Welcome to the Anti-Feminist Page!
“Women’s issues” are so contentious and so difficult to discuss today in a way that takes actual belief and experience into account that it often seems easier to avoid them. Nonetheless, they are basic to the lives of all of us, so open discussion is necessary and we hope this page contributes to that. To begin exploring the issues feminism raises we include a short essay as well as a list of resources. We also have a spoken introduction (requiring RealPlayer).
Feminism and Antifeminism
“Feminism” means so many different things that it appears to mean very little. Its theoretical advocates constantly contradict each other and themselves. In casting off feminine reserve and modesty they seem to have learned intellectual shamelessness as well. Rather than damaging feminism, its incoherence offers an easy defense against all criticism: whatever the complaint, the response is that it misses the mark because feminism is really something else.
It appears, however, that nothing can be called feminism that is not radically antitraditional and antinatural. What feminists call “gender”—the system of attitudes, expectations and customs that distinguishes men from women—has always and everywhere been basic to human life. To speak of “deeply rooted social stereotypes” is to speak of the centrality of masculinity and femininity to how we understand the world. Grammatical gender is one sign among many of that centrality. Although the detailed content of sexual distinctions has varied somewhat their general outlines have been stable. The men and women in ancient and non-Western literatures are immediately recognizable to us today as men and women like ourselves. Yang strikes us as masculine, Yin as feminine, just as they did the ancient Chinese.
The practical aspects of gender are no less universal than the symbolic. The ties among a man, a woman, and their children have always been fundamental, and dependent for reliable functioning on a generally settled division of responsibility among the parties and therefore between the sexes. More specifically, all societies have been patriarchal, at least in the very broad meaning of that term now accepted, with men mainly responsible for public concerns and women for domestic matters and the care of small children. Always and everywhere men, while exercising no general right of domination, have predominated in positions of formal authority.
The universality of these differences shows them to be rooted in biology and other permanent conditions of human life. It is hard to think of anything very different that would work, given the difficulty of building something that ignores universal human tendencies, and the need for stable and functional families and therefore role distinctions settled enough to stand up to the stresses and changes of life. A system as complex and subtle as human life cannot be reconfigured in fundamental ways merely at will. Nonetheless, opposition to gender as a principle of social order—to what is called “sexism”—is what unifies the things called “feminism.” Since the opposition is absolute and categorical, feminism is in no way reformist. It treats a fundamental and evidently necessary principle of all human societies, sex-role differentiation, as an oppressive arrangement that must be abolished at whatever cost.
The aim of feminism, therefore, is to create a new kind of human being in a new form of society in which age-old ties among men, women and children are to be dissolved and new ones constituted in accordance with abstract ideological demands. In place of family ties based on what seems natural and customary and supported by upbringing and social expectation, feminism would permit only ties based on contract and idiosyncratic sentiment, with government stepping in when those prove too shaky for serious reliance. There is no reason to suppose the substitution can be made to work, let alone work well, and every reason to expect the contrary. Feminism does not care about reason, however, or even about experience of the effects of weakened family life. It is in fact ideological and radical to the core. There can be no commonsense feminism, because doing what comes naturally gets a feminist nowhere.
The objections to anarchist and communist theory apply with yet more force to feminism, because what the latter seeks to eliminate touches us far more deeply than private property or the state. Like the other two theories, feminism can be presented as a lofty and necessary ideal set up in opposition to a long history of dreadful injustice. After all, things like gender that are implicated in all social life are necessarily implicated in all social injustice. Nonetheless, the practical implementation of feminism, especially by force of law, can only lead to catastrophe. Like anarchism it calls for categorical opposition to distinctions and patterns of authority people find natural, and like communism for ceaseless radical reconstruction of all aspects of life, and consequently for absolute bureaucratic control of everything. Both tendencies are thoroughly destructive, and their mutual opposition does not render them harmless.
The result of the victory of feminism has been a combination of disorder and state tyranny cascading from America throughout the world, from the most immediate personal relationships to high culture and international politics. Feminism has meant suspicion and hostility where mutual reliance is an absolute necessity. It has meant growing deceit, heartlessness and brutality in daily life, resulting in particular suffering for the weak. It has meant confusion and misery for the young, who have been deprived of stable family life and concrete ideals of adulthood. It has meant the destruction of local and popular institutions by ever more powerful and irresponsible state bureaucracies. It has set women free mainly to be low level employees and unattached sexual commodities. It must therefore be opposed as a destructive fanaticism based on a gross and wilful misapprehension of human life.
It is not surprising that feminists, who misconstrue so much, misconstrue the nature of the opposition to them. Since their position requires a comprehensive and minute system of ideological regimentation they assume antifeminists must also be aspiring tyrants. They thus recreate their opponents in their own image.
In fact, to be antifeminist is simply to accept that men and women differ and rely on each other to be different, and to view the differences as among the things constituting human life that should be reflected where appropriate in social attitudes and institutions. By feminist standards all societies have been thoroughly sexist. It follows that to be antifeminist is only to abandon the bigotry of a present-day ideology that sees traditional relations between the sexes as simply a matter of domination and submission, and to accept the validity of the ways in which human beings have actually dealt with sex, children, family life and so on. Antifeminism is thus nothing more than the rejection of one of the narrow and destructive fantasies of an age in which such things have been responsible for destruction and murder on an unprecedented scale. It is opening oneself to the reality of things.
Acceptance of the legitimacy and usefulness of sex roles is an exercise of ordinary good sense. Stable and functional families are necessary for a tolerable way of life, and they will not exist unless men and women each have something specific to offer that the other is entitled to rely on. Further, the natural tendencies of the sexes are different, and life is happier when social institutions somehow reflect natural human tendencies. Nonetheless, what is in itself good sense may be quite radical from the point of view that is conventional in public at a particular time and place. Such is the state of antifeminism today. To reject feminist claims is to put oneself outside what is said to be the mainstream.
The success of feminism has owed a great deal to the astonishing absence of open opposition to it. That absence has had a variety of causes, including masculine cowardice and the difficulty of communication between the sexes. Other causes include the extreme centralization of public life today, the absolute triumph of liberal ideology in our public and intellectual life, and the difficulty that ideology has dealing with issues relating to family life because of its tendency to base all human relations on arm’s-length bargaining or force.
The power of feminism despite its evident irrationality shows the strength and pervasiveness of the institutions, interests and ways of thinking that support it. Its triumph has been part of the triumph of state and market over all other social powers, the culmination of a trend that has been sweeping all before it for centuries and become horrendously destructive. Government and business are now uniformly feminist, ultimately because family life hems them in by establishing a principle of social order not reducible to money and state regulation. The media, the educational system, and even organized scholarship take their lead from government and business and are therefore feminist as well. No significant social authority takes an opposing view. Without exception the articulate and powerful benefit from absorption of the functions of the family by formal public institutions.
Circumstances thus favor feminism, and a restored system of sex roles will not be brought back by fiat. A system of sexual cooperation must be generally acceptable to both men and women, and reflect current conditions as well as human nature. What must be done now is to eliminate arbitrary ideological demands and open up discussion so that considerations fundamental to normal human life but at odds with today’s predominant institutional interests can once again find expression and play their necessary role in public and private life. Extensive discussion and experimentation will be necessary to that end, things now impossible because of feminist laws and censorship. Almost alone, the Internet retains its independence and holds out hope that resistance and free discussion may still be possible.
In the end feminism cannot win because it radically undermines any stable and productive ordering of private life. By disordering reproduction and childrearing and the most basic human connections it puts long-term social survival in question. It has done a great deal of damage, however, and will do much more before it destroys itself. The more explicit, articulate and successful its opponents the more damage can be prevented. Hence this page.
Resources on the Web
Here are resources on the web relating to antifeminism. The collection is not up-to-date, although I do try to get rid of dead links:
- Upstream: Issues: Feminism: Index. A good collection of materials critical of feminism.
- The Domain of Patriarchy. A useful collection of discussions and links. Includes discussion of Steven Goldberg’s work on the universality of patriarchy.
- F. Roger Devlin is probably the leading critical theoretician of the relations between the sexes. See his comments on “Home Economics (One and Two) and on The feminine sexual counter-revolution and its limitations.
- Anti Misandry. Curing feminist indoctination.
- The Men’s Tribune. More discussions and more links, including many to classical and literary works.
- The Antifeminism article in Wikipedia. Contested territory.
- Papers by Howard Schwartz—analyses of feminism in the psychoanalytic tradition.
- Paul Gottfried on The Trouble With Feminism.
- Matthias Matussek on The Women are at Fault. Complaints about the German feminist movement and its institutionalization, somewhat clunkily translated from the German.
- Women and Decadence: A Critique of Feminist Ideology, an M.A. thesis by John Flynn.
- The Open Directory listing of opposing views to feminism. Also see the section about feminism in their section on men’s issues.
- Feminism on Trial Webring. As it says, a webring.
- angryharry.com: a very valuable collection of current news and views from many sources. Updated weekly.
- David Stove on The Intellectual Capacity of Women.
- And for masculine grousing about women, some of very high quality, see Misogyny Unlimited, part of a larger site that includes a great deal of material on women, feminism and Otto Weininger.
Science and Sex Differences
- “What Sex Is Your Brain?” A condensed excerpt from the book Brain Sex, by Anne Moir and David Jessel, on differences in men’s and women’s brains and their consequences.
- Study of responses of prominent feminists to evidence of sex differences.
Law and Public Policy
- United States v. Virginia et al., dissenting opinion by Justice Scalia. One of the few instances in which even slightly antifeminist views have recently made their way into a government document.
- Freedom of Speech vs. Workplace Harassment Law, compiled by libertarian law professor Eugene Volokh.
- Feminist Jurisprudence: Equal Rights or Neo-Paternalism?, by Michael Weiss and Cathy Young. Analysis from a libertarian think tank.
- Phyllis Schafly on the “Feminist Assault on Reasonableness” in the law.
- Online Articles about Women in Combat.
- Military Women and Women Soldiers are collections of letters from military men on women in the military.
- And Justice for All (Well, Not Exactly). A rather pointed complaint about inequalities in the law.
- Guide to Classical Liberal Scholarship—Feminism. Not anti-feminist, but a perspective that opposes the comprehensive government intervention feminism generally calls for.
- The Human Rights of Women: A Reference Guide to official United Nations Documents. As if you didn’t know, the NWO is heavy into feminism.
- Christina Hoff Sommers on the UN Feminist Threat.
Sex and Family Life
- The Garbage Generation, a book by Daniel Amneus on the disastrous decline of the two-parent family and the need to strengthen the father’s role, its weakest link.
- “Civilization”, collection of pieces, including The Marriage Strike, by Wendy McElroy, touching on the relationship between the decline of marriage and the decline of civilization.
- Fatherlessness—Impact on Children, Families and Society.
- Bring back the stay-at-home mom. Daycare really isn’t so great, no matter what feel-good propaganda you may have read.
- Allan Carlson on The Family Factors lessons from history about the future of marriage and in the United States.
- Daycares Don’t Care, Where is the Love? A collection of materials on daycare.
- Mary Eberstadt on “Home-Alone America”—the great social experiment no-one wants to talk about.
- Domestic Violence Against Men—Colorado. Feminism and initiatives against “violence against women” don’t really cover the ground.
- Book Review—Maggie Gallagher’s Enemies of Eros
- Books In Review—The Morning After.
Media and Rhetoric
- Special Report: The Lace Curtain. A mainstream discussion of feminist influence in the media.
- “Feminism and Abortion”. In The Atlantic, Martha Bayles analyzes the relations among “pro-choice” rhetoric, the liberal ideal of the independent and autonomous individual, the practical difficulties of biology, and human and especially feminine psychology.
- “Against the Theory of ‘Sexist Language’ ”. An essay on why all the fuss about pronouns is silly.
- “Feminists and Their Enemies”, by Harry Stein. Feminism at The New York Times and such.
- “The Myth of Soulless Women”—Thomas Aquinas or somebody is supposed to have believed in some such thing.
- Women Are As Violent as Men.
- John Lott on Abortion and Crime. No, abortion
doesn’t mean there are fewer problem kids.
- Cheerless Fantasies, a catalogue of errors (lies, really) in Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.
Men and Men’s Movement
- Men’s Issues.
- International Men’s Network. Articles, issues and activism.
- Domestic Violence Against Men In Colorado. A comprehensive site dealing with the one-sidedness of current law.
- Glenn Sacks, a journalist and columnist who writes on men’s issues.
- ManRights Reference Desk, a comprehensive collection of materials.
- CPF—The Fatherhood Coalition.
- Collections of electronic books relevant to men’s rights.
- “angryharry.com”—English antifeminism, including links, articles and very extensive weekly news updates.
- The Mens’ Activism News Network. More links and news updates.
- UK Men’s Movement. Lots of stuff.
- Welcome to NoJustice.info. Fighting antiman and antifamily law and policy in Canada.
- Civil Rights Organisation—campaigning for men’s rights by fighting charges of sexual harassment.
- Index Page: The Backlash!. Another ezine. The name says it all.
- Fathers and Men’s Rights Articles by Stephen Baskerville, Ph. D.
- “Modern Manhood”, by Roger Scruton.
- “The War Against Boys”, an article in The Atlantic by Christina Hoff Sommers.
- “Progressive Ed’s War on Boys” by Janet Daley. In Britain, progressive ed banished competition and testing as harmful and elitist. Result: underachieving young males.
- A Boyhood Stolen, a review of As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As a Girl, by John Colapinto (HarperCollins, 2000).
- NoMarriage.com—marriage and relationship advice for men put together by a man who’s decided they’re not such a great deal these days.
- Independent Women’s Forum, women critical of at least important aspects of feminism.
- Ladies Against Feminism. Don’t worry about the name—it’s a first rate site with good resources.
- Concerned Women for America.
- REAL Women of Canada. An independently-minded women’s group.
- The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Evangelicals opposed to creeping feminism. Lots of resources.
- Family Issues and Feminism. Resources from a right-wing Christian site.
- The Feminist Threat to the Roman Catholic Church in the UK. Discussion and resources.
- The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, by John Knox (1558). Principled opposition to female political rule based on theology, history, and natural law.
- The Truth About Men & Church, by Robbie Low.
- “Feminism and the Launch of the Catechism”. Catholic reflections on feminism in the Church.
- Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. The Catholics talk to the United Nations about family issues.
- A Catholic scholar on whether there were women priests in the early Church.
- The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy. A large collection of articles.
- “Inclusive Language Undermines Beauty, Meaning”. More, from a Roman Catholic perspective.
- Jesus, Son of Humankind? The Necessary Failure of Inclusive-Language Translations. And still more.
- “Missing Fathers of the Church The Feminization of the Church & the Need for Christian Fatherhood”, by Leon Podles.
- Feminism: Summit Ministries. Christian objections to feminism.
- “The Feminist Flaw”. More of the same.
- The Real Issue, September/October, 1995—Feminism. Yet more, from the Campus Crusade for Christ.
- Patriarch, another Christian site.
- Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? A book by Wayne Grudem arguing that that sexual egalitarianism inescapably rejects biblical authority.
- Christian Feminism, an audio file of a sermon by Martin Dawson, a pastor in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
- For views of stay-at-home moms and conservative women, generally from a Christian perspective, see Hearts and Rightgrrl!
- Official Promise Keepers Web Site. A men’s Christian revival movement often considered antifeminist. On the other hand, many scholars consider Newtonian physics antifeminist, so don’t expect anything very specific or hard-hitting.
- Islamic sites: Liberation by the Veil, and Women in Islam.
- Dharma-kshetra. And in Hinduism.
- Dave Sim’s Tangent. A cartoonist’s reflections on feminism, and on women generally. Also see his The Merged Void.
- Another homemade antifeminist site: responsibleOpposing.com.
- And more: Cult-feminism: The Cult that Deceived the World! and Anti-feminism for idiots.
- antifeminist links. A personal collection.
- Anatomy Of Female Psyche. A Russian site, in English.
They come and go, but a few must be mentioned. Find more from the blogrolls.
- Female Misogynist. How feminism and matriarchy are destroying civilization.
- The Anti-Inclusiveness FAQ is a discussion of the notion of “inclusiveness” and its implementation through civil rights legislation. The discussions of “stereotypes” and “discrimination” may be useful.
- Liberal feminism is based on the notion that one’s body and in particular the sexual nature of one’s body is irrelevant to what one is. Since the liberal view of sexual morality has the same basis the discussion in The Sexual Morality FAQ may be useful.
- The Conservatism FAQ develops an alternative to the notion, upon which most feminism depends, that it is possible consciously to construct a social order on principles thought rational.
Antifeminist and related issues may be discussed on:
- Patriarchy, an electronic discussion list.
- Anti-Feminism. Yet another.
- Families’ and Fathers’ Rights Discussion Forums.
- Simon Baron-Cohen, The Essential Difference: The Truth about the Male and Female Brain (Perseus, 2003).
- Deborah Blum, Sex on the Brain: The Biological Differences Between Men and Women (Penguin, 1998).
- Louann Md Brizendine, The Female Brain (Broadway, 2006).
- Allan C. Carlson and Paul T. Mero, The Natural Family: A Manifesto (Spence Publishing, 2007).
- Danielle Crittenden, What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman (Simon & Schuster, 2000).
- Thomas Ellis, The Rantings of a Single Male: Losing Patience with Feminism, Political Correctness… and Basically Everything (Rannenberg Publishing, 2005)
- Warren Farrell, Myth of Male Power (Penguin, 1994). Men have problems too.
- David C. Geary, Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences. (American Psychological Association, 1998).
- Steven Goldberg, Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance (1993). Some anthropological problems for those who intend to abolish “sexism.”
- Carolyn Graglia, Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism (1998).
- Stephanie Gutmann, The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can America’s Gender-Neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars? (2000). Implications for a current issue.
- Michael Levin, Feminism and Freedom (1988). Unusually clear analysis.
- Frederica Mathewes-Green, Gender: Men, Women, Sex and Feminism (2002). Personal essays by the religious journalist detailing her journey out of feminism.
- Alan Millard, Equality: A Man’s Claim: The Equality Issue from the Male Perspective, and an Ethical Society’s Viewpoint (1995). Debunking feminist claims.
- Brian Mitchell, Women in the Military: Flirting with Disaster (1998). The title explains it.
- Patrick Mitchell, The Scandal of Gender (1998). An Orthodox Christian view.
- Anne Moir and David Jessel, Brain Sex (1993). The differences are there in the wiring.
- Anne and Bill Moir, Why Men Don’t Iron : The Fascinating and Unalterable Differences Between Men and Women (Birch Lane, 2000). And not only that, but they have consequences.
- Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001). A non-feminist “culture studies” book.
- Daphne Patai, Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism (1998). What happens when you don’t like the constitution of reality.
- Leon J. Podles, The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity (Spence, 1999). It started in the Middle Ages and has only gotten worse.
- Steven Rhoads, Taking Sex Differences Seriously (Encounter Books, 2004). Said to be something of a breakthrough publication. Still, feminist metaphysics have always trumped facts up till now, so we’ll see.
- Brian C. Robertson, Day Care Deception: What the Child Care Establishment Isn’t Telling Us (Encounter Books, 2003). As the title says.
- Howard S. Schwartz, The Revolt of the Primitive: An Inquiry into the Roots of Political Correctness (Praeger, 2001). A psychological diagnosis of feminism of political correctness as infantile narcissistic attachment to the mother.
- Christina Hoff Sommers, The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men (Touchstone, 2001).
- Phyllis Schafly, Feminist Fantasies (Spence 2003). A collection of short pieces by the woman who defeated the ERA.
- James Tooley on The Miseducation of Women (Ivan R. Dee 2003). Why educate girls for everything except marriage and motherhood. Are those things so horrible?
- W. Bradford Wilcox on Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands (University Of Chicago Press 2004). An academic debunks stereotypes about oppressive fundie chauvinists.