The “manosphere” is a corner of the Internet dominated by straight men that promotes masculinity, misogyny, and opposition to feminism. It also is a money making machine. Let’s take a look at how the manosphere makes money.
The blatant call to action by the manosphere is that the world is hostile to men, and it is feminists’ fault. They argue that if you listen to them, do what they say, and most importantly, if you buy their products, you will be able to break free from the feminazis. These women who are trying to turn you into a “beta” and ultimately, you will be able to achieve your best alpha status.
The History of the Manosphere
How has the manosphere grown so big? And why are so many men paying these misogynistic jerks to help them hate women? Why did this happen in the first place?
Well, unfortunately, hating women is nothing new. In the last hundred years or so in America, women have won the right to vote, have been able to get a job, and open their own bank account. A lot of men have seen these changes as an attack on them as individuals. Changing social norms like gay marriage or trans rights growing (though of course, trans rights are also deeply under attack) have created an opening for misogynistic men to say, “Hey, other men, the world is being taken from you. And this is why you need to fight back.”
This has resonated with a lot of people, especially over the last five or so years in the United States. We see this with the rise of politicians like Ronald DeSantis and Donald Trump, who explicitly use messaging from the manosphere in their political platforms. When people are feeling isolated, left behind and ignored, it creates an emotional void in them. And ultimately, these people in the manosphere have been able to fill that void.
People are looking for connection
People of all types, myself included, are constantly looking for a place where they can belong. We, as humans, form in groups. We want to be with people that we like, that we admire and that we feel comfortable with. This desire for belonging is part of the reason cults will never die out.
Cults and the manosphere have a lot in common
People join cults, for a lot of reasons, including:
- Searching for meaning and identity, vulnerability, a sense of community and belonging.
- The desire for personal transformation.
- Emotional manipulation from a cult leader.
- A charismatic leader
- Telling someone what they want to hear or making promises to them about what they could be.
- An escape from their present day problems that seem overwhelming
- A desire for answers in a world that is filled with chaos.
- Peer pressure, and social influence from others that they know and trust.
- Isolation from external information. In other words, not being able to fact check information, they’re told by the cult leader.
- And finally incremental involvement, or starting off small and building to bigger things over time.
This is the exact playbook that the major voices in the manosphere use to recruit followers to their cause, and most importantly, to make sales to these people. If someone popped up in your life and said, “Hey, I can solve your biggest problem for you, while giving you a community of people who are going through the same thing as you. And I’m going to be there guiding you through it the whole time supporting you,” that is a very compelling pitch.
The manosphere preys on vulnerability
Let’s say you’re a straight man. You want a girlfriend, but you’ve asked a few girls out and they’ve turned you down. You might start asking questions like, “What is wrong with me? Why don’t girls like me?” The manosphere takes that vulnerability, manipulates it and offers you back a two-for-one. Girls don’t like you, the manosphere says, because you’re not doing the right things. You’re not eating the right way, you’re not working out, you’re not listening to the right things. You’re not becoming the alpha that all women crave.
They also argue that women desire “an alpha.” Because they are the biologically weaker sex, they are driven to find a provider. Women don’t want to be the ones providing. Women are biologically turned off by a man that cannot provide for them. So if you want a woman, you need to become that provider. Getting a woman is the ultimate goal. You need to become someone that women will be inherently attracted to. That way you assume your role as the alpha and you get the ultimate prize: women.
Logical inconsistencies of the manosphere
There’s a lot of logical inconsistencies with the manosphere, which is unsurprising for most cults. I can’t think of a single quotes that makes a lot of sense. Their focus isn’t on having an airtight, logical philosophy. Their focus is on emotionally manipulating you enough that you will become a devoted follower who will pay money to hear them say what they have to say. And this focus is incredibly profitable for anyone or for any industry.
The manosphere has similarities to the weight loss industry: both need you to fail
Consider the weight loss industry, which is expected to grow from 275.97 billion in 2022, to almost 300 billion in 2023. The weight loss industry tells us that there is power and being fit. It tells us that being thin makes you beautiful. It makes you valuable and it makes you smart. The industry tells us things like: if you only drink your meals, instead of eating, you’ll lose weight and become thin. Or if you eat more fiber than anything else, you’ll become thin. Or if you give up carbs, or if you stop drinking, or if you work out in this way, you will become thin.
There’s a lot of roads to get you to the goal. But the goal never changes. And all these roads serve as ways to separate you from your money, which in turn makes the weight loss industry very, very valuable.
So how much money do manosphere leaders make?
Circling back to the manosphere, I want to talk about how much money these guys are actually making. You’re probably familiar with some of the “top dogs.” We’re talking about the Jordan Petersons, the Andrew Tates, the “Fresh and Fits” of the world. Well, Andrew Tate is reportedly worth $370 million. Jordan Peterson is reportedly worth between seven and $10 million and Myron Gains is allegedly worth $1.5 million. And while they will all shout from the rooftops that they are their own businesses and that they are self-made, really what they are is multi-level marketing schemes.
Here’s one quote from a recent article in Mother Jones that covered the manosphere. “‘Most of these internet masculinity gurus operate like influencers. Often the goal is to convert followers into customers, they’re basically trying to create a problem which doesn’t exist and then get you to pay for a solution to that problem,’ Mark told me. ‘You can see why young people feel lonely and why they feel hopeless about the future.’ Kelly the researcher told me, ‘Today’s masculinity influencers offer something a therapist won’t. It comes with a hook which says it’s not your fault if you’ve ever felt this way. The problem is feminism. And in fact, in some cases, the problem isn’t even just feminists. But women in general.'”
We can agree that there’s a problem, but the root cause is not women
The thing that irks me personally about the manosphere is that these men have correctly identified that there is a problem that a lot of men have today. There is a crisis of loneliness among men. Men don’t have the social circles that a lot of women have. There is a rising cost of living crisis and everything is getting more expensive. People also don’t have as much freedom to pursue their interests and passions. There’s also toxic masculinity or the idea that a man has to look a certain way or act a certain way.
Toxic masculinity hurts men. It eliminates options for them. Maybe they want to be the guys who paints, or the guys who gardens. But if we say a man should never garden and a man has an interest in gardening, now he’s dealing with internal guilt and self-doubt. Which may result in self-hatred. And that’s a really crappy way for a guy to live.
The true culprits are capitalism and the patriarchy
But instead of pointing their podcast mics at the actual culprits, which is capitalism and patriarchy, the guise of the manosphere have said, “Hey, why don’t we blame women for this? It’s women’s fault that you feel isolated and sad and insecure because these women are no longer adhering to their biological roles. If only women would do the right thing. It would be easier for you.”
This is also touched upon in that same Mother Jones article. “‘One of the things that I find so dangerous about manosphere influencers is they’ll often say, you know, men have very high suicide rates. Men have very high levels of homelessness. But what they actually offer is an incredibly bad deal,’ said Kelly, the researcher. ‘They have no real solutions to many of the problems they talked about.'”
The solutions offered by the manosphere all come with a price
So what solutions do they offer? Well, they offer courses. They offer exclusive podcast content. They offer workout plans, all of which come at a cost a pretty high cost. Yes, these manosphere influencers are selling products, but they are also setting their audiences up to fail.
The majority of their listeners must remain “betas,” otherwise their customer pool dries up. The manosphere influencers don’t actually want you to become fitter, hotter, more educated and more well-rounded. They want you to get angrier and angrier, but they don’t want you to actually improve your life. If you actually improve your life, then you’ll stop buying. The job that the Tates and the Petersons have in this world is not to actually move you from point A to point B. Their job is recruiting more men to their worldview and then keeping them on a hamster wheel of promises.
The manosphere is constantly moving the goalpost for success
These men are constantly moving the goalposts for success. If you look at their content, they are constantly contradicting themselves. They say things like: Success is being fit. But only if you get fit via a specific diet. If you eat too many vegetables, you’re just a “soy boy.” Success is getting a woman, but only a high value woman. If you’re dating a fatty, that’s embarrassing for you, beta.
Of course, the actual solution to these crises that men are going through like loneliness, the rising cost of living and the lack of community is things like: being an active part of your local community, building stronger friendships and respecting women, so that they want to spend time around you. A man that you have never met demeaning you on social media and then asking for your money is not the solution that you really need.
You will never hear Andrew Tate say, “Share openly and vulnerably with your male friends and try volunteering in your community.” That’s never going to happen because these men do not actually want you to succeed. So now I want to walk step by step through their sales funnel so that you can see this happening in real time.
The sales funnel the manosphere uses, or how the manosphere makes money
1st point of contact: a incendiary social media post
The first point of contact will be an incendiary social media post. These posts are polarizing by design. That’s because polarizing takes evoke emotion, anger, disagreement, resentment, disbelief, and these emotions make people want to share. Which then in turn, amplifies the post and gets it in front of a wider audience. If you find something that you believe speaks exactly to your soul, you want to share because you agree with it.
Or if you find something that you think is straight garbage, you want to share so that you can say look at how terrible this is. Either way, it’s a win for the creator because their content is getting seen.
2nd point of contact: free, but lacking, information
The second point of contact is to give away enough information to make yourself seem like an expert. But very crucially, you have to withhold the details that will complete their journey.
These creators also displaying themselves in some sort of aspirational way. This is when you see men like on top of mountains, on top of horses, or surrounded by women. They have the thing that their audience wants.
3rd point of contact: an “exclusive” workshop
Third point of contact is to offer an exclusive workshop that solves one of their very specific problems. Of course, you can only get access to this workshop via email. This workshop will be set up on click funnels. It will run constantly, like every 30 minutes, but it will be marketed as an exclusive, “one time only” offer. This webinar will just “magically” be going live a few minutes after you sign up. And the only way that you will have access to it is via your email. So now, the contact has captured your email and they have another way to get in touch with you rather than just hoping you see their posts on social media.
4th point of contact: the sales pitch & onslaught of emails
The fourth point of contact is the sales pitch and onslaught of emails at the end of the webinar. There will be a pitch at the end of the webinar: “Buy my course!” “Subscribe to my exclusive podcast content!” “Come to my live event in Atlanta or Nashville.” And since you watched his webinar, of course, whatever the product will be on sale just for you, so that you feel special and you feel like the content creators doing you a favor.
Then over the next couple of days, you will receive a slew of email. Usually three to four emails a day, and the emails will show you the life that you could have. AKA, the life that the content creator has. But you’ll only have this life if you buy their product. And that is the sales funnel.
Not all sales funnels are scammy
Now I don’t want to imply that all sales funnels are scammy. A lot of us are in a lot of sales funnels for companies that we like and trust. A good example of a sales funnel, that is not nearly as emotionally manipulative, is when you go to a website and a little pop up ad comes up. The popup often says “Get 10% off for entering your email and then you get 10% on your purchase.” You then give them your email and you know that they’re going to email you. You know that they’re going to be sending you things like future codes or letting you know about sales or new product launches.
They’re not going to be sliding into your inbox and berating you. They won’t say, “Why are you eating broccoli, you beta?! Women hate broccoli!” Some of these manosphere influencer’s sales pitches are so bonkers. For own budgeting purposes and to stop the misogynistic onslaught, it is really important to understand how this works.
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out the video below on this topic and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel. We put out new videos every Monday.