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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.

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leatapp
leatapp
6 years ago

“As if women don’t feel the same in the presence of handsome men.”

Right. I’ve never stared, transfixed at a gorgeous man. Nope. Never. I’m way too cool for that.
comment image

‘0.0’

Ruffalo does to panties what the Ark of the Covenant does to Nazi faces.

wewereemergencies
wewereemergencies
6 years ago

‘But I’m not privileged because I don’t feel privileged!”

Dude, that’s how privilege fucking works. God these guys need to be slapped in the face with a dead fish.

(I’ll say it should be a small fish, because I don’t actually believe in violence, but fuck sometimes MRAs make me forget that.)

kittehserf
6 years ago

” Men are oppressed by women’s butts…”

I don’t know why, but that cracked me up.

Cue Python: “Sit on my face, and tell me that you love me …”

Ruffalo does to panties what the Ark of the Covenant does to Nazi faces.

Jayzuz, the underwear industry must love him! “I need to buy some more knickers. All my old ones melted.”

Also hi to all delurkers, new commenters, and returned commenters! ::waves::

Adding “THIS” to the comments asking if this mold-brained malidiot* has ever heard of the word love.

*Stolen from malidiocy, a shortening of malignant idiocy, as seen on Raw Story. Describes MRAs perfectly.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

If I didn’t know who Warren Farrell was and I saw a book with this cover and this title, I’d assume it was erotic femdom fiction.

I’m not so sure that wouldn’t be an accurate description.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Warren “sticky pages” Farrell.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

And hey, he’s welcome to spend as much time as he wants indulging in mental masturbation about his kink. It’s just when he wants to rearrange society in order to better indulge his fetish for pretending that women are controlling him with their bodies that we run into some problems.

Trans Commie
6 years ago

If I didn’t know who Warren Farrell was and I saw a book with this cover and this title, I’d assume it was erotic femdom fiction.

Given Farrell’s atrocious words on date rape, I think the thought of him writing erotic fiction makes me shudder.

(Formerly known as Ally S)

kittehserf
6 years ago

I was just going to say, new nym, commenter-formerly-known-as-Ally! 🙂

It’s my train-user mind, but the new one does make me think more of a public transport company than what trans actually means in this context.

Trans Commie
6 years ago

@kitteh

I chose this nym because I like being more low-profile. Quite a few people know me by my nickname. The other reason I chose it is that it seems to describe me extensively in just two words (hopefully that doesn’t make me too pretentious). The association you made is amusing, though. =P

BritterSweet
BritterSweet
6 years ago

Unattractive women? What are those? Oh. OH, you mean those lower life forms that the feminists are trying so hard to defend the existence of and turn everyone else into? Ohhhh okay.

Oh BTW, I mean EVERYBODY! They tell women it’s okay to be fat, hairy imitation men! And they also want to feminize men, make our sons lower themselves to the status of females! The horror, the horror!

Someone has to do something! Hey, don’t look at me. I’m too busy ranting on the Internet about how attractive women oppress me with their asses!

kittehserf
6 years ago

Ally – yup, it certainly puts out two important elements of who you are and what matters to you, and to me it reads more gender-neutral, which is probably a good bit of cover for internet stuff in general.

You can come and do the socialist (I know, that’s not communist, let along anarchist) thing with our transport if you like. It desperately needs to be nationalised and got working again! 😛

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

This has nothing to do with anything, but I really want to share this video of the adorable grizzly bears at my local zoo. Lets look at the bears as feminism and the pumpkin as the MRM shall we?

kittehserf
6 years ago

Grizzly Pumpkin Smashers is the name of my new band.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

If the bears are feminism and the pumpkins are the MRM, does this mean I get to use it as a trampoline? Because those bears seem to be having a lot of fun bouncing on those pumpkins.

bluecat
bluecat
6 years ago

As I was reading this on the laptop, Cat A jumped on my chest and started waving her bum in my face while doing that bread-kneading thing on the keyboard. Cat B is already curled up on my lap.

Now Cat A is trying to grab my hand off the keyboard and groom with it…

Yes I am oppressed by cats’ rear ends! I need your book.

No money, but I can send you 7 or 8 discarded cats whiskers.

StarStorm
6 years ago

Your wish is my command.

Katz, you are just awesome.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

@janetframed, WF to English translator:

Thus the cover of this e-book edition is designed to tastefully recall heterosexual boys’ and men’s feelings of powerlessness when our eye behold a genetic celebrity.

Hetero men like women’s butts. I think having one on my cover will get them to buy my book. Especially if I remind them of how great women’s butts are. This picture is a bit arty so I think I can get away with it.

In contrast the genetic celebrity does not have to initiates

Attractive women never try to pick up men …

and therefore worry about looking like a fool by doing it inadequately.

… so they don’t have to worry about creeping or sexually harassing.

She doesn’t have to worry about people feeling she deserves to be physically hurt, financially hurt, and/or emotionally humililiated because her initiation was awkward.

If a man sexually harasses a woman, there are sometimes bad consequences for the man. This is dreadful.

Her genetic celebrity status gives her freedom from responsibility and accountability –

It is so difficult for a man not to sexually harass women to whom he is attracted. It is not fair that the attractive women aren’t made accountable for this somehow.

and financial, physical and emotional pain…

– attractive women should also suffer the financial, physical and emotional pain that a man suffers every time he is rejected by an attractive woman. Or, you know, when he’s prosecuted for sexually harassing her.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

I know how to start spelling “humililiated”, I’m just not sure when to stop … 😉

hookergal
hookergal
6 years ago

Last time I looked, “not getting laid (by all the pretty hot women)” wasn’t the most additive thing. Kinda thought opiates were. Maybe amphetamines. Cocaine? Actual drugs? But hey. Prove my B. Pharm (Hons) wrong MRAs!

And, I’m with everyone else. Cats are our overlords & human power is the myth. Now. Must go cuddle bubbies.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

By this logic, powerful men must have gotten that way because they are asexual and immune to the charms of Dat Ass. All those trophy wives and mistresses are just for show. Conversely, if you’re a marginal, unemployed MRM keyboard warrior with nothing to contribute to human society, it’s totally because you can’t quit mainlining Grade A tush, and not because you can’t string two coherent thoughts together. Maybe we should start rehab clinics for these poor, addicted souls?

As for genetic celebrities, they’re too busy evading DNA tabloid micro-paparazzi (“The Nuclear Enquirer”) and doing fundraisers for mitochondria to “initiate”. It’s exhausting being famous at the molecular level.

Viscaria
Viscaria
6 years ago

@theladyzombie:

Wait. If attractive women render men powerless, then what does he say about unattractive women?

Right? Like, if Warren Farrell were trying to write a book about the power dynamics between men and women you would think he wouldn’t just compare men to a small minority of women. Course he was actually writing a book about how it isn’t fair that women he wants to have sex with don’t always have sex with him, so his choice to completely ignore women he isn’t attracted to makes perfect sense.

@emilygoddess:

If the secretary has all the power in that scenario by virtue of her gender, then why isn’t she the boss? Why accept a subordinate position with less pay, if she didn’t have to?

I want to get this framed.

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

Y’know, while we’re talking about the myth of male power, can I just mention that we’re coming up fairly soon upon the 100th anniversary of women demanding and getting the vote here in America?

It’s going to be a presidential election year.

I think we all know what we have to do.

Carlito
Carlito
6 years ago

The cake wakes me up at 5 am. Do I want to get up at 5 am. No. But I do anyway so the cat can be fed. And then when he gets what he wants he ignores me. Who has the real power I ask you?

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

She doesn’t have to worry about people feeling she deserves to be physically hurt, financially hurt, and/or emotionally humiliated because her initiation was awkward.

No, the woman only has to worry about all of that before, during, and after an encounter with a MRA. It isn’t fair, they get off scot free!

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

*an MRA, sorry. Braining is hard with toddlers in the room.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

She doesn’t have to worry about people feeling she deserves to be physically hurt, financially hurt, and/or emotionally humiliated because her initiation was awkward.

“Initiation”? Into what, the Skull and Bones? Dude’s talking out his ass here, and I don’t even know what he’s trying to say.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

It’s really precious that WF doesn’t realize that the convention that men be the pursuers in romantic relationships with women being the passive recipient is actually patriarchy. I’m pretty sure feminists aren’t the ones who oppose women being the aggressor. He also somehow failed to notice that there are currently existing heterosexual relationships in which the woman made the first move.

Of course, MRAs hate women who are assertive because they aren’t “feminine” enough. I for one am shocked that there is hypocrisy in the MRM!

Blah
Blah
6 years ago

I remember the days when feminist ideology wasn’t a fascist hate group…

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

I remember the days when Blah was less relevant and provocative than last week’s hairballs.

cupisnique
6 years ago

How does that clip of Buffy the Vampire Slayer have anything to do with your opinion that feminism is a fascist hate group? Just because some people take issue with that particular plot line, doesn’t make them a hate group lol. It’s called criticism, it’s not a bad thing just because you disagree with the particular criticism.

It’s also quite off-topic, boring blah troll.

vaiyt
6 years ago

I remember the days where trolls tried to put up links that were vaguely relevant to the subject.

Viscaria
Viscaria
6 years ago

@Blah, you want to maybe define ‘fascism’ for us? Because I don’t think you have a clue what it means. Pro-tip: fascism is not defined as “stuff Blah doesn’t like.”

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

Sadly, Viscaria, “stuff I don’t like” is a pretty common definition of “fascism”.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I’m a huge Buffy fan. Am I kicked out of feminism now? Please advise fellow manboobzers.

ignotussomnium
ignotussomnium
6 years ago

I, too, remember those days, because they happened within the last week.

drst
drst
6 years ago

As usual, the argument that “men turn into helpless puddles of easily bruised id
in the presence of an attractive woman” suggests that men are so weak and easily confused they shouldn’t be in charge of anything ever because they’re so flighty and unreliable.

And yet.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

At the risk of taking this troll much more seriously than he deserves, I am going to explain why Selfless is not anti-feminist.

For one thing, feminists don’t advocating murdering every man who dumps or cheats on women. The fact that being a vengeance demon who specializes in punishing unfaithful men is shown as bad is not a pro-MRA anti-feminist message. It’s an anti bloody vengeance message.

For another thing, the troll completely missed the point of the episode. The point of the episode is plainly stated in the commentary track so there can be no doubt.
The point is that Anya never had an identity of her own. She always defined herself in relation to men. Hence the episode title; Selfless.

First her identity was defined by her lover Olaf, back before she became a vengeance demon. Then he cheated on her and she successfully performed a spell to get back at him and as a result was recruited by D’Hoffryn, the male head of the vengeance demons. Then she spent centuries defined by D’Hoffryn’s plan for her. After she lost her powers and became human, she was defined as Xander’s girlfriend and then fiancé. After he dumped her she expended all her energy being angry at him.

At the end of the episode, Anya realizes she had never truly defined herself and she finally realizes that is what she needs to do. A woman claiming her own identity rather than being defined by relationships to men is actually a very feminist.

Sorry, troll. You aren’t beat me in a Buffy related argument. You shouldn’t have even tried.

lkeke35
lkeke35
6 years ago

Weiwoodtreehugger: As a long time Buffy fan, BRAVO! YAY!
*Claps and Wolfwhistles*!

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

Silly troll won’t ruin International Women’s Day for me.

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone!

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

Happy International Women’s Day!

I am avoiding all triggers for a bit. Miss you all!

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

lkeke35, Thanks!

leatapp
leatapp
6 years ago

Blah,
That day is called “today” and it will still be the same way tomorrow. Gather up your bruised anti-feminist fee-fees and go play with your silly misogynist friends elsewhere before some woman’s butt comes out of nowhere and passively oppresses you by existing, but not existing expressly for your gratification.

deniseeliza
deniseeliza
6 years ago

If the secretary has all the power in that scenario by virtue of her gender, then why isn’t she the boss? Why accept a subordinate position with less pay, if she didn’t have to?

Because the secretary can then MARRY the boss and spend all his money and then divorce him when he, I MEAN she gets bored and draw a hefty alimony payment. You know, like in that classic documentary of 21st century feminism: Mad Men.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Hi Shaun! And Happy International Women’s Misandry Day to all!

Viscaria
Viscaria
6 years ago

Sadly, Viscaria, “stuff I don’t like” is a pretty common definition of “fascism”.

True. Well, in that case, let me just say that I think Blah is a Lamarkian mess of post-industrial behaviourism, with a strong impressionistic bent.

Skye
Skye
6 years ago

I know Emilygoddess touched on it, but I’m glad Buttercup Q Skullpants highlighted what I think is one of the main problems w/WF’s mess:
“She doesn’t have to worry about people feeling she deserves to be physically hurt, financially hurt, and/or emotionally humiliated”
Women face the possibility of a disgruntled would be suitor trying to hurt or humiliate her all the time. There are even some men who feel that rape and murder are justified by a ‘man with a broken heart’ (like that thread Alice? linked to the other day)

CriticalDragon1177 (@CriticalDragon1)

David Futrelle

LOL! I wonder if warren Farrell will actually take your book seriously.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

I’m crawling out of lurkdom to thank you for your brilliant conclusion to this article, David. I melt every time I look at the fluffy one!

Can we talk about DW’s shitty cover design? There’s a thing called margins, you know. Contrast is also absent. Thin red text over thin white shapes = an unreadable mess. When I looked at the screenshot above, I saw “Myth Male Power.” (I was so hoping he’d go with Marilyn and get slapped with a copyright infringement lawsuit.)

Amazon reviews:

AVFM: “Warren Farrell is a modern day prophet and this book is pure gold.” (Gag!)

Random person: “This is not news. It wasn’t news when the first book was published, and it’s not news now. Don’t waste your money to stroke this misogynist’s ego.” (Yay!)

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

I remember the days when mascufascist trolls worked harder to make their stupid little points, and didn’t just dig up FICTIONAL TV SHOWS.

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

Another random Amazon reviewer: “The best book in human history.’

That’s one thing MRAs are good at. Laughable extreme hyperbole.