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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.

I’m not speaking metaphorically: one of the pictures shows a nude woman’s pelvic area, her vulva both highlighted and hidden by what is essentially a merkin made of moss; a second picture shows the ass of a young, topless woman in her underpants slaving over a hot stove, and the third shows a famous picture of Marilyn Monroe, also topless.

AVFM’s Paul Elam explained the, er, logic of these images:

Imagine the juxtaposition of the title, “Myth of Male Power” over one of these images. The cover alone will challenge the idea of male power in men and women alike on a gut level.

By “on a gut level” he apparently means “in men’s pants.”

You sort of have to see them to see how utterly tacky they are; here’s the one of the butt, which either Farrell or Elam helpfully captioned “Where’s the power?”

No, this is REALLY one of the pictures Farrell was considering for his cover.

This REALLY is one of the pictures Farrell was considering for his cover.

You can find the others on AVFM here; if you don’t want to give them the pageviews, you can find them here.

You couldn’t really ask for better symbols of the essential misogyny of the Men’s Rights movement today — or of its obsession with blaming women (and women’s sexuality in particular) for the restrictions on male power that so chafe the hides of MRAs. Farrell, in the past, generally avoided demonizing female sexuality quite so obviously and directly, but these days he’s apparently been spending too much time amongst the A Voice for Menners.

Farrell’s choices for potential covers also tell us a good deal about him as well; in the past he’s essentially been able to hide his crackpot pseudoscholarship behind a certain veneer or respectability — releasing his books through major publishing houses, touting his PhD — but here he seems to be falling to his natural level, amongst the self-publishers of crappy e-books with stock-photo covers.

While some AVFMers had other suggestions — perhaps a picture of the Wicked Witch? — most seemed to think that the pictures were perfect for his book. Tom Golden — along with most of the voters in the poll — preferred Marilyn and her tits:

Tom Golden says	  November 23, 2013 at 9:06 PM	  I think the point that Warren is trying to make is that simply the sight of a very attractive female puts most men into a mental position of subservience and blind willingness to be of service to her in whatever way he can. In essence he becomes a slave. How can men be in so much power when just the sight of a lightly clad young attractive woman throws them into such a state? I think any of the images accomplishes that task but I personally like #3 because when I see that image my awareness of my surrender to her power is palpable.

Others were more taken with the ass pic. Alek wrote:

alek says	  November 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM	  My choice (nr. 2) is losing heavily :( :D DDD  I like 2 since its the most powerfully influential…  The gist of the book “myth of male power” is that “oppression of women” is an interpretational myth – “poor wimminz had to stay in the kitchinz, while man goes outside and has a blast being all hero and shit” (i’m dumbing down female gender role to “kitchen” as representative of all oppression interpretational myths covered by Warren)  This photo challenges that whole notion of the kitchen as an oppressive enviroment, while immediately and visually telling the viewer just how powerful she – the woman is, merely by seeing her silhouette, casual relaxed demeanor and posture projecting utter sexual power.

And Elam, while voting for the moss-encrusted vulva himself, was apparently also quite, er, affected by dat ass.  (Those with especially sensitive stomachs may wish to skip the following quote, as it contains an unsolicited update from his boner.)

I am about as red pill as men come I think. There has not been a woman that could sexually manipulate me in decades. But one look at that woman’s ass in image #2 and I feel every instinctive reproductive trigger trying to go off in my brain. It is not a feeling of power at all for me, but a feeling of something I might have to overcome in order to just self-preserve.

So there you have it: Two of the most influential figures in the Men’s Rights movement — indeed, arguably the two most influential figures — actually believe that men are oppressed by women’s butts.

Indeed, Elam is apparently so overwhelmed by the sight of an attractive ass that he considers it a literal threat to his life.

Adding to the creepiness factor here: Farrell is 70 years old, making him literally old enough to be grandfather of the model in her underpants. Elam is in his late 50s.

Now, the weird tackiness of the images Farrell chose for his book cover did not go entirely unnoticed at AVFM. There were critics — including, amazingly, AVFM’s own John Hembling, who was a little baffled by the idea of using a sexualized picture of a woman on the cover of Farrell’s book about men, and asked if Farrell was possibly trolling them.

One MRA blogger, Kevin Wayne, posted a link to his blog, where he excoriated all three choices as “Budweiser Ad rejects” and begged Farrell to try something else:

This is just going to backfire. Don’t we have enough issues of being branded as a bunch of no-necks wanting to take women back to the 1950’s?

Elam, while gentle in his handling of Hembling’s criticism, threw a fit over Wayne’s post, banning him from AVFM and bashing him — on AVFM and on Wayne’s own site — as a do-nothing newcomer to Men’s Rights who was too “borderline retarded” to  understand the profound deeper meaning behind  Farrell’s T&A pics.

Farrell himself seems to have been a a bit more willing to listen to the critics. Indeed, he’s asked AVFM’s readers to submit some more pictures to choose from. There will be a runoff between the winner of the first AVFM poll (Marilyn and her tits) several of the new pics.

So far there hasn’t exactly been a flood of submissions. They’ve included a painting of Diogenes, a painting of Lilith, a photo of a homeless man, and this:

Office_Bitch

Yeah, that’ll work great.

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Posted on December 10, 2013, in a voice for men, a woman is always to blame, antifeminism, are these guys 12 years old?, boner rage, boobs, butts, creepy, drama kings, evil sexy ladies, evil women, imaginary oppression, infighting, johntheother, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, MRA, paul elam, playing the victim, sexualization, unsolicited penis updates, vaginas, warren farrell and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 421 Comments.

  1. Headless Unicorn Guy

    …to the best of my knowledge, those “power-of-butt compels me” types are…
    Adult versions of Beavis & Butthead.

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