The Manosphere: Laura Bates

Laura Bates, escritora y fundadora del proyecto Everyday Sexism, es una de las voces feministas más poderosas de la actualidad. En esta entrevista nos habla de la tóxica influencia de la manosfera, un conjunto de sitios web y foros en línea que promueven la misoginia.

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Molly Malcolm

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The manosphere is a collection of websites, blogs and online forums that promote misogyny and racism. The purpose of the manosphere is to make a few people a lot of money by radicalising young men and convincing them to send donations to “the cause”. Its most high-profile representative at the moment is a British-American man called Andrew Tate. 


Tate, a former kickboxing world champion, is currently the most googled man on the internet. He has appeared in countless videos, showing off a luxurious lifestyle of fast cars, private jets and yachts and bragging about their “enormous emissions.” Tate is a ridiculous figure. But he is also frightening: he is currently under investigation in Romania for rape, human trafficking and forming a criminal gang. 


On the internet, there are many ways to create the illusion of popularity. With the help of algorithms this can turn into actual fame and global influence. Fake comments and reviews can be posted to manipulate public opinion, a practice known as ‘astroturfing’. False online identities, known as ‘sock puppets’, facilitate this process. Internet robots or ‘bots’, also known as ‘spiders’ or ‘crawlers’, spread this misinformation online.


Some 37 per cent of all downstream traffic (that is, data received by a computer or network) is accounted for by YouTube alone. 70 per cent of the videos that are watched on YouTube are recommended by the algorithm. 89 per cent of young people who use YouTube describe it as a news source, rather than an entertainment platform; but what keeps people watching is not news but extreme content. 


Some mainstream media have promoted such trends in an irreverent way. They ask whether feminism has “gone too far” or present gender equality as a “battle of the sexes.” This can lead to women being portrayed as “woke snowflakes” or “false feminists” who complain about “minor things”, or “make things up“. This myth is so prevalent that 28 per cent of men in America say that they’d no longer have a one-to-one meeting with a woman in the office, because she might make unfounded allegations of workplace harassment against him. 


In truth, most rapes go unreported, and in the UK, only 1.4 per cent of those that are reach court. Still, manosphere platforms promote the idea that men are victims who need to defend themselves. They manipulate feelings of ‘aggrieved entitlement’, a sense that something rightfully yours is being taken away from you. Hurt and fury can cause irreparable damage. School shootings in the US, for example, are almost always committed by young men, and many of these crimes end in suicide.  

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Este artículo pertenece al número de march 2024 de la revista Speak Up.

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