I joked to Rollo that by naming his book “Positive Masculinity,” he is playing his version of 4D chess, because his book now pops up at the very top of the Google search result for the term. Whether this was intentional or not, I’m glad to see his book counter balancing feminist-dominated Google search results for the term “positive masculinity.” At least for now, before Google censors his wrong-think and his book’s ranking tanks.
Anyway, I’ve learned to support authors over the years. Reading is an extremely cheap but infinitely rewarding hobby. A book purchase costs next to nothing, and most longer books can easily be finished in a few weeks at just a moderate pace. The knowledge you get from a great book will give you tons of insight into a subject you’re interested in that you can apply to make your life significantly better.
Positive Masculinity is one such book; this book is loaded with life-changing information for those new to the Red Pill. And even for a veteran of the Red Pill, the book manages to add a lot to the conversation and reinforce and enhance what you likely already know.
In this review, I will go over the parts that particularly struck a chord with me, and then I will give an overall summary of the book. There is plenty of content in this book that I will not mention. The book is a 400+ page behemoth, so reviewing it in full detail would be too long of a post for most people. In fact, this review is already too god damn long as it is, but that’s because it’s a long book full of thought provoking information.
With all of that said, let’s move on to the content of the book.
The Meat and Motherfucking Potatoes
Rollo starts off his book with a tribute to the Private Man. I had only interacted with Private Man a few times on Twitter, so I did not know him well. He had a solid reputation around the Manosphere and I liked what I saw of his presentation to 21 Studios. Unfortunately, he passed away from metastatic eye cancer in April 2017. As someone with a career in healthcare, I have seen people win and lose these battles many times, and it is a shame to see a well-respected member of our community pass.
In the prelude, Rollo discusses his motivation as an author. This is powerful, motivational stuff, especially considering the life-changing implications of what he writes, the point where he has gotten in his writing career, and the reach that he has been able to attain. His reasons for writing are largely similar to mine, although I am not quite as focused on sexual dynamics of the Red Pill as I am how it ultimately relates to your own self-development and understanding of every aspect of the world. (I need to develop a term for this, and I don’t want to use “woke”). Rollo’s motivation largely lies within reversing the course of men hamstringing or outright destroying their lives because of their Blue Pill conditioning.
For instance, Rollo mentions a Blue Pill man who got killed by another man in a fight for his ex-girlfriend because he “would rather die” than see her with another man. It’s amazing how a mindset shift can change and save a person’s entire life. It’s easy for take for granted where you are in life, and reading this makes me look back and remind myself why I’m so glad I found the Manosphere at relatively young age. The Red Pill knowledge that stems from a handful of writers and extends to a community of an estimated several million is extremely powerful. There’s no way to understate this fact.
Red Pill Parenting
This is a crucial section for any future parent. Simply put, you owe it to everyone to bring this type of Red Pill parenting knowledge to the rest of the world. I would go so far as to say that if you haven’t read this section, or something similar to it, and you have children, nieces, or nephews, you are doing your entire family a disservice. This is a section that I will refer to down the road when I am ready to raise a child.
Rollo points out the many pitfalls and issues with traditional parenting in the Western world. The way he points out the dichotomy of fathers being essential to a child while being ridiculed and secondary to female’s whims is particularly striking to me.
One critical point made here is that men lose the frame in a relationship not just to the woman, but to the child. Most men are afraid to assert themselves in the context of a relationship with children. He also makes the point that any father in the West has to battle against an entire feminine-primary system that seeks to poison your child’s mind. Not to mention, of course, the unrealistic expectations of Western women who often give little back in return for their demands.
My favorite quote in this section is “The good news is that for all of these efforts in social engineering, the Feminine Imperative is still confounded by rudimentary biology and our evolved psychological firmware.” This is something I’ve said in the past, so it’s great to see another writer say it. Your kids may be taught to see the world through the feminine primary (and/or Cultural Marxist) lens, but nothing beats human nature. Despite what all of their Cultural Marxist conditioning teaches them, women still viscerally respond to a powerful man. Period.
Towards the end of the chapter, Tomassi discusses the lessons to teach your children, and when. This part is excellent, and the knowledge is worth the price of the book alone. He finishes the chapter with an ideological set of statements, including that we cannot heal all of the damage done to society, but we can at least set examples as fathers (and future fathers). Extremely well said.
I’ll add some brief notes on this section. Rollo mentions that unplugging men is similar to triaging, and I agree entirely. Save the ones that you can, and don’t worry about the ones you can’t.
He also says to expect the Feminine Imperative to attempt to raise your daughter where you won’t. There’s no sense in trying to totally censor her from this message; it’s simply impossible. Instead, teach her to expect it but teach her that there are consequences for her actions. You’re almost treating it with amused mastery. Additionally, the more Red Pill and masculine you are, the more likely your daughter is to listen to you and use you as an example. The best thing you can do for her is to be strong and remedy her of any potential daddy issues.
This section has a lot on understanding the psychology of women in relationships.
One of the most important takeaways from this section is understanding solipsism. It is an important survival and replication instinct to understand because it drives women’s decision making.
Many men treat solipsism as a negative, but I beg to differ. Solipsism shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a net negative of women’s nature. It’s largely seen this way because men are expected to treat women as equals when their solipsistic nature simply doesn’t allow for an equal decision-making process. It is critical to understand solipsism in a relationship context and when understanding how women function and make decisions in a workplace and/or real-world perspective.
This is especially true since men are told that they are equal with women, and this lie of equality really fucks men up. I believe that even Red Pill men often have difficulty understanding the term in its full context.
Overall, this is an excellent section that I highly recommend to truly understand female psychology. There is a lot more to this section than I will go into. Read this section, people.
The Rest of the Book
There’s still a lot to discuss here, and now this fuckin’ review is going on for too long! For this reason, I won’t split the rest of this review into chapters.
Rollo makes a good point on how we idealize dating before our era. Red Pill men tend to talk about previous generations of dating like everything was always superior today, and that we are in a truly unprecedented time in gender relations. In some ways, this is true. However, he makes a strong point that this isn’t entirely true, and that hypergamy was allowed to run free in certain societies in the past. I had never fully considered this before.
He also makes excellent points about women in male spaces. I will let you purchase the book to see his points here, as well as his points on the socially acceptable caveats of feminism, such as women voting.
Later, he discusses the Feminine Imperative spreading to third world countries. He essentially makes the point that the “pussy paradise” of other countries is under siege from the westernized Feminine Imperative. This is absolutely true, however, I would state that there are many facets of a culture’s male-female relationships. A culture has to truly be eradicated on multiple levels in fully to become as degenerate as most aspects of modern Western culture have become. This could easily be a separate blog post, or even a book. I will just say that in the Philippines, for instance, a significant percentage of the women there work, but you can still find many conservative, feminine women to make your future wife, even if a lot of them are slutty and increasingly Westernized.
A favorite quote from this part of the book: “Nature will not cooperate with its own stagnation.” When times become tough, things will shift back to Red Pill.
There’s also some interesting points on the “Scorched Earth” policy of a group of men in the Manosphere. This is the group that focuses on their asshole energy rather than trying to focus on being “good men” since it is not rewarded sexually by women. I went pretty all-in on this growing up. I can thank good ol’ Chateau Heartiste for this one.
Towards the end of the book, he discusses nexting girls and why it’s so powerful. Once you feel yourself being disrespected, you have to stamp down your foot. If worst comes to worst, you have to next a girl. She can either come back on your own terms, or you can never see her again.
Neutral Observations and Criticisms
No book is perfect. I have a few minor criticisms and neutral observations of Positive Masculinity.
The concept of the “Feminine Imperative” is used a lot, and I think it’s an extremely useful term, but it isn’t all-encompassing of all of Western society’s ills. It is essentially whatever actions and attitudes suit the woman’s needs in Westernized society for maximized hypergamy. I personally believe that his theory could use a healthy mentioning of Cultural Marxism, which I believe is only mentioned once in the book. I think that the Feminine Imperative should be seen “as-is,” as one major aspect of Western society that attacks the modern man, not as the dominant ideology of our time. Since Rollo chooses to talk very little about politics, however, I’d say he’s a bit limited in this regard. Hopefully, this mini-ramble made sense, because I admittedly have a hard time putting into words what I don’t like about this theory.
It’s also worth noting that Rollo’s “wall of text style” can drag on a bit if you’re not fully following along. Conversely, if you are particularly interested what he’s saying, his level of detail can drive a point home from many angles. Like with any book, if you find that you’re not following along, then either consciously pay attention and/or put down the book and come back to it later.
He also tends to go very heavy with his own definitions in his writing, so if you’re not familiar with his terminology it can be difficult to understand many of his points. As he says, you have to familiarize yourself with his terminology by reading the previous Rational Male books, or at least by reading his website a lot. In my case, I’m just a long-time reader of his site. This is not necessarily a complaint as it is a mention of style. Rollo’s writing style requires more patience than some people have.
Towards the end of the book, Rollo makes a great food-for-thought statement on mixing politics with the Red Pill. There are advantages and disadvantages to talking about politics. I agree that it can pollute the message like he says, and that red pill awareness can get construed into one set of political beliefs and thus grouped into that set of beliefs and ignored by those who disagree with it. I 100% respect this viewpoint; this is a matter of preference by the writer.
However, I argue again that understanding the Red Pill virtually always leads you to a conservative set of political beliefs since leftism and/or socialism generally supports the Blue Pill set of values, including the legislation of the Feminine Imperative he discusses. Additionally, other people are going to cloud Red Pill knowledge regardless. If the Red Pill message is mixed into another message by people on a wide scale, it’s largely out of a writer’s control. The best the writer can do is continue to present his Red Pill knowledge on his own terms so his readers can understand his message without mixing politics into the fray.
It’s worth noting that the vast majority of Red Pill men are conservative and/or libertarian for a reason: the values you learn by looking through a Red Pill lens extend to your political beliefs. I don’t consider these political views as “part of the Red Pill,” but rather something you understand as a separate entity after you have swallowed it. I’ll also mention that it’s definitely true that the “Red Pill” has become diluted over the years by people (often unintentionally) attempting to change its definition, and I found myself walking into that trap a few times as well in the past.
Anyway, any criticism of the book is minor, and this is mostly food for thought.
I will not give the book a number rating. I will, in short, say that the book is an excellent read by one of the Manosphere’s leading theorists and writers. If you are a fan of Tomassi’s writing, there’s plenty of content to absorb and digest here.
I very strongly recommend purchasing the book and reading through it during your spare time. You will read through the work of the ever-growing Manosphere’s great pioneers, and Rollo’s wisdom will almost undoubtedly teach you multiple lessons and/or bits of wisdom that will improve, guide, or even transform your own life, depending on where your level of understanding is and how thoroughly you digest his lessons.
That’s a very high heap of praise for one man’s work.
For me, this was a great look into one of the original Red Pill writers that I had read a lot and inspired me to jump into the fray. In one sense, it was like jumping back about five years ago when I read almost all of Rollo Tomassi’s writing. It also greater allowed me to understand and reinforce my understanding of the Red Pill in its form today.
Additionally, this book taught me a lot more about understanding game and social dynamics in the context of marriage and having children. Since I am unmarried and plan to be so for a while, most of the advice I’ve sought out has been towards single men looking to get laid. This also happens to be the majority of advice given out in the Manosphere. However, even while I was looking for this type of advice, I couldn’t help but notice all of the advice given out to older and married as well. There’s a ton of advice out there for married men who discovered the Red Pill later in their lives. I understand their plights much more clearly after reading his book through entirely.
So on a final note, let me make this clear: this is not a short book and should not be expected to be one. It took me a month of casual reading to go through and digest all of the information. I will still refer to it in the future for certain sections; particularly the red pill parenting section. If this is one of your entry points to red pill awareness, you will want to really get down and dirty with it. Take notes and/or highlight, and apply its lessons into your own life.
Let this be the type of book that enlightens you, ideally in a place where you can sit down without distraction. Read it out in nature with nobody to distract you. It was particularly enjoyable while sitting down on this dead tree overlying a creek, listening to the water and nature all around me.
We will conclude this review by saying that there are very few subjects in life more important than understanding social and sexual dynamics, and this book is one of the absolute best you can read on the subject. For all of these reasons and the above, Positive Masculinity is very highly recommended.
You can purchase Positive Masculinity here. How could this review possibly be complete without an affiliate link?