In "Misogynistic Men Online: How the Red Pill Helped Elect Trump," published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Pierce Alexander Dignam and Deana A. Rohlinger examine the transformation of online alt-right forums from marginal spaces of misogynistic collective identity to sites of political mobilization. Dignam and Rohlinger focus on how the sudden political pivot of one of these semianonymous forums, the Red Pill, garnered support for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. In so doing, they shed light on both the increasing salience of online discourse in contemporary politics and on the central roles that misogyny and antifeminism played in the 2016 campaign and election results.
Members of the alt-right view recent cultural and institutional changes as an attack on what they perceive to be the natural order: a society dominated by white males. As women begin to make social and political gains, online men's rights activists exhibit a backlash that is actually, Dignam and Rohlinger argue, a misplaced response to neoliberalism.
Authors - Forums - Reddit - Stormfront - Discourse
The authors contend that anonymous virtual forums, such as Reddit and Stormfront, have amplified existing misogynistic discourse and enabled men's rights activists to foster a sense of community and oppositional consciousness. The rise of misogynistic online forums and their increasing politicization is indicative of a larger shift in the way the men's rights activists act on their ideology.
Utilizing social movement theory, the authors analyze identity talk to demonstrate how Red Pill moderators were able to control discourse and successfully spur political action among users. Initially conceived as a space to complain about the perceived demasculization and oppression of men, the Red Pill functioned as...
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