By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — The Daily Beast reported on Tuesday that Robert Fisher, a Republican member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives who represents the city of Laconia and town of Belmont, founded and contributes to "The Red Pill," a popular online forum extolling men's rights and denigrating feminism in blatantly misogynistic terms.
Before the day was out, officials of the New Hampshire Democratic Party were calling on Fisher to resign his seat in the House. In a prepared statement, Rep. Amelia Keane, executive director of the Young Democrats, said that "Representative Fisher's behavior is nothing short of repulsive. He should be deeply ashamed of himself. There is no excuse for the type of hateful and ignorant rhetoric anywhere in our state, nonetheless from someone elected to our State House to serve the men and women in his community. If Rep. Fisher has any semblance of decency or shame left, he will resign his seat." She described Fisher's behavior as "predatory and misogynistic" and charged he promoted a culture of "disrespect and abuse."
Beyond insisting that he has no intention of resigning his seat, Fisher declined to comment on the report. Instead, he provided a lengthy written statement explaining that he "lived through a nightmare" in his early 20s and "said some injudicious things about the opposite sex following a bad breakup." He said he would not comb the internet to find the source and context of remarks attributed to him, but let those who question him "judge if that sounds like something I believe." He said that conclusions drawn from these remarks "border on slanderous."
According to the report, written by Bonnie Bacarisse, an investigation following a labyrinthine trail of online aliases and posts linked Fisher to the username Pk_atheist, the creator of The Red Pill, a cyber community with some 193,000 subscribers touting itself as a "discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men."
Starting from a post by Pk_atheist advertising Dating American, a blog, the investigation traced the author "Desmond" to two other blogs, one written under the alias "Interested," which linked the author to Dating American, the precursor of "The Red Pill." At the same time, the user's bio touted a an album by an indie-electronic band — "The Five Nines" — of which Fisher is the sole member.
Bacarisse reported that, when contacted, Fisher denied all knowledge of "The Red Pill," but, after he was sent a summary of the threads tying him to it, usernames were wiped and blogs either deleted or made private.
"The Red Pill" comes from a scene in the film "The Matrix," where with the blue pill the story ends, you wake up and believe what you want and the red pill leads to the depths of "the rabbit hole," which among advocates of men's rights refers to feminism. Many of the remarks attributed to Fisher express a belief that feminism has ignited a struggle for power that has displaced traditional relations between sexes once deemed beneficial to both with a "feminine imperative," rendering men victims and women supreme.
Fisher is reported to have written of "divorce rape" as women entrapping men into marriage then leaving them while taking advantage of the laws bearing on child support and alimony to enrich themselves at men's expense. Elsewhere he referred to the "sub-par intelligence" of women, whose personalities he found "lackluster and boring, serving little purpose in day-to-day life." In one Reddit forum he wrote that "It is literally the body that makes enduring these things worth it."
Other posts express a fear of being accused of rape. Allegedly, following the bitter end of one relationship, Fisher said the woman threatened to accuse him of rape and later confessed to installing cameras to tape his sexual encounters as well as employing other tactics to protect himself against accusations.
"Statistically I'm overdue for a false rape accusation," he is said to have written. "You can't have sex with this many women without getting one."
In 2008, Fisher reportedly questioned the notion that "rape is bad," writing "I'm going to say it — Rape isn't an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot. I think he'd say it's quite good, really." In his statement Fisher described this remark as a "gross misquote," taken out of the context of a "debate about the failings of moral relativism" nearly a decade ago."
"I'm disappointed that this sort of attack has replaced real news," Fisher wrote in his statement, "but it strengthens my position and resolve that fighting for equal rights is more important today than ever. Here's my message to the public," he continued, "I will continue to stand strong for men's rights and the rights of all."
Fisher works at Same Day Computer, which is solely owned by Josh Youssef, who himself has been active in the men's right movement following a contentious divorce. Youssef made an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the New Hampshire Senate in 2012 and in 2016 was a member of Donald Trump's New Hampshire leadership team.
(This story has been updated to correct the ownership of Same Day Computer.)