The blackpill is a philosophy that men's dating problems require systemic rather than personal solutions, if a solution exists at all. It has emerged in opposition to the redpill movement which instead promotes self-improvement and various dating tricks. More generally, a 'blackpill' refers to a proclaimed fact with particular dire and inevitable consequences (see pill jargon). Someone who hold a certain amount of blackpill beliefs is called a blackpiller.
On incel boards like /r/braincels and incels.co, and following chadfishing experiments and insights from online dating, the blackpill increasingly referred to lookism with a good-gener bent. For these blackpillers, ugly, 'genetically inferior' men have no chance of getting laid in an unconstrained mating context, as women are assumed to choose based on looks rather than personality or effort. The media often conflates incels with these blackpillers, while only a minority of incels actually subscribe to the blackpill.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
The term blackpill was first used in November 2011 by a blog commenter named Paragon on the Dalrock anti-feminist blog. Paragon said only mass poverty could solve men's systemic dating issues, as he saw that as the only mechanism that could bind women to men short of eugenics. Facing dating difficulties in Ontario (Canada), Paragon moved from Canada to the Philippines, a less prosperous country than Canada, and married there. In Paragon's own words:
[…] to reconcile that there are no personal solutions to systemic problems—which can only resolve over evolutionary time.
And any solution will very much entail steep trade-offs, in that males can’t have their cake and eat it too—a prosperous population of deferred ecological pressures (like we currently enjoy), without an expectation that this prosperity will increase the mating latitude of females (dramatically perturbing the breeding population, to the point of near evolutionary instability).
One will always follow the other, as male consensus on these matters is practically impossible in terms of inter-sexual competition(as opposed to the broad accord females enjoy through an abundant wealth of sexual opportunities, courtesy of their reproductively limiting function).
The term was later adopted by OmegaVirginRevolt's blog.
Modern blackpillers agree with Paragon that female desire is inflexible and that psychology is mostly determined by genetics. However, modern blackpillers favor mechanisms such as promiscuity-shaming instead of poverty, to bind individual women to individual men.
Blackpill communities[edit | edit source]
The first large blackpill communities were hosted on Reddit. /r/incels (a quarantine evasion of /r/truecels) was the first major incel community to use the term 'blackpill' and /r/braincels was the largest one. Most of the discussions there focused on slut-shaming and lookism, largely ruminating on experiments and memes from r9k, but also creating new ones, especially memes on lookism such as St. Blackops2cel.
Blackpillers mostly believe in biological essentialism and evolutionary explanations for human social and sexual behavior. Many of these beliefs are not new at all, but draw from established scientific literature, e.g. on Briffault's law, Bateman's principle, Fisherian runaway and sexy sons hypothesis.
Shitposting vs cult[edit | edit source]
Blackpill memes on Reddit were largely shared for shitposting and venting, but near-cultish elements have coexisted due to some members taking the shitposting very seriously. Still, forums like incels.co have been seen as somewhat more extreme and cultish compared to Reddit, e.g. with members explicitly luring in newcomers under the slogan to "learn about the blackpill" and "lay down and rot".
Some of the most cultish members in blackpilled forums tell incels to commit suicide, and they actively seek to "spread the blackpill", which means using cherrypicked studies to evangelize others to "swallow" the blackpill narrative and shaming non-believers as cucks or soyboys. Some do this to lessen feelings of shame or guilt among incels and relieve them from false hope, some want to change discourse in society, while others are vocal about trying to full-on "spark a revolution". Seemingly, the main thing that distinguishes the most cultish members from traditional death cults is their lack of congruent or zealous community philosophical leaders. On incels.co there are no such leaders as the community admin, SergeantIncel, advocates the whitepill.
Blackpill science[edit | edit source]
Largely separate from other incel or blackpill communities, people have begun to share and read scientific studies on dating and human sexual behavior on /r/BlackPillScience, which later lead to the creation of the Scientific Blackpill article by incels.co ex-mod RageAgainstTheTDL, as well as wiki writers Altmark22 and Bibipi.
Alt-right[edit | edit source]
The person who first formalized the blackpill, Paragon, believed in radical biological essentialism. The first two blackpill boards anywhere were either founded or discussion-seeded by a self-described "neo-reactionary", i.e. Caamib. Reddit made it clear they would not tolerate that style of incel discussion, and so Braincels was populated next. Braincels was a previously dormant sub founded by an anarcho-communist named AnathematicAnarchist. The forum espoused a unique version of the blackpill and was not particularly traditionalist or alt-right (outside of slut-shaming). Braincels actively sought to minimize racism in their Reddit community before AnathematicAnarchist committed suicide, and were largely hostile to the alt-right.
Traditionalism[edit | edit source]
Reddit's incel boards were mostly apolitical, and the term "blackpill" mostly meant "it's all about looks and hence it's over". After the banning of /r/braincels, however, blackpillers left on incels.co were dominated by vocal traditional conservatives who have been incorporating more political goals such as reinstating enforced monogamy and marriage into the blackpill.
Traditionalist blackpillers push for a return to traditions, sexual sublimation, monogamy and the 'natural subordination' of women. This is seen in accordance with the greatest happiness principle as even women themselves are thought to be currently unhappy, and desire being subordinated and manned around. The social conservatism and focus on sexual sublimation reminds of the philosophy of 20th century English ethnologist J. D. Unwin. Most traditionalist blackpillers are atheist, but some promote cultural Christianity or other religions. Non-traditionalist blackpillers tend to be anti-tradcon.
Blackpill Feminism[edit | edit source]
Is a community of women who are pessimistic about dating men and view them as biologically inferior and hence untrainable. The Reddit r/Blackpillfeminism was short-lived.
Themes[edit | edit source]
- Nothing can change female sexual desire (biological essentialism)
- Dating success is determined by things men cannot easily improve on such as looks, money, status, physical stature, race, IQ and neurotypicality, rather than personality
- Most incels are hopeless without cosmetic surgery
- Everyone's sexual market value is mostly or entirely genetically determined
- That men's genetic quality is accurately determined by women at large (good genes hypothesis), and that this applies today
- Women like big penises
- Forced sex is not so bad and many women like it
- Women are only capable of true love in case of high status men
- Women reject 80% of the male population
- Women will reject a man because he is a virgin
- Women mostly have a horrible character, if any
- Women take joy in bullying at least as much as men
- Women are incapable of romance and love
- Women only love men's resources
- Women's depression and loneliness are at best self-inflicted, at worst a means of getting attention
- Women love playing victims to get their way
- Women are sneaky and lie a lot
- Women behave like children
- Women exhibit a dual mating strategy (betabuxx)
- Women have a passive, transactional and opportunistic love style
- Women are solipsistic because men want to fuck them
- Women are shallow about the looks of men and especially about looks of other women
- Women's sexuality is stuck in a more r-selected past as they have been subject to less selection pressure
- Men need sexual intimacy and romantic intimacy
- Inceldom is harmful
- Lack of income advantage for men reduces them to their looks
- Polygamy in general is bad and always unworkable on a community level
- Eliminating traditional gender roles necessarily destabilize society through demotivated males
- The patriarchy would solve or mitigate inceldom
- Wife sharing is pathetic and necessarily chaotic, unworkable and/or immoral
- Religions were right about women
- Rich men are often merely betabuxed
- Women are compatible with enforced monogamy as they naturally fantasize about sexual coercion
- Sexual coercion is a natural part of human sexuality
- Revoking women's right to vote would be good
Many of these themes can be found in incel vocabulary and memes. Looks and status being necessary for men, but unevenly distributed, gives rise to beta and alpha males, Virgin vs Chad. Chad represents women's tendency to date up (hypergamy) and to prefer dominant men. The higher sex drive and more active love style in men give rise to beta orbiting. For women, Becky vs Stacy represent women's intra-sexual competition in looks.
Blackpills often means that "it's over" for incels with poor looks and low social status or other flaws—that is, that they have next to no chance of 'ascending' or attaining sexual and social fulfilment. The blackpill gave rise to various spin-offs with varying degrees of seriousness, for instance, the 'dogpill' or 'birdpill'.
Blackpill vs redpill[edit | edit source]
The blackpill is a reaction against other manosphere philosophy, the redpill. Redpillers and blackpillers share some beliefs, but redpillers believe men can improve their dating situation through various social manipulation tricks and bodybuilding (internal locus of control). The blackpill is also a reaction against social justice movements, which claim that society can determine human desire, and humans are not bound to their genetics. Blackpillers instead believe romantic success without 'tying women down' will always be mostly genetically predetermined (mostly only controlled through either evolutionary time, or eugenics, or efforts to 'cheat' such as plastic surgery).
Proposed solutions[edit | edit source]
Believers in the blackpill have a wide range of opinions about what needs or can be done about the systemic issues outlined above:
- Monogamy and religion in general: Traditionalist believe one should return to the nuclear family. Some regard religion as necessary, while others propose atheistic monogamy.
- Socially arranged or enforced monogamy: Some propose sex communism and state-issued girlfriends as a solution to inceldom, however, others have objected that such projects seem unlikely to succeed socially/politically, as they are well outside of the Overton Window in all liberal democracies, at least, and as such would likely require an authoritarian state that was invested in solving the problem to implement successfully, and it is also seen as doubtful whether healthy relationships can form when a relationship is not "earned", but assigned by fiat. Both men and women often want to be proud of their partner choice. For that, both men and women need to know where they stand.
- State-promotion of monogamy: Blackpillers have proposed state subvention could pay male and female incels for pairing up (positive reinforcement). Similarly, it has been proposed to disincentivize promiscuity and singlehood instead, e.g. by taxing promiscuous lifestyle.
- Lowering women's status: Women's hypergamy means that for each man there needs to be a woman of lower status. This implies, to reduce inceldom, women's status relative to men needs to be lowered in general. Not necessarily as far that all women are below men, but many in the manosphere do advocate for this.
- Ignoring women and sex: Others believe a positive effect of taking the blackpill is that it liberates from false hope and from expending time and effort for what is, in essence, a futile goal. Taking the blackpill means acknowledgement unethical, shallow and unhealthy mannerisms in the dating scene or even wider cultural practices, such as narcissism and lookism (the halo effect and beauty-is-good stereotyping). Many blackpilled incels eventually complement or supplant the blackpill with the whitepill. Acceptance of the blackpill could literally mean adopting monk status and potentially joining a religious community that provides a sense of beloningness and status, or embracing one's singledom, freedom and independence (MGTOW, monk mode). For these blackpillers, the blackpill is mainly seen as a counterweight to the prevalent and bluepilled assumption that having a poor social and romantic life is mostly one's own fault and/or a matter of cultivating a positive personality. It provides a basis whereby one can reject day-to-day platitude and the commonly fraudulent "self-improvement" advice that is ubiquitous in media, advertising and the redpill.
- Nihilism, fatalism and incelicide: Some blackpillers say the damage done is irreparable at this point and advocate fatalism. Such blackpillers are often driven by essentialist views that female sexuality is so strongly biologically hardwired that it would require a civil war to undo the sexual revolution, or that it is simply not feasible and has also historically never been substantially better (which is false since the number of incels is likely at a historical peak). Some social Darwinist blackpillers promote fatalism and advocate incelicide. If nobody is left to be an incel, then the problem is solved. These kinds of solutions are of course, not ethically tenable. Also, if the core problem of the unequal distribution of female's sexual affections is left unresolved, then this would require a continuous purge of incels every generation.
Criticism[edit | edit source]
- Too much focus on looks: Superficial traits like looks, height, income, masculinity are at best weak predictors of sexual success as measured by e.g. partner count, with muscularity being the only consistent (but also weak) predictor of lifetime sexual success among a variety of superficial variables, so looks are unlikely to explain most inceldom except for extremely physically unattractive individuals perhaps. Men are also seemingly bad at accurately judging their own looks. However, looks do matter somewhat in terms of assortative mating as attractiveness ratings within couples (both short and long-term) are moderately correlated (r = .4), meaning very attractive people rarely mate with very unattractive ones.
- Cultural factors overlooked: Demographics of inceldom suggest that there is a trend toward less sex for both men and women, which is accompanied by a decline in risky behavior as well as a trend towards later marriage, i.e. less strictly enforced monogamy. Historical evidence suggests that marriage is a human universal, with most societies primarily practicing arranged marriage, so the complete absence of marriage may pose an evolutionary mismatch, resulting in inceldom, in addition to casual sex becoming less common as well. Further, environmentalist fears about overconsumption and overpopulation are discouraging procreation in Western nations.
- Too little focus on economics: Economic causes of inceldom like wealth inequality and economic stagnation come up short. Costs of living increasing discourage family formation. Millennials have only a fraction of the worth babyboomers had at the same age. Many blackpillers only focus on hypergamy as an economic issue, but the effect sizes of women dating up are typically pretty small (see hypergamy).
- Women are only way choosier than men in certain situations: Both sexes are very choosy about their partners. Evidence from online dating suggests that in terms of messaging patterns, both women and men aim up to roughly the same degree and few of either sex aim up excessively or unreasonably. Men are, however, substantially less choosy in case of casual sex, but when it comes to marriage (when the man needs to invest his resources), men are also very choosy. Some studies conclude that men prefer a good looking partner more than do women. Women are less interested in sex and initiate relationships less, which means by principle of least interest, women can overall date up (see Juggernaut law), but the effect sizes are not large.
Traditionalism does not necessarily eliminate inceldom: In the 19th century U.S., even though divorces were rare and traditional gender roles were strict, around 70% of men below age 25 were unmarried. In Medieval population about 20% of the population was poor or destitute, preventing them from entering marriage contracts set by the male Lords. There also seems to be no correlation between how relatively rigid gender roles are and how sexually dissatisfied a modern country is. For example, Japan is the least sexually dissatisfied nation, but it has relatively rigid gender roles for a developed country. Japanese women are encouraged to work more female-centric jobs than in most countries and earn less than men more than in most developed countries, including Sweden and the USA. There is generally mixed evidenced on the relationship between traditionalism and quality of life as summarized in the tradcon article.
Counter-arguments to this include that conservatives do have more sex, even though even many conservatives are gender progressive nowadays. Japan is also one of the least religious countries and has a peculiar history regarding their sexual modesty. Historically, there have also been more incels due to harsher ecologies, so Medieval Europe and 19th century U.S. may not be a good comparison.
- Furthering the welfare state rather reducing it: Some blackpillers hold that poverty is a better solution to inceldom than mass abundance. To the contrary, child-rearing could instead be more subsidized to reduce female selection based on income. Blackpillers respond that women would then turn to looks and status. State welfare advocates also tend to promote broad societal egalitarianism (Jante Law, e.g.), a sort of status leveller that is rumored to reduce intrasexual competition. However, they do not usually put forth a plan on how to reduce sexual dimorphism in the face of globalization. And in 2019 they tend to favor open-borders and liberal internet policy, which can increase sexual dimorphism in the dating sphere.
- Cult & unhealthy pessimism: Blackpill-spaces are criticised as cultish, quasi-religious and for encouraging unhealthy, pessimistic behaviors among members of the spaces, sometimes inciting violence.
- Bluepill: The bluepill is pretty much the complete opposite of the blackpill. Bluepillers tend to deny even biology determinism and propose self-help, personality-altering, individualism, neoliberalism, and other self-actualization type philosophies. They also promote an overall positivity as a solution to inceldom.
- Danger of a stricter culture: A general danger of returning to stricter enforcement of norms and hierarchies is that those in power will abuse it. For example, the notion of chivalry (man proves himself to and protects the woman), nationalism, obedience can quickly result in exploitation of low-status males and provoke wars between nations, or also possibly authoritarian outrages such as mass killings. It is a balancing act between maintaining order on the one hand and preventing highly coordinated conflict on the other.
- Nurture vs nature: In particular socialist, social constructionist, bluepilled and purplepilled spaces criticize that the blackpill relies too heavily on biological essentialism, i.e. sees human nature as more inflexible than it is.
- Too much focus on fast life history women: As little as 7% of women have used the most popular dating app, Tinder, in 2020. Also data on sexual activity in the U.S. suggests that only a small minority of women is currently engaging in a promiscuous lifestyle. These are presumably particular women with a genetic disposition for a fast life history, i.e. they are promiscuous and do not invest much in the offspring (i.e. NAWALT). Only 33% of users who have dated through Tinder got a committed relationship out of it, the rest went for one-night stands or causal sexual relationships, suggesting the majority of Tinder users are indeed fast-life strategists, with such women being possibly more superficial in their choices based on looks only. Women who truly enjoy rape are presumably also only a minority of fast-life strategists among women as the Jolly Heretic noted.
- Sex is not distributed 80/20: As noted in the hypergamy article, in the U.S., sex is not as unequally distributed as 80/20, but only around 60/20, meaning 20% of men have 60% of the sex, and this is similar for women and men. As the demography article shows, sex has declined for both sexes and there is no evidence for a large rise in sexual inequality favoring few Chads, but some evidence for a small increase of inequality, varying between countries, e.g. in Finland, sexual inequality appears to have risen more strongly. Since Finland is a very progressive country, it might serve as a model of progressive subpopulations in other countries.
- Women are not more lookist than men: As explained in the Scientific Blackpill, in dating apps, men and women aim up in looks to roughly the same degree. In some studies, men are even more choosy about looks than men.
- Muscle theory: Building muscle likely actually works as a dating strategy, both to become more physically attractive to women, and for intimidating other men to win out in intrasexual competition. See also the body attractiveness article. Building muscle and free mate choice, however might not come very naturally to slow-life strategists who are might be more adapted for arranged marriage, and the ability to gain muscle mass is also partly genetically predetermined.
- Female sexuality more flexible than assumed: Most blackpillers and redpillers, especially those focusing on female mate choice, regard female sexual desire is very inflexible, however there is substantial evidence that female sexuality is actually more malleable by culture than men's (see Roy Baumeister's research).
Meme gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/ZQ2CUAWWCJD3XHI4B6PDJIURN4.png&w=767 [Archive.is]
- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228641949_A_Global_Survey_of_Sexual_Behaviours table 4
- Roger Devlin said this somewhere too