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Trouble in ‘Red Pill’ Land

Posted on | October 22, 2019 | 2 Comments

Rollo Tomassi speaking in 2018.

This past spring, I traveled to Florida for the 21 Convention, a gathering of the “Red Pill” community (a/k/a, “The Manosphere”). What especially drew me to Orlando was a desire to see first-hand the men whose movement represents hope of turning back the tide of Third Wave feminism. There is only so much you can learn about people online, and the opportunity to meet these guys in person was important.

Scarcely had that event ended, however, than a schism of sorts emerged in the manosphere. There was a falling-out between the 21 Convention’s Anthony Johnson and Rational Male author Rollo Tomassi. While I don’t know the details of this quarrel, and am averse to being forced to choose sides in such a dispute where all participants are potential allies in the Culture Wars, I perceive that envy of Tomassi’s influence may be at the root of this schism. At any rate, several of Tomassi’s critics have formed a sort of alliance against him, and one of these critics, Jared Trueheart, sent me a copy of his new book The Red Pill Ideology: The Love Child of Pick-Up Artists and Feminists. Trueheart’s argument is essentially that the Red Pill movement peaked circa 2016 and is now passé, that changes in social and economic circumstances have rendered Tomassi’s insights on “intersexual dynamics” irrelevant. Well, I don’t think so.

Far be it from me to endorse every argument Rollo Tomassi has ever made, but the proof is in the pudding. That is to say, there are men who have read The Rational Male and assert that it literally saved their lives. By explaining female behavior, he helps readers understand their own romantic failures and find hope of future success. Consider one of Rollo’s controversial bits of advice (and one that Trueheart criticizes), that of “spinning plates.” The smart young bachelor, Rollo advises, should develop his options with multiple women, rather than succumbing to the temptation of “one-itis” (investing all his energy and resources in an idealized Dream Girl). This is just good common sense, especially when you consider how men are perceived from a woman’s perspective.

Two time-proven adages — “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” and “Familiarity breeds contempt” — express the problem of the guy who clings too closely to a girlfriend (or potential girlfriend) in such a way that he seems helpless and desperate. What this looks like, from the girl’s perspective, is that this guy has no other options. No other woman wants him, and therefore his value is diminished in her eyes.

What the guy with a “one-itis” problem has done is to forfeit his power.

Despite everything that has changed in the sexual marketplace in recent decades, the fact remains that a young man who is going places in life — the guy with obvious future potential — is viewed as a highly desirable companion by young women. The labels “Alpha male” and “Beta male,” as used in the manosphere, may fail to capture this dynamic. Young women can be quite foolish in their choices, and feminism’s influence tends to rationalize and encourage female folly, but the wise young woman (the one who aspires to be “wife material”) assesses men according to their suitability as future husbands. Well, the high-quality young man is a commodity much in demand, his companionship is valuable, and such a man ought not to act like a desperate loser.

When Rollo tells guys to think in terms of “spinning plates,” he’s encouraging them to avoid a mentality that makes a guy seem like a loser. Your behavior when interacting with a woman you find attractive will tend to convey desperation if you feel you have no other options, that you must “close this sale” or be doomed to loneliness. Whereas, by contrast, if you’ve got in your speed-dial the numbers of a half-dozen girls you sometimes date, and who would be glad to drop in for “Netflix and chill,” your behavior with a new female acquaintance will tend to be more confident and casual — The Attitude:

Damone: All right… where did you see her?
Ratner: She’s in my biology class.
Damone: Did you get her number?
Ratner: No.
Damone: Did you get her name?
Ratner: No. It’s too soon.
Damone: It’s never too soon! Girls decide how far to let you go in the first five minutes.
Ratner: Well, what do you want me to do? Go up to this strange girl in my biology class and say, ‘Hello! I’d like you to take your clothes off and jump on me?’
Damone: I would. Yeah.
Ratner: Really?
Damone: I can see it all now. This is going to be just like the girl you fell in love with at Fotomat this summer. You bought forty bucks of f–kin’ film and you never even talked to her. You don’t even own a camera.
Ratner: You tell me, Mike. What do I do? . . .
Damone: This is what you do — start from the minute you walk into biology. I mean, don’t just walk in. You move across the room. And you don’t talk to her. You use your face. You use your body. You use everything. That’s what I do. I mean I just send out this vibe and I have personally found that women do respond. I mean, something happens.
Ratner: Well, naturally something happens. I mean, you put the vibe out to 30 million chicks, something is gonna happen.
Damone: That’s the idea, Rat. That’s the attitude.
Ratner: The attitude?
Damone: Yeah! The attitude dictates that you don’t care whether she comes, stays, lays, or prays. I mean whatever happens, your toes are still tappin’. Now when you got that, then you have the attitude.

That scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High ought to be mandatory viewing for young losers who don’t understand why they’re losing.

Having the appropriate mindset is as essential to winning at romance as it is to winning at sports. The problem with many young men nowadays is that they don’t have a positive male influence in their lives — Dads, older brothers, etc. — who can help them figure this stuff out. Too much of what young men think they “know” about women is either picked up from their (equally clueless) peers, or else a regurgitation of some feminist-friendly formula popularized by the media. What Rollo Tomassi is trying to do, it seems to me, is to provide his readers with the kind of knowledge that will be genuinely helpful to them. Oh, and by the way — this seems obvious to me, but perhaps it needs to be pointed out — the one thing a Red Pill guy should never do, when dealing with women, is to act as if he’s following some kind of script or using tactics.

One of the problems with the Red Pill community, which as Trueheart says grew out of pickup-artist (PUA) forums, is that once Neil Strauss’s 2005 book The Game became a bestseller, every would-be PUA in the country was operating according to the same script. And once all the little tricks of the PUA craft were published online, women could learn to spot a player’s game the minute he made his approach. The tactic of “negging,” for example, won’t work if the target knows it’s a tactic.

Back in the day — I speak of the late 1970s and early ’80s — it was just assumed that every guy in the disco was trying to score. There wasn’t much subtlety about that scene, and the only question was who would pair up with whom, and which guys would leave the disco alone. A lot has changed since then, but one of the constant factors is this: Male demand for sex, collectively, always exceeds the available female supply.

What this means is that men are always in competition against other men, and unless a guy is a natural winner — the true Alpha, who is irresistible to women — he will automatically lose out in this competition, unless he can otherwise develop some advantage.

This is basically an eternal problem for young men, but what has made the competition more ruthless in recent decades is the influence of feminism which teaches young women that the sexual competition is not men versus other men, but rather male versus female. According to the zero-sum-game mentality of feminism, male success is always harmful to women — he is her enemy, rather than her potential partner — and the goal of women should be not to find a desirable male companion, but rather to be completely independent of males. Feminism encourages young women to develop a hostile anti-male attitude, and young men are baffled in their attempts to understand and cope with this hostility.

What the Washington Post has called “the Great American Sex Drought” is the best evidence of feminism’s destructive “success.” Men and women are having less sex, and this is exactly the goal feminism seeks: Men are bad, and it is wrong for women to have sex with men.

Jared Trueheart suggests, and I think he may be onto something, that we can expect more men to return to religious morality in the near future. (He cites PUA legend Daryush “Roosh V” Valizadeh’s recent conversion to orthodox Christianity as portending such a trend.) However that may be, I don’t think it invalidates the Red Pill insights that Rollo Tomassi shares with his readers. Insofar as Tomassi is accurately describing patterns of female behavior, it does not matter whether one approves or disapproves of this at a moral level. The facts are still the facts, and while a genuinely Christian woman would not act like a party girl on the club scene, the temptation to sin is never really far away.

Jesus told his disciples: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” In other words, the Christian must necessarily be wise to the ways of the world, even as he seeks to avoid sinful temptation. The kind of secular wisdom conveyed by The Rational Male and its sequels has been applauded by Rollo Tomassi’s readers as life-saving knowledge, and we therefore ought not to disparage his work, simply because he doesn’t preach against fornication. If you want a sermon against sin, go to church. But if you want to understand women’s behavior — as it actually is, rather than what we might ideally hope it would be — I think you can learn a lot from Rollo Tomassi. And so I hope that somehow the schism in the manosphere can be mended, because it ill behooves men to be divided against each other, when feminists seek to unite all women against us.



2 Responses to “Trouble in ‘Red Pill’ Land”

  1. A Pre-Red Pill Red Pill – Sticks, Stories, and Scotch
    October 23rd, 2019 @ 9:05 am

    […] the guys at The Other McCain published an interesting article about current issues within the “Red Pill Community.” One particular thing that jumped out at […]

  2. Check Out The Reviews of The Red Pill Ideology - Legends of Men
    October 29th, 2019 @ 11:47 am

    […] McCain is a writer and fan of Rollo Tomassi. In this review, McCain shows that I could not persuade him to walk away from The Rational Male’s message. […]