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Australian “Male Studies” initiative under fire because of its connections to raving misogynists; raving misogynists blame feminists

Antifeminist attorney, A Voice for Men contributor and and would-be Male Studies lecturer Roy Den Hollander bustin' a move on the Colbert Report.
Antifeminist attorney,  A Voice for Men contributor, and would-be Male Studies lecturer Roy Den Hollander bustin’ a move on the Colbert Report.

NOTE: See the end of the piece for an important clarification from the University.

So it seems the new “Male Studies” initiative at the University of South Australia is running into a few problems. Well, one big problem: members of the general public have discovered that some of the people involved with the initiative are raving misogynists, or have chosen to associate themselves with raving misogynists.

Yesterday, a story by journalist Tory Shepherd noted that two of the lecturers have written for a notoriously misogynistic website by the name of A Voice for Men. (You may have heard of it.) One of them, the crankish American attorney Roy Den Hollander, even suggested in a post on that site that men’s rights activists may have to take up arms against the evil Feminists who run the world.

The future prospect of the Men’s Movement raising enough money to exercise some influence in America is unlikely.  But there is one remaining source of power in which men still have a near monopoly—firearms.

Huh. That doesn’t sound like a very academic analysis of the situtation to me.

Den Hollander also likes to refer to “women’s studies” as “witches’ studies.” And if you don’t believe her, here’s the AVFM post in which he does just that; it’s in the first sentence.

Apparently pointing out some of these basic facts about Den Hollander, and about another of the lecturers, Miles Groth, who has also written for AVFM, is causing some trouble for Dr. Misan and his little Male Studies initiative — at least according to a post on AVFM by the always furious Paul Elam, who informs us somberly that

[s]ources close to the story report that [Shepherd’s article] is likely a terminal setback for the new initiative.

Elam fights back against Shepherd’s alleged “lies” in a paragraph that is itself nothing but lies:

The article by Shepherd is saturated with the typical lies, e.g.: that the SPLC named AVFM as a hate group, which they did not, and that this website regularly calls women “bitches and whores,” which it does not. She also implied a connection between AVFM and those championing the initiative which does not exist.

Actually, Shepherd said that the SPLC described AVFM as a “hate site,” not a “hate group.” This is in fact true, as the SPLC included AVFM in a list of “woman-hating sites,” which would make it a hate site, as the hatred of women is in fact a kind of hate.

And AVFM does in fact refer to women regularly as whores and bitches and other slurs. Indeed, in one notorious post about Rebecca Watson, Elam managed to use the word “whore” more than 30 times; as for the word “bitch,” well, check out this compilation of AVFM posts featuring that word in the title. As you’ll see from that post, Elam also likes referring to women as “cunts,” and once referred to the feminist blogosphere as the “cunt-o-sphere.”

Do your own searches for “whore” or “bitch” on AVFM to find more recent examples.

Shepherd doesn’t, in fact, imply any “connection” between AVFM and “those championing the initiative” beyond the undeniable fact that two of the lecturers have written for AVFM, and that AVFM has heralded the Male Studies initiative. Interestingly, it’s Elam, with his talk about  “[s]ources close to the story,” who implies an even closer connection than Shepherd does.

The rest of Elam’s post is a remarkable mixture of self-contradicting lies and self-delusion. First, he declares “Male Studies” to be a pure-as-the-driven snow example of non-ideological scholarship.

In writing this article Shepherd actually served as a mouthpiece for academic feminists invested in blocking the attempt to study human males in a non-ideological, scholarly fashion.

How exactly is someone who describes himself explicitly as antifeminist, who describes women’s studies as “witches studies,” and who’s written for AVFM on several occasions an example of someone who is trying “to study human males in a non-ideological, scholarly fashion?”

Elam then launches into one of his typical chest-beating fuck-their-shit-up ideological rants:

The Men’s Human Rights Movement is not going to go away. Indeed, even as we regret the temporary setback of an important and valuable initiative, we do welcome another opportunity to shine a light on the ideologically twisted agenda of people who would undermine an academic program with the ambition to enhance our understanding of an egregiously underserved population.

Yes, that’s right. The world’s men have been “egregiously underserved.”

This type of bullying and public deception is precisely what has catapulted the Men’s Human Rights Movement into rapid growth and increasing popularity in such a short period of time.

The only bullying and deception I’m seeing here is coming from your side, dude. Women aren’t talking about taking up arms against men. You’re the one who’s lying about what Shepherd said.

From assaultive, criminal demonstrators in Toronto blocking doors to a lecture on male suicide, to this – an obviously orchestrated attack on honorable academicians — the reality of what feminism has become, and the depths to which it has lowered, is again in full public view.

Uh, Roy Den Hollander isn’t an “honorable academician.” And, frankly, neither is anyone who chooses to associate themselves with your site. I’m not sure how Shepherd’s one article counts as an “obviously orchestrated attack,” but all she did was point out what Hollander said, and point out the sort of misogynistic shit you publish on your shitty website.

In other words, Mr. Elam, you guys have dug your own hole here — with you, personally, bringing one of the bigger shovels.

Just think: A Voice for Men may be in large part responsible for the collapse of this Male Studies initiative, because you and the others writing on your site can’t hide your raging misogyny, and can’t resist the temptation to call women “bitches” and “whores.”

This is the lesson of all the publicity you guys have gotten in the last year: when members of the general public learn what you guys actually believe, they are repulsed by it. The more attention you get, the more people oppose you.

After some more ranting that he might as well have cut and pasted from any of  a dozen previous posts of his, Elam ends with one of his trademark vague threats:

We will force their hand, again and again. And each time they demonstrate their moral bankruptcy; their limitless capacity for tyranny, the more they will generate the contempt and indignation they deserve. And the more people will realize that the only way forward is straight through them.

You’re just digging that hole deeper.

EDITED TO ADD: The Universityof Southern Australia has clarified a few things about the Male Studies initiatives. According to a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, the school only approved one of the four proposed courses, and officially rejected (back in 2012) the one that would have included Den Hollander and Groth as lecturers. Here’s what the newspaper says:

The university has approved one of four proposed graduate courses, a certificate in male health and health promotion, which will begin online next month.

But an original proposal by one of the university’s academics outlined three further certificates, including a course called ”males and sexism”, which named lecturers who have been published on radical men’s rights websites. …

The university emphasised it did not endorse views of the suggested lecturers. It said the courses, which were criticised in the media on Monday, were rejected in 2012.

So that’s reassuring to hear.

I removed a portion of my post referring to Gary Misan, in charge of the course, because in light of this information it’s not clear if he was referring to all four courses, including those involving Den Hollander and Groth, or just to the male health course.

Oddly, though, Dr. Misan seems to think that the University has signed up for more than one course. On his official University of South Australia web site he describes himself as “program co-ordinator for a new suite of courses in Male Studies at UniSA, the first of which will be offered in 2014.”

292 replies on “Australian “Male Studies” initiative under fire because of its connections to raving misogynists; raving misogynists blame feminists”

Just in case no one has mentioned it in comments yet, I found this article about a politician who sounds like he’s been hanging out with MRAs. He’s attempting to do a primary challenge on Susan Collins, R-Maine. (Not gonna happen. The only reason Maine’s got a Tea Party governor is because the vote was split with about 1/3 each going to him, to a Democrat, and to an Independent.)

When I was in undergrad I actually did take a course on “Masculinity in America.” The course was about how views of what is masculine have changed throughout America’s history. We studied modern literature and film to understand what they said about “being a man” and how that might impact their target audience.

The thing is, the course was taught with the implicit understanding that gender is a social construct, not as an excuse for the teacher to whine about how men are oppressed by feminists.

@ baileyrenee”… Isn’t The Game a PUA book?

Please tell me it isn’t.”

I saw a copy of “The Rules of The Game” (which totally is a PUA rape book) in a bookstore. In the “Culture” section. I suggested they place it in the “Culture Shock” section (which they do not have but obviously need), and a friend of mine suggested the “Bacterial Culture” section. I didn’t make any friends at the bookstore that day.

I just hope Mum’s ordered those cooling pads we saw advertised!

I got one of those off ebay (assuming you mean the kind that don’t need electricity or to go in the fridge). And it works exactly as described. It’s quite remarkable.

Kim, yeah,those are the ones. I was talking to my sister last night – we’re sending her one – and she said a friend had them and they seem really good. Just the thing for hot weather and hot flushes!

Apropos Ladies’ Nights: Sadly, they are still very much a thing. Using women as bait to sell alcohol is a concept that, alas, never seems to grow old. The fact that these ultramaroons are using it as “proof” that feminists have “oppressed” men is incredibly ironic, given that it’s men who run the liquor industry, and are presumably in charge of deciding to use women as lures to get those poor, oppressed males buying. With their higher incomes. Which they don’t even need a university degree to out-earn said women, who have to take demeaning second jobs, including pretty much everything you’d think pertained to selling booze to dudes.

The mind, it boggleth…yea, verily.

Bina got it right about the “ladies’ nights”, but since, scarily, I live in the same city (NYC) as Roy Den Hollander, I should point out something. While it may seem that the bars are doing this as part of a rad-fem policy, they really don’t care one way or t’other about feminism. It’s all about money.

A Ladies’ Night, offering free (or, more usually, half-price) drinks for anyone presenting as female, will attract females for two reasons. One, obviously, saving money on drinks, and two (and much more important), each woman will figure that on this night, there will be a lot of women around, and therefore she can go drinking with much more safety than usual. Hence, they’ll get a lot of women to come in.

Now, with the loads of women there, the men who wouldn’t normally show up, will show up, on the theory that with, say, 1 woman at the bar in a night, he doesn’t stand much chance of getting her to go home with him, but with a whole bunch there, he’s bound to find someone.

Hence more women and more men, all drinking. A LOT. Hence lots and lots and lots of money for the bar owners. THIS is the point of it.

So, while I agree, in theory, that having a Ladies’ Night is sexist and should be stopped, it ain’t never gonna end unless bar owners suddenly decide that they really don’t care about money. I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen – and so, we have Ladies’ Nights. And yes, in NYC, there are a LOT of places that do this.

I added a clarification to the OP; as cupisnique noted, most of the Male Studies courses have been rejected so far, except one having to do with health. Weirdly, Gary Misan (the guy who proposes the courses) seems to think that the school has committed to more of them in the future.

In any case, the school is definitely disowning them now, so maybe the school had sort of given him some encouragement about them in the past but this controversy has left them feeling skittish about them? If true, this basically means that Den Hollander and AVFM basically torpedoed Male Studies at the U of Southern Australia with their blatant misogyny.

If someone decides not to go to university because they might have to sit through a seminar that would make them feel a little uncomfortable then they deserve the social and economic consequences of that decision. For extra bonus points, stop and think how that decision looks to people who would love to go to university but can’t afford it, or whose early education was so poor that by the time they reach the end of high school they’re too far behind for it to be an option.

It’s such a perfect illustration of how petty and self-absorbed these guys are, and how secure in their privilege they actually feel. Anyone who isn’t a straight white dude would think twice about throwing away the social privilege that comes with a university education over something that trivial.

Well, if that’s the sort of “men’s studies” Misan was happy to have, then it should be torpedoed. As, frankly, should his career.

Give ’em enough rope…

And really, from what I recall at uni, the overwhelming majority of what we took was men’s studies, even if it wasn’t called that. With men taking pretty much all the credit for everything that ever got said or done, unless it was demonstrably the work of a woman (did you know that Queen Elizabeth the First wrote poems?), it was an incredibly male-dominated atmosphere. About the only part of the school that wasn’t, was the Women’s Centre. Where I volunteered. And even there, I saw one male classmate, who really was a sweet guy, come in to check out some books.

Yeah, oppressive feminization. Try and find it.

I looked up to see if there were any Ladies’ Nights at the Gold Coast, and this is what I found.

It doesn’t say anything about free drinks for women (I am pretty sure that would be illegal under Australian liquor laws anyway) but it does mention *topless waiters (male I’m assuming based on the poster) * male dancers *free entry for ladies til 10PM * VIP treatment for ladies all night (I have no idea what that entails).

Is it still feminism gone wild if they have women in their underwear the other 6 nights, and list as their features “The best beats and the hottest chicks!”?

@closetpuritan – oh yeah, that’s the guy who ran for Portland city mayor awhile back and scraped together a whopping 17 votes. He’s a colossal shitmuffin. I don’t think Susan Collins is losing much sleep over him.

Now if we can just turf out LePage. I’m worried that Eliot Cutler’s going to split the vote again and we’ll get a repeat of 2010.

Sigh. The sane in Maine is plainly on the wane.

@ Buttercup Q. Skullpants,

At first I thought you were talking about Portland, Oregon, and I was wondering why I hadn’t heard of him, but no. Probably the other Portland.

I once met a woman on a plane who often few Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and back because she lived in Oregon and her children/grandchildren lived in Maine… she mentioned having some issues with buying tickets before.

I’m not sure how that is misandry, but I’m sure it is.

On the other note, I did in fact take a class where one of the books was titled Teenage Witches. It was a new religious movements class, not a gender studies–though the professor was a butch lesbian, so maybe it counts anyway? We also studied Hindu-inspired meditation movements and the Nation of Islam in depth, but those didn’t have cool titles. (It was a great class.)

“Another, US psychology professor Miles Groth, says that date-rape awareness seminars might be deterring men from going to university.”

*twitches, repeatedly*

I’m going to go watch some baby fish, I need brain bleach after that (or not, since puff is extra happy to have some to beg at and stop begging, I can’t say no to those big eyes!) /cuteness

Argh, clumsy fingers. I meant to say:

I’m sure Professor Groth followed up his speculation about how rape awareness might deter young men from enrolling in University with some further speculation about how the rates of rape and sexual assault on post-secondary campuses might impact women’s access to education, particularly women from vulnerable populations.

Oh, he didn’t? Weird.

It’s 37 here in Canberra and I’ve been sponging the kitacats down. They’re so miserable!

mildlymagnificent – no, I’m not. I started watching one of David Starkey’s earlier series and nearly exploded with rage seeing things like Jane Seymour wearing huge dangling earrings under an English gable hood, or Anne Boleyn tripping around in kitten heels.

Bleeding obvious anachronisms and couldn’t-be-stuffed attitudes in so-called historical documentaries, I hate ’em with a passion.

In the linked article, Dr. Michael Flood is quoted as saying this:

“The new male studies is an effort to legitimise, to give academic authority, to anti-feminist perspectives.”

To me this is disturbing. This is his line of attack, that an idea lacks legitimacy if it disagrees with feminism, and should be perceived as marginal, and rejected as such. In a university setting there should be the freedom to explore a range of ideas. Some of them can be non-feminist, some even anti-feminist. Whether marginal or not, the discussion and even the curriculum should not be blocked, rejected or otherwise discouraged on that basis alone. There are all sorts of college courses that are marginal in their political emphasis. Some of them are mercilessly ridiculed for it, and yet students have the option of taking them if they like. What is so bad about letting people discuss gender from a non-feminist (or anti-feminist) perspective? Why should non-feminism even be an epithet?

Notwithstanding, I actually agree with David’s point. If “male studies” as a non-feminist academic discipline desires any form of traction, its proponents should steer clear of sites like A Voice for Men. An idea can be promoted in a college course without the speaker having been published on AVFM. David is absolutely right when he mocks the poor judgment of the organizers of these male studies courses. They should think of any association with AVFM as the kiss of death. To be adored by the writers at AVFM is one thing (Miles Groth fits in this category, and he can’t control which people praise him). But to actually be published on AVFM, as was Roy Den Hollander, should be considered the reddest of red flags by the male studies course proponents.

Yes, I know the above is a double standard, since over the years many college professors with tenure have themselves made extremist statements and have been published in radical left-wing publications. To that I ask “so what?” When you’re trying to promote male studies as a credible alternative to a feminist perspective, you don’t do yourself any favors in the burgeoning stages to invite lecturers who have been published on Paul Elam’s kooky hate site.

The Colbert clip…OMFG… The level of Hollander’s self-delusion is clinical.

And the story of his marriage, of the kind all MRAs dream about — to the awesome “foreign woman” — is epic.

So, basically, this confirms that there are two main types of MRAs – young guys who aren’t getting dates in high school/college who have thus determined that this must mean that women are evil bitches who hate good men like themselves*, and older guys who’ve gone through nasty divorces who’ve decided that because their ex cheated on them/got fat just to spite them**/left because she just didn’t love them any more, all women are evil bitches who can’t be trusted and who will destroy your life.

The younger ones it may still be worth engaging with and trying to talk some sense into, but the older ones are a lost cause. Look at this guy – he didn’t even have enough sense to realize that if the Colbert Report asks to film you dancing, it’s probably not so they can use the footage to make you look super cool and awesome***.

* Any person with a basic minimum of self-awareness would realize that considering half the world’s population to be evil means you’re not actually a good person, and that thinking that way might be why people don’t want to date you, but self-awareness is something these guys don’t have.

** The fact that some misogynists think women gain weight just to spite them and make their world less pretty too look at never stops being funny.

*** Unless you are Rain and Colbert kind of likes you.

@cassandrakitty

I think a large enough percentage of MRA suffer from diagnosable neuropsychological deficiencies, which make it difficult for them to relate to others and grow even a minimal emotional intelligence, as well as functional reality testing skills. Hollander seems to belong there, as his actions, including his marriage, prove. A chip is amiss in that big skull of his.

No. “Misogynist” is not a DSM classification, and nor is “Selfish Asshole”.

Sometimes people choose not to see the parts of reality that inconvenience them, because they’re lazy and selfish. That doesn’t mean that they’re not neurotypical, and assuming that they are is letting them off the hook. They don’t have to be this way, most of them just choose to.

*pinches bridge of nose*

Eight unicorns, four horses, carrots from Shaun, apples from Falconer, and hay and sugar cubes from Rahu. Timer reset to 4am.

I’m going to need a bigger stable.

There’s so much wrong with Emma’s comment that I haven’t the foggiest where to begin, so a list:

– you think this based on…gut feeling?
– a large enough percentage…1) weasel words 2) based on…?
– neuropsych issues does not mean lacking empathy
– do you even know what reality testing means? Cuz it isn’t some “all your beliefs are reasonable” thing
– his marriage proves he has a psychological illness preventing him from having empathy? I wish I was still at pecunium’s, I could go for another manhattan…
– a chip amiss, a screw loose, whatever phrase you prefer, does not equal an actual clinically diagnosable mental illness
– assholery, on its own, isn’t a symptom of ANY psych diagnosis, unless DSM V adopted one while I wasn’t looking — it certainly isn’t proof of “diagnosable neuropsychological deficiencies”

Semi related, I was watching one on the makings of serial killers, and not even all show the frontal lobe deficients expected given their behavior. That is, even serial killers don’t all have diagnosable neuropsychological deficiencies (and, iirc, a fair number don’t)

Fuck, I’ll settle for a daiquiri. I did not realize that meant rum and citrus, I’m used to the strawberry sort. But whatever, pecunium has cocktail skills.

‘“Misogynist” is not a DSM classification, and nor is “Selfish Asshole”.’

Correct. However, the level of hatred and narcissistic self-(and/or persecutory and other)-delusion represented in a large percentage of MRAs, if not all of them, is pathological (not neurotypical).

“even serial killers don’t all have diagnosable neuropsychological deficiencies”

Many, if not all, of them are psychopaths. Psychopathy is a diagnosable clinical condition (personality disorder), characterized chiefly by a lack of conscience. There are neuropsych correlates of psychopathy, BTW — psychopaths are the way they are for a reason.

Mind you, this is not an excuse for their criminal or otherwise vile behavior.

Yep, nobody here knows anything about psychology, we definitely need the intro to 101 stuff.

(This will get even funnier if Deoridhe shows up.)

Hey, I don’t want to preach, especially not to the lively choir; I’m just surprised that you consider MRAs views and behaviors to fall within the mentally healthy — or least non-pathological — range.

I understand and share the desire to hold them accountable for their actions, as well as the need not to label them mentally ill — which they are not; but their pathology is striking, I’d say.

you know, I’m a drive by commenter here, have been for a few years…I’m amazed by the number of new commenters (and sometimes established ones) who do the whole “crazy” things and then double down. If they have lurked so long…why are they so surprised? Haven’t they read the ENDLESS screeds of comments explaining OVER and OVER again why those correlations are derogatory and misleading?

Cassandra, please fetch me some vodka? The cheap shit will do fine, can’t taste it when doing shots anyways. Thank you.

Emma — yes, many are psychopaths, well, sort of, since that’s actually not a diagnosis but a lay correlate for antisocial personality disorder. Which requires more than a lack of conscience. More to the point, not all serial killers are diagnosable, yet a large portion of the MRM is? When most of them are just ragewanking online?

Cuz, see, not neurotypical means more than “has odd behaviors or beliefs” — by that standard everyone who believes their psychic knows what the cards hold would be neuroatypical (harmlessly so mind you, but nonetheless, it’s a belief not in accord with current scientific understanding). And that’s the case with so so many of the MRAs — they believe stupid shit — the thought process behind said stupid shit is generally just lacking, not fundamentally different from typical thought processes (and, really, “you didn’t think that through on your own, did you?” may be more typical than most of us would care to admit). The vast majority just play follow the leader in other words.

Cassandra — yes, we apparently do. But not for long, my sleeping pill is kicking in. And I seem to have moved on to acid attacks, serial killers all start to blur together after the first few dozens.

Make that the really cheap vodka, so I can just swig from the bottle. But don’t give the goalposts any, we don’t want any accidents with the way they’re dancing.

You said you think that large bits of the MRM have “diagnosable neuropsychological deficiencies”. Which is not even close to “they have some unhealthy views”.

But do explain how they can have “diagnosable neuropsychological deficiencies” and pathological views, but not have any mental illness.

Also, mango juice for my vodka, please.

You realize that your second paragraph makes no sense, right? If they are suffering from a clear pathology then they are mentally ill, but we don’t have any way to know if that’s the case because diagnosis is not carried out by reading internet comments. If you’re trying to make a distinction between the personality/formerly Axis 2 disorders and other diagnoses, well, we don’t diagnose those over the internet either.

@ Argenti

Will sake do? Don’t have any vodka, but nigori and mango juice could be tasty.

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