white knighting for men who observably go to great lengths to commit sin, are unrepentant, and show no remorse for their actions?

    “But they’re pointers in the right direction on some important aspects of it.”

    You mean offering step by step ways to “tease, escalate, close, and ditch”? This behavior is what “masculine men” aspire to?

    “If I thought most men were so dense that they’d only read those guys and never move on from there, maybe I’d tell men to avoid them.”

    It’s not a matter of men simply reading what Roosh and Roissy write, it’s men actively implementing their strategies in their daily lives to the point that it facilitates to the degradation of “civilization” (whatever that term means to you).

    Your hypocrisy is telling, Cail. And you have the audacity to call yourself Christian.

  22. I like Roosh, but my impression is that he’s a hedonist. His game is to capitalize on the decline of society by getting laid a lot, whereas a lot of MGTOW’s seem to think that they can fix the world, even if it’s only by convincing men to opt out en masse so the whole system crumbles, whereupon they’ll presumably be there to rebuild it as a glorious traditionalist utopia.

    I don’t follow Return of Kings (game isn’t my thing, though I did catch your jargon) or r/theredpill (some mod banned me for a rape joke of all things), but I wonder if this isn’t the principle point of contention between the two groups.

    I wonder how many manosphere factions are out there. The hedonists like Roissy and Roosh, the MGTOWs, who strike me as somewhat nihilistic, the Christian conservatives, the activist MRAs… I wonder how we compare to the Left in terms of factionalization and in-fighting.

  23. Greek, Roman, and European, to name the big three. All were founded on the same set of masculine virtues. Even when the religion changed drastically from the very fallible Greek and Roman gods to the all-good Christian God, the masculine virtues underpinning society remained much the same.

    Except these aren’t examples of old structures getting discarded and then getting brought back.

  24. Cail Corishev
    May 23, 2015

    I’ve been following the general topic of socio-sexual relations since the mid-1990s, when I discovered Ross Jeffries’s work and the Usenet group alt.seduction.fast.

    Hi Cail, not trying to derail the topic but I was also on usenet during the late 90s. I was not aware of the group mentioned in your original post, I was mostly involved in the various christians groups. Did you ever visit alt.religion.christian.pentacostal or alt.religion.christian.presbterian?

  25. “I wonder how many manosphere factions are out there. The hedonists like Roissy and Roosh, the MGTOWs, who strike me as somewhat nihilistic, the Christian conservatives, the activist MRAs… I wonder how we compare to the Left in terms of factionalization and in-fighting.”


    Since our esteemed blog host has moved to the next thread, I will offer my two cents. Based on what I have read, factions are forming within the manosphere and there is modest, albeit at times vicious, conflict between them. Christian men like Cail who offer support to Roosh and Roissy (because anti-feminism) have a choice to make—outright reject their hedonist, anti-Godly masculinity as God commands, or face God’s wrath in light of perpetuating evil. If and when Christian men wake up, then they will put tremendous pressure on the PUA’s and MGTOW’s.

  26. Those questioning the wisdom of those that would ally with Roosh and ilk are quite right. However desperate for allies you may be you can only firmly and solidly ally with someone with the same goals as you. It has been rightly pointed out here that the objectives of pickup artists is not only different but directly opposed to the objectives of Christianity, or to civilization, or to those of any kind of stability or decency. Yes there is a common foe in feminism. Merely having common foes does not make him an ally. We want tangibly different things in opposition to each other.

    Their laughable wolf pack terminology can be used to illustrate the difference. They like to fancy themselves ‘alphas’ but they have no pack nor leadership. They are scarcely hyenas adept at picking off women in an environment lacking actual leadership and structure. They are the alpha vulture, the alpha jackal, even the term lone wolf has too much romance for them. If those that would form real lasting packs would succeed in changing society the way they wanted the first thing they would do is drive off and inhibit the goals of Roosh and his vultures. Their daughters would be protected from them by social pressures or earlier marriages or whatnot, and they would be recognized as the pariah they are.

    I don’t care for MGTOW either, and every time I hear cheap ‘Matrix’ terminology borrowed I cringe a little. But I could make common cause with the Christian side of the manosphere so long as it wishes to promote family and progeny and stability. Of course they oft will like to overlook the actual destruction of the likes of Roosh and be aghast at the invented sin of my polygyny, but such is the way of humanity.

  27. Late to this discussion.

    I’ve gone through the RP stages, following the initiation of my frivorce. In the early part, I was half bitter MGTOW (acknowledging there are plenty of non-bitter MGTOW) and half, “I will burn a trail through the single women in my area.”

    I am a Christian, but felt so deceived and betrayed by the church that I wanted some form of revenge. It was like I swung my fists wildly in the dark, not caring who or what I struck.

    Eventually, I worked my way back to God. I can see and articulate a version of RP philosophy clearly in the Bible and, with less anger distracting me and leading me to sin, use the Bible as my guide for masculinity.

    The “scorched earth” approach is one every Chirstian faces at some point in his maturation. Do we disassociate from unrepentant sinners or walk among them, leading them toward God? There are verses that clearly suggest the danger of both. If we convince ourselves of righteousness, we risk becoming modern Pharisee. If we try to fit in, we risk being “lukewarm” and should expect to be spit out.

    In the end, I’d prefer men instructed to be more masculine, even if they reject God and Scripture in the present time. I can make easier associations with certain tenets presented by the Rollos, Roiseys, and Rooshs of the world to the true nature of godly masculinity than I can if the non-believer (or lapse Christian) is full BP. It doesn’t mean I stop my ministry effort to lead people to Christ, but I won’t make perfection the enemy of the good. I prefer to work with material closer to God’s plan for man and women than not.

    So, I can’t endorse the “with us or against us” approach. However, once someone accepts Christ as Savior, the time for accountability partners, rebuking, and holding the line arrives.

  28. “In the end, I’d prefer men instructed to be more masculine, even if they reject God and Scripture in the present time.”

    Trying to have your cake and eat it too, huh? Listen, a man can be masculine in a Godly fashion only by resisting the earthly pleasures of “pump and dump”. There is no “easier associations” with Roosh and company, only pain and misery and despair. Your entire post was trying to rationalize from a “Christian” perspective their immoral behavior and justifying its practice.

  29. I think I see your understanding of things.

    You think God has never used non-believers to His end (even in direct action against His people) and the sins of those unfamiliar with Roosh et.al. don’t bring pain and misery to the sinner.

    Huh.

  30. “I think I see your understanding of things.”

    Please, there is no pain or misery to Roosh whatsoever. Only pleasure of the flesh. Until he converts to Christianity and personally burns down his PUA empire, he is nothing more than evil personified.

  31. Oh, so she (MGTOW’d OUT) has found her way even here…. I find it amusing that she tries to speak for anyone else than herself.

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