“The Spinning Plate Theory”- Counter feminists’ guiding principal to the sexual economy

Have you ever heard of a counter feminist? I hadn’t until I stumbled upon the community through the subreddit r/TheRedPill. As I started digging through posts and blogs and articles, the amount of material I was able to find surprised me. A cursory google search of “counter feminist” returned an astounding 6.5 million hits. While reading through a few of those 6.5 million hits, I was curious about the numerous references made to “plates” throughout the writings. As it turns out the plates everyone kept referencing actually refer to women. Awesome. I was just thinking that we need one more inanimate object to compare women to. Thanks to the counter feminist movement, we now have the spinning plate metaphor to describe how the same men who think this:



also seem to believe that if they pursue many different women at the same time, the power in the relationship dynamic will always fall to them. Many counter feminists imply through their writings that they see sex as transactional and as a power struggle. Some even go as far to say that a woman’s right to decline sex is “female privilege” and is helping to systematically oppress men.  In order to keep themselves from getting burnt by a power hungry, man-hating feminists, the counter feminists came up with the guiding principal of the “spinning plate theory”.

Screen shot 2014-10-13 at 5.37.26 PM
Plates = women

The Spinning Plate theory states:

When a man spins more plates, when he has irons in the fire, when he is pursuing multiple women simultaneously, when he has options equally worth exploring, a man will have a natural, subconscious (but not exclusively) understanding that if one prospect does not expand, others very well may.

A man with options has power, and from these options and this sense of power, a natural sense of confidence will manifest itself.

Although the theory itself doesn’t seem too alarming, the conclusions men are drawing from the theory are seriously concerning:

Screen shot 2014-10-13 at 6.16.12 PM


This post was chosen at random after searching for “plates” on Reddit’s RedPill forum. Within this one post a woman was objectified and emotionally manipulated. Even if this story isn’t true, almost 80,000 people subscribe to TheRedPill alone. On Reddit there are dozens of similar communities, and across the internet the number only grows. The amount of people who subscribe and engage with the hateful dialogue of the counter feminists end up perpetuating gender stereotypes and encouraging other men to start incorporating emotional manipulation into their everyday interactions with women.

As a feminist, I thought that sexism was bas enough, but honestly I think the counter feminists are even more reprehensible. I know its not a contest, but any group of people who encourage selective exposure, manipulation, lying, public submission, and a whole host of other whack ideologies won’t be spinning me as one of their plates.

4 thoughts on ““The Spinning Plate Theory”- Counter feminists’ guiding principal to the sexual economy

  1. This cannot be real…….

    “Some even go as far to say that a woman’s right to decline sex is “female privilege” and is helping to systematically oppress men.”

    I can’t wrap my head around the idea that someone was raised to think this way. It is simply beyond comprehension. I am proud to be part of a consciousness-raising effort that sheds light on the ignorance that governs this way of thinking.


  2. Yeah I’m with SpongebobBloggerpants, this is pretty mind boggling. I’m glad you wrote about this because I had no idea that “counter feminism” was even a thing, let alone the spinning plates theory. I usually try to remember that online “hater” groups are usually just a small segment of the population and not everyone thinks like that….but 80,000 people is a lot. Glad we are an online community that is aimed at equality and progress! I think that the informative, positive content we have here at ShoutOut! JMU is definitely a louder and more impactful voice than the negativity and false assumptions on the RedPill forum.


  3. To echo what everyone else is saying, this is ABSOLUTELY ridiculous. I’m not a plate! Thank you so much for sharing this sadly enlightening group… ugh. They’re almost as bad as the anti-feminist youtube commenters.


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