Tag Archive for: masculinity

Reject the ‘Red Pill,’ Carry Your Cross

Feminism has, for over a century, been playing merry Hell with Western civilization, 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 labeled 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 civilizational 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 normalized sexual degeneracy among women. So far, spot on. But despite its largely-correct diagnosis of the social evils plaguing our civilization, 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 maneuver 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 flavor.

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 normalizing 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 characterized by labelling masculinity “toxic,” so also the Red Pill is characterized 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 recognizable: the effeminate homosexuality which favors 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 instill 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 honor 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 Cristian author, G.K. Chesterton, pithily summarized 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 civilization, 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.


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘The Lost Boys’: Documentary Looks at Impact of Transgenderism on Young Men

A new documentary is exposing the horrors that the transgender movement wreaks upon men, as well as the social and medical-industrial conditions that have led to those horrors. The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network released “The Lost Boys: Searching for Manhood” this week, featuring interviews with numerous men in both the U.S. and the U.K. who have undergone gender transition procedures, in addition to leading psychologists in the field of gender dysphoria.

The documentary examines the key common factors that lead young men to question their biological sex and seek gender transitions — namely, pornography, grooming, and the latent cultural detritus of feminism. It also explores how the medical industry promotes transgenderism, and how the young men wounded by transgenderism seek recovery and healing.

Some young men begin to question their biological sex during puberty, according to the documentary. One of the chief reasons behind this is the socially prevalent claim that men are inherently dangerous or toxic. “I think the messaging these boys have heard throughout their childhoods about ‘toxic masculinity’ has instilled a sense of shame, shame about being male,” explained clinical psychotherapist Dr. Joe Burgo. “And when puberty hits, that shame is deeply intensified because they don’t know how to process this sexual drive that they’ve got, which is often — I wouldn’t say ‘violent,’ but forceful. It’s fueled also by pornography that’s online.”

Pornography seemed to be a key factor for the young men interviewed in “The Lost Boys.” A man named Brian explained that he discovered pornography at a very young age and quickly became addicted, progressing from gay porn to transgender to what he called “this bizarre subgenre of pornography called sissy hypnosis porn.” Brian said, “I was able to sort of keep a lid on it while I was going to college. When I graduated college, that’s when I spiraled out of control.”

Another young man, Ritchie, explained that he became heavily involved in online forums, where he was groomed by older men in transgender chat rooms. He said he went to these websites seeking answers and advice from men who he presumed had transitioned genders. Most of those men turned out to be homosexual, not transgender, and convinced Ritchie to self-manufacture and distribute child pornography. Other men told Ritchie how freeing and liberating it was to transition and encouraged him to start. “The way I see it specifically in the actual sense of grooming is, say, a trans-identified boy has assignations online with older men who encourage him to dress up in female clothing and they give him lots of praise,” Burgo commented. “They’re predatory men, there’s no other word for them. There’s a whole predatory group of men out there who are exploiting the insecurities and the shame of these young men.”

Ritchie also explained that he was told by older men online that his testosterone made him “toxic.” He said he was told that “testosterone is poison.” Another young man interviewed, Torren, also talked of the influence that social media and online chat rooms had on him. “I keep hearing the messages, from media, reddit and Instagram being big things, and you see all of these people transitioning and they just seem happy. You see them on social media, they seem like they’re just saying like it solved all their problems,” he said. “I think I knew that it was too good to be true, but I struggled with it.”

Graham Linehan, an Irish comedy writer who was largely blackballed for speaking out against the transgender agenda, stated, “There is obviously a problem with young men.” He explained, “Part of the problem is that they are — the things they naturally find funny, the things they naturally find interesting, the things they naturally find sexy have all been problematized — they’re being made to feel like there’s something wrong with all these things, these very natural things they’re feeling.” Linehan added, “On top of that, you have an increasingly censorious kind of atmosphere where they really can’t say what they want to say.”

Burgo agreed, saying, “Pretty much all the messaging they’ve been given — during grade school and growing up, in media, from their families, from their teachers, everywhere — is that men, traditional men are really bad and that men need to be more like women.” He further noted, “I mean, if you look at the American Psychological Association’s guidelines for working with men and boys, they basically pathologize traditional masculinity. These boys grow up feeling like being a man is awful.”

Dr. Az Hakeem, who is billed as the U.K.’s top gender expert, explained that another key factor is mental health conditions that pro-transgenderism medical professionals often overlook. He stated that all of the male patients he has worked with over the past 23 years have been on the autism spectrum. “The thing about the autistic mind is it’s very ‘black and white,’ it loves categories, it loves rules,” Hazeem said. “And what I was hearing from my male patients were, ‘Well, to be male you have to be like this, this, this, and this. I’m not like this, therefore I’m other, I’m non-male, therefore I must be female.’” Burgo explained that young men on the autism spectrum tend to be “very dissociated from and uncomfortable with their bodies and the sensory world, they don’t like touch. And the emergence of sexuality and all the sensations it’s provoked is deeply disturbing and often dissociative.”

Yet medical professionals don’t seek to help autistic young men uncomfortable in their bodies find ways to fit in and accept themselves as they are: they rush to promote gender transition procedures without even diagnosing any other condition. Ritchie described how he was put on a regimen of hormone drugs, approved by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), and began seeing a “gender therapist.” He said, “The first question I got asked by the NHS psychiatrist was, ‘Do you want genital reassignment surgery?’ And that was my very first psychiatric session at the NHS and I was like, ‘I don’t think so. I think I want therapy to be honest…’”

But his doctor kept asking Ritchie if he wanted surgery. “It was just all the time, constant, constant, constant, ‘Do you want surgery? Do you want surgery? Do you want surgery?” he said. Ritchie responded that he wanted to know what the risks are and wanted to give the procedure careful thought, afraid that he might regret it. He even brought his mother with him to the doctor, and she expressed concern over how the estrogen drugs he was taking were reacting with his antidepressants and how surgery might affect that. Ritchie said the doctor “did his best to shut my mother down and make her believe that if she said anything else [against surgery] it would drive us to suicide.”

A young Norwegian man, Alexander, explained that psychotherapy in Norway is rare, and very serious conditions must be met before an individual may be assigned a therapist. So Alexander “exaggerated” and pretended to be suicidal in order to get an appointment with a therapist who would prescribe him estrogen drugs. After beginning his hormone battery, Alexander talked to his therapist only three times before being given a letter of recommendation for genital surgery. “How can you come to a conclusion that this kind of surgery, life-changing surgery, is the best choice for the patient after talking to the patient three times?” he asked.

All of the young men interviewed talked about the effects estrogen had on them, particularly noting a “brain fog” resulting from the drug. “I never really felt suicidal or anything until I took estrogen. It didn’t make my life any better — in fact, it made my life worse, because I started to feel really depressed,” Brian explained. Estrogen decreases testosterone, and as testosterone decreases in men, they become depressed, lethargic, and unmotivated. As estrogen increases in men, it worsens those issues, impairs memory and attention span, and clouds reasoning and judgement. Both Ritchie and Alexander explained that they likely would have decided against surgery if they hadn’t been placed on estrogen.

“Medical professionals really led me astray with this,” Brian said. “Some people are now messed up for life — I’ll never be able to have kids, my rugged masculinity is never gonna come back. It’s all patient-led, it’s patient-led. ‘I wanna do hormones and I wanna have this surgery.’” He explained, “A good therapist, I think, would have said, ‘Well, maybe you’re transgender, who knows? But let’s get sober for a while and then let’s revisit this topic.’ But that’s not what happened.” Hakeem added, “Parents have bought into it, they’re being fed all this propaganda, like if you don’t let your child do this they’ll kill themselves. There’s no evidence to suggest that’s true.”

By the documentary’s end, everyone agreed that men cannot become women — that the chief claim of transgenderism is a lie. “Gender ideology does not believe that there’s biological sex, it believes that ‘felt gender’ has replaced biological sex, it believes that there are a hundred genders. And I think it’s nonsense. There’s biological sex. You’re male, you’re female, and a very tiny proportion of the people are intersex,” Hakeem explained. Burgo said, “I do not believe that anyone is born in the wrong body nor do I believe that anyone has an innate ‘gender identity’ that might be out of alignment with their sexed body. We are lying to children, I think we need to stop lying to children.”

Ritchie said he started a recovery group for young men who have gone through gender transition procedures. “We’ve all opted for something we call ‘recovery’ rather than ‘detransition,’” he explained. “Because there was no transition, I never went to female, and I’m not going back to male. I never left.” Alexander said, “I’m at peace that I’m a man, that I cannot change that, and I think of it as a biological reality. In Norway we don’t have a word for ‘detransitioner.’ We have a word that can be loosely translated to ‘a regretter.’” Torren stated that he has accepted who he is, saying, “I … realized that all these steps that I was taking to try to somehow ‘be my true self’ were actually taking me away from my true self, were actually taking me away from who I was.”

The Lost Boys” is currently available for free on YouTube.


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Christian Teachers Reinstated as Lawsuit over Transgender Policy Continues

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

VIDEO: A Call to Battle – A Short Film on ‘Society’s Crisis in Masculinity’

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix released for the first time ever in its history a documentary-style short film that seeks to create awareness of a crisis in masculinity found in today’s society.

Please watch this short film, titled “A Call to Battle” in English with Spanish subtitles:

Released only a few months after the promulgation of Bishop Olmsted’s apostolic exhortation “Into the Breach,” the new short film shows the urgency of the Diocese of Phoenix to confront head on today’s crisis in masculinity.

With regards to this crisis highlighted by the film, Michael Phelan, director of the Marriage and Respect Life Office said, “Historical circumstances have periodically devastated families, but we have never seen the disparagement of masculinity and fatherhood, or abandonment of men’s responsibilities that we are seeing now. It calls for an unprecedented response from the Church.”

Earlier this month Bishop Olmsted said in a statement, “I encourage our men to discover or rediscover their identity as men in Christ.”

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was established Dec. 2, 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Led by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, more than 1.1 million Catholics make this diverse, vibrant and faith-filled diocese their home.

RELATED VIDEO: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons singing Walk Like A Man:

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