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Check out the “Farrell’s Follies” series of posts on Reddit

Warren Farrell: Full of terrible ideas

Warren Farrell: His ideas are as bad as that logo

Today, just a recommendation: if you’d like to learn more about the wrongheaded and often quite bewildering opinions of Men’s Rights grandpappy Warren Farrell, take a look at the excellent Farrell’s Follies series now being posted on the AgainstMensRights subreddit. The Redditor known as feminista_throwaway has been systematically going through Farrell’s Myth of Male Power and looking in detail at Farrell’s positions on such issues as “Date Fraud,” why it’s supposedly easier to be a gay man than a straight man, why patriarchy is women’s fault, and how men and women don’t really love each other. There’s a guide to the whole series here.

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Warren Farrell is an Ass, Man

Yep, that's a butt on the cover. He put a butt on the cover. Men are oppressed by women's butts.

Yep, that’s a butt on the cover. He put a butt on the cover. Men are oppressed by women’s butts.

You may remember the embarrassing spectacle a couple of months back when Warren Farrell asked the readers of A Voice for Men to help him pick out a cover picture for a new ebook version of The Myth of Male Power, the 21-year-old crackpot bestseller that more or less provided the, er, intellectual foundation for today’s Men’s Rights movement.

It wasn’t just embarrassing because AVFM is a noxious hate site that regularly calls women c*nts and whores and helps to organize informal campaigns of harassment directed at individual women. It was also embarrassing because all three of the pictures were sexualized images focusing on specific female body parts. You can guess which three, and you’d be right: tits, ass, and vagina (the latter tastefully covered in a merkin made of moss).

Well, Farrell ended up rejecting all of these images in favor of … a different picture of a woman’s butt. Yep, the screenshot above features the actual cover of the recently released ebook version of The Myth of Male Power. (You can see it in its full sized-glory over on Amazon.)

The implicit message of the cover couldn’t be clearer: men may seem to run the world, but women can control and exploit them through the power of their sexuality. Male power is undercut by … butt power.

Am I reading too much into a cover image? Farrell doesn’t really believe this nonsense, does he?

Well, in the introduction to the ebook, Farrell writes:

farrellButt1

In case you’re wondering, “genetic celebrity” is Farrell’s term of art for any attractive woman.

But golly, you say, the fact that a dude feels “powerless” because he can’t have sex with every woman with a nice butt that happens to wander across his field of vision doesn’t actually mean that men are powerless or that male power is a myth. Well, Farrell has an answer to this as well. And by “answer” I mean, well, whatever this is:

farrellbutt2
Got that? I’m not sure there’s anything there to get; it’s nothing more than hand-waving to distract attention from the nonsensical nature of his previous statements. In case any Men’s Rights activist ever brings Warren Farrell up as an example of a respectable, “academic” MRA, you may wish to point out that almost nothing Farrell writes ever actually makes any fucking sense.

In the book itself, Farrell repeatedly suggested that male power can be undone almost completely by the sexual power of women. In one oft-quoted passage, he wrote about the effect that a “secretary’s miniskirt power, cleavage power and flirtation power” allegedly has on their male bosses. (Myth of Male Power, p. 21)

While that statement has earned a certain notoriety for its sheer ridiculousness, Farrell went further elsewhere in the book, essentially arguing that men are as addicted to female “beauty” as drug addicts are to the drug of their choice — and as helpless.

“Sexually, of course, the sexes aren’t equal,” Farrell wrote. “[M]any men feel ‘under the influence the moment they see a beautiful woman.” (p. 320, emphasis in original.)

This sort of temporary “intoxication,” Farrell argued, leads men into shackling themselves to these temporarily sexy tyrants for the rest of their lives — thus agreeing to support them (he suggested implicitly) even after they get old and ugly. (p. 85.)

farrellbeautytrap

In Farrell’s original book, this “argument,” such as it is, was merely one of many that he thought undercut the alleged “myth of male power.” Now, with the butt on the cover, he’s put it front and center. Or, more precisely, rear and center.

Warren Farrell, you’re an ass, man.

Oh, awkward segue here, I just wanted to show off the cover to the new edition of my classic book, The Myth of Human Power.

mythhumanpower

It will soon be available for one million dollars in cash in unmarked bills, upon delivery of which I will sit down and write it for you. It will probably be pretty short and not very convincing.

Men’s Rightsers honor Martin Luther King by talking about how women totally suck at being “warriors of peace.”

Mugshots of Freedom Riders. Click on image for more info, and more pictures.

Mugshots of Freedom Riders arrested for protesting segregation. The Freedom Riders were often attacked by white mobs, with the complicity of the police. Click on image for more info, and more pictures.

On Monday, Martin Luther King Day here in the United States, this was posted in the Men’s Rights subreddit, where, as you can see, it was quite popular with the assembled Men’s Rightsers:

(quote from Warren Farrell) "Men are likely to be not only the warriors of war but also the warriors of peace. Almost all those who risk their lives, are put in jail, or are killed for peace are men." Happy MLK Day!!

How wrong  is this? Let me count the ways.

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The Power of Butt: MRA granddaddy Warren Farrell picks a new book cover, and can’t decide between tits, ass or vagina.

Men: Oppressed by butts?

Men: Oppressed by women’s butts?

Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power, published twenty years ago, defined much of the agenda for what’s become the contemporary Men’s Rights movement. If you hear a Men’s Rights activist prattle on about “male disposability”or “death professions” or complain about draft registration (even though the draft itself has been dead for decades), you’ve got Farrell to thank, or blame.

So when Farrell decided to release a new ebook edition of his most famous book, it was perhaps not all that surprising that he decided to turn to the folks at A Voice for Men, probably the most influential Men’s Rights site around, for advice on a picture to use for a new cover.

But what was surprising was the pictures he asked the AVFMers to choose from, three sexually charged, and slightly NSFW, pics highlighting what Farrell evidently sees as the key female challenges to male power: their vaginas, tits and ass.

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Warren Farrell warns fellas to watch out for the “Repair Friend” Zone

Ladies! Look only at the picture of this sexy, sexy Alpha duck and do not read the post below.

Ladies! Look only at the picture of this sexy Alpha duck and do not read the post below.

Hey fellas! While we’re talking about the evils of the Friend Zone and possible legal sanctions against the women who so often and so maliciously put us there — and while the women are distracted by that picture of Scrooge McDuck above — I’d like to warn you of another kind of Friend Zone you need to be wary of: the “Repair Friend” Zone.

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Warren Farrell’s Funny Footnote, and Where it Led Me

Please don't check my footnotes!

Please don’t check my footnotes!

Men’s Rights elder Warren Farrell is fond of mentioning his academic past — he has taught at a number of colleges — and is not exactly shy about mentioning his Ph.D.  (Check the covers of his books if you don’t believe me.) But the books he’s written are for the most part polemical “pop psychology” and “pop sociology” rather than academic works, and most don’t meet academic standards by a long shot.

How far they fall short of academic standards I didn’t fully realize until I started investigating a suspicious footnote in The Myth of Male Power.

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Warren Farrell on Unemployment, Salesmanship, and Other Things That Are Like Rape, Supposedly

farrelfilmgrain

Warren Farrell: “We are still requiring men to be the sexual salespersons but now defining them as rapists when they do it well.”

Warren Farrell, as a sort of “elder statesman” of the Men’s Rights movement, may have gained a sort of weird respectability simply by being around as long as he has, and because he’s published books with major publishers. But the myth of Farrell’s intellectual respectability shatters pretty quickly once one takes a good, honest, and unbiased look at what he has actually written, in The Myth of Male Power and elsewhere.

We’ve already taken a look at some of the strange and troubling things he wrote about rape in that book. Farrell is also fond of rape as a metaphor, and regularly compares things that men endure to rape, as a way of bolstering his overall thesis that it is men, not women, who are the “disposable sex,” and who truly suffer.

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Warren Farrell’s notorious comments on date rape: Not any more defensible in context than out of it

WArren Farrell ponders (possibly) the mysteries of consent.

Warren Farrell, possibly pondering the mysteries of consent.

NOTE: This is the second installment of The Myth of Warren Farrell, a continuing series examining Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power, the most influential book in the Men’s Rights canon. You can see the first post here.

Men’s Rights elder Warren Farrell has been accused of being a “rape apologist,” largely because of one now-notorious sentence he wrote in The Myth of Male Power:

We have forgotten that before we began calling this date rape and date fraud, we called it exciting.

This sentence is at least as puzzling as it is disturbing. Calling date rape “exciting” is pretty foul. But what on earth is “date fraud?”

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The Myth of Warren Farrell: Farrell on Rape, Part One

farrellmyth

No book has had more influence over the Men’s Rights movement than Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power. Published in 1993, in the heyday of the early 90s antifeminist backlash, it set the agenda for the Men’s Rights movement as it’s developed over the last two decades.  He’s the one who came up with the notions of “male disposability” and the “death professions.” He’s the one who got MRAs fixated on the issue of draft registration.

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MRA founding father Warren Farrell responds to questions about his incest research with evasive non-answers. And a smiley.

Watch out: He has a Ph.D!

Watch out: He has a Ph.D!

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And now back to our regularly scheduled post:

Warren Farrell, whose 1993 book The Myth of Male Power essentially set the agenda for the Men’s Rights movement we know (and don’t love) today, did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit yesterday.

Most of the questions he chose to answer were pretty much softballs, and his answers largely reiterated things he’s said before many times. But he was also asked some pointed questions about his views on incest which he chose to answer. Well, sort of. Instead of clearing up the issue, he dug his hole a little deeper.

[TRIGGER WARNING for incest/child abuse apologia.]

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