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
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