The Male as Incomplete Female
Common sense tells us that a father’s role is not equal to a mother’s.
Regardless of what happens to her baby, whether it dies, or is given away, or grows up in her care, or commits a hideous crime, [a woman] will always be attached to it. She will suffer more for her child than she has ever suffered for herself. If her child is taken from her, she will experience pain at the site of the separation for the rest of her life.
This is a real difference between men and women; neither fashion nor politics can argue it away… Claiming to replicate female experience is another way of belittling it, just another insidious variation of misogyny.
Germaine Greer (Greer, 2008)
Feminism can be defined as an ideology, a set of beliefs, founded in a particular model of how society is structured and how it behaves. Its fundamental and unifying paradigm is that of the patriarchy, and this is followed by belief in male privilege, female oppression, patriarchal domestic terrorism (also known as the Duluth Model) and rape culture (the conviction that society condones rape). These are the core tenets which define feminism. It is not a movement for promoting the equal rights of women, since feminism routinely protects the rights women enjoy which men do not, and interferes with any efforts to equalise the treatment of men and women under the law. Feminism is an irrational and false ideology because, when presented with the overwhelming evidence that proves its central tenets false, its response is to engage in denial, information suppression, false allegations, boycotts, censorship, intimidation, terrorism, and death threats.
The many women and men who class themselves feminists because they believe in equal voting rights or equal pay are deluded: there is no need for a special designation for such mainstream and uncontroversial views. They unwittingly form a human shield behind which hides the much uglier face of feminism. The claim that feminism is a benign movement is a myth; it is consumed with hatred.
Today we are taught that the women of the early feminist period were oppressed and that men were privileged, but it was the men (and boys) who were obliged to lay down their lives in the Great War – about 900,000 of them in the UK – and most of these men didn’t have the right to vote either. In the early 19th century only 2% of men could vote in parliamentary elections and this had risen only to 60% by the 1918 General Election following the Reform Acts of 1832, 1867 and 1884, though many could not vote due to delays in registration; practically, fewer than half of the male population were able to cast votes. While men fought for their lives in Europe the pampered suffragettes campaigned only for the right of wealthy middle-class women to vote, waging a vicious campaign of intimidation, violence, vandalism and arson; John Bruce Glasier, chairman of the Independent Labour Party, accused Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel of ‘miserable individualist sexism’. This sexism went deeper as the Pankhursts demanded military conscription and handed teenage boys white feathers to shame them into enlisting and remind them of their obligation to protect their womenfolk; with astonishing insensitivity Emmeline wrote,
The least that men can do is that every man of fighting age should prepare himself to redeem his word to women, and to make ready to do his best, to save the mothers, the wives and daughters of Great Britain from outrage too horrible even to think of.
It is probable that the suffragettes delayed rather than hastened universal suffrage; Lloyd George exclaimed,
Haven’t the Suffragettes the sense to see that the very worst way of campaigning for the vote is to try and intimidate a man into giving them what he would gladly give otherwise?
Universal suffrage was introduced in 1918 to men over 21 and women over 30 – the disparity was simply for balance and to take account of the many men killed in the War; notwithstanding that, it is likely that more women voted in 1918 than men. In 1928 the voting age for women was lowered to 21 and in 1969 the age for both men and women was reduced to 18.
Let me introduce you to modern feminism. Here is the Ukranian organisation Femen which is spreading to other countries including the US, Canada and various European nations; its activists sought to assassinate the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and their logo depicts a topless woman with a bloody sickle in one hand and a severed scrotum in the other. Over here are the Femitheists, an extremist group who want to achieve a ‘new era of feminism’ through the castration of all males on ‘International Castration Day’: naked men will be lined up to await castration by the publically elected ‘Castrator’ while women line the streets cheering the acceptance of neutered males into civilised society. On the internet you can read the Ending Male Violence Blog which calls for a decontamination of the earth by eliminating males, or My Misandry, a site where misandrists can express themselves and meet other like-minded people and which says on its front page, ‘HELL YEAH KILL ALL MEN FUCK THOSE GUYS AND THEIR RAPE ORGANS’. Brown Power manages to be both sexist and racist, proclaiming, ‘kill all men’ and ‘death to whites’. The SCUM Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men) celebrates the feminist Valerie Solanas, who tried and failed to murder Andy Warhol, and declares,
Every man, deep down, knows he’s a worthless piece of shit.
To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he’s a machine, a walking dildo.
The male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.
There are many other such organisations and sites which variously promote the mutilation, culling or murder of men and boys. There are no equivalent organisations run by men demanding the destruction of women; there is no male equivalent of organised feminism or of the visceral hatred that so many women seem to have for men. This form of feminism is becoming increasingly prevalent and mainstream, it influences politics, popular culture and advertising. Feminism is now the establishment. On the internet it is tolerated, while sites supportive of male victims of domestic violence or promoting shared parenting are branded ‘hate sites’ and are blocked and censored by corporations like O2 and Symantec.
Hatred and bigotry are central to feminism, it isn’t only fathers they despise, homosexual men are scorned for their misogynist rejection of women, their homosexuality is perceived ‘as a reaction against feminist demands’. Feminists hate drag queens and are notorious for their transphobia, ‘All transsexuals rape women’s bodies by reducing the real female form to an artefact, appropriating this body for themselves …. Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive’ (Raymond, 1979). Many feminist organisations, including domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centres, exclude transgender women who threaten feminist bigotry because they violate the traditional gender roles on which sexism is based.
The modern women’s liberation movement was birthed amongst the leftist, drug-taking, draft-dodging hippies of the 1960s. Those who wouldn’t fight for their country were also those who wanted to dismantle society, but had no idea what to put in its place. In The Feminine Mystique Betty Friedan persuaded middle-class American women that they were wrong to seek identity and meaning within their families,
It is easy to see the concrete details that trap the suburban housewife, the continual demands on her time. But the chains that bind her in her trap are chains in her own mind and spirit. They are chains made up of mistaken ideas and misinterpreted facts, of incomplete truths and unreal choices. They are not easily seen and not easily shaken off.
How can any woman see the whole truth within the bounds of her own life? How can she believe that voice inside herself, when it denies the conventional, accepted truths by which she has been living? And yet the women I have talked to, who are finally listening to that inner voice, seem in some incredible way to be groping through to a truth that has defied the experts (Friedan, 1963).
In 1966 Friedan established the National Organization for Women (NOW) and wrote its manifesto,
We believe that women will do most to create a new image of women by acting now, and by speaking out in behalf of their own equality, freedom, and human dignity – not in pleas for special privilege, nor in enmity toward men, who are also victims of the current, half-equality between the sexes – but in an active, self-respecting partnership with men. By so doing, women will develop confidence in their own ability to determine actively, in partnership with men, the conditions of their life, their choices, their future and their society (Friedan, 1966).
The limitation of Friedan’s analysis was that having awoken women’s dissatisfaction and resentment, and given it a name, she could not suggest any better way for women to respond than by leaving their husbands and their homes – men who do this are denounced as ‘deadbeats’. What was her solution, beyond an increase in the numbers of failed marriages and fatherless children? ‘[Not] in enmity toward men,’ said Friedan, ‘but in an active, self-respecting partnership with men’. This is a long way removed from what we understand of feminism today. So what went wrong?
As happened to its British counterpart, Women’s Aid, the moderation of NOW’s founders was overwhelmed by militants and extremists. The Marxists had spoken of the ‘cultural hegemony’, a term coined by Antonio Gramsci, as the means by which capitalism was sustained. The capitalist ideology was imposed on the proletariat to such an extent that its precepts became accepted as ‘common sense’ values and obliged the working class to identify their own good with that of the bourgeoisie. The feminists adapted the term when they spoke of the ‘patriarchal hegemony’ (the collective patresfamilias) and set about undermining and destroying the ‘common sense’ which revered the family as the foundation of society. To the feminists the family was instead ‘a seething nest of abuse from which battered wives and molested children may at any time need to be rescued’ (Hitchens, 2003).
Feminism taught that there was an elaborate conspiracy against women run by the patriarchy in which ‘men who assault their wives are actually living up to cultural prescriptions that are cherished in Western society—aggressiveness, male dominance and female subordination—and they are using physical force as a means to enforce that dominance’ (Dobash & Dobash, 1979). Men’s patriarchal privilege and violent domination of women are what justify hatred and the feminist violence against men – this is Patriarchy Theory. Despite the huge advances in women’s rights over the last century, and the overwhelming evidence showing that patriarchal violence is a myth, feminism has not modified this narrative.
Whereas Marxism had seen society as the economic exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie through capitalism, the gender politics of neo-Marxist feminism, schooled by Engels and the anti-racist American civil rights movement, replaced Marx’s concept of ‘class’ with one of gender and saw society in terms of the exploitation of women by men through violence. The patriarchy simply replaced capitalism as the women’s movement’s bête noir. Radical feminism taught that male-based, patriarchal authority and power structures had to be swept away before society could be reformed. These violent and oppressive structures included the family and heterosexual marriage; radical feminist Sheila Cronan wrote,
Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the women’s movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage (Cronan, 1973).
Some extremist radical feminists, the ‘separatists’, possessed by loathing, not just of men, but of all that is male, believed that all heterosexual relationships between the sexes had to be eliminated. Feminism takes the proletariat/bourgeois dichotomy and, guided by Engels, imposes it on the family; feminism politicises the family and the abolition of the family becomes not merely the ambition of feminists but also of those left-wing politicians who still fondly dream of a Marxist utopia:
In the great majority of cases today, at least in the possessing classes, the husband is obliged to earn a living and support his family, and that in itself gives him a position of supremacy, without any need for special legal titles and privileges. Within the family he is the bourgeois and the wife represents the proletariat…
Then it will be plain that the first condition for the liberation of the wife is to bring the whole female sex back into public industry, and that this in turn demands the abolition of the monogamous family as the economic unit of society (Engels, 1884).
Feminism turned into weapons those issues which had not previously been thought political: housework, sexuality, reproductive rights, fashion and beauty, abortion and domestic violence: to paraphrase the activist Carol Hanisch, it made the personal political (Hanisch, 1969). The modern feminist utopia would be created by sweeping away the institutions which upheld the social and cultural status quo: conventional morality, sexual restraint, monogamous marriage, personal responsibility, patriotism, national unity, tradition, education, the law, and established religion.
In America the Frankfurt School planned to achieve a slow revolution by introducing socialists into key positions in America’s media, education system, religious institutions and popular culture. Within the family the agents who would tear apart the nation’s foundation would be women, and in particular, young women. If they could be persuaded the family was their oppressor and to abandon their traditional roles as homemakers, mothers and the transmitters of culture, then the next generation could be raised without a foundation in cultural traditions and the traditional culture would at last be left behind to make way for the new world order. The curriculum of free love, radical sex education, disdain for parental authority and the obsolescence and irrelevance of monogamy and organised religion has become familiar now in the schools of most western countries where popular media such as advertising, television soap operas or Hollywood films routinely deliver the same message. The social pathologies which until the twentieth century had been kept under control have become widespread: illegitimate births, divorce, cohabitation, single motherhood, teenage pregnancy, abortion, gang membership, welfare dependency. Feminism has become the establishment.
The concept of the family as the fundamental building block of society is something we inherited from the Puritans for whom the family was the ‘Little Commonwealth’ and the base of the hierarchical pyramid. It was a resilient structure cemented together by discipline and obedience, and it imposed powerful controls upon behaviour and sexuality. The breakdown of this structure is facilitated by the removal of the cement and its replacement by fluid promiscuity and licence; this structure, and the patriarchal family which is at its base, depends upon female chastity – without which men can have no families and children no fathers. Feminism is the rebellion against this structure; it is the expression of liberation from societal norms and the advocacy of self-indulgence and ‘diverse’ lifestyle freedoms: departures from traditional values which have now become the very criteria by which ‘sophisticated’ societies judge themselves. Unable to live alongside their heterosexual sisters, lesbian feminists seek to impose a fatherless, lesbian-based technological restructuring of society upon us all, and because most of us remain obstinately blind to what they are doing, they have prevailed.
Feminism invited the state into the home, demanding that it intervene in the hitherto private and protected areas of motherhood, children and domesticity and made public that which had hitherto been private. Feminism criminalised the male. In a generation private life and sexual associations had become bureaucratised; male/female relations were seen no longer in terms of cooperation and reciprocity but in terms of power and competition. Traditional familial relations were recast as the struggle between oppressor and oppressed. The mechanism which made this intrusion possible was family law, which feminists turned into a potent weapon for waging gender warfare against men and boys and for institutionalising anti-family ideology.
In the 1960s and ‘70s feminism celebrated three major victories. The first was the legalisation (in 1967 in the UK and 1973 in the US) of abortion: babies, according to the feminists, were parasites, and it was a woman’s right to abort them. The old values of fidelity, altruism, sexual restraint and personal responsibility were sacrificed to the new religion of the self, personal growth and ‘choice’. Fathers have no right in law to prevent the abortion of a child. This was precisely the pursuit of personal gratification and disdain for society the authors of the Morton Report (see Chapter One) had warned against. Marriage was denounced as ‘slavery’, ‘dependency’, ‘legalised prostitution’, etc.
The feminists’ second victory was to introduce in the UK, across the US and elsewhere – as had been achieved in the Soviet Union in 1917 – the unilateral divorce, enabling women to ditch their spouses without their consent and without their having done anything wrong. Marriage and familial ties were presented as shackles from which women must be liberated: restrictions which limit individual fulfilment; divorce became easily procured provided the parties agreed.
The third victory was to have alternative lifestyles and fatherless homes legitimised under the name of ‘family’, emptying this once potent word of all meaning; the mantra now is that ‘families come in all shapes and sizes’. Family life in the developed world has become politicised by an ideology which is destructive, radical and fanatical. Rathbone and the suffragettes never wanted to destroy the family. Nor, for that matter, did Friedan or Germaine Greer. Today’s feminists are not their heirs. Modern feminism wants to eliminate traditional sex roles; it wants to deny women the right to stay at home and raise their children; it demands the rewriting of children’s books, school textbooks and curricula; it silences opposition; it is militant and intolerant. Modern feminism teaches women to be dissatisfied and frustrated with their lives, their jobs, their marriages and their families, and that they can discover fulfilment only outside of these confines. It teaches women to hold men in contempt and to fear them: to believe that men are culturally programmed to be violent. By the 1970s social policy had been completely rewritten by the feminists, dominated by the false myth of the patriarchy.
In his book Institutional Injustice Martin Mears, former President of the Law Society, identified two sources of the judicial bias evident in the family courts (Mears, 2005). The first is an antiquated, paternalistic chivalry which places women on a pedestal and views them as vulnerable creatures in need of protection from men. For these judges child-raising is the proper concern of women while a father’s role is confined to going to work and earning money. One of the clearest examples of this misplaced gallantry came during Jeffrey Archer’s notorious libel case against the Daily Star in which James Caulfield asked of his wife, Mary, ‘Has she elegance? Has she fragrance? Would she have, without the strain of this trial, radiance?’ The second factor is the familiar liberal political-correctness and horror of discrimination which Mears describes hijacking the legal industry during the 1990s. Though they would regard paternalistic chivalry as unforgivably patronising and condescending, feminists share the sense that a mother is entitled to custody while a father is obliged to keep paying for children he has no right to see.
Until his retirement in July 2013, decisions in most ‘leave to remove’ cases – in which a mother applies to the court to take her children to live abroad – were dominated by Lord Justice Mathew Thorpe and in most leave was granted. The decisive principle was the all-pervasive lone parent model, in which state services and support are focused on the mother/child dyad while the father is a problem to be tackled, excluded and fleeced for child support:
Refusing the primary carer’s reasonable proposals for the relocation of her family life is likely to impact detrimentally on the welfare of her dependent children. Therefore her application to relocate will be granted unless the Court concludes that it is incompatible with the welfare of the children (Payne v Payne, 2001).
In 2010 Thorpe admitted this principle was ‘not derived from expert evidence nor from many research studies’ and that it was ‘matricentric and discriminatory’ (Thorpe, 2010). Gender-based discrimination is written deep into family legislation; at the heart of this is the discriminatory allocation of Child Benefit which determines receipt of many other benefits and which the law decrees must be paid to mothers. The Supreme Court confirmed that the rules on child tax credits discriminate against fathers, but excused this because it assists government policy (Humphreys v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, 2012). The system, of course, denies there is institutional bias.
Current refutations of bias rely on a single study commissioned for the purpose by the Ministry of Justice in 2008 from Joan Hunt and Alison Macleod of the Oxford Centre for Family Law and Policy (OXFLAP) (Hunt & Macleod, 2008). The press were quick to rub campaigners’ faces in the dirt; ‘Fathers’ groups are wrong,’ thundered the Times, ‘most men are winning right to see children, study shows’ (Gibb, 2008). Fathers’ groups had never claimed that most men were not ordered contact, merely that contact ordered was not always enabled, seldom enforced and never monitored. What the Times didn’t understand was that ‘contact’ as ordered by a court doesn’t always mean a parent gets to see their child; contact can be ‘indirect’, and restrict a parent to sending a letter a month, for example, with no guarantee of it reaching the child, and no possibility of acknowledgement. Even ‘direct’ contact can designate having to pay for a supervised hour every month in a ‘contact centre’, a grim and unsympathetic place in which to conduct so vital a relationship.
The study took a tiny sample of 286 applications for contact (out of a possible 78,000 that year), three quarters from fathers. Interviews were conducted, not with parents, but with lawyers, who predictably repudiated criticism. In 4 out of 5 cases the proceedings had ended with an order or agreement for some degree of contact. Closer analysis revealed a disquieting picture. More than half of the children were unable to stay overnight with their non-resident parents; a fifth of applications, representing nearly 16,000 that year, had resulted in no order for contact at all, of any sort. The study showed court orders were being flouted and the courts were neither monitoring contact nor enforcing it when fathers returned to court. The report’s writers tried to spin the figures, by observing, for example, that where contact was opposed it was nevertheless ordered in over half of cases. For a desperate father trying to restore contact, however, these are not good odds. It was also concerning that older children were less likely to have direct contact: a situation apt to continue into the remainder of their childhoods and beyond. Where contact was taking place the levels were low, with the most common arrangement – two overnights per fortnight – misleadingly presented as satisfactory. Only 12% of arrangements allowed stays of more than two nights at a time. Only half of applications resulted in the level of contact applied for, and of parents who applied to have existing orders enforced, only half were successful. This was consistent with the claim made by fathers’ groups: that each successive application for enforcement resulted in a reduction in the level of contact ordered.
The report revealed the extent of the feminist doctrine of maternal entitlement, which regards sole maternal custody as the norm and that fathers should be grateful for any degree of contact. Only from such a perspective can two nights a fortnight be deemed satisfactory. One of the pillars of the feminist approach is the use of paternal contact as a reward for supporting the mother prior to separation. The feminist organisation Maypole Women, for example, believes the relationship a mother has with her children is superior to that of a father’s, ‘When the family courts place no value on the special commitment mothers make to their children, and grant significant contact time with a father who has previously had little or no involvement of primary care, women feel devalued, and used’. By fostering mothers’ belief in this ‘special commitment’ organisations like Maypole make effective and cooperative post-separation parenting more difficult to achieve.
An interesting study by US academic Sanford Braver revealed how at odds the courts’ approach is with what the public believe (Braver S. L., Ellman, Votruba, & Fabricius, 2011). He contrasted public expectations of what will happen in the family courts with what they think should happen. The study showed a strong public preference in favour of shared care, even where there was conflict. This preference only fell where one parent was clearly the instigator; where fathers were to blame support for shared care fell from 64% to 4%. What the respondents thought actually happens in the courts, however, was quite different. Where care had been shared equally they expected the courts to order shared custody only in a minority of cases; where mum had undertaken most care the majority expectation was that dad would only get ‘some’ contact; in the reverse case few expected the court to award custody to dad or expected the court to order shared care.
The reality is worse even than public expectation. Across a wide range of US jurisdictions fathers only get custody in between 8 and 14% of cases, while courts order shared custody in a mere 2-6% of cases. Where there is conflict, irrespective of the instigator, experts and professionals incline towards a reduction or even cessation of paternal contact. Braver et al. drew two conclusions: firstly that the family judiciary must recognise there is a strong public preference for shared care even where there is conflict and in situations where shared care is seldom ordered. Secondly, the public expect the courts to order sole custody with a clear bias in favour of mothers; these decisions are unpopular and reinforce the perception that the courts are gender-biased.
Regardless of the reality, expectation is important because it influences behaviour and determines what arrangements parents make between themselves when they do not go to court, irrespective of whether they use mediators or lawyers to help them. Parents who allow the courts to influence them in this way act ‘in the shadow of the law’. The result is that large numbers of children who should have a meaningful relationship with both parents end up without. Feminism has become the new establishment.
Payne v Payne,  2 WLR 1826 (2001).
Re S (Children),  EWCA Civ 583 (Court of Appeal 2002).
Humphreys v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs,  UKSC 18 (Supreme Court May 16, 2012).
Braver, S. L., Ellman, I. M., Votruba, A. M., & Fabricius, W. V. (2011, May ). Lay judgments about child custody after divorce. Journal of Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 17(2), 212-240.
Cronan, S. (1973). Marriage. In Koedt, Levine, & Rapone, Radical Feminism. New York: The Dial Press.
Dobash, R. E., & Dobash, R. P. (1979). Violence against wives: A case against the patriarchy. New York: Free Press.
Engels, F. (1884). The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the state.
Friedan, B. (1963). The Feminine Mystique. W.W. Norton and Co.
Friedan, B. (1966). National Organization for Women: Statement of Purpose.
Gibb, F. (2008, September 26). Fathers’ groups are wrong: most men are winning right to see children, study shows. The Times.
Greer, G. (2008, June 4). A dad’s role will never equal a mum’s. The Times.
Hanisch, C. (1969). The personal is political.
Hitchens, P. (2003). The Abolition of Liberty. Atlantic Books.
Hunt, J., & Macleod, A. (2008). Outcomes of applications to court for contact orders after parental separation or divorce. University of Oxford, Oxford Centre for Family Law and Policy, Department of Social Policy and Social Work. Oxford: University of Oxford.
Mears, M. (2005). Institutional Injustice: the Family Courts at Work.
Raymond, J. (1979). The Transexual Empire: the making of the She-male (Athene). Teachers’ College Press.
Thorpe, M. (2010). Relocation: the search for common principles. London Metropolitan University. London.