False allegations of sexual assault & rape — An old tradition

The following 1896 commentary details false allegations of sexual assault and rape, and the reasons women manufactured them, that were commonplace 120 years ago when the below article was written by E. Belfort Bax.


The necessity for careful inquiries into the character and antecedents of witnesses is nowhere so great as in cases of offences against women and girls. Charges so easy to make, so difficult to refute, ought to be regarded with the greatest suspicion, and not be accepted with ready credulity. The bona fides of all witnesses, the character of the accuser ought to he carefully scrutinised. To the undefended prisoner this is impossible. And even if the prisoner is defended, sentimental juries are deaf. Even where the character of the accuser is good, she may very well happen to be a woman of highly hysterical temperament.

The eminent French scientist, M. Brouardel, says of this type of woman: “She is essentially a liar, that is the true criterion of the hysterical woman. Such a one has been known to keep at bay for several years law courts, doctors, her own family, with a rampart built of lies upon lies.” Accusations of sexual offences are readily forced by such women, and unless the juries can be convinced of the irresponsible character of their statements, the liberty and honour of the most innocent man may be destroyed.

That distinguished judge, the late Baron Huddleston, in his charge to the jury on one occasion, referring to the Criminal Law Amendment Acts, stated that in his opinion, after an extensive experience of the Acts, men stood far more in need of protection against women than women against men.

The total oppression inflicted by charges of sexual crime must not be measured by the cases which come into Court. It is a commonplace of the legal profession that for one such case ten are settled out of Court. In other words, a system of blackmail of the worst type finds its direct incentive and opportunity in the present state of legal administration.

The following selection of a few of the cases arising in the years 1894 and 1895 gives some idea of the widespread evils of the present system. It must not be thought for a moment that because these cases have resulted in acquittals no reform is necessary. In view of the law of libel only cases where the accusations have failed can be cited, but every criminal lawyer knows that failure occurs in only a small minority of cases. It must also be borne in mind that such charges entail social infamy unless triumphantly rebutted; a mere acquittal will not suffice.

1.–Dr. Patrick Lyons Blewith (West Ham) was charged with a serious assault on Bessie Page (age 16). On cross-examination she said she “did not consent, but never murmured,” “too frightened.” Did not even tell the other people in the outer waiting-room. Acquittal. July 8th, 1894

2.–Alfred Lee, a vestryman, was charged on remand at Bow Street, with indecent behaviour in a public thoroughfare and in the presence of three females. From the report of the officer who made enquiries it appeared that the witnesses bore very indifferent characters. Three gentlemen deposed to the high moral reputation of the accused, who was discharged. April 24th, 1895.

3.–Sarah Adams (West London) at night met R. B. Pearson in the street, and picked his pocket. When he attempted to retake the money she screamed and made “accusations” against him. She got one month. August 19th, 1894.

4.–Joseph Barker (52),” coster, was charged by his daughter Eliza (age 14) with indecently assaulting her. Medical evidence revealed no trace of assault. The prisoner denied the accusation, but was nevertheless committed for trial (Islington). April 29th, 1894. The Grand Jury threw out the bill.

5.–William Hughes and his son, colliers at Pontypridd, were accused of having violated Maggie, aged 12, daughter of the elder prisoner. The child swore she had been put up to make the charge by Ellen Haines, the prisoner’s housekeeper, and the doctors found no medical evidence. The case was dismissed. April 8th, 1894.

6.–Dr. Thos. D. Griffiths, of Swansea, was accused by Mrs. Gwynne-Vaughan of committing adultery with her, also of performing upon her an illegal operation and inducing abortion. All charges proved false. April 8th and 15th, 1894

7.–Thos. Moore (44), manager to a tea merchant, was charged with disgraceful conduct to a young girl. He alleged that she began first by kissing him and poking him in the ribs. He was acquitted. May 27th, 1894.

8.–Walter Hill was charged at the Old Bailey with indecent assault by Louisa Smart, and Ellen Windram was charged with aiding and abetting him. Hill and Windram were also charged with conspiring to incite Maria Wakefield, a married woman, to commit adultery. The jury stopped the case and acquitted the prisoners. It is to be noted that Mrs. Smart was prosecutrix about the same time in another indecent assault case, and that Ada Wakefield was prosecutrix in a similar case against her uncle which was dismissed. September, 1894.

In a paper read before the Birmingham and Midland Counties Branch of the British Medical Association, on November 9th, 1893, the eminent surgeon, Dr. Lawson Tait, F.R.C.S., thus sums up a large number of cases brought under his notice by the police authorities:–

“In this way I have now reported in all upon nearly a hundred cases, and I have advised prosecution in only six, and in all of these convictions have been obtained. It has, of course, been left to the police to prosecute as they chose on my report in twenty-two cases, and they have refrained from the prosecution in all but seven cases, and of these the bills were ignored in two cases by grand juries, in four light sentences were passed summarily or at sessions for common assaults, and in one case punishment, probably well deserved, was obtained on a charge of wounding another person. In the remainder, about sixty-six, I have advised that no effort at prosecution should be entertained for a moment, and the police have aquiesced in my advice. I say, concerning the number of the last class, ‘about sixty-six,’ because a number of the cases involved charges concerning two children, so that reckoning from the number of plaintiffs there would be a larger number of cases than if the statistics were taken from a list of defendants, and one case in particular will show how curiously important this may be.”

In a further analysis he says:–

“Excluding the special groups I have already alluded to, and a few others, to be excepted for various but not important reasons, I find I am left with a list of nearly fifty, in which there was not the slightest surgical evidence of an assault of any kind having been committed; and from the fact that only in some five or six was the question of a charge on the reduced count even entertained, it must be clear that the amount of manufactured charges of this kind is most alarmingly large. In twenty-six cases there was evidence quite satisfactory that the charges were trumped up from evil motive and in twenty-one the evidence was all in favour of accidental inducements, the children having been seen to be fondled by men of suspicious appearance The first fact that strikes one about these cases is that the average age of the first group of children was within a small fraction of twelve years, whilst the average age of the second group is only seven years. A second material fact is that whilst the second group contains a considerable proportion of children of respectable and even well-to-do people, the former group is entirely composed of children of the lowest class of the population.”


HE further states:–

“There are at least twenty cases on my list where no assault was committed, nor could have any been, consistently with the story and the appearances found, in which blackmailing was deliberately attempted; and I regret to say in many it was successful. One of the most outrageous was a charge of completely successful assault on a girl of fifteen, alleged to have been accomplished at 11 a.m. on one of the iron spiral staircases in the Municipal Art Gallery. The complainant described the place and gave the date and hour with a precision which was remarkable, as also was her description of what took place. She described accurately the attendant, whom she charged by name. Only two things were against her–she was uninjured, and the attendance books of the institution showed conclusively that the defendant had not been at the gallery that day.”


THE following passage from his paper throws some light on the origin of many of these charges:–

“The charges in a very large proportion of cases were distinctly based on motives sometimes of the most extraordinary kind, and in the great bulk these motives were malevolent. The ‘wandering servant’ motive is one of the least harmful, and accounts for a small number. To those who do not understand the phrase I may explain that it simply means that a girl who may have been quite innocently dawdling about till past the hour of return rigidly enforced by a strict mistress, does not go home, but wanders about all night or sleeps in an outhouse. She is either found by the police or goes back home in the morning and concocts on the way a story of rape, particularised by the most minute details, not one of which is corroborated on examination, nor can the police find a scrap of evidence in support of her story. Yet she becomes the interesting prey of some Vigilance Committee, and it is more by good luck than by good guiding, as the Scotch say, that she does not pick out and name some unfortunate man for the gratification of the prurient curiosity of the fussy women who have taken up her case. In one of these cases brought to me the interesting wanderer by misfortune, selected as her victim the husband of the chairwoman of her committee, and thus trouble came upon her and the committee was dissolved.”


Women weeping into handkerchiefs

IN the following cases the facts are instructive as showing the use to which such charges may be put:–

“In one of the cases I regret having advised a prosecution, though technically I was quite right in doing so and bound to do it; but now I have no doubt whatever that the assault was arranged and encouraged, and but for an untimely interruption something more would have followed. The charge preferred was laid solely for the purpose of bringing an unwilling bridegroom to the altar. This effect it had, for on the prosecutrix declaring in the witness-box that if he would keep his engagement and marry her she would withdraw the charge, a sympathetic judge advised him to take the offer, which he unwillingly did under pressure of receiving a nominal sentence. The subsequent history of this couple has convinced me the whole thing was a plant on the unfortunate man.”


IN some of the cases he examined the question of age was important:–

“In a very few of these cases prosecution was not advised and not undertaken by the police on the question of either real or apparent age. The wording of the Criminal Law Amendment Act is made to supply a few of the omissions of the old law concerning rape, and in raising the age under which the consent of the female participator is not recognised, the Act puts the dangerous weapon into the hands of that person of showing that she does not appear to be sixteen.

This is a fertile source of blackmailing, because a girl of fifteen and a half has only to get a man to have connection with her, or to attempt it, and he is at her mercy. If he will pay up his defence is easily arranged by the speculative attorney who is always at the back door of such cases. He has only to plead that he had a discussion with the girl about her age, that he reasonably believed she was over sixteen, and a little skilful millinery displayed in the witness-box settles the release of the defendant. But if he won’t pay up then the milliner can make the prosecutrix look much under sixteen, and a heavy sentence is the result. To give an opinion on the part of a skilled expert that a girl is or is not under fourteen, the usual molimenal age, is a matter of infinite ease compared to giving an opinion that the girl is or is not under sixteen. Maturity has been reached, and the changes at fifteen and sixteen are far less than at thirteen and fourteen, a very important fact which has been forgotten.”


THE following passages show that spite is often as potent a motive in these charges as blackmail:–

“There is another and still more dangerous element in these cases, and that is the malice of persons, always women, who practically get up the cases or provoke them, and with this may be placed a few subsidiary influences which may well be classed with this. A few examples of some of them will be given in detail.

“Two children were brought to me (case 56), aged fourteen and eleven and a-half respectively, living in the same set of back houses in a well-known and fairly respectable street, the elder girl looking much older than her ascertained age. The person against whom the charge was made was the father of the older girl, and she made the charge that she found her father indecently assaulting the younger girl. She told the neighbours and the neighbours brought in the police. The younger girl proved to be quite uninjured, but it speedily came out that the elder girl was her own father’s regular mistress for more than two years. The girl who was the cause of this action was one of the most virulent little minxes I ever saw, and she made no secret of her reason for splitting on her father being the fact that she found him taking up with another girl. I have included this little wretch as one of the habitual prostitutes, but I do not believe she comes under the definition. She does afford, however, a perfect example of how the great bulk of these charges are brought about.”


THE following shows that a similar horrible charge may be brought against an innocent man:–

“Two little wretches, of ten and twelve, who had been thrashed by their father for stealing, promptly turned round on him with a charge of having ‘seduced’ them both, giving here an interesting example of female revenge of the direst kind, attempted at an unusually early age. The charge had not the slightest foundation, and they admitted as much when they found they were not believed. Stepmothers give frequent examples of the same abominable attempts to punish their husbands by trumping up such charges, and in three instances mothers used even their own children as the instruments of their diabolical designs.”


As to the prejudice accusations of sexual crime incite, Dr. Lawson Tait says:–

“Matters are such under this unrighteous combination that however men may laugh at it and make jokes, they do not willingly travel with single unknown female companions in railway carriages. They know very well that for a man to have the finger of a woman pointed at him with a charge of a sexual offence is to secure that man’s extinction, no matter what the verdict of a jury may be. In 1881 (Lond. Med. Gazette ) a case was tried in which a girl, to shield herself against her equal share of guilt, charged her partner in it with the crime of rape. The jury could hardly be got to acquit the innocent man even though the prosecutrix had to admit that she never called out, her mother sleeping in the next room, because she was afraid her cries would waken the old lady.”

The following indicates strongly one of the disadvantages the undefended prisoner labours under:


“This new arrangement by which a defendant is allowed to go into the box and give evidence on his own behalf is most mischievous when a poor prisoner is undefended. His poverty involves ignorance, of necessity, and in the hands of a prosecuting barrister his slightest slip in cross-examination will be made to tell against him mercilessly. That is the case if he elects to be sworn. If, on the contrary, he declines, either from ignorance or fear, the jury invariably reckons the fact against him. “I sat through a case quite lately and saw a poor ignorant wretch who, being undefended, did not understand the purport of the invitation, neglected this opportunity. The judge charged clearly in his favour–indeed, there was hardly any evidence against him. But the jury brought him in guilty, and in talking the matter over with one of them after I learned that they were much impressed by the fact that he did not give evidence.”

In considering the results arrived at by Dr. Lawson Tait we must bear in mind that the series of charges he analysed had all been brought under the notice of the police. The vast number of charges compromised for money, without any appeal to the police, must be added to form any fair estimate of the situation. The foregoing catalogue as regards specific crimes is striking enough, but it does not quite exhaust the criminal law privileges of women.

Source: The Legal Subjection of Men

Articles on gynocentrism (by Paul Elam)

The following selection of articles by Paul Elam were published during 2014 – 2023

A Historical Perspective on Why Men Can’t Say NO 
Chasing The Dragon (video) | Chasing The Dragon (text)
A Values-Based Approach to Gynocentrism For Men
Arranged Marriages and the Rise of Romantic Love
Gynocentrism: The Root Of Feminism
William Of Aquitaine: The First Simp
Why Romantic Love Is A Farce

William Of Aquitaine: The First Simp

By Paul Elam

If you’ve been an attentive follower of my work, particularly the collaborative efforts with Peter Wright, you know that we’ve explored the historical roots of gynocentrism and, just as importantly, the origins of the romantic model of pair bonding and marriage. We’ve written about Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and her daughter Marie, who instituted a sex-relation model based on men idealizing women and being shamed into serving them. That model, once referred to as courtly love, was spread with the help of commissioned troubadours, reinforced with their love stories, romantic songs, and poetry. And as we can plainly see in modern times, electronic media continues that tradition in full force on a worldwide platform. Now operating under the heading of romantic love, we can describe it with a more modern and accurate turn of phrase; Romantic love is the practice of males simping to narcissistic women.

Eleanor and her daughter were the first to popularize this practice, however the original impetus came from Eleanor’s grandfather William IX Duke of Aquitaine (l. 1071-1127 CE), who is considered the world’s first troubadour – a man who wrote effusive, gushing poetry, expressing love for women in worshipful stanzas. He took delight in performing music and song, serenading women, and feeding their narcissistic hunger. William’s gynocentrism was so exaggerated, in fact, that he had a picture of his naked mistress painted on his shield, claiming that he was glad to bear her image in battle as she had borne him in bed.

Dangereuse Bouchard Dangerosa Shield mistress William IX

So, it is clear. William IX was patient zero in the romantic chivalry virus that has since infected the world. We find no historical example of this kind unbridled gynocentrism in a man of prominence that predates him. All of this is understood in academic circles, but little known outside of them. William M. Reddy, Professor of History and Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, describes William’s role in the tradition as follows:

The genre of the troubadour song, and with it the basic elements of courtly love, seems to have arisen full-blown in his mind, ready to be imitated and elaborated by his many enthusiastic followers.

The lyrics of ten songs by William IX have survived. They form a curious series. Four are recognizably troubadour love songs, offering, in Reto Bezzola’s words, “an entirely new conception of woman and of love, new not only for the count of Poitou, but for the entire world.”1

While understandable that women would have embraced such a model in order to obtain material and narcissistic gratifications from men, it’s more perplexing that a powerful man did so when he could have had any woman at any time, by simply wiggling his finger. How strange that his chosen path instilled a brand of pathetic sycophancy in contemporary and future men, effectively rendering him a traitor to his own sex.

And indeed, do we not see this on full display in modern times? How many powerful men with high sexual market value have you seen engaging in sappy public fawning over women, gratuitously feeding their egos as a kind of twisted performance art?

And how many men lend silent complicity to this game, following William’s traitorous ways? Recently, there was a televised debate of Republican presidential hopefuls. Nikki Haley, the only woman on the stage alongside six very powerful, influential men, interrupted the entire field at one point and blurted out, “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” The remark, a reference to her book of the same title, was met with applause by the audience and sheepish silence by the allegedly powerful men on stage. Now, even the most cursory look at modern civilization, where literally nothing is built or maintained by women, informs you that what Haley said is complete bullshit. That, however, didn’t motivate a single man onstage to say a single corrective word. It was a telling microcosm of what society has become under the romantic model, and proof that William the Simp’s infectious ideas took root and flourished.

The court of William IX at Poitou, considered the center of culture at that time, was filled with song, a culture of courtly love, and affluence. Aquitaine was the richest duchy in the south of France.2 Eleanor was raised in this court where she would watch the spectacle of courtly love and its requisite worship of women play out every day of her childhood. Apparently, Eleanor warmed very quickly to the sight of obsequious men shamelessly competing for the approval of women. She would later elaborate and bring that vision to the entire world when she became Queen of both France and England.

Has there ever a greater traitor to the collective male sex than William? He’s brought simping to the world and set the bar high on its practice.  His little fetish has now spread to become more popular than the gospel of Jesus. More romantic love novels are sold each year than are copies of the Bible. In fact, just one Texan author alone sold 3 million more copies of her romance novel in 2022 than copies of the Bible in the same year. Let that sink in.3

William’s story is instructive for how badly men can screw up, and that brings us to similar behaviours we see in men in the here and now. Should we really blame women for the rise of romantic chivalry? Is female narcissism the real culprit? Perhaps feminism? Certainly there’s cause to point at those things, though diligence compels us to also look askance at men who swallowed the romantic narrative with little to no resistance. Fathers, husbands, male lovers all share in the blame.

And of course, blaming the source only gets you so far. Ultimately, we settled on the idea that William the Simp is the red pill man’s greatest object lesson. In a way he’s our best friend. The guy you learn what not to do from. After all, to William he was striking out into new territory: women had never been so elevated, so overblown before in any of recorded history. He was a powerful guy with a masochistic submission fantasy. Women jumped on that and rode it like a sybian sex aid.

But that’s the good part. If you’re a red pill guy here for your dose of content, you are also striking out into new territory. You’re doing something unheard of to most men until recent times. The path you’ve chosen won’t please women, and it won’t sell near as well as kissing women’s asses, but there’s a major silver lining to that. The past thousand years of simping stops with you.



[1] The Making of Romantic Love: Longing and Sexuality in Europe, South Asia, and Japan, 900-1200 CE.
[2] Eleanor of Aquitaine, in New World Encyclopedia.
[3] Author Colleen Hoover went from tending cows to writing bestsellers.



The Two Faces of Feminism: Grandiose and vulnerable

Narcissism among self-identified feminists has been studied by Imogen Tyler in her paper ‘Who put the “Me” in feminism?’ The sexual politics of narcissism (2005), which surveyed the connection between feminism and narcissism that has long been a subject of public discourse, and a more recent study has confirmed that feminist women have significantly higher levels of narcissism than non-feminist women, and are less tolerant of disagreement than non-feminist women (Taneja & Goyal, 2019).

Narcissism may be expressed in grandiose or vulnerable ways, and empirical studies confirm that these two modalities work as “two sides of the same coin” (Sar & Türk-Kurtça, 2021) with narcissistic individuals typically oscillating, Janus faced, between these subtypes. Likewise, feminist behaviour displays features of both vulnerable or grandiose narcissism, along with oscillations between these two modes of expression.

As detailed by Naomi Wolf, feminism tends to bifurcate along grandiose and vulnerable lines, or what she refers to as “power” and “victim feminism” (Wolf, 2013). Wolf explains that victim feminism is when a woman seeks power through an identity of disenfranchisement and powerlessness, and adds that this amounts to a kind of “chauvinism” that is not confined to the women’s movement alone, stating; “It is what all of us do whenever we retreat into appealing for status on the basis of feminine specialness instead of human worth, and fight underhandedly rather than honourably.” (Wolf, p147. 2013).

Wolf adds that the deluded rhetoric of the victim-feminist creates, “a dualism in which good, post-patriarchal, gynocentric power is ‘personal power,’ to be distinguished from ‘the many forms of power over others.’” (Wolf, p160. 2013). Other feminist writers have independently concurred with Wolf’s categorisation of ‘agentic’ and ‘victim’ modes of performing feminism (Wolf, 2013; Denfeld, 2009; Sommers, 1995; Roiphe, 1993).

A century prior to observations made by Wolf, English philosopher E. Belfort Bax observed the same bifurcation within first wave feminism, describing a grandiose form of activism he referred to as ‘political feminism’ which concerned itself with claiming equal rights and privileges for women without demonstrating commensurate achievements, capabilities, responsibilities or sacrifices with men, and secondly a vulnerable kind he called ‘sentimental feminism’ which concerned itself with securing sympathies toward women while at the same time fostering antipathy toward men. Bax made the observation that these two forms of activism often occurred in individual feminists who would oscillate between these modes of expression depending on which one was momentarily efficacious for securing power. (Bax, 1913).


Bax, E. B. (1913). The Fraud of Feminism. Grant Richards.

Denfeld, R. (2009). The new Victorians: A young woman’s challenge to the old feminist order. Hachette UK.

Roiphe, K. (1993). The morning after: Fear, sex, and feminism on college campuses. Boston, Mass.

Sar, V., & Türk-Kurtça, T. (2021). The vicious cycle of traumatic narcissism and dissociative depression among young adults: A trans-diagnostic approach. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 22(5), 502-521.

Sommers, C. H. (1995). Who stole feminism?: How women have betrayed women. Simon and Schuster

Taneja, S., & Goyal, P. (2019). Impact of Feminism on Narcissism and Tolerance for Disagreement among Females. Indian Journal of Mental Health, 6(1).

Tyler, I. (2005). ‘Who put the “Me” in feminism?’ The sexual politics of narcissism. Feminist Theory, 6(1), 25-44.

Wolf, N. (2013). Fire with fire: New female power and how it will change the twenty-first century. Random House.

* A version of this extract was first printed in the New Male Studies article ‘Gynocentrism As A Narcissistic Pathology – Part 2.

Romance Is Not About The Romans

Lets dispel this belief once and for all: the notion of romantic love and romance (i.e. love) was not invented by the Romans; it appears to be an error borne from semantic confusion over the root term roman. That root term actually applies to several words that were not invented in Rome or by Romans, and which don’t apply to Roman behaviour whatsoever.

Romance as originally meaning “a story, written or recited, in verse, telling of the adventures of a knight, hero, etc.,” derived from the old Old French romanz meaning “verse narrative.” This reference of romance was applicable to narratives of adventurous heroes, but it was not applied specifically to the notion of love until much later; an application that would have nothing whatsoever to do with Rome or the Romans.

The literary sense of romance was extended by 1660s to individual love stories, and to the entire class of literature consisting of love stories and romantic fiction. Hence the phrase “Romantic Love” was invented, and later shortened to romance and romantic which had different meanings to the much older meaning of romance as a heroic adventure: it now meant a different kind of adventure whose motive was strictly aimed at love.

The New World Encyclopedia clarifies the matter as follows:

The English word “romance” developed from a vernacular dialect within the French language, meaning “verse narrative,” referring to the style of speech and writing, and artistic talents within elite classes. The word derives from the European medieval vernacular tales were usually about chivalric adventure, not combining with the theme of love (romantic love) until late into the seventeenth century.

Here are a few of the first English uses of the phrase:

“Many men being still of the opinion that the wonderful declaration of Spanish bravery and greatness in this lost century may be attributed very much to his carrying the jest too far, by not only ridiculing romantic love and errantry, but by laughing them also out of their honour and courage.” [The History of the Renown’d Don Quixote de la Mancha, 1700]

“And do you think, said his father changing his tone, I shall have the complacence to approve this romantic love of yours…” [A Select Collection of Novels: Don Carlos]

“Farewell, farewell forever. She left me, with how much concern upon my heart, as it was beyond what I ever felt, it is beyond what I can ever express. Tho’ I was assur’d her reproach was unjust, yet from the principles of affection that gave occasion to it, it affected me. I struggled long between romantic love and prudent conduct: one day I resolv’d to fling myself at her feet the next, and give a proof of my love by ruining myself in marriage ; but the next I thought it better to see her Father again, and strive if…” [The London Magazine; Or, Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer, 1737]

“But I think the tragedy may receive a wonderful force, should its authors, without minding that giddy Romantic Love which makes such havoc in their plays, follow only the true philosophic Ideas of antiquity.” [An historical and critical account of the theatres in Europe, Luigi Riccoboni – Printed for T. Waller, 1741]

“And where’s the diff’rence twixt old age,
and youth worn out in its first stage,
No longer to apologize,
ye husband’s aged, rich and wise,
Dread twice to court the nuptial state,
and from the sequel mark your fate,
Ye Quixotes in romantic love,
Platonic cuckoldom improve.”
[A Wife and No Wife: the Mad Gallant, an Humorous Tale of Lunacy, Love and Cuckoldom]

“This novel is altered from one published in the year 1762 The Author, perceiving many material defects in the original work, particularly that the story was too simple to be very interesting, too concise to admit of much exemplification of character, and too much in the usual strain of romantic love.” [The Monthly Review, Volume 53, Ralph GriffithsGeorge Edward Griffiths, 1749]

“There is no resisting the impetuosity of romantic love. Like enthusiasm it breaks through all the restraints of nature and custom and enables, as well as animates its votaries, to execute all its extravagant suggestions ” [The World – by Adam Fitz-Adam, by Edward Moore, publishe by R. and J Dodsley 1761]

“The adventures of the Spanish knight [Don Quixote] were written to expose the absurdities of romantic chivalry, so those of the English heroine were designed to ridicule romantic love, and to show the tendency that books of knight-errantry have to turn the heads of their female readers.” [The Critical Review, Or, Annals of Literature, Volume 35, W. Simpkin and R. Marshall, 1773]

Reading books of extravagant poetry raises corresponding doubt’s in the mind as they paint all the passions immoderate. Tragedies, such as they frequently are; books of romantic love, and which is fifty times worse, books of romantic intrigues, all tend to disturb the breast of the tender fair one.” [The Lady’s Magazine; Or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, Appropriated Solely to Their Use and Amusement, Volume 7, G. Robinson, 1776]

“Romantic love seems to be almost peculiar to the latter ages. This passion may perhaps be traced up to that spirit of courtesy and adventure which arose from circumstances peculiar to feudal government, distinguished all the institutions of chivalry, gave birth and form to the old romance, and consequently to the new, and to this day influences in a perceptible degree the customs and matters of Europe.” [Essays on the Nature and Immutability of Truth, 1777]

“In this correspondence the two friends encourage each other in the [……] notions imaginable. They represent romantic love as the great important business of human life, and describe all the other concerns of it as too low and paltry to merit the attention of such elevated beings, and fit only to employ the daughter of the plodding vulgar.” [The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure, Pub. for J. Hinton, 1777]

“The romantic love, peculiar to the ages of chivalry, was readily united with the high sentiments of military honour, and seem to have promoted each other.” [An Historical View of the English Government From the Settlement of the Saxons in Britain to the Accession of the House of Stewart]

“The customs of duelling, and the peculiar notions of honour,  which have so long prevailed in the modern nations of Europe, appear to have arisen from the same circumstances that produced feudal institutions: That same institution produced the romantic love and gallantry, by which the age of chivalry was no less distinguished…” [The Critical Review, Or, Annals of Literature, Volume 63, 1787]

“I readily grant that in former times this veneration for personal purity was carried to an extravagant height, and that several very ridiculous fancies and customs arose from this. Romantic love and chivalry are strong instances of the strange vagaries of our imagination, when carried along by this enthusiastic admiration for female purity; and so unnatural and forced, that they could only be temporary fashions. But I believe that, for all their ridicule, it would be a happy nation where this was the general creed and practice.” [Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, by John Robison, Philadelphia, 1798]

Romantic love was a continuation of courtly love conventions invented in the Middle Ages (as indicated in the above quotes), and which eventually became represented by an English phrase for behaviours that had long been been practiced among European peoples.

So with the above history in mind, let’s avoid the false associations with Rome and with Ovidian love which have no real connection with romantic love.

* * *

Note: Romantic love (romance) also needs to be differentiated from unrelated social events such as romanticism and the Romantic period which arose in the 18th-19th centuries.

The ‘Tendency For Interpersonal Victimhood’ (TIV) Closely Resembles Vulnerable Narcissism

In 2020 researchers identified a personality construct they refer to as the Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood (TIV) (Gabay, et al., 2020). The construct involves four dimensions:

  1.  A sense of moral elitism,
  2.  A lack of empathy,
  3.  The need for recognition (need to have one’s sense of victimhood acknowledged and empathised with),
  4.  Rumination over interpersonal offenses which includes aggressive reactivity and a desire for vengeance.

The TIV is centred in a personality type characterised by an ongoing feeling that the self is a victim, which they define as an enduring feeling of being a victim across different kinds of interpersonal relationships. Comparing the Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood with features of grandiose narcissism, and not with vulnerable narcissism, the authors drew the following conclusion:

“We also posit that both narcissism and TIV are characterized by vulnerability to threats to the self, but that the content of these threats would be different. Narcissists present themselves to the world as strong, capable, and talented (and relatedly, differently from TIV, narcissism was found to be associated with extraversion; Stronge et al., 2016). Therefore, threats are related to anything undermining their grandiosity and superiority, such as extraordinary abilities, achievements or positive qualities. In contrast, the self-presentation of high-TIV individuals is that of a weak victim, who has been hurt and is therefore in need of protection; a considerate and conscientious person who must face a cruel and abusive world. Threats to high-TIV individuals are related to anything that can undermine their self-image of moral superiority; or elicit doubts from their environment as to whether the offense occurred, the intensity of the offense, or their exclusivity as victims. These, and additional hypotheses should be examined in future research.” (Gabay, et al., 2020)

The Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood appears to have much in common with vulnerable narcissism, although the authors of the paper do not address this obvious point—instead they compared features of TIV with grandiose narcissism alone. The authors’ conclusion that narcissism and TIV are distinct constructs is therefore not entirely convincing due to the omission of the vulnerable type. The Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood and vulnerable narcissism appear to be highly overlapping constructs as both report a sense of moral elitism, a need to have one’s sense of victimhood acknowledged and empathised with, and associated feelings of persecution, resentment and rumination.

In popular culture the exaggerated tendency to present oneself as victim is referred to as “damseling” (short for ‘damsel in distress’), which tends to occur when a woman is not receiving attention, conformity or admiration in line with her self-image. Professor Janice Fiamengo (2021) has identified the narcissistic grandstanding of damseling as a kind of ‘irresistible lure’ for those who would employ it, while also underlining the trepidation and resentment this tendency generates in many men:

“Women’s claims of victimhood take a great deal of time and energy away from many pressing issues, and create an uneven political playing field in which every man knows he can be wrong-footed, and every woman knows she can power trip if she wants to. The damsel option disinclines some women from whole-heartedly pursuing competence because they know they can deflect criticism or gain advancement by sorrowing eloquently, creating bad faith in many women, suspicion and resentment in many men.” (Fiamengo, 2021)

Fiamengo’s essay highlights the considerable social and interpersonal attention that can be garnered from a projection of victimhood. Whether the presenting damsel’s distress be real, exaggerated or wholly fabricated, it represents a kind of soft power that forces the surrounding environment to stop and take notice.


Source: This excerpt first published in the New Male Studies article Gynocentrism as A Narcissistic Pathology – Part 2.


Interview with Esther Vilar in Die Weltwoche (2007)

The following is an English translation of an interview with Esther Vilar in Die Weltwoche, issue 51/2007.


“Love makes you unfree”

In 1971, Esther Vilar wrote a pamphlet against the women’s movement, which was at its height at the time. “The Manipulated Man” sold millions of copies. The author was beaten up by women and had to flee Germany.

By Peer Teuwsen

Ms. Vilar, “The Manipulated Man” was published in 1971.

Vilar: It’s been ages, my God.

A book in which you wrote that there is no patriarchy, but a matriarchy in the West, that women exploit men, not the other way around. A book that has sold millions of copies, written “in great anger,” as you once said. Is the anger still there?

Vilar: No.

Where has she gone?

Vilar: It has shifted to other topics.

But when it comes to gender issues, you can still get angry today?

Vilar: The “manipulated man” has become so popular that all my other topics are smothered by it. That’s why I don’t want to comment on it anymore.

But do you still like the book?

Vilar: Absolutely. I last listened to it as an audio book. Yes, it wasn’t bad to have written it.

For example, you wrote: “At the age of twelve, a woman stops developing her mind.”

Vilar: If she can afford it, yes. This is of course polemic and I cannot defend it in appropriate language.

When you were writing, were you aware of what you were going to achieve with the book?

Vilar: I thought I just had to write a book like that and people flocked to me because I explained everything much more logically. But it came completely different. A small part came to me, but the larger part turned even more violently into the opposite, into the militant women’s movement. No, I couldn’t imagine a polemic of this magnitude when I wrote it. No one can imagine that.

How was it?

Vilar: At first the manuscript was rejected by all publishers. Then I had galley proofs made myself and sent it away again, so Bertelsmann-Verlag grabbed it. Not much happened at first, the first edition was 8000 copies. There was a fantastic review in Stern. And then I was invited to make a wish, a Eurovision show. Then it started overnight. I had obviously said something revolutionary. My life had completely changed in one fell swoop.

When did you first realize you had written something dangerous?
Vilar: When threats came, and when I was beaten up.

Beaten up?

Vilar: Yes, four young women beat me up in the toilet of the Munich State Library. That was no laughing matter. I was spat on, I constantly received death threats, my house in Munich was painted with skulls and the like. I left Germany from one day to the next, I had a little son, I couldn’t stay any longer. I’m in Switzerland. That was the beginning.

Would you also have written the book if you had known about the consequences?

Vilar: I wouldn’t have dared, no. In Spain, in France, in the USA it was the same as in Germany, in England there were public demonstrations.

Against them?

Vilar: Yes, always against me.

Alice Schwarzer called you a “sexist” and “fascist”.

Vilar: Yes. Always just attacks. No, nobody ever defended me.

How do you explain that?

Vilar: My book was leftist, but not leftist in the way leftists had known it. It was a book for a minority. Because compared to us women, men are in the minority. Until then, they had no voice at all, let alone a woman.

But a lot of men didn’t want your vote.

Vilar: A few did, it was very divided. But the approval came only in private. Nobody dared to do it in public.

Did you sometimes feel like you were being treated like a murderess?

Vilar: Yes, I was more of the opinion, I would have done a good deed.

You wrote a book about women’s secret weapons against men.

Vilar: And what secret weapons we women have. But my book was so unwelcome, it went against everything that was fashionable to believe at the time. What I wrote was something no woman had ever said publicly before, although most of us probably knew it very well. I think it was a necessary book.

Would the book still be necessary today?

Vilar: Not that much has changed. Men still have no right to their children, which is, for me, the cruelest thing of all. Anyone who is a man has to reckon with the fact that their children will be taken away from them every day and that, if things go well, they will perhaps be allowed to see them once a month on the weekend. And the fact that men are still sent to war and to kill is so serious that I don’t see any disadvantage of a woman that could somehow outweigh it. And men who have started a family can usually never stop working. You cannot change your life because otherwise you would risk the economic basis of your people. The man has a responsibility that cannot be compared to that of the woman. Those are the main things.

Today women also take on economic responsibility.

Vilar: I don’t know any real househusbands. And the few that exist are not erotic – in the eyes of women. The woman’s gaze determines our world. The look and the language: A man who doesn’t bring home any money is called a failure. The woman, on the other hand, is a housewife. It’s not called the mother tongue for nothing.

You are so terribly rational in your books. Woman is very calculating in your books. It’s all so cold.

Vilar: We are all very calculating, yes. You don’t have to be particularly rational to recognize this. But I don’t think my books are cold. I once sat on a plane behind a man who was reading “The Manipulated Man” on the way from Argentina to Germany. The man laughed out loud all night long, I didn’t sleep a wink. I thought that was nice.

Have you ever loved?

Vilar: Oh yeah.

And for what purpose?

Vilar: Only for the purpose of loving.

In your books, however, love is always earmarked.

Vilar: Yes, but I’ve never done business like that myself.


Vilar: Yes, I can exempt myself from that, to a large extent. I could not have written the book if I was involved myself.

You’ve never let a man feed you?

Vilar: Not a day, no.

You’ve never trained a man by depriving him of sex?

Vilar: No. You couldn’t write a book against bank robbers and be one yourself.

Then you are a good person.

Vilar: I wouldn’t go that far now. But I could afford not to be fed because I had jobs, I was a doctor and then a writer.

But today many women have jobs.

Vilar: A lot has changed there, yes. But I don’t know any woman who works in order to feed the children and the husband for the rest of their lives. That’s why I later wrote a book to outline a way out of this situation.

You proposed the 25-hour week, which would give both women and men more time for themselves and their children, but at the same time would force both to work.

Vilar: I was too early there too. Today things are slowly moving in this direction – unfortunately not because of ideal insight, but because of economic necessity. If there is less and less work, and that will become acute, then you have to reduce working hours. A society with too many unemployed people cannot survive because this leads to unrest.

Do you think you were always too early?

Vilar: I was always early, earlier than the others. This also applies to my essays on aging, religion, intelligence.

I didn’t see your books about men and women as primarily a defense of men.

Vilar: They aren’t either, it’s an appeal to women’s fairness. You can also call them feminist books.

Even. You are the true feminist, you do not see women primarily as victims, but as people who assert their interests.

Vilar: I like that, I’m the real feminist. But, oh well.

But your big topic is different. That people do not take away the freedom they could have.

Vilar: Nice, you noticed that, a topic that you don’t want to acknowledge.


Vilar: On the one hand, out of cowardice, on the other hand, those who live freedom are not necessarily happy. You are happier when you submit and follow a system and dedicate yourself to a “task”. Anyone who is free always has to make their own rules.

They talk about themselves.

Vilar: Yes, I wanted to live like a free person, but I didn’t always succeed.

What made you unfree?

Vilar: Love, for example. Love always makes you unfree. This is a religion with the smallest possible congregation. God and worshippers in a one-to-one ratio.


Vilar: Of course children make you unfree. But making a new person is the greatest adventure of all. Freedom is the maddening problem of all of us. You become religious because you can’t stand freedom.

How do you define freedom?

Vilar: That I can do whatever doesn’t harm others.

I would say: Freedom is when you can choose your own dependencies.

Vilar: Much better

You could do that?

Vilar: Yes, and I still can.

What fascinates you about writing?

Vilar: The discovery of new worlds. But I often write just for fun, plays, short stories, novels, these are not polemics. But that’s also the reason why I don’t have as many readers as I used to. They first read a pamphlet, then a novel, see a play – and then they no longer know what to think of me. I still have about 30,000 readers.

Do you regret that?

Vilar: I can’t regret that, that’s the way I am. You can’t get angry on order.

What makes you angry today?

Vilar: At the moment I only write peaceful things. I’m currently working on an erotic thriller called “Speech and Silence in Palermo” and will be released next summer.

What price did you pay for the freedom you took?

Vilar: A lot of loneliness at times – I don’t belong to any club.

Are you good at being alone?

Vilar: Pretty good, but not perfect. And I travel so much that I can’t fit in anywhere.

You could stop doing that.

Vilar: But I don’t want to belong.

But you wanted to love, you wanted to belong to a human being.

Vilar: Yes, and hopefully that will happen to me again and again. The only sacrifice of freedom I value is love. But sooner or later you will be thrown back into freedom.

Doesn’t eternal love exist?

Vilar: Yes, but I haven’t experienced it, and I hardly know anyone who has ever experienced it.

What was your greatest love?

Vilar: I don’t talk about my private life. That wouldn’t do anyone any good.

Did you enjoy living in Switzerland?

Vilar: Yes. I met so many interesting people through my friend Jürg Federspiel. The Swiss are somehow more cosmopolitan than other nations, they travel a lot. But the problem is that I can never stay anywhere forever.

Why is that so?

Vilar: I’m too curious. Even in Zurich, if I heard an Italian hit on the radio in the morning, I could get on the train and go to Milan. I grew up in Argentina, a child of German parents, I never really felt at home anywhere.

But there is also the opposite: that you really want to find a place.

Vilar: My son is the kind of person who is determined to settle down. Probably because of all the traveling with me. He has become a real Englishman.

What was the best thing in your life?

Vilar: Basically everything was good. I could choose everything, the language, the partners, the countries. And when it wasn’t exciting anymore, I just went somewhere else.

Are you someone who believes you can start over again somewhere else?

Vilar: I start new every day.

That doesn’t work. You always bring your past with you.

Vilar: Of course, but there is always something new coming along. I want to keep building, like a house where you keep adding a room. It will be interesting to see how long it takes and how I cope with the end.

How do you imagine the ending?

Vilar: I’m terrified of dying because I love living so much. I find it a terrible idea that this all goes on without anyone noticing. I like the ending as Luis Buñuel imagined it: that you lie in the coffin, get up every ten years, buy a newspaper, read it – and then climb back into the coffin.

Was the “dressed man” your misfortune?

Vilar: No, but it did a lot of damage to my later works. I was in a corner, things are slowly getting better. I’m being played a lot now in the East, where people don’t hear the “Dressed Man”. But in the West I’m still branded, maybe it’ll never end.

What else do you want?

Vilar: “Want” isn’t a word at all. If I want something, I do it. So what else am I going to do? Always move.

Esther Vilar, 72, wrote the polemic “The Manipulated Man” in 1971. She had to move away from Germany with her child because of the hostility. She now lives in London and still writes.