The Red Pill is a central tenet of many men’s identity communities online. Red Pill proponents claim that women are naturally manipulative and self-interested, and that feminism has given them social and political dominance over men. This paper explores how individual viewers make sense of Red Pill content, focusing on the role of self-help advice about dating, exercise, and confidence in proliferating its misogynistic gender ideology. Drawing on interviews with 18 current and former viewers of Red Pill content, I show how participants’ belief in the Red Pill was largely facilitated by a trust in its ability to be personally helpful to them. Additionally, I argue that the Red Pill’s self-help messaging carries embedded themes of individualism, rationalism, and self-discipline that are consistent with neoliberal formations of masculinity. This research contributes to an understanding of the relationship between individual viewers and the online proliferation of ideas about gender and society.



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