Masculinity and the Manosphere: Part 2

“Physical fitness can be an idol!” — Ben Zeisloft (sarcastically)

In part 1 of the series, I began a discussion about how the manosphere and red-pill notions of masculinity are skewed towards leftist philosophy and (ironically) the effeminate. One common aspect of expressed masculinity that has been pushed is physical fitness, specifically body weight. And so today I want to talk about being fat, and how being fat is viewed in the manosphere.

It is unsurprising that there are men out there who view being fat right up there on the level with hating Christ. If you read the ‘sphere for long enough, you are certain to see many people saying that God wants them to be fit and that taking care of their bodies is masculinity. They imply that it is unmasculine to be fat.

The association of being fit with masculinity has never made sense to me. Is it true that if you are fat, you are not acting like a man? Should fat women also act like men and get in shape? And, will being fit help you maximize your chance at finding that special unicorn?

So let’s talk about being fat and see if fat men should turn in their man cards at the nearest manhood store.

Is Being Fat Bad?

Being fat has bad health consequences. The fatter you are, the worse your long-term health outlook will be. But there is no cut-and-dry threshold at which getting fatter switches from being good to being bad, nor is there a cut-and-dry threshold at which losing weigh switches from being good to being bad. It’s not that simple.

This is a variation of the Sorites Paradox. Black-and-white thinking does not apply here.

Being fat—whatever that means—can certainly, but not necessarily, be bad for your health, but humans are not obligated by God to optimize their longevity. The Amish have a lower life expectancy than non-Amish, but their  somewhat shorter lives tend to be healthier overall. Age extension is simply not important to them. Losing weight is often a very good thing, but a moral obligation or a requirement for masculinity? I think not.

Why Do People Get Fat?

Energy

This is going to surprise many people, but getting fat is natural. Being fat has the very important task of storing up energy for later use. We live in such an era of perpetual food abundance that modern man has forgotten that being fat plays an important role in long-term survival. If we are headed for a solar catastrophe in the 2030s or 2040s, do you know who is going to be happiest during the inevitable food shortages? Fat people.

To illustrate exactly how happy fat people are going to be, let’s look at the case of Angus Barbieri. Angus weighed 456 pounds when he decided to stop eating… completely. He more-or-less didn’t eat for 392 days. His doctors thought he would die, but he was fine. He ended up losing 276 pounds. His final weight was 180 pounds.

Angus’ body needed to consume roughly 11 ounces of fat per day over the course of his diet. But of course the larger you are, the more fat you need. Let’s just say that you need half-a-pound of fat per day to survive a famine (less for women, more for men). You could survive a full 90-day no-food winter (like the one that killed the pilgrims in Plymouth or the Donner Party) if you carried a mere 45 pounds of fat above your “fat free baseline.”

And just so you know, cannibalism won’t fend off starvation. Low-fat diets, like the Donner Party, lead to protein-poisoning that accelerates death. Your belly might be full, but you die anyway. You need fat.

A lot of you reading this are not fat enough to survive even a small famine without eating. No wonder when Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights without food, it was considered a miracle that he didn’t starve. Historians presume that Jesus—who got a lot of exercise—was too lean to have 20 pounds of excess fat to burn off.

Remember the shortages in 2020 due to the logistical shutdown? Imagine that over two years. Would you starve if supply lines broke down for that long? I await all the comments from people who lived through the covid lockdowns telling me that this is impossible. Uh huh.

The greatest irony of masculinity is that if there was a famine, these hyper-fit men would be among the first to die of starvation due to tragically low body fat reserves…. well, at least until they got so hungry that they turned to violence and started murdering people for their food. What Chads they’ll turn out to be.

Babies

Fat is very important in women. Their bodies are designed in their very DNA to store more fat than men. This is why fat women are more common than fat men. They are supposed to get fatter. Part of this is because they burn energy slower than men do, and despite being fatter, they live longer than men of comparable weight.

Women need fat to make babies and to feed them. Those extremely fit women with washboard abs? Many of them can’t even get pregnant, because they lack the necessary fat. Their bodies sometimes won’t even let them ovulate. Of course, very few women have the willpower to fight their body’s natural tendencies, but the point remains: having fat is a good thing.

Vitamins

The human body stores fat-soluble vitamins—A, D, E, an K—in fatty tissues for future use. The more fat, the more you can store, which is partially why Angus didn’t starve. You still need to get water-soluble vitamins through supplements or eat readily-available low calorie foods, but a fat person is much less dependent on his environment.

Being Skinny

Throughout most of history, being fat meant you were likely of high status. If a man were fat, it meant he was the height of many masculine things, like business, influence, and leadership. Some of the most important men in world history were fat.

Poor people couldn’t afford the calories to become fat. When it got cold in the winter and food ran out, people simply died. Being skinny meant you were likely poor, infirm, and malnourished.

Divorce

While fat people are less likely to marry, they are also less likely to divorce once they get married. Has anyone in the manosphere ever told you that getting fit increases your risk of divorce? I doubt it.

Luxury Beliefs

One of the facets of modern leftism is luxury beliefs. These are:

ideas or values that confer status on the wealthy, but are not fully embraced or practiced by them.

Physical fitness is a luxury belief. Many of the people who push diet and exercise are already attractive men who are predisposed by their DNA to a high metabolism. Most do not—and never—have to embrace or practice the strict and aggressive measures that are required by fat people to lose weight.

This is especially noticeable in the manosphere when people who have had success with women tell men who have had poor success with women to get fit. They follow this advice and get fit, and then predictably continue to have no success with women.

One of the things conspicuously missing from the manosphere is before-and-after photos of single men who lost weight and subsequently married a unicorn. A lot of manosphere residents are pretty careful about not putting pictures of themselves online, lest someone see them.

Is Fitness Masculine?

This is Charles Spurgeon.

Spurgeon was one of the most influential preachers of the 19th century. He was married at 22, had two children, and had a ministry full of hallmarks, having authored many sermons, books, speeches, and hymns. Spurgeon was also a fat man, who looks a lot like the AI-generated preacher. But since he didn’t live in the 21st century, he didn’t have people trying to get him to turn in his man card.

Spurgeon lived a masculine life, the kind of masculine life that many in the manosphere would have been happy to experience a mere fraction of it. Many would have been happy with just the wife.

Oh, Susannah Spurgeon wore a veil, a symbol of her husband’s authority. Masculinity indeed. Checkmate manosphere!

I have no problem with physical fitness. I think many—but not all—men should seek to be physically fit. But being fit is not a great moral virtue and failure to be fit is not a moral failing. Being fat is simply not that big of a deal. While I will discuss this in greater depth as this series continues, it is important to note at the outset that being fat isn’t a simple black-and-white, masculine-not-masculine issue, as Spurgeon shows.

Do you think fat men are not masculine?

18 Comments

  1. Lastmod

    Define fat, because according to all the metrics, me at 6’3″ tall weighing 168 lbs, I am considered “borderline fat” because my lean frame ist 100000% muscle, like real men have….and the clincher

    Women thinks its hot when a man looks like a mewing model of fitness

    Even back in the good ol days (1950’s early 1960s) the culture proper was slimmer in general but people smoked, drank more alcohol, ate just as bad transfats in cooking……..

    They also took walks at night / evenings. Most homes were still “one care households” and a man knew how to boil water and cook something at home if he had to, even if he had a stay at home wife. Your manosphere friends today make it out if a man has to cook for his children because his wife is sick “he’s cucked and a simp for not making his wife cook, she got sick to cuck and upsur him” and all these men make it out that his wife cooks everything from scratch like the Amish, serves the meal and waits in the corner until hubby says “you may eat now”

    Its very implied.

    Obesity is a problem, and IF the sphere is going to link this to “not being a real christian”

    Then, they should check the down-home place they uplifetthat is “saving” ‘Murica. The South.

    Obesity in the USA is highest in the American South and inside “the church” in The South. Its a “big” problem for Christianity and I doubt everone is going to start saying these “down home” traditional folks are now no longer Christian.

    I have never struggled with weight. It must be very, very hard as a man (and a woman) to struggle with this. I’m not talking a few pounds from just age or older. I dont have the answers, but yes…christian ‘sphere men seem to think if you are overweight and cannot bench press a house “on your bad day”

    you might as well turn in your man-card to them and become a fat lesbian “because no woman wants a man who looks overweight” nor do they want a man who cant throw a football like Eli Manning…….and restore classic cars, and be a leader at Toastmasters, and run several committees at church, and have time to correct every action of their wives, and raise the children (wife isnt doing it right, she must be watched at all times….she will upsur you) and have time to hit the gym, and have time to work hard in his oil rig job, and have time to learn a skill, and have time to take night classes to learn to code, and to study and apply all red pill material in the household, and, and , and…….”

    1. Derek L. Ramsey

      “Define fat, because according to all the metrics, me at 6’3″ tall weighing 168 lbs, I am considered “borderline fat” because my lean frame ist 100000% muscle, like real men have….and the clincher”

      I can’t define it. I had you in mind when I wrote today’s post, because you are lean and muscled. What people call “fat” is not something you can just determine by a simple visual inspection or the official height and weight measurements. Questioning someone’s manhood based on either borders on pure legalism.

      “because no woman wants a man who looks overweight”

      Being fat is a really weird form of relationship protection, because the kind of shallow woman who will divorce a man so readily is not as likely to marry a fat man. If a woman marries a fat man, she’s more likely in it for the long haul. It’s true that being overweight makes one less likely to marry overall, but the lower divorce rate seems like a simple tradeoff.

      In short, I wouldn’t be able to, in good conscious, tell a man to get fit in order to attract a woman. Someone on Twitter once said that if you try to cheat the marriage market and get a wife that is out of your league, the market will arbitrage your marriage to death. You can’t beat the market.

      “all these men make it out that his wife cooks everything from scratch like the Amish, serves the meal and waits in the corner until hubby says “you may eat now.” Its very implied.”

      Well, that sounds like exactly what Sharkly said to me very explicitly the other day:

      “And he recently recorded his daughter as having intentionally thrown an eraser at his head. Which demonstrates how much gravity the clown commands within his own home. None of the Mennonite’s I descended from would have thought Derek anything more than a clown for letting his own children throw things at him. Anyhow, the point is he does not rule over his wife and children with any gravity.”

      The irony, of course, is that my wife is a fantastic cook who cooks from scratch (so do I, FWIW) and my daughter called me sir, not that any of this would ever score me points in their eyes. There is literally nothing I could do that would be good enough.

      1. Lastmod

        to be clear: I am not “muscled” but I do have some definition. My ectomorph frame was meant to run sprints or be a pitcher for a baseball team (pitcher is usually the most slender guy) or when you compare him to other members of the nine man line-up….usually not the biggest muscle wise of the guys.

        1. Derek L. Ramsey

          It occurs to me that if the manosphere decided to focus on this topic, it would come up with different body types and try to force fit each man into various body types (like it does with people: alpha, beta, gamma, etc.) and thus completely miss the point.

          1. Lastmod

            I suppose you would be correct on that.

            An Incel who knows nothing about working out or getting into shape goes online. For every video he finds about a routine or method that is good for you, he finds just as many that say “dude, never do this”

            All from supposed experts.

            I live in California, now I know in every die hard Trump loving state, everyone is supportive and loving and caring in the gym. Its a culture that wants men to meet and to exceed and push themselves.

            Joey Sowell and countless other have videos of very hostile gym culture directed at whom?????????????????????? These videos are from all over the country. Not just “evil” California.

            Scrawny guys, old guys, snickers about not “doing the excericse right” and wry smiles of “pity”

            How dare any man want to get in shape and be vain, and try to better himself? How dare he listened to all the ‘spheres videos about working out and “girls love it”

            On my instagram, I am friends with a serious “work out” guy. He’s always in some orthoepdic therapy, also at some “sports medicine” place getting treatment. Sure, he looks great without a shirt on at 25 but for all this “its good for you” talk, something cant be right. Too much of anything I suppose isnt good for you.

            The sphere will retort “Ah, but he’s going for the wrong reasons to attract women, he should be using it to build self-esteem and the like working out for working outs sake”

            Notta one man in the sphere goes to the gym “for himself” they do it for female attention, or the potential of “getting” female attention.

            Why did I become a DJ as a young man in the 1990’s as a side thing in San Francisco??? Because I love music? Sure…every DJ loves music…I did it to hopefully get female attention. It failed. Women then and now only like filthy hip-hop which was not my genre or scene. Being good looking helps too. Helps a lot. Even poor skilled DJs would be getting the the eye and everything else from women because they were eye candy. There is a joke in California…..want more DM’s on Instagram? Just put “DJ” in front of your name or handle.

            Gyms have become the new coffeeshop of this era of the 21st century. So much filming, bragging, and strutting takes place at one….I see why people do join or go.

            But this nonsense of “Its for me to be healthy” is a bomb of whale excrement, especially if the man is under 35. He goes to be attractive to women.

          2. cameron232

            I think you’re right that most men do it to be attractive. I honestly liked the challenge of lifting heavy weight. I liked to show other men how much I could lift. Either way it’s pride and ego that doesn’t fit with my professed faith.

          3. Lastmod

            My father, for all he wasnt…..not a warm man. Not a man you could have a cup of coffee with and talk about a problem. Not the type of man to talk to about girls as a teen, or being bullied in school.

            I did see when he spoke with my mother. Yes, he loved HER.

            However, he did notice I was a loner. Not up front “competative” like other boys or how other boys were raised by their parents to “sh*t on everyone they thought beneath them” Even my church years ago, some the kids raised in the church from birth were the meanest bullies to some of the other kids…..and adults.

            Anyway…..dad got me into camping, hiking, and the geology, history of the region. The Adirondacks. We would camp for a long weekend in May, then usually a longer trek sometime in the summer before the blackflies got really bad. Hikes, a canoe trek. He would tell me “its not a race” and “its about you and this” (waving to a vista, a fast running Adirondack river, a mountain…..a low bog or estauary / swamp). “Its you versus something that was here before you, and will be here after you.”

            I would ask “whats the point then?”

            He replied, cigarette in his mouth, the heavy 1960’s eyeglass frames…..steel blue eyes looking at me with a backwash of a mountain, a remote pond, a tall stand of Adirondack cedars behind with a campfire, and the smell of “ol woodsman” mosquito repellent

            “You and eternity. When we’re gone. This will be here. No one will care about your godd*amned batting average, how cool you were in high school, how many kills you had in Korea. You hiking, camping, cresting mountains here and exploring the vast wilderness is between you and forever. What abeautiful thing actually. The world would certainly run better if more people actually worked to have time out here.”

            Like I said, camping and canoeing, backpacking with dad was the only time we got along. Mom sometimes would shoo us out of the house to go more because we would argue and be indifferent to each other outside this activity.

  2. cameron232

    Being fat (about 275 lbs at 6′ 3/4″) killed my father. He developed type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, his kidneys failed at 53, and he then endured a decade of misery. Towards the end, my mom lost weight to avoid his fate, literally halving her weight from 260 to 130. She’s done better but her former obesity is still affecting her current health. The metropolitan life tables are backed by research showing that BMI predicts longevity. At 5-10 & small framed, my best bet for longevity would be 144 – 154 lbs (hardly the most attractive build to women btw). My very muscular & lean work friend, an ex-JTAC who served in Afghanistan, had a heart attack in his 40s but I’m pretty sure he uses steroids.

    I think it’s deceptive for people to lose weight just to “get a man/woman” (both sexes do it) because most people never intend to and don’t keep it off for long.

    I’ve had some conversations in the ‘sphere about weight. Oscar and I had a running joke about “Jessa Duggar’s fat friend” the point being a man with a sweet, kind , godly fat woman would be happier than a man with a “hot” woman who’s a witch. Some joker at Dalrock’s told me all fat women are unchaste because they lack self control, as if people don’t struggle with different bodily addictions (food, sex, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol).

    When my marriage got bad a decade ago, I started lifting. I had not even heard of the sphere. I got fairly big and strong (205 lbs, 500 lb deadlift, 400 lb squat) but I wasn’t particuarly lean. My wife’s friends noticed as did some women at work and the nurse at work (I had to remove my shirt for her to examine an abcess). When I related this story at SF, Jack cast me as a alpha male who produces reactions in women that “very few men can.” This felt flattering as I’ve always suffered from very high levels of self-hatred but I am far from an alpha male, having a rather shy, agreeable personality.

    I actually think the alpha-beta-gamma categorization has some usefulness but Vox Day’s elaborate scheme really took off and so they sperg out, adding Sigma’s (a BS category IMO) and other categories.

    The alpha-beta thing is fairly mainstream not just sphere. A lot of beta (i.e. normal/average) men use “beta” as an insult towards other men. I saw Tucker Carlson do this and laughed at the implication that he’s an alpha (IOW not a beta).

  3. Lastmod

    Right now I am the heaviest I’ve ever been at 168. Doctor says that I should never weigh more than 175. He also tells me to quit smoking. Then again, he was annoyed my blood pressure was lower than his. It’s excellent for a man my age 115/68.

    Doctors have told us a lot of things lately (rolls eyes) some recent poll said that a RN Nurse has more trust with people than a doctor, a pastor / priest….almost as much trust as an airline pilot (which had the highest level of trust by people).

    My father smoked his entire life. Died at 85 not from lung related illness. Fell asleep in his fav chair. Book in lap. Massive coronary. It was assumed it was minimal pain and was quick. He was dead almost a week before anyone knew. Postman saw mail overflowing and called the county sheriff (unlike my dad to let mail sit in the box, always notified Myrtle at the post office if he was going out of town)

    I fully agree that being overweight/ obese is not a good thing. Neither is smoking. Neither is getting up in the morning and going to work….

    But again, the mistake of the RP side of things. If you are not obese…..you must and have to be, or are an Adonis. Place of such extremes. If you are obese and want to lose weight you will get zero encouragement from SF or any other related site.

    Most RP are miserable people and they actually hate most people.

  4. professorGBFMtm

    ”Most RP are miserable people and they actually hate most people.”

    i absolutely agree with the miserable part, the hate part is more likely ”i don’t like anyone who isn’t as much like myself as possible”(most likely the outlook adopted from their families and politics, I got used to not wanting to fit in with the ”mainstream” at a very early age yet most of them are in their 30s or 40s before they find the ”redpill” and naturally are already set in their ways by then and then speak of ”I can get everyone to believe that my still much beloved ”mainstream”society has been ”tricked” into not being my friend like I thought they were” after their gf or wife starts acting up,gf leaves them or their wife divorces them even though they should be intelligent enough to know that mainstream society is happy with how it operates just like the newly minted ”redpillers” were before they knew the ”truth of the matrix” i.e.gf left them or wife divorced them.

    Government, Hollywood, women,”bluepilled” men, and churches are just as set in their ways as they were by the time they become ”redpill” in other words.

  5. Liz

    Well, since you let me post here (thank you for your tolerance),
    You know our story (I’ve mentioned it numerous times through the years, most recently that last thread at Jack’s where it was asserted I don’t value Mike, from total strangers armed with…well, crappy relationships but they know everything).
    Mike was thin and very boyish when we got together. Our wedding photo looks like a prom photo. He got very fit over time…but of course at the moment he is on disability and can’t exercise very much. For us (the whole family) exercise is a part of life. I’m the laziest by far.
    I have no advice for men, but I always reiterate the same advice for women when this topic comes up. I didn’t think it was controversial the first time I said it, but I got a lot of push-back.
    As you mention, Derek, women tend to hold fat. So the types of exercise that are good for men are not always good for women.
    My advice: Do not power lift.
    Every single woman I know who power lifts gets large (and fat) over time.
    Years back I heard, “my wife competes! She power lifts and looks great!”
    ….a few years later they are divorcing and “she gained 50 pounds”
    At rollo’s I mentioned it, and one of the forum ents showed an image of an 18 year old who was a power lifter and looked great….it was a very old photo, a quick perusal of the internet provided she is now fat.
    I like Gina Carano, but juxtapose her form a few years back to now. That’s what power lifting does to a woman’s body. Yoga/dancing/running and so forth do the opposite (swimming can be a fat pill too, if done excessively….but not to the extent of power lifting).
    ’nuff said.

    1. Liz

      …we got over a foot of snow last night.
      That’s another way to get in shape. Shovelin’ snow.
      I miss our boys at times like this….
      ugh.
      Going into the cold now with my snow boots on. It’s gonna get real.
      For the gains! Booyah!
      LOL

      1. cameron232

        We’re closer to the north pole than the equator now so we shovel snow. My 14 yo son is handy and taking a small engines class so he fixed up a big gas snowblower the neighbor threw out.

    2. Derek L. Ramsey

      “Well, since you let me post here (thank you for your tolerance)”

      If you’ve ever read my opinions on censorship, you’d know that tolerance has nothing to do with it. There is, literally, nothing to tolerate. You are so far from needing to be censored—bots, spam, or extreme and repeated personal attacks—that it isn’t even worth mentioning.

  6. professorGBFMtm

    “Well, since you let me post here (thank you for your tolerance)”

    ”You are so far from needing to be censored—bots, spam, or extreme and repeated personal attacks—that it isn’t even worth mentioning.”

    Yeah, everyone other than a certain guy loves LIZ.

    SPAWNY has already said he wants her back, but i can tell he and Farm Boy have to humor a certain person because they know how this certain person is with anyone he dislikes for being friendly=happy with others like LIZ is.

  7. Lastmod

    I saw in college a man named Nathaniel Bradshaw speak at my college. I must have been 1990 or thereabouts. He was an Objectivist, a Ayn Rand devotee. In fact Rands novel Atlas Shrugged I beleive was dedicated to him. He wrote frequently in the 1960’s for their newsletter. Did the speaking tours with Rand. Spoke on her behalf.

    There was a huge falling out with her somewhere in the 1970’s. She had nothing to do with him, and he with her. It must have been brutal. I am sure “sex” was involved at some point but Nathaniel explained it at his lecture.

    He mentioned “Objectivism” and “Rational Thinking” that Rand purported, and he still did to a point……it is doomed to fail. People are not Jesus. People are not characters in Rands novels like Hank Reardon or Howard Roark. The rare man that is this, is just that. When people strived to live Objectivism and Rationalism to the level that Rand expected they ended up getting very, very angry in the end. Or depressed. Or sad. It was a medium, that was indeed noble and something to aspire to………but most cant.

    Rand in her works of fiction did seamlessly tell the story of her philosphy through these characters, and it is extremely well written. Fanatstic stories. Its still no wonder they inspire people to this day. The frustration of not being able to live up to it causes lots of problems for many later on. Bradshaw admitted he was one of them.

    He took questions about himself and Rand. He did gently protect her legacy but was openly critical of her as well.

    In the end…….Rollo with his “Rational Male” and Red Pill Family of writings, blogs, podcasts, memes………most men will not be able to live it out. They’re human. They’re not perfect in all ways. Many just dont have the means to live it out. Many become angry, and frustrated because they cant uphold this vast weight of what it expects. Of what it DEMANDS. Of what you must uphold. A young man stumbles in and sees all this potnetial for himself and realizes that he cant or fakes it that he does live it…..and deep down he knows he might be lying to himself.

    1. Derek L. Ramsey

      “The rare man that is this, is just that. When people strived to live Objectivism and Rationalism to the level that Rand expected they ended up getting very, very angry in the end. Or depressed. Or sad.”

      I must concur. I strive to be this kind of man, but were it not for God I would be a twisted, horrible soul.

      “The frustration of not being able to live up to it causes lots of problems for many later on. “

      The key is to accept that massive changes are not possible. One can only strive to personally learn and live to the best of one’s ability. Trying to change the world is unrealistic, and this coming from someone who has done world-changing things.

      Life is much better once you realize you are powerless to change the world.

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