Today’s Hustle Economy is measured in market shares of ‘influence‘. How many Followers do you have? How many subs (subscribers)? Comments? Likes? Views? What’s your engagement like? In an age when anyone can have a free digital soapbox to prosthelytize from our egos become our brand. So, when you attack an idea you also attack the brand; and when you attack the brand you also attack the ego whose identity is the brand.
Our livelihoods, our wellbeing, are vitally connected to with a Brand of Me which in turn is intimately connected to the self. The separation between man and brand becomes more difficult when his revenue stream(s) is dependent upon man and brand being synonymous. That brand’s value is also quantified and qualified by the platforms (soapbox) it’s based on. Lose followers, lose viewers, lose money and lose self. As a result you get pathological hustlers grifting on other pathological hustlers by selling them access to exposure, influence and and insurance for their very precarious-but-lucrative brand of me. In turn, this “insurance” is a buffer against losing an equally precarious sense of self.
From 2000 to about 2015 organizing live events and conventions was a fairly lucrative proposition in the burgeoning Hustle Economy. Being a speaker at a TED talk held a certain gravitas for the Brand of Me who was invited to relate his very important, self-affirming ideas to a rapt audience. Today, not so much. The TEDx series saw to it that anyone could pay-to-play and thus debased any legitimacy the original TEDs started with. I remember the pay-to-play grift that destroyed the late 80s’ metal scene in Hollywood. Show promoters would buy out a classic venue like Gazzari’s or the Troubadour for a night and then talk “up-and-coming bands” into playing the gigs. All they had to do was sell enough tickets to cover their portion of whatever the promoter had paid to reserve the venue. Whether the bands decided to sell their tickets at a profit or a loss was irrelevant to the promoters – they just had to cover the rent on the club for that night. Most promoters were making their money on marking up that rent, and a percentage of the alcohol sales they’d arrange with club owners. It didn’t matter if the bands were great or they sucked, just that they covered the rent with ticket sales – usually to friends and family to come watch them play on the same stage that Van Halen and Ratt got their start on. The promoters weren’t selling actual talent, they were selling the fantasy of playing on historic stages in L.A. to guys who believed they were good enough to play them. By 1989 pay-to-play was killing what was once a vibrant music scene that naturally culled the talentless bands from the great ones.
Hustle Economy conventions today are following the same pay-to-play graft. It makes little difference what the niché is – masterminds, hotseats, summits, etc. – conventions have become Brand Showcases replete with (gumroad) book signings and the hot girl “Booth Candy” to prove proof-of-concept (i.e. Receipts). Convention promoters care less about the messages of the personalities who speak at their events and more about the gravitas it brings to their event (which is also part of their own Brand of Me). And the loudest most extroverted (pathological) brands of that year always draw attention.
What you get then is a competition of escalation. Punch the biggest guy in the face as soon as you arrive in the prison yard or you’ll end up as his bitch. If you want to make a name for yourself as a niché marketer (especially as a noob in the Manosphere) you have to punch up. Call the biggest name in that sphere a charlatan or a hack and some of his followers might defect to your cult out of spite. Grifters sell other grifters programs and templates to ensure their brand’s value, which increasingly is tied to their own sense of personal worth. Mastermind sessions and “hot seat” workshops become psychotherapy for the Hustle Economy “Guru“.
Insurance of personal brand value will be big business in this decade. It will be sold using the same perception marketing that Instagram influencers use. It will be based on the same insecurities the Hustler sells his products with. Image is all – the Hustler becomes the hustled – but image is fleeting. Even mediocre minds can figure out how to jump on a current trend. Copy & paste a viral tag, aligning with something trending; all that is easy to do, but most niché marketeers lack the talent and insight to understand (much less foresee) a zeitgeist. Good hustlers borrow, great hustlers steal, but the true “ideas guys” are exceptionally rare in the Hustle Economy. Innovators and New Thinkers are the carrion that draws the Brand of Me vultures out in the open.
Hustle Economy carpet baggers live a very insecure and unpredictable existence. They are not innovators – they are fast followers. Not only is their sense of self fused to their brand, but their brand’s success is their metric of self-esteem. Their (often tenuous) mental health is measured in Followers, subscribers, views, comments, likes, engagement, analytics and clicks-per-minute (CPM). It’s never quality of ideas that define value; it’s only numbers. Money in the payment processor or number of email addresses on your list. It’s never ultimate causes / effects, it’s only proximate causality. It’s the number of trees over the health of the forest. But the numbers don’t lie, so the new teachers give the Lost Boys cigarettes, candy bars and cheap booze – or their emotionally proximate equivalents (hope). It’s what they really want, it’s what makes you money and it’s what your ego-brand’s long term security needs. Besides, if you don’t give the temporary salve for their miserable lives another Influencer has already copy & pasted your tags to lap you on the Hustle Economy racetrack.
Insecurity in self, brand, livelihood, sustainable ‘lifestyle creep’, even family relations are what define the Hustle Economy today. Most personal brands rarely last more than two years – at least in their initial incarnation. As such, there is a constant need for belief pivots and “brand makeovers” for influencers. Reinventing one’s “self” becomes a vital part of existence for the career grifter. And there’s a lot of money waiting the clever guy who figures out how to cater to this pivoting need. Those unable to adapt, or those who miss the cues of the rapidly changing zeitgeist, will become extinct. Only true innovators – the Ideas Guys – have any kind of real staying power, and that’s ifthey can roll with the social changes; if they can put off the ennui of seeing their ideas cannibalized and bastardized by the next wave of hustlers who will plagiarize their work with impunity.
My colleague and friend, Rian Stone, took it upon himself to breakdown the brilliant simplicity of a common Manosphere idiom:
She was never yours, it was just your turn.
This phrase has been around since the earliest days of the Pickup Artists’ (PUA) online communities. And like many of the old wisdoms of that time the reasoning for it gets distorted by the various factions of what’s become the Manosphere today. In 2020 the more extreme end of MGTOW communities – Black Pill, Doomers, and VolCels – are what most mainstream audiences conflate with Red Pill. What they, along with Success Porn niche marketers, have done is pick and pull the parts of Red Pill praxeology that resonates with their personal beliefs and circumstances and demonize what doesn’t. Both factions have an interest in misconstruing what the Red Pill has taken 20 years to develop. It doesn’t really serve the ends of either perspective to spend too much time thinking about a contentious Red Pill principle when misrepresenting it is more valuable in confirming their belief sets – especially when doing so generates views, subs and ad revenue.
To the Doomer mindset She’s not yours… is confirmation of women’s duplicitous, fickle or evil nature. That’s not to say the nihilistic perspective doesn’t approach women’s nature from an objective Red Pill understanding, it just means they focus on surrendering to it and giving up on women. This confirmation bias also gets mixed up in the Doomer understanding of Hypergamy. Hypergamy resonates with them because it confirms the idea that all women will dump a guy at the first sign of his losing an Alpha Frame veneer; an act which he must constantly maintain in a world of endless options and online attention for women. Slip up once too often and at the first opportunity she’s gone. It’s the fallacy of Hypergamy as a straight jacket, and She’s not yours… justifies the defeatism. You will never find a lasting contentment with a woman because she holds first right of refusal in any intimate relationship (i.e. Briffault’s Law). Ergo, sooner or later your turn will be over and all the effort, time and emotion you invested in her will be for nothing (i.e. Sunk Cost, Relational Equity). In fact, it may be worse than nothing when you consider the opportunity cost of having bothered with trying to make her yours in the first place. While the juice might taste really good in the short term, it’s never really worth the squeeze in the long term. This conclusion is what really upsets the Success gurus because it’s a hard logic to refute – at least from their own Man Up! perspective.
That’s the Doom Pill interpretation. It’s based on reflexive, immutable binary extremes – the default reaction of this generation – because it confirms a hopelessness that defines them. Ironically, it was the very PUAs of the 2000s they despise so much who originally coined the phrase. Back then it served as a reminder to guys to never get too attached to one particular woman while dating several women concurrently. It was almost a mantra to ward off ONEitis because they were spinning plates and “catching feelings” for one girl tended to end up destroying them. It was a maxim that worked best as a preventive medicine since most practitioners of Game saw it as a means to achieve the monogamy their Blue Pill social conditioning convinced them was possible. Average men build lives around serial monogamy; it’s always been the surest way to solve the average man’s reproductive problem. So when you open them up to an abundance of sexual/intimate potential via Game they tend to use it to get their Dream Girland ignore what the Red Pill says about women’s nature.
In today’s ‘sphere, She was never yours, it was just your turn is a salve for guys who’ve already invested in a woman and she dumped or divorced them. The presumption is that despite all their best Blue Pill qualifications or their Game savvy, Hypergamy gets the best of all women and she’ll move on to the bigger and better deal. This perspective presupposes a stable monogamy, not spinning plates, is the goal-state for every guy. Notice the maxim here is cast in the past tense. She was never yours,…At some stage a man believes she is his (or should be) and she no longer is now. Thus, She was never yours becomes a post-facto rationalization to the guy who’s probably feeling gutted by his breakup. The real issue is the guy’s want for a permanent solution to his desire for intimacy. We see this all the time among simps who spend small fortunes (monthly) to achieve some kind of virtual intimacy with his favorite OnlyFans cam-girl. In this case, She was never yours is reconfirmed for simps over and over as they move from one cam-girl obsession to the next.
For the Success Porn guru, all this is grist for the mill. On one hand, men struggling with confidence (see social skills), achieving intimacy/sex and finding purpose are their bread and butter. On the other hand, what they’re usually selling is the Blue Pill ideal of a sustainable contentment for otherwise discontent men. That contentment includes the hope that a permanent, loving and monogamous relationship with one woman is not only possible, but is also a sign of his authentic manhood. When Dr. Phil sells this hope we write him off as a naive Pollyanna and old order thinker. However, this same Blue Pill hope is repackaged and sold online as a return to masculine virtue by today’s Life Coaches in the Hustle Economy. The permanence of your contentment amounts to your ability to qualify for it and sustain it with their (usually repackaged) concept of masculine virtue. Any discontent on the part of the client is reflective of his own lack of determination or hard work to achieve it. 80’s Televangelists and 90’s Multi-level Marketing hustlers used similar graft. It’s really a monetized version of the philosophy of personal responsibility — which has always been a darling of traditional conservatism and now a staple of personal development. Any failure of the concept is always attributable to the man’s deficient effort and investment, which can then be attached to his character. This isn’t to say that all personal development guys are unscrupulous hustlers, just that the true responsibility of education rests with the student.
She’s not yours, it was just your turn, and other unignorable truths that the Red Pill makes men aware of, defeats the self-reinforcing circular logic of the personal responsibility hustle. It forces the hustler to admit that something outside men’s control might have an effect on a their lives. Rather than accept this and work within the framework, the response is more of the same; deny the phenomenon exists, or presume that even acknowledging it is indicative of a defeatist mentality – thus, a shirking of personal responsibility which completes the circular logic.
This is the origin of the “Truthful Anger” fallacy. Around 2015 the instructors working for Real Social Dynamics (RSD) started getting a lot of questions about the material in The Rational Male from students attending RSD seminars. At some point they had to address these questions, but to do so would mean acknowledging the validity of the concepts in my book – concepts that challenged the positivity grift they were rapidly converting over to during this time. The solution was to acknowledge the truth in my work, but tacitly disqualify it by presuming it came from a place of anger. They then cautioned against internalizing it at the risk of becoming angry or bitter against women — both presumptions commonly used by mainstream gynocentric norms. It was misconstrued as “truthful anger”; poignantly true, but best not to dwell on it if a guy wants to be happy. In other words, would you rather be happy or would you rather be right? Happiness is always easier to sell than truth.
Now that we understand the opposing sides of the impermanence of women debate, we also have to consider the Lie of Individuation that usually gets thrown into the mix to dismiss the She’s not yours maxim. The Individuation Fallacy is most easily understood as:
“People are all individually special cases; each a unique product of their environments and experiences, and are far too individually complex to understand via generalizations according to sex, etc.”
The individual supersedes any commonalities attributable to biology or evolution, and usually focuses solely on social constructionism and personal circumstance as a basis for motivating behavior, developing personality and influencing others accordingly. The supremacy of the individual is the natural extension of an underlying belief in The Blank Slate. When you start from a belief that we’re all functional equals everyone is an angel or a devil according to the choices they made. But depending on the person’s circumstances they can be forgiven or damned for the consequences of those choices according to how we interpret their character as individuals. This is how we get rationales like, not all women are like that and “People are too complex to categorize” to dismiss the unignorable commonalities we see in men and women in the information age. No one likes to think they aren’t in some way unique as much as they don’t like to think determinism has influenced (in some way) what they think makes them unique. And since I’m sure you’ve made this connection already, yes, the Individuation Fallacy dovetails nicely into a doctrine of personal responsibility.
When we read some example of a woman opting out of a relationship (or sex) with one guy to take up with another, the reflexive response is to individualize her behavior according to her individualized circumstances. She’s damaged, she’s got Daddy Issues, she’s insecure because you weren’t Man Enough, etc. — any and every consideration that points away from categorizing her actions as commonalities in women’s innate nature are the reflexive thought process. She’s not yours, it was just your turn defines her actions in a concrete visceral understanding of women’s nature that conflicts with the Blank Slate‘s individualism. In this case the maxim is a description, not a prescription.
Men have an evolved need to know paternity. Unhindered by social strictures or women’s Hypergamous filtering men would opt for unlimited access to unlimited sexuality as our innate and preferred mating strategy. I’ve written a lot about this so I wont belabor it here, but a majority of men, over the course of history, will never be able to actualize this strategy. Ergo, socially enforced monogamy became the best mating strategy compromise for men as modified by the selection pressures of women’s mating strategies. The risk in this compromise is the assurance of paternity. If a man is going to compromise mating opportunities with many women to parentally invest in one woman, the deal must come with one condition: the child must be his genetic stock or the compromise invalidates his existence (evolutionarily speaking). To ensure this men evolved a mental firmware that predisposes us to jealousy, mate guarding and desire to possess a woman. This is why we develop a A Sense of Ownership with our girlfriends, wives and children. The dynamics of Kin Selection and Kin Altruism all find their root in men’s imperative to ascertain their paternity and protect their genetic legacy.
The need to control women’s sexuality is nothing less than men’s evolutionary compulsion to ensure that their compromise in parental investment is not for nothing. In a social order where masculine responsibility to wife and children was balanced with a commensurate masculine authority to enforce those responsibilities, men could nominally control the reproductive process. Part of that process included possessing a woman. This was both an evolutionary imperative and a social imperative.
In today’s gynocentric social order the thought of owning a woman is an affront to the female-primary sensibilities that stem from individuation. Feminism and gynocentrism have conditioned generations of women to believe they are autonomous ‘things‘ with no need for anything outside themselves – least of all men – to find true contentment. They are Strong Independent® women who believe their fulfillment comes from self-ownership. Eschewing a man’s surname in marriage, or even marriage at all, is a sign of independence and stiff middle finger to the idea of passive femininity or notions of ever submitting to a man’s authority. The evolved complementarity between men and women is replaced with the social contrivance of an idealized egalitarianism. Husband and wife is replaced with “Equal Partners“.
For women, the problem with this equalist fantasy is biology and evolved impulse are excused, if not encouraged, in a social order that prioritizes women’s mating strategies. Literally anything goes when the worst consequences of women’s Hypergamy can (enthusiastically) always be attributed to men’s inability to accept them as individuals.
The problem for men is that we still have an innate want to possess a woman to ensure our paternity and invest in our genetic legacies. As mentioned, this desire for permanency with one woman was both an evolutionary imperative and a social imperative in a patriarchal social order. In a gynocentric social order the evolutionary imperative to possess a woman still remains, but the social imperative says…
She was, is, will, never be yours, it was just your turn.
And that is why this maxim rubs so many men the wrong way.
Back in January of this year I published a bit from my upcoming 4th book in The New Age of Enlightenment. As I get closer to publication the current events of 2020 have made me consider a new dynamic in regard to how, in an unprecedented way, the new power of cancel culture has given rise to what I’ve called the Hustle Economy.
How many YouTube content producers rely on their channel as a ’side hustle’ revenue to pay their bills today? How many self-published authors have quit their day jobs to write for their new employer, Amazon, today (Amazon owns 86% of the publishing market today)? How many former cubicle workers decided it was more lucrative to start an internet business than continue slaving away at a corporate gig that only made their bosses rich? Today, we’ll readily shift to the digital world to sustain us financially – in the end we don’t have much choice – but it’s the old order thinking that pervades this new “reality” and causes problems.
I write this at a time when several prominent names in the Manosphere (and other spheres) with large subscriber bases are having their channels erased by YouTube/Google. In some cases this erasure is a complete deletion from mainstream social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even WordPress). I’m not a fortuneteller, but I did predict this happening as far back as my State of the Manosphereaddress in 2018 and as recently as a defunct convention I spoke at back in May of 2019. I said a storm was coming. I saw then that a mainstream Village would need convenient foils, easy targets, to defeat in the 2020 election cycle; and the “Red Pill” – as subjectively defined by every online ideologue-grifter – would make the perfect, easy-to-hate, villains to bring down to prove a point. Purging long-overdue “hate accounts” would seem like a necessary and needed step to prove ideological virtue to the ‘woke’ masses.
Well, that storm is upon us now, and the people who convinced themselves they were entrepreneurs, and a much more profitable side hustle was their true calling in life, are looking around with a bit of nervous hesitancy now. Even the guys with the temerity to start an online business in the wake of the Corona Virus eliminating their jobs are now realizing they may not be as anti-fragile as they thought. Cancel Culture isn’t just about getting ideological enemies fired from their day jobs. It’s about total personal assassination, and stealing that person’s bread in the form of denying them any future ability to exist online, much less generate revenue, is the real objective. Right now, the Cancelled are just faceless randoms online losing jobs and tenured university staff who got too comfortable in the belief that they could never be fired. But in the coming months the Cancelled are going to look like an army of dispossessed with nothing to lose by hunting down the ones responsible for canceling them.
An Economy of Hustlers
The Hustle Economy came about because the barriers to entry into that economy have never been lower. For roughly 7-8 years anyone with a laptop, webcam and a basic understanding of social media and WordPress could join the hustle revolution of online “influencers“. Who wouldn’t want to make more money than the shitty 9-5 corporate cubicle job they spent 4 years in college to get into? Is it any wonder that for a decade the various ‘spheres have been dissuading young men from attending college, to get worthless degrees, in order to get into one of these jobs? Why bother with the “leftist indoctrination” we call education when you can make six figures in a couple of years online if you learn how to leverage SEO, engagement, grow an email list and pitch offers and merch? Hell, you can pretend to be a dog online and make more money than that job you thought assuming all that student debt for would be so rewarding.
The Hustle Economy was a natural progression from the Gig Economy. A lot of companies understood the sense in ‘retaining’ at-home employees, or project/contract workers. No benefits, next to no overhead, productivity was up to the freelancer completing the tasks on time (instead of monitoring hourlies’ productivity in a cube farm) and all for about the same, if not less, compensation. Don’t like your gig? Fine, just fire your “employer” and go back to your service advertising site to pick up a new one. For being a hired gun or contractual employee working from home most smart pros saw the freedom of the Hustle Economy almost immediately. Cut the middleman out and have the “jobs” come to you in the form of a potentially worldwide clientele.
Around 2014 the online Coaching/Guru hustle really began to develop into a template that anyone with a bit of social media savvy could follow. ‘Smart’ men and women quit their dead-end cubicle jobs or rearranged their Gig Economy jobs, for the more lucrative positivity hustle dollars that only required the small investment of a laptop, webcam and a willingness to parrot the scripts of Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Napoleon Hill or Norman Vincent Peale. To be fair, this new Hustle Economy isn’t unique to the Manosphere; the Lost Boys Generation – this generation of directionless young men – niche market is just one among many lucrative markets today. Health & Fitness, “Entrepreneurs”, dating/relationship/marriage, personal empowerment, motivational positivity, the Law of Attraction, these are just a sampling of what I’ve called the Success Porn industry in the past. And new order technology makes all the old order grifts seem novel to a generation that’s never experienced them before. This Hustle Economy online template is cross-cultural and largely globalized now. Religion, psychology, motivation, business, philosophy, fitness, medicine/health, dating/relationship, marriage, child-rearing, or even just catering to the red meat needs of others’ desire for affirmation in their own despondency; all of these and more are now the spheres of the Hustle Economy.
Old Order Mastery vs. New Order Hustle
In 2015 I had a guy approach me at the Man in Demand conference who wanted to thank me for my work and The Rational Male. He said he’d come to reading it at the suggestion of his (male) therapist while he was recovering from a nasty divorce. This was the first time I had ever been told that a legitimate clinical psychologist had been using my book as a part of their therapy practice. The significance of this was profound for me then, but I don’t think I fully appreciated it until I had more men relate a similar beginning to reading my work in 2017 up to today. Here were real psychologists with doctorate degrees using The Rational Male as a reference in their practices. It was at this time I began to pay more attention to doctors and scholars and legitimate business pros who were aligning themselves with the various influencers of the new order spheres.
Psychologists are the best example of this because of the diversity of fields they can involve themselves in. Take a guy like Gad Saad, easily one of my favorite evolutionary psychology researchers. He’s a bonafide doctor and evo-psych scientist who’s found a new celebrity in various Hustle Economy sub-spheres on Twitter and elsewhere. His YouTube channel is pushing 180K subs and he managed to leverage himself as an e-personality. But Gad is one of the few legitimate psychologists to successfully transition to the new order hustle. More psychologists struggle with it because they still cling to an old order thinking that their pre-New Enlightenment educations were founded upon. They may still hold private clinical practices that they developed some 10-20 years ago. That’s the way you did it as a therapist in the old order. In fact, one reason I never pursued a postgraduate in behavioral psychology was because the only way to make any “real money” was to get a doctorate and start a practice. Masters degrees would get a you a job as a social worker.
Today, legitimate psychologists must actively compete in the Hustle Economy to make the hard work, time and money they invested in their degrees pay off as well as an online self-help Guru or Coach‘s hustle; some of whom have had their own practice open online with a 99 page “e-book” available filled with positivity pablum lifted from The Secret, going for as long as they’ve been in school. When WebMD first launched in the late 2000s doctors everywhere had to contend with their patients diagnosing themselves with whatever disorder they believed their symptoms indicated according to what they read on the site. The age of the self-educator had begun in this regard and online “clinicians“, both certified and holistic, saw the opportunity to profit from the symptomatic fears of people about their health. Real doctors had to either fight a losing battle of reeducating and allaying the fears of increasingly more people’s health concerns one by one, or find their own angle in the Hustle Economy and leverage their title and credentials to add validity to it. Today, an honorific is respected in name, but it’s by no means the path to earning potential – at least in the short term.
I occasionally encounter the critic who will claim I don’t site sources or my own work is speculative or just opinion. Wherever possible I do in fact cite sources, stats and research, but in the new order information age quoting stats or correlating studies has become an exercise in “dueling research”. And that’s assuming a critic has the time and interest enough to consider what you’re citing and counter it with their own. If you’re diligent enough it’s likely you can counter even the most basic of scientific presumptions with some research, TED talk or meta-study data. The truth is most people simply don’t develop their personal belief sets based on the data of multiple peer-reviewed, independently funded, experimental research PDFs someone links them online. They usually go with experience, emotional resonance and what “sounds right” according to how they were raised. If anything, rationality and critical thinking – the kind of mental presence sorely needed in higher education – is distrusted above all else in the Hustle Economy.
So, I can certainly see the frustration most old order career professionals have with the online template success models of their new order competitors. Add to this that they are both vying for the very sparse attention of the same customers – all of whom are little experts themselves – and you begin to see the practicality of, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. Thus far I’ve used psychology as the illustration, but this Hustle Economy dynamic applies to all old order businesses, academia, government systems, and religion. Religion in particular (as I’m writing about) was, and is, one of the first spheres to eagerly embrace the Hustle Economy. With everyone online being a little expert and everyone having some relative platform on which to prove it, religion, spirituality and magical thinking were easily monetized and template-formed. And their profitability is made all the better when one sphere’s template (religion) complements or amplifies another (government, psychology, fitness, sex, etc.).
Garbage In, Garbage Out
Kicking and screaming will the old order thinkers be dragged into the Hustle Economy of this new age of digital enlightenment. Back in the late 2000s I can remember being told that to make ends meet a family needed two incomes and a side hustle. Now that side hustle is the main thing. The old plan of going to 4, maybe 8 years, of college to get a good job that paid well is hard to sell in the age of hustles that can pay far more than a formal degree does. Don’t think for a moment I’m in any way celebrating this development. A good education should be its own reward. Being well versed in a variety of areas, and understanding critical thinking and how to learn should be a priority for well-educated people. But even our institutions of higher learning, our esteemed universities, must also contend with the Hustle Economy. As COVID forces us to stay home, and classes, and jobs, are moved online, people are only now realizing just how unprepared their schools and employers are to deal with the new order way of learning and working. They’re beginning to see how many hours of their lives they waste in pointless formalities and commutes, but more so, they see how antiquated the old order systems they relied upon for security for so long really are. And in turn, those universities and corporation must now enter the Hustle Economy themselves if they want to survive.
This is the essence of the Red Pill. While I believe that Red Pill ought to only be used for intersexual dynamics, I do see the parallels in transitioning from a reliance on old order thinking to seeing how deceptively false the premises of that thinking are in light of new order, readily accessible, information today. We are presently in a state of radical transition – made all the worse because most of the last 4 generations neither realize it nor understand how to deal with it – and the old systems based on old presumptions are failing right before our eyes. These generations are ill prepared because all they know, all they’ve been taught, are failed, failing or outmoded ideas of the old order.
Thank you for your patience in my absence. I’ve been focusing intensely on the 4th book for the past 2 months and I will be for the foreseeable future. The good news is I’m ‘in the zone‘ so to speak. I have the ability to occasionally get myself into a flow state where an idea I was originally working on branches off into other ideas that I have to follow or else I risk losing the branch altogether.
This is just how my mind works. Regular viewers of my podcasts understand this in real-time. I can start off with a solid premise – often one I’ve been considering (repeating) since the early days – and as I’m making it I consider how it affects other ideas and I have to follow that thread. I know, it’s annoying sometimes, but I do my best to organize my thoughts once they’re all out on the table.
I do this in my ideation process when I’m writing too. Right now I’m looking at no fewer than eight notebooks (9 if you count my gym log) that I keep to return to when I’m exploring ideas. Two of these are full. The oldest I’ve had since my first book was published, but I keep returning to it because I scribbled down ideas regarding religion and the Red Pill back then. This was from an era when I was much more active on Dalrock’s blog and I was hammering things out with a lot of guys struggling with Red Pill awareness, and reconciling it with their religious convictions. It was then I came across an unpublished reconsideration of the concept of Respect. I titled it Respect Reconsidered with the intent of coming back to an essay I wrote in 2012 called Respect. This original essay was inspired by some of my earliest conversations on the venerable SoSuave forums circa 2002-2010. I still think it holds up pretty well, but my reinterest in the topic of respect has come anew from my working on this fourth book.
So, at the risk of giving away a little bit of book 4, I’m going to delve into the concept of respect today.
God is Love?
Book 4 is about squaring Red Pill praxeology (deal with it) with religion. As a part of this I’ve had to re-outline my original premise on Love and how men and women approach love from different concepts. I wont bore you with reiterating it here (there’s a whole category on love in the side bar), but suffice to say that men and women come to love, and have an understanding of love, based on gendered ideals that are specific to our biological and psychological differences as men and women. Most intersexual conflicts between men and women are rooted in the presumption of a mutual, commonly understood concept of what love is to both sexes. The truth is men and women hold differing mental models of what legitimate “real” love means to them. Each sex arrives at this understanding as a result of their experience as a man or a woman, and then molded by outside influences and innate idealism.
This was an important distinction to consider while I’ve been exploring the way men and women idealize the concept of divine love from a god or some metaphysical source. Each sex has a gendered concept of love that they believe the other sex shares with them, but in fact doesn’t naturally come to without some education or experience. It’s this presumption and misunderstanding that is the source of conflict between men and women and how they expect the other to Just Get Itwith respect to how they’d have the other sex love them.
But if men and women have different, innately gendered concepts of love is it possible that there are other higher concepts they might not share the same ideas about, but presumes the other sex just gets? I believe so, and Respect is at the top of the list of those higher concepts.
Respect is earned?
When I was having my now infamous discussion with Andrew Tate a month ago we (quite unintentionally) hit upon the concept of respect and how men and women view it differently. A lot of my female viewers – particularly the newer female viewers – despised the truths that we were discussing about the nature of women:
“No woman would ever agree to ‘share a hot Alpha’! Any woman who would must not respect herself.”
“No woman wants to have sex with a guy she doesn’t respect! If she’s not fucking you with any real desire it’s because she doesn’t respect the guy she’s with.”
“You can’t expect a woman to submit to a man she doesn’t respect.”
These were a few of the comments and responses that got me thinking; Respect is an idea that men and women hold different concepts of as a result of our innate sexual differences. The criteria that would prompt respect in a woman is not the same that prompts it in a man.
A lot gets made about mutual respect being a keystone of a good relationship. It’s one of those sayings like “Open communication is the basis of a healthy relationship” or “Relationship take a lot of work.” Respect is another truism that sounds right. Because it’s so ambiguous, and it’s generally only legitimized according to one sex, it’s easy (mostly for women) to use a “lack of respect” as leverage or an alibi to excuse behavior or a misunderstanding between men and women.
The concept of respect today is cheap. We use it far too readily to explain away why we, or someone we identify with did what they did. We use a convenient, subjective understanding of respect as a qualifier for describing what we agree or disagree with. And we use this cheapened “respect” to grade a person’s integrity according to what we think others should agree or disagree with – usually by how it aligns with our own interests.
Male Respect is not the same as Female Respect
The popular concept is that Respect is something that should be a default setting. People deserve respect. Disrespecting someone, or ambiguously implying a ‘dis‘ might be enough to get your ass kicked. Today’s globalized concept of respect is the subjective female concept – respect is always on. This is a respect based on ‘grace‘, it just is, and it should be freely given to discourage the idea that anyone is greater or lesser than another. We all deserve respect is very much a collectivist form of respect.
At first I thought that maybe Respect was something being confused with common courtesy, but no. There are two main dictionary definitions of what respect is, and this is where we will see the gendered difference between these concepts:
1. A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
2. Due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.
1. The showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behavior toward others.
Courtesy and the feminine form of Respect (2.) are very similar. Today’s global respect is rooted in the feminine form. I’ll explain this below, but a default respect based on race, gender, sexual orientation, culture, religion and other aspects of human diversity is the feminine concept; unearned and by default always ‘on’.
Women just are. Men must become.
This is an old Manosphere maxim. I’ve used it many times to describe the male Burden of Performance. To be a human male is to exist in a dominance hierarchy until your last day. Men must perform. In fact, it is part of our inborn nature to want to perform for women because it is the most deductive way to solve men’s reproductive problem. When a young boy sees a pretty girl for the first time his natural impulse is to find a way to draw her attention. Ride a wheelie down the street on his bicycle or some other, usually risk taking, feat to prove physical prowess and a capture her attention. Most male animals do some form of this showing off to get a female interested in eventually breeding with him. The PUA concept of Peacocking and why it’s effective finds its roots in this dynamic. Call that being a Dancing Monkey if you like, but performance comes naturally to men.
Competence, physical prowess, creative intelligence, dominance, social proof and preselection are the metric by which we rate a man’s respectability. The Burden of Performance is not only about women determining who they’ll choose to mate with, it’s also about men’s merit-based ranking of respectability and admirability. This applies to all social interactions (family, career, military, athletics, etc.). It is afeeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements that makes a man respectable. How we define this respectability by context of cultural, moralistic or personal metrics is the topic for the next essay in this series.
Male Respect is for Male Space
Of course, this definition can apply to exceptional women, but this concept of respect is male in origin. This male form of respect is part of a male dominance hierarchy. Women can insist on being included in this definition, but it rarely works out in their favor – at least not in the same way that a default female form of respect works for women. One reason women (the Feminine Imperative) insists on assimilating Male Space is in order to restructure it to have access to this male form of respectability. The problem is that in restructuring that space to accommodate their deficits, women fundamentally alter the nature of that male form of respect.
TheWarrior Princessstrong female lead mythology that Hollywood writers think is empowering to women isn’t believable because our hindbrains understand the deception that’s being played on it. We’re supposed to respect this fictitious archetype in a male form of respectability, but it falls short for us because 100,000 years of evolution prevents our hindbrains from suspending our disbelief.
We know what usually happens when women are called to measure up to a male Burden of Performance. Today, transgender male athletes competing and dominating in female-division sports are a sharp reminder of this performance-to-respect distinction in gender. The gynocentric element that squawks the loudest about gender being a social construct is the same element that complains about male athletes putting female athletes to shame in the same sport or activity while masquerading as female. As a result, we don’t respect men who pretend to be women, and then outclass them in competency, in order to appeal to a male form of performance-based respectability. Our hindbrains, men and women’s, reject the legitimacy of what we’re expected (by a gynocentric social order) to respect by merit.
Men earn no admiration from beating girls, but women always are afforded admiration for defeating men. Why? Because our hindbrain presumes a state of performance superiority on the part of men.
Women’s respectability comes by default.
Respect by virtue of just being female is due to all women, irrespective of performance. In a gynocentric social order this form of respect is the common one applied to social forms of respect. I’m still on the fence as to whether common courtesy is a part of this form of respect. As I mentioned above, default courtesy and respect are due to any and all based on race, creed, religion, etc. This is the due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. So it could be that courtesy is the expression of this default respect when we’re talking about larger narratives of respect (race, religion, culture, etc.) In either instance, respect is unmerited and really cheapened in a feminine-primary context.
But for women, just to be a female is to be entitled to respect; and only in the circumstance of intra-sexual competition among women is this form of respect ever challenged. Default respect for women is utilitarian for virtually all women. The entitlement to respect is constantly leveraged for advantage and special dispensation among women with men.
Women just are, is the premise here. Female respectability is never merit based, though it can be lost if a woman is convinced that she “has no respect for herself” or if someone casts that woman as self-loathing, but this is only effective when it comes from other women. In a feminine-primary social order men can never challenge a woman’s respectability without the risk of incurring some social backlash or damage to his own performance-based respectability. And labels of sexist, misogynist and chauvinist await any man who would challenge the default respect that is due to women.
Chivalry, Virtue and Female Respectability
A lot of this impression is the result of the old social contract and men’s evolved instinct to protect women. This protector instinct will also be the topic of another essay, but suffice to say that the evolved imperative to protect women (sperm is cheap, eggs are expensive) crosses over into the chivalrous notion of protecting the honor of a lady. At various points in human history (western and eastern) this protector instinct has crossed over into societal practices. During the era of Courtly Love a woman’s virtue became something to defend – and by defending that virtue a man merited respect by earning a woman’s favor. I’ve detailed this dynamic in prior essays; the romanticized form of Chivalry was a means to female power in an epoch when the entire social order was effectively a Male Space. Romanticized Chivalry was the feminism of its time.
The Feminine Imperative understood the protector tendency in men and exploited it in the practices of courtly love or romantic love being elevated to a requisite criteria for male respectability. The social pedestalization of women that forms the basis of the old social contract we know today was started in the ideals of romanticized chivalry. A big part of men’s Burden of Performance under the old social contract was his dedication to protecting a woman’s honor if he himself was to be respectable in the male form of respect.
Feminists will of course bleat that “In the past women were treated like property“.
Yet at some point along the way, even while a woman was a man’s ‘property’ (arguable) she was still held above the male form of respect and a female form of respect became her due. Even in the old Patriarchal Abrahamic religions wives and most in-group women were held in high regard and served as role model archetypes for female respectability. The only way to really lose this due-respect was to be a prostitute or an adulterous woman – both bad bets for men’s parental investment trade-offs and ensuring his own paternity in the long run. Being a nag was also something a respectable woman would avoid, but the operative here is that, default respect for women didn’t require anything like the male Burden of Performance.
Respect Your Elders – “Okay, Boomer,…”
One last point to note is that respect for one’s elders used to be included in this default form of respectability. This is no longer the case today, at least for men. My theory is that by virtue of being older the presumption was one of attained wisdom. Maturity implies mastery, or at least it used to. So, a default respect for one’s elders entered into religious canon. Honor thy father and mother, for instance, is a reflection of this default respect.
But in today’s gloablizing social media marketplace being old is a weakness and a liability unless what makes that man respectable is relatable to his prior performance. And even then respect is just a courtesy if it appears at all. Default socialized respect for women is generally a given in gynocentrism, but mature men are held to the performance burden of young men, because we have such access to seeing this performance difference in real time today.
There is a similar questioning of respect based on a position of authority for men. School teachers, martial arts instructors, policemen, civil authorities and military officials are examples of this diminishing respect. There is a saying that even if you don’t respect the man you should respect the office, but today this is no longer the case. Position no longer indicates respectability the way it used to under the old social contract.
Next week, I’ll be publishing part two of this series.
From the time boys are about five years old, we’re taught self-control. Anyone with a young son understands the challenge in this, but for the most part the control we teach our boys differs from what we teach (or don’t teach) our girls. For the most part, this control is necessary to curb boys’ natural proclivities to take risks, but in a feminine-primary social order this inhibiting risk comes from a need for female security . Our young minds, boys and girls, lack the capacity for abstract thought. In fact, our brains continue to develop to their fullest potential right up to 20-21 years of age.
For millennia, adult men, fathers, mothers, the Village that is our larger social order, understood the need to place limitations on boys innate impulsiveness – usually for their own good. While these restrictions and discipline have always been a needed part of boys’ upbringing, today that self-control is taught in the context of how a young man can be more ‘correct’ by his female teachers. In the time of our old social contract teaching young men self-control and self-discipline was a means to self-mastery as an adult man. In the new social contract our gynocentric education system (and socialization) teaches boys discipline in the hopes that they will provide the security that women need.
And the way this is taught is by embedding a deep sense of shame and self-loathing of the male gender into ever-younger generations of future men. Mental Point of Origin is a constant theme in all of my literary work. I want to stress here that crushing any sense of self-priority or self-importance from boys and young men is the prime directive of a gynocentric education system. Last Saturday we discussed the “worshiping of women” on our new show Rule Zero. In this episode I pointed out that men are taught to place womankind on a pedestal from an early age. This meta-pedestalization of the feminine begins when boys are taught self-abasement as part of self-control. Essentially, all control becomes for boys is reducing themselves while aggrandizing (supporting) girls and later women. This is the main reason why wrapping your head around Mental Point of Origin is so difficult for men later in life. Their Blue Pill conditioning taught them to be servants as a means of proving their self-control.
Most women, certainly all feminists, will do their best to convince us that it’s still little girls who are taught to repress their naturally boyish natures. But it’s a cliché now to believe that little girls would be every bit as ‘curious about how the world works’ if not for a nebulous society that represses their passion for discovery. Since the Sexual Revolution our social order has done its damnedest to reverse gender roles – boys are taught to emulate the feminine, girls emulate the masculine. The Disney corporation has been the most active social agent in western culture in fomenting this reversal. Every story across all genres follows the same plot; a repressed little girl would make an even better boy if not for these Patriarchal rules she must break from. The story of Mulan is a good example. The girl Mulan must impersonate a boy in order to prove herself as a masculine equal – and to get closer to the Alpha male she naturally wants to pair with. Our popular fiction today all follows a similar teaching; girls need to break away from self-control to be more empowered.
The notion that little girls are ever taught to repress their natures is laughable in real life. If little boys are taught like they’re defective girls, then girls today are taught that they can literally do anything – and be free of any lasting consequences. In fact any restrictions, any pretense of a girl/woman requiring a degree of self-control is immediately associated with repression. This old order idea of female repression is a favorite trope for the Fempowerment narrative. The most marginal, well-meaning, criticism of women or the feminine is always steeped in ‘judgmentalism’. Being ‘judged’ is always a concern for women. For the past 3-4 generations of women, being freed from ‘repression’ is also to be free from judgement. They have an entitlement to avoid consequence.
On last week’s Rule Zero episode we asked a question: why is it so many men will abase themselves with women? If you’ve been Red Pill aware for a while it’s easy to just dismiss these guys and think they’re all just low self-esteem losers, but the belief is endemic to the 80% of Beta men. The combination of having been raised to prioritize the concerns of women above his own interest, and the notion that doing so will make him a better romantic catch in the eyes of women (who already feel entitled to him being a useful servant) turns self-abasement into a form of Beta Game.
Why does a man get down on one knee to propose marriage to a woman? Surely this old social contract form of abasement was an expectation of men. It’s in practically every romantic story ever told.
Under the old social contract a man was presumed to be above a woman in status. The old intersexual hierarchy of love followed from the man to the woman and then later to the child(ren). It was a natural, understood, dominance hierarchy prior to the Sexual Revolution. In all the old stories Disney has ever retold the presumption of this hierarchy defines the plot of the story. Of course now we’ve grown accustomed to gender swaps and expectation swaps in these retellings, but when a woman gets down on bended-knee to propose to a man – as her empowering teachers have taught her is acceptable – there’s something awkward when a woman abases herself to a man.
One of the prime directives of feminism is this:
Never do anything for the express pleasure of a man.
Anything a woman might do just to please a man is abasement. It smacks of the repressiveness little girls are told still holds them back in spite all the world’s attempts to advantage them. Doing something, wearing something, being something or behaving in a way that might intentionally please a man is the antithesis of the Strong Independent Woman® ideal. But yet, women are taught that they should expect to live in Sadie Hawkins’ World where they should feel empowered to ask the man on a date and ask him to marry her if he merits it. Again, it’s all part of the gender reversal we’re expected to embrace.
But when you see it, when a woman is doing the proposing, it doesn’t feel empowering. It feels awkward, backwards. Social constructionism says that awkwardness is the result of society teaching you stereotypical gender norms; but those norms haven’t been the standard for at least 4 generations. Disney’s taught us different for some time now. But it still looks weird. The man is supposed to initiate. The man is supposed display and she is supposed to choose. The man is supposed to abase himself, right?
Male abasement is a sign of submission in an age that expected him to be an Alpha already. There used to be a time when men were expected to be the masters of their lives. Men understood their Burden of Performance and built a life around creating (conquering) their own worlds. Certainly this achievement was motivated by finding a wife, but more so because of his innate sense of idealism.
The Ideal Man
The old social order expectations of men are still what women feel entitled to in the new order:
Superior Physicality: He must be more than her equal in height and strength. Muscularity is an ideal in men. Women hold far more strict and static ideals of male beauty than men have ever held for women.
Superior Dominance: He is respected, deferred to and sometimes feared by his peers. He holds status, power (in the traditional sense) and honor that is confirmed and reinforced by others – but only insofar as it can be useful to a woman. Women tend to have an immature understanding of the nature of power.
Superior Confidence/Competence: He must be more innovative and competent than herself. Competence is directly tied to the Hypergamous doubt – “Is he the best I can do?” If she is more competent (or she believes she is) than he is it upsets the natural intersexual dominance hierarchy and ultimately his Frame control. Confident competence is the foundation of a woman’s need for long term security.
Superior Mastery: He must be a master of himself and the world he directs. Again, this is tied to a woman’s need for security which he must ensure in the long term; even into his old age. He must “Just Get It” with her and understand women in general – this is derived from experience and being supremely desired by other women.
For all of this mastery the ideal man is expected to possess, the fantasy is that he must abase himself to her due to her uniqueness. The power of love is what he must defer to. Even today, in a post Sexual Revolution era, this chivalric ideal is still an unspoken expectation. That ideal is a superior man who abases himself to her, and only to her. This is the Beauty and the Beast archetypal story. The fantasy ideal man is only beholden to her particular charms. Men conquer worlds, women conquer men.
A few years ago (2012-13) I did a series of posts about the chivalric ideal. In those essays I proposed that the western concepts of chivalry, bastardized by the influence of ‘courtly love’, were an extension of power by the feminine. Essentially chivalry was feminism 1.0 in that it leveraged men’s obligations of honor to benefit the Feminine Imperative. Chivalry was a Male Space into which women inserted themselves (via courtly love), assimilated the principles and rewrote the rules to better fit themselves. We still see vestiges of this today when women post something on Facebook or Twitter stating that “only a ‘real’ man does the things that benefit me, my sexual strategy and my ensured survival and happiness.”
Male sacrifice now extends to a man abasing himself for an entitled benefit of womankind. It’s no longer just an expectation of undying love and commitment, it’s a surrendering of his evolved imperatives.
So, I was arguing with myself as to whether I ought to post something here on my 50th birthday, which is today. I read through a few other notable guys in the manosphere and they all have something like 30 Lessons at 30 and 40 Rules for 40 or something like that. Not to take anything away from them, but for the most part lists like this are basic aphorisms that are certainly wisdom, but are things you can probably be 20 and think “Hmmm, yeah, okay,…”
That said I had considered just enjoying my short break from the blog (two weeks is as long as I’ve gone in six and a half years) and relaxing today, but I’m fifty today and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been doing some life assessment for the past 4 months or so. 50 lessons at 50 might get a little tedious to read so I’ll just let my readers in on what I’ve been considering lately and what I think have been a few or the more important lessons I’ve learned in the last 50 years. I’m not exactly a stream of consciousness style writer, but I’m going to be a little more loose and open with this. Don’t worry, I’ll get back to meat & potatoes posts next week.
In the six and a half years I’ve been blogging, and the 7 more I’ve been writing in the ‘sphere, I’ve done my best not to inject my personal life into what I write about unless it’s directly related to a topic and serves as a decent illustration for some purpose. There’s a few I can think of, but like I said, they’re usually to highlight a point. Hell, for the first five years of this blog and all of my time writing at SoSuave I did my best to stay anonymous and kept my nondescript face out of the public sphere. And it’s anonymity where I’m going to start.
When I began writing on the SoSuave forums I had already learned the hard way how easy it is to have your livelihood taken away from you by vindictive and juvenile minds who simply want to have some power beyond the cubicles they live in. I was working for a liquor importer and I’d put together a fantastic co-branding arrangement with an X-sports organization and one of our proprietary brands. I’d worked on the promo work and all the creative for almost two years and all of it got flushed down the toilet by one email alleging that one guy from the organization had used a racial slur (during a charity event no less). The allegations were false, I went to great lengths to prove it false, but the damage was done. The C.O.O. who was entirely unfamiliar with the organization, the social circle or the event pulled the plug.
Two years work building the association was gone in the space of 2 hours and one anonymous email because it was simpler to pull the plug than it was to have to explain why it was all the vindictiveness of some kid on the internet who had a beef with some guy who rode a motorcycle. That taught me a lesson that I’ve used a lot in my writing – stay anonymous as possible, because all the years of hard work I’ve invested into this blog, my books, the audio books, my talks now and my public persona can be lost in the course of a day. I’m far more anti-fragile these days. My work is on my terms, which also took a very long time to establish to my liking, but even still I understand how truly fragile my own and so many other men’s lives really are with respect to maintaining it.
I don’t really like that term, “anti-fragile” is like a badge of honor self-made guys like to attach to that other term “entrepreneur”. Not to take anything away from them, but everyone is fragile to some degree. If the social justice zeitgeist of this era can’t destroy you financially, they’ll happily destroy your marriage, your family, the things you love to do and the company you keep. We live in an era when the politics of personal destruction are easily enacted with a few emails and a viral tweet.
So I did my best to stay anonymous as Rollo Tomassi. Even when I became more anti-fragile I understood that if some hater couldn’t get me fired they would come after my daughter, my wife, my dogs, my extended family, etc. without any fore or afterthought. That’s kind of changing for me now. I’ve got three books under my belt (yes, there’s a fourth I’m working on too) and after doing really only two in-person talks it became clear that I needed to be more accessible.
The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine and Positive Masculinity are my dents in the universe. At 50 now I can see that these books and my writing, my ideas and the dots I’ve connected, courtesy of the men who’ve offered there experiences to the whole, will be my legacy in this life. That legacy is dependent on Amazon publishing and printing my work, WordPress hosting my blog, Audible accepting my audio books and Twitter and YouTube providing their platforms from which I can spread those ideas. Everyone is fragile. My plans for the future and ensuring these ideas live involves making them less dependent on this fragility.
I make the least amount of royalties on my printed books, but they are what I hope men will buy the most because it’s the least fragile way of spreading and discussing the ‘dangerous thought’ that is the Red Pill in intersexual dynamics. It’s a very strange and humbling thought to think that my grand and great-grandchildren might read my words in the future. It’s also really humbling to know that I’ve helped other men change and improve their lives; sometimes saved their lives. I have trouble describing what it feels like to have a guy you just met pour his heart out to you like he’s known you for years and tells you if it wasn’t for what you wrote, if it hadn’t been for me reaching him with these ideas he’d be dead. It kind of give you that weird chill you get when you see someone else get hurt and you can’t do anything to help.
But I did help. I can actually say that my work has positively impacted the lives of other men (and women) and likely the course of their lives and their families’ lives, and the whole causality thing kind of unravels from there. It’s what I’d always hoped I could do. As most readers know, a lot of what prompted my writing was the suicide of my brother-in-law and another good friend back in 2003. I’d been writing in what would become the ‘sphere since 2001, but these deaths were what moved me to try to help other men more directly.
I’ve done really well for myself. That’s a statement of fact, though it sounds like I’m glossing myself. I still see a lot of guys I used to know who, back in the day, I was almost certain we’re going to go places and do big things. With the exception of maybe two, every one of them has fallen short of what I used to think they’d accomplish. A lot of them were the inspirations for posts about changing the direction of your life to better facilitate a woman’s plans for her own life. People hate it when other people compare lives. The standard line is “well if they’re happy who are you to judge?” or else it’s “we all find happiness in our own ways” or something suitably ambiguous. It’s one of those things we say so as not to appear judgmental. But everyone of us makes comparisons about a great many thing. There’s not a woman on planet earth who doesn’t compare herself, her quality of life and the man she’s married with her sister’s.
I could give a shit about what these guys have done with their lives up to age fifty, but I do think we need to take assessments of how our lives have turned out. It’s natural for us to want to measure our achievements, but at my age all that does now is make me realize how stupid I was when I thought so much more of other people and not enough of myself then. We shouldn’t compare ourselves with anyone else, I got that, but we should compare ourselves with what we believe is our personal potential. I’ve still got a lot to do before they put me in the ground, but I think I’ve done okay up to now with respect to my potential. If anything I don’t think I gave my potential enough credit when I was younger. Maybe we all do that?
I’m kind of scared of the future in a way. My Dad died from Alzheimers/Dementia just shy of his 73rd birthday in 2010. He had early onset too, so he started forgetting things at about 64. At least thats when it became apparent to everyone. That’s my worst fear today, but it’s also whats driving me now. In the autobiography of Steve Jobs it was obvious to everyone that once he acknowledged he was going to die early he started pushing the limits of what he wanted to get done before he went out. Consequently we got all of these great innovations in a relatively short time. Look at Apple’s “innovations” today. *I’ve only ever used Macs, even when they weren’t cool.
I’ve done far better for myself than my father ever did. Again, that’s not a ‘slay-the-father’ sentiment it’s just fact. My dad didn’t have the same potential though. And I still have more potential to fulfill. This has become more pressing for me recently and not just because of the fear of dying early – and yes, I do fear death, but mostly because I see it as a cessation of potential to do more. I genuinely have a mental list of things I need to do that I’ve only really become aware of since I started this blog and became an author and matured into the 40-50 year old Rollo Tomassi. Don’t think of that as a bucket list of some experiences to be had before death, rather, think of it as a ‘to do’ list that I need to accomplish before I go out. And that ‘to do’ list only became apparent to me in the last 7 years.
I know what I need to do now. It kind of sucks that a purpose to life might be something you only realize later in life. I’m sure it happens sooner for some guys, but for me it was necessary to live through the experiences that made me before I could know it. I’m still an artist in my essence, and I get edgy if I’m unable to create something new every day. Seriously, I’ve been like this since I was a child. I have a need to create, even if it’s just something simple, every day. That need has carried over into every aspect of my life and career. And really, the books are products of that need, but there’s a lot more, a purpose to the works themselves and that’s what my life has been about since I began the blog and the books and my persona.
I am Rollo Tomassi now. Don’t worry, I’m not legally changing my name. At first it was a clever online handle for me, and my real name is so white-bread generic it almost serves as a form of anonymity. Now it is me, and I’m okay with that.
Having said all of that, I’m considering a kind of semi-retirement from my primary career in the liquor and gaming promo business and applying myself more to writing and speaking. I’m already kind of doing this now since reaching a state of being financially anti-fragile. I’ll never fully retire from my brands so long as I have ownership percentages and creative decisions will need to be made. I’m not sure how this is going to look, but I find myself wanting to apply more of myself to writing, speaking, maybe doing some kind of podcast or terrestrial radio show. I feel like I need to do this now with my 50s ahead of me and more potential to do good in the world with what I have and the time I hope I have left.
In the comments today I was hoping to see what my peers thought of all this. I hope it’s not to navel gazy.
On Saturday I had a great discussion with Anthony Johnson, Rian Stone (Married Red Pill Reddit) and “Carl” from Black Label Logic. The topic was a critique of the impact Dr. Jordan Peterson is having on a society of ‘lost’ (mostly) young men and how his message is affecting this generally rudderless generation of men. It’s a little over two hours long, but from the overwhelming response on YouTube, Facebook, Reddit and other forums it’s definitely struck a nerve. As an aside here, I’m considering making this meet up video format something I may do semi-regularly (like every other week) with some of the men I consider peers in the manosphere.
You can watch this talk at your leisure, but it has taught me a few things. As I mentioned in the chat it’s next to impossible to have any disagreement or critique of people whom other’s believe are your betters. As Rollo Tomassi it’s impossible for me to be critical of any high profile guy in the sphere without the accusations of professional jealousy or sour grapes being the first reflexive response from haters. I got that, but I’ve learned the conversation is more important that trying to convince anyone of it being genuine. In fact, I think it belies a bigger problem when they are above critique.
That aside, I think it was good to finally parse where Red Pill awareness and what Peterson is advocating have some overlap and where we differ. Peterson is a fountain of hope for the ‘lost’ boys, so anything critical of his message is going to sound like it’s endorsing an “enjoy the decline” mentality. I can’t expect everyone to have read up on my own opinion about that, but the short version is that I’ve never been convinced of some inevitable decline and fall of western civilization. In other words, I think it is possible to turn the ship around; where I may differ is in how that might be done.
For the record here I want to say that I have a great respect for Dr. Peterson. I think he’s what the sphere has needed for a while and I think he fits the role of ‘champion’ that a generation of young men have wanted to place on someone. Ideologically I agree with about 85-90% of what he advocates and there’s no doubt that he’s got definite skin in the game. In fact I really hate it when people use that as some catch phrase to disqualify men today. As a man we all have skin in the game now. How much and to what degree may be debatable, but we all live in a feminine-primary social order and as such we all have a lot to risk whether we acknowledge this or not.
Where I differ with Peterson is in his very Trad-Con solutions to turning the ship around. I wasn’t shocked to see him endorsed in videos for Prager University. In some ways what he proposes resonates with young men looking for a direction because their fathers and generations of Blue Pill men haven’t been able to deliver a way out of Hell for them. I go into this in more detail in our talk here, but here are some of my issues with Peterson’s take on things:
• Life is suffering and sacrifice: In every video I’ve watched Dr. Peterson’s founding (zen-like) premise is that life is suffering and the best men can do is to find ways to minimize that suffering. Men (and I’ve yet to see a video addressing women) must sacrifice parts or all of themselves in order to qualify for “genuine” manhood. The degree of that self-sacrifice is relative to how high a status that man can achieve.
• Blue Pill conditioning seems to define his perspective of women: Essentially the archetype he has for women was formed for him as a 7 year old boy when he first developed a soul-mate ONEitis for his wife. His reluctance to acknowledge the Alpha Fucks side of women’s Hypergamy in any video (beyond his repeated use of 50 Shades of Grey as a humorous example) leads me to the impression that he defaults to women as innately ‘good’ and above too much criticism. As such he focuses almost entirely on the good provider / parental investment / Beta need side of Hypergamy. This is unsurprising as it follows the same Trad-Con interpretations of women being “closer to God than men” and men must qualify themselves, and sacrifice themselves for women’s (wives) intimate approval. Dalrock has covered this dynamic among male “complementarian” Christian leaders quite extensively.
• Sacrifice of men is a parallel to men’s disposability: Men will blow themselves up for pussy. From what I gather from his talks Peterson endorses male disposability as a form of Honor. He seems to play on the ‘Man Up / Shut Up’ dynamic I talked about in The Honor System. What ever aspect of maleness that serves the feminine purpose is a man’s masculine responsibility, yet any aspect that disagrees with feminine primacy is labeled Patriarchy and Misogyny. I’m not suggesting Peterson is accusing men of Patriarchy or Misogyny, rather, like most Trad-Cons, it’s a question of living up to one’s duty as a man in his disposability and his usefulness in that sacrifice.
• “Get your shit together” is also a plea for sacrifice: If a man is less valuable his sacrifice is less meaningful. No one cares about mediocre / average men’s sacrifices, but if a man accepts that he is to improve himself it is so that his sacrifice is more appreciated and important. Thus, the comparisons to Christ’s sacrifice as being the ultimate expression of sacrifice and meaning which Peterson uses in his dissertations on manhood and the Bible. My issue here is that women and a feminine-primary social order lack a capacity to appreciate the sacrifices men make because these are taken-for-granted expectations of what a man just “ought to do”.
• Peterson is egalitarian to a fault: The mantra may be for men to sack up and make something of themselves, but this is couched in an egalitarian equalism that’s prevalent today. If I had one question to ask Jordan it would be this; is there a dominance hierarchy in a healthy LTR or marriage? I don’t know for certain. My guess is he would say it passes back and forth between a husband and wife which is to say he falls back on an egalitarian ideal. However, outside the family structure he acknowledges that men and women in a state of egalitarianism choose to adopt traditional gender roles (I think he gave the same example as was covered here).
• Dr. Peterson regularly resorts to shaming language with men, rarely does he do the same with women: This may be a simple question of his delivery, but Peterson is always harder on men than he is with women. In so doing he adopts the AMOGing of only men techniques that a pastor like Mark Driscoll uses from the pulpit. Inso doing he pedestalizes women and absolves them of any consequences of their Hypergamous choices by imploring men to “man up and marry those sluts“. In essence the sacrificial nature of men becomes one that is necessary for the continuance of ‘family’ and western culture in spite of women. I also see how this plays into the idea of women lacking any moral agency, personal responsibility and wiping the bad behavior of women off on the men who have allowed this to happen. Once again it comes back to the hypoagency of women.
• Peterson believes that desire can be negotiated: This is my biggest problem with Peterson’s approach to women. This undoubtedly comes from his being a clinical psychologist, but like most therapists he defaults to the idea that genuine desire can be motivated by a process of negotiation. If there is one example of his lack of experience with women it is this belief. In several of his interviews and podcasts he makes reference to appealing to women’s reason and negotiating terms for acceptable behavior (always a man’s behavior) in exchange for intimacy and/or a stress-free marriage. This is the egalitarian, Oprah Approved, male-sublimated means to achieving transactional intimacy.
As you might guess, I strongly disagree with negotiating intimacy. You cannot negotiate genuine desire. You can obligate a woman to fuck you (now called rape) via negotiation, but you cannot organically inspire genuine desire in a woman. This has always been my main point of contention with the marriage counseling trade for a long time.
What is the Red Pill version of “man-up”?
I had a commenter ask me this in the last comment thread. I think there’s two sides to this question. First, I think there’s a need to keep the Red Pill (in the intersexual sense) as close to an objectivist purpose as possible. That means Red Pill awareness is the result of a continuing praxeology.
I’ve locked horns with a few Red Pill guys recently who seem to think that ‘Red Pill’ is an ideology and it’s just the counter revolt to feminism; basically it is feminism for men. I think that does a huge disservice to everything and everyone that’s brought us to where we are today in Red Pill awareness and all of the work and personal risk that was put on the line to explore what we know as Red Pill awareness now. Not only that it casually devalues the effort and work that’s continuing right now.
Critics and feminists alike want to draw parallels in the manosphere to whatever (fictitious) wave of feminism they think applies to whatever the Men’s Rights Movement is calling Red Pill at the moment. Believing that Red Pill is an ideology is one more casualty of how the term / brand has been bastardized by other ideologies who’ve never had any business referring to themselves as “red pill”.
Presuming Red Pill is just an ideology is juvenile, and unsurprisingly it’s an opinion of some underexperienced men in the manosphere who want for simplistic answers. They don’t want to think about what Red Pill awareness implies on a larger social scale. They want a flag to wave and an easy to understand ideology so they can stick it to their feminist enemies. I get it. They want Red Pill (however they define it) to be that ideology, but to me, I think, and I’ve always said it, the Red Pill needs to remain fundamentally apolitical, areligious and amoral to ensure that it stays true to understanding truth. It needs to remain true to being an aggregate of men’s collected experiences with intersexual dynamics.
What these guys want is a meaning to that truth, but that’s not the Red Pill. Meaning is what men will apply to that truth according to their individual needs, situations and circumstances. This is why Peterson and probably some more personalities to follow him will be popular in the future; they prioritize meaning above truth. If you listen to the first podcast of Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson they spend the entire time trying to come to an agreed measure of truth between the two of them so they can move on (in the second podcast) to what is meaning.
You want to know why I don’t do prescriptions on The Rational Male? Because we disempower ourselves when we follow someone else’s path and not our own.
There is a deep need in almost all people to improve or ‘fix’ ourselves in some way. I’ve written essays about it; discontent is is the human condition. That in no way means that life is suffering as per the Peterson (Zen) doctrine, but it is man’s condition to never be satisfied with even the greatest of accomplishments. That is what put us at the top of the species contest on this planet. You can be constructively or destructively discontent, but when you tell me that life is suffering and the only way to lessen that suffering (never to solve it of course) is to sacrifice my way to a better life all that says to me is that you’re out of ideas for a creative solution and you’re all-in on the destructive methods. Either that or you’ll continue naval gazing.
So, the Red Pill needs to remain a praxeology and it ought to always resist being force-fit into an ideology because it’s always some ideological hack who wants to claim the truth it reveals as proof of his own purpose. The Red Pill has to remain an open source aggregate of men’s experiences. That’s why we’re still here today in spite of the Rooshs who said it would die out 3 years ago – it’s open source and decentralized information.
Now, to the second point, what does ‘Man up’ mean in the Red Pill context? I think this is really for the individual to decide, but I’d say that it would involve a man utilizing and internalizing the awareness the Red Pill represents to him and improving his life with it. In the Safety Net post’s comment thread there are hundreds of examples of how men saved their own lives, often literally. How the Red Pill truth reached them and then manifested in their lives is highly individual. I mentioned the need for a dissociation with ideology because that usually means aligning oneself with the expectations of someone else’s version of truth, not the objective (or as objective as we can make it) truth of the Red Pill.
When I hear ‘man-up’, I identify the context only as derogatory… is there any other definition which is not?
It should, because in almost all contexts imploring a guy to “Man Up” is following someone else’s path, not your own. This is what I mean when I say that I’m not in the business of creating better men, I’m in the business of men making themselves better men. And in today’s world of men seeking direction there is no shortage of personalities who’d like nothing more than to profit from selling men on their paths.
If there is a definition of ‘manning up’ in a Red Pill sense it is living a better way than your previous life that was informed by the falsehoods of your Blue Pill conditioning. Manning up Red Pill is killing off that old Blue Pill-created persona and killing off the false idealisms it taught you. It’s understanding and internalizing that those lies made you a less authentic person because the Blue Pill is firmly an ideology, but one that wears the mask of freedom or choice or individualism. If self-improvement in a Red Pill sense entail some basic tenets, one is that a man cuts himself away from that old Blue Pill paradigm and rebuilds a better life for himself based on a real understanding of intersexual truth on the personal, social and political scales.
Manning up Red Pill begins with rejecting the lies of egalitarian equalism and a commitment to real objective understanding of intersexual dynamics.
When I was talking with Anthony Johnson last week we came upon a topic I’m not sure I’ve adequately detailed before. That is the topic of submission in a relationship. One of the more hotly debated subjects I hear and read coming from evangelical Christian women is about a wife’s duty to submit herself to her husband. Anyone who’s familiar with my take on the state of the mainstream church and how feminism and feminine-primary doctrines have assimilated it can also understand why the topic of a wife submitting to her husband rubs many of them the wrong way.
My intent here isn’t dig into something that would be more aptly covered by Dalrock’s blog, but I begin my analysis of women submitting to men in a Biblical context because a wife’s submission to her husband, or in other cases a male family member, is something fundamental to Abrahamic religions. In the interests of social control women were simply told that it was God’s will that she submit to her husband and that was that. Granted, there were some stipulations to that submission for the man involved, but essentially the doctrine was one that placed a man and men’s decisions above that of a woman.
Naturally, Christian feminists and the Feminine Imperative the pervades the modern church (even amongst the men) want to dance around or prequalify this ‘commandment’ such as it is. It’s a very testy subject for a pastor or a speaker to consider because it risks alienating women in the church who for the better parts of their lives have been raised on the narrative of Fempowerment and equalism. It’s my belief that this part of doctrine is so troublesome due to the socialized want of an ideal equalism between men and women in the church.
From a male perspective, and for all of the secular influence of feminism in the church, men in the church have largely become men women simply aren’t comfortable submitting to. Issues of the church aside, women in general are ’empowered’ today to believe they can be self-sufficient and self-satisfied without any male influence. When we combine this ideology of female self-sufficiency with the sad (and ridiculed) state of what passes for masculine identity it’s easy to see that the 80% Beta men in society aren’t men any woman’s hindbrain is going to register as someone she can submit herself to.
When a woman submits herself to a man it reinforces the idea that her doing so is imparting him with something of value. Very few women can completely submit themselves to a man’s authority. I overheard a conversation between a mother and her adult daughter once. They were discussing the details about how and why she decided to marry her father. The adult daughter was dating and Mom was offering her matronly wisdom. In the course of the conversation it was apparent to me that although she’d been married for almost 25 years Mom was an Alpha Widow. What she said to her daughter was interesting, she said, “I love your Dad very much, but there are parts of me he will never know.”
What she was saying is that, although her husband was a great guy, he wasn’t the guy who she could totally submit herself to. After 25 years of marriage she knew that he would never be the man to make her feel comfortable in total trust, but also he would never know the sides of her she keeps reserved (usually sexual) because he’s not the kind of man who can bring it out in her.
Much of the modern divorce-porn (Eat, Pray, Love) narrative centers on exactly this dissatisfaction in women. The hope that’s sold to women is that it’s not too late to divorce your boring husband and fly off to the Bahamas to meet the kind of guy whom she can completely submit herself to. Even if it’s never the case that she takes action on the fantasy the popularity of that fantasy speaks volumes about the state of women and their submitting to men.
In the manosphere we have a maxim that states women hunger after a dominant masculine man. It’s a Red Pill tenet that it’s exactly this masculine dominance that women want to submit themselves to. It’s a large part of what contributes to the tingle effect of women’s arousal, but masculine, confident dominance also stimulates the desire to submit herself to a man who will know how to take care of her and any potential kids. Just as there are two primary aspects of women’s Hypergamous filter, so too does masculine dominance attract and arouse both the short term sexual and long term provisioning aspects.
Why do women hate anal?
This was a question I saw posted on the Ask the Red Pill sub-forum on Reddit recently. Of course, you get the troll answers to it, but I stopped or a minute to consider why it was a woman would be so resistant to have anal sex with a guy. Some guys stated that their girlfriends were into it and obviously anal sex is a very popular niche in pornography. So it wasn’t so much that women hate anal as it is they only consider it with certain men.
Anal is about total submission to a man. It is all about his pleasure and her discomfort in the act. If that man isn’t 100% an ideal dominant Alpha to her, her sexual interest is mitigated by order of degrees. Her genuine desire to initiate sex, and her imaginativeness in sex, will be the metric by which you can judge where she perceives your sexual market value to be. It’s my belief that women’s sexual hesitancy with a man is inversely proportional to her subconscious appraisal of his sexual market value.
Women’s hindbrains will not allow them to submit totally to a man it perceives is less than Hypergamously optimal. Anal is one thing, but does she swallow, is she averse to your fluids (sperm and saliva), does she initiate, does she flirt with you, or is sex something you have to negotiate, make appeals to her comfort (mental satisfaction) or some non-sexual qualification? I got into this topic in Saving the Best, but was she a wild and fun lay back in her college days yet lack-luster in bed with her husband?
Submission by a woman to a man is a reflection of her hindbrain acknowledgement of that man’s SMV. I also explored this in detail in SMV Ratios & Attachment. The greater the disparity in SMV between a couple the more or less likely a woman is to partially or totally submit herself to him. In a modern equalist perspective men and women are conditioned to believe that all-is-one and men and women are no greater or lesser than another in all respects. The idea is that an SMV ratio of 1:1 makes for an ideal relationship. Naturally, I disagree with that assessment, but what equalists don’t like to consider is that there are categoric differences between men and women and one of those differences is that women want to submit to a worthy man’s direction and influence. This is an intrinsic gender difference that not only defines an individual personal relationship between women, but also on a larger societal scale. There are many sociological studies of “egalitarian” cultures where the populations still opt for gender normative roles. And even in sexually fluidrelationships there is always a dominant and submissive partner.
It’s my belief that women can instinctively determine a man’s SMV within moments of meeting him. There’s an old saying that a woman knows within five minutes of meeting a guy if she’ll sleep with him. I disagree. I would say that a woman knows if she wont sleep with a man within five minutes of meeting him. That’s the key. Preselection and some other variables help, but her hindbrain knows the external cues and triggers. The more a man must sell himself as a potential sex partner is inversely related to a woman’s hindbrains instinctual uncertainty of his potential to satisfy her Hypergamy. In a nutshell, this is how women’s sexual filtering processes work in sexual selection.
Nature & Nurture
A man’s value to a woman is derived from both an evolved sensitivity to arousal cues, but is also influenced by her acculturation to perceive a man as attractive. Evolved cues are generally what women’s mental firmware make them physically respond to in arousal. It bears repeating here that arousal is not the same thing as attraction. The two sides of Hypergamy are looking for different (sometimes conflicting) aspects in a man. The first is short-term sexual, good breeding potential in a man. Ovulatory shift, visceral arousal and sexual urgency is what defines this side of Hypergamy. Submission comes easy for the right candidate in this sense, and it’s submission born of necessity. If a sexual partner’s investment is something she knows will be fleeting, there’s less to be concerned with in submitting to him and enjoying the experience.
On the other hand, there is also a learned aspect to attraction. There are learned social cues, status markers, cultural cues that imply a good potential for provisioning and parental investment. All this builds up to the attraction side of Hypergamy. For years the manosphere has raised awareness of the fact that women’s provisional side of Hypergamy is largely accounted for by social influences, a larger educational base, and programs that essential transfer men’s resources to women. We can add to this the break down of the conventional family and the disenfranchisement of men’s participation in it while still making them accountable to it and we can see how women’s primary focus in Hypergamy leans heavily to the side of short-term breeding opportunities (Alpha Fucks).
As such the short-term necessity for submission becomes something a woman sexualizes and conflates with that side of Hypergamy. There’s been an ongoing debate for years now about how a man earning less than his spouse is a recipe for divorce. Even though women have their provisioning needs met in various ways, the want, the expectation, is that a man’s long-term value is directly connected to his earnings, status and to a lesser degree his education. Since Hypergamy always seeks a better-than arrangement with regards to SMV, a woman’s capacity to submit herself to a man is bound by what she believes is her better-than due. That isn’t to say a man who excels in the Alpha Fucks side of things can’t maintain a woman’s complete submission to him. Good sex is still good sex, and it’s a strong glue for an otherwise imbalanced relationship, but when a woman bemoans the lack of any ‘good’ men to marry her, it’s this expectation by which she judges an acceptable man. Is he someone she can submit to.
Although the equalist boilerplate would have us believe that house-husbands are sexy and perfectly viable, the stats show that women don’t want to submit themselves to a man who earns less than her, is less educated and whose status is below what she believes her own is. If that sounds like a power struggle you’re not to far off. Equalism teaches women to resist submitting themselves, much less ever doing anything for men. Even the word “submission” sounds like slavery, but in spite of all that there is a root level desire to willingly submit themselves to a worthy man. Romance literature is rife with exactly this submission as its main formula.
When I was speaking with Anthony last week I answered a question regarding how men might determine the genuine desire of women they’re engaging. I mentioned the “Hell yes!” dynamic as one way. I believe it was Mark Manson who said whenever you propose a date or a drink or some other interaction with a woman the answer you’re wanting to hear from her is “Hell yes!” Whatever the proposition you make with a woman you want her to say “Hell yes I do!” Unsolicited enthusiasm is a very good sign from a woman, and one that can help you determine her genuine desire as well as her capacity to submit to you.
When you get this response from a woman it feels like it’s magic. It’s active anticipation and a real drive to submit. When I go into issues that deal with a man maintaining Frame much of that comes from a woman’s genuine desire to submit to that man’s authority. A woman’s got to submit in order to enter a man’s reality.
If we use the “Hell yes” response as the upper end of a woman’s interest, what follows from there is, by order of degrees, lesser interest. From the “Hell yes” on down any hesitancy on a woman’s part is lesser capacity to submit, all down to “Hell no”. It’s those in between degrees of interest that trip men up. They make poor decisions due to a woman’s Luke-warm desire. They keep driving at spiking interest, calibrating and then reassessing a woman that had only marginal desire for them. In itself this isn’t a bad thing, most PUA Game centers on this process, but it all has a purpose of arriving at a woman’s submission to Frame.