Let’s Start Over With Men’s Rights
Updated: Apr 17, 2022
Roy Den Hollander shows just how utterly silly and irrelevant ‘men’s rights’ has always been. The movement needs a reboot.
Graphic by Philip Taylor on Flickr
Ladies Night? THAT’S what this moron had a problem with?
I visited dead emasculated male Roy Den Hollander’s website to learn more about the so-called ‘men’s rights activist’ who gunned down a Hispanic judge’s husband and son and has been connected to the murder of a fellow MRA. I figured there must be a woman behind this whole thing and sure enough, he was obsessed with his ex-wife who he claims screwed him by marrying him for a green card.
Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s just his take, which is pretty massive. She claimed he abused her. Maybe that’s true, too. We haven’t heard from Angelina Shipilina, wherever she is. She may be this actress here and/or this model here.
Roy Den Hollander was, by all accounts, another MRA raving nutbag, driven by hatred for women before he ever married, rendered all the more dangerous with terminal cancer. He had nothing to lose.
Best to go out in a blaze of vainglory, perhaps he supposed, than to waste away in a hospital bed, unloved and unmourned.
He’s right about one thing only: We need men’s rights activism. But the movement is so beyond salvaging men need to FDISK and reformat, as us computer geeks said in the olden days.
And for fark’s sake, guys, focus on the right issues!
His name sounded familiar. I riffled through my library and found Den Hollander profiled in Michael Kimmel’s Angry White Men: American Masculinity At The End Of An Era. Kimmel outlined his silly-ass crusades against Ladies’ Nights as well as Columbia University’s women’s studies classes. Den Hollander was the god of unsuccessful lawsuits, interviewed on The Colbert Report.
Reading his petty, fatuous complaints about the justice system’s alleged lopsided favor for women’s grievances irritated me because I’d just read earlier that day about genuine, serious, life-and-death ways the justice system does favor women. The book is When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence by Canadian writer and journalist Patricia Pearson.
The book’s focus on anthropological, psychiatric and criminological research ‘smashes the matriarchy’, as it were, the notion that women are mostly non-violent and non-aggressive towards men and children. She builds a strong case that infant deaths diagnosed as SIDS may actually be infanticides. Undetected and un-investigated by legal, justice, and medical professionals, they can’t fathom that, apart from so-called ‘outliers’ like Susan Smith, women might murder their own children. She explores female domestic violence against men, destroying the notion that women usually only hit defensively, when in fact they often hit without physical provocation. Clearly the case in the ugly Johnny Depp-Amber Heard divorce.
Amber & Johnny: A Violent Tale With No Innocent Victims Female domestic violence also victimizes women, as lesbian relationships, Pearson documents, are no stranger to physical abuse.
Women are, literally, getting away with mayhem and murder, and a lawyer like Roy Den Hollander wasted his entire life tilting at windmills when he could have tackled critical inequality and injustice.
He could have saved lives.
The Men’s Rights movement, which originated in the early ’80s largely as a backlash to feminism, was poisoned from the beginning with hatred for women and male resentment of women’s ‘encroachment’ into their traditional realms. It also contained genuine male grievances: Frustration with a family law system that did and still continues to favor women over men for the same traditionalist reasonings that also can’t conceive of common female violence. As Kimmel points out, the ‘father’s rights’ movement’ points to legitimate discrimination against fathers, but is more about generating rage against women’s control, rather than a sense of responsibility to be a good father. That energy that would best serve gaining better custody, joint custody, or satisfactory visitation rights. Instead it’s funneled into vengeful rage directed at ex-wives.
It’s always all about the women.
Den Hollander raged against the Violence Against Women Act, coupling them with immigration laws he also didn’t like, alleging “the process can also grant permanent residency to alien husbands of U.S. citizen wives, it is intended, geared toward, and overwhelmingly used by alien wives — aided by private feminist advocacy organizations — against U.S. citizen husbands,” and that “The laws creating the process are bills of attainder meant to punish American men for going overseas to find wives and to deter them from doing so.”
No, not too much the vengeful ex-husband. I can’t figure out if he’s for or against marrying foreign women.
He raged against Columbia University’s women’s studies programs, alleging feminism was a ‘religion’ and that the program violated Title IX legislation, which states:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. — Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (20 U.S. Code § 1681 — Sex) (1972)
While I’ve a lot of suspicion for ‘women’s studies’ programs myself, and a growing suspicion of ‘race studies’ for indoctrinating students with a chronic victimhood mentality, I wish Den Hollander had sought to protect adults’ and childrens’ physical safety. Even convicted baby killers and female serial killers, Pearson points out, often get lighter sentences from judges and juries, with prior claims of abuse taken into account as partial justification for their violence, when no one accepts similar excuses from male murderers or abusers.
I get male anger against feminism. In many ways, it needs a reboot, too.
I’ll admit: As much as I publicly proclaim I’m ‘not a feminist’, preferring the label ‘egalitarian’ who stands for equal rights instead, I also admit I’m a non-feminist in name only. Rip my label off and there’s a feminist underneath.
Just the kind not afraid of personal power, or female responsibility and accountability.
I can support #MeToo, recognizing real tales of abuse and harassment, even as I cringe when Alyssa Milano shows up. I try to understand the psychological dynamics of those on the receiving end of domestic violence, as I explore how victims might take charge of their lives and bodies and make better partner choices.
The bennies are, as Louise Sawyer 2.0 points out, Life Is More Fun Because I’m Not A Victim.
I can’t imagine anyone beating the snot out of her. And living to tell about it, without his penis dangling from a chain around her neck as an example to the others.
Feminism brings unpleasant, uncomfortable conversations to men, making them squirm the way Black Lives Matter grievances makes white people squirm. Women want equality just as people of color do, and their message won’t make male POC happy just as white women shut down on BLM.
Feminism requires all males, even fellow victims of Da Man, to confront their own internal misogyny, however deeply buried it might be, even as they challenge us to do the same with our own Inner Racists.
The men’s rights set today are the most virulent examples of men who simply refuse to evolve and grow the hell up.
What would the world look like if feminists acknowledged some of the men’s-righters’ genuine grievances, and if the men’s righters also engaged in similar genuine soul-searching?
What if feminists and men’s righters also talked about what they admired about the other, rather than what’s wrong with them and how they’re running and ruining everything.
Identity politics equally divide us, and victim feminists, casting women into the traditional, patriarchal role of helpless, weak, forever damsel-in-distress, fuel the 911-addicted ‘Karens’ of America as ‘anti-feminists’ like Den Hollander fuel the violent fantasies of incels, MGTOWs, and other emasculated-feeling guys who feel like losers in our brave new world.
Lurk in a few of their forums, particularly the incels, and you find the same cognitive distortions, emotional neuroses and self-hatred regularly exhibited by women, who think their experience is uniquely female.
If we fight with each other, we can’t effectively fight The System.
Past Imperfect: Wallowing in Ancient Grievances Serves The Oppressors Feminists, like anti-racists, need to stop driving our (male) allies away with divisive rhetoric casting us as chronically besieged with a list of endlessly pettier grievances about ‘manspreading’ or the alleged sexism of Thomas the Tank Engine, a silly complaint reminiscent of Jerry Falwell’s campaign against a ‘gay’ Teletubby back in the ‘90s.
The unpleasant fact is that even nutbags like Roy Den Hollander have some core genuine grievances against feminism. I see the demonization of men because I resist the demonization of white skin in today’s civil rights protests.
This is why I support the idea of Men’s Rights Activism, but not MRAs as they stand today.
Men, especially those not involved in the various movements, need to FDISK and reformat. Wipe it clean and start over again. Pick new battles, and ones that address real problems, rather than nonsense like ‘Ladies Night.’ If buying overpriced drinks for women is your biggest problem, you are privileged indeed.
The focus shouldn’t be on what’s wrong with women, but on how men can be better men, more mature, as willing to accept personal responsibility and accountability as I try to be as a feminist-in-denial. I love the The Good Men Project. Men’s Rights 2.0 can start here. I encourage it.
Feminists, we need to do the same. We need to stop blaming men and ‘The Patriarchy’ so much and do a little soul-searching ourselves. If we can point to how the Roy Den Hollanders of the world hold themselves back, we must acknowledge how we do it, too. Take back your power!
Those men who haven’t been driven to today’s failed toxic ‘men’s rights’ narrative by entitled male privilege, or man-hating feminists, are our potential allies, and they need language to resist the victim feminist ideology just as white liberals and lefties must resist the divisive and racist language of some on the black left.
‘Men’s rights’ is a forty-year-old mess but with a real place in the world. Time for a new label, a new membership, and a new vocabulary for men who are in favor of equal rights as long as female oppression comes with certain recognition: Women must take some responsibility for our own lives, safety and decisions, and at some point the oppression we experience stops with the man on the street and picks up with the woman in the mirror.
It’s a joint effort, folks.
If you liked this article you might also enjoy these:
Mama Didn’t Raise No Victim Feminist
Men, We Need You To Tell Your Truths Too
How Can Men Tell Their Stories & Challenge Toxic Feminism?
This originally appeared on Medium in July 2020.