Date of Thesis

Spring 2020


In this thesis, I examine the similarities between the ideologies of the Restoration libertine and the present-day beta-male, the social and cultural forces that shape those ideologies, and the practices of flirtation and seduction shared by the libertine and beta-male. This thesis addresses the expansion of female agency and power in the mid-eighteenth century and twenty-first century, as well as how this expansion of power threatens the social, cultural, and economic privilege held by the Restoration libertine and beta-male respectively. In the eighteenth century, this expansion of power manifests in the emergence of the bourgeoisie class and the development of the Enlightenment salons. In the twenty-first century, this expansion of power manifests in growing public acknowledgment of the social, political, and economic rights of women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Both the libertine and beta-male enact misogynistic tactics as means of retaliating against this perceived threat to their privilege. I discuss these tactics at length, comparing the similarities in misogynistic suppression enacted by the Restoration libertine as well as the beta-male. I conclude by asserting that the gender violence perpetrated by the beta-male community has existed long before the development of the “manosphere” – that this violence actually made its debut among the libertines of the Restoration period and persisted through the centuries.


misogyny, libertine, incel, manosphere, gender violence, eighteenth century

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts



Minor, Emphasis, or Concentration

Literary Studies

First Advisor

Ghislaine McDayter

Second Advisor

Erica Delsandro

Third Advisor

Fernando Blanco