The manosphere in the tv spotlight

Manboobz tells us that mainstream media in the form of ABC’s 20/20 is airing a long-awaited show on the manosphere tomorrow.

It’s here at last! After numerous delays, the 20/20 story looking at the manosphere — and the part it plays in the online harassment of women — will be running on ABC this Friday, October 18, at 10 PM EST. Among the featured participants: the always charming Paul Elam of A Voice for Men; Anita Sarkeesian, the much-harassed feminist video game critic; and Jaclyn Friedman, the ass-kicking founder of Women, Action & the Media.

Here’s a teaser story on the ABC website which suggests that the 20/20 piece isn’t exactly going to be a triumphant moment in the history of the Men’s Rights Movement.

Yes, it does rather suggest that. Right from the title.

Women Battle Online Anti-Women Hate From the ‘Manosphere’

Deep in the underbelly of the Internet is a hidden corner known as the “Manosphere”— a collection of websites, Facebook pages and chat rooms where men vent their rage and spew anti-women rhetoric.

Protected by the anonymity of the Internet, men feel free to post hateful and violent comments. Posts such as “I really wouldn’t mind shooting a [expletive] dead in the face, they are evil, all of them,” and “Women are the natural enemies of men” are commonplace on sites like “A Voice for Men,” a Manosphere blog run by Paul Elam.

I’ve featured on the front page of that site. It wasn’t the very best moment of my life.

While Elam told “20/20” that his site does not promote violence or hate toward women, some of his writing appears otherwise. In a post on his website, Elam wrote that women on welfare are “little more than thinly disguised layabouts.”

Elam claimed it’s not anger but satire and social commentary. “What I do is reflect and study what the attitude is in the culture,” he told “20/20.” “I am not creating the problem, I am documenting some of it.”

But experts like Mark Potok, from the Southern Poverty Law Center, believe this rhetoric is problematic. “The Manosphere is an underworld of so-called men’s rights groups and individuals on the Internet, which is just fraught with really hard-line anti-woman misogyny,” Potok told “20/20.”

And when a woman is on the receiving end of this misogyny, the Manosphere is unflinching in its attacks.

“Women who are targeted by these sites get a tidal wave of hate mail with rape threats and death threats,” Jaclyn Friedman, founder of Women, Action & the Media, told “20/20.”

And it’s not the best fun there is. I know there are skeptics who say it is, but they’re mistaken.

Friedman was also the subject of a cyber attack after campaigning on Facebook to remove photos and groups that promoted hate speech toward women.

“I got emails and tweets and posts on Facebook that say, ‘You are disgusting. You are fat. No one would ever want you. You should be raped,” Friedman said.

Friedman said the Manosphere is not satire as Elam claimed, but a space for people to cause damage to women.

“If you look at what they actually do, it’s all hateful rhetoric,” she told “20/20.”

“And it has real impact in the real world.”

It’s good to see major media paying attention.

Update: this show has nothing to do with our colleague Mano Singham. Heh heh.


  1. Claire Ramsey says

    Oh. It’s satire. It’s social commentary. I think I’ve heard that one before. Women are so slow-witted and stupid that we can’t even see satire when it is brayed right into our faces.
    This ought to be a good 20/20 piece to watch, even though 20/20 often makes me scream.

  2. blondeintokyo says

    Have you seen the comments on that site? Those guys are hell bent on proving that everything the article says is true, because they run the gamut from calling the female commenters ugly to liars to brain dead robots. It’s pretty hilarious, actually. Or, it would be if it weren’t such a sad commentary on society…

  3. leni says

    On one hand, I can’t believe they are giving that jackass airtime at all. On the other, I’m really going to enjoy watching Elam destroy his own credibility,

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