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‘Doing What God Designed Men To Do’: Red Pilled Christians’ Quest for Patriarchy, According to Scripture

‘Doing What God Designed Men To Do’: Red Pilled Christians’ Quest for Patriarchy, According to Scripture
11th March 2024 Elyse Willemsen
In Insights


The Red Pill philosophy is the foundation for many online, misogynist, male-only groups, colloquially known as the manosphere. The Red Pill philosophy is adhered to by these groups who have metaphorically ‘woken up’ to how feminism and liberalisation are brainwashing the masses and working to displace men of their so-called ‘natural capacities’ atop the socio-sexual hierarchy. Unhealthy or violent versions of masculinity are aspired to in these groups as men are instructed to take back their supremacy through, for example, improving their physical appearance through weightlifting or deploying tactics to manipulate women into becoming agreeable to their sexual advances. According to the Red Pill ideologues, the rest of the world has taken the Blue Pill; they are ignorant of seeing the world as it ‘truly’ is.

This Insight argues that Christianity is a justifying force for the online Reddit group ‘Red Pilled Christians’ (RPCs). RPCs weaponise their Christian faith to fit a Red Pill agenda, which involves securing Christian patriarchy, subordinating women and suppressing rights for gender or sexually diverse people. RPCs believe that the Bible is a ‘Red Pilled’ text, the teachings of which have been corrupted by feminism and ‘Blue Pilled’ propaganda of equality, as opposed to a Christian patriarchy that the Scripture sets out. Findings are drawn from critical discourse analysis of posts from 2017-2024 on the Reddit page ‘r/RPChristians’. This Insight investigates how RPCs use Christianity to advocate patriarchal supremacy through three thematic concerns: (1) anti-feminism, (2) biblical inerrancy, and (3) reinstatement of a golden age.

Red Pilled Christians

RPCs fuse Christianity with the Red Pill philosophy, believing that “Biblical Christianity…is an RP [Red Pill] belief system”, as one user highlighted in 2024. RPCs believe in male supremacism from a Biblical perspective, meaning that the sacred text contains principles which dictate how God ‘designed’ men to be leaders in society, including in the family. The idea that men can obtain sex or a girlfriend/wife by prioritising their physical fitness, exercising dominance over subservient women and employing manipulative techniques so women become, as one user put it, “putty in [their] hands”, is ever-present in many posts. Following a literal interpretation of the Bible, the group justifies harmful forms of masculinity and calls for the reinstatement of essentialist gender norms as obeying God’s plan. RPCs reject the mainstream, ‘blue-pilled’ teachings of Christianity, believing that the Church has fallen victim to the “rot” of feminism, which skews the true interpretation of the Bible. By becoming the assertive husbands and fathers God intended them to be and refusing to abide by the liberal teachings of the mainstream Church, RPC men can reclaim their dominance in society.

The RPCs Reddit forum is a male-only space comprising 12,000 users who are generally 17-40 years old single, married or divorced men from North America, Canada, Australia and parts of Europe. Reddit provides a suitable form of analysis as it is a content-sharing website wherein users can interact and engage with one another on definitions, Bible passages and ways of fulfilling God’s will. Many users on the RPC Reddit also make connections to other manosphere groups, such as pick-up artists, incels and figureheads like Jordan Peterson and Roosh V, suggesting an interrelated network of Red Pill subscribers across the platform. This is further exemplified as many RPCs have their own blogs, books, YouTube channels and podcast series.

Feminism: The Root of RPCs Loss of Power

RPCs are anguished by the supposed secularisation of Christianity and the Bible. They blame the “perversion” of feminism for stripping the inherent “masculine leadership” from Christian men and corrupting the Church. This erosion, as prescribed by RPCs, can be felt as the Church embraces equal rights for diverse genders and sexualities, divorce rates spike, and feminism gives women more choice in their lives, which has led to the public “demonis[ation]” of masculinity in society more broadly. The “femini[s]ation of the Church”, as one user in 2021 states, “silences real men” (claimed by a user in 2018) as their needs become overlooked, leading to “disparities in the dating pool” as more women than men now attend Church. Here, RPCs fuse their struggle to find “a virgin”, “subservient”, and “Christian wife” – things they are supposed to find, according to the Scripture. RPCs cite feminism as the reason these men are experiencing a perceived loss of power. Weaponising their Christianity, RPCs purport feminism is “evil” and a “rot”, as one 2021 post describes, corrupting the command of God for men to be “strong” and “leaders”. Feminism challenges the consecrated logic that men should be all-powerful and have command over the institution of the family. 

Further, the inclusion of namely LGBTQIA+ rights to equality allegedly undermines God’s intention of the creation of men as leaders. A user in 2021 demonstrates that RPCs reject the liberal “butterflies-and-rainbows view ofJesus”, which has infiltrated the “proper interpretation” of God’s word. The ‘butterflies and rainbows’ description here alludes to the supposed corruption of LGBTQIA+ inclusivity in certain churches, which RPCs believe to be the fault of feminism. This narrative is familiar across manosphere groups, who feel aggrieved as their power in the world begins to be challenged. An offline manifestation of this anger culminated in a protest outside a church in Sydney, Australia, run by the far-right group ‘Christian Lives Matter’. The group, who claim to be “soldiers of God”, violently clashed with pro-trans rights activists in a warped defence against the supposed infiltration of the “alphabet” [LGBTQIA+] agenda into the Church. 

Biblical Inerrancy: “Taking off the blue pilled lens” 

RPCs, not unlike fundamental Christians, interpret the Bible as a logical, literal and divinely structured plan of how God wants the world to be organised patriarchally. A 2021 post outlines how RPCs believe that the Scripture was given to believers as a model of how “husbands and wives ought to interact”, citing Genesis 2:18 and 3:16 to add legitimacy to the belief that God designed “husbands to be leaders and wives to be helpers”. God “clearly commands men to be strong” in the Bible, as pointed out by a user in 2019. Taking the word ‘strong’ literally, RPCs believe they, as men, need to lift weights and be physically muscular. In 2019, one user wrote how aesthetics attained by lifting weights helps RPC men achieve their full sexual potential. This leads to a “better ability to pick her up, pin her down, and have sex in advanced positions,” the user explained. Through biblical inerrancy, RPCs justify their male supremacist views that are rooted in harmful versions of masculinity that tell men they need to be physically fit to be datable. Moreso, RPCs use the Bible to emphasise the necessity of women being subordinate to men, as this is how God’s will can be achieved. 

Another theme within the Reddit group is the fixation on women’s sexual history. According to RPCs’ interpretation of the Bible/teachings of God, women should be “virgins” who have had “no sexual experience”. Using an inerrant view of the Bible, RPCs can justify this dangerous view of women’s sexuality by understanding that sex before marriage is a sin; any woman who participates in this is “damaged goods”, according to multiple users. Patriarchal violence can further be legitimised via a literal interpretation of the Bible, evident in one interaction on Reddit in 2022 wherein a user called for stoning to be a punishment for adultery, noting a spouse is “as well as dead” for this behaviour. This inerrant view of the Bible is dangerous as it leaves no room for dialogue or alternative ways of life; God has provided the way to live, and God’s word is truth. In this way, RPCs use the Bible to justify their quest for a Christian patriarchy.

RPC men are trying to follow the word of God but find they are struggling to do this well with “normie-tier programming” and “unbiblical enlightenment-derived liberal presuppositions.” One way of reclaiming their power as men is to move away from their current church due to its accepting stance of women, feminist ideals of equality and LGBTQIA+ folk. One user calls for “true” Churches to exist and congregate in the home, becoming insular to avoid the nefarious influences of feminism and teach the “true” Red Pill version of the sacred text. 

Reinstating a Golden Age of Christian Patriarchy

Using the language of restoration as opposed to revolution, RPCs articulate a nostalgia for an ideal past where men were guaranteed sex via marriage. RPCs believe that the hierarchical gendered structure of society must be restored to the way laid out in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Their utopia is one where women are subservient wives uninterested in liberation, instead preoccupied with biblical traditions which uphold men’s power. One user outlines the simple pieces of living by God’s mission:

“[They] should include getting a hot wife, knocking her up repeatedly, teaching those kids to obey the lord, gather resources, and buil[d] a fiefdom of the Kingdom.”

Using modern language, this user describes a patriarchal ‘utopia’ according to the Christian faith. This user goes on to outline how this patriarchal ordering of the world becomes necessary for “God’s will” to be “done on earth as it is in heaven, forming the eschatological end goal of Christianity and RPCs.

The sanctity of marriage is discussed often on the RPC forum. Noting the “demise of marriage”, one user in 2020 points to societal trends, such as the use of abortions/contraception as “destabilis[ing] the marriage marketplace.” By this user’s logic, women are now “entitled” and “less attractive” due to feminism, meaning fewer people are getting married. To this user, this is unacceptable. In the times when the majority of Christians followed the ‘true’ meaning of the Bible, marriage, families, and gender traditions thrived and worked, as this is what God intended. Marriage is the main goal of most users on the RPC forum, representing true alignment with God and the Scripture as “God designed husbands to be leaders and wives to be helpers.” RPCs believe marriage will aid in reclaiming their masculinity, as this forms a male supremacist space deemed necessary by God.


RPCs use a literal interpretation of the Bible to expediently justify their anti-feminist, Red Pill agenda of cementing a Christian patriarchy; something which they ‘hark back to’ as existing in a golden age of Christianity. This is dangerous as it provides a consecrated, divinely sought justification for a dangerous ideology. My findings stress the need for researchers of online groups who promulgate extreme misogyny to analytically engage with how religion acts as a legitimising force for misogyny, patriarchy and the violence that accompanies it. Tech companies and stakeholders must remain vigilant about who they are platforming and seek to curb groups, users or figureheads who promote hateful, misogynist content. 

Evaluating the dangers of such extreme online language becomes challenging for external stakeholders as they confront the potential for religious censorship. To combat this, external stakeholders should be clear on the Red Pill philosophy, its central principles of anti-feminism, male supremacist beliefs, calls to action and sexual theories, just to name a few. Further, effective monitoring of this group should include a redesign of Reddit’s algorithms so that they don’t perpetuate unhealthy notions of masculinity that are disguised as religiously coded themes of self-improvement, incitement to violence or other harmful and misogynist content pertaining to minority groups. An evaluation of online, religiously justified gendered violence, as sometimes expounded by RPCs, should be conducted by faith communities, people with lived experience of partaking in and exiting from such groups and experts from the field of religious and extremism studies. 

Elyse Willemsen is a recent graduate from MPhil International Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin. Using theories on emotion and networked feelings, Elyse researches how the emotion of subordination becomes weaponised and circulates within incel groups to legitimise violence against women. Her other research has investigated composite forms of worldview-ing and how the internet facilitates misogyny in manosphere groups, more broadly.