Substack is now the home for most of my writing. I write on a broad range of topics including politics, history, popular culture and internet subcultures. A subsection of this substack is dedicated to the online 'manosphere', a collection of anti-feminist ideologies that coalesce under this umbrella - and the subject of my next book. My politics are of the anti-totalitarian left but I try not to be blindly partisan about anything. That’s why I would ask you to consider a paid subscription: we live in an increasingly tribal social media landscape where shrill and ideological voices are in danger of drowning out more nuanced voices. I don’t claim to have all the answers - but I will hopefully make you think.
The ‘manosphere’ section
The Manosphere refers to online anti-feminist male subcultures spanning pickup artists, men’s rights activists and Incels (involuntary celibates). Having spent time on the periphery of some of these communities over the past two decades, I thought it was about time I started to write about them. With the rise of masculinity influencers such as Andrew Tate, the manosphere is a hot topic.
Which is ultimately why I decided to wade into the conversation with this newsletter: I don’t believe the mainstream media is particularly well-placed to report on what is an unusual and eccentric subculture. The media has become increasingly bad at handling nuance, which is essential if you want to understand the motivations that draw people into certain forms of ‘counterculture’. It is also too much of a hive mind, its fate overly dependent on outrage clicks generated by caricaturing anyone who doesn’t conform. There’s no conspiracy; the dominant groups simply have their a priori assumptions about how the world is and how it ought to be.
Along with articles on the manosphere, this newsletter will feature pieces on men’s issues more broadly, the gender wars, the self-improvement space, as well as occasional advice for young men navigating the modern dating scene.
I’m a journalist and author whose writing has appeared in most British newspapers as well as US publications including the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Beast. My second book Hired: Undercover in Low Wage Britain was longlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2019 and was selected as The Times Best Current Affairs and Big Ideas Book of the Year in 2018. I have produced and presented documentaries for Channel 4 television, and have appeared on more podcasts than I can count, including Modern Wisdom with Chris Williamson, Incel by Naama Kates and Rebel Wisdom with David Fuller.
All subscribers will receive a minimum of once lengthy article per week, either an essay, book review or original reported piece.
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