Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This paper examines language used in five of the largest manosphere communities on Reddit (r/TheRedPill, r/braincels, r/MensRights, r/seduction, and r/MGTOW) to identify idiosyncratic language use within these communities. To do so, a novel methodology which combines key-key-word analysis with notions from set theory was used to identify and compare keywords between corpora and to find keywords that are used uniquely within – and thus are distinctive to – these five separate communities. The paper achieves the following: it (i) presents a novel method for identifying what we term ‘complement keywords’ (keywords that are not shared between multiple different corpora when compared against the same reference corpus), and (ii) explores idiosyncratic language use in five separate manosphere communities. The analysis first examines interdiscursive relationships between communities emerging from the complement keywords identified before discussing community-specific preoccupations emergent in the idiosyncratic language use found in these five communities.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Ädel, A.
    (2010) How to use corpus linguistics in the study of political discourse. InA. O’Keeffe & M. McCarthy (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics (pp.591–604). Routledge. 10.4324/9780203856949‑42
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203856949-42 [Google Scholar]
  2. Baker, P.
    (2004a) Querying keywords: Questions of difference, frequency, and sense in keywords analysis. Journal of English Linguistics, 32(4), 346–359. 10.1177/0075424204269894
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0075424204269894 [Google Scholar]
  3. (2004b) ‘Unnatural acts’: Discourses of homosexuality within the House of Lords debates on gay male law reform. Sociolinguistics, 8(1), 88–106. 10.1111/j.1467‑9841.2004.00252.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2004.00252.x [Google Scholar]
  4. (2018) Keywords: Signposts to objectivity?InA. Čermáková & M. Mahlberg (Eds.), The Corpus Linguistics Discourse (pp.77–94). John Benjamins. 10.1075/scl.87.04bak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.87.04bak [Google Scholar]
  5. Baker, P., & McGlashan, M.
    (2020) Critical Discourse Analysis. InS. Adolphs & D. Knight (Eds). The Routledge Handbook of English Language and the Digital Humanities (pp.220–241). Routledge. 10.4324/9781003031758‑13
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003031758-13 [Google Scholar]
  6. Benatar, D.
    (2012) The Second Sexism: Discrimination Against Men and Boys. Wiley-Blackwell. 10.1002/9781118192337
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118192337 [Google Scholar]
  7. Boe, B.
    (2023) PRAW: The Python Reddit API Wrapper [Computer software]. https://praw.readthedocs.io/en/stable/
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Dayter, D., & Rüdiger, S.
    (2019) In other words: ‘The language of attraction’ used by pick-up artists. English Today, 35(2), 13–19. 10.1017/S026607841800007X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S026607841800007X [Google Scholar]
  9. (2022) The Language of Pick-Up Artists: Online Discourses of the Seduction Industry. Routledge. 10.4324/9781003041313
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003041313 [Google Scholar]
  10. Denes, A.
    (2011) Biology as consent: Problematising the scientific approach to seducing women’s bodies. Women’s Studies International Forum, 34(5), 411–419. 10.1016/j.wsif.2011.05.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2011.05.002 [Google Scholar]
  11. Egbert, J., & Biber, D.
    (2019) Incorporating text dispersion into keyword analyses. Corpora, 14(1), 77–104. 10.3366/cor.2019.0162
    https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2019.0162 [Google Scholar]
  12. Egbert, J., Larsson, T., & Biber, D.
    (2020) Doing Linguistics with a Corpus: Methodological Considerations for the Everyday User. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781108888790
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108888790 [Google Scholar]
  13. Iveson, M., & Formato, F.
    (2019, May30). “Be a man – grow a beard”: Investigation into public responses to the Gillette advert on YouTube and Reddit [Paper presentation]. British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Special Interest Group on Language, Gender and Sexuality, Birmingham, UK.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Gabrielatos, C.
    (2018) Keyness analysis: Nature, metrics and techniques. InC. Taylor & A. Marchi (Eds.), Corpus Approaches to Discourse (pp.225–258). Routledge. 10.4324/9781315179346‑11
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315179346-11 [Google Scholar]
  15. Gotell, L., & Dutton, E.
    (2016) Sexual violence in the ‘manosphere’: Antifeminist men’s rights discourses on rape. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 5(2), 65–80. 10.5204/ijcjsd.v5i2.310
    https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.v5i2.310 [Google Scholar]
  16. Heritage, F., & Koller, V.
    (2020) Incels, in-groups, and ideologies: The representation of gendered social actors in a sexuality-based online community. Journal of Language and Sexuality, 9(2), 153–180. 10.1075/jls.19014.her
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jls.19014.her [Google Scholar]
  17. Hoffman, B., Ware, J., & Shapiro, E.
    (2020) Assessing the threat of incel violence. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 43(7), 565–587. 10.1080/1057610X.2020.1751459
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2020.1751459 [Google Scholar]
  18. Jones, C., Trott, V., & Wright, S.
    (2020) Sluts and soyboys: MGTOW and the production of misogynistic online harassment, New Media and Society, 22(10), 1903–1921. 10.1177/1461444819887141
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444819887141 [Google Scholar]
  19. Krendel, A.
    (2020) The men and women, guys and girls of the ‘manosphere’: A corpus-assisted discourse approach. Discourse & Society, 31(6), 607–630. 10.1177/0957926520939690
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926520939690 [Google Scholar]
  20. (2021) From sexism to misogyny. InI. Zempi & J. Smith (Eds.), Misogyny as Hate Crime (pp.99–118). Routledge. 10.4324/9781003023722‑5
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003023722-5 [Google Scholar]
  21. Krendel, A., McGlashan, M., & Koller, V.
    (2022) The representation of gendered social actors across five manosphere communities on Reddit. Corpora, 17(2), 291–321. 10.3366/cor.2022.0257
    https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2022.0257 [Google Scholar]
  22. Love, R., & Baker, P.
    (2015) The hate that dare not speak its name?Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict, 3(1), 57–86. 10.1075/jlac.3.1.03lov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlac.3.1.03lov [Google Scholar]
  23. Marwick, A. E., & Caplan, R.
    (2018) Drinking male tears: Language, the manosphere, and networked harassment. Feminist Media Studies, 18(4), 543–559. 10.1080/14680777.2018.1450568
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2018.1450568 [Google Scholar]
  24. McRobbie, A.
    (2008) The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change. Sage. 10.14431/aw.2009.
    https://doi.org/10.14431/aw.2009. [Google Scholar]
  25. Reddit
    Reddit (2016) Reddit API terms of use. RetrievedAugust 23, 2021, fromhttps://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSezNdDNK1-P8mspSbmtC2r86Ee9ZRbC66u929cG2GX0T9UMyw/viewform
  26. Rüdiger, S., & Dayter, D.
    (2017) The ethics of researching unlikable subjects. Applied Linguistics Review, 8(2–3), 251–269. 10.1515/applirev‑2016‑1038
    https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2016-1038 [Google Scholar]
  27. Scott, M.
    (1997) PC analysis of key words – and key key words. System, 25(2), 233–245. 10.1016/S0346‑251X(97)00011‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0346-251X(97)00011-0 [Google Scholar]
  28. Schmitz, R., & Kazyak, E.
    (2016) Masculinities in cyberspace: An analysis of portrayals of manhood in men’s rights activist websites. Social Sciences, 5(2), 1–16. 10.3390/socsci5020018
    https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020018 [Google Scholar]
  29. van Leeuwen, T.
    (2016) Discourse as the recontextualization of social practice – a guide. InR. Wodak & M. Meyer (Eds.), Methods of Critical Discourse Studies (3rd ed., pp.137–153). Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Van Valkenburgh, S.
    (2021) Digesting the red pill: Masculinity and neoliberalism in the manosphere. Men and Masculinities, 24(1), 84–103. 10.1177/1097184X18816118
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1097184X18816118 [Google Scholar]
  31. Wright, D.
    (2020) The discursive construction of resistance to sex in an online community. Discourse, Context & Media, 361, 100402. 10.1016/j.dcm.2020.100402
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2020.100402 [Google Scholar]
  32. Zuckerberg, D.
    (2018) Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age. Harvard University Press. 10.4159/9780674989801
    https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674989801 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error