Donald J. Trump and the Manosphere

“You’re such a Blue Pill. You know women are AWALT, you should definitely integrate TRP in your life and quit being such a beta.” The manospheric language seems incomprehensible to first-time visitors of manosphere webpages. When opening the “manosphere glossary” in one tab and “the red pill reddit” in another, step by step one learns what the manosphere is all about: alpha men trying to seduce women while (re)affirming their special status and superior position compared to “the weaker sex.”



Photo: Sausyn via Flickr

President-elect of the United States of America Donald J. Trump seems to energize this so-called manosphere, according to a study executed during the Digital Methods Winterschool, from the 9th to the 13th of January 2017.

The Manosphere

The manosphere dates back to 2009, when a weblog was created on which men, or so-called pick-up artists, exchanged strategies for seducing women, according to Florian Cramer, an applied research professor specialized in the Alt-Right. Quickly, the tone of this blog became anti-feminist and it transformed into a movement with its very own vocabulary and lifestyle ideas.




The main idea of the manosphere is, according to Cramer, that men need to become alpha-males: men that behave dominantly as a result of which they allegedly become irresistible to women. In their quest of becoming an alpha, they exchange ideas on a number of forums and weblogs, especially on Reddit, a social news website. The dichotomy between strong and admirable alpha-males and weak, submissive betas is central to the manosphere. The idea that women are inferior also plays a large role.

On webpages like Reddit’s “The Red Pill” (nearly 200.000 follower), all sorts of subjects regarding men and their position in society are discussed. One thing that can’t be left unnoticed, is the fact that the language used on the webpages that are part of the manosphere, is not understandable to laymen. That is to say that the men use certain terms, abbreviations and ambiguous wording on the webpages, that only insiders seem to understand. Luckily for us outsiders, there is a way to decipher the manosphere by using online dictionaries, like the “Manosphere glossary” on

In the dictionary below you can find some of the typical manosphere words and their definitions, found on and the Red Pill reddit page.

Manosphere dictionary

Alpha Leader. Somebody who displays high value, or traits that are valued by women. Alpha can refer to a man who exhibits alpha behaviors (more alpha tendancies than beta), but usually used to describe individual behaviors themselves.
AFC An average frustrated chump is a beta, incel, nice guy, or any other male who should be getting sex but isn’t, because feminists have destroyed females.
Ameriskanks Amerikaniskanks or Western women (WW) are those females who have been touched by the evil corruption of feminism and don’t wish to have sex with males on demand. Western women primarily come from the Anglosphere and are contrasted with foreign women.
Beta A beta is a male who is somewhat inept in relationships with females and thus doesn’t get “enough” sex, because he isn’t  confident enough to be an alpha.
Blue pill A blue pill is a person who hasn’t woken up to the fact that society discriminates against males, not females; to blue pill is to do the same. The term is a reference to The Matrix, in which taking the blue pill means remaining part of the sheeple and believing nothing is wrong, while taking the red pill means waking up.
(Cock) carousel The carousel is supposedly the period between the ages of roughly 18 and 30 in which a female has sex with as many alphas as possible, preferably in a hypergamous manner, after which they hit the Wall, panic, and attempt to marry a beta.
Chad (Thundercock) The man, the myth, the legend. Chad is the archetypal alpha bad boy; he and his girlfriend Stacy are perennial objects of the manosphere’s envy and resentment.
Cuck(old) A cuckold, or cuck, is a beta whose female has been knocked up by an alpha and who is forced to raise the result.
DTF Someone is Down To Fuck when they’re ready and willing to have sex. This word has usage outside of the manosphere.
Feminazi Feminazi is a self-explanatory snarl word for extreme feminists, popularised by Rush Limbaugh.
Hamster The tendency for women to use rationalization to resolve mental conflict and avoid cognitive dissonance. The core mechanism that allows women to say one thing and do a different thing.
Mangina A beta who will defend every misdeed a woman peforms, but would not consider the same misdeeds acceptable if they were performed by a man. Compulsive moral coward and hypocrite.
MGTOW The Men Going Their Own Way movement is an offshoot of the men’s rights movement advocating male separatism. Adherents have vowed either to stay away from women altogether or to stop dating/marrying women and having children.
Omega An omega is a male who has no prospects whatsoever of getting laid. Omegas are below alphas, betas, and every other rung on the imaginary sexual hierarchy.
Pick-up artist A pick-up artist is a male whose lifestyle is devoted to seducing and having sex with many females, usually through various game strategies.
Sexual market value Sexual Market Value. A shorthand statement for “what you bring to the table,” whether for an one-night stand or for a longer sexual/emotional relationship.
SJW Typically liberal arts students who believe they are the most righteous, and must enforce their moral values via shame, censorship, and mob rule.
Slayer A male who frequently gets casual sex with attractive females.
Snowflake A woman who tries to persuade a man that she’s somehow unique, different, or special by playing up her good girl resume and downplaying her bad girl resume. When used as a verb, snowflaking refers to the argument she puts forth to justify her claim.
White Knight A man who “comes to the rescue” of a woman, or of women, reflexively, emotionally-driven, without thought or even looking at the situation.
The Wall The point in a woman’s life where her ego and self-assessed view of her sexual market value exceed her actual sexual market value; the beginning of the decline.

Trump’s male electorate

There have been extensive studies that show the popularity of the president-elect among American men. According to a research by Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, Donald J. Trump would have won 350 electoral votes during the presidential elections of 2016 if only male Americans would have voted, leaving only 188 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton. Studies like these show the concern Trump had with keeping the male electorate content. This can be seen as a reason for the Republican to portray himself in an overly manly, alphamale fashion. As Jort Kelder put it during an interview with the NOS Radio 1 Journaal : “The worst thing possible for Trump, would be to be seen as a loser.” According to the journalist Trump the characteristics “masculine” and a “winner” are important parts of his persona.

The winter school’s research has shown us that men respond to Trump using the “manospheric lexicon.” That is to say that multiple words that are typical for the manosphere were found when analyzing comments to Donald Trump’s posts on various social media outlets. Though the use of this kind of vocabulary is usually restricted to media like Reddit, 4chan and 8Chan, there was a number of occurrences on Facebook as well: a medium with a more open character.


The following graph shows the number of occurrences of manospheric words on the reddit page of The_Donald.



Created with LineMiner

As one can easily see, this kind of language is used extensively on this webpage. In the run-up to the elections on november 8th, the number of occurrences increased. Further research on Reddit might show us in relation to which kind of topics these words were used during this period of time. For the moment, let’s focus on Facebook.

An interesting finding, is that the manospheric words were also used by Facebook users, in response to Donald J. Trump’s posts on his ‘personal’ page. The graph below gives us insight in the occurrences of these words. Though the results are less significant, the words were used dozens of times instead of hundreds of times like on Reddit, it is interesting to see that the manospheric language has also found its way to Facebook. Trump’s Facebook to be exact. 



Created with LineMiner

Research executed by students of the Digital Methods Winterschool shows us that this type of words is not necessarily used in response to the actual content of Trump’s posts on Facebook, as you can see in the examples below. Men respond to other comments on the page, or start talking about subjects that are not directly related to Trump’s post (as you can see in the first example). This makes it even more peculiar: even without actively portraying himself as an alpha-male, Trump’s followers use this kind of language. Two examples to illustrate.


On May 3rd 2016, Trump posted the following message on Facebook:



Source: Donald J. Trump official Facebook page

In response to this post, an American named Douglas Scalzo responded as follows:



Source: Facebook

The abbreviation “SJW” stands for “Social Justice Warrior”, a pejorative term for “overly sensitive” individuals promoting social justice. This term is widely used in manospheric forums.

A couple of months later, on July 26th 2016, Donald Trump posted the following video, with the intention of vilifying his Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders.



Source: Donald J. Trump's Facebook page

A former Bernie supported who – in his own words – is now “all on the Trump train”, claims Bernie became a “huge cuck”: a typical manospheric insult.



Source: Facebook

Though this research shows that (at least a part of) Trump’s followers could be considered as adherents of the manosphere, further research is needed to define the ways in which Donald J. Trump actively energizes this group of male Americans.