If you remember The Matrix, then you know that when Neo meets Morpheus, he's offered a choice to take either a blue or red pill. "You take the blue pill, the story ends," Morpheus tells him. "You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes." Naturally, in true sci-fi fashion, Neo takes the red pill to escape the simulated reality — the Matrix, created by machines — and to learn the truth.
However, outside of science fiction, the Red Pill has since come to represent an online Reddit community of extremely misogynistic men. And, in real life, men who "swallow" the red pill believe the oppression of women is a myth, men are socially disenfranchised, and men and women are inherently different. Consequently, this line of thinking devolves into hateful, violent, and incel-esque ideology. Think Andrew Tate.
Now, without getting into the weeds of Red Pill ideology, it's unfortunately safe to say these misogynistic sentiments have become more visible — if not genuinely popular amongst boys and men — today. That recently prompted u/my-name-is-kat to ask, "Ladies, has the popularity of the Red Pill movement affected your attraction to men?" Here's how they responded:
1."I used to not care much about politics. Basically, 'don't encroach on the rights of others' was my only rule. But now, I won't date anyone who isn't a liberal who supports feminism. It makes me scared, honestly. I want kids tremendously, but I don't know if I'll be able to find a male partner who I feel I can trust enough to do that with."
2."I think the internet has affected my attraction to men. Men seem to think everyone on the internet is a man, so they feel comfy saying misogynistic things that apparently most of them believe very openly. The internet made 'locker room talk' public, and I've been judging men for it since then."
3."I've got to say, I don't lose all hope for men when I see a post in which a woman talks about her shitty experiences with men or male partners. But I do start losing hope and respect for men when I see what they comment on those kinds of posts."
4."I'm married and would avoid the entire dating scene if I became single again. I'd only consider getting involved with a well-established friend — but, hey, Red-Pilling is also affecting my friendships. Beyond that, it has definitely affected some family relationships. I have completely cut off a few family members. Those dudes can just fuck off forever, I don't care what their genetics are."
"I have some great, long-term male friends, and I'm slower to accept new, male friends. I don't have the bandwidth to deal with misogyny after the last eight years of bullshit, so there are some (probably) nice chaps who haven't gotten invites to my tabletop role-playing game nights yet."
5."I am more fearful of men in general now. I've become more aware of how men see us in a way I never was before. A lot of them seem to despise us. When you read the words they use to describe women, it's like we aren't even human to them."
6."I've noticed, aside from Red Pill, that society has become harder for everyone, but they act like it's only them. It's more expensive, people work much harder for less, and loneliness is off the charts, but they see more women have community and support. They see women-only shelters and suicide rates for men and think, Hmph! Why do they get extra help?! What they fail to see is women get these things because of other women. We built these spaces, we volunteer, and we go out of our way for others because of compassion and empathy. Men see what we have and want it, too. I see so many men talk about having a girlfriend as if it will solve any of their problems, but it's all selfish. 'I'll have someone to love me and raise my sense of self-worth! To hug, to cuddle, to fuck, to cook, to clean... providing for us is all they need to do, right?' They come into relationships incompetent about the give and take required."
7."It has made me very leery of dating, and if a man does anything Red-Pillish — such as trying to lower my confidence — then poof, I'm gone. Interestingly, it has made me reexamine my unconscious assumption of the desirability of being in a couple. I find being on my own, with the company of lots of platonic friends, to be peaceful, fun, and fulfilling."
"This is so perfectly stated, and my exact experience! You're just preconditioned to have couplehood be your end goal, and anything else is a failure. Weirdly, when I started to take a break from dating, I struggled more with self-consciousness due to societal expectations. I haven't yet felt lonely because it was immediately such a nice change to not have to deal with fucking nonsense anymore, LOL.
Now, I just don't see how I could go back to it, and I don't care at all about dying alone. Women tend to anyway since men die younger, 🤷♀️. The only thing I miss is the little bit of security of someone being available at all times and very close — like, yeah, if I'm choking or need help, it's a real concern. Plus, two people make bills actually manageable and things like vacations much easier to pull off.
That said, when people express doubt that I could be happily single, I always say, 'I'm literally paying an extra $1,000 a month (in bills that would be split if I partnered up) for the privilege of remaining single.' Some days, I dream of a commune with 20–100 acres, little houses dotting the outer perimeter, a massive food forest somewhere in the middle — maybe a pollinator field, gardens, whatever — and nothing but happily single women living in each of the houses. We can keep mostly to ourselves but help with the land and be there to do the Heimlich or go out to movies, 😄 That daydream now occupies the space in my mind where a relationship with a man once did!"
8."Yes, 100%. It feels like men literally hate women, so why would I fuck with them? If I sleep with you, I'm a whore. If I don't sleep with you, I'm a bitch. If I am independent, I'm 'going against nature.' If I want a man to support me, I'm a gold digger. They literally just straight up don't like women, so naturally, women don't like them back… then they don't understand why women don't want them. It's exhausting and not worth the effort or risk at all."
9."I'm married, so it doesn't have much impact on me personally in my daily life. However, if anything were to happen to my husband, I'd be single and celibate for the rest of my days on this planet."
10."I'm not even 30, and I gave up on men a few years ago. I left a very conservative, religious hometown where women were 'the help' and men did their best to stomp our own goals out of us. I'm pleased to report more girls leave each year. When I left, I imagined the men in progressive areas would be better. Instead, I found this Red Pill, incel crap. I didn't move a thousand miles away from my sexist upbringing to walk right back into it. The one time I went on a date and the guy started with the 'I'm an alpha' crap, I just got up and left."
11."Ex-lady, so take my input with a grain of salt as I am read as a man 100% of the time. One thing I noticed after transitioning is that the type of men who would give me the heebie-jeebies as a woman turned out to be worse than I could have imagined. When in the presence of other men, they tend to say what they really think, and their hatred of women shapes basically their entire worldview. If you get that gut feeling a guy is a misogynist, chances are you aren't just right, but that he's even more of a terrible person than he's letting on."
12."Yes. It literally affects my attraction to them. For some time now, I've had zero interest in dating. It almost feels complicit to date any man when they help support and uphold the frothing hostility of current misogyny levels. It's like an ACAB sentiment; I don't see enough men actively, vocally speaking up when another man says something misogynistic. Reddit has given me a window into the unfiltered thoughts of many men, and while I know not all men think that way, these things get thousands of upvotes. Looking back on the partners who have mistreated me, they ultimately dissolve into spouting these hateful views and rhetoric. I now know all too well that men can and will cloak this hate for months or years. I don't think enough of them even like us, and the rest don't seem bothered to do something about it. It is always radio silence from men in the real world when one of them is a creep. Basically, a boycott, that's where I'm at."
"And it's silence at best because it's more commonly awkward or even enthusiastic laughter and participation — like little school boys trying to be cool for who they perceive as their alpha daddy, 🤮. I'll happily die alone because I'm literally happier single than I've ever been with a man.
I'm thinking I’m in an easy position to just opt out and do the thing ideally all of us should do (I feel like it would stop half of the misogynist behavior in a heartbeat): Refuse to give our bodies, time, or attention to men until they get themselves under control and stop harassing and trying to control us.
For the record, I don't judge any woman who can't or doesn't want to boycott men, and a lot of you have found great partners! However, I am sort of starting to judge some of the women who keep rewarding a partner's misogyny with continued sex. I feel like we owe it to each other to leave these people because that's the only power we have — to refuse to tolerate this kind of behavior. (That said, there are often other elements at play — like abuse, control, and exploitation of very young women — so, of course, I'm not mad at victims at all.)"
13."It wasn't Red Pill that erased any interest or trust in men, it was men. They've always been like this, Red Pill just lets them be honest. Love him [but] my dad did not (does not) know what to do with a daughter, so he always treated me like a slightly weaker son. I grew up with the knowledge that it might take me longer to do strength-related tasks, but I would get that couch moved, that tire changed, that box up the stairs, etc. I was expected to be just as independent and dependable as my brothers. The few times my brothers tried to treat me less because I was a girl, I proved them wrong. (Ah, brothers, bless their hearts. They are stronger; I'm sneakier.) Then, I encountered men and boys who genuinely see me as less. Coworkers, teachers, and casual acquaintances blink and look shocked when I talk back, hold the door for them, give them advice, or joke around with them... You know, when I dare to be a person treating them like a person."
"It took years to figure out it was a 'them, not me' problem, and then I took a page out of their book and 'went my own way.' I prefer women, socially and romantically.
In short, by the time Red Pill came around, I had already lost any interest in men as friends or acquaintances."
14."I refuse to fuck with any dude who has 'conservative,' 'moderate,' 'Christian,' or 'apolitical' in a dating profile. I will bail any time anyone says anything about alpha, beta, or sigma males. Any sort of negging will also get them tossed. I mostly date queer people these days, if I do at all."
15."I honestly don't even want to talk to men outside of the ones I know and trust anymore."
16."It hasn't affected my overall attraction, but it has changed my 'acceptable risk' profile when it comes to casual sexism. I used to laugh it off a bit more. Now, I don't feel confident I can tell the difference between someone who is very confused about wolves and someone who intends to go on a shooting spree, so if you sincerely talk about alphas and betas, you're out. Forever. No conversation or attempt to educate. Just out. There are lots of Red Pill phrases that hit my ears these days, and I just nope right out."
"You're dead to me. We're not dating; we're not friends. I won't work with you a moment longer than absolutely necessary."
17."Seven months ago, I would have said I don't know where all these disgusting dudes hide when I'm around and that I probably just surround myself with quality people. Then, I heard my best friend say some out-of-pocket shit about his girlfriend, and he has not spoken to me since I called him out on it. Now, I'll just say that y'all need to do whatever keeps you in the safest and happiest state at all times — even if it means not fucking with men. I still have other great friends whom I perceive as being decent humans, but that experience rattled me. I couldn't imagine hearing some of the shit he said after becoming intimate with someone."
18."100%. I'm 18 and currently going to college with boys a year or two younger than me. Seeing them idolize people like Andrew Tate and Jordan Peterson is scary. I also see men my own age do it. I've had a guy tell me to my face that a man crying is worse than a woman being raped. I've had men who feel they 'must' remind me that they can easily rape and kill me. And I struggle to fight back as a lot of these boys have surrounded themselves with these awful girls who have such bad internalized misogyny. They constantly justify these awful rape cases that we see in the news. I feel so alone because of it."
19."Absolutely. If a man uses any of that language or incel speak, I immediately leave. I won't entertain that. It can spiral quickly, and I'm not interested in jeopardizing my safety. I take care to not swipe on people who use incel dog whistles in their profiles or claim to be politically conservative or even moderate. Men who are 'moderate' have learned that if they outright say they're conservative, they won't get laid. Until a man proves to me otherwise with his actions and behavior, it's easier to assume he's dangerous and hates women. Men constantly say that women are emotional, but I haven't heard of a woman beating their spouse senselessly because their precious football team lost. Even some men I thought were 'normal' got so huffy about the Barbie movie. Instantly, I understood that they simply hid their depravity behind their 'normal' facade."
20."I was with someone who got into the Red Pill movement during our relationship. He told me that I had duties as a woman and needed to fulfill his needs. Zero out of 10 would recommend getting with anyone who is into these beliefs. I highly recommend leaving the second they bring up how it 'makes so much sense.'"
21."When I was 'on the market' — I've been with my husband since 2018 — I always considered Red Pill to be an internet-brained thing that I didn't have to deal with IRL (aside from general misogyny in our culture). I've been on Reddit since 2010, and back then, the Red Pill sub was just starting. I used to go to r/thebluepill to make fun of those nerds, and my closest male friends would take part. We'd send each other ridiculous posts and laugh. I didn't think men I respected and considered friends would get sucked in. Now, a few of my single guy friends — who back then would have laughed at these guys — have started saying some red flag shit, like weird pro-life-lite sentiments and 'women are x' statements. Maybe I'm just hyper-vigilant of the 'signals,' but I thought they knew better. Creepy stuff."
22."I won't even go for a friend with benefits. I don't want to be treated like trash and met with unrealistic expectations and standards. Given what I've seen men say about us and the fact that violence during sex without consent has been perpetuated via free porn, I no longer feel safe to engage. But I want to, and I miss sex."
"I wish I was more bisexual than I am. I'm going to start getting more toys and just make my own personal, sex jungle gym."
23."Yes. I hate to say it, but I just started assuming that most men are raging misogynists."
24."I honestly think it's made me a lot more aware of early warning signs in a guy. Not too long ago, I was casually dating this guy. He was very clean-cut and put together on the surface. We got on well, and the sex was okay, but I didn't mind because I figured it'd get better in time with communication. Well, we stopped talking after I very nicely said I did like sleeping with him, but if he could do more foreplay during sex, it'd be great. He became a bit standoffish and started giving me the silent treatment. He made it very obvious he was ignoring me, and I was turned off by how immature it came off across. Turns out, he was a huge Tater Tot and followed a bunch of Instagram accounts that posted his videos. In one of the videos, another Red Pill dude who very clearly had daddy issues said, 'If you give your girl the silent treatment, she'll be so desperate for attention that she'll be reaching out to you.'"
25."When we were in our early 20s, my friend and I dealt with two guys like this. Looking back, they were definitely following some sort of Red Pill guidebook. My friend and I were attractive and had a lot going for us, so we were absolutely baffled as to why two unattractive, out-of-shape men who had no futures and were bad at sex were so confident in treating us badly. It piqued our curiosity as we thought there must be something that caused them to be like that. Turns out, there wasn't! I look back and laugh at our delusion. What you see is what you get. Being older and wiser, I can spot their weird habits a mile off and run away. Sadly, they aren't marriage material and actively encourage women to be less-than. They're not a benefit to society at all and are cockblocking normal men across the globe. It's sad they spend energy doing this to themselves, LOL."
"Spoiler: Those guys have as much going for them now, 15 years on, as they did then (nothing). Men don't age like fine wine if they are shit to begin with."