Top positive review
66 people found this helpful
Morpheus in the Otherworld
on 29 October 2013
Rollo Tomassi is one of the Big Names and Elders of the Manosphere. But before you read his advice and theories, here's some context.
In the UK, forty per cent of marriages end in divorce over a twenty year period, and thirty per cent of marriages end in divorce within ten years. Almost one in three children are raised in single-parent families, of which 85% are headed by the woman: nearly 5m boys and girls are growing up without even the presence of a father-figure, and it's been that way since the mid-1990's (UK Labour Force Survey 2012). One out of the next three twenty-somethings you meet won't know what it is to have a man in the home. At the other end of the scale, 10%-20% of married couples under 50 have perfunctory, once-a-month-or-less sex lives (Kinsey 2010) right alongside 60% or so of under-29 single men.
Sounds terrible, a society in the course of destroying itself.
Except that there are 11m boys and girls growing up in functional two-parent families, parents who, to judge by the statistic that over half the married couples under 59 have sex on a weekly basis, are in decent, mutually satisfying relationships. So the glass is more than half-full, not broken on the floor.
More than half the world is Normal and has a reasonably satisfactory life, and the remaining fair chunk is some kind of mess that can range from a mild lack of social skills to the nightmare of a violent bi-polar partner. What doesn't come out in the numbers is that the two worlds rarely intersect: Normals raised in functioning households almost only ever associate with other Normals who were raised in functioning households. The Others - the screw-ups and socially-inept, the addicts, drunks, head-cases, users, abusers, shrews and swine, the Entitled Princesses, petty criminals, Daddy's Girls and Mommy's Boys - can only associate with each other, because the Normals simply don't go there. The emotional pain, the loneliness, the rage, anger and hopelessness, the euphoria, giddiness and lust, the booze, drugs, food, self-harm, obsessions, ONE-itis, fear, emptiness and confusion... everybody in Otherland has felt a lot of it from time to time.
This is the world Rollo is writing about. I live there and I prefer to describe and think about it in moral terms. Rollo prefers a scientific - or at least evo-psycho - approach. He sees all those messed-up behaviours, especially the awful behaviour of women, and the way men are exploited by society to women's benefit, and thinks there is a pattern behind a lot of it. He mines, more deeply than anyone else, two ideas: a behaviour pattern called hypergamy and a social structure called the Feminine Imperative.
Put these ideas together and we have a nightmare vision of a society in which, because all women are hypergamous, none of them are loyal, none can be trusted, all of them will challenge and test at any random time over any random fictitious issue, and any of them might detonate the marriage and family on a whim. In Rollo's relationships men do not have a moment's respite: like Bruce Springsteen's cab driver, we have to prove it to the boss every day, to the wife every night and to the kids at the weekend. Women are not supporters and comforters, but wilful, demanding drains on a man's time and energy. Keeping a marriage going means acting Alpha all the time - like the State's security forces, a husband must always be "on", while his guerilla-warfare wife can take time off to recuperate, build up strength and then make her next strike.
The Feminine Imperative is the idea that society, economies and legal systems are not organised to benefit a small number of rich and powerful people, but rather to finance the needs and random whims of mostly privileged white women who create laws, policy guidance and media programming to propagate the idea that Anything She Wants, She Should Have, And Men Should Pay For It. Just as "hypergamy" is Rollo's take on "all men are bastards", so "The Feminine Imperative" is his twist on "The Patriarchy".
Read The Rational Male with that context and it's okay: read it as if it's an explanation of every woman's behaviour, and the way you would expect your sister's suitors to behave, and you're going to start throwing the book against the wall. Unless you live in Otherland as well. I need to add that Rollo does not believe in Normal as I've described it: he really does seem to think that all wives are hypergamy-bombs only prevented from exploding by sufficient amounts of Alpha husbanding.
<Digression mode on> Attempting to explain crazy is always a mistake. The point about crazy is that it can't be explained: that's what crazy means. The worst behaviour in Otherland is crazy, much of the rest is simply rude, crass and thoughtless, and what's left is just klutzy. None of that needs complicated explanations. The evo-psycho stuff in the book is optional, and I prefer to treat it that way.
Life in Otherland has two basic shapes: I can join in with the chaos and abuse to whatever degree I can tolerate, or I can withdraw as much as possible and live a self-disciplined life. That is where MGTOW comes from: MGTOW's are avoiding the crazies and the users, and since they live in Otherland, that's a lot of the women. Rollo doesn't recommend MGTOW, but he does have a lot of other advice: some of it may strike you as paranoid, but remember he's advising men who don't have the radar to avoid relationships with full-blown DSM-V personality disordered women. <\Digression mode off>
The Red Pill / Blue Pill thing? In the movie, the Red Pill is what forces the Matrix to reject you. Understanding that you live in Otherland, where the women are potentially toxic and an entire chunk of the legal system and popular culture is devoted to serving their needs and making you think they are actually "normal"... that's a Red enough Pill. But what's really going to bake your noodle later on is, asking why an entire chunk of the legal system is dedicated to supporting dysfunctional people, and why so much popular culture seems to be devoted to the portrayal of the dysfunctional lives of Otherland, and especially to making men look stupid. (Here's a clue: follow the money.)
Should you read the book and the blog? Not if you are female. Unless you have worked with manipulative and dysfunctional women as a social worker or psychiatrist, nothing in your life can prepare you for the world Rollo describes, and you will never recover from the shock. If you are a regular middle-aged bloke who has marital intimacy on a weekly basis, the chances are you will wonder what kind of world and people need to read and think this stuff. If you are one of the men whose wives have stopped having sex with them, if you can't get over The One, if you don't understand why some girls say you're nice and then sleep with the Bad Boy, if you wonder where the positive male role models are in popular culture, if "you've felt...your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad" then Rollo is your Morpheus.