Thursday, October 28, 2010

If at first you don't succeed, shoot people

This is not actually Roy Den Hollander, Esq.
It's no secret that the Men's Rights Movement has been spectacularly unsuccessful, as movements go. It's produced no great intellectuals; its rare public demonstrations are sparsely attended; it's had precious little impact on legislation, on people's attitudes, on popular culture, or on anything, really. Most of those in the real world who are even aware there is such a thing as the MRM think of it as a joke.

The closest thing the movement has to a recognizable celebrity spokesperson is a fellow named Roy Den Hollander, or, as he prefers to call himself, Roy Den Hollander, Esq. RDH, Esq. is best known as "that crazy lawyer dude who keeps launching lawsuits to get rid of Ladies' Nights at bars." His sheer persistence in this noble quest hasn't garnered him much success in the courts -- last month an appeals court dismissed his lawsuit against a quintet of New York City clubs -- but it did get him a brief profile as an eccentric in the New Yorker's Talk of the Town section. Jezebel, meanwhile, has compared him to a "recurrent yeast infection." Hey, any publicity is good publicity for the Men's Rights Movement, right?

This past Sunday RDH, Esq. popped up on the media radar again -- well, on my media radar anyway. Few people in the real world notice anything published in A Voice For Men, where RDH Esq. posted a little piece about, well, the persistent unsuccess of the MRM.

His diagnoses of this malady isn't particularly insightful -- he blames it on the money that the government and private corporations allegedly shower on man-hating feminist organizations, somehow forgetting that the feminist movement started out broke and somehow succeeded (well, in a lot of ways) despite this handicap.

What is a bit alarming is his solution to the problem: Guns. "The future prospect of the Men’s Movement raising enough money to exercise some influence in America is unlikely," he writes. "But there is one remaining source of power in which men still have a near monopoly—firearms."

Yep, if you can't win over the hearts and minds of America, or even convince the courts to put an end to Ladies Night at the China Club, just shoot your way to success. (It is a bit weird, this conceptual leap from filing Ladies Nights lawsuits to predicting and/or advocating taking up arms against the government, no?)

RDH, Esq. isn't the only MRA to give up on actually trying to win the war of ideas with, you know, ideas. Not that long ago, you may recall, I wrote about a post on the Pro-Male/Ant-Feminist Technology blog fantasizing about the creation of an anti-feminist computer virus, one that would take down feminist websites and the femputers of women's studies departments and the National Organization for Women.

My post -- and the very notion of a "war of ideas" -- angered the anonymous proprietor of that little blog, and he responded with a sort of mini-manifesto titled "This Is Not A Debating And Mental Masturbation Society."
Men my age and younger have seen how their fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, male friends, male business associates, etc. have been destroyed my feminism if it has not already happened to us. ... To many men this ceased to be a “war of ideas” a long time ago and is one step away from being an actual shooting war.  This isn’t a war men are planning to start.  It’s a war that was already declared on men, and the only question is when groups of men will still fighting back in such a direct manner.  In such a situation where it’s a war or almost one, new and interesting weapons to fight feminism will be created. ...
The men who write this malware will not be concerned with silencing feminists as if they were anti-free speech.  They will be concerned with taking down the array of groups who are currently successfully destroying men.
Lawyers, guns, and viruses: three terrible tastes that taste even more terrible together.

PS: Before this starts a ruckus in the comments section, I would like to point out that I too think that Ladies Nights are pretty stupid, and, yes, sexist. I also don't really give a shit about them, for some of the same reasons as this gal.


  1. David, you were defeated in that debate. Aside from the foolish and offensive commentary from some of the younger mens movement guys, the commentary by the mens rights people was far beyond the contributers from this site, who consistently relied on dishonesty, misdirection, character assassination and like yourself, cant tell the difference between politically motivated, ideological pseudo scientific research and genuine scientific research. In other words, they are the creationists of that debate. The majority of mens writers are well beyond those pro domestic violence writers at jezabelle, and the rest of the pop culture obsessed online feminist media that is out there on the net.

    And if you are going to cherry pick.

    Anyone with google can find a plethora of feminist hate speech thats comparable to nazi rhetoric and lets not forget that feminists killed erin pizzys dog and threatened her family, threatened the families of genuine domestic violence researchers, threatened to castrate 100 innocent men if Lorena Bobbit was given a prison sentence and that your patron saint margret sanger was a racist eugenicist whos birth control and substerilization work was cited as an inspiration for the similar nazi programs at the Nuremberg trials.

  2. @Eoghan, learn some damned history please. Sanger was, in fact, one of the very first prominent US figures to denounce the nazis. She denounced them in the 1930s, before the holocaust even began. Also, abortion and birth control were ILLEGAL in nazi germany, with the exception of cases where, if the fetus had been carried to term, the nazis would have been okay with killing it (disabled, of color, jewish, etc.). The nazis were explicitly anti-feminist. The nazis held that women should be at home, having babies (see nazi propaganda). They even stopped allowing german universities to give women degrees or have female professors. Anyone who thinks that nazi rhetoric was even remotely feminist or pro-women is an ass with no understanding of history.

    On the sanger eugencis issues, sanger did hold morally wrong positions on the poor and the disabled (though, if you actually learn history, you will find that sanger opposed state coercion on these issues). However, Sanger's position was not atypical for her time and, compared to contemporary anti-feminists, was far less violent. Want to see some real eugenics nastiness, try reading Buck v Bell. Coerced sterilization of the disabled was legal at this time, but voluntary birth control by able bodied women was illegal. Does this justify Sanger's position? No, and there were plenty of feminists at the time who vehemently opposed the eugenics language of sanger while supporting the right to choose, but it does demonstrate that Sanger's position was not unique to feminists and did not originate from her feminist ideals, but rather was symbolic of her adopting a common political position in order to garner support.

    Also, again, stop concern trolling. I am a person with disabilities and I am prochoice, as are plenty of other people with disabilities. When was the last time you talked about the rights of PWDs as something other than a pathetic excuse to bash feminism?

  3. One area where the MRM has had a measure of success has been in advocating for a presumption of shared parenting in custody cases. Which is problematic because it assumes what is in the best interest of the child in general, instead of requiring the judge to look at what is in the best interest of the particular child in question. It gives the non-primary caregiver parent an unwarranted amount of leverage. And, if the parents were able to get along well enough to sustain a shared custody arrangement, then they wouldn't need a judge to do anything but rubber-stamp their agreement, so making it an assumption in cases where the judge has to deal with two opposing sides is rather illogical.

    Just so you know.

  4. Laws in USA are confusing, every state has different laws and courts decisions are often controversial - what might be perfectly fine in one state might be against the law in another state just 5 miles over the border.

    Therefore as a lawyer, it is not a bad idea, to file lawsuits and to create a case of precedence. It makes sense to check out how courts will decide in a similar situation in future.

    What's wrong with that? Why should this man not ask the courts to decide? For him it is not even expensive, as he is a lawyer anyway.

    Feminists are also filing lawsuits. And why not? You should know if the law is on your side or against you.

    About ladies' nights, my advice as MRA to all men is simple: Don't go there if you are a man. Use your money for something more useful.

    Generally I think, gender-specific dual pricing is a highly questionable way to make business. In USA it seems however it is not against the law.
    Sweden has now a similar legal discussion about ladies' night. Tickets for the show are sold to girls only, but a man says he also want to see the show...

    This Swedish case will be discussed by the Discrimination Ombudsman. In Europe we do not need courts to decide such legal disputes between men and women. Much cheaper and easier to find out how laws should be understood. USA could learn a lot from Europe about how to handle a legal dispute regarding gender discimination.

    To fight all and everything out in courts makes any discussion regarding feminists and MRAs not only expensive, but also much more hateful.

    In hateful rhetoric, US-feminists are unique. In their eyes, every man is a rapist, every married woman with a boy is a traitor of the own gender, every foreign wife is a mail-order-bride, every MRA is either a wife-beater or an asshole anyway, every man seen with a woman a few years younger than him is a pedophile, every male US-citizen travelling abroad is a sex-tourist...

    Feminism - a non-productive movement.
    I think, most feminists, male or females, must be very unhappy people...

  5. @OP That's fucking scary. What's next? We're going to enshrine Russell Williams as the poster boy for killing women?

    These guys are terrorists, plain and simple.

    Also, how can Paul Elam claim to not pro-violence against women if he allows that crap on his website? Hypocrite.

  6. Marissa said...
    One area where the MRM has had a measure of success has been in advocating for a presumption of shared parenting in custody cases. Which is problematic ...

    It gives the non-primary caregiver parent an unwarranted amount of leverage...

    I don't understand how this could be problematic.

    Laws should be gender-neutral, and who says, that the non-primary caregiver parent MUST be always the father?

    After divorce children do not belong solely to the ex-wife. Children after divorce are NOT her children, they are still THEIR children, and why should the father - who pays child-support - not have the right to communicate with them?

  7. Marissa

    Joint custody as a starting point is in the best interests of the child, especially one with an abusive mother, mother that uses the child as a proxy weapon against their ex. You probably know that mothers do 70% of the child abuse and that the most dangerous place for a child is in a home without a father.

    Besides, "best interets of the child" when feminists use the term is just a cynical way of saying "the best interests the woman". If feminism was really interested in the best interests of children it would not protect female child and spouse abusers in the way it does.

  8. I never said that the non-primary caregiver must always be the father. I specifically and deliberately used gender-neutral language. The effect of a presumption of shared custody is that it gives the non-primary caregiver more leverage than they otherwise would have; and this is problematic whether the primary caregiver is a father or a mother.

    Child support has nothing to do with access. Access and custody are about the best interests of the child. It's in the best interest of the child to receive child support. Depending on the child's relationship with the non-custodial parent it may or may not be in the child's best interest to have a greater or lesser amount of contact with that parent.

    In my opinion, the MRM seems more concerned with making life difficult for mothers who are primary-caregivers post-divorce, than actually encouraging fathers to play a greater role in their children's lives, or making it easier for fathers to take on the role of primary caregiver.

  9. Eoghan: This is why your movement has so much trouble getting traction. Your argument doesn't make any sense. A presumption of joints HURTS a parent whose spouse is abusive, because they must not only show abuse but over come a presumption that they should share custody with an abusive spouse. If a spouse is abusive, the goal is sole custody, not joint.

    Women commit more child abuse then men only so far as they are more likely to have custody of children then men.

    However, a presumption for joint is a defensible position. There is a lot of empirical evidence (see the work of Joan Kelly) that joint custody is best for children unless the relationship is high conflict. That is not merely joint legal custody but 50/50 parenting time where both parents continue to act as parents and are involved in every area of the child's life. Under this arrangement, children of divorce look exactly like children of intact homes. Under other arrangements, they perform worse in school, show higher degrees of anxiety and depression, and have poorer communication and social skills.

    Given the research shows joint custody is best UNLESS the relationship is high conflict, a low that assumes joint custody UNLESS high conflict is shown makes sense.

    The chief barrier is parental rights. If neither parent wants joint custody, should the court still have the power to award it? Should it be able to force them to work together? If neither parent will agree to joint custody, is that in itself a sign of high conflict?

    The second barrier is the abusive parent situation. Courts are afraid of laws that presume it is best for a child to see both parents, because that puts an extra barrier in the way of a parent who must prove abuse.

  10. @Eoghan

    Joint custody is obviously not in the best interests of the child if one parent is abusive. The child should be with the non-abusive parent.

  11. Cat

    Sanger critisised the Nazis coersive eugenics programs, she favoured volentary eugenics except in the case of some groups where she favoured segration and steralisation, the name was later shortened to "choice" as Hitler made eugenics a dirty word.. but they were peers in the same field and both progressives and wrote to each other before the war. Dont abuse me because you have an information gap cat.

    Here is Sanger on Hitlers program.

    "Taking sharp issue in plain words with certain other[22] eugenicists, however, Margaret Sanger completely rejected the idea of gassing the unfit. 'Nor do we believe,' wrote Sanger in Pivot of Civilization, 'that the community could or should send to the lethal chamber the defective progeny resulting from irresponsible and unintelligent breeding.'[23][24]

    Sanger's views thus broke from those proposing Nazi eugenics—an aggressive, and lethal, program. She wrote in a 1933 letter:

    "All the news from Germany is sad & horrible, and to me more dangerous than any other war going on any where because it has so many good people who applaud the atrocities & claim its right. The sudden antagonism in Germany against the Jews & the vitriolic hatred of them is spreading underground here & is far more dangerous than the aggressive policy of the Japanese in Manchuria.."[25]"

    Perhaps its you that need a history lesson, on things for sure, you wont get the truth about sanger in womens studies or

  12. It says loads about the piss poor character of Paul Elam that he would seek to publish this kind of trash.

  13. Marissa, I guess I would attribute the shared parenting thing more to the Father's Rights movement. I may be nitpicking, because the two movements obviously overlap considerably, but I do think that they are distinct in some ways.

  14. @Marissa


    Joint custody is obviously not in the best interests of the child if one parent is abusive. The child should be with the non-abusive parent."

    Right, abusive mothers getting automotic full custody is not in the best interests of the child, the current system is heavily influenced by feminism, so abusive mothers are protected unless its very extreme and obvious. The current system also provides no place for men and their children to go outside the home to escape an abusive mother.

    The current system is not working in the best interests of children, as I said thats just a cynical way of saying "in the best interests of women". Were it really about the children, there wouldnt be the feminist push to sweep abusive mothers and wifes under the carpet.

  15. Marissa: In my opinion, the MRM seems more concerned with making life difficult for mothers who are primary-caregivers post-divorce .....

    It depends what you understand with 'making life difficult' - Yes, there are many complaints about not respected visitation rights and MRAs are complaining about and why should they not complain?

    MRAs think, visitation rights should be enforced by authorities exactly in the same form as child-support payments are enforced.

    In the feminist world, men are expected to pay child-support, but often cannot see their children and justice is doing nothing about it.

    The present situation is single-sided. Child support must be paid, but visitation rights are frequently ignored.

    I specifically and deliberately used gender-neutral language.

    Might be, but I do not think many ex-wives are willing to pay child support to the ex-husband.
    We know however about child support which was paid to the mother, who was using this money to buy alcohol and drugs.

    MRAs think, there should be a better system for fathers to monitor what really happens with their payments.

    Child support has nothing to do with access

    I think, it has, as both are 'equal obligations' out of the SAME divorce agreement regarding THEIR children - child support is usually paid by the father/ex-husband, visitation rights usually should be respected by the mother/ex-wife.

    Yes I know, all these 'hateful demands' by MRAs are misogynistic, anti-feminist.

    There are many other demands, MRAs are claiming regarding father's rights. For sure not all demands by MRAs are unreasonable.

  16. I'm not familiar with the law in every state of the USA, or even most of them. But I'm fairly certain that the assumption of maternal custody is a thing of the past. The "tender years" doctrine, as it was known, was not developed in response to feminism, it pre-dated second-wave.

  17. Might be, but I do not think many ex-wives are willing to pay child support to the ex-husband.

    What does that have to do with anything? If they're ordered to pay it, they have to pay it.

    Personally, I don't think that anyone should be required to pay child support, since it can be burdensome on individuals, a source of conflict in post-divorce families, and a way to keep two people together who want nothing to do with each other. Ideally, single caregiver parents would receive significantly more support from the state.

    Child support has nothing to do with access. Nothing entitles a person to impose their company on another against their will. Child support is an obligation to the child. A so-called "right" to access is an attempt to enforce a right against the child, as though the child were property, where no right exists.

  18. @ Marissa

    "Ideally, single caregiver parents would receive significantly more support from the state."

    There is correlaton in European countries between the rate of state pay to single mothers and the number of single mothers. Many women make careers out of it and what you end up with are matiarchal ghettos, high rates of child abuse, crime, drugs, incarceration etc. The loan parent on state support becomes a social norm, it becomes intergenerational and there is a large segment of the population who are thought to be inemployable, the concept of working for a living is ailen to them.

  19. edit large segment of the population in the uk

  20. @Eoghan it's unemployable not inemployable.

  21. @Eoghan, err, why did you quote things that support exactly what I said (that sanger had eugenicist views, but not atypical ones for her time and that she opposed the nazis?) as if they are a refutation? I said this "Sanger was, in fact, one of the very first prominent US figures to denounce the nazis. She denounced them in the 1930s, before the holocaust even began....On the sanger eugencis issues, sanger did hold morally wrong positions on the poor and the disabled (though, if you actually learn history, you will find that sanger opposed state coercion on these issues)" which is exactly what the quotes you cite suggest. Reading my comment before responding would help you a lot.

    @Yohan, I am assuming that either your law degree is not from the US or you are either a liar or a piss poor lawyer. Child support in the US only goes to the child, any payments to a spouse are seperate and are referred to as either alimony or spousal support. Marissa is absolutely right that, in the US, child support is a legal obligation to the child, not to the other parent. Non-custodial parents can be required to pay support for a child who has been removed from the other parent's care, who is in a criminal or mental institution, who is being raised by a non-parent relative, and many other cases. Also, paying support is not, in fact, a precondition to visitation in the majority of US districts, though the state may punish the non-paying person who has a court order to pay support. If a court or official court mediator establishes a vistitation guideline, this is a binding injunction by the court and a parent acting in defiance of it may be fined or even jailed for disobeying said court order. In addition, a full 80% of single parents in the US who have primary physical custory receive no financial support from the non-custodial parent whatsoever, so assertions that US women abuse child support orders to become wealthy is flat out ridiculous. Child support orders are generally enforced far more harshly against non-custodial mothers than non-custodial fathers. Women are more likely to be custodial parents, in large part because the vast majority of US divorces are not contested and the parties work out custody agreements between themselves, which, as women are almost always the primary caretakers of children in the US, generally ends up with them continuing this role post divorce. What many people fail to understand is that most divorced couples have not gone through setting up court orders in terms of visitation and support, but rather rely on private party agreements between the two divorcing parents. An order from the court is legally binding and is enforcable both civily and criminally, whereas an agreement between private people when breached would then need to be taken to court to set up an order.

  22. There is already intergenerational poverty in North America. While I'm aware of the "mommy-track" problem, I don't think it's significantly worse than what we already have.

    And I'm not convinced that the women in question would not have been stay-at-home parents anyways. So women make a career out of being mothers while being supported by the state, instead of making a career out of being mothers while being supported by someone with whom they have a high-conflict relationship. I think that's an improvement.

  23. Its not that they make a career out of being mothers while being supported by the state, instead of making a career out of being mothers while being supported by someone with whom they have a high-conflict relationship. Its mainly 16 year olds and upwards deliberately getting pregnant to sign up for a free house and state support instead of having a career, and their children growing up with no work ethic what so ever, its a social norm in certain areas. I have a friend in the UK, she is the exception out of all her friends because she works, as does her husband.. her friends that took the single mother option are just as well off as they are, so you can see how state benefits take the incentive to work away.

    The UK is going backwards culturally and has slipped to the bottom of the education pile in Europe, its appears thats mainly down to feminist social engineering policies.

    I dont know what their plan is long term, marriage has a few decades left before it disappears altogether..

  24. CAT: @Yohan, I am assuming that either your law degree is not from the US or you are either a liar or a piss poor lawyer. Child support in the US only goes to the child, any payments to a spouse are seperate and are referred to as either alimony or spousal support.

    I never said, I am a lawyer, and I never said I am living in the USA.

    MRAs are not only active in USA, and so far the owner of this blog did nowhere mention, that this blog is limited to US-related issues.

    About child-support, even the neighbouring Canada has already different rules (see below) from the USA. Why should all countries worldwide adore US-law, which by my opinion is nothing but a legal chaos.

    This link clearly says:

    Even if you have an adult child, payments must go to the other parent. Giving money directly to your child, no matter how generous, will not reduce your child support obligation.

    I see no reason, openly said, why child support for an ADULT child should be paid to the ex-wife and not to the child (or even better to his/her college or university) directly.

    OK, CAT, and now back to you...

  25. Cat, I'll show you what meant by the similarities between feminist and other hate propaganda.

    Couple for feminist quotes off the top of my head.

    “If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of Men/Jews/blacks".


    "I believe that women/aryans/whites are the more spiritually advanced race".


    As can also use patriarchy and Interntional Jewey Interchangably and the feminist rhetoric will start sounding like Nazi rhetoric.

    Modern feminism, the racist ideology of the Jim Crow/progressive era, and Nazism are all on progressive family tree and all three branches use/d pseudo science and victim hood rhetoric to generate hatred and leglislation against their target group.

    It will be difficult for you to see that because you view reality through the lens of the ideolgy.

  26. @Eoghan

    "It will be difficult for you to see that because you view reality through the lens of the ideolgy. "

    Yeah, cos you're obvy so incredibly unbias in your own views and ideologies there eh?

    I guess looking through a lens (which is what everyone does) is better than being a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't know, like you.

  27. Tec, great retort, or rather, projection.

    Here, you're famous

  28. @Eoghan, history, it exists, learn it. "progressive family tree " does not include Jim Crow, Nazism, or the Klan, all of which are explicitly traditionalist and right wing. Also, how many times do I have to tell you that finding a few feminists who held a bad idea proves nothing unless you can also prove that their ideas are unique to feminists, rather than common and widespread cultural problems and that there is a causal relation between the two. For example, showing that Hitler was a vegetarian does not prove vegetarians evil until you should that vegetarianism is special to nazis and that the two are causally related.

    @Yohan, I talked about the US because you talked about the US "Laws in USA are confusing..." " In USA it seems..." You are right that I mistakenly read your discussion about lawyers as a claim about you being a lawyer, however, I am not wrong that you specifically mentioned US law, about which you are massively wrong and have no understanding. I never said that US law was better, I was explaining how it works.
    1)In the US, civil law court judges (comparable to the omnisbud in some ways) have far less decisive power, and are generally only the finder of fact if the parties have waived the right to a jury. Lawyers in the US play a far more active role in a trial, unlike in most of Europe. This is called the 'adversarial system' the very system which distinguishes US law from most of Europe, which uses the 'inquisitorial system'. Both of these are still court systems, they just differ in structure. Going before a fact finding, organizing judge is going before a court, in a technical legal sense. We both have courts, they just are structured differently.
    2)In the US, a legal marriage involves a license and a legal contract, so the dissolution of the contract for a divorce involves an actual legal action, which may be disputed or undisputed by the defendent (person who did not file the divorce papers).
    3) Also, the US is a common law country to some degree, but not all of US law is common law (we also have state and federal statutory law as well federal and state constitional law), and precedents are only binding within certain districts and courts, depending on where they were decided. The remnants of the federalist system, the constitutional issues of federal court jurisdiction and pre-emption, the use of certain parts of the common law, etc. do make the US legal system rather unusual worldwide. I accept that, and I see reasonable arguments both for and against common law usage, as well as for and against the 'adversary system' used in US courts. However, learn the basics of US law before opening your mouth about how it works; what is and is not legal; and what you think US lawyers should and should not do. (For example, any US lawyer would tell you that the danger in trying to establish a precedent case is loosing and establishing the exact opposite of what you wanted).

    (note: this is the same 'cat' from before, my google name is just longer)


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