Australian “Male Studies” initiative under fire because of its connections to raving misogynists; raving misogynists blame feminists

Antifeminist attorney, A Voice for Men contributor and and would-be Male Studies lecturer Roy Den Hollander bustin' a move on the Colbert Report.

Antifeminist attorney,  A Voice for Men contributor, and would-be Male Studies lecturer Roy Den Hollander bustin’ a move on the Colbert Report.

NOTE: See the end of the piece for an important clarification from the University.

So it seems the new “Male Studies” initiative at the University of South Australia is running into a few problems. Well, one big problem: members of the general public have discovered that some of the people involved with the initiative are raving misogynists, or have chosen to associate themselves with raving misogynists.

Yesterday, a story by journalist Tory Shepherd noted that two of the lecturers have written for a notoriously misogynistic website by the name of A Voice for Men. (You may have heard of it.) One of them, the crankish American attorney Roy Den Hollander, even suggested in a post on that site that men’s rights activists may have to take up arms against the evil Feminists who run the world.

The future prospect of the Men’s Movement raising enough money to exercise some influence in America is unlikely.  But there is one remaining source of power in which men still have a near monopoly—firearms.

Huh. That doesn’t sound like a very academic analysis of the situtation to me.

Den Hollander also likes to refer to “women’s studies” as “witches’ studies.” And if you don’t believe her, here’s the AVFM post in which he does just that; it’s in the first sentence.

Apparently pointing out some of these basic facts about Den Hollander, and about another of the lecturers, Miles Groth, who has also written for AVFM, is causing some trouble for Dr. Misan and his little Male Studies initiative — at least according to a post on AVFM by the always furious Paul Elam, who informs us somberly that

[s]ources close to the story report that [Shepherd’s article] is likely a terminal setback for the new initiative.

Elam fights back against Shepherd’s alleged “lies” in a paragraph that is itself nothing but lies:

The article by Shepherd is saturated with the typical lies, e.g.: that the SPLC named AVFM as a hate group, which they did not, and that this website regularly calls women “bitches and whores,” which it does not. She also implied a connection between AVFM and those championing the initiative which does not exist.

Actually, Shepherd said that the SPLC described AVFM as a “hate site,” not a “hate group.” This is in fact true, as the SPLC included AVFM in a list of “woman-hating sites,” which would make it a hate site, as the hatred of women is in fact a kind of hate.

And AVFM does in fact refer to women regularly as whores and bitches and other slurs. Indeed, in one notorious post about Rebecca Watson, Elam managed to use the word “whore” more than 30 times; as for the word “bitch,” well, check out this compilation of AVFM posts featuring that word in the title. As you’ll see from that post, Elam also likes referring to women as “cunts,” and once referred to the feminist blogosphere as the “cunt-o-sphere.”

Do your own searches for “whore” or “bitch” on AVFM to find more recent examples.

Shepherd doesn’t, in fact, imply any “connection” between AVFM and “those championing the initiative” beyond the undeniable fact that two of the lecturers have written for AVFM, and that AVFM has heralded the Male Studies initiative. Interestingly, it’s Elam, with his talk about  “[s]ources close to the story,” who implies an even closer connection than Shepherd does.

The rest of Elam’s post is a remarkable mixture of self-contradicting lies and self-delusion. First, he declares “Male Studies” to be a pure-as-the-driven snow example of non-ideological scholarship.

In writing this article Shepherd actually served as a mouthpiece for academic feminists invested in blocking the attempt to study human males in a non-ideological, scholarly fashion.

How exactly is someone who describes himself explicitly as antifeminist, who describes women’s studies as “witches studies,” and who’s written for AVFM on several occasions an example of someone who is trying “to study human males in a non-ideological, scholarly fashion?”

Elam then launches into one of his typical chest-beating fuck-their-shit-up ideological rants:

The Men’s Human Rights Movement is not going to go away. Indeed, even as we regret the temporary setback of an important and valuable initiative, we do welcome another opportunity to shine a light on the ideologically twisted agenda of people who would undermine an academic program with the ambition to enhance our understanding of an egregiously underserved population.

Yes, that’s right. The world’s men have been “egregiously underserved.”

This type of bullying and public deception is precisely what has catapulted the Men’s Human Rights Movement into rapid growth and increasing popularity in such a short period of time.

The only bullying and deception I’m seeing here is coming from your side, dude. Women aren’t talking about taking up arms against men. You’re the one who’s lying about what Shepherd said.

From assaultive, criminal demonstrators in Toronto blocking doors to a lecture on male suicide, to this – an obviously orchestrated attack on honorable academicians — the reality of what feminism has become, and the depths to which it has lowered, is again in full public view.

Uh, Roy Den Hollander isn’t an “honorable academician.” And, frankly, neither is anyone who chooses to associate themselves with your site. I’m not sure how Shepherd’s one article counts as an “obviously orchestrated attack,” but all she did was point out what Hollander said, and point out the sort of misogynistic shit you publish on your shitty website.

In other words, Mr. Elam, you guys have dug your own hole here — with you, personally, bringing one of the bigger shovels.

Just think: A Voice for Men may be in large part responsible for the collapse of this Male Studies initiative, because you and the others writing on your site can’t hide your raging misogyny, and can’t resist the temptation to call women “bitches” and “whores.”

This is the lesson of all the publicity you guys have gotten in the last year: when members of the general public learn what you guys actually believe, they are repulsed by it. The more attention you get, the more people oppose you.

After some more ranting that he might as well have cut and pasted from any of  a dozen previous posts of his, Elam ends with one of his trademark vague threats:

We will force their hand, again and again. And each time they demonstrate their moral bankruptcy; their limitless capacity for tyranny, the more they will generate the contempt and indignation they deserve. And the more people will realize that the only way forward is straight through them.

You’re just digging that hole deeper.

EDITED TO ADD: The Universityof Southern Australia has clarified a few things about the Male Studies initiatives. According to a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, the school only approved one of the four proposed courses, and officially rejected (back in 2012) the one that would have included Den Hollander and Groth as lecturers. Here’s what the newspaper says:

The university has approved one of four proposed graduate courses, a certificate in male health and health promotion, which will begin online next month.

But an original proposal by one of the university’s academics outlined three further certificates, including a course called ”males and sexism”, which named lecturers who have been published on radical men’s rights websites. …

The university emphasised it did not endorse views of the suggested lecturers. It said the courses, which were criticised in the media on Monday, were rejected in 2012.

So that’s reassuring to hear.

I removed a portion of my post referring to Gary Misan, in charge of the course, because in light of this information it’s not clear if he was referring to all four courses, including those involving Den Hollander and Groth, or just to the male health course.

Oddly, though, Dr. Misan seems to think that the University has signed up for more than one course. On his official University of South Australia web site he describes himself as “program co-ordinator for a new suite of courses in Male Studies at UniSA, the first of which will be offered in 2014.”

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on January 13, 2014, in a voice for men, a woman is always to blame, antifeminism, conspiracy theory, grandiosity, imaginary oppression, male studies, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, MRA, oppressed men, paul elam, the c-word, whores and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 295 Comments.

  1. I dated a wiccan priestess for a bit. She was fun, but wanted a bit more control over my life than I strictly felt comfortable with (mostly because I had just come out of an abusive relationship where she even dictated when and where I was allowed to make bowel movements and would throw crying fits and scream that I hated her when I had to take a poop when she didn’t want me to. I mean, if I was crapping on the floor or something I could understand that reaction but I wasn’t…)

    I don’t feel comfortable calling myself an atheist because I don’t own a single fedora, don’t follow MRA or MGTOW blogs, and generally don’t feel “euphoric” at any time. Mostly, my spiritual journey discovered that religions were all the same boring crap and I had no interest in any of them. (Laughed when they made a Metalocalypse episode where one character came to the exact same conclusion, lol).

    That being said, I also know that mocking and openly desecrating religious things is just asking for bad things to happen to you, so I keep to myself mostly.

  2. I just recently left my coven to become a solitary exactly because I had the same feelings about deity and such. A lot of my fellow witches have a very literal relationship with deity (called hard polytheism) where they believe the gods and goddesses of all pantheons and religions ever actually existed and walked the earth at some time. I was an atheist before finding Wicca, so my skeptic mind couldn’t rationalize that. But what you described, perfect!

    Awww, thank you! Glad to have been of help!

  3. Thank you, Futrelle, for maintaining this site, and meticulously sourcing your arguments like this. It’s been a great service to help me get some people in my life to stop and really think about what the MRM really represents.

  4. I don’t feel comfortable calling myself an atheist because I don’t own a single fedora, don’t follow MRA or MGTOW blogs, and generally don’t feel “euphoric” at any time.


    I present a fedora worn by someone who’s definitely not an atheist, absolutely not an MRA or MGHOW (they’d be terribly confused as to whether he’s an alpha, because he used to be a king, or a mangina, because he’s happily married AND has lots of kitties). He does get euphoric at times but that sort of goes with the territory.

  5. Oh, just go away, willya, blockquote monster? Go harass some other site!

  6. That bit about viewing time like you’d view a place reminds me of my trip to the Adirondacks…being able to see for fucking miles, most of it trees and other mountains, is this weird combination of feeling very very tiny, and like your standing on top of the world at once. I can understand why people risk their lives on Everest, K2 and the like. Everest has gone way too commercial for me, paying your way up is against everything right about climbing (I.e. If somebody is in danger, fuck the summit, it’ll still be there for another go)…K2…nearly as tall and far more dangerous. Too bad there’s no way I could physically take a climb of that magnitude, need to find somebody to drag up the local hike with me though — my mother will happily do the family trail, but I want to do the red trail, not just the bits that intersect the family trail where I can meet her at the top of my scramble up rocks…

    Lol, I’d also love to try the cliff face there, but with proper gear and a climbing partner and no booze, unlike the dozen people who have to get rescued from it every year. Probably dumb even with gear and a partner, pesky rattlesnake den at the base…

  7. Hey, remember how Elam & co. don’t use words like “b—-” and “wh—?”

    Well, here’s an article written by JB that calls Michael Flood and Tory Shepherd “wh—s.” In the title of the article. Then goes on to claim that AVFM doesn’t use those words, and even if they did, that’s okay, because cites like Jezebel routinely use the words “asshole” and “creep,” which are gendered slurs equivalent to the b-word and wh-word. And she completely misses the point.

  8. Asshole is gendered?

    Does this mean JB doesn’t have one?

    That would explain why she’s full of shit, I guess.

  9. You see, it’s simple. “Bitch” and “whore” are sexist against women, “asshole” and “creep” are sexist against people. Those two things are mutually exclusive!

  10. Asshole is inherently a terrible thing to call someone? It’s on the list of things my brother and I jokingly call each other. To the point he just came upstairs, I went “hey asshole!” and got told about cat lateral damage (it’s a game, no idea how many words that is, but you’re a cat and the goal is to knock stuff off shelves, fitting)

  11. (mostly because I had just come out of an abusive relationship where she even dictated when and where I was allowed to make bowel movements and would throw crying fits and scream that I hated her when I had to take a poop when she didn’t want me to. I mean, if I was crapping on the floor or something I could understand that reaction but I wasn’t…)

    ??! Ignore the question if it’s triggering, but if not, why was this woman so obsessed with your bowel movements? Controlling people are everywhere (and horrible), but that’s a pretty damn weird thing to key in on.

  12. you’re a cat and the goal is to knock stuff off shelves, fitting

    Closely related to the game of “sit on stuff on shelves you’re not supposed to and see how long it takes the humans to notice”.

  13. Lionel Tiger’s little blurb for his male studies course explicitly mentioned that the course would reject certain conclusions and attempt to examine masculinity in a framework (a framework full of assumptions, such as the existence of a rigidly gendered brain and a notion that biology trumps socialization, not to mention that the objective “gendered brain of man” would somehow correspond exactly with current male identities) that he clearly set out. This is inductive reasoning which generally only happens if you have an axe to grind. Of course even most good scholarship eventually ends up offering an interpretation (though deductive and evidence-based) that is “ideological”, and I wouldn’t claim that any piece of work in the humanities or social sciences is free of ideology. But it’s far less obvious than here and usually the ideology comes AFTER the facts and not before. So I don’t know how they can claim male studies is non-ideological at all. If anything it’s a reaction to the level of “acceptable ideology” in academia by being as blatantly ideological as possible, and trying to reinscribe that ideology as a fixed objective reality. Either

  14. Cassandra: It wasn’t so much about my bowel movements, it was more like she insisted on controlling everything I did. I picked that as a random example; but it expanded to literally everything. And how I did it (if I made one single motion she didn’t approve of she threw a fit.)

    I don’t focus on those bad times. (I didn’t get this until I got older: ).

  15. This reminds me of Roy’s attempt to sue a club for ‘ladies night’. I suppose he forgot that the Catholic church is tax free and won’t allow a woman to rank up to bishop and pope?
    Not that I care, I’m agnostic… but isn’t that discrimination as well?

    Maybe Roy should consider that next time he calls feminism a religion.

    Point is, MRAs often pick and choose their battles subjectively, using the ‘equality card’ to suit their narrative. They ignore injustices towards women around them. Such reasons, among others, is why the fanatics of avfm and like minded idiots aren’t taken seriously.

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