Weblog by Tree

Diary entry

Taking the Blue Pill

26 May 23

Tree Mackay

In the early 2010s, curiosity led me down an unexpected path as I found myself drawn into Pick-Up Artistry culture, which eventually evolved into Incel (involuntary celibate) and Men's Rights Activism culture (Red Pill culture is a term that combines these). Here I share my personal account as a woman who knowingly and regrettably became entangled in these ideologies.

Motivated by a curiosity to comprehend the experiences of others and understand better the dynamics of relationships, I embarked on a journey into the depths of the Red Pill Movement. This curiosity would exposed me to a distorted worldview that profoundly affected my perception of myself, men, and the dynamics between the sexes.

Initially, I found Pick-Up Artistry (PUA) culture interesting and engaging. I would watch videos on how to pick up women and was fascinated. With a friend I even started a joke PUA training school called the Nimble Courting Academy,. At that time, PUA culture seemed to align with the self-help movement, encouraging men to practice social skills, become more outgoing, and improve themselves through activities like working out or exploring new hobbies. This all transformed into something much darker—the Red Pill movement. Fifteen years ago it wasn’t clear to me that this budding social thing was necessarily toxic.

Over time, I go to know the tragic lens through which these Red Pill communities viewed the world. Their ideologies presented simplistic stereotypes, dividing men into "Chads" and "beta males," while reducing women to dirty objects judged solely on their appearance and perceived promiscuity. It was a world that undermined the complexity and diversity of human relationships, incubating damning narratives of gender and femininity.

Within this distorted lens, the figure of the "Chad" emerged as the embodiment of male success—a tall, muscular, dominant, and privileged man who effortlessly captured the attention and affection of women. The narrative painted these men as disrespectful, manipulative, and abusive. Meanwhile, the "beta males" were labeled as hapless victims, fated to be overlooked until women had been supposedly “used up” by Chads and were now ready to settle.

One of the disturbing aspects of these communities is the dehumanising language used to describe women – most of which I couldn’t even utter aloud. Softer terms like "Stacey" and "Tracey" are employed to categorise and degrade women based on their perceived lack of attractiveness and past sexual activity (‘body count’).

Within Incel culture, there’s an obsession with quantifying and judging a woman's past relationships. Every number is scrutinised, and any deviation from zero is deemed too high. This mindset had a profound impact on my self-esteem as I began to question my own worth based on these distorted metrics.

Having followed the Red Pill movement for over a decade, I have experienced firsthand the allure and persistence of its influence. Over time, it has seeped into many aspects of my life, including my social media presence. The prolonged exposure to these ideologies has provided ample opportunity for me to get drawn in and become entangled in their toxic narratives.

I realise that my worldview gradually shifted and was pulled into a vortex. I became overly conscious of my appearance and relationship history, feeling judgment and shame for experiences that should have been cherished. I began to buy into the harmful stereotypes propagated by Red Pill culture, even applying them to my own life. I started seeing Paul through this distorted lens, categorising him as a "Chad" because of his attractive appearance, successful career, and participation in sports. Inevitably, I succumbed to the misguided belief that he would eventually cheat on me with a younger woman, as dictated by the lore of alpha males and their behaviour.

Realising the detrimental effects of dabbling in this toxic worldview it was clear that I needed to take measures to break free from Red Pill culture. Recognising the addictive nature of social media platforms, I made the decision to delete Reddit. TikTok, too, with its algorithmically curated content, had become a source of influence, pulling me into the Red Pill rabbit hole. With determination, I distanced myself from these platforms, understanding that I was not immune. It was a necessary step in reclaiming my own agency, freeing myself from the damaging narratives I had absorbed.

Despite my efforts to break free from IRed Pill culture, I admit that completely escaping its influence has proven to be a challenge. However, I remain committed returning to a better adjusted worldview. To counter the shallow and simplistic narratives that pervaded online platforms, I have turned to books and hobbies as a means to regain complexity in my thinking. Engaging with real people in the real world has been crucial in broadening my perspective and fostering meaningful connections. As I immerse myself in literature and diverse experiences, I am gradually rebuilding a more nuanced understanding of relationships, gender dynamics, and self-worth.

In this process, I have found solace and support in my relationship with Paul. Unlike the toxic beliefs perpetuated by Red Pill ideology, Paul embodies love, care, and genuine affection. Paul consistently reminds me of my beauty, both inside and out, and reassures me of his unwavering love. This concept of love, which is often alien to Red Pill adherents, has become a reminder that healthy relationships are built on mutual respect, trust, and emotional connection.

While the journey to break free from the influence of Red Pill culture may be ongoing, I am steadfast in my commitment to reclaiming my power and embracing a more realistic and compassionate perspective. I am actively cultivating a life filled with genuine interactions and relationships grounded in empathy and understanding.

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