Marxism, Men’s Rights and the ‘Means of Reproduction’

“Marx said about the industrial system that people are profoundly alienated from the ‘means of production’ – jobs. Political and social radicalism was one response to that. If Darwin were alive today he might comment that men are profoundly alienated from the ‘means of reproduction’ – women”

Lionel Tiger, The Decline of Males[1]

Why are women conservative? Because they are a privileged sex; because they do not need to depend upon the earnings of their hands or brain. As a sex women occupy a position similar to the petty shop-keeper, because they possess a commodity to sell or to barter besides their own labour power! Here is the key to the mystery of the modern woman!

RB Tobias and Mary E Marcy, Women as Sex Vendors[2]

If… one class of person does all the work and another does all the spending, you do not have to be Karl Marx to conclude that the second of these two classes is the more privileged.

David Thomas, Not Guilty: The Case in Defence of Men[3]

To most people who identify with the contemporary left, the parallel between class exploitation and the exploitation that allegedly underlies the relations between men and women is obvious. Just as the proletariat are exploited and oppressed by the capitalist class, so women are exploited and oppressed by males.

Indeed, the entire structure of feminist theory (or what passes for theory among feminists) is rooted, consciously or not, in Marxist social theory. Thus, just as Marxist sociologists view all the institutions of society (the family, education system, mass media etc.) as controlled by and functioning so as to perpetuate the dominance of the bourgeoisie, so feminist theory views these same institutions as controlled by and functioning to perpetuate the dominance of men.

Indeed, this is a feature shared with other radical leftist ideologies rooted in identity politics. Each posits the existence of a grand conspiracy against an ostensibly ‘oppressed’ group. The only difference is who is a party to, and beneficiary of, the said conspiracy, and who the victims.

For Marxists, the evil conspirators are the capitalists; for black nationalists, they are ‘The White Man’; for anti-Semites, ‘the Jews’ are to blame; whereas, for feminists it is men. Each theory appeals to simple minds looking for simple answers, and, more importantly, someone to blame.

However, the similarities between the Marxist and feminist ideologies do not end there. Just as their analyses of capitalist/patriarchal society mirror one another, so do their proposed antidotes. Thus, both feminists and Marxists posit a future egalitarian utopia fundamentally incompatible with what is now known about human nature and with the innate heritable differences between both individuals and groups.

Of course, these days, some ‘moderate’ feminists, and conservatives who identify as feminist, may try to downplay the extent of the debt feminism owes to Marxism. Nevertheless, among feminists and Marxists alike, not to mention among feminist-Marxists, Marxist-feminists, sociologists, Women’s Studies professors and other such professional damned fools who together make up the state-funded intellectual vanguard of the contemporary left-liberal establishment, it is axiomatic that feminism and Marxism are, not only compatible and complementary, but moreover ideological comrades-in-arms united together in fighting for an end to all forms of inequality and injustice.

In fact, however, my own view is that feminism is neither left-wing nor liberal. In a forthcoming post (provisionally entitled ‘Feminist Fascism: From Burning Bras to Burning Books – or Why Feminism is Neither Left-Wing Nor Liberal but Rather Right-Wing and Reactionary’), I shall expand upon this theory. However, for now it suffices to say that, in seeking to entrench and expand the privileges of an already immensely privileged group (i.e. Western women), it is obviously right-wing; whereas, in campaigning to restrict pornography, prostitution and other such fun and healthy recreational activities, not to mention free speech, it is anything but liberal.

In this post, however, my focus is rather narrower. I intend to demonstrate that, despite their superficial commonalities, Marxist and feminist theory are fundamentally incompatible and that the central feminist claim, namely that women represent an oppressed and disadvantaged class, is contrary, not only by the manifest reality the privileged position of women in contemporary Western society, but also, by basic Marxist economic theory.

In fact, as early twentieth century socialists Roscoe B Tobias and Mary Marcy first recognised, Marxist theory can even be even employed to help us to understand why women are so privileged as compared to men, both economically and in the operation of the law.

On this view, feminism is better viewed, from a Marxist standpoint, as a form of dominant ideology designed to benefit the capitalist class, both by expanding the availability of cheap labour (i.e. working women) and distracting attention from the real oppression of the truly disadvantaged, who are, in truth, mostly men.

In short, as Jim Goad has written, Males of the world unite! You have nothing to grow back but your balls!

Engels’ Error

Where then did Marxists, feminists, Marxist-feminists and feminist-Marxists take a wrong turn in attempting to apply Marxist theory to the family and the relations between the sexes. The problem, it seems, began early, not with feminists, nor with Marx himself, but with his comrade, collaborator and (capitalist) financial backer, Fredrich Engels.

In The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, Freidrich Engels wrote, in a famous passage much quoted by feminists:

“In the great majority of cases today, at least in the possessing classes, the husband is obliged to earn a living and support his family, and that in itself gives him a position of supremacy, without any need for special legal titles and privileges. Within the family he is the bourgeois and the wife represents the proletariat.”[4]

This is a passage much quoted by early feminists and their modern intellectual descendants. Indeed, along with Mill’s The Subjugation of Women, it arguably provides the intellectual foundation for modern feminism.[5]

However, Engels’ analysis in this paragraph is also obviously, not only wrong, but also fundamentally inconsistent with the very Marxist analysis that Engels purported to apply and of which he was himself the co-formulator.

Think about it for a moment. According to Marxist theory, the defining characteristic of the proletariat in Marxist theory is that, possessing neither capital nor production means, [they] must earn their living by selling their labour. This is the very definition of the term ‘proletariat’, as the term is used in orthodox Marxist theory.

In contrast, the bourgeoisie (i.e. capitalists) are defined by their ownership of the Means of Production (i.e. of land, factories and everything needed to produce goods for sale, except labour). This means that, unlike the proletariat, they do not have to sell their labour, and are able instead to subsist, and indeed to prosper, by employing the labour of proletarians and extracting surplus value (i.e. profits).

In short, the proletariat are obliged to sell their labour to make a living; the bourgeoisie/capitalists are not, being able instead to exploit the labour of the former.

Indeed, even non-Marxists agree that, always, throughout history, it was those groups within society who were obliged to work so as to survive – slaves, serfs, so-called ‘wage-slaves’ and the aptly named ‘working classes’ – who were regarded as ‘oppressed’, disadvantaged and exploited as a consequence of this fact.

In contrast, those exempt from having to work – the so-called ‘leisure class’ or ‘idle rich’ – who were supported by the labour of others were regarded as their exploiters.

As Murray Rothbard observes:

“It is always the slaves who do the work, while the masters live in relative idleness off the fruits of their labor. To the extent that husbands work and support the family, while wives enjoy a kept status, who then are the masters?”[6]

Yet feminists following in the footsteps of Engels equated the housewife’s ostensible ‘oppression’ precisely with the fact that she did not have to work to earn her keep but rather was supported by her husband, and her ‘liberation’ with her entrance into the world of wage-slavery.

It is almost as if the slaveholder were perversely to pose as ‘oppressed’ on account of being denied the opportunity to toil for endless hours in his cotton fields, and was to claim ‘liberation’ by virtue of being chained up alongside his slaves.

[Of course, feminists will respond by claiming that this ignores the so-called unpaid labour in the home (i.e. housework). However, as I explain in my previous post, entitled ‘Unpaid Labour or Overpaid Laziness: Why Housework in Your Own House Isn’t Really Work’, such activities do not qualify as work for the sort for which one is entitled to demand remuneration.]

Thus, contrary to Engels, the fact that the husband is, in Engels’ own words, “obliged to earn a living and support his family” does not make him bourgeois. On the contrary, it makes him the quintessential proletarian.

In contrast, it is the housewife, who is supported at the expense of her husband, who occupies a position analogous to the bourgeois. Both are spared work and instead supported at the expense of male labourers.

Engels, perhaps suffering from an infection of misguided male chivalry, does not just have it wrong; he has it precisely backwards – and the feminists fell for it.

The ‘Means of Production’ and the ‘Means of Reproduction

Of course, this analysis begs the obvious question: Why are women in such an exalted position? How do they manage to achieve this remarkable feat of living off the proceeds of male labour?

The answer must be sought again in orthodox Marxist theory – albeit this time with an added sociobiological twist.

Let’s first deal with the orthodox Marxism. The bourgeoisie manage to live off the labour of the working-class, according to orthodox Marxist economic theory, because they control what Marxists refer to as the Means of Production. This refers to the means necessary to produce goods and services for sale in the marketplace, and includes such items as land, factories, capital and, of course, labour.

How then do women manage to achieve a feat analogous to that or the capitalists when most women do not own any of the ‘means of production’?[7]

I submit the explanation lies, not in women’s control over the ‘means of production’, but rather in their ownership of the Means of Reproduction – namely their own vaginas, wombs, ovaries etc.

The essence of this idea was first captured by American socialists, Roscoe B Tobias and Mary Marcy, the latter a vaguely famous early twentieth century (female) American socialist, the former her brother, in their remarkable but largely forgotten work, Women as Sex Vendors[8] (which I have reviewed here).

There, Tobais and Marcy write:

As a sex, women occupy a position similar to the petty shop-keeper, because they possess a commodity to sell or to barter. Men, as a sex, are buyers of, or barterers for, this commodity”.[9] 

In short, as they put it in the blurb to the original 1918 edition, “women occupy a position similar to the petty shop-keeper, because they possess a commodity to sell or to barter besides their own labour power”.

Thus, according to another early-twentieth-century socialist and anti-feminist, Ernest Belfort Bax, Tobias and Marcy’s thesis can be summarized thus:

The privileged situation of woman socially and economically in our existing society… is deducible from the fact that women are the monopolists of a saleable or barterable commodity necessary to the vast majority of men – viz., their sex.[10]

In other words, whereas the male proletarian famously has ‘nothing to sell but his labour’, the same is not true of any woman, irrespective of her socioeconomic class. She has something else to sell – namely her body.

[Actually, strictly speaking, prostitutes (and wives) do not, as cliché has it ‘sell their bodies’. After all, when one sells something, one permanently loses ownership of it (unless one is prepared to buy it back). However, after the contracted sex act, the prostitute retains ownership of her body. What prostitutes do then is, not so much ‘sell their bodies’, so much as temporarily rent out access to certain specified orifices therein. This renting out is typically on strict and freely negotiated contractual terms and represents, in the strict legal sense, a ‘licence’ not a ‘lease.]

Thus, as the inestimable Esther Vilar puts it:

By the age of twelve at the latest, most women have decided to become prostitutes. Or, to put it another way, they have planned a future for themselves which consists of choosing a man and letting him do all the work. In return for his support, they are prepared to let him make use of their vagina at certain given moments.[11]

From Marxism to Sociobiology

Of course, this in turn begs the question as to why it can be said that women own the ‘means of reproduction’? After all, both a man and a woman, a sperm and an ovum, are required to produce human offspring. Thus, despite women’s proudly proclaimed status as ‘the bearers of life’, both a woman and a man are necessary to create human life.

To answer this question, we must turn from pseudo-scientific nineteenth-century Marxian economics to twenty-first century evolutionary Biology – in particular the contemporary sciences of sociobiology, behavioural ecology and evolutionary psychology.

The key insight underlying the understanding of most differences, both physical and behavioural, between males and females in humans and other animals is what biologists refer to as Bateman’s Principle.[12] According to this fundamental law of behavioural biology, as later formalized and elaborated upon by Robert Trivers as differential parental investment theory, the sex that makes a greater investment in offspring is competed over by the sex making a lesser investment.[13] 

To successfully reproduce, a woman in the EEA must, at the very minimum, invest not only an ovum, but nine month’s gestation, plus some time nursing. In contrast, reproduction may cost a human male nothing more than the costs involved in producing a single ejaculate, plus the energy expended in intercourse.

As a result, a man can increase his number of offspring (i.e. his Darwinian fitness) by mating with multiple females and the more females with whom he mates, then, all else being equal, the more offspring he is likely to have.

In contrast, given the demands of pregnancy, a human female can only produce one offspring every year or so at most (with the exception of twins), however many men she has sex with. With the addition of the demands of nursing (i.e. in the absence of either surrogate wet nursing or bottle-feeding, both of which would have been absent in what evolutionary psychologists call the EEA), this is reduced to one child every few years or more, given the suppression of fertility by lactation.

It therefore pays females to be more selective over their choice of sexual partners than are males. Thus, in one delightful illustration of this principle, psychologists Clark and Hatfield found that, whereas 72% of male subjects agreed to go to bed with an attractive female stranger who approached them with a request to this effect on a university campus, not a single one of the 96 females approached agreed to the same request from a similarly attractive male experimenter.[14] (What percentage of the women sued the university for sexual harassment was never revealed.)

This then gives women their sexual power over men, reflecting what is sometimes known as ‘the principle of least interest’.

One strategy adopted by females in various species, humans included, is to demand material resources from males in return for sexual access.

Thus, leading evolutionary psychologist David Buss has written “The evolution of the female preference for males who offer resources may be the most ancient and pervasive basis for female choice in the animal kingdom”.[15]

John Alcock, in his textbook on Animal behaviour, reports:

A classic demonstration of this strategy comes from Randy Thornhill’s study of the black-tipped hangingfly, whose females make copulation, and subsequent egg fertilisations, contingent upon receipt of an edible nuptial gift. Females flatly refuse to mate with males that proffer unpalatable ladybird beetles and will let copulation begin only when the present is edible. If, however, the female can consume the gift in less than 5 minutes, she finishes it and separates from her partner without having accepted a single sperm. When the gift is large enough to keep the copulating female occupied for 20 minutes, she will depart with a full gut and a full complement of the gift-givers sperm.[16]

Patterns of prostitution also confirm that, in respect of sexual favours, women are the sellers, men the buyers.

Indeed, to the extent male prostitutes do exist, they overwhelmingly service, not women, but rather homosexual men. As pioneering sociologist-turned-sociobiologist Pierre Van Den Berghe observes, “The male prostitute, unless he caters to homosexuals, is an economic redundancy, constantly undercut by eager amateur competition”.[17]

Indeed, this pattern is not merely restricted to overt prostitution but extends, in one way or another, to all forms of heterosexual coupling and courtship.

Thus, as I have written elsewhere:

The entire process of conventional courtship in Western society is predicated on prostitution – from the social expectation that the man pay for dinner on the first date, to the legal obligation that he continue to support his ex-wife, through alimony and maintenance, for anything up to ten or twenty years after he has belatedly rid himself of her. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a prostitute as ‘a person who engages in sexual intercourse for payment’. That’s not the definition of a prostitute. That’s the definition of a woman! The distinguishing feature of prostitutes isn’t that they have sex for money – it’s that they provide such excellent value for money.

In short, as Tobias and Marcy put it in the title to their forgotten early twentieth century masterpiece of Marxian-masculism, women are Sex Vendors.

Women as Nature’s Capitalist Class

Women, like the scions of great capitalists, are therefore blessed by birth with ownership over a commodity, other than their own labour, they will be able to sell in the marketplace – namely sexual access to their various orifices.

This is a commodity the value of which is easy to underestimate.

Thus, as we have seen, Tobias and Marcy equate women with what Marx derisively termed the ‘petit bourgeoisie’, writing, “women occupy a position similar to the petty shop-keeper, because they possess a commodity to sell or to barter besides their own labour power”.

However, in equating women exclusively with “the petty shop-keeper”, Tobias and Marcy potentially vastly underestimate the potential price of pussy.

Some women may indeed sell their sex cheaply – e.g. the street prostitute or wife of a humble manual labourer. However, other women manage to command a price that is, by any measure, positively exorbitant – e.g. the indolent parasitic wife of a multimillionaire tycoon or of royalty.

The wife of the millionaire tycoon is therefore the apex predator, occupying an even higher position in the economic food chain than her husband. Women have long been known by researchers in the marketing industry to dominate almost every area of consumer spending.

After all, given that humans have evolved through natural selection ultimately to maximise their inclusive fitness or reproductive success, women’s advantage is, in sociobiological terms, more fundamental than that of the capitalists. The capitalists may control the ‘Means of Production’, but women control the ‘Means of Reproduction’.

Production is ultimately, in Darwinian terms, merely a means of reproduction. Reproduction is the ultimate purpose of life.

Thus, if, as Marxists maintain, wealthy capitalists control the capitalist economy, then the women who are wives of wealthy capitalists also indirectly control the capitalist economy through both their purchasing power and their control over the wealth generated by their husbands’ entrepreneurialism.

As Schopenhauer observed, whereas man strives in everything for a direct domination over things, either by comprehending or subduing them… woman is everywhere and always relegated in a merely indirect, which is achieved by means of man, who is consequently the only thing she has to dominate directly.[18]

Or, as Aristotle put it some two millennia earlier, What difference does it make whether the women rule or the rulers are ruled by the women? The result is the same.[19]

Thus, as Bertrand Russell observed:

The world is full of idle people, mostly women, who have little education, much money, and consequentially great self-confidence… Especially in America, where the men who make money are mostly too busy to spend it themselves, culture is largely dominated by women whose sole claim to respect is that their husbands possess the art of growing rich.[20]

Thus, women are indeed capitalists by birth, but not always of the petit bourgeois variety.

The feminists never tire of reminding us that men, on average, earn more money than women. This is indeed true – not least because men work longer hours, in more dangerous and unpleasant working conditions for a greater proportion of their lives.[21]

However, what they neglect to point out is that, while men may earn more money than women, researchers in the marketing industry have long been aware that it is women who spend most of it, some researchers estimating that women control around 80% of consumer spending.

As David Thomas observes, If… one class of person does all the work and another does all the spending, you do not have to be Karl Marx to conclude that the second of these two classes is the more privileged.[22] 

As Leo Tolstoy observed, then as now, one has only to walk through the streets of any shopping mall, especially the among more expensive shops selling jewellery or overpriced designer clothes to see who spends most of the money, and to whom most of the products are marketed

Ten or twelve passages consisting of solid rows of magnificent shops with immense plate-glass windows are all filled with all kinds of expensive wares – exclusively feminine ones – stuffs, dresses laces, dresses, gems, foot-gear, house adornments, furs and so on. All these things cost millions and millions, all these articles have been manufactured in establishments by working people who frequently ruin their lives in this work, and all these articles are of no use, not only the working people, but even to the wealthy men – they are all amusements and adornments of women…
And all these articles are in the power and in the hands of a few hundred women, who in expensive furs and hats of the latest fashion saunter through these shops and purchase these articles, which are manufactured for them.
A few hundreds of women arbitrarily dispose of the labour of millions of working people, who work to support themselves and their families. On the whims of these women depend the fate, the lives of millions of people.”.[23]

From Economic Power to Social and Political Power

However, Marxist analyses of capitalist society do not stop at the economic analysis that lies at their foundation. On the contrary, it extends to sociological and political analysis.

Marxist Theory is often described as a form of economic determinism. Marxists maintain that the ideology and institutions prevailing in a given society reflect the economic relations between members of that society. Thus, economics ultimately determines culture – or, in Marxist terminology, the economic base determines the Superstructure.

In other words, economically powerful groups within society convert their economic power into social and political power by controlling the culture and institutions of society in order to promote their own interests and continued dominance over the rest of society.

On this view, all the central institutions of Western capitalist society – e.g. the mass media, criminal justice system, courts and education system – function, ultimately, to maintain and perpetuate the dominance of the capitalist class.

Thus, the legal system functions to protect property rights, the educational system to reproduce the class system in the next generation and to inculcate capitalist values in young minds, while the media exists to propagate the dominant ideology of the ruling class among the malleable masses.

Extending their Marxian-masculist analysis from purely economic relations to the social and political institutions of society, Tobais and Marcy write:

The laws today protect the owners of property and the economically powerful. The more economic power a group, or a class, or a sex possesses, the more the state throws the mantle of its protective laws about it. Women are the owners of a commodity for which men are buyers or barterers, and our modern laws protect woman at the expense of man.[24]

This then explains the discrimination against men that operates in many areas of law, not just in Tobais and Marcy’s day, but also in the legal systems of modern, ostensibly egalitarian, Western legal systems.

Thus, for example, in the criminal courts, male offenders are sentenced to more severe sentences than female offenders guilty of the same offences,[25] and both male are female offenders are sentenced more severely when they victimize women than when they victimize men,[26] with male offenders who victimize women sentenced most severely of all.[27]

Similarly, before the family courts, mothers are awarded custody of offspring in preference to fathers in the overwhelming majority of cases where fathers even bother to contest the issue.[28]

Elsewhere, laws sometimes still explicitly discriminate against males, for example, in respect of pension rights,[29] insurance premiums,[30] abortion rights[31] or criminal defences.[32]

Feminism as a ‘Dominant Ideology

However, according to the ‘economic determinism’ of orthodox Marxism, the economic relations between classes (the ‘economic base’ of society) determines not only the laws operating, but also the prevailing cultural, social, political and philosophical values and beliefs prevalent in the society in question.

This is sometimes referred to as the ‘dominant ideology’ of the society, and is thought to reflect the interests of the dominant economic class in that society.

Thus, the values and beliefs widely held in Western capitalist society, and promoted in the mass media, education system etc., are, on this view, thought to be those that benefit the dominant capitalist class in Western society (‘sex vendors’ included).

This same analysis can then surely be employed to explain feminism itself.

After all, what represents the dominant viewpoint or ideology concerning gender roles and the relations between the sexes in contemporary Western society? The answer, of course, is feminism.

Indeed, its intellectual shortcomings notwithstanding, no ideology or belief-system has been so relentlessly promoted by the mass media, academic establishment and educational system as has modern feminism. As I have written elsewhere, from originally portraying itself as a radical challenge to the status quo, feminism has come to represent a sacrosanct contemporary dogma the central tenets of which an individual (especially a male) may publicly question only at grave risk to their reputation and livelihood.

Why then does the capitalist media and the political and academic establishment promote feminist ideology so relentlessly? How does feminism benefit the dominant capitalist class in Western society?

The answer, for anyone familiar with basic Marxist economic theory, should be obvious. Indeed, it is literally staring us in the face, to such an extent that it is a wonder that so few self-styled Marxist intellectuals (Bax, Marcy and Tobias excepted) have failed to recognise it and have instead fell hook line and sinker for the bourgeois propaganda.

In promoting the idea that married women, instead of devoting themselves to keeping house and raising children, should pursue careers outside the home just as men do, feminism increases the supply of labour available to capitalists.

An increase in the supply of labour, creates greater competition for jobs, which, in turn, drives down wages, an obvious benefit to capitalist employers.

Moreover, since married women usually remain financially supported, at least in part, by their husbands, this means they can afford to work for less than can single men, let alone married men and fathers (who are still expected to support a wife and children in addition to themselves). This means that women undercut the wages which male employees are otherwise able to command, further benefiting capitalist employers.

This has led anti-capitalist anti-feminist iconoclast Rich Zubaty to controversially describe feminism as “the biggest scab labor movement in history”.

Thus, as anti-feminist Neil Lyndon observes:

“The changes which were taken to be victories of emancipatory spirit among women were all conductive to the development of capitalism… [and] the long march of the left towards the identification of the class which would be the dissolution of all classes had simply resulted in the creation of a larger class of wage slaves required by national and international markets.”[33]

On this view, it is no surprise that the rise of modern feminism in the 1970s was concomitant with a change in the economic structure of Western societies – namely the decline in heavy industry, manufacturing and manual labour, where male physical strength was at a premium, and the rise of the ‘Service Sector, an area of employment to which women are arguably better suited.

On the contrary, this observation is eminently compatible with the ‘economic determinism’ of orthodox Marxist theory, whereby it is presumed that a change in the ‘dominant ideology’ or ‘superstructure’ is always preceded by, and determined by, a prior change in the ‘economic base.

At any rate, whether or not one accepts the rigid ‘economic determinism’ of orthodox Marxism, it is clear that feminism led the way in helping to effect, or, at the very least, providing a key retrospective justification for, the shift in patterns of employment among married women that was undoubtedly beneficial to capitalist employers.

An accompanying side-effect of this shift was, of course, mass male unemployment and the widespread breakdown of the family unit, with men losing their traditional role role as breadwinners, and the traditional ‘nuclear family’ replaced by what Warren Farrell calls “a new nuclear family: woman, government and child”, with single mothers increasingly subsidised by taxpayers’ money via the welfare system, and fathers increasingly superfluous to requirements.

However, to the capitalists, this was of little concern. The key point was that, civil disorder and psychological distress notwithstanding, capitalist production and consumption continued unabated.

Meanwhile, in addition to these purely economic benefits, feminism offered a further political and ideological benefit for ruling elites – namely, it distracted attention away from the very real oppression of genuinely disadvantaged groups – e.g. refuse disposal workers, coal miners and the homeless (all of whom happen, of course, to be overwhelmingly male).

It therefore permitted successive waves of resolutely capitalist governments of all political colours to disingenuously pose as radical by pandering to the whims of over-privileged middle-class feminists in lieu of doing anything to tackle genuine inequality, oppression and poverty.

On this view, as late-nineteenth, early-twentieth century Marxist-Masculist Ernest Belfort Bax suggested in 1913 the Anti-man agitation [i.e. feminism] forms a capital red herring for drawing the popular scent off class opposition by substituting sex antagonism in its place.[34]

In this respect, moreover, feminism has been remarkably successful. Whereas radical socialism is all but moribund across the entire world, feminism now reigns triumphant throughout the West, its main tenet, namely the ostensible ‘oppression’ of women, being accepted as an unquestioned dogma throughout academia, the mainstream media and by political parties from across the political spectrum.

On this view, feminism served both economic and political purposes for the capitalist ruling class, and was an overwhelmingly successful strategy in both respects.

Yet, far from being the radical left-wing revolutionaries of their own imaginings, feminists were, on this view, little more than naïve and unwitting tools of, ‘useful idiots’ for, and abettors to, the very capitalist exploitation they, and their leftist allies, purport to oppose.

Feminism can thus be reduced to a form of what Marxists are apt to term false consciousness.



[1] Tiger, L (1999) The Decline of Males (New York: St Martin’s Press): at p27.

[2] Tobias, RB & Marcy, ME (1918) Women as Sex Vendors or, Why Women Are Conservative (Being a View of the Economic Status of Woman) – this precise wording is taken from the blurb on an original edition.

[3] Thomas, D (1993) Not Guilty: The Case in Defence of Modern Man: at p80.

[4] Engels, F (1884) The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. Interestingly, Engels’ use of the phrase “without any need for special legal titles and privileges” in the passage quoted seems to implicitly concede that, contrary to the prevailing feminist orthodoxy, men did not have any explicit legal privileges over women – even in the purportedly ‘patriarchal’ late-nineteenth century when these words were penned. In fact, even then, virtually all legal privileges, whether in family law, labour law, or before the criminal courts, lay with women.

[5] Yes, feminism was, like the internal combustion engine, the microcomputer, Marxism and Nuclear Weapons, by and large invented by men. In a sense, we have only ourselves to blame.

[6] Rothbard, Murray (1970) “The Great Women’s Liberation Issue: Setting It Straight” The Individualist, May.

[7] Of course, some women may own these things, usually indirectly though their husband’s ownership of them, and their own effective ownership of their husbands under current marriage laws. Moreover, women, as we have seen, in a sense control the labour of their husbands, in that they benefit from and are supported by it, and labour is itself one of the essential ‘means of production’. However, these are precisely the facts that we are trying here to explain.

[8] Tobias RB & Marcy M (1918) Women as Sex Vendors (Chicago: Charles H Kerr and Company Cooperative, 1918).

[9] Tobias RB & Marcy M (1918) Women as Sex Vendors: p12-13.

[10] Bax, EB (1918) The Woman Question and Marxian Historical MaterialismJustice (19th December): at p7.

[11] Vilar, E (2008) The Manipulated Man (Londond: Pinter & Martin 2008): p24-5.

[12] Bateman, A.J. (1948), Intra-sexual selection in Drosophila Heredity, 2 (Pt. 3): 349–368.

[13] Trivers, R. L. (1972) Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. Campbell (Ed.) Sexual selection and the descent of man, 1871-1971 (pp 136–179). Chicago, Aldine.

[14] Clark & Hatfield (1989) ‘Gender differences in receptivity to sexual offers’ Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality 2:39-53 (This study was supposedly the inspiration for the lyrics of the hit British 90s Dance track “Would you go to bed with me?” which reached no.3 in the British charts and was played on the radio for many years.)

[15] Buss D (2003) The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating (Basic Books 2003): at p22.

[16] Alcock J (2001) Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach (Seventh Edition) (Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates 2001): p343.

[17] Van Den Berghe, P Human Family Systems: An Evolutionary View (New York: Elsevier 1979): p60-1.

[18] Schopenhauer, A (1850) On Women.

[19] Aristotle (c. 340 BCE) Politics, Book 2.

[20] Russell, B ‘The Case for Socialism’, in In Praise of Idleness (1935).

[21] Farrell, W (2005) Why Men Earn More (which I have reviewed here).

[22] Thomas, D Not Guilty: The Case in Defence of Modern Man (1993).

[23] Tolstoy L (1900) ‘Need it be So?’; Similarly, in a contemporary context, Warren Farrell makes much the same observation, concluding, “in my own examination of large shopping malls… I found thatseven times as much floor space is devoted to women’s personal items as to men’s” and that “the more valuable floor space… was devoted to women’s items” (Myth of Male Power: p33; p374).

[24] Tobias RB & Marcy M (1918) Women as Sex Vendors: p52.

[25] Daly K, Bordt, RL (1995) Sex effects and sentencing: An analysis of the statistical literature Justice Quarterly 12(1); Spohn, C  and Beichner, D (2000) Is Preferential Treatment of Female Offenders a Thing of the Past? A Multisite Study of Gender, Race, and ImprisonmentCriminal Justice Policy Review, 11(2): 149-184; Shapiro, A (2000) Unequal Before the Law: Men, Women and the Death Penalty American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law 8(2): 427-470; Mustard DB (2001) Racial, Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the US Federal CourtsSocial Science Research Network XLIV:285-314; Streib VL (2001) ‘Sentencing Women to Death‘ Criminal Justice Magazine 16(1); Streib V (2006) Rare and Inconsistent: The Death Penalty for Women, 33 Fordham Urban Law Journal 609; Streib V (2002) Gendering the Death Penalty: Countering Sex Bias in a Masculine Sanctuary, 63 Ohio State Law Journal 433; Curry, TR, Lee G and Rodriguez, SF (2004) Does Victim Gender Increase Sentence Severity? Further Explorations of Gender Dynamics and Sentencing OutcomesCrime & Delinquency 50(3): 319-343; Rodriguez, SF, Curry, TR, & Lee G (2006) Gender Differences in Criminal Sentencing: Do Effects Vary Across Violent, Property,and Drug Offenses? Social Science Quarterly 87(2): 318; Blackwell BS, Holleran D & Finn MA (2008) The Impact of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines on Sex Differences in Sentencing Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 24(4): 399-418; Embry R & Lyons P (2012) Sex-Based Sentencing: Sentencing Discrepancies Between Male and Female Sex OffendersFeminist Criminology 7(2):146–162;   Starr, SB, (2012) Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases. University of Michigan Law and Economics Research Paper, No. 12-018 (August 29, 2012).

[26] Beaulieu & Messner, Race, Gender, and Outcomes in First Degree Murder Cases Justice Quarterly (1999) 3(1): 47-68; Curry, Lee & Rodriguez  Does Victim Gender Increase Sentence Severity? Further Explorations of Gender Dynamics and Sentencing OutcomesCrime & Delinquency, (2004) 50(3):319-343; Williams & Holcomb, The Interactive Effects of Victim Race and Gender on Death Sentence Disparity Findings (2004) Homicide Studies 8(4):350-376; Curry, The conditional effects of victim and offender ethnicity and victim gender on sentences for non-capital cases Punishment & Society (2010) 12(4):438-462.

[27] Curry, Lee & Rodriguez  Does Victim Gender Increase Sentence Severity? Further Explorations of Gender Dynamics and Sentencing OutcomesCrime & Delinquency, (2004) 50(3):319-343.

[28] For example, in The Second Sexism, David Benatar reports “in the United States, fathers gain sole custody of children in about 10% of cases and women in nearly three-quarters” and “in cases of conflicting requests for physical custody, mothers requests for custody were granted twice as often as fathers”, while “in 90% of cases where there was an uncontested request for maternal physical custody of the children the mother was awarded this custody”, whereas this was granted “in only 75% of cases in which there was an uncontested request for paternal physical custody” (p50). Although the Supreme Court declared in 1979 that discrimination against men in custody disputes was unconstitutional, the courts and legislatures easily evaded this proscription by favouring instead the so-called ‘primary caregiver’ (The Privileged Sex: p177), a clear case of indirect discrimination, given that ‘primary caregiver’ is defined in such a way as to be overwhelmingly female.

[29] In the UK, women are still eligible to receive state pensions at an earlier age than men. This is despite the fact that men work for longer, retire later and die earlier than women – such that a strong case can be made that men ought to be eligible to receive their pensions earlier! While the UK outlawed other forms of sex discrimination in the Sexual discrimination Act 1975, the equalization of state pension eligibility, although demanded by European Union Law, has been repeatedly postponed by successive UK governments. According to the current schedule, after 70 years of overt discrimination, the age at which men and women are entitled to state pensions is not due to be finally equalized in 2020.

[30] Discrimination against men by insurance companies remains legal in most jurisdictions (including the USA). However, sex discrimination in the provision of insurance policies was outlawed throughout the European Union at the end of 2012, due to a ruling of the European Court of Justice – though indirect discrimination continues, using occupation as a marker for gender. This was many years after most other forms of sexual discrimination (i.e. those of which women are perceived to be victims) had been outlawed in most member states. For example, in the UK, although most other comparable forms of sex discrimination were outlawed almost forty years ago under the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act, Section 45 of the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act explicitly exempted insurance companies from liability for sex discrimination if they could show that the discriminatory practice they employed was based on actuarial data and was “reasonable”. This exemption was preserved by Section 22 of Part 5 of Schedule 3 of the new Equality Act 2010. As a result, as recently as 2010 insurance provides routinely charged young male drivers double the premiums demanded of young female drivers. This situation was not limited to car insurance. On the contrary, the only circumstances in which insurance policy providers were barred from discriminating on the grounds of sex was where the differences result from the costs associated with pregnancy or to a woman’s having given birth under section 22(3)(d) of Schedule 3 – in other words, the only readily apparent circumstance where insurance providers might be expected to discriminate against women rather than men.

[31] Dubay v. Wells (2004); Danforth v Planned Parenthood 428 U.S. 52 (1976); Planned Parenthood v Casey 505 U.S. 833 (1992) Paton v. Trustees of British Pregnancy Advisory Service Trustees (1978) QB 276; C v S (1988) QB 135.

[32] Whereas Warren Farrell in The Myth of Male Power (reviewed here) purports to identify twelve “‘female-only’ defences” in US criminal law, I am thinking here particularly of the Infanticide Acts of 1922 and 1938 in the UK, which give explicit statutory recognition to one of these.

[33] Lyndon, N (1993) No More Sex War: p123.

[34] Bax, EB, (1913) The Fraud of Feminism (London: Grant Richards Ltd.): at p76.


The Feminist Dogma

The New Orthodoxy

In the last half century, feminist thought has become the received wisdom. Whereas the original feminists saw themselves as radicals and freethinkers, today their views have reached a level of such universal assent that feminism can be regarded as a new orthodoxy and contemporary dogma.[1]

Whereas social theorists, public intellectuals and assorted professional damned fools routinely subject other ideologies, philosophies and political movements to sustained analytical critique, male thinkers generally let feminists off with little more than a patronising and approving pat on the head – thus ironically demonstrating precisely the kind of patronising chivalry that feminists, when they are not benefiting from it, usually purport to oppose!

Neither has there been any significant popular opposition by ordinary men (marches, demonstrations etc.). Instead, as Esther Vilar observed in ‘The Manipulated Man’ [which I have reviewed here]:

From The New York Times to the Christian Science Monitor, from Playboy to Newsweek, from Kissinger to McGovern, everyone was for Women’s Liberation. No marches of men were organized against them; a senator McCarthy oppressing Women’s Liberation was missing, the FBI did not lift a finger against them.”[2]

The battle of the sexes thus became, as Ronald K Henry characterised it, “a war in which only one side showed up”.[3]

Incidentally, this lack of any significant opposition to feminism is, of itself, evidence against the central feminist claim – namely that there exists a conspiracy of men united together to oppress women (i.e. the fabled patriarchy). For if, as feminists contend, such a conspiracy does exist, then surely more men would use their alleged patriarchal power to defend their purported patriarchal privileges by opposing feminism. Yet the backlash widely anticipated by feminists regrettably never seems to materialize.

Thus, as Murray Rothbard observed:

“The lack of published opposition negates one of the major charges of the women’s lib forces: that the society and economy are groaning under a monolithic male ‘sexist’ tyranny. If the men are running the show, how is it that they do not even presume to print or present anyone from the other side? Yet the ‘oppressors’remain strangely silent, which leads one to suspect… that perhaps the‘oppression’ is on the other side.”[4]

Chivalry and the Rise of Feminism

How then did this transformation occur? How did feminism go from an iconoclastic cult on the outer-fringes of left-wing radicalism[5] to the modern orthodoxy regarding the nature of gender relations? And why, in the process, did it inspire so little opposition, especially among those whom it sought to cast in the role of oppressor (i.e. men).

One intriguing explanation for the rise of feminism draws, rather ironically, on Marxist theory. This suggests that, for all its ostensible radicalism, feminism actually promoted the interests of the dominant political and economic elite. On this view, not only did feminism draw attention away from other radical movements that posed more authentic threats to the status quo[6], it also encouraged more married women to enter the labour market, which benefited capitalist employers, by increasing the supply of labour and driving down wages.[7]

Thus, according to Neil Lyndon:

The changes which were taken to be victories of emancipatory spirit among women were all conductive to the development of capitalism… [and] the long march of the left towards the identification of the class which would be the dissolution of all classes had simply resulted in the creation of a larger class of wage slaves required by national and international markets.[8]

On this view, it is significant that the rise of feminism coincided with an economic shift in western economies. Whereas during the early part of the twentieth century western economies were dominated by manufacturing and heavy industry, the latter half of the century witnessed a shift to a post-industrial service economy, with the service sector, for which women workers are arguably better suited, increasingly predominating.

Thus, in accordance with the economic determinism championed by Marxists, a shift in the economic base of society is viewed as precipitating a concomitant change in the dominant ideology of the ruling class.[9]

On this view, the leftist infatuation for feminism notwithstanding, feminists were little more than useful idiots and pawns of their capitalist oppressors.

In turning leftist theory against itself, this explanation is certainly amusing. Moreover, the fact that it is certain to infuriate countless feminists, Marxists, ‘Marxist feminists’, ‘feminist Marxists’ and other assorted professional damned fools is surely a further factor in its favour.

Personally, however, I have little appetite for Marxist conspiracy theories. Moreover, I contend that we have no need to resort them in explaining either the lack of opposition to feminism or its consequential rise to the status of a largely unquestioned dogma.

A far simpler explanation is readily available – namely male chivalry.

Boys learn from an early age that fighting with girls is a no-win situation. If they win, they are bullies who beat up girls; if they lose, they are wimps who are beaten up by girls. Moreover, they are punished much more severely than for equivalent altercations with boys.[10]

Then, with the arrival of puberty, they discover a further reason not to antagonise their female peers – namely, that it might hinder their chances of persuading the latter to have sex with them. Thus, by the time they reach adulthood, men have long ago learnt to avoid conflict with women by deferring to them if at all possible.

Psychological studies confirm that men refrain from behaving aggressively towards women in circumstances where they show no compunctions about doing so towards males.[11] This explains why, notwithstanding the feminist focus on the perceived issue of ‘violence against women’, it is men themselves who represent the vast majority of victims of ‘male violence’ – from violent crime[12], to warfare[13], to pogroms and genocides[14].

The failure of men challenge or oppose feminism can therefore be seen as a reflection of the general male tendency to avoid conflict with women where at all possible. The vast majority of feminists were, after all, women. Opposition to feminism on the part of men thus came to be viewed as the rough moral equivalent of wife beating!

This explains the apparent paradox whereby a substantial proportion of those few individuals who have dared to oppose aspects of the feminist orthodoxy have been, not men, but rather women themselves. Women are, after all, at last partially exempt from the strict cultural taboo that prohibits men from behaving aggressively towards women. Thus, female writers and activists such as Esther Vilar, Christina Hoff Sommers, Camille Paglia, Phillis Schlafly, Catherine HakimErin Pizzey, Cathy Young and Wendy McElroy are able to challenge aspects of the feminist orthodoxy without attracting quite the same level of opprobrium, outrage and censure that would attach to men who embarked on a similar project.

Chivalry also explains why many men, far from merely failing to oppose feminism, actually actively supported the feminist movement. After all, chivalry goes far further than merely prohibiting men from behaving aggressively towards women – it also demands that they be positively protective towards women.

This is why men are more likely to stop and help strangers when the latter are female[15], why, on board the titanic, women and children were allowed aboard the lifeboats first while male passengers went willingly[16] to their deaths[17]; why female offenders are sentenced more leniently than men convicted of the same crimes[18] and why offenders of both sexes are sentenced more severely when they commit offences against women rather than against men[19].

It also explains why discriminatory legislation providing special protections for women long predates the enfranchisement of women[20].

Moreover, the male tendency to behave protectively towards women is never more strongly provoked than when the women in question are perceived as being victimised by males. This is why both sexes perceive domestic abuse as more serious when it involves men abusing women than when it involves women abusing men[21] and why, of all offender-victim dyads, it is men who commit violent offences against women are sentenced most severely of all[22].

It also explains why, despite the overwhelming overrepresentation of men among the victims of actual violence[23] (and their at least equal representation among the victims of domestic violence[24]), it is perceived issue of ‘violence against women’ (and the plight of so-called ‘innocent women and children’ during wartime) that attracts media attention[25], legislative intervention[26] and discriminatory humanitarian relief efforts[27].

Men’s especial propensity to behave protectively towards women when the latter are perceived as being victimised by men therefore explains the peculiar attraction of feminism to many men. Feminism, after all, cast women in the role of victims, downtrodden, oppressed and exploited by male oppressors.

In other words, to the chivalrous male mind, it cast women in the their traditional role as ‘damsels in distress. What then was required if not a contemporary ‘knight in shining armour’ or, in contemporary internet parlance, ‘white knight’ (i.e. male feminist or ‘mangina’) to rescue these latter-day feminist ‘damsels in distress from their evil patriarchal oppressors in a modernized and demented version of the chivalric romances long-ago ridiculed by Cervantes?

Male feminists were, of course, all too eager to play the starring role.

Male feminism is thus a form of what has become known in the internet age as ‘white knighting‘.

Yet the sordid reality, namely, that they represented, not so much heroic knights errant as cowardly collaborators in their own oppression – the modern male equivalent of Uncle Toms and self-hating Jews – was as far removed from their own heroic self-image as chivalric romances were from the brutal reality of medieval warfare.

Moreover, underlying this male chivalry is, of course, a decidedly sexist assumption – namely that feminists themselves (i.e. the female ones), being of ‘the weaker sex’, are therefore incapable of defending themselves and hence require male protection and support – and never more so than when confronted with the mean-spirited verbal assaults of the analytically-superior male minds of Men’s Rights Activists such as Glenn Sacks, Warren Farrell, and Angry Harry.

A case in point is provided by the treatment of Warren Farrell, the formidable father of the modern Men’s Rights Movement. Although Farrell reports that leading feminists, including Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Susan Faludi and Catherine MacKinnon, have refused to debate him[28], one of the few feminists who has deigned to do so is, ironically, a man – namely the feminist-friendly philosopher James Sterba. This so-called ‘debate’ took the form of a book (Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A Debate: which I have reviewed here) co-authored by himself and Farrell[29].

Therefore, far from ‘oppressing’ women and discriminating against women, men are much more inclined to discriminate in their favour, by both inhibiting aggression and, moreover, acting protectively and chivalrously towards them. The central assumption of feminism – namely that men oppress and discriminate against women – could not be more wrong.

Of course, Chivalric codes dictate that men must behave chivalrously towards all women, irrespective of their sexual attractiveness or physical repulsiveness. After all, men are expected to hold open doors for wrinkled old ladies just as much as for nubile pert-breasted eighteen-year-olds – perhaps more so.

Nevertheless, as a confirmed cynic, I suspect that, at some level, the ultimate rationale underlying male support for feminism and other forms of misguided male chivalry and ‘white knighting‘ is the male desire for sex. If we do not give women what they want, the misguided male mind reasons, then perhaps they will not give us what we want.

Male feminism is thus, as Jim Goad memorably put it, ‘a beta-male mating strategy’.

After all, even the knight in shining armour presumably expects – and surely deserves – some reward for his gallant if misguided heroism. However, whether he actually receives his due reward is, of course, entirely at the discretion of the damsel in distress in respect of whom he has been foolish enough to perform his service. Such are the one-sided privileges women insist upon.

“The Modern McCarthyism in our Midst”

However, besides misguided male chivalry, another more obvious reason for the lack of opposition to feminism should not be discounted – namely, the lengths to which feminists have gone to silence it.

After all, at about the same age boys learn not to fight with girls, they also learn that the latter do not fight fair. Lying outside the jurisdiction of the code duello[30] governing duels of honour between men, they compensate for their physical weakness by a greater willingness to kick below the belt, both literally and metaphorically – and they exercise this prerogative as readily in the intellectual sphere as readily as in any other.

In other words, the feminist orthodoxy, like the religious orthodoxies of earlier ages, has readily resorted to the persecution of heretics.

Admittedly, feminists have not yet been permitted to burn heretics at the stake. Indeed, sociologist Steven Goldberg, himself a prominent dissident from the feminist orthodoxy, has been quoted as observing that:

“[These days] all one has to lose by unpopular arguments is contact with people one would not be terribly attracted to anyway”.[31]

However, Goldberg underestimates, not only the psychological trauma of ostracism, but also the methods of persecution to which feminists have been willing and able to resort. Ad hominems, whispering campaigns, and book burnings are all within their armoury as weapons of first resort and, when this fails, physical threats and attacks are not unknown.

For example, Erin Pizzey discovered that not even her impeccable credentials as the founder of the first refuge for so-called ‘battered women’ were enough to protect her from a campaign of intimidation when she observed that the majority of the women who entered her shelter were as “Prone to Violence” as the men from whom they were ostensibly escaping. Instead, she reports how “abusive telephone calls to my home, death threats and bomb scares, became a way of living for me and for my family”, a campaign that culminated with the shooting of her pet dog on Christmas day[32].

A few years later, academic Suzanne Steinmetz also received anonymous phone calls threatening herself and her children and even bomb threat[33] as payback for publishing one of the first papers providing rigorous scientific data to confirm Pizzey’s experience and intuition[34] – namely that acts of domestic violence by women against male partners occur about as frequently as, or even slightly more frequently than, those of men against female partners. Meanwhile, male researchers publishing similar conclusions (the body of research replicating this finding is now so extensive that it has been described as “one of the most emphatic in all of social science[35]) have been the victims of defamatory smear campaigns[36]

These are not isolated examples. Neil Lyndon reports that he was driven from his occupation as a journalist, the subject of personal attacks and even a physical assault, and describes how a “Cambridge history don told her pupils that she would like to see me shot… [and] the president of the Cambridge Union urged her members to burn my writings”[37] – all for publishing some articles and a book (No More Sex War) critical of feminism. Similarly,Esther Vilar, writing a preface to the 1998 edition of The Manipulated Man [which I have reviewed here] reports that, since the first publication of her book in 1971, “violent threats have not ceased to this day”[38].

Other victims of feminist witch-hunts include Camille Paglia, who “receives so many death threats, her answering machine announces that she doesn’t personally open packages sent to her”[39] and leading liberal economist Lawrence Summers, who was famously forced to resign from his position of President of Harvard University for suggesting innate differences in the distribution of cognitive abilities (as well as family commitments) may play some part in explaining the under-representation of women in the mathematically-intensive hard sciences, an eminently reasonable view for which there is strong scientific evidence[40].

Thus, while media pundits, commentators, documentary filmmakers, social theorists, public intellectuals and other assorted professional damned fools loudly decry without fear of reprisals a form of McCarthyism (namely, anti-communism) that ran out of steam over half a century ago, they turn a convenient blind eye to this “Modern McCarthyism in our Midst” for the simple reason that to draw attention to it is in itself to risk incurring its wrath[41].

Apologetics and Appeasement

Another indicator of the power of the feminist lobby to persecute its perceived political opponents is the great pains taken by those who perceive themselves as at risk of such victimisation to evade it. The tried and tested methods seem to be apologetics and appeasement.

For example, popular science writer Steven Pinker is perhaps the best known contemporary champion of the view that sex differences in behaviour and psychology have an innate evolved biological basis. However, aware that this view runs contrary to the prevailing feminist orthodoxy, he takes pains to protect himself from feminist ire by repeatedly insisting, in each successive book that deals with the issue, that this view is in no way incompatible with feminism.

Thus, in How the Mind Works (1998), he insists that “what evolutionary psychology challenges is not the goals of feminism, but parts of the modern orthodoxy about the mind that have been taken up by the intellectual establishment of feminism”[42], ideas which “feminism would lose nothing by giving up[43]; while in The Blank Slate, he emphasises that “to attack a particular feminist proposal is not to attack feminism in general”, claims that his views “don’t in the least” “go against feminism in general[44], and even declares “the ongoing liberation of women after millennia of oppression is one of the great moral achievements of our species[45].

Indeed, a curious yet recurrent feature of works ostensibly attacking feminism – or, at least, those works that are themselves attacked by feminists for having allegedly attacked feminism – is that the works themselves almost invariably disclaim any pretensions to doing any such thing[46]. On the contrary, the authors often do their best, often with faintly embarrassing unctuousness, to loudly and proudly proclaim their own feminist credentials.

For example, legal scholar Neil Boyd, in the preface to Big Sister: How Extreme Feminism Has Betrayed The Fight For Sexual Equality, insists “for the past twenty-five years I have been an advocate of causes I think of as feminist[47]. Similarly, leading family violence researcher Murray Straus, like Steinmetz hounded by the feminist lobby[48] for publishing research confirming that men are as often the victims of domestic violence by female partners as the converse, insists, “I consider myself a feminist”[49].

Similarly,, Christina Hoff Sommers identifies as an ‘equity feminist’[50], Wendy McElroy as an ‘individualist feminist’, while Camille Paglia calls herself a ‘dissident feminist’.

Even Men’s Rights Activists are not above appeasing feminist sensibilities with hollow disclaimers. On the contrary, they – or at least those few among their number who have been granted even a modicum of access to the mainstream media – frequently pay obedient hen-pecked homage to the same inviolable taboo.

For example, Warren Farrell, author of the seminal men’s rights classic, The Myth of Male Power (which I have reviewed here) begins this very work by talking of “cherishing feminism’s baby[51] and continues to make play out of his background as a leading early male supporter of feminism[52]. Even formerly prominent men’s rights activist, blogger, media commentator and columnist Glenn Sacks concedes, feminism, buried underneath its man-hating and lies, still has a lot of positive things to offer both men and women[53].

When even the best known ostensible opponents of feminism loudly and proudly protest their emphatic support for feminism and feminist ideals, this is surely a measure of the pervasive influence of feminism on contemporary thought.

Yet if the intention behind issuing these disclaimers is to appease the feminist lobby, then it must be concluded they are singularly ineffective.

For example, Murray Straus’s self-declared feminism did nothing to protect him from a feminist-orchestrated smear campaign, accusing him of being guilty of the very crime the incidence of which he played such a prominent role in uncovering[54]; and nor has Warren Farrell’s much-touted background as a prominent early male feminist and continued praise for feminist ideals either protected him from his own feminist-orchestrated smear campaign[55] or placated the angry crowds of feminist anti-free-speech activists who picket his speaking engagements at universities to prevent people hearing his views[56].

Such disclaimers do, however, have a more sinister effect. In declaring their commitment to feminism these writers inadvertently pay homage to, and thereby reinforce, the inviolable and sacrosanct nature of core feminist dogma.

Conservative Chivalry

Even what little opposition to feminism does exist, or at least that which succeeds in penetrating the mainstream media and publishing industry to any degree whatsoever, is decidedly neutered in form. I have already mentioned the irony that many of the most prominent critics of the feminist orthodoxy are themselves female. Of itself, this should not be held against them. However, a concomitant characteristic of such criticism is that, not only is opposition to feminism more often voiced by women, it is also, like the feminism it purports to critique, primarily concerned with women and with their interests.

Thus, if those writers castigated by feminists as ‘anti-feminists’ usually defend themselves against this charge by claiming to be, in fact, ‘feminists’ themselves, then those few commentators who do dare to openly declare themselves ‘anti-feminists’ often turn out, on closer inspection, to share so many values and assumptions with their ostensible feminist opponents that it would almost be accurate to them as ‘feminists’ themselves in all but name.

For example, Phillis Schlafly, probably the most prominent contemporary American activist to openly identify as ‘anti-feminist’, opposed the Equal Rights Amendment, not because of any adverse impact it might have had on men, but rather on the grounds that it would harm women by denying them their traditional legal privileges, notably in spheres of matrimonial law, child custody and immunity from the draft[57]. Similarly, Christina Hoff Sommers, gave Who Stole Feminism, her devastating debunking of the modern feminist movement, the subtitle ‘How Women Betrayed Women’, implying that the only, or at least the primary, victims of modern feminism have been women themselves[58].

Thus, even these ostensible critics of feminism share with their feminist adversaries the core feminist assumption that policies should be judged, not according to whether they are good or bad for humankind as a whole, but rather primarily according to the criterion of whether they advance the interests of women and of women alone. The interests of men are either ignored or, at best, relegated to secondary importance.

An example is provided by the debate regarding pornography. On the one hand, the opponents of pornography (dominated by an unholy alliance of radical feminists and religious fundamentalists) typically focus on the supposed harmful effects on women, claiming that pornography both exploits the women involved in its production (even though they are paid very well – and much more than the more talented male performers whom they work alongside) and harms women more generally by influencing male attitudes towards women (although the evidence suggests otherwise[59]).

On the other hand, defenders of pornography also do so in the name of feminism and ‘women’s rights[60] – namely the ostensible ‘right’ of women to produce, profit from and occasionally consume pornography. Meanwhile, any ‘rights’ men might be presumptuous enough to lay claim to – say, the right to consume and enjoy pornography and the sexual pleasure with which it provides them – go completely unacknowledged.

Thus, the implicit underlying assumption of both feminists and the conservatives who purport to critique them – namely that the rights and interests of women trump those men – stands unchallenged. As Warren Farrell observed in  The Myth of Male Power (which I have reviewed here), male chauvinism and feminism have one thing in common – both are concerned with protecting women[61].

Discrimination and Disadvantage

Even those authors who do draw attention to discrimination against men typically emphasise its secondary importance as compared to discrimination against women. For example, discrimination against men is often referred to as ‘reverse discrimination’ – a phrase that suggests this is the reverse of the usual direction of discrimination.

Worse still, discrimination against men is sometimes referred to as ‘positive discrimination’ or ‘affirmative action’, implying that, unlike discrimination of which women are the victims, there is something ‘positive’ or even desirable about discriminating against men.

Philosopher’s David Benetar’s phrase, ‘The Second Sexism’, which he adopts as the title of his recent book on anti-male discrimination, is little better. By referring to discrimination against men as the second sexism, he implicitly concedes that the primary sexism is that against women, and that discrimination against men is only of secondary importance.

Yet, as I shall show in my forthcoming posts, “Why I am not a Feminist” [now available here] and “Why Feminism is False” (both due to be posted shortly), each of these assumptions is entirely false. In reality, discrimination against men is far more substantial and serious than that against women. Moreover, it is by no means a recent phenomenon. Instead, it is likely that men have always been the primary victims of discrimination, both today and throughout history.

Even the few heterodox writers courageous enough to buck this trend by suggesting that women may in fact be, not oppressed by men, but rather, on average, better off than men, or even privileged, have usually ducked from the full implications of this insight.

For example, military historian Martin Van Creveld suggests that, far from being oppressed, “women are in fact the privileged sex[62], a phrase which he provocatively adopts as the title of the excellent work in which this claim is made. However, on the very next page, Van Creveld qualifies his assertion by insisting “this phrase is not to deny that nature, by giving women weaker physiques and lactation, has in some ways made their lot harder than that of men… [nor] that their lives are a rose garden[63] and then, hedging his bets, instead insists that his claim is only that “for every disadvantage under which women labor, they enjoy a privilege that is equally important to their lives if not more so”[64]. Thus, far from asserting that women are ‘The Privileged Sex’, he is reduced to asserting only that men are no more privileged than are women.

Similarly, Steve Moxon observes that, whereas the majority of men “make up the biggest disadvantaged sub-group in every society… women by contrast are universally and perennially privileged: over-privileged[65]. However, in the very next paragraph, he insists, “you won’t find me adding men to the ever expanding list of ‘victims’”, and instead proposes “tearing up the entire list and throwing it away[66].

Likewise, Kingsley Browne, in his excellent Biology at Work: Rethinking Sexual Equality [which I have reviewed here], having demonstrated that the gender pay-gap is a function of, not discrimination, but rather the greater sacrifices men endure in return for higher pay, and how women have greater choices available to them compared to men, insists nevertheless “this is not to suggest that the mantle of victimhood should be lifted from women and conferred on men”, but rather “what needs to be questioned is the notion that either sex is a victim[67].

‘New Media’ and the Fall of the Feminist Dogma

From the preceding discussion, it may well be assumed that intellectual and political hegemony of what I have referred to as ‘the Feminist Dogma’ is, at least in the West, largely unchallenged. To be sure, a few heretics have dared to challenge some aspects of feminist orthodoxy. However, as we have seen, they have been subjected to relentless campaigns of censure, persecution and intimidation, and, as a form of self-defence have almost invariably insisted that their problem is not with feminism itself, but only with particular feminist theories or ideological excesses.

Moreover, even those writers who have purported to reject feminism in its totality (e.g.Phillis Schlafly) have invariably done so, not in the name of men, but rather in the name of women themselves. They have therefore shared so many underlying assumptions with the feminists whom they purport to critique – in particular the assumption that women’s rights and interests always trump those of men – that it would almost be accurate to characterise them as feminists, or at least crypto-feminists, themselves.

As recently as the 1990s, this picture would not represent an inaccurate depiction of the then-current state of play regarding views on gender relations in the West. However, this can now no longer be said to be the case.

As readers will already no doubt be aware, in the last fifteen or so years the rise of the internet has broken the monolithic mainstream media monopoly on political commentary and the dissemination of information. In addition to breaking this monopoly, such individuals have also shattered the politically-correct consensus, formerly enforced by editors, publishers and other guardians of what is regarded as the limits of acceptable debate.

Indeed, it is precisely those internet commentators whose views diverge from those already represented in the mainstream media who have been among the most successful. Whereas those bloggers whose views merely echo the politically-correct orthodoxy, in doing so, offer little if anything that is not already available in the mainstream media, politically-incorrect commentators are providing a viewpoint unavailable elsewhere. They therefore tap into an unexploited gap in the media market that mainstream publishers and publications, their hands tied by the censorious demands of political correctness, are unable, or at least unwilling, to occupy.

Whereas the vast majority of self-appointed internet commentators inevitably languish in obscurity, many of these heterodox thinkers have successfully penetrated the media marketplace, carving a unique niche for themselves in the marketplace of ideas. Slowly but surely, political correctness, the “Modern Mccarthyism in our Midst”, is being rendered unenforceable.

Inevitably, some of the most insightful of these taboo-breaking contemporary heretics write with regard to issues of sexual politics from what might be called a ‘masculinist’, or ‘men’s rights’ perspective. Notable among them are figures such as Glenn Sacks, Angry HarrySteve Moxon, Ally Fogg and Rich Zubaty.

Organizations such as the National Coalition For Men (NCFM) also usefully exploit the opportunities provided by New Media by maintaining active websites and online publications. These together provide something notably absent from mainstream media perspectives on gender relations, be they liberal, conservative, communist or socialist – namely a male perspective or ‘A Voice for Men’ (which is, incidentally, the name of another prominent and excellent website providing exactly that).

The open-access academic journal New Male Studies also plays a valuable role; as does the excellent discussion available at Feminist Critics.

Other excellent sites focus on more specific issues that run counter to feminist orthodoxy (e.g. Community of the Wrongly Accused, formerly the False Rape Society) or deal with more general issues (e.g. the Human Stupidity website, which focuses on politically correct taboos more generally), but often touch on issues of men’s rights. This list is not, of course, exhaustive.

However, although I have referred in the title to this section to ‘The Fall of Feminist Dogma’, this is not to say that the Feminist Dogma is now a mere thing of history, nor even that its collapse is imminent. On the contrary, the grip of feminism on the mainstream media remains as powerful as ever. All that has occurred is that the hold of the mainstream media itself over the public’s access to information and political commentary has itself been somewhat weakened.

Even the significance of this change should not be exaggerated. Even today, for the vast majority of people – namely those 90% of the population unable or unwilling to think for themselves or ‘swim against the current’ and hence lacking the motivation to seek out alternative viewpoints – the mainstream media remains by far the most important source of news, information and political opinion. Just because people now have greater opportunity to seek out alternative perspectives on and alternative sources of information about current affairs does not necessarily mean that they have an inclination to do so[68].

Therefore, I have thus far focussed on mainstream media commentators, activists and authors, not because I am a Luddite or am unaware of the burgeoning ‘manosphere’ – but rather because, even today, mainstream media remains important as the medium though which most people’s understanding of politics and current affairs is filtered.

After all, the unique feature of the internet (the precise feature that has enabled it to successfully shatter the politically correct orthodoxy of the mainstream media) is, after all, that anyone is free to publish anything – howsoever outrageous, heretical, iconoclastic, polemical, defamatory or just plain badly-written – without first having to navigate the filtering process previously presided over by editors and publishers and other custodians and guardians of what qualifies as the boundaries of ‘acceptable thought[69].

This feature represents both an advantage and a disadvantage of internet-based commentary. On the one hand, it provides a sphere of genuine freedom of speech increasingly rare in an era dominated by the contemporary taboos of that Modern McCarthyism in our Midst, namely political correctness. On the other, it lacks any mechanism of quality control.

While publishers and editors are, sure enough, responsible in large part for enforcing the contemporary censorship that has prevented open debate on feminism and other issues, they have also provided some (admittedly often barely apparent) degree of quality control largely absent in the burgeoning blogosphere. In short, whereas those published in the mainstream media are almost automatically conferred a readership as of right by virtue of the outlet provided to them, internet commentators have to fight for to be heard in a ruthless process of natural selection amongst literally millions of others.

As a consequence, in addition to insightful heterodox writers denied a voice in the mainstream media because of the heretical nature of their views, the internet also provides an outlet for all manner of paranoid conspiracy theorists, cranks and mentally-ill extremists with delusions of intellectual coherence.

Compared other hobbies to which such maladjusted malcontents are typically drawn (e.g. serial killing) blogging is, to be sure, is a comparatively harmless outlet. It does, however, create a problem both for the discerning reader and the aspiring writer – namely, how is worthwhile reading material to be detected amid the dross and deafening background noise when any lunatic with an internet connection, a modicum of basic literacy and an excess of time on their hands is entitled inflict their streams of consciousness upon the populace.

It is into this world that I proudly plunge myself in launching ‘Men’s Rights Review – MRR’. This publication aims to provide something lacking among both mainstream media and New Media – namely, a scholarly yet radical malculist perspective on gender relations, sex discrimination and the culture of misandry, fully referenced and with all claims and observations, wherever possible, comprehensively sourced, offering an unapologetically male perspective on society, politics and current affairs.

Thank you for taking the time to seek out and read ‘Men’s Rights Review’. I hope you will find it an original and enlightening read. Please check regularly for new posts.



[1] Of course, many modern feminists continue to cling to their status as radicals. To buttress this claim, they are forced, with each new feminist-sponsored reform that receives legislative and governmental backing, to invent new demands, each increasingly preposterous as compared to what has gone before it (e.g. integrating the armed services, undermining and subverting what remains of the civil liberties of defendants in rape trials). Not only is preposterousness forced upon them by the fact that their less patently unreasonable demands have already long previously been met, but the very preposterousness itself, I suspect, commends the proposals to their feminist framers precisely because it makes their implementation by government less probable and hence allows them both (1) to continue to claim that women are still oppressed because their demands have not been met and (2) to cling on to their treasured status as radicals – all the while avoiding the inconvenient persecution to which genuine radicals – not least, as we will see, the opponents of feminism – are typically subject.

[2] The Manipulated Man [which I have reviewed here]: p150.

[3] Quoted in Farrell, The Myth of Male Power (which I have reviewed here): p9.

[4] Against Women’s Lib by Murray Rothbard (originally published as ‘The Great Women’s Liberation Issue: Setting It Straight’ in The Individualist, May 1970). Of course, Rothbard’s essay, along with Vilar’s polemic, themselves represented all-too-rare exceptions to the general rule whereby opposition to feminism was non-existent.

[5]  Lest anyone doubt the scale of the transformation, one example suffices to illustrate marginal status of early twentieth-century feminism, even among radicals. In the thirties, socialist and radical George Orwell was able to deplore the association of feminism with socialism and communism as liable to discredit the latter, writing that “one sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England [emphasis added]” (Road to Wigan Pier). These days, of course, the open embrace of feminism across the political spectrum means that it is more likely that feminism would be discredited by any residual association it might still be perceived to have with socialism, let alone with communism, rather than the converse.

[6] This suggestion was first made by pioneering Marxist-Masculist Ernest Belfort Bax who claimed as early as 1913 that “the Anti-man agitation forms a capital red herring for drawing the popular scent off class opposition by substituting sex antagonism in its place” (The Fraud of Feminism: p76).

[7] The effect on wages was especially pronounced because these new female employees could afford to work for less, undercutting their male competitors, because, unlike the latter, they were under no obligation provide for a wife and children in addition to themselves, but rather typically supplemented their own income with a portion of that of their husband. This has led author, activist and artist Rich Zubaty to controversially contend “feminism was the biggest scab labor movement in history“.

[8] No More Sex War: p123.

[9] No More Sex War: p123-4. This interpretation is also compatible with columnist Rod Liddle’s thesis that political correctness as a whole can be viewed in Marxist terms as promoting the interests of the ruling class (see The Politics of Pleasantville Spectator, Jan 21 2006). Liddle himself focuses primarily on the issue of immigration, which he argues similarly provides cheap labour, benefiting wealthy employers and consumers, but undercutting the indigenous proletariat and obligin them to reside in ethnically-divided and conflictual communities. This interpretation can easily be extended to feminism, given that women also increased the supply of labour, driving down wages and also represented cheap labour, able to undercut men (see note [7] above).

[10] This pattern continues into adulthood, where violent offenders are sentenced more severely when they target female victims: see Race, Gender, and Outcomes in First Degree Murder Cases by Beaulieu & Messner (1999) 3(1): 47-68; The conditional effects of victim and offender ethnicity and victim gender onsentences for non-capital cases by CurryPunishment & Society (2010) 12(4):438-462; Does Victim Gender Increase Sentence Severity? Further Explorations of Gender Dynamics and Sentencing Outcomes, Crime & Delinquency, by Curry, Lee & Rodriguez (2004) 50(3):319-343; The Interactive Effects of Victim Race and Gender on Death Sentence Disparity Findings by Williams & Holcomb (2004)Homicide Studies 8(4):350-376.

[11] For example, in the laboratory, male subjects consistently refrain from inflicting electric shocks on female subjects in circumstances where they show no compunctions about similarly punishing males (see Felson, RB 2000 The Normative Protection of Women from Violence Sociological Forum 15(1): 91-116).

[12] In the UK, to take the form of violent crime least likely to go unreported or undetected, namely homicide, males were more than twice as likely to be the victims of homicide as were women, a pattern that has remained consistent over many years (see Statistical Bulletin: Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2011/12 (Office of National Statistics, February 2013): p26). The pattern is similar in other jurisdictions. For example, in the USA, between 1980 and 2008, men were three times as likely to be the victim of homicide as were women (Cooper A & Smith EL (2011) Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2011, NCJ 236018: at p3).

[13] According to data cited by Joshua Goldstein men represent 58% of fatalities from war across the world, despite the fact that, once children are factored in, adult men are only a small minority of the world population (War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa: p400). More dramatically, Goldstein reports that of 17,000 people treated by the International Committee of the Red Cross from 1991 until the end of the century, only 35% were women, children under 16 or men over 50 even though together these groups comprise the vast majority of the population (Ibid.).

[14] Adam Jones (2000) ‘Gendercide and Genocide’ Journal of Genocide Research 2:2:185-211.

[15] Eagly, Alice H. & Crowley, Maureen (1986) Gender and Helping Behavior. A Meta-Analytic Review of the Social Psychological Literature, Psychological Bulletin 100(3):283-308. (Men are also more likely to stop and help than are women.)

[16] In fact, many men may have been less than willing. Instead they may have been coerced at gunpoint by the ship’s crew. However, given that the crew-members in question were themselves male, this itself represents a form of male chivalry.

[17] Whereas 80% of men on board the titanic died, only 26% of women suffered the same fate. Although much is made of the higher rates of survival for men in first class accommodation, in reality even a woman from the lowest class of accommodation (steerage class situated deep in the hull of the ship far from the lifeboats) had a higher rate of survival than men travelling first-class (for data, see:; for commentary see:

[18] Blackwell BS, Holleran D & Finn MA (2008) The Impact of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines on Sex Differences in Sentencing Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 24(4): 399-418; Embry R & Lyons P (2012) Sex-Based Sentencing: Sentencing Discrepancies Between Male and Female Sex Offenders, Feminist Criminology 7(2):146–162; Spohn, C  and Beichner, D (2000) Is Preferential Treatment of Female Offenders a Thing of the Past? A Multisite Study of Gender, Race, and Imprisonment, Criminal Justice Policy Review, 11(2): 149-184; Curry, TR, Lee G and Rodriguez, SF (2004) Does Victim Gender Increase Sentence Severity? Further Explorations of Gender Dynamics and Sentencing Outcomes, Crime & Delinquency 50(3): 319-343; Rodriguez, SF, Curry, TR, & Lee G (2006) GenderDifferences in Criminal Sentencing: Do Effects Vary Across Violent, Property,and Drug Offenses? Social Science Quarterly 87(2): 318; Mustard DB (2001) Racial, Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the US Federal Courts, Social Science Research Network XLIV:285-314; Daly K, Bordt, RL (1995) Sex effects and sentencing: An analysis of the statistical literature Justice Quarterly12(1); Starr, SB, (2012) Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases. University of Michigan Law and Economics Research Paper, No. 12-018 (August 29, 2012); Streib VL (2001) ‘Sentencing Women to DeathCriminal Justice Magazine16(1); Streib V (2006) Rare and Inconsistent: The Death Penalty for Women, 33 Fordham Urban Law Journal 609; Streib V (2002) Gendering the Death Penalty: Countering Sex Bias in a Masculine Sanctuary, 63 Ohio State Law Journal 433; Shapiro, A (2000) Unequal Before the Law: Men, Women and the Death Penalty American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law 8(2): 427-470. In addition there is also evidence that police officers (also predominantly male) similarly discriminate in favour of female offenders. For example, according to a study cited by Cathy Young (Ceasefire: Why men and women must join forces to achieve true equality (New York: the Free Press 1999) at p37), when the speed of vehicles is measured by the subjective assessment of individual police officers, men are given 250% more speeding tickets than women, but when speed is measured objectively by radar this shrinks to only 40% more. Consistent with this, the introduction of speed cameras in the UK was associated with an increase of 24% in the number of women charged with speeding offences but a decrease of 14% in the numbers of men charged with the same offences (see Steven Morris, Speed cameras blamed for rise in number of women fined, Guardian Friday 18 November 2005). More direct evidence is provided by a study conducted by Brian Rowe which found that male police officers (who, of course, constitute the vast majority of the police force) were less likely to issue female drivers with tickets for violations than were female officers, despite the fact that male officers were in general more willing to issue tickets for more minor violations: Rowe, B. (2008). Gender Bias in the Enforcement of Traffic Laws: Evidence based on a new empirical test American Law & Economics Association Annual Meeting Paper 3.

[19] Race, Gender, and Outcomes in First Degree Murder Cases by Beaulieu & Messner (1999) 3(1): 47-68; The conditional effects of victim and offender ethnicity and victim gender onsentences for non-capital cases by Curry Punishment & Society (2010) 12(4):438-462; Does Victim Gender Increase Sentence Severity? Further Explorations of Gender Dynamics and Sentencing Outcomes, Crime & Delinquency, by Curry, Lee & Rodriguez (2004) 50(3):319-343; The Interactive Effects of Victim Race and Gender on Death Sentence Disparity Findings by Williams & Holcomb (2004) Homicide Studies8(4):350-376.

[20] For example, in the UK, the Whipping of Female Offenders Abolition Act which outlawed the flogging of female offenders as early as 1820 – even though this remained a sanctioned penalty for male offenders (including boys as young as seven!) until well into the Twentieth Century (see entry from 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica on corporal punishment) and was not finally abolished for all men until 1948. Similarly, the 1842 Mines and Collieries Act forbade the employment of women underground in mines yet permitted the employment in this capacity of boys as young as ten. The forcible conscription of men for military service, on the other hand, dates from ancient times and had become universal for young men throughout most of Europe by the end of time of the First World War.

[21] Arias, I., & Johnson, P. (1989). Evaluations of Physical Aggression Among Intimate Dyads. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 4, 298−307; Harris, M.B. (1991) Effects of Sex of Aggressor, Sex of Target, and Relationship on Evaluations of Physical Aggression Journal of Interpersonal Violence 6(2)174186; Greenblat, C. S. (1983). ‘A hit is a hit is a hit. Or is it? Approval and tolerance of the use of physical force by spouses’. In D. Finkelhor, R. J. Gelles, G. T. Hotaling, & M. A. Straus (Eds.), The dark side of families (pp. 235-260). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage; Feather NT (1996) Domestic Violence, Gender and Perceptions of Justice Sex Roles 35(7): 507-519; Felson RB (2009) When a man hits a woman: Moral evaluations and reporting violence to police Aggressive Behavior 35(6): 477-488.

[22] Does Victim Gender Increase Sentence Severity? Further Explorations of Gender Dynamics and Sentencing Outcomes Crime & Delinquency, by Curry, Lee & Rodriguez (2004) 50(3):319-343.

[23] See Note [12], [13] and [14] above.

[24] For a regularly updated database of the countless studies replicating this finding see Fiebert, M.S. References examining assaults by women on their spouses or male partners:an annotated bibliography (an earlier version was published in Sexuality and Culture (2010) 14 (1), 49-91); see also Domestic Violence: The 12 Things You Aren’t Supposed to Know by Thomas James.

[25] For example, a search of the archives of the Guardian newspaper for the phrase”violence against women” produced 30,900 results, almost a hundred times as many as the phrase “violence against men”, which managed just 330 hits. Lest any one assume that this a bias restricted to the feminist-invested political left, an identical search conducted in the archives of another UK newspaper, ostensibly from the opposite end of the political spectrum, The Telegraph found that, whereas the phrase the phrase “violence against men” produced just eighteen articles, the phrase “violence against women” produced over five hundred. Neither is the problem restricted to the UK. The New York Times produced 1,824 hits for “violence against women”, whereas for “violence against men” there were only 19 hits. New Media does little better. A google search for the exact phrase “violence against women” produced 14,200,000 hits, whereas “violence against men” managed 268,000. A more in-depth analysis of anti-male bias in Canada’s ‘newspaper of record’ is provided by academic Adam Jones: Jones, A. (1992) The Globe and Males: The Other Side of Gender Bias in Canada’s National Newspaper (Edmonton: Gender Issues Education Foundation, 1992).

[26] The 1994 Violence Against Women Act in the US a recent and familiar example. However, it is far from the first. In Victorian Britain, the Prevention and Punishment of Aggravated Assaults on Women Act of 1853 and the Wife Beaters Act of 1882, the latter of which, despite being enacted in relatively recent times, prescribed draconian penalties for those accused under it, including whipping and the pillory (‘Crime and Punishment in England: An Introductory History’, Briggs et al: p116 – penalties that had already been banned for female offenders (irrespective of the nature of their crime) fully fifty years before. This incidentally belies the popular feminist her-story to the effect that domestic violence against women was widely ignored, or even condoned, until recent times. In fact, only domestic violence of which men were the victims went unpunished – or rather male victims were perversely punished (see George, M.J. 1994 Riding the donkey backwards: Men as the unacceptable victims of marital violence The Journal of Men’s Studies, 3(2) 137-159; George, M.J. 2002 Skimmington Revisited The Journal of Men’s Studies, 10(1), 111-136).

[27] Carpenter RC  (2003) ‘Women and Children First’: Gender, Norms, and Humanitarian Evacuation in the Balkans:1991-95 International Organization 57(4): 661-694.

[28] Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say: p227.

[29] However, even here, the format of the ‘debate’ was so one-sided as barely to warrant the description, with Farrell denied any chance to respond to Sterba’s portion of the book. For a comprehensive rejoinder to Sterba’s portion of the book redressing this imbalance, see my review – Yes, Feminism Does Discriminate Against Men… And, Yes, The Book’s Format Does Discriminate Against Warren Farrell.

[30] According to Esther Vilar “the male sense of honour… is a system invented by women who loudly exempt themselves from it” (The Manipulated Man which I have reviewed here: p60).

[31] Fads and Fallacies in the Social Sciences: p222.

[32] See her article, Who’s Failing the Family: The Scotsman 30.3.99.

[33] See Who Stole Feminism?: p200; When She Was Bad: p121; Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say: p142. Note that, whereas Hoff Sommers, Patricia Pearson and Warren Farrell, in the three works cited, refer only to a bomb threat issued to a conference where Steinmetz was due to speak, only journalist Carey Roberts makes the more dramatic assertion that Steinmetz received a bomb threat at her daughter’s wedding, a claim for which I have been unable to find independent verification.

[34] Steinmetz, SK. (1977-8) Battered Husband Syndrome Victimology 2: 499.

[35] Quotation from The Woman Racket at p145; for a regularly updated database of studies replicating this finding seeFiebert, M.S. References examining assaults by women on their spouses or male partners: an annotated bibliography (an earlier version was published in Sexuality and Culture (2010) 14 (1), 49-91); see also Domestic Violence: The 12 Things You Aren’t Supposed to Know by Thomas James.

[36] Christina Hoff Sommers (in Who Stole Feminism?: p200) writes:

In 1992, a rumor was circulated that Murray Straus [a prominent researcher in this field] had beaten his wife and sexually harassed his students. Straus fought back as best he could and in one instance was able to elicit a written apology from a domestic violence activist. Richard Gelles [another prominent researcher in this field and sometime collaborator of Straus] claims that whenever male researchers question exaggerated findings on domestic battery, it is never long before the rumors begin circulating that he is himself a batterer.”

See also: When She Was Bad: p121.

[37] See Lyndon’s piece Return of the Heretic: Sunday Times 03.12.00.

[38]  The Manipulated Man (1998): p8.

[39] See Farrell, Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say: p217.

[40] See Brown, Kingsley (2005) Women in Science: Biological Factors Should Not be Ignored Cardozo Women’s Law Journal 11(3): 509-528. Temperamental factors, also probably innate, are also central to understanding occupational segregation, the pay-gap and the so-called ‘glass ceiling’ – in particular, the greater female attachment to infant offspring (a mammalian universal) and the greater status-orientation of males. (For more comprehensive discussions of the factors underlying occupational segregation: see Biology at Work: Rethinking Sex Equality [which I have reviewed here] by Kingsley Browne; and Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap [which I have reviewed here] by Warren Farrell.)

[41]  Yet, in contrast, a veritable media firestorm recently resulted only when, for once, a few isolated individuals turned the tables on the feminist bully-girls and provided them with a rare taste of their own medicine. In contrast, hate-mail is a fact of life for MRAs but never attracts the attention of the mainstream media, survey data indicates that men are more likely to be threatened in online forums etc.

[42] How the Mind Works: p492.

[43] How the Mind Works: p493.

[44] The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature: p341.

[45] The Blank Slate: p337.

[46] This is again a parallel with earlier religious dogmas. Early atheists, or probable and suspected atheists, like Thomas Hobbes and David Hume took the precaution of never explicitly identifying themselves as such, or even, in the case of Hobbes, explicitly denying it in order to avoid persecution.

[47] Big Sister: How Extreme Feminism Has Betrayed The Fight For Sexual Equality: at vi.

[48] See note [36] above.

[49] ‘The Conflict Tactics Scales and its Critics’ (pp49-73) In Straus and Gelles Physical Violence in American Families (New Brunswick: Transation 2009): at p72(n1).

[50] Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Betrayed Women.

[51] The Myth of Male Power (which I have reviewed here): p6; Farrell also talks of “the legitimate issues of the women’s movement” (Ibid.), claiming that society is both patriarchal and matriarchal, both male and female dominated” (p10) and that both sexes made themselves slaves to the other sex in different ways” and “neither sex can accurately be called oppressed” (p30), professing to be “in favour of neither a women’s movement or a men’s movement but [rather] a gender transition movement” (p10).

[52] For example, his book’s blurbs frequently tout his dubious distinction as being the only man in the US to be elected three times to the Board of Directors of the feminist National Organization for Women in New York City.

[53] See

[54] See note [36] above.

[55] Ironically, the main smear directed at Farrell, not only relates in no way to his more recent championing of men’s rights, but actually concerns comments he allegedly made regarding incest (he claims to have been misquoted) during an interview conducted over thirty years ago – at which time he was in fact a leading male feminist! Therefore, if anyone is guilty by association with the views purportedly expressed by Farrell, it would appear to be the feminists themselves, who at that time continued to associate with him and, in many cases, champion his work!

[56] For example, a talk scheduled due to be presented by Farrell at the University of Toronto on November 16 2012 was disrupted by feminist protesters, a video of whom is available on Youtube that I have also linked to in the text.

[57] See Phyllis Schlafly, “What’s Wrong with ‘Equal Rights’ for Women?” (1972); see her essays in the collection Feminist Fantasies.

[58] Similarly, some critics of so-called ‘affirmative action’ oppose this practice, not on the obvious grounds that it is manifestly unfair to white males against whom it systematically discriminates, but rather because, by implying that they are unable to make the grade without assistance, it is supposedly ‘patronising’ to its intended beneficiaries and leaves a cloud of suspicion over their qualifications and accomplishments. Similarly, paid maternity leave for new mothers is opposed, not because it is reserved for women and therefore discriminatory against male employees, nor even because it imposes an unfair burden on employers and on the economy as a whole, but rather because it creates a (further) rational economic incentive for employers to evade this burden by discriminating against women in choosing whom to hire in the first place. This tendency to focus on the adverse impact on women of what is plainly discrimination against men was taken to its perverse nadir by Hillary Clinton, who, in her address to the ‘First Ladies’ Conference on Domestic Violence’ (an ironic venue for her to address given her own alleged history of spousal abuse),  claimed:

“Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat.”

On this view, the men who lose, not merely their loved ones and meal tickets, but their very lives, are presumably relegated to the secondary victims, if that.

[59] See Diamond, M. 2009 Pornography, Public Acceptance and Sex Related Crime: A Review International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 32: 304-314

[60] See, for example, Wendy McElroy’s XXX: A Woman’s Right to Pornography.

[61]  The Myth of Male Power (which I have reviewed here): p295.

[62]  The Privileged Sex: at xiv.

[63]  The Privileged Sex: at iv.

[64] The Privileged Sex: at iv.

[65] The Woman Racket: p2.

[66] The Woman Racket: p2.

[67] Biology at Work: Rethinking Sexual Equality: p139.

[68] After all, if vast swathes of the populace were indeed inclined to seek out non-mainstream viewpoints, then, even before the development of the internet, entrepreneurs would have capitalized on this demand by establishing publications catering to this demand and the viewpoint in question, and the media catering to it, would not have remained non-mainstream very long.

[69] This lack of both censorship and quality control also characterises the self-publishing industry and of vanity presses, although works published in this way are less easily obtainable.