MANTRaP examines discourse found in radical online forums dedicated to issues relating to men and masculinity (the 'manosphere'), including communities related to men's separatism, 'Men's Rights Activism' (MRA), ‘Men Going Their Own Way’ (MGTOW), 'involuntary celibacy' (incel), and 'pick-up artistry' (PUA). Consistent across many of these forums is the legitimation of misogyny through discussion of 'red pill philosophy', which seeks to counteract Feminism and disavows gender equality.
Language used in the manosphere is becoming more mainstream and discussion of the manosphere in the media is becoming increasingly common but little is known about how communities in the manosphere operate or the potentially negative effects discourse in these communities might have on wider gender relations.
The popularisation and normalisation of misogynistic discourse especially online may have profound social effects on beliefs, values and social behaviours and such harmful online discourse can catalyse offline violence. In 2014, Elliot Rodger killed six people in Isla Vista, California having frequented misogynistic online forums. As such, it is possible that "accepting and normalizing the degradation of women meets equally severe consequences as sexual violence." (DOI: 10.1016/j.wsif.2017.05.001).
MANTRaP – a collaborative research project examining misogynistic discourse online – has two broad aims:
Raising awareness of the mainstreaming of misogynistic discourse in society
Providing research-informed tools for mitigating harms of misogynistic content in mainstream (online) media
To realise these aims, the project team will:
identify and interrogate various online forums where misogynistic discourse and 'red pill philosophy' are articulated and discussed
investigate the language in - and connections between - these groups, ideologies, and discourses
work with a broad range of research partners to develop tools and strategies for countering the potential social harms resulting from the normalisation of misogynistic discourse and practices, especially via the mainstream media
The Women and Equalities Committee in UK Parliament recently opened a call for evidence on the escalation of violence against women and girls.
MANTRaP's evidence, which draws on linguistic methods (specifically Corpus Linguistics and Discourse Analysis) to examine language used within and across different groups in the manosphere, has been accepted and published by the Committee. You can view the evidence here.
Aiston, J., Krendel, A., Koller, V., & McGlashan, M. (2024) ‘What is “the wall”? Language and persuasion in the Reddit manosphere and r/PurplePillDebate’. Language and Persuasion Reloaded, University of Bayreuth, Germany, 21-22/11/2024
McGlashan, M., Aiston, J., Koller, V., & Krendel, A. (in press, 2024) ‘Misogyny and The Red Pill (MANTRaP): applications and impact of linguistic research on online misogyny’. In: Brookes, G., Curry, N., & Love, R. (Eds.) Applications of Corpus Linguistics. Cambridge University Press.
Bogetić, K., Heritage, F., Koller, V., & McGlashan, M. (2023) ‘Landwhales, femoids and sub-humans: Dehumanising metaphors in incel discourse’. Metaphor and the Social World.
Koller, V., Krendel, A., & Aiston, J. (2023) The Language of Gender-Based Separatism. Cambridge University Press.
McGlashan, M. (2023) ‘(Mental) health in the manosphere’. In: Brookes, G. & Chałupnik, M. (Eds.) Masculinities and Discourses of Men’s Health. Springer. pp. 189-218.
McGlashan, M. & Krendel, A. (2023) 'Keywords of the Manosphere'. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics.
Aiston, J. (2022) '“Just another double standard from the Church of the Pussy Pass”: The discursive representation and delegitimization of feminism within an online community of male separatists.' Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines 2022, University of Bergamo, Italy, 06-08/07/2022.
Krendel, A. (2022) '#tradfem: a multimodal critical discourse analysis of traditional femininity on Tumblr'. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines 2022, University of Bergamo, Italy, 06-08/07/2022.
Krendel, A., McGlashan, M., & Koller, V. (2022) ‘The representation of gendered social actors across five manosphere communities on Reddit’. Corpora.
Koller, V. & Krendel, A. (2021) 'Like lesbian separatism, but for straight dudes”: Comparing the language of lesbian separatist and Men Going Their Own Way manifestos'. Lavender Languages and Linguistics Conference, California Institute of Integral Studies, United States of America, 22/5/2021.
Krendel, A. (2021) 'From sexism to misogyny: can online echo chambers stay quarantined?'. In: Zempi, I. & Smith, J. (Eds.) Misogyny as Hate Crime. Routledge. pp. 99-118.
Krendel, A., Aiston, J., McGlashan, M., & Koller, V. (2021) ‘Breaks, boundaries and balance: Maintaining wellbeing when looking at online sexism’. British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Special Interest Group on Language and New Media, Birmingham City University, UK, 14/05/2021.
McGlashan, M., Krendel, A., & Koller, V. (2021) ‘Linguistic constructions of men and women in the Reddit manosphere’. Corpus Linguistics 2021, University of Limerick, Ireland, 13-17/07/2021
Heritage, F. & Koller, V. (2020) 'Incels, in-groups, and ideologies: the representation of gendered social actors in a sexuality-based online community'. Journal of Language and Sexuality, 9(2), 152-178.
Krendel, A. (2020). 'The men and women, guys and girls of the ‘manosphere’: A corpus-assisted discourse approach'. Discourse & Society, 31(6), 607–630.
McGlashan, M. & Krendel, A. (2020) 'Revisiting key-key-words: proposing a method for identifying unique keywords in a collection of corpora'. Corpora and Discourse International Conference 2020 (CAD2020), Sussex, UK, 17-19/06/2020.
Koller, V., McGlashan, M., Heritage, F., Krendal, A., & Aiston, J. (2019) ‘MANTRaP: Misogyny online ANd The Red Pill'. British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Special Interest Group on Language, Gender and Sexuality, Birmingham City University, UK, 30/05/2019.