It’s combined of misogyny and the warped world of nutritional pseudoscience.
By Alex Henderson
November 12, 2018
Nutritionists have had many debates about the health benefits of soy products; some are very pro-soy, others are critical of it. Their debates are scientific in nature, but on the alt-right, soy is being discussed in stridently political terms—and one of the leading alt-right conspiracy theories is the “soy boy” conspiracy, which claims that soy products are a vast left-wing conspiracy designed to emasculate men and turn their bodies estrogenic.
The alt-right has an abundance of vocabulary that one doesn’t find in more traditional conservatism. In 2018, the term “soy boy” is as common on the alt-right as “cuckservative” (right-wingers who aren’t right-wing enough) and “snowflake” (a hypersensitive liberal or progressive). “Soy boy” isn’t a term that one typically encounters in more traditional conservative outlets like the National Review and the Weekly Standard, but alt-right outlets—from Alex Jones’ Infowars to the misogynist Return of Kings website—have been a frequent source of anti-soy conspiracy theories.
Jones has long been promoting conspiracy theories involving government operatives and “The New World Order” using products to turn male bodies estrogenic. In 2013, Jones argued that juice boxes were feminizing male children, declaring, “After you’re done drinking your little juices, you’re ready to go out and have a baby. You’re ready to put makeup on. You’re ready to wear a short skirt….You’re ready to put lipstick on.”
Jones has asserted that left-wing male commentators are often “latte addicts” and “soy addicts” who lack masculinity—and earlier this year, Jones’ colleague, Paul Joseph Watson posted an eight-minute video describing the alleged attributes of a “soy boy.”
Watson asked, “What is it about soy that turns men into such spineless wimps? Soybeans contain high amounts of phytoestrogens: organic compounds that mimic the female hormone estrogen in the human body. This reduces testosterone and lowers male sperm count.”
Watson elaborated, “Men with high estrogen take on feminine traits. They find it harder to handle stress. They become less assertive. They become low-energy. Their voices get higher, their genitals shrink.”
According to Watson’s video, “environmental estrogens” are causing males to develop female-like breasts—and one of the most prominent “environmental estrogens” is soy. The use of soy baby formulas, Watson said, suggests that “rather than people with already preexisting left-wing beliefs being attracted to vegan-style tofu soy diets, we’re actually creating an army of soy boys from birth.”
Alt-right blogger Mike Cernovich is not only a leading proponent of the bizarre Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which in 2016, claimed that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring in a Washington, DC pizzeria—he is also a strident critic of soy products, arguing that there is a correlation between liberal and progressive beliefs and use of soy products. And “soy boy” is one of his favorite insults.