In today’s video, I want to share my (gasp!) nuanced take on the “Red Pill” online men’s movement. And share a few thoughts for men who are “flirting” with the “Red Pill.” Ideologues beware: you probably won’t like this one.
Read on or watch below to hear my message to men in the Red Pill.
Zachary Stockill: If you’re around my age watching this video (I’m in my mid-30s) chances are good you’ve seen a film called The Matrix. I think it came out in 1999.
The central idea in The Matrix, which was a big deal, when it came out, is this idea about the “red pill:”
Seeing reality as it really is, and unplugging from all the lies and untruths that you’ve encountered in your life up until now.
Now, this red pill metaphor is, in my view, the most overused metaphor in modern times. It’s getting torturous. In the 21st century, anytime someone disagrees with you, they say, “Well, I’ve taken the red pill, and I know I can see reality as it really is.” What I wanted to talk about today is a subsection of the Internet called “the red pill” which is basically a lot of men who feel like they’ve been lied to for most of their lives. They’re looking for alternative sources of inspiration, motivation, and information. And a lot of these guys write to me.
Today, I want to share my main message to men who are flirting with the red pill. I’m going to talk about my main message that I really think is important for guys flirting with the red pill to incorporate into their lives.
So every once in a while, probably about once a week, I’ll see a comment on my YouTube channel using certain buzzwords. Frequently, it’s a nasty comment, there’s a nasty thrust to it.
They’re using words like alpha and beta and talking about “how alpha they are now. “
But the gist of the comment is generally pretty simplistic. It’s usually pretty anti-woman, anti-me sometimes.
And I can tell pretty quickly, just reading the comment initially, it’s like, “oh, this is a guy who just discovered the red pill. It’s very clear, he’s using all the buzzwords, he’s using all the clichés.” It’s clear that that represents a certain segment of my audience. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. And I’m not saying in this article, or in any of my other videos, that the entire red pill is a horrible thing for men. There are a lot of messages in the red pill that I’m sympathetic to, such as: men need to man up, most mainstream dating advice for men is absolutely horrible, men need to be very careful when assessing the risks of marriage and moving in together.
There are a lot of those messages that I’m 100% on board with. But there’s also a lot of messaging around the red pill that I’m not on board with, that I can’t relate to.
So if you are a man watching this, and you are angry, if you’re new to the red pill world, if you feel like you’ve found a community of men who understand you who understand what you’re going through, who are unplugging from lies and all the rest… If you’re flirting with the red pill, and you’re angry with women, now maybe you’ve been burned in a terrible nightmare divorce. Maybe you’ve been cheated on. Maybe you’ve had your kids taken away from you. Make no mistake: I have seen the dark side of women. I know that exists.
To “men in the Red Pill,” I offer: not idealizing women does not have to mean vilifying women.
In my view, this is the main thing that so many of these guys in the red pill world are getting wrong. And this is a big error. They’re going to completely mess up their lives if they go down this pathway of shifting from idealizing women to vilifying women. Because here’s the truth: a lot of guys really do idealize women to their detriment and to women’s detriment.
A woman might say, “Oh, no, I want to be idealized,” and “Treat me like a princess,” and all these things. But in my experience, women don’t really want that. It’s bad for women. But more importantly, for our purposes, it’s bad for you. It’s bad for men. We can talk about why modern men idealize women, we can blame the media, we can blame pop culture, we can blame all kinds of things, right? Modern men, idealizing women, imagining that women don’t have sex drives and that women can’t lie and that women are these sweet little angels and goddesses.
There are a lot of reasons why guys do this, but it doesn’t work for anyone. And frequently I have found this in my own coaching practice in my own work as well. Men go from idealizing women to immediately vilifying women; they go from one extreme to the other, which in some ways is an interesting commentary on the times we live in.
Everyone has extreme opinions, and no one’s nuanced anymore.
Republicans hate Democrats and there are all these ridiculous divisions in society. Nuanced opinions go nowhere. Nobody likes nuance anymore. And a lot of guys who’ve been idealizing women, sometimes for 30, 40, 50 years, have a terrible experience. So again, they go through a nightmare breakup or divorce, or lose half of their net worth in a fraudulent divorce, or they lose access to their kids based on false charges, or any number of things.
Maybe they’ve just had terrible luck with women for their whole lives. Maybe they haven’t dated many women, maybe they haven’t had sex until very later in life. Perhaps their experiences in dating and relationships have been nothing but disappointing from day one. And so these guys are angry and disappointed. And I understand that. I think anyone who went through experiences like that would be upset.
But the problem is: again, they go from one extreme to the other. They go from “all women are angels,” to “all women are [insert your favorite pejorative here],” not nice words. They go from “all women are innocent and pure…” But here’s the thing, not idealizing women does not have to mean vilifying women.
I have heard stories that you probably wouldn’t believe if I could tell them to you.
Again, I have seen the dark side, less so in my personal life. But I’ve been coaching men and women for the past nine years, something like that. I’ve been on hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of coaching calls. And I have heard stories that you probably wouldn’t believe if I could tell them to you, which I can’t for obvious reasons, because of confidentiality and all the rest.
Let’s just say I have seen the feminine dark side, up close and personal, in these calls. I’ve heard about the nightmare divorces, about the nightmare custody battles. Heard about all kinds of cheating, lying, and deception and all the terrible things that a lot of women have done to a lot of men. I’ve heard about all this in detail for years.
Now. I am not saying that there isn’t a dark side. I’m not saying that a lot of these guys don’t have a good reason to be upset. But here’s the thing: there are so many absolutely incredible women out there. I love women. I will proclaim that from the rooftops. You can call me any name you want.
I really don’t care. You can call me a beta or simp. Call me whatever you want. I love women. But I don’t idolize women. I don’t idealize my girlfriend, my mother, my sister. I don’t idealize women in general, because why? No one is perfect or pure. No one’s this pure angel who can do no wrong, right?
Women are just as insecure and sometimes cruel, and sometimes as deceptive and all the rest, as men can be.
We’re all human. And of course, as I’ve talked about, at length, in this channel, I vet the women who come into my life extremely closely, just like I think anyone should do when they’re dating: male, female, gay, straight, whatever your situation is, be careful.
Be very careful in terms of whom you invite into your life on a long-term basis. I’m not rejecting any of that, right? I’m a realist. And I don’t idealize women, and I love women. And I don’t demonize women at the same time. Why make these broad generalizations saying all women are this are all women or that, or she’s just this, and she’s just that, and saying women do this, and women do that? It serves no one. It doesn’t serve women, and it doesn’t serve you because women don’t truly want to be idealized.
But they don’t want to be demonized and vilified either. And in the year 2022, and I’m recording this in this age of extreme polarization and internet fighting and all these ridiculous culture wars and all this stuff… I stand proud as a voice for nuance, and nuanced discussions. Another piece of advice is: don’t fall into any ideology. Don’t fall too down the rabbit hole of any one thinker, or one YouTube channel, or one coach, or whatever. I am definitely not the guru with the answers to everything. Nobody on YouTube is, no internet communities are, no one book or no one school or no one philosopher has all of the answers about life, right? Again, nuance.
The red pill gets some things right, they get some things very, very wrong.
I hopefully get some things right. I get other things wrong. I’ll probably look back in five years and say, “Zach, you were slightly off about that idea,” or whatever. The point is, for any men watching this, who’s flirting with the red pill…
Let me tell you as a man who absolutely loves women, but who doesn’t idealize women, that it’s absolutely possible. And there are some absolutely incredible women all around you who you probably don’t even realize are there.
I have had women enter my life in very challenging periods of my life. I’ll spare you all the gory personal details. But when I’ve been dealing with grief and loss and some really significant life moments, I thank God that an incredible woman was there to share those moments with me. And if you talk to enough men who have their act together, you will find the same stories.
Women can bring enormous amounts of value and love and all kinds of amazing qualities to your life.
For a lot of these communities of men, whether it’s the MGTOW movement, which is men going their own way, which is basically men who totally sworn off women, or a lot of really angry dudes in the red pill… To my mind, that’s a pretty lonely, pretty dark road for so many of these guys, stewing in hatred and division and ad homonyms and broad generalizations and all this nonsense that does nothing to improve their lives, and certainly does very little to improve their relationship lives.
I just want to emphasize once again, that of course, there are some good messages in that sphere of the internet for men. But at the same time, I worry about the guys who are sitting in their basement all day consuming nothing but this content, and who are completely swearing off women. And are thinking all women are a certain way, because I’m here to tell you that there are some incredible women out there today. Yes, in 2022.
Despite what you read on the internet, not idealizing women does not have to mean demonizing women.