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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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robinhardwick
6 years ago

I feel powerless when I see a cute kitten that I can’t immediately cuddle. How dare you!

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

Really, Mr. Farrell? Really?? You really actually did that?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

So much wrong, so little time. He’s got a real low opinion of men.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

Kittybutt!

Seriously… “Feels powerful”? If you want to _feel_ powerful, see a therapist. That has nothing to do with the systems, structures and practices which actually give power.

The secretary might “feel” powerful by being sexy and unobtainable, but as long as sexual harassment, pay inequality and job discrimination are in play, that feeling doesn’t mean much.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Will you accept $1million in pictures of money? I could manage that, no problem. I’d really like to read about how kitties have the power.

B&Wrunt
B&Wrunt
6 years ago

All hail our fluffy overlords.

Lady Mondegreen
6 years ago

A human who was addicted to a kitten’s beauty, cuteness, and cuteness would temporarily “lose her mind”–she would make the irrational decision to support said kitten for the rest of her life.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

I would totally buy the hell out of that book. David’s, of course, not that pile of senseless drivel that Farrell produced.

katz
6 years ago

I’ve got a sudden urge to listen to Sir Mix-A-Lot.

insanitybytes22
6 years ago

” Men are oppressed by women’s butts…”

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

Guy Noir
Guy Noir
6 years ago

The cover image just confirms the reality of male power.

Brooked
Brooked
6 years ago

@David
Will Amazon pay you if I order the book from your link? I’ve been meaning to read a book about women’s asses written by an asshole.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

I thought he was going to use the one with the woman cooking in her underwear? Because that proves women have the power, or something?

“Society needed to reinforce men’s biological dependency on female beauty for the same reasons it needed to make women dependent on male income: dependency created an incentive to marry.”

He’s undercutting his own argument here. Women dependent on male income, so they have to seduce men into marrying them so they can, y’know, eat and have a roof over their heads. That’s not power. It never was power. It will never will be power.

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
6 years ago

Women are (of course) not attracted to men physically. It’s all about craving to be dominated and money–not at all how men look.

I know this because I’m not attracted to men and can’t understand how anyone else could be. I call this the Dudes Are Gross Theorem.

Science!

thebobgoblin
6 years ago

“…a core flaw of feminism was the assumption that because a woman felt powerless, the man must feel powerful.”

Um, I’m not a feminist scholar by any means, but even I know this gets feminism wrong. The problem isn’t that women feel powerless, but that they are oppressed, and that men as a class benefit from that oppression regardless of how it makes them feel.

And dafuq is with this blabbering about how men are rendered powerless by women’s beauty, and can be easily brainwashed by women, or something? What a bunch of saps these guys think men are.

Look, Warrell; I go to the gym a lot, and I live in L.A. I’m surrounded by beautiful women all day, and I’ve never once felt out of my mind about it. Mostly, I don’t notice, because… well, because, I have a lot to do and a lot of important other stuff on my mind.

They’re just other humans, these “beautiful” women. Not some occupying class of inscrutable succubi from Earth-3 or whatever.

tedthefed
tedthefed
6 years ago

I have struggled with social anxiety, especially when I was younger. I was extremely anxious and dismayed about the prospect of actually having to approach people I found attractive and speak to them. It was discouraging and frustrating that social norms expected me, as a man, to make the first explicit move, because it put me in a situation I found uncomfortable.

Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER did this make me think that the people I was afraid to approach were somehow responsible for my discomfort, or that they were benefitting from it. That makes no sense. It is more than a logical leap. It’s a logical getting shot out of a cannon.

Diana Adams
Diana Adams
6 years ago

As if women don’t feel the same in the presence of handsome men. Beautiful people have this effect no matter the gender. I’ve personally seen men use women to do all kind of favours for them by charming them.

But how any of this proves that male power and the patriarchy are a myth?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I love how his assessment that male power and privilege doesn’t exist is all about men’s feels. I thought men were all logical and rational and women are weak and stupid because it’s all about our feelings?

The whole idea that men are less dominant because of the social expectations that they be the pursuer in romantic relationships and face mocking and rejection is just so laughable. It reminds me of my favorite Margaret Atwood quote.

“Men are afraid women are going to laugh at them. Women are afraid men are going to kill them.”

Of course Farrell glossed right over that reality.

Fibinachi
6 years ago

a core flaw of feminism was the assumption that because a woman felt powerless, the man must feel powerful

No, you bag of bricks in the vague shape of a human writing scribbles that sort of line up into a kind of language, “a woman” didn’t “feel” powerless, “a woman” very much, in many cases, “was” powerless – I direct you to your secretary example, where your “genetic celebrity” with her “miniskirt powers and powers of flirtation” is out of a job the moment she longer wears a miniskirt, flirts or blows the boss under the desk on casual friday, whereas the man, who is the boss gets to literally fire the pretty secretary, hire any other amount of pretty secretaries, and manage a menage a trios of notes, knackers, pens and panties.

His entire argument boils down to “Men feel, women feel, I feel”, whereas, inthusfar as I am not a scholar of great renown, I can still make a passing reference to “The Married Women Property Act of 1870” and the knowledge that, at leasat in Britian, for the most part, up until that law was passed in 1870, then any money made by a woman either through a wage, from investment, by gift, or through inheritance automatically became the property of her husband once she was married.

Coverture, Mr. Farrel. Cover your ass on that one, you covetous culrpit with your cancerous conspiracies for which I can converse with little but chagrin and contempt.

Such ignorance. Much ahistory. Much wrong.
Wow.

They’re just other humans, these “beautiful” women. Not some occupying class of inscrutable succubi from Earth-3 or whatever.

Oh but they are! With their powers of shapely buttocks, all of the worlds nuclear arsenals are rendered moot!

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

Um, I’m not a feminist scholar by any means, but even I know this gets feminism wrong. The problem isn’t that women feel powerless, but that they are oppressed, and that men as a class benefit from that oppression regardless of how it makes them feel.

Feminists: Women are oppressed in society relative to men. A woman makes less than a man doing the same job. The majority of legislatures in most countries are men. Women’s reproductive choices are curtailed. Women are discouraged from pursuing some careers that are considered “men’s work.” Women are murdered, raped and battered; and are blamed for it, thanks to rape culture. Etc, etc, etc. In some countries it’s even worse.

Farrell: But men feel powerless because we’re attracted to women.

Ugh, and this is awful heteronormative. If women have power over men because of their attractiveness, wouldn’t that make homosexual men the most powerful of all?

Ally S
6 years ago

You know, Warren Farrell – PhD – has inspired me to write a book. It will be called The Myth of Pothead Power, and it will be about how difficult it is to resist the temptation to eat chocolate while high. Plus an elaboration on the concept of institutionalized cacao privilege. The cover will have a picture of assorted chocolate bars in a box.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
6 years ago

It’s basically just a wordier version of the stock standard anti social justice argument – “yeah, but I don’t feel privileged.”

katz
6 years ago

You know, Warren Farrell – PhD – has inspired me to write a book. It will be called The Myth of Pothead Power, and it will be about how difficult it is to resist the temptation to eat chocolate while high. Plus an elaboration on the concept of institutionalized cacao privilege. The cover will have a picture of assorted chocolate bars in a box.

Your wish is my command.

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

This “genetic celebrity” ridiculousness is just . . . no.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Men are oppressed by DAT ASS…”tastefully”, of course. Bummer, man…

And in other women-hold-all-the-power bumfuckery, guess who started the riots on the Maidan?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Bina, I thought Eastern European women know their place and aren’t tainted by feminism? Oh, cognitive dissonance.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Really. I wonder how these bozos square their “traditional family values” lust for an Olga-from-the-Volga or a Natasha-from-the-Neva with…THAT pile of pucky.

theladyzombie
6 years ago

Wait. If attractive women render men powerless, then what does he say about unattractive women? I mean, I assume “attractive” to him is probably stereotypically hetero-normative. So what about women who don’t look like Maxim (or whatever Lad magazine they read) models? Are they exempt from this bullshit?

I dunno. The only thing I’m taking away from this is that, according to Farrell, men can’t help but act irrationally when faced with an attractive woman, and that it’s not fair when he marries her and she turns into an ugly old hag (which according to the toads of the MRM, is around age 25) that he has to support for the rest of his life.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Can you imagine if this was the case though?

Fuck, you left your checkbook at home? Moon the cashier; if it works you get to go home with all the store credit you’ll ever want.

Need a taxi? Wriggle the left cheek and five cabs will be fighting for your business!

Want a raise? Why, by pulsating your butt twice, you will quadruple your salary, plus you spermjack all men within 5 meters of you!

THINK ABOUT THE POTENTIAL GUYS!

contrapangloss
contrapangloss
6 years ago

I like how he assumes that marriage is caused by a guy temporarily ‘losing his mind’ and not because of any other reason.

Obviously, I suppose this means that marrying someone because you like their personality and also like the benefits of only paying for one living space on joint incomes would be silly, right?

entropistanon
6 years ago

Hey WF – I know this may come as a shock to someone who is clearly not in possession of any of the POSITIVE human emotions, but not every guy who gets married does so because he was tricked into doing so by a woman’s temporary youth and beauty. There’s a thing called “love” that you might not know about. You know, that emotion that makes someone important to you even when they’re not young and beautiful anymore? Ever heard of it? No? Well, it’s a big thing for some people.

Besides, old people get married too.

@theladyzombie: I’m pretty sure that he thinks that unattractive women are misandry because they are not providing the amount of eye-candy necessary to justify their existence.

janetframed
6 years ago

I think it’s the right place to discretly throw another clever thing I’ve read today (not) : “In female dominated cultures, men find sex easy and lose the motive to sacrifice. Put women in combat. Have wars reduce their numbers, too and scarcity will make men competitive again. It just comes down to sex. If sex is too available, men will find they barely lift a finger for it, and we know which one.”
Oh, don’t thank me. I like to share. (and it was smelling too bad). I let you combine all the logic that underly this profound thought with the ones you mentionned, relative to “the incentive to marry” and “nature’s marketing tool”. I think they’ve got something there. Or not.
I must be very tired because I simply can’t understand English sentences anymore “In contrast, the genetic celebrity does not have to initiate and therefore worry about looking like a fool by doing it inadequately” Doing what ? Initiate what ? Is it about Angelina Jolie ? Oh god I’m tired. Europe here, need to go to bed.

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

Ugh, and this is awful heteronormative. If women have power over men because of their attractiveness, wouldn’t that make homosexual men the most powerful of all?

Lesbians would be too, right? Since they keep all the power and even boost by making couples!
Or what about a gay-lesbian alliance? That could take over the world in like, a day or so…

And kittens.There must be kittens in the Alliance.

Angela Gibbons
6 years ago

“I have heard from many women, ‘I see nothing wrong with the status quo. I feel equal. To them I say: you can feel respected, supported and validated…but equality can be measured. Equality is not a feeling…” – Kate Kelly, Founder of Ordain Women

Kate is a Mormon feminist, and she’s speaking specifically about women in the LDS church here, but I still love this quote and think it says it all. http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/joannabrooks/7334/_equality_is_not_a_feeling_/

insanitybytes22
6 years ago

I just had a large chocolate sundae with extra whip cream because the last thing I want to do is to disempower some man with my butt. It’s hard making these changes in the name of social justice, but I promise to do my part.

magnesium
magnesium
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.

Polliwog
6 years ago

Want a raise? Why, by pulsating your butt twice, you will quadruple your salary, plus you spermjack all men within 5 meters of you!

Hee. I feel like I should roll for initiative first…

(Also, completely off topic, but Alice, I am under the impression you may be someone known to me from a different forum full of nocturnal flying mammals and/or superheroes. If so, a bunch of said nocturnal flying mammal superheroes wanted it noted that they miss you and hope you stop by again sometime. If not, feel free to ignore this as the ramblings of a random internet person.) 🙂

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

Clearly the most powerful people in the world are the asexuals, who are free from the heavy shackles of uncontrollable sexual attraction that makes allosexual people mere slaves to those who make them have tingly feelings in their pants.

Shaenon
6 years ago

Farrell’s paranoia about being tricked into supporting some lazy bonbon-eating woman is particularly rich considering that his first wife–the one who left him around the time he became a proto-MRA–was and is an extremely successful tech executive and makes far more money than he does. His current wife is a businesswoman, too.

But I’m sure he feels his money is much more valuable than theirs, which makes it true.

booburry
6 years ago

Apparently none of these attractive women have jobs in this asshole’s universe? Not sure why he(/all of them) loves to pretend that husbands still support their wives 100% even though it has been shown that women are major breadwinners these days.
I guess I can’t expect him to keep up with facts , what with his head up his ass and all.

pineapplecookies
pineapplecookies
6 years ago

“Exposing the cacaocracy”.

seriously, thank you. I was having a sad evening and that just cracked me up <3

pineapplecookies
pineapplecookies
6 years ago

on another note… please, tell me most people in academia do not take farrell’s stuff seriously. I wanted to point out how incredibly heteronormative and “beauticentric” it is, but I was ninjaed by so many already.
Because it is so obviously flawed.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Hmm, let’s see, women began to campaign for women’s suffrage in America around the 1850s. All the campaigning stopped because of the Civil War then finally resumed in the 1860s. Then the First World War rolled around. Women didn’t gain the right to vote, officially, untill 19-freaking-20. 1920. So, what, men are pushovers for a great ass and a pretty face? Shit.
I guess the suffragists should have recruited their more comely members to go to congress and flirt a little more, huh? They would have gotten the vote sooner? Maybe it was the longs skirts they wore at the time — to much booty coverage.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Oh hey Poli! Small world, isn’t it? 😛

blackmetalvalkyrie
blackmetalvalkyrie
6 years ago

They might as well just name the book Gaslighting.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Where can I order your cat book?

Lili Fugit
Lili Fugit
6 years ago

In 1973 the laws in the state of New York finally changed so a woman could rent an apartment all by herself without having a male do it for her or at least co-sign. There’s also that whole Roe v. Wade thing that MRAs disguised as religious fuckwits are busily trying to roll back because heaven forfend a woman own her own uterus and what goes on in there.

“Oh, but hot asses give me feels!” is not a comeback to those selected examples, or to any other of the multitudes of examples available. Hot asses give many people of all genders feels, including me, but you don’t see me crying for a waaaahmbulance.

AbsintheDexterous
AbsintheDexterous
6 years ago

Well, it is fitting that there’s an ass on the cover, seeing how his book is probably all assfax.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
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?

Don’t even get me started on the claim that women are free from violence. Disconnect from reality, he has it.

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