by S.A. McCarthy

Real manhood is not to be found in the Red Pill, but in taking up your cross and following Christ.

Feminism has, for over a century, been playing merry Hell with Western civilisation, engendering (pun intended) division and enmity between the sexes and giving rise to a host of moral and societal cancers, such as abortion, transgenderism, and the decline of the family.

The division between the sexes bred by feminism initially targeted women, pressuring them to be more and more like men, especially by leaving their homes and children and joining the workforce. Of course, women cannot, by their very nature as women, be men, and thus feminism spawned a dual bitterness among its female adherents: bitterness towards masculinity for being unattainably masculine and bitterness against femininity for not being attainably masculine.

By the final quarter of the 20th century, after achieving its magnum opus in the Sexual Revolution, feminism had fixed its withering glare on men. Masculinity was soon labelled dangerous and “toxic”, and men were pressured to be more like women, particularly by abandoning or suppressing masculine characteristics like assertiveness or aggression, independence, and providence. Having been told for generations that they are, by their very nature as men, problematic and oppressive, it is little wonder that there has been a decades-long crisis in masculinity.

Many men today strive to avoid the “toxic” label and so cede their God-given role as leader and provider, often allowing women to shape their opinions, lead their relationships, and split their role as breadwinner equally. This weakness has wrought even further civilisational decay and has driven countless men into desperate little psychological corners.

Some simply whither away and die there, more terrified of being called a monster than of the sad, shivering husk they instead become; some, disgusted with the horror they are told that men are (a disgust frequently compounded by pornography addictions and neglected psychological conditions), decide it’s better to be women than to be men, and so seek out gender transition drugs and surgeries; and some, sick of the stranglehold that feminism has so long exerted over the culture, take the “Red Pill”.

The ‘Red Pill’

Across the internet, hundreds of thousands of young men partake in the “manosphere”, a community of websites, blogs, video channels, and social media influencers who promote physical fitness, tanned-and-toned body aesthetics, and a ridiculously luxurious lifestyle and claim that feminism has poisoned culture against men, encouraged and entrenched vitriol against men, and proliferated and normalised sexual degeneracy among women. So far, spot on. But despite its largely correct diagnosis of the social evils plaguing our civilisation, the remedy prescribed by the manosphere is just as poisonous: the Red Pill.

What could have been an ordered and even noble response to feminism, a surgical manoeuvre to excise the cultural cancer, devolved instead into a cesspool of violent misogyny, rampant degeneracy, and nihilistic materialism, with a dash of narcissistic homosexuality for flavour.

The Red Pill does not respond to feminism’s pervasive sexual promiscuity by extolling the virtue of chastity, but instead jealously encourages men to be just as promiscuous, if not more so. The Red Pill does not seek out the forgotten masculine characteristics of courage, endurance, providence, and self-sacrifice, but instead cultivates only aggression and self-seeking.

The Red Pill does not remind men that they are to provide for their wives and children, but instead tells them to “rise and grind” so they can afford a bulky luxury watch and a fluorescent luxury sportscar — all the better for cruising for chicks. The Red Pill does not remind men why manhood is good and necessary, but instead conforms masculinity to the terms set by feminism, in the inverse: poisoning culture against women, encouraging and entrenching vitriol against women, and proliferating and normalising sexual degeneracy among men.

In short, the Red Pill is just vapid internet slang for feminism’s evils practiced by and for the “benefit” of men. Just as feminism is characterised by labelling masculinity “toxic,” so also the Red Pill is characterised by labelling women “sluts.” Misogyny is an essential component of the Red Pill, which in many cases leads to yet another social and sexual evil: narcissistic homosexuality.

‘Men without Chests’

Although there are multitudinous psychological factors that may lead one to identify as homosexual and lead a homosexual lifestyle, there are, at least superficially, two forms of homosexuality. The first is readily familiar and recognisable: the effeminate homosexuality which favours leopard print and limp wrists. This form of homosexuality is prone to a catty love-hatred of women born out of envy. In some ways, effeminate homosexuality feels itself more at home around women, in no small part because it seeks to emulate women.

The other form is less often seen and even more seldomly discussed: hyper-masculine homosexuality. This form of homosexuality rejects femininity altogether, deriding women for not being men, while worshipping the superficial traits of masculinity. I say the superficial traits because such authentically masculine virtues as chastity, temperance, prudence, and self-sacrifice are neither sought nor cultivated. All that is desired is the muscular male form and the personality traits of aggression and pride.

God made male and female for each other (Genesis 1:27). While effeminate homosexuality seeks to play the role of the female, hyper-masculine homosexuality removes her from the equation altogether. Its narcissism and self-absorption is so complete that it worships only itself and whatever has the hubris to resemble it. Even if it does not culminate in homosexuality, the ideology of the Red Pill still reaches these dizzying heights of auto-adulation, worshipping a warped and fractured image of masculinity so fervently, so devotedly that vehement hatred of all that is “other” becomes in itself an act of worship.

This self-adoration, paradoxically, necessitates a fracturing of the self. Man is incomplete in love without woman, just as she is incomplete in love without man. The Red Pill denies this fundamental truth and thus fractures man, carving out of him that which in fact makes him a man: his heart. The Red Pill encourages men to push themselves to the limit, to lift weights, to live adventurously, to earn inordinate amounts of money, but for what? Simply for the sake of making oneself into one’s own idol (as in idolatry) — not for the sake of the other, for the sake of a woman, because the Red Pill preaches that no woman has value as a woman, only as a fleshy instrument for sex.

The end result of the manosphere’s efforts has been to instil in its adherents a distorted and disordered hierarchy of value, prizing wealth and fashion above the human souls they were made to give themselves to in love. The Red Pill encourages (almost goads) men to achieve and perform, but simultaneously denies that there is anything worth achieving and no feat worth performing, no object to either. C.S. Lewis predicted such a dreary, purposeless dystopia in his book The Abolition of Man. Lewis wrote,

“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

What a pitiable and miserable existence the Red Pill renders: sex without soul, achievement without meaning, work without purpose, nothing worth living or fighting or dying for, just one’s own self. Another great Christian author, G.K. Chesterton, pithily summarised such an existence: “Yourself, yourself, yourself — the only companion that is never satisfied — and never satisfactory.”

The Way of the Cross

Surely the Red Pill’s depressing, stifling conclusions can’t be correct, surely the cancer of feminism hasn’t succeeded in actually killing its host civilisation, surely there must be some hope.

There is. The moral and spiritual diseases of both feminism and the Red Pill are both cured by the cross of Christ. That way lies true manhood and masculinity. Where the Red Pill whines that feminism has ruined everything, Christ says, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Where the Red Pill suggests that there is no way forward for men or women, Christ says, “Take up your cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Where the Red Pill extols promiscuity and degeneracy, Christ commands, “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

And more than this, Christ shows us how to be real men. The flashy images of bodybuilders and Bugattis that populate manosphere websites and social media feeds suddenly pale next to an image of one Man, not clad in designer athleisure but stripped of both his clothes and his flesh, adorned not with a Rolex or a pair of Ray-Bans but with a crown of thorns — one Man, hanging upon a tree, breathing His last.

The 20th-century Catholic priest Josemaría Escrivá once explained, “The school of love has a name: it is sacrifice.” Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the greatest image of manhood that ever existed. On that cross, Christ exemplified and embodied the perfection of every masculine trait: the strength to carry the sins of the world, the courage to submit to His own death, the humility to hang naked, nailed to a tree, the self-sacrifice He made of His life, and the love He poured out upon the entire world as it scorned Him and mocked Him.

Real manhood is not to be found in the Red Pill, nor is the manosphere’s response to the cancer of feminism the right one. Real manhood is to be found in taking up your cross and following Christ, even if it means following Him to death.

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Republished with thanks to The Washington Stand. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand. He has also been published by The American Spectator, Real Clear Investigations, and Crisis Magazine. He graduated from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland with a degree in English Literature and Communication.

About the Author: Guest Writer

Dads4Kids is a harm prevention charity committed to excellence in fathering. Our vision is to transform the nation by inspiring fathers to help their children be the best they can be.There’s a crisis in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 870,000 children, more than 1 in 6, live without their biological father at home.

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