Wendy McElroy vs. Extremists of All Stripes

This web site got its start over an eye opening look at radical feminism. My wife and I attended a symposium sponsored by campus feminists and we were shocked and not a little disgusted at the extremism combined with the nonsense that passed for wisdom. That our own university was sponsoring nonsense like this was dismaying. Equally dismaying is that some people choose to respond to this feminist extremism with an anti-feminist extremism that borders on (and in some cases cross the line into) misogyny.

My very first experience with anyone connected with the Men’s Movement made me very suspicious of the whole enterprise. I had befriended a man who had a lot of bad experiences with the legal system following his divorce from his wife. The man was understandably frustrated at the very limited visitations he was allowed with his daughter. But his reaction to this was to advise me that my wife, who was pregnant at the time, was not to be trusted and that women in general were anathema to men in general.

This was, of course, simply the tired old feminist dogma about men and women from a male perspective. I was not really interested in dressing up feminist nonsense about the sexes and calling it liberating and gradually my friend and I grew apart and lost touch with each other.

Some of the people in the men’s movement are so hostile to women, that they attack even defenders of that movement such as Wendy McElroy and Cathy Young. McElroy tried to promote the iFeminists.Com web site on a Usenet group frequented by people in the men’s movement and in return received overwhelming hostility from people who consider anyone who calls him or herself a feminist — even an individualist feminist — to be coopted and just as bad as the radical feminists.

The extent of such hostility is on full display in an essay by Ray Remark, “The Boys in the Back Room: Divvying Up the Masculist Kingdom,” which was published recently on the AngryHarry.Com web site. Remark’s article and Angry Harry’s comments in response illustrate the absolute worst that the anti-feminist movement has to offer.

Remark offers up a dark conspiracy theory in which men lack almost all freedom and people like McElroy and Glenn Sacks are simply tools of the matriarchy. Sacks, for example, wrote an article criticizing misogyny in the men’s movement to which Remark responds that,

The evening that Mr. Sacks’ hit-piece was published, I saw Andrea Dworkin and Gloria Steinem capering down Fifth Avenue, wearing top-hats. They tapdanced all night on ground zero, in the cold ashes of what we once were.

Got that? Criticize misogyny in the men’s movement, and you’re just doing Andrea Dworkin’s work for her. Later in his article, Remark hysterically compares McElroy and Sacks’ criticism of the men’s movement to COINTELPRO and the purges that occurred in Communist Parties during the Stalinist period.

But what does Remark have to offer in its place? Not much. According to Remark,

Masculinity is broken, and so is the moral and spiritual legitimacy of the West.

We need nothing less than a resurrected manhood, a New Adam, and he will come from our gutters and prisons, from the despised and outcast amongst us. Our cure, and our redemption, waits hidden in the most marginal, unexplored elements of masculinity. The broken, the psychotic, the betrayed, the autistic, the demonized, the voiceless — these are the shards from which a new masculinity will be formed. They are brilliant spirits, but they burn very hot.

Ah, the new masculinity can be found in prisons and mental hospitals. I can hardly way to see the dawning of that New Age (come to think of it, I can wait a long time for this bizarre Nietzschean world view to come to pass).

Angry Harry simply reinforces the general view that some in the men’s movement are prone to misogyny. Remark is angry that Sacks and others have criticized elements of the men’s movement for criticizing women in general. But, according to Angry Harry, that’s entirely appropriate,

Well, AH has to say that he thinks that women should be attacked in general! After all, women, in general, have done very little to stem the tide of misandry. They have simply remained silent, and watched how the people they so often claim to love — men and boys — are being cheated, hoodwinked, demonised, discriminated against and treated as humans unworthy of consideration or proper justice.

Indeed, women, in general, continue to behave very selfishly, and they continue to take unfair advantage of today’s discriminatory systems, and AH fully supports any legitimate method which attempt to expose this.

Ah yes, that supreme favorite of radical feminists everywhere, the notion of collective guilt. For radical feminists, the average man is just as guilty — even if just by omission — as the hardened rapist, so for Angry Harry, the woman who just works 9 to 5 and tries to do the best for her family is just as guilty of promoting misandry as is any radical feminist.

What Angry Harry and Remark are arguing for is simply that the men’s movement and anti-feminism in general should be nothing more than a twisted mirror image of the radical feminism movement itself. To that I say thanks, but no thanks.


The Boys in the Back Room: Divvying up the Masculist Kingdom. Ray Remark, AngryHarry.Com, April 14, 2002.

Leave a Reply