Why The Red Pill Movement is Here to Stay

A Reaction as Old as Humanity

Evan Shields
Jan 27 · 8 min read

The Western world is secular. No longer does the church reign supreme over the state. People can worship as they please and aren’t besieged with religious dogma 24/7.

However, to think there’s zero benefit to having a religion such as Buddhism or Christianity serve as a societal bedrock is naive. Controversial sections aside, there are verses in the Bible nations would benefit from idealizing. Passages that preach gratitude, altruism, and diligence. Passages that remind us, no matter our race or gender, we all deal with various sorts of injustices and misfortunes.

Maintaining a daily awareness of these truths is easy when times are prosperous. But in present-day America, where real wages for the bottom 60% of Americans have been slightly down since 1980, record numbers of prime working-age males have ceased looking for work, and 70,000+ Americans fatally overdosed last year, hopelessness and enmity are widespread. And considering religious practice has been steadily declining for decades, the massive void in parts of the populace is glaring.

So what are Westerners filling this hollow space with? Many have chosen radical politics, a slew of “isms” (hedonism, sexism etc.), and idolatry. I’m not suggesting a return to a theocracy would be better. It’s just, with respect to the human condition, there are universal truths various cultures throughout history have gleaned, and some religions happen to touch upon these. If people desperate for enlightenment aren’t getting it from their immediate circle or the mainstream, they will seek out whichever schools of thought address their confusion and despair, even if the valuable insights exist within a sea of toxicity and vitriol.

What’s evident about most ideologies — whether it’s conservatism, liberalism, or nationalism — is the adherents with moderate, logical views are often eclipsed by a vociferous, radical minority. For example, there are feminists and socialists who have sensible reasons for being what they are, but not only are their views middle-of-the-road, they won’t shout others down with their beliefs. The ones who will go on unprompted tirades, the Marxist worshipers and those who want to cull the male population, are the easiest to identify and lampoon. One is hard-pressed to think of an ideology without a negative stereotype.

Such is the case with the Red Pill, a polarizing movement keen on reclaiming masculinity and helping men fare better in the dating landscape. Having its roots in a viral blog post titled The Misandry Bubble, TRP has spawned a 314,000+ member subreddit, countless blogs and podcasts, and a company called 21 Studios, which hosts popular Red Pill conventions internationally. Every year, millions stream these events and hundreds pay upwards of $2,500 per ticket to attend. The demand for Red Pill content is bona fide and gaining momentum.

To distill the Red Pill into one sentence, “To each according to his Sexual Market Value.” Both men and women active in the sexual marketplace (an economic model is used to describe the dating scene) are searching for the best partners possible, and the more attractive one builds one’s self to be, the more dating success he or she will experience. There’s really nothing controversial about that statement. The unfortunate reality is, in a situation where both sexes are seeking the finest they can get, not everyone is guaranteed a mate. DNA evidence has borne this out, with women historically being twice as likely to pass on their genes than men. And judging from the data of Tinder and other online dating platforms, women, on average, are much more selective than men because they’re propositioned more frequently (a shocker, I know).

Women’s choosiness makes sense from an evolutionary psychology perspective: if they have to put their lives on hold and expend great energy carrying babies to term, why shouldn’t they seek the fittest mate(s) they can realistically get? Why not pick a guy who’d best ensure the survival of her and her offspring? Even if women are only seeking flings, this line of thinking is still woven deeply into their genetic code, the same way the instinct to provision and protect is in men. A central Red Pill tenet is that the Pareto Principle applies to the sexual marketplace, wherein the top 20% of men experience the bulk of the success.

Other pieces on the web describe TRP in much more detail. What’s appalling is how poorly the movement is portrayed in the mainstream. Those of us familiar with the “Manosphere”, the male-centric communities on the internet, understand TRP, MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way), and MRA (Men’s Rights Activists) are very distinct groups with their own perspectives and beliefs. Yet major publications continually assume they’re a monolith. Cassie Jaye, creator of The Red Pill documentary, is also guilty of this misrepresentation in that there are no Red Pillers featured in her project, only MRA people. This has helped perpetuate the stereotype that TRP is wholly composed of alt-right misogynists.

This isn’t to say valid criticisms of the Red Pill don’t exist. The term “AWALT” (All Women Are Like That) is used often in the community to imply all women are insatiable, hypergamous beasts, endlessly prowling for the biggest, baddest alpha male. The issues many women face, whether it’s mistreatment in the professional world or pressures to fit certain gender roles, are downplayed. Personally, my biggest Red Pill critique is that the instances of men emotionally and/or physically abusing women are ignored, whereas a great deal of attention is paid to cases where men are “cucked” (cheated on) or fleeced in divorce court. Instead of recognizing that both men and women have the potential to be shitty people, there’s a belief among members that women are solely to blame for the discord between the sexes.

That being said, not all of the members harbor these views. In fact, the older, wiser ones offer tips that are undeniably brilliant and well-articulated. They’re basically telling the inexperienced guys, “Look, if some woman you’re interested in constantly has men vying for her attention, you have to find ways to be exceptional and differentiate yourself. Clean up your diet, stick to a fitness regimen, and surround yourself with inspiring influences. Read some biographies on accomplished people who faced daunting challenges on their path to notoriety. Ditch your lousy habits, carve out some time daily to expand your mind, and discover passions that truly set you on fire. Once you’re a man who consistently pushes himself, is genuinely interesting, and lives life with a true sense of purpose, it’ll only be a matter of time until you’re flush with dating options.”

Some may scoff at that advice and think, “Duhh, that’s common sense. Who HASN’T figured that out?” But a deep probe into TRP community would reveal the majority of members are guys who’ve rarely, if ever, received high-quality guidance from strong male figures. The RPers with remarkable professional and personal success (they certainly exist, the membership is quite diverse) were either fortunate enough to have been reared well or attained their wisdom through bitter experience. This is precisely why The Red Pill is burgeoning and its misrepresentation so tragic: the anguish some Western men are experiencing is real. Men of all ages are fumbling about in their lives with no understanding of how the world truly works or how to best operate within it.

The stellar Red Pill content goes beyond dating and advises men to be bold, gritty, calculated risk-takers in all facets of their lives. If men looking to make something of themselves have no idea that their journey will involve drudgery, sacrifice, painful inner work, and stiff competition (some of whom are ruthless and/or come from privileged backgrounds), is it any wonder they’re wilting the moment hardships arise? How shocking is it really that we have man-children losing themselves in nihilism, addictions, and digital escapism?

Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent details how painstakingly the Federal government and mass media engender uniformity, blind patriotism, and consumerism in Americans. We’re being molded to be these artificial persons who over-indulge, think within narrow parameters, and deny the parts of ourselves yearning for freedom, camaraderie, and engagement in meaningful pursuits. This extreme social engineering is running counter to how we as humans have been hardwired by evolution. If men, who are geared towards high-risk, high-reward behaviors, feel being daring or thinking unconventionally will cause social isolation and/or career sabotage, a rage will brew within them that could manifest itself outwardly. By the way, I’m not saying women aren’t suffering in the present-day or that men’s issues trump theirs. My point is, we live in a culture where there is immense, nearly ubiquitous institutional pressure to influence our thoughts and behaviors, and the specific ways in which it’s damaging both sexes are huge subjects that deserve to be fleshed out separately.

Like all communities, the Red Pill has its fair share of trash and ignorance. But gems of insight exist within the morass. Society needs both masculine and feminine qualities to function optimally, and the further it tilts in either direction, the more likely it is to destabilize. A society that prioritizes masculine values risks becoming oppressive and rife with infighting. A society that prioritizes feminine values risks losing sight of the bigger picture in an attempt to satisfy every arbitrary wish of the public. The reasonable Red Pillers are encouraging men to embrace the more positive aspects of their masculinity so our civilization moves closer to that ideal balance.

In our hunter-gatherer days, older tribal leaders would mentor the younger boys so they grew into being men outsiders revered and other women wanted to be with. Modernity has made it easier for guys nowadays to have prolonged adolescences, resulting in consequences that extend far beyond dating. The implications of this continuing are too terrifying to be overlooked. History has proven that, if men are tyrannized for too long and never taught how to give their aggressive and competitive tendencies a productive outlet, they’ll morph into the degenerates, extremists, and savages who warp society into a waking hell.

All in all, the problem isn’t religious practice fading in the West. It’s that it’s yet to dawn on the public that we’re all responsible for creating a refined culture in its place. There’s a long-term cost to glossing over the world’s intricacies, cowering from uncomfortable truths, and failing to grasp the root causes behind societal ills. If we continue to let falsehoods and frivolities dominate the mainstream, people will plunge into the depths of any movement just to get a taste of reality.

Whether you like it or not, the Red Pill is resonating with surging numbers of people, so don’t expect it to go away anytime soon.

Vandal Press

Vandal Press is a Web 3 publisher and now official Medium partner publication.

Evan Shields

Written by

Craftsman. Visionary. Truthseeker.

Vandal Press

Vandal Press is a Web 3 publisher and now official Medium partner publication.