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).

References:

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:

1700:
“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]

1720:
“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]

1737:
“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]

1741:
“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]

1742:
“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]

1749:
“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]

1761:
“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]

1773:
“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]

1776:
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]

1777:
“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]

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]

1787:
“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]

1787:
“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]

1798:
“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.

Seriously?

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.

Why?

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.

Children?

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.

The Influence of Gynaecocentric Theory On Feminist Thought – by Correa Moylan Walsh (1917)

The following chapter is from the 1917 book Feminism And Socialism by Correa Moylan Walsh. In it he extensively examines the influence of Lester Ward and other Gynaecocentrism theorists on the feminist movement.

Foundations Of Feminism – by Avrom Barnett (1921)

The following is an excerpt from a 1921 book Foundations Of Feminism which links early feminism to the “gynocentric” belief that women are biologically superior, and thus more important to the human species than are males. This as mentioned is a forerunner to contemporary theories appealing to evolutionary psychology to posit the same conclusions of women’s superiority.




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 Adopted 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.

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

Has the MRM adopted a gynocentric ideology?

In 2013 I introduced the terms Men’s Human Rights Movement (MHRM) and Men’s Human Rights Advocacy (MHRA) to an audience devoted to men’s issues, and since that time the phrase has come to enjoy a small place in the lexicon.

MHRA  was partly introduced to indicate a different accent to that of many Men’s Rights Activists, of which the following are a few points (note, these are generalisations which don’t apply to all MRAs):

 

Another advantage of adding the word human in Men’s Human Rights Advocacy is it better qualifies that the rights being sought are human rights as differentiated from “patriarchal” or other rights, as imputed to the movement by feminists and other bad actors who wish to malign the movement.

The MRM is characterized by feminist critics as a regressive misogynist enterprise aiming for the revocation of women’s liberties and wanting women to be “essentially barefoot, pregnant and back in the kitchen.” This caricature has been generated by individuals who feel threatened by the idea of men seeking to improve their lives.

Over the last decade the ‘MRM’ label has become increasingly identified with belief in natural gynocentrism. Therefore the differences between MHRA and MRA can be summarized as non-gynocentrism, vs. advocacy for natural gynocentrism respectively: i.e., many MRAs see themselves as working within a natural gynocentric system to help men get a reasonable deal within its woman-centering parameters, whereas the MHRA position abandons the belief that humans must function within a bio-gynocentric system of relationships.

I’ve checked the science used by gynocentrism advocates and it’s thoroughly flawed; eg. Pretentious appeals to Robert Briffault and his non-existent ‘law’; the claim that humans are returning to hypothesised older layers of our genome shared with gynocentric gorillas and lions (pre Mutual Mate Choice models); or the claim that an increase in infanticide at the hands of women indicates they are evolutionarily more important than children or genes to successful reproduction. All of these arguments and more, including the examples of men going down on one knee to propose, or women’s hypergamy, can be better explained by a culturally driven rise of gynocentric narcissism.

Even the argument about women’s ova and wombs being sufficient for propagating the human species, with just a few men required as seed banks, is an unscientific fantasy of the narcissistic mind. Progeny of wombs stand little chance of survival without the infrastructure built by legions of men, even incel and bachelor men whose contributions to building infrastructure are equally vital for infant survival. We could say that men, collectively, are one giant paternal investment that cannot provide the necessary survival infrastructure if they were significantly reduced in numbers. What do we think would happen to world survival infrastructure today if the male population were reduced to 10% of the current number? I would hope the answer to this is obvious.

The high numbers of people invested in these fallacies include mindless meme-followers, narcissistically inclined women, male sycophants, and grifting institutions. To check whether these believers are promoting the theory due to memetic and psychological investment, ask yourself if a woman promoting natural gynocentrism theory is showing signs of narcissism? Equally, if a man promotes natural gynocentrism, ask yourself if he is also showing signs of trained sycophancy?

Perhaps we could put it this way: does “gynocentric MRA” sound like an oxymoron to you? It should. Because it is. And on that basis that I find myself more reluctant to use the label, though I should underline that I speak for no one but myself. Put simply, I cannot in good conscience support gynocentrism as a cornerstone of a men’s movement – that would be like accepting the married state is essential to living the MGTOW life. I will add that not all MRAs “believe” in the natural gynocentrism theory, even if many do, but a sufficient majority has influenced the understanding of how far we should take Men’s Rights Advocacy without infringing on supposedly sacrosanct models of bio-gynocentrism.

Lastly, I like many MRAs who care about and/or have pity for men and boys – this is not an attempt to dismiss their positive contributions nor an attempt to create needless division. The above thoughts are long percolated, and I share them only on the offchance that it makes some small difference in the narrative – perhaps being of assistance to a few men and women who are seeking a way out of the maze of Victorian era myths.

See also: