Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 350+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 30000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at $9.99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade for 99c
Then just $9.99 / month. Cancel anytime.
Learn more
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points

Going to Work in Mommy’s Basement

IN FEBRUARY 2016, the Internet buzzed with news that Roosh V —a pickup artist and creator of the anti-gay, anti-feminist website Return of Kings—appeared to be hiding out in his mother’s basement. Life imitates meme: the readiest insult to sling at such men—that they live in Mommy’s basement—turned out in this case to be true. Roosh V’s violent rhetoric really was compensating for a lack in the real world. However, the troll in Mommy’s basement is no joke; he is an emerging cultural and political figure, and Mommy’s basement—or its workplace analogue in the world of tech, a theme to which I will return—is an increasingly significant incubator for conservative ideas.

Of course, we must not lose sight of the fact that when we flip on the light switch in Mommy’s basement, we also find Mommy. The retreat of Mommy’s basement depends upon the devalued labor of caring associated with Mommy—not necessarily a specific mother, but “the Mother” in the psychoanalytic sense of attentive care feminized by virtue of its very diminishment. Indeed, the privilege of escaping responsibility for how much one’s care costs is a defining characteristic of masculine power. It is one of the ways patriarchy works.

The grown white man in his underwear in Mommy’s basement is the poster boy for a new identity category, the gender separatist. A composite sketch gathered from his browser history reveals a twentyto thirty-year-old disenchanted male and video-game addict who participates in men’s rights discussion boards on sites such as Reddit and 4chan. He is perhaps an incel, having committed himself to the male abstinence movement, or else an adherent of the misogynist pickup philosophy espoused by men such as Roosh V.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Boston Review - Summer 2018
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Digital Issue
Summer 2018
This issue and other back issues are not included in a new Boston Review subscription. Subscriptions include the latest regular issue and new issues released during your subscription.
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 6.25 per issue

View Issues

About Boston Review

From the breast pump to egg freezing, new technologies have long promised to “liberate” mothers, but the results are often uneven, freeing some women while worsening the oppression of others. Once and Future Feminist considers how technology offers women both advances and setbacks in the realms of sex, career, and politics. In the age of Silicon Valley, these issues are more pressing than ever, and this collection pushes readers to consider not only whether emancipatory feminism is possible today, but what it might look like.