tokkie (masc.) (pl. tokkies): Tokkies are low status indigenous Dutch people with a cynical attitude towards authority figures, named after an antisocial family where the wife’s maiden name was Tokkie. Tokkies harbor intense hatred for politicians in power, particularly Prime Minister Mark Rutte, although the political party they hate most is the one that represents the interests of high status people, D66.
wappie (masc.) (pl. wappies): Wappies are low status (generally) indigenous Dutch people, with a cynical attitude towards what is generally perceived as the established scientific consensus of our time. The difference with tokkies is that wappies is a term used specifically to suggest a degree of insanity. Whereas tokkies are angry at society, wappies have grown alienated from a conventionally accepted societal narrative. It’s mainly used as a term for people who don’t support the lockdown measures.
If it wasn’t obvious yet, I’m on the side of the tokkies and the wappies. I like low status people who fight against overwhelming odds and simply wish to be left alone by powerful people and young bureaucrats who aspire to micromanage their lives so they can tell their parents that their college degree has really turned out useful after all.
So now the question becomes: What’s the opposite of a wappie or a tokkie? What’s the correct term to use for a person who bases his worldview on whatever shows up on the Reddit frontpage or the Washington Post? What do we call someone who has great faith in science, progress and technology and thinks the world generally gets better over time, as long as nasty racists like Donald Trump don’t manage to get elected? These are the people who start wearing two masks when Fauci declares this makes sense, they’re the people who are always eager to embrace whatever is evolving into a novel high status belief. What should we call them?
The internet has come up with a lot of different attempts to find a word for them. High status people, the type with blue checks on Twitter who write for useless rags like Vox or the Washington Post have plenty of insults that they like to use for low status people who feel alienated from the society they live in: Right-wing populist, racist, white supremacist, conspiracy theorist, *whatever_is_now_hip*-denier, anti-science, anti-vaxxer, alt-right andsoforth. And these words work. If someone manages to get the term “alt-right” or “conspiracy theorist” on your Wikipedia page, your career is basically over.
So it’s time to strike back. We need a competing term, for those people who have faith in authorities and imagine themselves as temporarily embarassed Twitter bluechecks. But what’s the right term? Coincidence theorist is petty and forced, it doesn’t roll off the tongue and it doesn’t sting the way “wappie” does.
Other terms I’ve seen used are “soyboy” and “consoomer”, but these don’t really work well either. To start with the paranoia about soy is unjustified, milk products will do more to harm your masculinity than soybeans. “Consoomer” is a kind of right-wing cultural appropriation of the Frankfurt School’s criticism of meaninglessness under late stage capitalism, that’s always going to struggle to spread beyond the chans.
Then there’s “cuck”, which is kind of revealing of a strange obsession with other people’s sexual fetishes. You can’t expect your congressman to get up there on stage and talk about “cucks” who think we need to wear four masks before we can safely leave our home. It’s also clear that it’s meant to be profoundly insulting, whereas terms like “tokkie”, “wappie”, “populist” and “conspiracy theorist” have the impression of being accurate descriptors that developed a negative connotation over time.
I’m really quite fond of “bugman”, I think it’s a viable contender. I think the essay on small-souled bugmen came really close to what we’re trying to capture here. They’re spiritually empty people who get excited over the products spit out by Fortune 500 corporations. They have left-leaning political views and live in small apartments in metropolitan cities that they share with roommates. The problem is, a bugman isn’t exactly a neutral descriptor. It’s clearly intended as an insult.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with some cultural appropriation. Communists like to call high status managerial types “neoliberals”. The problem is that it doesn’t really have the connotation we’re looking for. Neoliberal makes me think of someone who gets a million dollar stashed in his Swiss bank account because he privatizes a public utility. If people call you a neoliberal it’s an indicator of your success more than anything.
I would argue instead, that the closest we’ve come to a proper term for “these people” is numale. You can perfectly argue that when you say Numale, you just mean a New Urban Male. If people on 4chan say XYZ about them, that doesn’t mean this is what you meant with it. Personally, I think I’m going to start using the term New Urban Male from now on.
So you might wonder, how would you characterize the New Urban Male? Well grab a chair and hold on tight, because I’ll tell you all you want to know.
The New Urban Male is characterized by some of the following traits. If you meet someone who meets most of these traits, you’re dealing with a New Urban Male:
-College educated, not because he’s smart, but because he’s diligent.
-Lives with roommates, in an apartment he rents in a big metropolitan city.
-Does a job that mainly involves staring at a screen. Often works in IT. The IT company often does something with blockchain or else it generally has “solutions” in its name and is less than five years old, because he’s not competent enough to get hired at a place like Google.
-Chubby. They’re not obese, nor muscular, nor skinny. They’re chubby or they’re “skinnyfat”. With baggy clothing you won’t notice their high body fat percentage, even though they probably already have prediabetes. Their main sin is not their poor diet, it’s their lack of regular low intensity exercise like walking or bicycling caused by their boring desk jobs, which they might try to compensate for by buying some dumbells that gather dust in the closet.
-Politically they often tend to seem libertarian or open-minded initially, until you dig a little deeper and realize they’re just plain simple left-liberals with some nitpicking obsessions about privacy on the Internet or other nerd pet-peeves.
-Doesn’t wear anything actually good looking, because they’re afraid of being seen as gay or bisexual. Although bisexuality is very common among young men, it’s surprisingly rare among New Urban Males. Most of the time, their prenatal testosterone exposure was so low that they’re genuinely not attracted to good looking youthful men. They’re generally attracted to somewhat innocent looking young blonde women with large breasts, the type who make faithful wives. Too bad the feeling isn’t mutual.
-The New Urban Male has a girlfriend he met through a dating app. Initially he was upset that she’s heavier than she seemed on her photos and her sexual history upset him too, although he was hesitant to admit it to himself because he’s not a slutshamer. Nonetheless, he didn’t continue searching for someone else, despite initially insisting he would do so.
When he sleeps with her, she hurries into the bathroom after sex, to rub her bean while thinking of lil Peep (can’t blame her tbh). No wait she’s not into lil peep, she’s into the Jonas brothers or Michael Bublé.
-The New Urban Male might smoke weed when offered a joint at a party where everyone’s sitting in a circle, but that’s about as far as he’ll go with drugs.
-He likes to take pride in supporting gay marriage, it makes him feel sophisticated and forward thinking.
-The New Urban Male is fine with being mean and a bully, provided he’s being mean against someone who chooses to be different from the group. If you’re choosing to be vegetarian, that’s a choice, so he feels alright with making jokes about how delicious bacon is. He wouldn’t dare to make fun of you for being gay, bald or Jewish however, that’s outrageous. If you believe in any sort of conspiracy theory, you’re guaranteed to have him be mean to you.
-Prematurely balding. Not sure why, but it’s almost guaranteed. It might be the way they treat their bodies, it might be that Dihydrotestosterone gives rise to a certain personality type that’s good at programming but bad at everything else.
-Wears glasses, typically dark rimmed.
-Video game T-shirt.
-The New Urban Male mainly bases his worldview on whatever he sees on the frontpage of Reddit. His favorite subreddit is whitepeopletwitter, because there he learns what he as a white person should believe.
-His favorite insult is “anti-science”. He also likes the term “anti-vaxxer”, but he rarely gets to use it.
-He likes nuclear energy and seems to think that it’s going to solve climate change.
-He enjoys pictures of space, particularly with a Neil degrasse Tyson or a Carl Sagan quote on them.
-He hates religion, because believing in God is stupid. Art doesn’t really mean anything to his heterosexual male brain, so art doesn’t really help him see religion in a more positive light, the way it does in women and sodomites. He doesn’t really read either, so he’s not about to read religious texts and find any sort of beauty in them either. The Bhagavad Gita means nothing to him, the Book of Job means nothing to him, Buddhist mandalas mean nothing to him, nor do Gupta era Indian statues or paintings by Raphael.
-The closest he can come to recognizing beauty is some well-coded open source project on Github.
-Probably plays Minecraft or Dota2.
-Definitely can’t do ten pushups.
-He wants the government to decide whether you’re allowed to leave your house or not and whether you’re allowed to open your business or not. He can’t really adhere to any sort of “live and let live” mentality.
-He doesn’t really read about history. That’s why the idea that governments might conspire against the population, or that scientists might be politically influenced or get swept up into a collective delusion is unthinkable to him. He generally just trusts that the system he lives in overall functions.
-He grew up pretty sheltered, in a decent neighborhood. He didn’t really have to worry about anyone seeing him playing Magic the Gathering with his friends.
-He can’t really imagine the idea that society could fall apart. Sure, if someone like Trump gets elected then he expects things to get worse for four years, but after that people learn their lesson and things recover. He can’t really grasp the concept of there being systemic problems, that can’t be solved, or that will determine how we will live out the rest of our lives. He understands that global warming is a problem, but he thinks of it as a problem the same way he thinks of gay people being prohibited from marrying or police being racist as a problem.
-He definitely doesn’t believe in magic or ghosts, in fact the idea is so outlandish to him that he doesn’t even really have strong prejudice against people who do. He makes fun of women who believe in astrology, that’s the only thing he would probably reject a woman over. He can’t believe in magic because it’s self-evident to him that events that take place in the world are fundamentally meaningless when they are caused by natural phenomena. It’s impossible to him that anything other than human beings might have any sort of agency.
-When he notices that you don’t think of yourself as mediocre, that you’re actually quite proud of your personality, appearance or the things you have accomplished, or that you think of yourself as smart enough to be right when most people around you believe something different from you, he starts to hate you. He can tolerate you, when you disrespect yourself the way he disrespects himself.
-He’s afraid of anything unexpected or chaotic. He feels safe when he knows what’s going to happen, when he lives in an environment where humans are in control.
-He doesn’t want to be rewarded for his talent, because he doesn’t believe himself to have any. He wants to be rewarded for doing what he’s supposed to do. He wants to get a good job because he graduated college, he wants to retire comfortably because he bought an Index fund, he wants his college debt to be forgiven and he wants the government to make houses affordable for him again.
-Favorite music is “minimal techno”, which he calls “minimal”. There’s no vocals.
-In the Netherlands they have their own political party these days. It’s called VOLT.
-He never really has much to say. He doesn’t like to draw too much attention to himself, not because he has secrets to hide, but because he has to hide the fact that he has nothing to hide, that what you see is exactly as deep as his mind goes. He has a Reddit profile where he drops some oneliners. If you have his phone number you’ll get two or three lines of conversation every once in a while, based off something he read in the news generally. You won’t hear him talk about his feelings, or his childhood, or his theories about the world. His best friends don’t really know him, he makes friendships by “doing” things. There isn’t really anyone out there he has a strong relationship based on trust with. Nobody who lost contact with him ever really strongly misses him or wonders “what he’s up to nowadays”.
-The first two or three times he met up with his girlfriend they went to a restaurant and/or the cinema together. He has a bunch of dates in the calender on his phone, to make sure he doesn’t accidentally upset her by forgetting that it’s exactly 365 days ago that she decided they’re now officially a couple.
-She can’t find out that he smoked cannabis again two months ago at an office party with his colleagues. It would gravely upset her, because he promised her that’s now in his past.
-He used to like Elon Musk, but he shut up about Elon Musk a few years ago.
-At some level, he’s just not really aware of the fact that he’s going to die one day. Sure, he believes he’ll die one day, but he has never really properly thought this through. It has never really caused an existential crisis, it has never really made him wonder what the meaning of it all is, it has never really made him wonder if he’s living his life in the right way, it has never really made him genuinely afraid or depressed, or nihilistic. It has never made him want to try psychedelics, it has never made him want to go to church, it has never made him pray. It’s trivial to him.
-Related to the previous point. He believes that science and technology can solve all our problems, because the only problems he ever thinks about are the small problems in life, not the big and timeless ones.
This is it for now. I might come up with more points in the future. Do you know a New Urban Male? I think you do, because they’re everywhere. We live in the age of the New Urban Male.