“It is no secret that a great deal of the manosphere is geared towards White men or other races that can pass for White or can say ‘at least I'm not Black.’ With that being said, Black men are often met with hostility, or stories of White men conquering places and women that a Black man could not even dream of…What we must realize is that this is competition, and from the White man's perspective, the Black man is their adversary, or at best, pawns.” – Grand Admiral Game, “Racial Divide: The Need for a Black Manosphere.”
On YouTube, online forums, podcasts and, blogs, young black men have bonded together over their agitation about black women allegedly desiring “thugs” and not gentlemen. They blame their own height, facial features, race and mental health for their inability to get dates and sex. They balk at advice to be more confident. Others swear themselves off from forming romantic relationships. “Unless women change, I’m not gonna change,” asserted one Youtuber called Rejected-From-Eve Zero, a self-described 27-year-old virgin.
Another Youtuber named Oreo Man constantly engaged in self-deprecation by referring to himself as a “looser” (sic) and “piece of shit,” while calling black women “bitches” and blaming them for his problems. “In other races, the decent man is put on a high pedestal,” he claimed. “In the black community, a decent man is looked at as a square. This is one reason why, I wish like hell, I was not black."
Similar statements uttered by another Youtuber named Baraka Mckray allegedly led to his suicide. Mckray passed away at 29, leaving an internet history of videos and tweets that read, “Black Women are prejudice towards individuals with Autism. I wish I was any other race but black.”
None of these young men knew one another, but they were tied together by their self-hatred, self-pity, and disdain for black women who did not desire them. They represent a small segment of a larger informal network rooted in male entitlement and patriarchy.
The Toronto van attack in April propelled incels into the national spotlight, after 25-year-old Alex Minassian proclaimed an “incel rebellion” when he drove his van into pedestrians killing 10 people and injuring 16. In November, 40-year-old Scott Beierle opened fire in a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, killing two people. Once again, the event served as a reminder of the dangers of online misogyny.
Standing for “involuntary celibate,” young men on various online forums lament their inability to have romantic and sexual relationships with women they desire. But incels are part of a larger informal network called the manosphere. Consisting of blogs, forums, websites and social media accounts, these groups use labels such as “Men Rights,” “Nice Guys,” “Men Going Their Own Way,” “Pick-up Artists,” and others.
Since the manosphere became mainstream, journalists have portrayed it as a solely white space. White males most likely make up the majority, but the subculture has men from various racial and ethnic backgrounds who express the same attitudes. Racial hostility and indifference have led them to distance themselves from the larger group.
In response to the racism often targeted exclusively toward black men on majority white digital spaces, black males have created their own manosphere. Equally incoherent, the Black Manosphere consists of blogs, forums, websites and social media personalities. What is different is that these men view their race as a unique barrier in their experience with women. They craft stereotypes of black women who they claim desire “thugs” and only go for “good men” once they’re single mothers and are “used up.”
These men’s struggle with masculinity has a racialized component: many have been unable to engage in sex at all, or not as frequently as they would like in a society that views black males as hypersexual. They don’t just feel like failed men, but failed black men.
The perceived hypersexual nature of black men triggers animosity in the larger manosphere. Whites view Black men as having little difficulties obtaining sex because of their perceived sexual endowment and endurance. They’re often treated as non-existent in that space. One self-proclaimed incel who did an interview with Jesse Lee Peterson on the Fallen State, citing no evidence, claimed there are “a few black incels, but they’re not that common.”
Incels in particular advocate a “BBC theory” (BBC stands for “big black cock”), which denotes that white women lust after black men for their sexual appeal. Therefore, according to the theory, it is impossible for black men to be incel. Black men aren’t solely targeted; non-white incels also castigate black women as inherently unattractive, undesirable, and, as one poster claimed, “resemble animals more than humans. Men aren’t usually into bestiality.”
The Black Manosphere rarely engages in dehumanizing portrayals, but it does nothing to uphold black women’s dignity. It argues that black women are too masculine, carry a bad attitude, and inherently make poor life decisions. In the website Negro Manosphere, articles appear that claimed black women don’t experience street harassment since they are “at the very bottom of the sexual food chain.” Other writers encourage young men who want black women’s attention to form pretend relationships with white women to create jealousy. Another article alleged that black women’s behavior “destroyed the black church.”
The roots of resentment probably stems more from the gains black women have made in society than individual bitterness. Black women have surpassed black men in college completion and enrollment, obtaining advanced degrees, and traditional male-dominated fields, making the dating pool smaller for stable and successful women.
The changing gender norms have the potential to make some men feel emasculated. Those who cannot get dates are puzzled. In their minds, they have managed to stay out of prison, get a college education and maintain a steady job. They’re taken aback as to why black women have not gravitated to them. Rather than self-reflect, many opt to date women of other races and declare to never talk to black women again.
Such bitterness might seem minor, but these attitudes have had deadly results. In 2015, 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer killed 10 people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. In his manifesto, he lamented his loneliness and virginity, and criticized black men while admitting that he was “40% black,” saying: “I don’t hate blacks. Just the men.” He praised black women, but viewed black men as repugnant. “All they care about is sex and swag,” he claimed. “The black woman can only be saved by the castration/elimination of the black man.”
The Black Manosphere represents two traditions in black movements: resilience and patriarchy. In the face of exclusion, blacks have often sought to create their own groups and organizations to accommodate their needs neglected by white society. The Black Manosphere does just that. It forms a sense of community for a marginalized population.
What is unfortunate is that these young men have used the grand tradition to unite around patriarchy. Black women have long struggled against racism and sexism from white society, and also from black men. The Black Manosphere has ignored the fact that black women, rather than being adversaries, have instead been the backbone of the black community in its quest for freedom and racial equality.