$toicism, Broicism, and stoicisM

Part II: the Manosphere

Morpheus offers the two pills to Neo, Matrix, 1999

Last time, I have argued that the modern Stoic movement has three internal problems, which I called $toicism, Broicism, and stoicisM. The first one is the notion that Stoicism is a conduit toward becoming rich and famous, and it is popular in Silicon Valley and among sports coaches. I have argued in the first post of this series that while Stoic techniques may indeed be instrumental for all sorts of goals — after all, they are at the roots of modern cognitive behavioral therapy — Stoic philosophy is about just the opposite: do away with concerns with externals such as wealth and fame, and focus instead on the improvement of your own character.

Next time I will address stoicisM, the perversion of our philosophy that has been welcomed by the Military. Today we will talk about the second issue: Broicism, an attitude that seeks in Stoicism the philosophical foundations — or at least some high-powered philosophical help — for the jumble of ideas popular within the so-called Manosphere.

Entering the Manosphere is not for the faint of heart. For one thing, because the writings of its members are scattered, disorganized, and more often than not somewhat incoherent. I spent several hours doing online research on the connection between the Manosphere and Stoicism, running mostly into blog posts (at places like Return of Kings) as well as a bunch of commentary threads on various subreddits, like r/marriedredpill, and of course on the Red Pill Network. It wasn’t fun, but I didn’t want to rely only on second-hand information, such as the one famously reported and discussed by Donna Zuckerberg in her Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age.

First, what is the Manosphere about? I’m going to quote from the sourced Wiki article, which pretty much reflects my own understanding as formed while doing research for this post:

“The manosphere comprises various online groups who promote certain forms of masculinity and are generally hostile to feminism. They include men’s-rights activists, pick-up artists, and fathers’ rights activists, among others.”

Ideologically speaking:

“Manospherians believe that feminists and political correctness obscure the feminist dominance of…



Philosophy as a Way of Life
Stoicism — Philosophy as a Way of Life

by Massimo Pigliucci. Practical philosophy, science, pseudoscience & good reasoning. Complete index of articles at https://massimopigliucci.org/essays/