Romantic Tropes Encourage Female Narcissism

*the first part of this article was published earlier as Gynocentrism As A Narcissistic Pathology – Part 2.

The proverbial ‘pedestalisation’ of women fostered by romantic tropes is one that encourages narcissistic self-identification in women (Wright, 2020). An unbroken line featuring noblewomen, and the men who love them, appears in each iteration of literature; from the medieval romances of Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere; the weaving and telling of European fairy tales; Shakespeare; Victorian women’s novels; up to and including modern Disney Princess movies and the ubiquitous romance novel which continues to out-gross all other genres of literature today. As a dominant source of role modelling, studies have surveyed the impact of such imagery on women’s identity formation and their choices of romantic partners, finding for example that “women are influenced, whether consciously or unconsciously, by what they saw in Disney princess films while choosing mates, setting standards and establishing expectations for their lovers.” (Minor, 2014).

Parents may not fully appreciate the impact of exposing daughters to aristocratic role models, nor see the harms that can arise from such an identification for later adult relationships. In their book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in The Age of Entitlement (2009), Twenge and Campbell underline the dangers of princess role models which encourage daughters to become narcissistic:

Parents do not consciously think, “Wow, wouldn’t it be great to raise a narcissistic child?” Instead, they want to make their children happy and raise their self-esteem but often take things too far. Good intentions and parental pride have opened the door to cultural narcissism in parenting, and many parents express their love for their children in the most modern of ways: declaring their children’s greatness. A remarkable percentage of clothing for baby girls has “Princess” or “Little Princess” written on it, which is wishful thinking unless you are the long-lost heir to a throne. And if your daughter is a princess, does this mean that you are the queen or king? No—it means you are the loyal subject, and you must do what the princess says. (Twenge & Campbell, 2009)

In fairytale models the female gender role becomes the locus of a narcissistic script, as detailed by Green and colleagues (2019) who point to an unfavourable outcome whereby, “female narcissists may assert their femininity and receive affirmation from society to attain their goals, and at the same time deflect accountability and externalise blame.” (Green, et al., 2019).


Firstly we can say that men have played a principle role in aiding and abetting the growth of gynocentrism among women, motivated in large part by a desire to form relationships with them. Secondly, as Paul Elam recently pointed out in an article Daddy’s Little Nightmare, men encourage narcissism in their daughters:

It’s quite ironic, listening to a man complain about how his wife has crazy unreal expectations. He bemoans the fact that she cannot be satisfied, no matter what he does. He claims that he pulls his hair out trying to figure out how to satisfy her endless demands only to be met with more disapproval and, of course, more demands. He wonders aloud how she ever learned to be such a bottomless pit, and such a bitch about it.

Then you go watch him interact with his four-year old daughter, whom he will endlessly coddle and for whom he will go to any measure to make sure she never lacks anything, no matter how trivial.

And it doesn’t stop when she turns five. Or fifteen, or twenty-five. When it comes to turning human females into paragons of pissy entitlement, the western father has few rivals. (Elam, 2019)

Suffice to say that many men are complicit in maintaining the status quo, creating a culture of exaggerated benevolent sexism in order to gain and maintain intimate access to women. The subsequent relationship dynamic is one they usually come to find destructive to their emotional and physical wellbeing and is thus unsustainable in the long term. Some men adjust to the gynocentric dynamic by resigning their dreams and emotional needs and playing the role of what is disparagingly referred to as a ‘simp’ or overly servile partner, perhaps rationalizing that gynocentrism is encoded into our genome and is thus ‘the way of nature.’

Gynocentric narcissism is further upheld by men at the institutional level, relying for example on a chivalric compact between women and male politicians who wish to hold office (Farrell, 1996; Frasure-Yokley, 2018; Lodders & Weldon, 2019; Naurin, et al., 2019; Wright, 2017), or male court judges who are eager to demonstrate their chivalric credentials by providing lighter sentences for female offenders (Visher, 1983; Hood, 1992; Curry, et al., 2004; Embry, et al., 2012; Starr, 2015). Such displays by men in positions of power have the effect of normalizing gynocentrism, with the gender imbalance it entails, as an acceptable standard of behavior for heterosexual exchanges.

In cultures perceived as encouraging female narcissism, an emerging male demographic is seeking female partners who eschew the gynocentric blueprint in favor of alternative relationship models; for example traditional gender roles based on division of responsibility and labor (Wright, 2022), or alternatively a ‘multi-option’ model for both male and female partners based on the libertarian principles of individual choice, self-determination, and negotiated labor-sharing arrangements (Wright, 2022). Others are seeking relationships with women from Asian countries that have been less exposed to gynocentric culture forces.

Further, increasing numbers of ‘no gynocentrism’ men are choosing to avoid long-term relationships with women, adopting instead the lifestyle of confirmed bachelors while engaging in meaningful relationships and activities that can fill the breach (Smith, 2013, Yiannopoulos, 2014). In Western societies these men are sometimes referred to as ‘Zeta Males’ who reject the gynocentrism-dependent male categories of alpha and beta (Tayo, 2017), or alternatively they are called ‘Men Going Their Own Way,’ (Wright & Elam, 2013), and in Japanese society they are given the title of sôshoku danshi or ‘herbivore men’ to denote their refusal to seek traditional ‘carnivorous’ pursuits of career and women (Smith, 2013, Morioka, 2013, Yiannopoulos, 2014).



Wright, P. (2020). Gynocentrism As A Narcissistic Pathology. New Male Studies, 9(1).
Minor, B. D. (2014). Happily Ever After: Is Disney Setting Us Up? A Study on Disney Princesses and Their Influence on Young Women and Their Personal Love Narratives.
Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2009). The narcissism epidemic: Living in the age of entitlement. Simon and Schuster.
Green, A., Charles, K., & MacLean, R. (2019). Perceptions of female narcissism in intimate partner violence: A thematic analysis. Qualitative methods in psychology bulletin, (28), 13-27.
Elam, Paul. (2019). Daddy’s Little Nightmare, published at A Voice for Men.
Farrell, W. (1996). The myth of male power. Berkeley Publishing Group.
Frasure-Yokley, L. (2018). Choosing the Velvet Glove: Women Voters, Ambivalent Sexism, and Vote Choice in 2016. Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics, 3(1), 3-25.
Lodders, V., & Weldon, S. (2019). Why do women vote radical right? Benevolent sexism, representation and inclusion in four countries. Representation, 55(4), 457-474.
Naurin, D., Naurin, E., and Amy A. (2019). Gender Stereotyping and Chivalry in International Negotiations: A Survey Experiment in the Council of the European Union. A Survey Experiment in the Council of the European Union. International Organization, 73(2), pp. 469-488.
Wright, P. (Ed.). (2017). Republicans and Democrats, both Gynocrats. Chapter 8. A Brief History of The Men’s Rights Movement: From 1856 to the present. Academic Century Press.
Visher, C. A. (1983). Gender, police arrest decisions, and notions of chivalry. Criminology, 21(1), 5-28.
Hood, R. G. (1992). Race and sentencing: a study in the Crown Court: a report for the Commission for Racial Equality. Oxford University Press, USA.
Embry, R., & Lyons Jr, P. M. (2012). Sex-based sentencing: Sentencing discrepancies between male and female sex offenders. Feminist Criminology, 7(2), 146-162.
Starr, S. B. (2015). Estimating gender disparities in federal criminal cases. American Law and Economics Review, 17(1), 127-159.
Curry, T. R., Lee, G., & Rodriguez, S. F. (2004). Does victim gender increase sentence severity? Further explorations of gender dynamics and sentencing outcomes. Crime & Delinquency, 50(3), 319-343.
Smith, H. (2013). Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream–and why it Matters. Encounter Books.
Yiannopoulos, M. (2014). The sexodus, part 1: The men giving up on women and checking out of society. Breitbart London.
Tayo, A. O. (2017) A new class of men who don’t care what you think – Zeta Males are the new type of men who do not play the ‘game’ but are societal rebels. Published at
Wright, P. Elam, P. (2013), Go Your Own Way: Understanding MGTOW. Zeta Press.
Morioka, M. (2013). A phenomenological study of “herbivore men”.
Wright, P. (2022). The Tradwife Revisited, Published at (retrieved on 22/03/23)

The Natural Gynocentrism Fallacy

The natural gynocentrism fallacy, otherwise known as bio-gynocentrism, is a centuries old mythology first promoted in feminist circles, and subsequently to mass culture under the guise of science. Below is a selection of writings elaborating on this fallacy.

The ‘Natural Gynocentrism Fallacy’ (Hanna Wallen)
What’s in a suffix? taking a look at the meaning of gyno–centrism (Peter Wright)
Is Gynocentrism Adaptive? (Peter Ryan)
Maladaptive Gynocentrism Is Not “Natural” (Peter Wright)
Robert Briffault’s Law Doesn’t Apply to Humans (Peter Wright)
Has the MRM Become a Gynocentric Ideology? (Peter Wright)
– ‘Biological Gynocentrism’: Falling Into The Feminist Trap? (Peter Wright)
– Lester Ward’s Gynocentrism & The Deification of Women (Peter Ryan)
– Eight Traits of the Bio-Gynocentrist (Vernon Meigs)
– Bio-gynocentrism: Turning Science Into Goddess Worship (Peter Ryan)
Humans as a “Gynocentric Species” is Pure Myth (Peter Wright)

Robert Briffault insisted his ‘law’ doesn’t apply to humans

We’ve all heard it before – the claim that we must accept gynocentrism as the default setting for the human species, and for human relationships, because Robert Briffault said it was true a century ago. The only problem is that he didn’t say that at all; its a fabrication by people who have attempted to con us into thinking gynocentrism is the incontrovertible basis of human existence.

Briffault’s law, as stated in his book The Mothers, is this:

“The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.”1

Many have embraced Briffault’s Law and applied it to human relationships in a way that Briffault didn’t intend. Briffault applied his law strictly and explicitly to non-human animals in a chapter titled “The Herd And The Family Amongst Animals.”

In the section describing his ‘animal’ law he qualifies that, quote “There is, in fact, no analogy between the animal family and the patriarchal human family. The former is entirely the product of the female’s instincts, and she, not the male, is the head.”

The chapter is five pages long. In it he mentions tigers, elks, lions, zebras, gazelles, buffaloes, deer, monkeys, beavers, lions, birds and other animals, and only references humans briefly in order to contrast human behavioural patterns from those of animals. Briffault says:

“There is in fact no analogy between that [animal] group and the patriarchal human family; to equate the two is a proceeding for which there is no justification. The patriarchal family in the form in which it exists today is a juridic institution. Whatever external and superficial similarities there may be in the constitution of the human and of the animal family, there is one profound and fundamental difference. The patriarchal family is founded upon the supremacy of the male as ‘pater familias,’ as head of the family. This is not the case in the animal family. it is, on the contrary, entirely the product and manifestation of the female’s instincts; she, and not the male, is its head. We may occasionally find the male employed in foraging for the brood and for the mother, while the latter is lying quiescent in charge of her eggs or brood; but there is nothing in those appearances to justify us in regarding the animal family as patriarchal; on the contrary, the conduct of the group is entirely determined not by the male but by the female.”1

Most of what Robert Briffault says is factually incorrect by today’s standard of knowledge. But what we can say without any doubt is that he never applied his “law” to humans. Therefore, let us apply Occam’s razor to this monumental con-job that has been disseminated in the manosphere and beyond.

While we are at it, why not apply the razor to all the other bogus arguments for natural gynocentrism; the people disseminating such unscientific rubbish are not genuinely interested in men’s liberation from the current status quo.

* * *


[1]  Robert Briffault, The Mothers: A Study Of The Origins Of Sentiments And Institutions, Volume 1 of 3  (April, 1927)

Chat GPT Outlines The Relation Between Gynocentrism & Narcissism

The following are two consecutive answers provided by Chat GPT on the question of a potential relation between gynocentrism and narcissism – PW.



First answer:

Second answer:

Maladaptive Gynocentrism

The following graphic details the maladaptive form of gynocentrism which often gets misrepresented as a benign theory known as “natural gynocentrism.

Note: certain behaviors associated with gynocentric narcissism may resemble hypergamy. However such behavior is more accurately classed as a narcissistic self-enhancement instead of survival-based enhancements associated with hypergamy. For more on this distinction see: Narcissism Exaggerates Baseline Hypergamy (2023)

‘Biological Gynocentrism’ : Falling Into The Feminist Trap? 

Lester F. Ward (1841-1913), a scholar of biological and sociological disciplines, was a passionate advocate for first wave feminism and “women’s liberation.” Just like today’s difference feminists he spoke about biological differences between the sexes, and theorized that women were the more superior sex due to evolutionary and reproductive value.

Sound familiar? It should, because it’s the same gynocentrism theory is promoted in the manosphere.

Ward is celebrated as a pioneering male feminist by historian Ann Taylor Allen,1 and Michael Kimmel classifies him as a feminist sociologist.2 And its not only today’s feminists who celebrate his theory: All three waves championed his, or similar gynocentric theories as a triumph of scientific truth and of women’s deserved special treatment.

Protestors may say that feminists have never believed in biology, that they’ve always championed the blank slate theory. Feminists, however, have consistently proven to be opportunists who sometimes deny biology, and then very often appeal to it. For example feminists love to bring attention to biological facts like women’s vulnerability due to smaller size, pregnancy, lactation, menstruation, etc. – not to mention many of the first feminists championed biological gynocentrism (actually using that word) as an appeal for men to pedestalize them.

Lester Ward delivered his famous “Gynæcocentrism Theory” speech to an enthusiastic group of 1st wave feminists in the year 1888  – including Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Miss Phoebe Couzins, and many others well known.3 The title of the speech was Our Better Halves, and consisted of an elaborate claim that women were biologically superior to males due to their evolutionary and reproductive roles, and thus women were more important than males who were described as mere helpers in the evolutionary scheme.

Ward’s feminist audience rejoiced in his deductions because they seemed to prove the claim of women’s preeminence at a time when the proposal was doubted. According to historian Cynthia Davis, the lending of scientific theory to claims of female superiority “led conservatives to identify Darwin as modern feminism’s ‘originator,’ and Ward as its ‘prophet.”4

First wave feminist Charlotte Perkins-Gilman (1860 – 1935) claimed that Ward’s theory of gynocentrism was the most important contribution to ‘the woman question’ ever made.4,5 Commenting on Ward’s theory to doubters, Gilman wrote “You’ll have to swallow it. The female is the race type; the male is her assistant. It is established beyond peradventure.”6  While continuing to laud Ward’s gynocentrism theory as a brilliant contribution, she expanded on it by suggesting that women were more evolutionarily advanced than men, and that women were continuing to advance at a faster rate than men.4

In his 1903 book Pure Sociology,7 Ward published a more lengthy chapter explaining his gynæcocentric theory. His theory travelled around the world and fomented feverish debates, as can be seen from this sample of articles published at the time:

Furthermore, Ward’s gynæcocentrism theory was championed by Marxists as a scientific basis for elevation of women’s rights, as shown in the following article published in Justice, 1909, which reads “Why the statement of these theories is of such immense importance to Socialists is that the gynæcocentric theory is a striking corroboration of the correctness of the Marxian interpretation that the economic independence of women will be one of the most important phases of the Social Revolution.”

After pinning down the origin of this theory, a question arises; Do we really want to keep promoting these feminist-inspired theories today? Whatever the merits of Ward’s biological basis for gynocentrism (well there’s no merit, actually), it has since flourished both in feminist circles and, sometimes, in men’s activist conceptions of the way human evolution works: we are a hopelessly gynocentric species and we need to get used to it.

Feminists probably like this 135 year old narrative, and they of course have led the way to its institutionalization in the canon of modern ideas. From my observations, those most invested in a gynocentric lifestyle, whether they be men or women, are likely to be the strongest champions of this pseudo-theory today.

For anyone wanting to check the scientific veracity of biological-gynocentrism theories, I can think of no better corpus than that of Peter Ryan; a researcher educated in molecular biology who has debunked all of the usual “scientific” appeals to gynocentrism as amounting to pseudoscience. You can read his article on Ward’s gynocentrism theory here, and his entire series of articles here.

While human relationships and the wider culture can indeed be tilted in a gynocentric direction, this need not be understood as a necessary evolutionary norm. The gynocentrism we witness today can be understood as a maladaptive behaviour resulting from novel cultural forces playing on our biological potentials. Those novel forces act in a similar way to a cellphone in a plane which is why we switch phones to flight mode – nobody wants a corrupted flight program nor any of the novel reactions that would come with it. The plane is definitely not programmed to do spinning cartwheels due to someone’s cellphone interfering, but the existing program has potential to be corrupted to produce that outcome. So likewise, the claim that gynocentrism is hardwired in us as a “natural instinct” may be better understood as a corrupting set of forces playing on our biological mechanisms to generate pathological, maladaptive reactions.

This problem has been succinctly summarized by Hanna Wallen’s concept of the ‘Natural Gynocentrism Fallacy,‘ which refers to the belief that sexually mature women are the most important unit within the human species due to the role they play in reproduction – ie. it is a belief in which women are assumed to be more valuable to human society, and to human relationships, than are men, children and even the perpetuation of one’s genes. A corollary assumption is that women’s lives and wants should be prioritized over those of men and children.

The natural gynocentrism fallacy, according to Wallen, involves a denial of the fact that all adult humans, including women, are child-centric, gene-centric, and utilitarian toward that end. Thus the hypothesis that humans are a ‘gynocentric species’ amounts to a denial of women’s evolutionary value as an instrument of the child’s creation and protection, i.e., not because her gender is valued per se outside this utilitarian function. Wallen summarizes that gynocentrism is not a naturally occurring phenomenon, is not inevitable, and is something that can be corrected. She states that historical gynocentric attitudes that have been treated as “natural,” and thus as the reason why gynocentrism could never be eliminated, are false.

With the knowledge that biological theories of gynocentrism began with first wave feminists, this should at least prompt us to review the assumptions we’ve picked up regarding humans being a gynocentric species. We can at least question the validity of this longstanding feminist dogma, no matter which side of the equation we ultimately fall.


[1] Ann Taylor Allen, Feminism, Social Science, and the Meanings of Modernity: The Debate on the Origin of the Family in Europe and the United States, 1860-1914

[2] Kimmel, M. S., & Mahler, M. (2007). Classical sociological theory. New York:: Oxford University Press

[3] Ward, L. F. Our Better Halves.

[4] Davis, C. (2010). Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Biography. Stanford University Press.

[5] Gilman, C. P. (1911). The Man-Made World; or. Our Androcentric Culture.

[6] Gilman, C. P. (1911). Moving the Mountain. Charlton Company.

[7] Ward, L. F. (1903). Pure sociology: A treatise on the origin and spontaneous development of society. Macmillan Company.

Gynocentrism As A Narcissistic Pathology – Part 2

The following paper was first published in July 2023 in New Male Studies Journal and is republished with permission.


NEW MALE STUDIES: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ~ ISSN 1839-7816 ~ Vol 12, Issue 1, 2023, Pp. 29–44 © 2023