The viral and misogynistic Dating Talk podcast platforms right-wing media figures
Dating Talk appears to be attempting to emulate other anti-women and anti-LGBTQ “manosphere” shows like the Fresh & Fit podcast
Dating Talk, created by Whatever podcasts, is a viral, panel-style show where the host and guests promote misogynistic gender politics to an audience of millions. A part of the “manosphere,” Dating Talk markets itself toward a younger audience with conversations on modern dating culture. The podcast regularly hosts right-wing media personalities alongside panels of young women as young as 18.
Dating Talk streams live twice a week to its 4.1 million YouTube subscribers and 21,000 Twitch followers. The four-to-five-hour-long podcast streams are clipped down to create viral videos that are posted across YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Twitch. (Clips from the podcast reuploaded to TikTok frequently receive millions of views on the platform.) The most viral clips to come from the podcast are extremely insulting and misogynistic, with Whatever’s channels often calling the women on the show “delusional.” One of the viral clips resulted in a meme mocking the appearance of one of the guests, while another included guest Chase (known online as Sovereign Brah) making anti-trans comments and insulting panel members for supporting trans people.
The podcast is led by Brian Atlas, a former prank YouTuber who now pries about young womens’ dating lives and personal beliefs. During Dating Talk episodes, Atlas has repeatedly espoused misogyny and so-called men’s rights rhetoric, even stating “people who consider themselves men's rights advocates are actually much more based in reality than feminists.” In the same interview, Atlas also suggested that he is red-pilled by pointing at a literal red pill and praised the movement, saying “the red pill is the truth.” (The modern definition of the term “red pill” came from users of male supremacist forums who consider being “red pilled” as recognizing that society is dominated by women and men need to regain control.)
It’s common for Dating Talk panels to feature 18-21-year-old women, often alongside older male commentators. The episodes begin with invasive questions about each panel members’ sex life and relationship status, with Atlas pushing follow-up questions after indirect answers.
Atlas and male guests have rated the female panel members’ attractiveness on a scale of 1-10 during episodes, and many popular TikToks from the show’s account insult women for rating themselves too high on an undefined scale of attractiveness.
The show appears to be a direct rip-off of manosphere podcast Fresh & Fit, also known for its misogynist viral clips and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. Like Fresh & Fit, Dating Talk’s panels and high profile guests frequently praise misogynist influencer Andrew Tate, who is now facing trial in Romania for rape and human trafficking. And like Fresh & Fit, Dating Talk attracts an extremely misogynistic and far-right audience.
The Whatever podcast makes money from audience members paying through YouTube’s “super chat” feature or Twitch’s donation option. Messages from donations over $5 are displayed on screen during the episode and donations over $50 are read aloud. These audience messages are often demeaning to the women on the show or feature extreme far-right rhetoric, including antisemitism and anti-LGBTQ attacks which may violate YouTube’s policies against hate speech and harmful conspiracy theories. The platform also profits directly from these super chats — Atlas notes in the podcast introductions that YouTube takes a 30% cut of all donated super chats, and he encourages fans to donate through Twitch’s Streamlabs instead.
In recent months, the podcast has pivoted hard toward hosting and mainstreaming traditional right-wing media figures including The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles and anti-abortion activist and Live Action founder Lila Rose, as well as far-right extremists and associates of known white nationalists such as podcasters John Doyle and H. Pearl Davis. With these guests, Dating Talk is leading the way in mainlining manosphere misogyny and extremism into right-wing media online spaces and bringing institutional right-wing media to a younger, more expansive audience.
The podcast’s panels frequently feature young women in the right-wing media space, such as PragerU podcaster Amala Ekpunobi, Timcast Media co-host Mary Morgan, and OAN reporter Bridget Bosco, all of whom adhered to the podcast’s standard promotion of conservative, heteronormative principles.
Some of the more prominent right-wing media influencers featured on the podcast include:
Daily Wire podcaster and anti-LGBTQ activist Michael Knowles was a guest on the podcast in March. The 33-year-old appeared with a panel of women that included 18- and 19-year-old students.
During the episode, Knowles praised panel members for not participating in “talking culture” or hooking up and proclaimed that men can “compartmentalize” and “treat sex as purely physical a little bit better” than women. Knowles also asserted that women are “probably not attracted to some guy who is, like, wearing dresses” calling that kind of man a “soy boy, beta cuck.”
Knowles repeatedly argued with the panel of women against abortion, claiming that he will change their minds about being pro-choice. In the same discussion, Knowles told one of the panel members she had no ownership over her body while she defended her right to choose, and he later claimed “no one needs” an abortion.
Knowles also reinforced the conservative fight against no-fault divorce, claiming the only way for his wife to get out of their marriage is to “murder me.”
Many of the same themes and topics discussed during his appearance and on Dating Talk in general are replicated from Knowles’ Daily Wire podcast, The Michael Knowles Show. Knowles has spoken against no-fault divorce on his own podcast, claiming it’s “weakening” marriage and has claimed “there is no such thing as gay marriage.” During a speaking event at a university in March, Knowles railed against feminism in a speech titled “How Feminism Destroys Women (And Everything Else).” Recently, Knowles has increased his attacks against transgender people, calling for “transgenderism” to be “eradicated from public life entirely” and claiming “transgender people is not a real ontological category.”
Prominent anti-abortion activist Lila Rose appeared on the podcast in early May. Her appearance has been heavily promoted by her anti-abortion organization, Live Action, and clips from the episode have spread across social media. One viral clip of Rose shows her arguing with Justin Waller, titled “Trad wife tries to shame 1% man.” Rose has been praised online for her appearance on the podcast.
During Rose’s appearance on Dating Talk, she discussed Alfred Kinsey’s role in the “sexual revolution,” claiming Kinsey used false data to promote non-monogamous and LGBTQ relationships. (Kinsey’s controversial research is often used by right-wing media to disparage the LGBTQ community.) In a tweet thread following the episode, Rose claimed Kinsey’s ideas are the basis for many school’s sex-ed curriculums and told her followers that “we need to protect our children from this evil,” referring to Kinsey’s promotion of non-heterosexual or non-monogamous relationships.
Rose heavily promoted traditional heterosexual marriage when asked about LGBTQ families on Dating Talk, stating, “I think that children deserve a mother and a father.”
Rose and another guest also pushed the idea that normalizing pornography and “postmodernist” morality, a phrase used by right-wing figures to infer left-leaning ideology, has already led to the acceptance of pedophilia. This is a common right-wing fear tactic to promote anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
Rose also took time on the podcast to promote her extreme anti-abortion views.
Rose is known for her deceptively edited videos attempting to discredit Planned Parenthood. In past media appearances Rose has compared “pro-abortion advocates” to Nazis and fearmongered about the abortion medication mifepristone.
Turning Point USA contributor and right-wing reactionary YouTuber Isabel Brown made a guest appearance on the March 21 edition of Dating Talk, where she attacked feminism as a “scam” and a “cult” and denounced contraceptives.
During her appearance on the show, Brown also suggested the “mainstream media has gone after Andrew Tate with a vile hatred unlike anything I’ve ever seen” because of the “assault on masculinity that our culture has propped up for so very long.” She also vocally agreed with Atlas after he claimed “public schools are indoctrination factories.”
Brown’s employer, Turning Point USA, was created to recruit students and young adults into the conservative movement. The organization is directly in line with Dating Talk’s themes, currently fueling a string of young, extremist content creators and hosting an annual conference for young women promoting a “biblical model” of relationships. Another TPUSA host, Alex Clark, recently went on a similar anti-birth control rant spouting misinformation about contraceptives.
Far-right YouTuber John Doyle joined the podcast in May. Doyle, who appeared at an anti-LGBTQ event in 2022 and organized a “Stop the Steal” rally with white nationalist Nick Fuentes in 2020, spouted claims that the nation is in decline due to an impending sexual revolution and that women who have “benefited the most from all the liberation and progress that women have made” are single with no kids and the most likely person to be on antidepressants. Doyle also claimed women are more “naturally, because of biology, more agreeable.”
During his rant on women being subservient to men, Doyle bizarrely stated Russia is in better standing than the U.S. because their children won’t be “brainwashed by the popular culture into mutilating their genitalia.”
Later, Doyle questioned whether women could really be oppressed since they “don’t aspire to agency the way that men do.” He claimed, “You are not fundamentally trying to lead, trying to do things like that. You think you are because you are responding to media and to society putting that idea in your head.”
Beyond just promoting the themes of the manosphere, Dating Talk has hosted some prominent figures in the movement. Tate associate and YouTuber Justin Waller has appeared on the podcast at least twice and been the subject of multiple popular clips from the show.
Another manosphere influencer, Jonathan Hogwood (known as MLD or Modern Life Dating), has been a guest at least four times. Hogwood has also appeared on the Fresh & Fit podcast.
During his most recent appearance on Dating Talk, Hogwood claimed one panel member who did not want to answer whether she was a virgin had “shitty behavior” because “some guy made her like this, some guy traumatized her and made her join the feminist movement. … Like, virgin women don’t have that level of insufferability, calculated insufferability in them.” Hogwood also defended Tate, claiming that Tate’s business of promoting cam girls and scamming men is a “cultural norm” in Romania.
Misogynist and anti-trans influencer H. Pearl Davis, or JustPearlyThings, also appeared on Dating Talk in May, when she defended hosting Fuentes on her podcast and claimed “women cry abuse for everything and we’ve actually lost the meaning of abuse. … Basically, what the feminists do is they expand the definition of abuse to include things like coercive control, financial control, and even physical abuse — a lot of times girls won’t talk about how they hit first.”
Similar rampant misogyny in the past has quickly turned to violent harassment against women. In 2014, the “Gamergate” movement targeting women in the gaming industry quickly evolved from online complaining to doxxing and death threats that forced women to leave their homes. Some bad actors online even threatened mass shootings in response to women participating in the gaming industry. The far-right and manosphere movements have embraced the same misogynistic beliefs as the Gamergate campaign while further leveraging the viral power of social media, and now have the potential to evolve into something even more dangerous.