In the 1999 cult film, "#The Matrix," Morpheus says to Neo; "This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the #Red Pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."

This is where the name of one of Reddit's most popular and most notorious communities comes from. /r/TheRedPill is the most prominent, and perhaps key ingredient of the manosphere, with over 200,000 subscribers at the moment of writing this. This is a community for men in which they discuss sexual strategy, dating, self-improvement, women, society, politics and pretty much everything else they think concerns them.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Red pill vs blue pill

According to members of this community, to swallow the red pill means to become fully aware of reality as it is, just like in "The Matrix." According to them, it has transformed into a place where female privilege runs amok, where men are discriminated against and taken advantage of. Those who fail to see this have swallowed, or rather been fed, the blue pill, therefore they have not woken up yet.

Over the years, /r/TheRedPill has evolved into a subculture of sorts. It has developed its own philosophy and even its own lingo. While primarily thought of by the outsiders as a sleazy dating and men's rights forum, the subreddit is nowadays mostly focused on two things, self-improvement, and societal issues.

The good, the bad, and the red

The main demographic is dissatisfied, emasculated and vulnerable men, presumably in their twenties, who have had little to no contact with the opposite sex in the past.

Advertisements

The subreddit is meant to teach them how to improve themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually. It has its own rules, concepts, and philosophies which are to be religiously followed.

If you take a look at the most upvoted and popular posts within the community, they are, more often than not, personal stories of overcoming adversity and valuable life lessons for alienated men. Finding useful, informative and helpful content in /r/TheRedPill is not as difficult as the critics of this movement would lead you to believe, but most of it is completely overshadowed by radical, borderline far-right philosophies and attitudes, even sexism and racism.

This is, perhaps, what makes this subreddit so attractive -- there is a little bit of truth to some of the things the members preach. But, just like most online echo chambers, the main problem of this one seems to be confirmation bias. Read at your own risk. #reddit