When presented with a choice, would you rather learn a potentially disturbing, life-altering truth or remain blissfully ignorant? The concept of the “red pill and blue pill” originated from 1999’s The Matrix when the rebel leader Morpheus offers lead protagonist Neo two options: stay sedated or escape from simulation. Over time, niche online communities have usurped this concept to fit their own frameworks, but the most notable of them all has been those who swallow the “red pills” to go down the rabbit hole of gender discourse.
This political metaphor gained mainstream popularity during the rise of the “manosphere” and the many, anti-feminist movements which have sought to set the record straight about feminist talking points, from male oppression to female hypersexuality. More recently, the term has been thrown around by polemicist personalities like Andrew Tate, who curate “self-help” content that many on the left disavow as toxic masculinity and many on the right gobble up as a cultural awakening.
The latest red pill commentator to go viral for her hot takes is Hannah Pearl Davis (known primarily as Pearl), who is proud of comparisons to Andrew Tate and has seen a burst of attention for being a woman unafraid to spout anti-feminist statements.
But, recently Pearl has actually drawn criticism for taking too strong a stance on gender discourse. She’ll candidly state that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote, she muses about what it means to be a “good wife,” and she laments the fact that women are delaying marriage, racking up a body count, and benefitting from divorce when they do settle down.
As a fellow right-of-center female quite close in age to Pearl, witnessing her ascent into the spotlight stirs mixed emotions. While her meteoric rise does show that we’re seeing some much-needed overcorrection from pop feminism, Pearl’s viral podcast clips, YouTube videos, and now even television appearances have exposed many flaws in her argumentation.
I reached out to Pearl several times on various platforms to have a friendly chit-chat about her digital presence. I genuinely was curious to figure out if she really means any of the things she says, or if she’s just trying to make some easy money. Twitter users deemed me a mainstream journalist with nefarious intentions to strawman her arguments, write a hit piece, and not give her a fair shot. One-on-one interview or not, Pearl has a hearty digital footprint, so let’s first learn a bit about Pearl herself and then discuss how she has been triggering the online masses.
Pearl’s Past, Prior To “Owning” the Feminists
Host of The Pregame podcast on her YouTube channel “Just Pearly Things,” Hannah Pearl Davis is a 26-year-old woman from Chicago, Illinois. Her Catholic, software entrepreneur parents, Dan and Jennifer Davis, raised Pearl and her nine siblings in a 10-bedroom “mansion house” that sits on 40 acres of land. Pearl has three adopted siblings, six biological siblings, and one sibling who her parents gave up for adoption due to her mother only being 17 at the time.
Pearl’s father, Dan, started his software company Davisware with wife Jennifer, who calls herself the “former CEO” of the tech company, wrote a book called Living Exponentially, and runs a mental health awareness community, BExponential Community. Jennifer describes herself as the leading expert on exponentiality, and through her work with BExponential, she believes in “fostering a positive and empowering environment where you can find the guidance, community, and infrastructure necessary to thrive as a woman and a mom.”
Though Pearl is now a full-fledged content creator, she originally went to college to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from Elmhurst University and asserts that she was a professional volleyball player. After briefly working in HR as an intern for Davisware, Pearl interned for an Illinois state senator, was an intern and then promoted to director of business development at a wholesale building material company, and then worked as an account executive for a tech company. In sum, Pearl went from graduating college in 2018 to becoming a full-time content creator on YouTube in 2020.
When she initially started her YouTube channel and TikTok account, Pearl adopted more of a classic YouTuber persona. Her content was lighter in tone, she vlogged, she did “react” videos, but then she took the “red pill” and dove deeper into dating topics.
According to Pearl, her own perspectives have been influenced by economist Thomas Sowell and The Daily Wire co-founder Ben Shapiro, but her YouTube content appears to be influenced by the popularity of shows like Fresh&Fit. Her messaging is simple and the way she relays statistics is concise, to the point where critics would say she’s casting a wider net to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Pearl’s Ill-Fated H3 Podcast Appearance
Though her videos have been going viral for quite some time now, amassing a 1.52 million subscriber count on YouTube and 289.6 thousand followers on TikTok, Pearl’s online notoriety skyrocketed when YouTubers Ethan and Hila Klein (H3H3 Productions) invited her onto their podcast for a “civil conversation.” She asserted her many beliefs, such as that feminism is bad overall, women would be happier as stay-at-home mothers, and that our value declines as we age.
Of all the Pearl content I’ve absorbed in my effort to unpack her allure, this interview stood out because of how poorly she performed. She made broad, sweeping statements, and Ethan called her out on arguing from emotion rather than having a backing in reality. When she did provide sources, and Ethan pointed out biases or lack of causation for Pearl’s “stats,” she had to caveat her claims.
Her typically uber-confident persona crumbled under Ethan’s calm confrontation, and while I’m certainly no fan of H3, I was shocked by how much power he had to shut her down with a simple comment of “You’re just saying stuff.”
No matter how many valid points Pearl makes – many of which get clouded by the more incendiary ones – a woman who had a Catholic, conservative upbringing and a couple of years of absorbing “red pill” content online doesn’t make for an expert. Pearl is simply a cultural commentator, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. You could argue that I’m not much different from her, as I research and then write this piece all about what her rise to fame really means. But, Pearl is in no position to be treated as an expert because her content lacks ethos.
Not only is she guilty of making claims without having proper sources to back them up, misinterpreting studies when she does, and relying heavily on anecdotal evidence, Pearl isn’t even walking the walk after she talks the talk. Perhaps she truly does aspire to live out the cookie-cutter trad lifestyle that she promotes on social media, but Pearl’s own former friend Emily Kay came forward to say that Pearl never used to be this way.
Pearl dishes out relationship advice like candy, complaining about high body counts and the rising average age of first marriage, but she herself isn’t currently married, has never been married, doesn’t have children, and allegedly isn’t a virgin. Additionally, Pearl dated a “millionaire,” content creator named Oneya Johnson, who had two kids out of wedlock. Not only did she reportedly sleep with him shortly after they began dating, she allegedly moved him into her parents' house.
Pearl is quick to comment on weight, often recounting statistics about women being overweight and obese and stating that “by and large, men don’t like fat girls,” but she has even admitted to carrying excess weight herself. She has publicly talked about losing weight, and it’s true that her broader body shape and her height contribute to her weight. Still, my eyebrows can’t help but raise upon reading her statements like: “We are overweight, we bring in other men’s children into marriage, we’re more argumentative and masculine than ever before.”
But wait – she’s objectively overweight, she was dating a man who already had kids, and let’s be honest, there’s nothing graceful, tactful, or remotely feminine about the way she presents her arguments.
It’s not my intention to ruthlessly dunk on Pearl or shame her for not being “trad” enough, I’m just presenting you with what my research suggests to be fact. Despite sharing some “red pill” beliefs with her, I don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to femininity and am very skeptical of the “trad” movement.
Knowing Pearl doesn’t embody the life she promotes in her content, you have to wonder what her actual goal may be. What are her motivations? What is the “why” which guides her to make another video like “Modern Women GETS a REALITY CHECK” or “THESE GIRLS were SOO CLUELESS” or “MODERN WOMEN Can’t Accept MEN Don’t Like Passed Around WOMEN?”
Is There a Broader Purpose Behind Pearl’s Digital Footprint?
One look at her aggressive video titles, the frankly distasteful thumbnails like one which reads “THE AUDACITY OF THIS B*TCH” with an arrow pointing at her podcast guest, the endless slew of incendiary tweets, and it’s as clear as day to me that Pearl is grifting. Following in the footsteps of other internet trolls like Milo Yiannopoulos who may or may not actually believe the words that come out of their mouths, Pearl has mastered the art of getting quick clout online by being a provocateur and creating a seemingly endless stream of instigative, politically-driven content.
Video-based podcasts are today’s quickest cash-in on emotional responses, and viral clips broaden a content creator’s notoriety. Look no further than the Whatever podcast, which soared to fame seemingly overnight via clips from host Brian Atlas’s “Dating Talk” roundtable discussions, which provide a platform for various young adults to discuss singlehood and dating in the current cultural climate.
Evie senior editor Gina Florio explained the Whatever podcast’s cultural zeitgeist as deriving from the fact that many of us understand just how bad a number feminism did on society. The women who come on the show discuss “their most depraved dating experiences, what qualities they’re looking for in men, and how much money they make on OnlyFans or other sex work.” Viewers find it so entertaining because, as the women who bought into the modern feminist narrative have their worldviews challenged in real-time, the viewer gets confirmation bias in return.
Pearl’s show, the Whatever podcast, and Fresh&Fit (which Pearl has gone on and some believe she draws heavy inspiration from) all use “gotcha” moments to “own” their guests. People are quick to interrupt one another, shout “facts'' to assert that the other person is wrong, and act like smug pseudo-intellectuals who have the upper hand when they’re really fighting a fight of unmatched strengths. The guests aren’t prepared with cherry-picked statistics that only tell a portion of the truth. Frankly, it feels more like the hosts learned how to debate from reality television rather than studying the actual art of argumentation.
It’s easy to get clicks by sharing generalities and bell curves about aging, for example, like when Pearl tweeted, “Yes you’re less attractive at 35 than at 25 as a woman. This used to be common sense 50 years ago.” Many of her arguments have nuggets of truth to them. We share common ground in feeling that modern, pop feminism is failing women by devaluing marriage, selling us lies about our biology, encouraging narcissism, vanity, and promiscuity, and potentially lessening our chances of carrying our own children.
But what’s the point of her tweeting this, though? It’s only one of many, many tweets she posts that look as though they’ve been generated by a Pearl ChatGPT bot and scheduled to send while she’s off doing something else. Is the “why” behind her content to provide honest relationship advice, or is it to provoke women and demoralize us by catering to a highly-partisan manosphere, and suck up to embittered men who will continue to drive her online engagement through the roof?
You Don’t Become a Good Woman Just by Wearing a Floral “Trad” Dress
If Pearl were earnest in her approach and really wanted to effect positive change in gender discourse, her tone would be completely different. The tone she adopts, the language she uses, and the visual elements of her videos, from thumbnails to fast-paced, attention-grabbing editing, are all curated for easier clicks and therefore easier money.
Pearl understands how to “trigger” women young and old, and she knows that her comments will affirm the feelings of hurt men. In an interview with Insider, Pearl denied the notion that she exaggerates opinions to solicit rage clicks, but admitted that, when her content is clipped (like a short TikTok video or character-restricted tweet), there is a lack of nuance.
When discussing Pearl’s viral tweet about how men allegedly find women more attractive at age 25 than age 35, BlazeTV host and TPUSA contributor Lauren Chen (who predated Pearl as one of the first, prominent female “red pill” commentators online) pointed out how Pearl’s representation of women is backfiring. Chen said she felt “like it feeds into the concept of hookup culture, where the end all be all of attractiveness is how many men you can draw into you, which should not be the goal as a woman.”
From my perspective, it appears that Pearl’s grind for fame and fortune gives actual conservative, values-based life advice a bad rap. As a writer for Evie, one of the few publications out there which departs from mainstream culture, is driven by curiosity, and actually seeks to provide women with better content than what legacy media has offered us, I see Pearl’s poor persona as a blight on productive gender discourse.
I’m not just a triggered girl online who has taken Pearl’s comments about age, looks, or marital status to heart. My life isn’t going poorly, and I’m not insecure about my desirability. I do, however, write on overlapping topics about modern femininity, and in my work at Independent Women’s Forum, I’m surrounded by female policy experts who are similarly skeptical of pop feminism.
When Pearl recently appeared on Piers Morgan Uncensored to chat with the eponymous host and political journalist Ava Santina, she once again shared her opinion on policy-driven topics such as women’s right to vote (legally guaranteed by constitutional amendment) and men being forced into Selective Service.
“I just think if we want an equal say in society, then be equal, do 50% of the hard jobs, be 50% of the military,” she said before explaining further that one family unit should only have one vote.
Each time that I hear another Pearl “hot take” about a policy issue, I once again have to ask myself why people even care about her opinion? She has no credibility as an expert on any level of policy, and beyond her stint as an intern for a state senator, I have a hard time believing that she actually understands how policy is made and how government works. Pearl simply deals in absolutes and aspirations.
“Go be on the front lines of the military, and then we should have equal rights, but until feminists are willing to do that, I don’t believe we should have the freedom without the responsibility,” Pearl said.
To that, Santina clapped back with: “I don’t think that I’m physically built for that – you might be, but I’m absolutely not.” Brutal! Santina also pointed out flaws in Pearl’s messaging on the sanctity of marriage, given Pearl’s hardcore stance would theoretically be dependent on whether the woman looking to get married is a virgin and, as we've been told, Pearl herself is not.
I bring up this episode because, once again, Pearl fails to provide her audience with any tangible solutions to problems. She just brings up perceived societal ills and airs her grievances about them. If there is any type of politics that Pearl has amassed experience in, it would be grievance politics.
Pearl Is Breeding a Mindset of Contempt, Not Contentment
It would appear that Pearl fuels and funnels negative emotions and uses blame-based strategies to create tension. She weaponizes shock and outrage culture that strokes feelings of “grievance” and provides audiences with affirmation that they have, in fact, been unfairly treated by elites. People and groups who feel aggrieved view past injustices as warranting payback, but as time goes on, the cycle of grievance politics actually worsens. When the standards for injustice continue to rise, when the window for what actually counts as an “offense” is widened, all you get in return is worsened in-group fighting.
Grievance politics, like Pearl’s manosphere baiting, is no substitute for real ideas. Each extremist side thinks the other is actually the party of grievance, but in reality, both are major offenders. Left-leaning cultural Marxists who seek to trigger conservatives with hypersexual drag queen story hours for children and aggravated, hyper-masculine “red pill” pushers are equally guilty of poisoning political discourse.
As political strategist David Winston wrote, “Grievance is no substitute for ideas and solutions. Nor will grievance, anchored in revenge and loyalty tests, produce candidates who can connect with voters and put together winning majority coalitions. Qualifications, vision, and winnability going forward should matter more than elections now in the rearview mirror.”
Though he was speaking about political candidates, the sentiments are similar for cultural commentators because, let’s be honest, people who peddle a victimhood mentality and purposefully outrage the public aren’t actually making tangible contributions to real-world issues at hand. It’s ironic – Pearl definitely isn’t silent about the ills of a victimhood mentality but appears to not realize just how much she’s playing into a grievance game.
But really, what’s the point of yet another video where Pearl gives a “modern woman” a “reality check” when Pearl isn’t modeling the lifestyle she’s promoting, nor is she doing much more than just asserting her feelings about how a woman should behave? I have yet to hear Pearl discuss policy solutions with experts that benefit a modern, nuclear family unit, such as topics in paid leave, child care, freelance work and independent contracting, or health care advancements.
It’s not as though there aren’t actually good role models out there for today’s young women to draw inspiration from, it’s just that their voices may not always be the ones that legacy women’s media choose to elevate. Women like Abbie Herbert, one of our cover models for the latest Evie magazine print issue who was told by her modeling agency she couldn’t balance motherhood and modeling, are prime examples of virtuous women who lead by example. In fact, we regularly highlight influential leading ladies from around the world who model positive feminine traits, some of whom may take you by surprise, like Christy Carlson Romano of former Disney Channel fame.
I completely empathize with Pearl’s complaints about how media sells women lies. From the start of this publication, we’ve been thoughtfully picking apart each and every way that legacy women’s media poisons the wells and promotes destructive behavior. Publications like Cosmopolitan have doubled down on supporting “reproductive rights,” a.k.a. taking outwardly pro-abortion public stances post-Roe. Teen Vogue has reported on biological females identifying as non-binary with their exposed, surgically-altered breasts on a pedestal.
Pearl isn’t wrong when she points out that society is turning women against roles we’re often biologically predisposed to thrive in, such as motherhood. From prioritizing career above family to the standardization of hormonal contraceptive usage to #ShoutYourAbortion and more, mainstream feminist thought does stigmatize women who walk a more traditional path. I just don’t think that aggressively and incessantly tweeting in all-caps or loudly arguing with OnlyFans models on podcasts is the right way to inspire and encourage young women to embrace their femininity.
I’d like to conclude with a few musings I wrote recently in a meditation published in Man’s World Magazine, which sum up my thoughts on a more productive model for femininity – women understanding the power they have as a man’s best complement: “Pitting man against woman or woman against man in broad, misandrist and misogynist spiritual warfare misconstrues the function of human connection. If we no longer respect the other sex for their unique characteristics as gifts from God – such as how women are well-suited to be the “ezer” or “strong helper” to their man and bring him to his highest glory as a complement where he may be lacking – we’re only adding fuel to the fires of not only toxic masculinity, but toxic femininity as well. Both sides of the aisle could benefit from true humility before God.”
I applaud Pearl for being so willing to put her face to such a brash character, but can’t call myself a fan of hers even in the slightest. She’s no role model for positive femininity, lacks the experience or knowledge to actually be a viable source on the topics she speaks on, and appears to be hyperfixated on crafting controversy to cash in on. The fact that her female “red pill” answer to Tate-esque manosphere content has seen such a meteoric rise is mostly indicative of how broken gender discourse has become. Say what you want about Tate, but at least if he’s touting chauvinism, he’s also living it.
But, with how often Pearl deludes herself in hypocrisy, I’m calling fraud. Women like Pearl may not have fully nefarious intentions, but in adopting a holier than thou, pandering attitude, being anti “pick-me” and “not like other girls” while simultaneously exuding major “pick-me” vibes, Pearl is giving “reformed” femininity content an awful reputation. Lucky for her, here at Evie we have a plethora of advice for women who are jaded by the ills of pop feminism. Her loss for passing me up on that interview request…perhaps she could have fallen down our own rabbit hole here of beauty and truth being the true path to better our culture.
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