The Frontman Fallacy,
Feminism, and Men's Rights
©Peter Zohrab 2015
"The Frontman Fallacy" is a term I invented myself. What happened was that
someone on the Usenet newsgroup alt.mens- rights asked for help in devising
a term. The term was to encapsulate the wrongheadedness of a common Feminist
assumption. This was the assumption that the fact that men held most of the
positions of power in the world meant that men ruled the world principally
for their own benefit -- i.e. they "oppressed" women.
My suggestion, which was accepted by the person who had asked for the help,
was "The Frontman Fallacy". So the Frontman Fallacy is the mistaken belief
that people (men, specifically) who are in positions of authority in democratic
systems use their power mainly to benefit the categories of people (the category
of "men", in particular) that they belong to themselves.
Kate Millett is a very important name in the intellectual history of modern
Feminism. I'd like here to examine Millett's basic assumptions a bit more
closely than she herself does.
"If one takes patriarchal government to be the institution whereby that
half of the populace which is female is controlled by that half which
is male, the principles of patriarchy appear to be twofold: male shall
dominate female, elder male shall domin ate younger" (Millett, Kate (1972):
"Sexual Politics". London:Abacus. Page 25).
That is Kate Millett's definition of patriarchy. The crucial point, as
I see it, is the notion of "control". What Millett means by this term is made
clear as follows:
"...our society ... is a patriarchy. The fact is evident at once if one
recalls that the military, industry, technology, universities, science,
political office, and finance -- in short, every avenue of power within
the society, including the coercive force of the police, is entirely in
male hands" (ibid, page 25).
It is a good rule of thumb that, if you want to look for the weaknesses
in someone's argument, you look for sentences starting with words such as
"evident", "evidently", "obvious", or "obviously". These are precisely the
weak assumptions that the writer/speaker needs to prop up with confident-sounding
In this case, the weakness is that the fact of a large number of males
in these professions does not logically imply that they are "controlling"
women any more than they are controlling other men. Men make up the majority
in many very low-status occupations, as well as in the high- status ones.
More importantly, if the "coercive force of the police" is directed mainly
at women, why is it men who constitute the overwhelming majority of those
who are arrested by the police ?
The general point is that Feminists assume that men always promote their
own interests over those of women. This is not, in fact, true. But, on the
other hand, it does seem to be true that, when Feminazis score some political
victory, they almost always use their newly-won power to benefit females exclusively.
This is because of their persecution-complex.
You could even argue that democratic countries are actually matriarchies,
and that male politicians are the paid servants of the Feminists. The litmus
test would then be whether the (mainly male) politicians enacted legislation
that favoured men's interests more than women's interests. And the history
of the last two hundred years in the West is peppered with examples of mainly
male governments enacting legislation that benefited women more than men.
The Feminist universities use a simplistic model of power that suits their
ideological purposes. They just count up the numbers of men and women in decision-making
positions and say "See! Men have the power!" That is completely
stupid or hypocritical, since almost only Feminist or chivalrous men are allowed
into those positions, and the policies they implement are usually Feminist
policies, since they are prevented from having equal access to Masculist policies
by Feminist power and control over the education system, the media, the unions
and most political parties, etc..
It is true that most decision-makers in society's political institutions
have tended to be men. But they have not usually acted solely in men's interests,
or solely to the detriment of women's interests. To the contrary -- they have
tended to act severely against men's interests, and in favour of women's interests.
For this there are two reasons:
The male decision-makers are subject to pressure from indiv idual women
(friends, family members, etc.), as well as from female pressure-groups. Feminism
has created the sloga n "The Personal is Political", and this has turned many
a bedroom into a battleground, facing many male decision- makers with a choice
between their marriage and their principles. Does the name of Hilary Clinton
ring any bells in this regard ?
As far as pressure-groups are concerned, it must be remembered that Men's
Rights pressure-groups are few and far between, so pressure groups in the
gender area have essentially been just women's pressure-groups. So male decision-makers
receive an overwhelmingly one-sided tide of pressure in this area.
Feminism has tacked itself onto the back of the Left in general, and Marxism,
in particular. This is the part of the politicl spectrum which loves to use
the word "oppression". It is certainly correct that various ethnic and social
groups "oppress" other ethnic and social groups all over the world -- to various
degrees, and in different ways.
But the relationship between men and women is a much more cooperative one
than the relationship between ethnic groups -- because men and women (still)
need each other to produce and raise families. Ethnic groups are not usually
so indispensible to each other.
So applying the "oppression" model to male-female relationships has only
been feasible academically by bullying intelligent men into acquiescence --
by making them fear for their careers or their marriages if they disagreed
publicly. So the field of Women's Studies has been isolated from the need
to become really academic, rather than purely polemical.
In fact, there is an actual contradiction between the Marxist and Feminist
approaches to the notion of political power. Marxism defines a "Capitalist"
as someone who makes money *from* money -- i.e. by directly or indirectly
making money from other people's work, rather than from his/her own productive
Capitalists use their money to influence the political system -- including
the decision-makers, who are usually not Capitalists themselves. Marxists
do not point to the class that a decision-maker comes from as evidence that
they make decisions in favour of that particular class. Marxists would regard
that approach as rather naive and simplistic.
Feminism, by contrast, relies heavily on the Frontman Fallacy. Feminists
point to the numbers of male decision- makers as evidence that the political
system works in favour of men. This approach is naive and simplistic, and
it has only been popularised because of the lack of intellect, of objectivity
and of male input in the Gender Studies area.
Men are an oppressed minority in western society today. They are a genuine
minority, of course -- unlike women, who are "dressed up" by Feminists as
an oppressed minority. The comparison of women with oppressed minorities has
generally been done in a completely unbalanced way. There has been a biased
hunt for similarities between women and genuine minority groups. The obvious
differences between women and genuinely oppressed minorities, on the other
hand, have been determinedly overlooked.
There do exist objective reasons for the recent changes in male-female
relationships: the contraceptive pill, home labour-saving devices, and the
mechanization of the workplace came along. These changes made it very probable
that women would enter the workplace in much greater numbers, and many changes
have occurred as a result of this fact.
Feminist propaganda has facilitated this process. By dressing women up
as an oppressed minority, Feminists have been able to obtain a lot of privileges
for women -- in addition to the ones they already enjoyed as a result of male
Feminists believe their own lies. They never seek equality with men in
areas where men are at a disadvantage in society, compared to women. Many
Feminists are ruthless in using their positions of power to advance the Feminist
cause. Until all that changes, it is not necessarily a good thing for even
more women to be allowed into positions of even greater power.
One popular American talk-back host, Rush Limbaugh, uses the term "Feminazi".
I thought I had invented this term myself, when I used it in a lecture at
a conference on "Language and Society" at Victoria University, in Wellington,
New Zealand, in May 1990. I had also previously used the term in a broadsheet
I had circulated among members of the Equal Parental Rights Society, in New
Zealand. I don't know if the American usage originated with me, or arose independently.
Whoever invented it, it may seem exaggeratedly polemical to compare Feminists
with Nazis. The reason for doing so is to point out the intolerance of many
Feminists, and the way they have brainwashed people into being unable to contemplate
a non-Feminist view on many issues.
"...the incubus of feminist casuistry demands that all men must be thought
to be identical. At the heart of the incubus, as in the heart of all forms
of totalitarian prejudice, is the insistence that they are all the same
-- Jews, Muslims, blacks, Scots -- and men. For all its decorations of
scholarship, its titles, its fellowships and its study centres, the philosophical
drive of modern feminism comes down to a barbarous and totalitarian simplicity:
men are all the same and, in their very masculinity, they share an inherent
evil." (Lyndon, Neil (1992): "No More Sex War: The Failures of Feminism."
London:Sinclair-Stevenson. Page 39)
"JANE FONDA:`I still believe that women are the superior sex.' This line
came from a profile of Fonda published by the colour magazine of the Los
Angeles Times in the autumn of 1989." (Lyndon, op.cit. page 40)
The above quotations show the similarity in the thinking of Feminazis and
Nazis proper. Frank Zepezauer, in his column in "The Liberator" newspaper
of March 1994, listed many points of similarity between Feminazis and Nazis.
I won't mention all of the similarities that Zepezauer lists. One that is
worth mentioning, however, is blood guilt. Just as the Nazis thought that
any Jew was guilty just because he was a Jew -- so
"A young man innocent of the 'sexism' of his fathers is guilty because
he is a man, a born misogynist and rapist whose dangerous propensities
must be vigilantly monitored and controlled." (ibid, page 20)
Another similarity is that the Nazis thought that certain categories of
people (homosexuals and the physically and intellectually handicapped) were
unworthy of life. Most Feminists believe that all unborn children who are
unwanted by their mothers are unworthy of life.
The final heading in Zepezauer's list of similarities is "Holocaust II".
These are his concluding remarks under this heading:
"At the last count, which ended about 1960, the victims of the Nazi Holocaust
numbered about eight million of whom six million were Jews.
So far, since the inception of legalized abortion, about thirty million
unborn children have been sacrificed to maternal choice. And we are still
counting." (ibid, page 21)
POSTSCRIPT: I noticed (26 February 2016) that a
Feminist website states that the term "Frontman Fallacy" has "been
widely adopted in Men’s Rights circles". That is good to hear.
However, like most Feminists, the writer on that website is not very intelligent.
She states: "So, in other words, if you mention that men hold the overwhelming
majority of powerful positions in the worlds of politics, business, and podiatry,
MRAs will shout out 'frontman fallacy' and do a little victory dance. Rich and
powerful dudes don’t count, because of poor and powerless dudes!"
That has nothing to do with the Frontman Fallacy. The
issue is: why should Feminists care if "men hold
the overwhelming majority of powerful positions in the worlds of politics, business,
and podiatry", unless they are using their positions to harm women, WHICH
THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY DO. In fact, men in power mainly oppress other men.
Feminists point to the numbers of men in decision-making positions in order
to distract attention from all the anti-male POLICIES that Feminists have put
into place, WITH THE HELP OF ALL THE FEMINIST MEN WHO ARE IN DECISION-MAKING
(iv) Outline of Men's Issues
Here is an outline of the kinds of issues which many people in the Men's
Movement would like to see some action on.
A. INFORMATION ISSUES
Information issues are basic to the success or failure of the Men's Movement.
We have to be able to get our point of view across despite an intellectual
climate where women are generally considered to be the victims of male oppression
in an evil patriarchy.
1. Media Bias
Anti-male bias in the media must be monitored and records kept. Complaints
must be lodged where appropriate, and publicity given to the complaints.
2. Teacher Bias
Teacher unions usually have separate female officers on their executives
and at branch level. These often use member funds to circulate Feminist propaganda,
which then gets passed on to students and parents. This propaganda sometimes
gets discredited later (e.g. the theory about boys dominating coeducational
3. Men's Studies
Women's Studies departments at universities act as centres of Feminist
propaganda-writing, and also as headquarters for Feminist activism within
the university community. Some U.S. universities already have Men's Studies
departments, but Men's Rights activists should push for every university to
have one, in order to counter Feminist influence.
4. Ministry of Men's Affairs
For the same reasons that men need Men's Studies departments in universities,
men also need a Ministry of Men's Affairs in all countries (such as New Zealand)
where a Ministry of Women's Affairs exists.
B. LEGAL ISSUES
Legal issues are second in importance to Information issues in the Men's
Movement. In fact, one of the main reasons for pushing the information issues
is to achieve our goals as regards legal issues such as the following.
5. Divorce Law
This should cease to discriminate against men in areas such as child-custody
and false child abuse and domestic violence accusations in the Family Court.
6. False Accusations
People making false accusations (such as accusations of rape) should be
prosecuted as a matter of course and police policy, and the penalties should
be made equivalent to the penalties involved in the type of crime that the
false accusation related to.
7. Sex Abuse and false memories
A balance needs to be achieved between the needs of society to protect
itself against sex abusers, and the need to protect innocent people from adults'
false memories of supposed abuse in childhood.
8. Domestic Violence
The anti-male hysteria surrounding this issue must be removed by publicising
statistics showing that women batter men just as often as men batter women,
by encouraging battered men to come forward, and by educating police and public
to take a more balanced view of this issue. More research must be done and
publicised into the causes of domestic violence, as it is presented as if
men beat their wives for no reason at all.
The problem is that Feminists have been pushing the legal systems of Western
countries towards a situation where women can successfully plead provocation
in crimes against men, while men cannot ever plead provocation in crimes against
9. Law of Evidence
The restrictions on defence lawyers in rape trials must be removed, in
order to safeguard the rights of innocent defendants. It is up to judges and
juries, not parliament, to decide what evidence is relevant in a given case.
10. Syndromes and legal defences
Men must campaign against the creation of women-only defences and men-only
crimes. Feminists have been steadily working towards the goal of getting all
women treated as innocent victims, no matter what they have done -- and all
men treated as criminals, no matter if they are innocent.
The definition of rape must be restricted, and all attempts to expand the
definition of rape to include anything a woman might afterwards wish she hadn't
done should be strenuously resisted.
12. Police Bias
Instances of anti-male police bias must be recorded, filed, protested about,
and brought to the attention of the media and the public.
Infanticide by women should be punished just as severely as infanticide
Conscription in wartime should be on the same basis, regardless of gender.
Laws to this effect should be drawn up in peacetime, just in case a war occurs
again. The argument that war should be avoided is a mere excuse, and should
be seen to be such. Wars should be avoided if possible, but you can't stop
someone attacking you by taking a pacifist line.
15. Military Service
Military service should involve both males and females on an equal basis.
Any alternative civilian service should also be available to both sexes on
the same basis.
16. Choice for Men (Abortion)
A father should legally have an equal say with the mother in any decision
to abort, or not abort their child. This is particularly important if the
father is to be forced to contribute to the child's upkeep -- whether he actually
lives with the mother, has custody or access rights, or not.
Notwithstanding the issue of Choice For Men, there is a natural tendency
for Men's Rights activists to see abortion as yet another way that women can
issue a contract to kill with impunity.
C. OTHER ISSUES
18. Men's Health and Longevity
Equal funds should be allocated to research, prevention, information and
treatment relating to male-only diseases (such as prostate cancer and testicular
cancer) as to female-only diseases.
19. Sports Apartheid
Since Feminists favour Equal Employment Opportunity and oppose separate
men's clubs, the sexual apartheid system in non-contact sports should be abolished,
e.g. female tennis players should play in the same competition as men players
-- for the same prizes.
Circumcision is genital mutilation, and should be campaigned against by
all those who are opposed to female circumcision.
21. Family Structures
Combatting Crime by promoting the two-parent, one- income family. Feminism
is hostile to the traditional two-parent, one-income family, which is associated
with stable societies with low crime- levels. There is a mass of evidence
associating increased numbers of single-parent families with increased crime.
22. Affirmative Action and Quotas
These should either be abolished altogether, or applied across-the-board,
including areas where women are underrepresented, but where Feminists have
made no move to increase women's representation, e.g. prison populations,
suicide rates, wartime death-rate, life-expectancy, medical spending, etc..
This across-the-board fairness would logically have to apply to ethnic
minorities as well -- some ethnic groups do better than the majority on these
statistics, and some do worse.
12 October 2021