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Douchebags of History: T.M. Zink and the Zink Womanless Library

Today we celebrate one of history’s greatest, the largely unheralded misogynist douchebag T.M. Zink, who managed to stick it to the ladies even after he died. As Time magazine reported shortly after his death in 1930:

At Le Mars, Iowa, the probated will of T. M. Zink, deceased attorney, revealed:1) His $100,000 estate is to be placed in trust for 75 years; 2) In A. D. 2005 the accumulated principal is to be used to establish, equip and maintain a library on whose shelves will be no woman author, on whose catalogs will be no woman’s name, over whose portal will blaze: “No Women Admitted”; 3) To his daughter went $5; 4) To his widow not 1¢.

As he explained in his will:

My intense hatred of women is not of recent origin or development nor based upon any personal differences I ever had with them but is the result of my experiences with women, observations of them and study of all literatures and philosophical works.

2005 has come and gone and sadly, at least from the point of view of misogynist bibliophiles, the Zink Womanless Library was never built. As a piece in The Guardian noted, his family successfully challenged the will, I’m guessing on the grounds of Quando podeces te regi eorum fecerunt?  (“When did you become king of the assholes?“)

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Bee
Bee
9 years ago

Whoa. That’s my favorite estate planning story since “The W. C. Fields College for White Orphan Boys and Girls (Where No Religion of Any Kind Is Ever to Be Taught).”

Johnny Pez
9 years ago

“I do not avoid women writers, Mandrake. But I do deny them my shelf space.”

Pecunium
9 years ago

That some serious chops. There was a man who knew how to go his own way.

pervocracy
9 years ago

Interesting how he thought of it as the “Womanless library” instead of a “Men’s Library” to celebrate men’s literature.

Shades of modern MRAs…

Dire Sloth
Dire Sloth
9 years ago

Idea: build a library where all author’s names are referred to in the catalogs in numeric code, and put wooden signs reading “no women allowed” over the doors…which are subsequently burnt. It’d *technically* be meeting the conditions of the will, right?

PosterformerllyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerllyknownasElizabeth
9 years ago

Good point Pervocracy but I think his goal was to make women mad, not celebrate his own sex.

Johnny Pez
9 years ago

@ Elizabeth

So, in other words, yes, a proto-MRA.

Alex
9 years ago

$5 to his daughter, huh? Oh, but doncha know, MRA-types are the only ones who care about the children.

Steph
9 years ago

@ Dire Sloth

You’d also have to make sure there were no women authors on the shelves. Technically you could still put their BOOKS there, though.

Rutee
Rutee
9 years ago

Just call the electronic database an electronic database instead of a catalog. No need for numeric code at all.

I’m not sure how to get past “No women permitted”. I mean, he doesn’t stipulate that it has to be enforced, but getting rid of the words seems tricky.

Triplanetary
9 years ago

and study of all literatures and philosophical works.

Is this the pre-digital-age equivalent of being aware of all Internet traditions?

Johnny Pez
9 years ago

Sure sounds like it. I guess being aware of all intellectual traditions is one of the timeless signs of douchbaggery. Like going your own way.

Kave
Kave
9 years ago

Peter Nolan’s grandfather.

Johnny Pez
9 years ago

Also too, cute kitteh is cute!

carswell
carswell
9 years ago

LOL.

T.M. Zink – the patron saint of MGTOW

Ion
Ion
9 years ago

So the man’s last wishes were ignored, to the smug gloating of feminists and their mangina lapdogs everywhere. Good job.

If a radfem had wanted to create a women-only library with ‘no men allowed’ signs, she probably would’ve been hailed as “strong” and “revolutionary”, and nobody would’ve dared to say anything against it for fear of being branded sexist.

You know, I’ve been trying to find the words to describe the men on this site, but this guy does a much better job than I could, so I’ll just leave the link here:

http://usually2theright.blogspot.com/2009/08/manginas-lapdogs-of-feminism.html

I know those guys! 🙂

Molly Ren
9 years ago

“Mangina Lapdogs of Feminism”–new Ami card? 😀

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
9 years ago

The fact that they were his last wishes doesn’t make them any less stupid or mean spirited. Wills get set aside all the time.

Molly Ren
9 years ago

“Wills get set aside all the time.”

Reading Man Boobz continually reminds me that I don’t know jack shit about how a lot of things are done. For some reason I thought wills were inviolate.

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

If a radfem had wanted to create a women-only library with ‘no men allowed’ signs, she probably would’ve been hailed as “strong” and “revolutionary”, and nobody would’ve dared to say anything against it for fear of being branded sexist.
Well, you sure as fuck would have. You strong revolutionary you.

Also, I don’t know if arguments about “what totally would have happened, I totally bet” really count for much against accounts of things that DID happen.

Also women’s writing has been traditionally treated like a niche interest, so a library of female writers would be working against that stereotype, rather than perpetuating the already-very-healthy impression that men can write about anything.

Also if it were explicitly made because of hatred of men, rather than appreciation of women (TWO DIFFERENT GODDAMN THINGS AND VICE VERSA ALSO), I would in fact say things against it.

redlocker
9 years ago

MRA tactic: Hypothetical arguments against actual reality.

On topic: So wills can be set aside? Huh. The More You Know.

shaenon
9 years ago

The other day I was bored enough to check up on a couple of old threads to see how they turned out. I’ve seen a lot of sad, sad things on Manboobz, but nothing so far has been sadder than Ion, in the Kate Beaton thread, pouting because we like MRAL better than him.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
9 years ago

Well, so I’ve heard. My understanding is that wills can be contested in a court of law, and that it’s not unheard of for these contests to succeed. I’ll defer to the lawyers among us for a definitive opinion. I don’t think, however, that it’s the extraordinary tragedy that Ion is making it out to be, either.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
9 years ago

In other words, I could just be talking out my ass on this one. Wouldn’t be the first time . 🙂

Johnny Pez
9 years ago

A contract is sacred, Cap’n B! Except when it isn’t!

I’ve lost track of the number of self-styled libertarians who just plain ignored the terms of their ISP agreements in order to troll online.

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

CB – No, wills absolutely can be contested. I’m not a lawyer either, but I’m pretty darn sure of this one.

http://wills-probate.lawyers.com/wills-probate/Grounds-for-Will-Contests.html

Johnny Pez
9 years ago

And now I must perform my famous dogwalk flounce. The basenjis are staring at me.

*flounce*

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

Best flounce evar 😀

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
9 years ago

Yeah, when people pull the Contract is Sacred gambit, I always like to ask if a contract to sell their children into slavery would be valid. The answers are always revealing.

Pecunium
9 years ago

CB: Yes, answers to that sort of thing are telling. So are questions about contracts on can’t enforce (e.g. the one’s about revivifying people who have been cryonicly frozen).

Re wills: they can be contested. A good lawyer can help craft a, “fuck you” will so that it will win the contest, but they can be contested.

Ion
Ion
9 years ago

Also women’s writing has been traditionally treated like a niche interest, so a library of female writers would be working against that stereotype, rather than perpetuating the already-very-healthy impression that men can write about anything.

Well, the thing is, they can… so that impression is pretty much true. Women authors write for women, about women’s issues. Men write about universal themes. This isn’t even misogyny, MRA-speak or whatever you lot always cry about. It’s personal experience and observation. I can count the number of female authors whose works I’ve actually enjoyed on one hand. Men, on the other hand… I can name like a dozen favorite writers off the top of my head, and a dozen more if I stop to think about it. So 😛

PosterformerllyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerllyknownasElizabeth
9 years ago

The ones making noises about contracts being sacred were also the ones not having a problem trashing public workers’ contracts. Contracts are only sacred when it benifits them…of course.

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

Ion, both men and women write about universal themes. Grow up. That is one of the dumbest things you’ve said yet.

Ion
Ion
9 years ago

Wow, good comeback. I bow before your superior argument, hellkell.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

This is like that whole thing where everybody not a white straight cis abled man is a “special interest” thing isn’t it? xD

redlocker
9 years ago

Sorry, Ion, but it’s true. No sex has a monopoly on writing about particular themes. Anyone can do it…provided they have the talent. Biology has nothing to do with it.

caseymordred
caseymordred
9 years ago

Genuine talent transcends gender.

Plus, how do you account for the women who hid behind male names to get published in the past? Are they suddenly untalented because it was an actual woman writing them?

Also, Ion, your false egalitarianism is noted. Because of the power differentials and privilege issues, you can’t say that a woman being misandrist towards men is the same as men being misogynist, like the would-be postmortem librarian in question.

Ion
Ion
9 years ago

Meh, I’ll believe it when I see it. Because right now, when I look in a bookstore I see Sex and the City, Twilight, and like a dozen shelves of those sparkly books about young 20-something women in the big city dealing with their bitchy friends, new job and various interchangeable hunky love interests while being Totally Fabulous(tm)!

Molly Ren
9 years ago

Ion, did you go to any other part of the bookstore? Or were you just in the tween section?

Bee
Bee
9 years ago

I was going to respond with a list of female writers I enjoy who write about all sorts of things. Well, here’s one. She’s written about pirates, the Boxer Rebellion, the Lusitania.

But I think I’d rather point out how weird it is that people often make this claim, that men write about sweeping, universal matters of the world, and women write small domestic works. As though interpersonal relationships, friendships between women, family disputes, love, and women’s lives are somehow less a part of the World at Large than a guy on a boat is.

bekabot
bekabot
9 years ago

Ion, I was going to stay out of this. However. I’ve gotta say that for a ManlyDude you show quite the extensive familiarity with what’s in the Chick Lit section over at Borders. My curiosity is piqued. How is it you pay notice to such things*? How does that come about?

*such paltry things; fixed that

Shora
9 years ago

For every chicklit book about romance and vampires there’s a Tom Clancy type deal about and ex navy seal manly man who chews bubblegum and kicks ass, but lo! conflict! He’s all out of bubble gum!!

Not every female writer is or can be Ursula LeGuin, but then again, not every male writer is Terry Pratchett either.

Also?

But I think I’d rather point out how weird it is that people often make this claim, that men write about sweeping, universal matters of the world, and women write small domestic works. As though interpersonal relationships, friendships between women, family disputes, love, and women’s lives are somehow less a part of the World at Large than a guy on a boat is.

This.

Ion
Ion
9 years ago

I was going to respond with a list of female writers I enjoy who write about all sorts of things. Well, here’s one. She’s written about pirates, the Boxer Rebellion, the Lusitania.

Never heard of her, but ok. I’m not saying there aren’t any, that would be absurd. Just a lot fewer. That’s actually a good point you made with the “friendships, interpersonal relationships etc” versus “guy on a boat”. The latter is about adventure, the first is a soap opera. Maybe that’s why many of them don’t appeal to me that much.

bekabot: I used to work in a bookstore, no big mystery. Most female authors I saw were either in the tween or romance section, SatC knockoffs and the like, and of course Twilight and Harry Potter in the fantasy section. That’s about all I saw.

ozymandias42
9 years ago

What about all those English Professor Contemplates Divorce books? Are those universal themes because they’re written by a dude? Because I know a lot of people who are really alienated from those books (they usually call them “privileged asshole books”).

Or Fight Club, that’s a great book that focuses on masculinity written by a man.

OTOH, a book like Speak, written by a woman, is a very universal-theme book– all you have to do is watch the video the author compiled of the letters she was sent from both men and women sharing their stories of being raped or abused, or having a friend raped or abused.

Ion
Ion
9 years ago

David, after sucking up to Amanda Marcotte and proclaiming Kate Beaton the best comic writer ever, I’m not surprised at that attitude. There are indeed many more male writers I enjoy than female writers, but in my experience there are also many more books written by men which appeal to everyone, than those written by women. BTW, comedy is one category I haven’t talked about yet. Male comedy authors write about pretty much anything. Female comedians write about their periods and guys they’ve slept with. Har har.

redlocker
9 years ago

Ok, so you admitted that your argument from authority is based on anecdotal evidence?

Well, that’s a start, Ion.

Ion
Ion
9 years ago

Or Fight Club, that’s a great book that focuses on masculinity written by a man.

No argument there, that’s all about masculinity. The female equivalent of that type of book seems a lot more prevalent though. And also much more boring, because there’s no fighting. They share their feelings instead.

Ion
Ion
9 years ago

Ok, so you admitted that your argument from authority is based on anecdotal evidence?

My what now? Are we starting this highschool debate team shit again?

Pecunium
9 years ago

Ion: Well, the thing is, they can… so that impression is pretty much true. Women authors write for women, about women’s issues. Men write about universal themes. This isn’t even misogyny,

No, it’s not misogyny, it’s idiocy.

One… what do you mean by, “Universal Themes”, and, “Women’s Issues”.

Two, are you limiting this to just works of fiction (which it appears you are)? Why? Zink didn’t.

If you are, what makes the writings of Shakespeare, on love and family, “universal”, while those of Jane Austen are about, “women’s issues”?

Are you arguing Frankenstein isn’t a, “universal theme”? Sappho wasn’t writing lyric poetry (just like the men)? She wasn’t praised, by men, for her work? Hasn’t been kept (for something like 3,000 years) as an example of brilliant writing?

How about Karen Armstrong, who wrote, “A History of God: the 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam”. Seems pretty Universal. Lest you think her a one-hit wonder, she has 23 books in print, most of them on history and religion.

Or What of Hannah Arendt: She wrote on Political Theory and Philosophy (though she disdained the latter as a description, saying philosophy dealth with the issues of man in the singular, and she was writing about groups). Her list of publications is too long to tally; that’s not even dealing with the Poli-Sci and Philosophy texts which use, or are based on, her works.

What of Delia Bacon, best known for helping to ingite the (still raging) controversy over the authorship of shakespeare (showing that an woman can be as full of folly as any man)?

What of Ban Zhao, the Chinese Historian (ca. 75 AD)?

For fiction: Natalya Baranksaya wrote of life in the Soviet Union.

Willa Cather: who wrote of the settlement of the Plains (My Antonia, O, Pioneers)

C.J. Cherryh, who writes SF. Astronomers named an asteroid (77185 Cherryh named after her. They said, ““She has challenged us to be worthy of the stars by imagining how mankind might grow to live among them.”

Lois McMasters Bujold, who writes military SF (which, since you place so much value on personal experience, I saw a lot of male soldiers reading it, it’s a series, so I guess they liked it well enough; they kept buying the new ones).

How is Dashiel Hammet, or Robert Parker, different from Agatha Christie, or Ngaio Marsh?

What of the women who wrote under male names, some of whom were only known to be female (e.g. James Tiptree) after their death. Tiptree was criticised more than once for not having a good understanding of female characters; of being to masculine in “his” ascriptions of motive and behavior for them.

I could go on, but why bother? The fact of the matter is your argument isn’t misgynist, per se, but it’s patently false, plainly stupid and pathetically sexist.

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