a voice for men antifeminism MRA straw feminists

Checkmate Feminists? If women were 100% not allowed to hold office what about Queens?

How did Queen Victoria slip past the evil patriarchy?
How did Queen Victoria slip past the evil patriarchy?

Men’s Rights Activists have scored yet another major victory over the imaginary feminists who live in their heads. On Facebook today, the moderator of the A Voice for Men page asks a question that no straw feminist can answer:

If women were 100% not allowed to hold office at all prior to the feminist movement by the evil patriarchy as feminists claim, then how were women allowed to be Queens? Why is an entire era called The Victorian Era? A declaration from a case in 1808 stated that women were allowed to hold most offices in the UK including Queen of course, and this was long before the feminist movement.

CHECKMATE FEMINISTS, in your FACE, there were QUEENS, where is that EVIL PATRIARCHY NOW???

Well, pretty much where we left it. Apparently AVFM’s Facebook admin has never actually bothered to read anything feminist scholars have ever written about patriarchy. Or even a dictionary definition of the word.

Because, guess what, AVFM admin? “Patriarchy” doesn’t actually mean that women have zero power or influence in society, but rather that men (as a class) hold much more power in society than women (as a class).

Here are a few definitions of “patriarchy” I found on the internet with a couple of basic Google searches:

“control by men of a disproportionately large share of power”

“a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it”

“a society in which male members predominate in positions of power. … The more powerful the position, the more likely it is that a male will hold that position”

You will notice that all these definitions include qualifications to them: disproportionately, largely, more likely.

While the term patriarchy does describe societies in which women as a class are subordinate to men as a class, feminist historian Gerda Lerner has noted, it “does not imply that women are either totally powerless or totally deprived of rights, influence, and resources.”

In other words, feminists are indeed aware there was a Queen Victoria.

But ask yourself this, AVFM admin: How did she get the power she had?

While royal succession can be weird and complicated, the basic rule — and it’s a pretty patriarchical one — is that when the king dies, the job goes to the oldest legitimate son.

Princesses are promoted to Queen only if there are no legitimate male heirs. The job goes to a woman rather than some less-directly related man because, within the largely patriarchal structure of the monarchy, preserving the bloodline is more important than making sure there’s always a man in charge.

In the case of Queen Victoria, Wikipedia notes,

She inherited the throne aged 18, after her father’s three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children.

So three guys had to die for her to get to the front of the line.

The existence of queens doesn’t prove that patriarchy is a myth; it just shows that patriarchy is more complicated than the simplistic caricature that antifeminists like to pretend is what feminists believe.

Patriarchy is never the whole story. There have been, and still, a number of other power structures in society and culture that intersect with patriarchy in complex ways. Feminists have been talking about these intersections for decades now — that’s what intersectional feminism is.

But MRAs aren’t actually interested in the details of feminism. After all, straw feminists are a lot easier to debate.

99 replies on “Checkmate Feminists? If women were 100% not allowed to hold office what about Queens?”

This is the MRAs’ even-dumber equivalent of “we have a black president, so racism is over.”

@ subtract hominem

To quote my favourite philosopher Philomena Cunk:

These days, America has changed and black people can be whatever they want to be. As long as it’s either president or shot.

Elizabeth I: QGTOW.

Funny how we don’t hear much about the Apex Fallacy anymore (of which this is an example) from these guys, ever since they got laughed off Wikipedia.

The editor thing ran out, but I was going to add that somewhere, no doubt, a manospherian is arguing that because Queen Victoria didn’t use her all-encompassing queenly powers to enfranchise women, obviously women don’t have a clue how to properly use power and are therefore unfit for higher office.

And in his very next breath, that same manospherian will be arguing that the Feminazi Fempire has infiltrated the highest levels of government and is busy stamping out Western manhood with its designer jackboots.

@ Alan Robertshaw I love the Philomena Cunk character ! Did you see her one-off special on Shakespeare? So good!


Time to quote from my very favourite essay, I feel.

8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies… However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.

– From “Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt”, by Umberto Eco (Emphasis mine)

@ youthful indiscretion

Indeed I did! Wasn’t she amazing (as always)?

Romeo and Juliet want to get married but they’re from different families. Which is how we know it’s not set in Norfolk.

And to keep the Elizabeth I theme going, here she is as the great woman herself.

(Incidentally that’s Middle Temple Hall where I learned my lawyering. To keep O/T the main table was a present from Elizabeth. There’s a smaller table that was a present from her as well; but now they just keep the lunch till on it)

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants:

So is the idea here to “prove” that sexism and patriarchy never existed, so that any modern-day discrepancies in wages, power, STEM representation, and prestige can be chalked up to women’s incompetence?

No, it’s not incompetence per se; you see, women just tend to choose worthless Liberal Art degrees for some reason; that’s where the wage gap comes from and there is absolutely no discrimination by employers or faculties. At least that’s what I heard a feminist say. Oh, a second wave feminist, by the way, not one of those professional victims of the third wave who like to cry rape at every opportunity. Yeah. T_T

Even if MRAs could “prove” there was no historical patriarchy, it wouldn’t change rape statistics, DV statistics, and wage gaps in the modern day. They seem to have this idea that if they can refute just one idea in feminist thought, the entire movement will crumble.

Of course they don’t apply the same standard to themselves.

Depending on the kingdom, daughters could inherit over more distant male relatives if there were no male children, though honestly that was considerably less important than who had the most military backing in pretty much all cases. Women could be influential as regents for their sons, assuming they were successful in the internal palace politicking, but this ended when their son came of age in most cases. There’s a notable exception with Basileus Irene, who held on to power after her son came of age until he got together enough backing to force her out and commence the traditional blinding of male relatives to remove them from the line of succession and then two years later was forced to beg her to come back as co-ruler, and eventually she had him blinded and exiled and became sole ruler in her own right.


I was just about to say HMtQGHMOW (Her Majesty the Queen Going Her Majesty’s Own Way). But yours was more succinct!

@Souriquois – They’re convinced that Feminism is the Death Star. They keep probing for that tiny little weakness that, if you hit it just right, will blow up the whole thing.

Queen Victoria: the thermal exhaust port of feminism.

@EJ – Great quote. It perfectly illustrates the shapeshifting nature of authoritarian enemies (and I love that essay title, with one extra thrown in for good measure…I’m sure Eco could have come up with many more ways). The enemy must seem even more threatening and ubiquitous to them, if it can assume just about any form. Maybe that’s why they’re constantly publishing laundry lists of “How To Spot A Feminist” (because God forbid they just ask someone whether they consider women to be human beings, which is about the only reliable litmus test). One minute a feminist is playing the weakness card and making a man pay for dinner, the next minute she’s trying to emasculate him by offering to pay herself. She might have blue hair and tattoos one day, and be a lying liar in makeup and a padded bra the next. So confusing!!

It’s interesting how, apparently, one queen can magically balance out centuries of male rulers. Whenever women do better than men (say, in school), it’s because of reverse sexism, therefore it’s a crisis. Whenever men do better than women (say, at amassing wealth and privilege), it’s just biology, so no cause for alarm. Women and PoC who rise to the top are viewed as post turtles*, which means some white dude must have gotten robbed of his chance at privilege.

*To be fair, so was Bush the Lesser, but more justifiably in that case.

@IP – Haha! Yours captures the teal-deer-iness of MGTOW much better, though.

@ Karalora

They seem to have this idea that if they can refute just one idea in feminist thought, the entire movement will crumble.

That is pretty much SOP for anyone defending the status quo or traditional ideas. Just replace ‘feminist’ with evolution, anti-racist, etc… The focus is on justifying their refusal to accept the evidence rather than supporting their own ideas with research or work.

That is pretty much SOP for anyone defending the status quo or traditional ideas. Just replace ‘feminist’ with evolution, anti-racist, etc… The focus is on justifying their refusal to accept the evidence rather than supporting their own ideas with research or work.

Often I think they’re just copying what they see their (successful) opposition doing, as arguments that support the status quo very often can be taken down by a single counterexample. If “Women all do X” can be refuted by pointing to a woman who doesn’t do X, then clearly “Women as a class are oppressed” can be refuted by the queen, right? Similar to how they think that figuring out a way to call your opponent racist or a bigot means that you’re winning the argument, regardless of whether or not it makes any sense.

@ Alan,

great quote from Liz I.

My favourite is

An I were crested where I am cloven, they would not dare address me thus.


I think it might also be because status quo defenders often have never had to learn the difference between persuasion and affirmative signalling.

Within a community, a person affirmatively signals by saying something that is commonly accepted by members of that community. For example, feminists might say “a woman’s body is her own business.” This identifies us to one another and makes us feel good because we’re amongst friends. It’s not a persuasive argument to make to someone who’s not part of that group and it isn’t intended as one.

However, people who buy into the status quo often forget that not everyone does. When they meet a person who disagrees with them they will often fall back on affirmative signalling as a means of resolving the issue, because they do not properly understand the difference between their community and the world. If you’ve ever heard a religious person reply with “but Jesus died for your sins” or a nationalist say “support our troops”, you’ve seen this.

What they’re actually saying is, “I’m experiencing anxiety due to my ideas being under attack and have never had to learn to defend them properly, so I’m going to say something which has always made people agree with me before.” This is very human and it’s hard to not feel compassion for it. However, when the particular piece of affirmative signalling they choose is a cheap shot like that, it fails its purpose regardless of how big a laugh it may get among friends.

@ bluecat

She was an amazing woman; not just within the context of the society she lived in but generally. And she certainly was pithy. I like a lot of her quotes (she had some interesting things to say about lawyers 🙂 ) but in keeping with the theme, here’s another fobbing off of a suitor (Dudley this time)

I will have here but one mistress and no master.

@EJ (The Other One)

That’s a good point! It also puts a name to something that really bothers me, though in particular it’s the incredibly smug, condescending, sarcastic affirmative signalling that seems to be popular among edgy internet commenters.

Often I think they’re just copying what they see their (successful) opposition doing, as arguments that support the status quo very often can be taken down by a single counterexample. If “Women all do X” can be refuted by pointing to a woman who doesn’t do X, then clearly “Women as a class are oppressed” can be refuted by the queen, right?

There are specific formal logic rules on when doing that can or can’t work. A statement of the form “For all X, Y” is directly contradictory to “There exists an X for which not Y” and by the Law Of Non-Contradiction exactly one of the two statements is true. “There exists an X for which Y” and “There exists an X for which not Y” are not contradictory and may be both true or both false (it is possible that no X exist). So a statement universally applied to an entire set can be disproven by a single counterexample, while it is difficult to positively prove it by giving examples. You can do Proof By Exhaustion by individually proving that the statement is true for every single member of the set and that there are no elements of the set that you haven’t considered, but this is usually impractical. Attempting to prove something based on a smaller number of elements in that manner is known to be impossible.

More specifically, there’s a known false proof with the argument that if it applies to one member and for any subset of size n (by which we mean that if you select n elements at random this will definitely be true) it either applies to all or applies to none, then for any subset of size n+1 it either applies to all or applies to none, by induction it either applies to the entire set or none of the set, it applies one member of the set, therefore it applies to all. This almost works. Except that if n = 1, the induction fails because it doesn’t follow that the statement is either true or false for any subset of size 2. Totally works past that; obviously any trio contains three potential pairings so each element can be demonstrated to be the same as both others if all pairs are the same. But that’s only helpful if you can prove that for n = 2 without relying on it being true for n = 1. And that is why science and logic are separate fields, because we would like to make general statements about atoms without first examining every atom in the universe. This is called the “black swan problem” because all known swan species native to Europe are white but there are black swans in Australia and New Zealand, firmly demonstrating that only encountering white swans in Europe does not prove that all swans are white.

tl;dr they are bad at logic to the point where this is a canonical example of a wrong argument.

Does anyone have a citation for the Alice Stubbs case? David?
My Google fu is failing

@ Catherine

There’s a nice commentary on the case here that makes the points I was trying to, but coherently. It also looks at the wider issues of women’s status in terms of office holding.

@ youthful indiscretion

She does rather doesn’t she. She does come out with some profound stuff though.

“Where is the money in a coin?” Sounds daft but does nicely sum up the whole issue of fiat currency.

did anyone mention how Q. Victoria was treated differently as a ruler, as were women rulers im patriarchy generally? cuz thats a thing too.

With Bailey, it’s a matter of motivation. She catches the squeaky ball only about a third of the time, but rarely misses when you throw food at her.

My brother once dropped a fried egg on his cat’s head. Didn’t get a picture though. :/

Srsly, mister MRA, anyone who has played Crusader Kings could have told you this.

Hello, mammotheers

News about the thing I told you yesterday.
My mother didn’t burn her body, only her throat, internally, which made her unable to speak for a while.
Dad has pneumonia. Happy pneumonia stories are much appreciated.

Gosh, thank goodness that they’re okay, @Chiomara. Thank you for the update!

I’ve had pneumonia, and it was a pretty unhappy two weeks, plus a bit more congestion than usual for a few months. Really not that big of a deal to be honest. I hope that your dad’s case is even milder than mine was, and that your mom’s throat heals quickly.

Chiomara, so glad they’re doing better! Here’s hoping for a quick recovery for both of them.

Hope you’re doing ok, too! What a thing to have to go through!

Srsly, mister MRA, anyone who has played Crusader Kings could have told you this.

Ah, CK2, AKA why I never had to study for the map portions of my European History exams. Incidentally, the next patch is going to add a bunch of configurable settings when starting a game, including how strictly the gender laws will be constrained, so players will be able to have absolute cognatic freely available for everyone at game start. This will disable achievements, because it impacts the game balance and means e.g. that if you have a promising daughter getting her on the throne will not require nearly as much blinding, castration, murder, or granting of bishophrics as it otherwise would and would make Empressive way eaiser (right now I think the best way is to start as one of the major Indian kingdoms because Jain heir designation is not subject to gender priority; agnatic-cognatic elective will also work but of course the opinion penalties make getting votes harder).

I am also hoping that unlike previous patches *cough conclave status of women laws cough* they’ll actually extend this to Turkic and Republic succession properly, because I am specifically bitter about that for two reasons. Firstly, because in an iron man game starting as Charlemange I converted Francia to Catharism and started installing female relatives lower in the line of succession as Doges and it was thoroughly ridiculous and stupid that their daughters couldn’t inherit.


…It’s hardcoded and not nearly as mod-friendly as the rest of the game. Apparently if a republic is absolute cognatic then the election math goes funky and also they still don’t count as adult male relatives for trade post limit so it’s hard to have an eternal line of cybernetic clone-daughters who keep winning elections.

@Chiomara – I didn’t get a chance to comment yesterday. So glad to hear you’re all safe.

My dad had pneumonia in the fall. Even though he’s not young (65 then, now 66) the antibiotics worked pretty quickly. For a while he felt very tired and listless, but he was able to work again in 2 weeks.

I wish both your parents a quick recovery, and please don’t worry about talking to people when you need to.

All my best to your parents. Pneumonia is unpleasant but as Dalillama says, it doesn’t stay around.


it’s hard to have an eternal line of cybernetic clone-daughters who keep winning elections.

There’s something about CK2 which makes its quotes extra funny when taken out of context.

Mathilda, Jane, Mary, Elizabeth, Mary, Anne, Victoria, and Elizabeth. Not counting the Scots, that’s 8. Total. In 950 years.

Mathilda’s case has already been discussed, but it’s worth noting that Mary II had to share the throne with an Orange! And it’s well-known that Elizabeth I had “the heart and stomach of a King”. Where she got them I couldn’t say, but I believe she threw them at the Armada, with the result that the Spaniards gave up their attempt at invasion and went home in disgust. 😉




I saw the Queen last year, I was catching a train at Manchester Picadilly and she arrived on her own special train and they played a fanfare when she got off. Now, I’m a pretty hardcore anti-monarchist, but even I’ve got some fondness for the old girl. Having your own train is like a fantasy of mine.

My dad has had six daughters by two wives, all my cousins are female. We’re the most misandrous family ever. When we discovered my sister would be having a boy we were all very surprised.

Cheezcat is adorable 🙂


I am sorry about what happened to your family. I had pneumonia a long time ago (in my teens), like others have said the major symptoms only lasted a few weeks with antibiotics. I hope they both have a quick recovery.

This post reminds me of a youtube argument I got into with an “egalitarian” who mostly posts antifeminist videos. She was saying that because there were queens women were not marginalized. She said that when she was in college there were a lot of books about Mary Queen of Scots and that the Iron lady proved that women are equal now. I asked her to name a female sultan and why haven’t there been more female prime ministers? and wished her a happy international Mens day in November.

And it’s well-known that Elizabeth I had “the heart and stomach of a King”.

And the wingspan of an albatross!

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