How “soy boy” became the far right’s favorite new insult

Remember “cuck”? For a while in 2016, it seemed like all anyone on the right could talk about was cuckservatives, who was cucking out, and so on.

Well, readers, I’m here to tell you that cuck’s time in the sun as the right’s go-to insult is over. Rising fast to replace it: “soy boy.”

Increasingly, figures on both the alt right and the more moderate “alt light” accuse their foes of consuming soy products. “You can smell the soy from here” is a popular insult, as is the taunting “Eat more soy.”

Pro-Trump subreddits, from The_Donald to the forum for fans of alt right TV show “Million Dollar Extreme,” are filled with depictions of liberals as “soy boys.”

The sudden appearance of “soy” as an epithet on the internet right has even caught some people within it off guard —one 4chan user created a thread recently to ask why everyone hates soy all of a sudden.

The idea that soy is synonymous with undesirability or weakness from the scientifically dubious idea that soy products feminize men. That makes “soy boy” an insult perfect for the increasingly masculine-focused right — it’s not just the new “cuck,” but the new “pajama boy” as well.

“Soy boy” stories are often accompanied with pictures of emaciated-looking liberals or antifa. It’s even spawned a series of anti-soy videos:

The fellow above, for example, urges viewers to not let soy “cuck your appetite.”

Alt right figure and Charlottesville white nationalist rally participant James Allsup, who says he was one of the first on the right to use “soy boy” as an insult, tells Right Richter that the insult is indeed about estrogen.

“It’s a reference to soy causing increases in estrogen levels which feminizes men and reduces testosterone,” Allsup writes me.

Ubiquitous “new right” personality Mike Cernovich, meanwhile, has also grown fond of lobbing “soy” at his foes. Via Twitter direct message, Cernovich confirms that his reasoning is also based on the idea that soy is feminizing.

“Soy boy” isn’t just for the left, though. Cernovich recently lobbed it at the followers of white nationalist Richard Spencer, saying his audience consists of only “15 soy boys.”

While “cuck” was about racial anxiety and animus — with the stereotypical “cucking” in adult videos featuring a black man doing the act — “soy boy” seems more about fears of internal weakness, and a distrust of the food supply and the rest of the modern world.

What does it all mean? Readers, I wish I knew. But it strikes me that all the concern about essence and the protection of testosterone and bodily chi — think of the Proud Boys’ anti-masturbation strictures — speaks to the fluid borderless zones between the right and conspiracy theory culture. It’s a fluoride panic for the 4chan age.

If you liked learning about soy boys, you’ll love Right Richter, my weekly newsletter on right-wing media.

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