We have seen the remarkably rapid progress of feminist ideology and policies from the 1970s on. From its first toeholds in women’s studies programs, feminism gained respectability and influence, soon spreading its tentacles into nearly all academic disciplines, eventually corrupting research in a wide range of fields, perhaps most damagingly in Psychology, Sociology, History, and now Biology.
At the same time, feminism transformed the workplace through affirmative action and other special programs to hire, promote, and empower women simply because they were women, over-riding meritocratic and market principles.
These two massive victories for the women’s movement would alone have secured the transformation of the English-speaking world, as women were shoe-horned into many powerful positions they hadn’t earned and as feminist ideas about male privilege and female victimization spread throughout society. In a relatively short time, feminist graduates from the universities carried their resentful zeal into the fields of journalism, social work, criminology, entertainment, economics, medicine, law, and business.
And feminists never stopped pushing to implement ever more radical initiatives, many of which have successfully marginalized men and demonized masculinity.
Unfortunately, male political leaders and voters have gone along with, even enthusiastically endorsed, such initiatives—some because they wished to be fair to women, some because it seemed useless to protest, and some because they saw in such initiatives a far-reaching lever of power, a way to weaken male competitors, guaranteeing male compliance and submission as these more powerful men executed their self-serving designs. The most feminist men, as we’ve seen, are often the most ruthlessly self-promoting; for them, a surface adherence to feminist ideals enables the signaling of mate-status and the securing of dominance over other men.
The most dramatic and far-reaching of feminist interventions was the introduction of no-fault divorce and the associated legal and family court machinery that quickly developed alongside it, as divorce quickly became a substantial source of revenue and power for many state-accredited professionals. As Stephen Baskerville has shown in many articles and books such as Taken Into Custody and The New Politics of Sex, no-fault divorce, first signed into law in 1969 by California governor Ronald Reagan, launched a severe assault on the bedrock of society—the family—which feminists had long touted as “oppressive” for women and in need of dismantling. And dismantle it they did.
No-fault divorce meant, in law and in practice, that a man’s marriage could be unilaterally dissolved without his consent, at which time he could be evicted from the home he had paid for, which in many cases became the ex-wife’s family home; could have his children taken away from him, able to see them only as his ex-wife permitted; could be prevented from seeing his children altogether if his ex-wife claimed, even with no evidence, that he had been abusive or threatening, could be forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine the degree of danger he might pose to his once-family; could have his bank accounts raided to support his ex-wife and former children; and could even be jailed based on the word of his spouse—with no evidence of wrongdoing required, simply because his wife wanted it and was willing to make a case for it.
The new laws to liberate women from unhappy marriages while protecting their financial well-being not only wrecked families, impoverished fathers, and left children traumatized and often broken, but gave the state unprecedented powers over individual men (and some women): the power to detain, plunder, and prosecute them without any of the established legal protections such as the presumption of innocence and due process of law.
Fathers who could not pay what family courts decided they should pay could find themselves homeless, barred altogether from seeing their children, mentally devastated, or even in prison; all this while having committed no crime other than failing to maintain the love and respect of their ex-wives. Feminist ideology, broadcast from every university and represented in many magazines, movies, advertisements, and newspaper op/eds, had been telling women for years that they should withdraw their love and respect as a gesture of female empowerment.
Women often presented their decision to divorce as an act of self-empowerment, and were applauded for it. If fathers tried to fight back to maintain their right to parent their children, feminists declared that they were doing so not out of love but in order to abuse.
We will never know the number of men who have been imprisoned or have killed themselves as a result of this horrific legal transformation that has taken place with little general awareness and with negligible protest.
The new family court system has weaponized lawyers, judges, court-appointed therapists, and social workers, who reap huge profits from divorce and the resulting social and personal mayhem. Multiple generations of children of divorce have grown up hating their fathers and unable to function effectively in society; the lawyers, social workers, and therapists have grown rich colluding in the disaster.
Of course it is not only family court law that has undergone such a profound transformation; many other areas of law have also been affected by feminist ideas and feminist activists.
The law of sexual assault, always highly charged, has been thoroughly politicized and all its procedures re-shaped to accommodate a feminist worldview that sees brutal male perpetrators exercising power over helpless female victims. The politicization of rape—or sexual assault as it is now called—has involved training or indoctrinating police officers, lawyers, and judges, ostensibly to correct rape myths but really to inculcate belief in women’s claims; it has also involved a successful attack on accused men’s avenues of legal defense. Affirmative consent laws have modernized the definition of rape so that it is no longer necessary for the accuser to have said No—merely for her not to have said Yes.
As attested in famous cases across North America such as those involving the Duke University Lacrosse team, Canadian media personality Jian Ghomeshi, and disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, untrustworthy witnesses and abundant evidence of consent are not enough to exonerate those who find themselves accused of sexual crime. Even email and text messages by accusers sent to their alleged rapists saying how much they enjoyed the date, for example, can be explained away as insincere or somehow coerced. Trauma theory, employed abundantly in the Weinstein trial, can redefine women’s statements of consent as attempts by a victim to placate her abuser or to normalize her assault. Even when the complainant has gone on to have a long-term sexual relationship with her alleged abuser, that merely becomes evidence of the depth of her trauma.
According to the new feminist theory of rape and male power, nothing the accuser does can prove she has lied; nothing said or done by the accused can secure his acquittal, whether in the court of law or the court of public opinion. As Baskerville sums up, the process for adjudicating rape “is openly rigged in favor of conviction. Rape accusers remain anonymous, but the accused do not, even after the accusation is demonstrated to be false. The past sexual history of the accuser is not admissible as evidence, but that of the accused is. Accusers are exempt from polygraph tests, but not the accused. Even a history of false accusations [by the accuser] is not admissible” (p. 133). Despite all this, feminist activists and politicians routinely lament a lower-than-desired conviction rate—outright admitting that they see most or all accused men as guilty.
The feminist obsession with what Baskerville calls “gender crimes” does not stop with new definitions and procedures for sexual assault; it has also created new crimes and new procedures, including quasi-judicial tribunals for adjudicating claims of sexual misconduct on university campuses. Here the rules of evidence and procedures are even more biased than in a court of law, often involving investigation by ideologues with no legal training, the denial of an accused’s right to a lawyer, the denial of his right to know the evidence against him, and a lowered standard for determining guilt.
Likewise, anti-harassment policies in schools and workplaces make a firing offence of many perfectly legal and hitherto acceptable acts such as requests for dates, compliments, inappropriate jokes, suggestive conversations, or even intent looking. As Baskerville phrases it, it is now possible “to punish any sexual or romantic interaction between men and women under any circumstances, if the woman complains to the authorities” (p. 157). The taint of male sexual guilt so adamantly proclaimed by feminists has led to the creation of offences for which only men, essentially, can be guilty, including stalking, cat-calling, hate speech, online harassment, and street harassment. These are transgressions invented by ideologues in order to stigmatize masculinity and sideline men.
Indeed, at the same time that affirmative action and equity hiring policies are giving women special access to a variety of coveted jobs, harassment and misconduct legislation have been making it increasingly easy for women to push men out of their positions, merely by complaining to authorities. Feminism flagrantly envisions a world in which women lead and men hope to escape persecution.
As the entirety of the media, Hollywood, advertising, and social media platforms have been overtaken by feminism, we have seen constant attacks on alleged male villainy and constant foregrounding of women’s issues in everything from air conditioning in offices to rates of pay and childcare provision. Whatever the subject, whether economic trends or the Covid pandemic; marital infidelity or federal budgets; climate change or the war in Ukraine, everything must be seen primarily from the woman’s point of view and through the lens of victimology. Dreary and predictable as it all became a long time ago, still the feminist perspective must never be allowed to rest.
The men it has all been practiced on, the thousands falsely accused, put through the hell of divorce, alienated from their children, fired from their jobs, investigated by the police, or merely hectored about their privilege, their mansplaining, their manspreading, their sexual entitlement, their over-representation in certain spheres, their need to walk a mile in her shoes and defer to superior feminine leadership and team-building—these men are not allowed even to tell their experience. If they attempt to do so, they will be accused of misogyny.
Through it all, the mantra is repeated: more must be done for women! Even the transgender phenomenon can be discussed only as it relates to women’s preferences, opportunities, and privileges. Where it does not inconvenience women, it does not exist.
While it was once possible to discuss what was best for society, recognizing the special needs and requirements of children, the feminist movement has drowned out all voices but those that focus narrowly on the protections and privileges of women. The result is a wide range of policies and laws that not only create enormous injustice for men but also destroy the basis of family life, individual privacy, individual freedom, and the rule of law.
The feminist influence is so profound as to imperil the continued functioning of society itself—its ability to nurture the next generation, pass on knowledge and skills, value excellence, pursue justice, and maintain social order.
Feminism is at root not only a war on men, though it definitely is that, an unceasing, relentless, and hate-fueled attack on every vulnerable boy and man. It is also an increasingly successful war on civilization itself.