The state’s Republican governor calls for his resignation
Robert Fisher is the founder of the Red Pill, an online subreddit for men who are sick of women complaining about rape, harassment and sexism. As a vocal participant in the group, he’s written at length about how feminism makes life hard for nice guys like him who see women as sex objects and make rape jokes.
Fisher is also a Republican lawmaker representing Belknap County District 9 in the New Hampshire state legislature. For years, no one knew the two were one and the same, until an investigation by the Daily Beast’s Bonnie Bacarisse uncovered the truth. Now the state is considering whether or not to oust Fisher, and he has promised to fight removal every step of the way.
Founded by Fisher nearly five years ago, the Red Pill has since grown to become a safe space for men’s rights activists (MRA), special snowflakes who think women are basically the worst. Under the username Pk_atheist (a reference to his being a lapsed Christian “preacher’s kid”), Fisher has cultivated a community of more than 200,000 MRAs, making the Red Pill one of the most popular sites in the manosphere. To be “red pilled”—a term that’s also wildly popular with the angry white guys in white supremacist alt-right circles—is to be awakened to the reality that women are greedy, manipulative sluts; feminism is the enemy; and rape gets a bad rap. Fisher, who was reelected in November, has consistently helped push these fringe ideas as a frequent contributor to the site.
In one exchange cited by Bacarisse, members debated whether or not it would be creepy for a 40-year-old man to demand to see the “boobs” of a 15-year-old girl. “In my opinion, no,” Fisher wrote. “It’s evolutionarily advantageous and perfectly natural. Obviously I would never advocate breaking the law, but just because there’s a law doesn’t mean 15-year-old girls were always considered out of bounds.”
Fisher also claims to be quite the ladies’ man, once writing he had a “soft harem,” meaning he was juggling multiple women who were unaware they were one of many. “[Women have] absolutely done this to themselves,” Fisher wrote in another post. “I feel zero regret or shame pumping and dumping.”
Fisher was most prolific on the topic of “rape hysteria,” promoting the idea that women frequently make up rape accusations, because who doesn’t want to have one’s sexual history and character assailed for the sake of attention?
“I’m going to say it—rape isn’t an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot,” Fisher declared in one post. “I think he’d say it’s quite good, really.”
Fisher urged Red Pill members to document all sexual encounters with women to safeguard against being falsely accused of rape. He suggested they include the warning, “By entering, you consent to being video and audio taped.” Fisher claimed to have put the policy into practice in his own home.
“[S]tatistically I’m overdue for a false rape allegation,” Fisher once wrote. “You can’t have sex with this many women without getting one.”
Oddly, Fisher had a hard time getting anywhere with women. He decided this was for reasons that had nothing to do with him, obviously. Bacarisse notes that the lawmaker, “complained that girls were ghosting on him and standing him up,” among other things:
He aired grievances about the character of women: They were uninteresting, immature, unintelligent, lacked depth, and were entitled. He bemoaned that dating was easier for women. He felt it was unjust that women get a free ride, believing “a pair of boobs grants [them] equal footing with somebody bringing intelligence or a personality.” Over time, Fisher’s writing became increasingly hostile. He decided that existing seduction and pickup forums were overly “feminized,” complaining about “white knights” and their misdirected admonitions about “creepy” behavior (which he believed works as a dating strategy).
Though Fisher initially feigned ignorance about the site or its origins after Bacarisse’s investigation, he later admitted to his role in the site. Last Tuesday, the House Legislative Administration Committee held a hearing to determine the course of action following revelations about Fisher’s e-trail of misogyny.
Debra Altschiller, a New Hampshire Democratic Representative who has written about rape culture and works with a survivor advocacy group, spoke at the meeting.
“I am here today to not only assert that Rep. Fisher not only contributes to that rape culture that we experience here in the House, but he is a purveyor of rape culture in our state and in our nation,” Altschiller said, according to NPR. “It is our responsibility to work with vigilance in this body to eradicate this vile scourge from our ranks and from our state.”
New Hampshire’s Republican governor Chris Sununu has previously called for Fisher’s resignation. “Representative Fisher’s comments are horrendous and repulsive and his resignation is certainly in order,” Sununu declared in a statement.
Fisher has responded by painting himself a victim of a leftist campaign that has taken his words out of context. (As if there’s a context that could cast any of his words in a better light.)
“A lot of convenient reporting, to play into partisan politics, and I’m disappointed that’s where it’s gone,” he said in his defense at the hearing, which he left before it concluded. “But I’m more than happy to get back to work and concentrate on what matters, not wasting everyone’s time on this.”
A Daily Beast followup found that as of a couple weeks ago, Fisher has continued to post on and moderate the site. The report points to “an alias that appears to belong to him—under the username redpillschool—[that] regularly champions misogynistic views.”
“I’m disappointed that this sort of attack has replaced real news, but it strengthens my position and resolve that fighting for equal rights is more important today than ever,” Fisher said in a statement that takes a page right out of Meninist-in-Chief Donald Trump’s playbook. “Here’s my message to the public: I am not disappearing. I will continue to stand strong for men’s rights and the rights of all.”
UltraViolet has a petition calling for Fisher’s removal.
Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.