The Paradox of Manhood: Thoughts on “Red Pill,” Mastery, and “Being a Man.”

Men: Are you a “cuck”? Are you a “beta”? Does the life you’ve been living got to go?

Have you been “red pilled,” or are you still “blue pilled”? Is our increasingly feminized society beating you down? Are you a victim of circumstance? Do you even know what the hell it is I’m talking about?

I described the “red pill” in my post “World of Illusions: 5 Lies We Tell Ourselves (And What to Do About Them)“:

[“Red pill” is] named after a scene in the popular sci-fi movie The Matrix, which came out when I was still in high school and good God do I feel old. Anyway, the idea is that everybody else is duped and that you are not.

Being “red pilled” isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my opinion, but it can lead to blind spots because

it creates a false sense of security whereby one thinks they are always right. Since few things are “always right” except for the fact that nobody is ever “always right,” this creates dangerous blind spots. You might reject, or not even seek, evidence, or take potential risks seriously, because you already have The Answer.

Lots of men–especially younger men and those burned by divorce, infidelity, or the law stripping them of their rights to see their children–describe themselves like this, seeing the “true” nature of women and the system, and acting accordingly. They also tend to wear fedoras and–

All right, enough snideness. I’m not going for the low-hanging fruit. You might think it hypocritical that the guy who wrote about men being trapped in a cage of safety or being afraid to take risks is poking fun at the men’s right movement or whatever you want to call it.


Well, for starters, I sympathize a lot with these men and their movement. It is a rational, foreseeable reaction to insane third-wave feminism run amok. So I hope that they take the jokes in the spirit in which they are intended.

Second, I’ve never accused women as a whole of being responsible for the degradation of manhood, or the ruination of Western civilization. After all, a lot of men have a vested interest in this as well. Divide and conquer so you can grab power, whether it’s by race or by gender or any other way we distinguish people and pit them against each other. The kicker is that the people who push these destructive ideas and foster animosity and distrust between men and women usually don’t even live the way they expect us to. What hypocrites.

But I’m going to speak to the men, because it is a gender I have more experience being. And while I have some sympathy with men’s rights activists and the MGTOW (men going their own way; that is, men foregoing women, sex, and reproduction as a way of protest) movement, on the whole it makes me sad.

Yes, a lot of laws and societal norms are stacked against men’s interests, but this is not the work of womanhood as a whole. It’s the work of activists, men and women, who want to reshape society into something more in tune with their personal political beliefs, many of which go against human nature. And second, I feel for guys that have had a bad experiences with women–we all have–but it makes me sad because to give up on a relationship and potentially having a family is very tragic indeed.

Also, it’s sort of the thinking that the stereotypical man-hating bull-dyke radical lesbian feminist decried by the men’s rights crowd is presumed to think, turning to that life due to bad experiences with men.

Anyway, as somebody who has teetered on this edge of “going his own way,” only to reclaim himself, and also as an older member of a generation struggling to know and understand what “being a man” means, I’m here to share the insights I’ve faced in my struggles. And I can boil it down into three key points:

  1. Don’t be a pleaser
  2. Become a master
  3. Women are not your enemy

Don’t Be A Pleaser, and Don’t Give In to Despair

Here’s the thing about manhood: Trying to be “manly” is like trying to be “cool.” Most people will see through the act.

If you want to play the “manliness” game, the best way is not to play. If you want people to think of you as cool, the best thing to do is to just do your own thing. Forget about the status game. Don’t be a pleaser.

The more a man actively tries to please everybody else and get them to like him by saying and doing what he thinks they want him to say and do, the less people will like him. We are pretty good at seeing through the act, despite being irrational as a species.

It’s like the story of Sisyphus, who pushes the boulder to the top of the hill, only to have it roll back down again. Or how about Tantalus, suffering thirst and hunger in the underworld; the more he reaches for the water or the fruit on the tree, the farther away it gets. That’s the paradox of life.

This affects a lot of guys as we get older. We want to still be hip and cool and relevant. Unfortunately, this translates into dressing and acting the way we used to when we were teenagers. There’s nothing wrong with getting older. This youth obsession is the invention of the mid-20th century, and this invention needs to die.

Do you want higher status? Do you want people to like you and respect you? Do you want other men, not to mention women, to think of you as “cool” or “with it” or “manly”? Then master something.

It doesn’t even need to be at a world-class level. Just find what you do well and do it. Keep hammering those nails. Men respect this and guess what: so do women.

It’s not about trying to prove your worth through what you own or how many chicks you can bag. If you’ve got a lot of money, it’s probably because you were successful. And if you are successful, it’s probably because you have the discipline to focus your talents.

Family is another manifestation of manhood. Provide for, love, and support your family. People will see that and respond positively. That’s manhood.

And because of all this, you can be a role model to other men by showing them that they too can get to this point.

This is how men prove our worth to the world.

As Jack Donovan says, we respect men who are good at being men. Sometimes this is as valorous as serving in the military and performing great deeds which save the lives of women, children, and your fellow countrymen. This can also be something as domestic as being the head of a kick ass family, providing for your children, and protecting your spouse.

Forgive the primitive sounding rhetoric, but it’s the best way to make this point, especially in an industrialized society like ours.

Listen: A lot of the dislocation men feel is because of poisoned gender relations and a confusion of gender roles. Ignore pop-culture: Woman want the man to take charge. 

Are you married? I am. Listen: Women don’t want to have to make decisions about everything. They have enough to deal with. This is why indecisive men drive women nuts, even the “strong, independent” types. Women tend to find decisive, take-charge men sexy.

This sounds crazy because we’ve been conditioned to see a “good” man as being passive and a “good” woman as wearing the pants.

This. Is. Garbage.

Men and women, while each capable of amazing things, tend to do things in different ways that play to each gender’s strengths while covering for each gender’s weaknesses. This is normalnatural, and fun.

So men: Don’t close yourself off from the joys of a committed relationship because of bad past experiences. And stop trying to please society and others by saying, thinking, and doing what you think it wants you to. Instead, master your own life.


Master yourself. Of course there psychology involved in understanding how men and women think, and what each gender is looking for in the other. We all play games in order to find a desirable mate, don’t kid yourself. But understanding that psychology should just be the gloss: The true way to get status and respects is to master yourself. This sounds very new-agey, but if you are working on yourself with a higher purpose beyond just impressing others, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. For example, strive to control your emotions, but don’t ignore them. Identify weakness in your life and work towards improving them. And while goals are important steps along this path, systems that you adhere to, tweaking along the way, are better means for ensuring long-term success. Keep grinding.

Blacksmith mastery.jpg

Master skills. Whether this music, oration, woodworking, engineering, law, physics, a martial art, painting, boxing, or chess, hobbies or your profession, mastering skills will open up worlds for you. Everything you get good at bleeds into the other areas of your life because mastery requires two things that apply universally: Dedication and discipline. People will notice this focus. And as a bonus, this mastery will make you a good conversationalist.

Master your body. If you want to be fit, be fit for yourself. Maybe you want to meet woman, maybe you just want to get healthy and feel better, maybe you want to be able to defend yourself and others. All of this will be communicated through your physical appearance. But if you are getting fit  just to impress other people with no intrinsic motivation, you will find the high fleeting, leaving you wondering what else you can do to get people to like you. Anyway, for overall fitness, I’ve always found weight-lifting to be the most useful, mixed with some cardio as time permits. It’s not a “meathead” thing. To be a well-rounded man, you need that physical as well as the mental discipline and dedication. In general, if you only have limited time per week to exercise, try hitting the weights instead of the treadmill and see how that works for you.

Mentor. Help other people get to where you are. If you’re a master, then be a mentor. This will help you reach so-called “alpha” status more than any game guru. People will remember the help you gave them and give it back in return. Call it the “law of attraction” or something else equally esoteric, but the energy you put out is contagious; you might as well make it positive. There’s something to be said about building a legacy and passing on your knowledge and expertise to others. Think about the people who have shaped your life and helped you achieve mastery, and then think about how cool it would be to do the same for others.

Ignore the game. Don’t play the game that the advertisers and he elites want you to. Play the game that’s worked for civilization for centuries. Learn about time-tested truths and why they work. Stick with those instead of the fad du jour. There are far more like-minded people out there than you think.

And above all, remember that WOMEN ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY. Men and women go together in ways I don’t need to describe. I won’t drop religion here except to say that nearly all world faiths recognize this. There’s a reason that marriage is the building block of stable societies.

So men: If you’re having female troubles, don’t blame the entire gender for the actions of the ones who have wronged you. And remember that there are women who feel the same way about men. Work on yourself and hold out for the right person who shares your values. A man needs to build a legacy for his children, and it’s pretty hard, science notwithstanding, to do this without a wife. Go your own way . . . until you find the right person.

Follow me on Twitter @DaytimeRenegade and @DaytimeRenegade

And check out my Instagram here.

10 thoughts on “The Paradox of Manhood: Thoughts on “Red Pill,” Mastery, and “Being a Man.”

  1. ERIC WESSON says:

    Good work. You’re articulating the dissonance very well.

    Now ponder: Why is there dissonance? Why isn’t there one answer? Because if it were that simple, surely it would have been resolved a long time ago. The Old Testament articulates the struggle between female chastity and animalistic desire. This has been pondered for a long time, and societies’ solutions have been surprisingly similar – until about the last hundred years.

    What’s really going on?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Daytime Renegade says:

      Now that’s a very good question.

      Let me put on my, some would say, “crazy” hat and discuss an influence I see picking up the pace as the years go by.

      I firmly believe that the devil is at work in a lot of this, and see his hand.

      It makes too much sense: The disruptions of the natural, rational way of things. Chaos instead of uncertainty. Virtue turning into vice and vice versa. Violence, hatred, and discord everywhere. Even the rising demand for exorcisms.

      To me, the deterioration of man-woman relationships–this fresh wave of hatred–is a part of this too. I’m not the kind of person who sees the devil everywhere, but I do see it here.

      Anyway, this doesn’t absolve individuals of their actions.

      So call me crazy of you must…I’ve been called worse!

      And thanks for the comment and for stopping by!


      1. ERIC WESSON says:

        Well, I don’t mind telling you: When I figured out the “code”, the evolutionary hypothesis that makes it all fit*, at first I was stunned. Now we can figure out a solution!

        Then I became terribly fatalistic. It’s like a cruel trick: Make us smart enough to figure out what’s going on, yet give us drives that ultimately ensure our demise.

        Is it some lucky accident, improbable, and part of the explanation for the Fermi Paradox?

        Or is it part of a larger plan, to let us run with it and see what we do?

        I’m no twinkling sky fairy kind of guy, but after learning a bit about cosmology and the real possibility we are living in a simulation, the lines between reality and theology really become blurred.

        So, Devil? Simulation masters playing a cruel trick? An simple stroke of bad luck that our mating model becomes dysfunctional at a certain point of societal development? Take your pick; I’m not at all sure there is much difference between the three.

        The Alt Right loves to complain about the usual bogeymen, like diversity or the Jews, but thankfully (sadly) all we have to do is look east at societies that suffer none of those influences.

        Did you know that passenger pigeons weren’t hunted down to the last? People were well aware the population was in decline, and steps were taken to preserve them. However, the mating model was disrupted, and the last passenger pigeon died never having mated.

        What’s going on is deep and powerful. The consequences are not just that societies, species die out; actually, the worst part is that societies in demographic decline are miserable. Hell on Earth, if you will.

        * Yeah, I’m aware that sounds utterly pompous.

        P.S. Hello from the Love Ewe.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Daytime Renegade says:


        This is all very interesting. A lot to think about. I was not aware that the passenger pigeon–much like the panda bear, it sounds like–decided not to mate for whatever reason.

        Disturbing that this malaise seems to affect only the west. Hell on earth and decline indeed…

        As always, thanks for the comment!


      3. ERIC WESSON says:

        The decline in fertility seems to mostly be correlated to wealth; simply put, women are too smart to willingly only have babies, so when there are viable alternatives, they opt not to. Some races are more inclined to non pair bonding sex and reproduction, so there is some variation to this.

        Matriarchy (female empowerment) plus birth control = Demographic death.

        Paradoxically, when a group goes into runaway overpopulation, this decline mechanism is not invoked. If no food aid was given to Africa, starvation would limit the population. If the continent were magically westernized, the population would go into decline (genetic differences in mating behavior notwithstanding). If only some aid, e.g. food, is given, runaway population results.

        If you grind further on your exploration of the dissonance, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. The patterns you’re observing are everywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The Daytime Renegade says:

        Good points all. There are caps, it seems, on human populations based on behaviors patterns we fall into pretty reliably.

        I’ll have to keep my observational eye open for more. This is fun, like amateur anthropology.


  2. EA says:

    Really, really good Alex.

    I came across the Red Pill after trawling the internet for articles on how to get a girl back who dumped me (really, I kid you not). Came across it and got sucked in for a while. Don’t get me wrong I am all for pumping iron, reading great books, improving my style/social skills, saying a massive F U to cultural traps and the old conventional ways but I find parts of it very hypocritical and slightly at odds with how the fabric of our society is held together.

    Don’t get me wrong half the reason I discovered all this was through finding Danger and Play which opened up a lot of doors, big fan of Cernovich, the crazy bastard.

    An example is the promotion of “plates” (i.e sleeping with multiple chicks so you can drop one off to create options) whilst simultaneously complaining about the degradation of women (despite the argument that a promiscuous lifestyle contributes to this!).

    Again, not all bad (and a lot of guys would no doubt slate me heavily for this comment) but working in absolutes is not great either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Daytime Renegade says:


      Great points, and you articulate the problem, if you can call it that, I have with the red pill and the men’s movement.

      There is nothing wrong with celebrating traditional notions of masculinity; in fact, I think it’s great, and sorely needed. I also agree with you that Cernovich is the man.

      However, that aspect you articulate of “plates” seems inconsistent with the broader movement. “Sleep with as many women as you can/women are all promiscuous degenerates” is an incredibly incongruous message. Unless the philosophy is that society is so corrupt, the institution of marriage is such a bad deal for men, that the only way to get any enjoyment out of life is to play by its rules and use its rules against it.

      That seems awfully cynical, even for me.

      Thanks for the comment. Lots of stuff to think about.


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