What is the 'manosphere' and should Christians be concerned?

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Many Christians are sceptical of modern feminism. There are worries that it encourages hatred towards men or the family, or that its recent "sex positive" guise promotes promiscuity. Some traditionalist Christians go further and believe that feminist ideas contradict Biblical teaching about gender roles.

Inside and outside the Church, there have been concerns about alleged negative effects of feminism or prioritisation of women's rights - such as fatherhood not being valued, or men being discriminated against in divorce and family court. Inconsistencies are highlighted, like a curious lack of concern about women's representation in difficult jobs such as rubbish collection or sewage treatment, or neglect of high rates of suicide in men.

Given this context, it's perhaps not surprising that some Christians have shown sympathy to what is called the "manosphere", an online movement that challenges feminism and celebrates masculinity. However, the movement includes some beliefs that are contrary to orthodox Christian ethics, including encouraging the manipulation of women to have sex, severe misogyny and an expression of dislike for women.

For example, there has been a considerable amount of hatred expressed online towards several women who turned to Christ after repenting from sex work recently, and a preoccupation with the sin of female 'body count' (the number of sexual partners) while ignoring the same behaviour in men.

The manosphere can be confused with, or sometimes overlap with, a wider movement that seeks to encourage men in a more positive direction, addresses potential biases, is willing to question some feminist beliefs and is comfortable with traditional masculinity, perhaps led by popular figures such as psychologist Jordan Peterson and podcast host Joe Rogan.

However the manosphere takes such concerns many steps further and has some questionable characters and interests.

The self-named "godfather of the manosphere", Rollo Tomassi, which is a pseudonym, has a range of questionable advice and commentary on men and how to navigate the difficult arena of modern sexual relationships, such as "Women don't want a man to cheat, but they love a man who COULD cheat".

Another prominent figure is H Pearl Davis, an American woman living in London who regularly posts highly controversial videos on YouTube and claims to be Catholic, although her understanding of Christian beliefs seems weak. A selection of her provocative views include that women should not be allowed to vote because they are not conscripted in war and that men should not get married as they are penalised by divorce law at present.

She highlights the entitled and negative behaviour of a small number of women, such as gold-digging, sexual immorality or prostitution on OnlyFans, and presents it as if it is the normal behaviour of modern women today. A typical tweet reads: "Imagine all women disappeared tomorrow. Would society function? Like it or not yes it would. The same is not true vice versa."

Even higher profile is Andrew Tate, a former kickboxer who has developed an enormous fanbase after advocating for a macho kind of masculinity and domination of women. Tate, a recent convert to Islam, has made dubious comments on whether women are a man's property, and is alleged to have boasted about manipulating a girlfriend into doing sex work for him. He is due to stand trial in Romania for alleged rape and trafficking, which he denies.

It's clear that a lot of "manosphere" content is firmly opposed to Christian ethics, though the same could be said of the extremes of modern feminism, too.

Here are some terms associated with the manosphere that illustrate its concerns:


Men Going Their Own Way is a movement that discourages men from having committed relationships, arguing that men are penalised by having children and getting married in society at present.

Red pill

In the 1999 film The Matrix, Neo chose to take the red pill rather than the blue pill, a decision that led to a realisation that the world was completely different to what he had believed it to be. The term can be used when people experience a sudden change of attitude towards politics, especially progressive ideology, but within the manosphere is used when people experience the unravelling of feminist beliefs.


This stands for 'involuntary celibate' and is a word for the increasing number of men who are not having relationships with women but want to. They are often characterised as resentful towards women and even dangerous, but more sympathetic coverage asks why so many younger people are finding it hard to find and stay in a relationship?

Father's rights activism

Broadly this movement argues that family courts penalise men and that current law and practice makes it difficult for separated fathers to maintain relationships with their children, or deal effectively with former partners who seek to alienate their child from the father.


Men's Rights Activists include the above, but also many subjects that are considered problems for men but not women. It also challenges the denial of harms committed by women, such as female-on-male domestic violence and abuse.

Pick Up Artists 

Within the manosphere there is a lot of dubious advice about how to attract women and have sex with them, including using manipulative and abusive behaviour.

The Church's response

Christian commentary on the manosphere varies. There has been a lot of concern, especially from those sympathetic with feminism. However even very traditional, conservative Christians, such as the Daily Wire's Michael Knowles, who opposes liberalism and advocates for women to stay in the home, hav strongly criticised ideas such as the manosphere's opposition to marriage, the promotion of promiscuity or discouragement of male responsibility. "I'm a little concerned that that even people who rightly diagnose the problems with marriage are coming up with solutions that will not help in the end - namely men being selfish," said Knowles in an interview with Pearl on his channel.

Less traditional, complementarian voices have advocated for a more balanced understanding of masculinity. For example, pastor David Mathis, at the Godward Life conference in November, characterised the manosphere as calling for "men to rebel against feminizing in our world, and the church... the vision ends up being little more than a caricature of manly strength and backbone." Instead, he advocates for maturity in men: "Both strong and gentle, he can wield his strength when the moment calls for it, or with admirable restraint he can walk in gentleness."

In turn, the Church has often been criticised by the manosphere. Even conservative pastors such as Desiring God author John Piper – who can hardly be described as a friend of feminists due to his complementarian views - have been accused of minimising women's sins while harshly condemning men.

"I have a great deal of respect for the ministries of many of these churches and pastors... but we must be honest that they are badly off base and very uncharitable in this area," writes conservative Christian writer Aaron Renn for the Theopolis Institute. "The Church has adopted a very skewed approach that improperly berates and belittles men, and has badly misled them with teachings that just aren't true. Those might be strong statements, but not nearly as strong as the anti-male sermons that these pastors themselves preach.

"There's been a lot written about the way the Church has abused and harmed women, but the Church has abused and harmed a lot of men too."

As with many modern internet movements, it seems that the manosphere feeds on hurt and resentment at genuine injustices that churches should listen to, explore and respond carefully. The manosphere's solutions to genuine concerns often do not align with Christian teaching, and the Church must outline a better way forward.

Heather Tomlinson is a freelance journalist. Find her at www.heathertomlinson.substack.com or on twitter @heathertomli