With the rise in popularity of sexist influencers, such as Andrew Tate and Jordan Peterson, it is no surprise that the internet “manosphere” is poisoning more men’s minds than ever. “Manosphere” refers to a multi-platform space of interconnected, misogynistic communities of incels, self-proclaimed alpha males and “red-pillers.” These men believe that female oppression is a lie and, instead, men are being subjugated by the modern woman and, therefore, must fight back to reinstate traditional gender roles. Additionally, they believe it is essential to bring back these gender roles because men are “inherently superior.” There is a place for women in their ideal world, but it is nothing more than the bedroom for casual sex to satisfy their desires. They do not believe in heterosexual love because they see all women as shallow hypergamists who seek to use men for their assets and provide nothing in return. Their logic is simple — boys rule and girls drool.

One of the main ways they spew their rhetoric is through podcasting. Their podcasts are often just one or two people with microphones spilling their bigoted beliefs. However, other podcast setups involve a large group. Popular podcasts that follow this structure, such as “Whatever” and “Fresh and Fit,” consist of one or two moderators, a couple of red-pilled male guests, maybe one “angry feminist” or “traditional woman” and a slew of women who participate in OnlyFans or other forms of sex work. These podcasts also feature live chats where viewers can comment and pay to have questions answered. A quick Google search of both of the aforementioned podcasts will reveal that they claim to be podcasts about modern dating. However, it is clear that their sole purpose is to humiliate women and make them appear crazy to an audience that cannot deduce their bias.

These podcasts predominantly make money off of insecure young men who have had little to no luck in the dating field. Instead of reflecting and trying to figure out why wooing women is difficult for them, young men’s insecurities often blind them into thinking that all women are the problem. As a result, they take their anger out by watching these podcasts and degrading the female guests in the chat. By seeing women who are not scholars and have no debate training get flustered by loaded questions, they receive validation that women are the problem and not men.

Two questions that these podcasts ask the women often go viral. The first one is “rate your looks on a scale of one to 10.” This functions as a humbleness test, in that when a woman claims to be a 10, the moderator(s) will humble her and tell her that she is not perfect or even bring out makeup wipes to see if she will change her answer. If the woman says she is confident in herself, they will refute that true confidence is to admit you are not a 10. The chat will accordingly respond, calling the woman egotistical and delusional. The sole purpose of this question is for men to laugh at these women. However, there is no objective beauty, so these women are not wrong for thinking they are perfect 10s. So-called beauty measurements are largely regarded as pseudoscience and hold no validity since beauty standards are constantly changing.

Another common question is women’s “body count,” meaning how many sexual partners they have had. Many women choose not to answer, to which the chat responds that it must be absurdly high, and the ones that do answer often have a relatively high number of sexual partners compared to the average woman who has 4.3, according to the CDC. This is, of course, due to the fact that their typical female guest is a sex worker who is not representative of the average woman in the dating field. While data on the number of female sex workers in the United States is notoriously hard to obtain, it is safe to say that the vast majority of women are not sex workers, and the ones that are may not have entered the industry by choice. However, the young impressionable audience is too distracted by their hatred of women to think critically about why these women have high body counts and what systemic structures have allowed them to obtain this number of sexual partners.

These podcasts are rage bait, designed to spark controversy for views and appeal to men who hold misdirected anger toward women. Their structure of highlighting sex workers convinces deeply troubled men that the average woman in the dating field is an OnlyFans girl who capitalizes off of men, resulting in a skewed perception of the women around them.

The implication of these podcasts may prove to be detrimental for both men and women. The incel community that these podcasts foster is one that often leads to violence against women and the self-harm of men. As of 2020, American law enforcement attributed 50 murders in the previous six years to violent incels and a 2019 incels.co survey indicated that 67.5 percent had considered suicide at some point in their lives due to the loneliness they felt regarding sex and relationships. Podcasts like “Whatever” and “Fresh and Fit” allow for these harmful thoughts to fester while simultaneously milking money out of their suffering viewers. Moreover, it is imperative that we, as media consumers ignore these types of podcasts and encourage the men in our lives to do so as well so that they do not end up on a path of violence and bigotry.

Jordan Ori is an undeclared sophomore.