THE FRONTMAN FALLACY, FEMINISM, AND MEN'S RIGHTS
by Peter Zohrab
"The Frontman Fallacy" is a term I invented myself. What happened was that someone on the Usenet newsgroup alt.mens- rights asked for help in devising a term. The term was to encapsulate the wrongheadedness of a common Feminist assumption. This was the assumption that the fact that men held most of the positions of power in the world meant that men ruled the world principally for their own benefit -- i.e. they "oppressed" women.
My suggestion, which was accepted by the person who had asked for the help, was "The Frontman Fallacy". So the Frontman Fallacy is the mistaken belief that people (men, specifically) who are in positions of authority in democratic systems use their power mainly to benefit the categories of people (the category of "men", in particular) that they belong to themselves.
Kate Millett is a very important name in the intellectual history of modern Feminism. I'd like here to examine Millett's basic assumptions a bit more closely than she herself does.
That is Kate Millett's definition of patriarchy. The crucial point, as I see it, is the notion of "control". What Millett means by this term is made clear as follows:
It is a good rule of thumb that, if you want to look for the weaknesses in someone's argument, you look for sentences starting with words such as "evident", "evidently", "obvious", or "obviously". These are precisely the weak assumptions that the writer/speaker needs to prop up with confident-sounding language.
In this case, the weakness is that the fact of a large number of males in these professions does not logically imply that they are "controlling" women any more than they are controlling other men. Men make up the majority in many very low-status occupations, as well as in the high- status ones. More importantly, if the "coercive force of the police" is directed mainly at women, why is it men who constitute the overwhelming majority of those who are arrested by the police ?
The general point is that Feminists assume that men always promote their own interests over those of women. This is not, in fact, true. But, on the other hand, it does seem to be true that, when Feminazis score some political victory, they almost always use their newly-won power to benefit females exclusively. This is because of their persecution-complex.
You could even argue that democratic countries are actually matriarchies, and that male politicians are the paid servants of the Feminists. The litmus test would then be whether the (mainly male) politicians enacted legislation that favoured men's interests more than women's interests. And the history of the last two hundred years in the West is peppered with examples of mainly male governments enacting legislation that benefited women more than men.
It is true that most decision-makers in society's political institutions have tended to be men. But they have not usually acted solely in men's interests, or solely to the detriment of women's interests. To the contrary -- they have tended to act severely against men's interests, and in favour of women's interests.
For this there are two reasons:
The male decision-makers are subject to pressure from indiv idual women (friends, family members, etc.), as well as from female pressure-groups. Feminism has created the sloga n "The Personal is Political", and this has turned many a bedroom into a battleground, facing many male decision- makers with a choice between their marriage and their principles. Does the name of Hilary Clinton ring any bells in this regard ?
As far as pressure-groups are concerned, it must be remembered that Men's Rights pressure-groups are few and far between, so pressure groups in the gender area have essentially been just women's pressure-groups. So male decision-makers receive an overwhelmingly one-sided tide of pressure in this area.
Feminism has tacked itself onto the back of the Left in general, and Marxism, in particular. This is the part of the politicl spectrum which loves to use the word "oppression". It is certainly correct that various ethnic and social groups "oppress" other ethnic and social groups all over the world -- to various degrees, and in different ways.
But the relationship between men and women is a much more cooperative one than the relationship between ethnic groups -- because men and women (still) need each other to produce and raise families. Ethnic groups are not usually so indispensible to each other.
So applying the "oppression" model to male-female relationships has only been feasible academically by bullying intelligent men into acquiescence -- by making them fear for their careers or their marriages if they disagreed publicly. So the field of Women's Studies has been isolated from the need to become really academic, rather than purely polemical.
In fact, there is an actual contradiction between the Marxist and Feminist approaches to the notion of political power. Marxism defines a "Capitalist" as someone who makes money *from* money -- i.e. by directly or indirectly making money from other people's work, rather than from his/her own productive work.
Capitalists use their money to influence the political system -- including the decision-makers, who are usually not Capitalists themselves. Marxists do not point to the class that a decision-maker comes from as evidence that they make decisions in favour of that particular class. Marxists would regard that approach as rather naive and simplistic.
Feminism, by contrast, relies heavily on the Frontman Fallacy. Feminists point to the numbers of male decision- makers as evidence that the political system works in favour of men. This approach is naive and simplistic, and it has only been popularised because of the lack of intellect, of objectivity and of male input in the Gender Studies area.
Men are an oppressed minority in western society today. They are a genuine minority, of course -- unlike women, who are "dressed up" by Feminists as an oppressed minority. The comparison of women with oppressed minorities has generally been done in a completely unbalanced way. There has been a biased hunt for similarities between women and genuine minority groups. The obvious differences between women and genuinely oppressed minorities, on the other hand, have been determinedly overlooked.
There do exist objective reasons for the recent changes in male-female relationships: the contraceptive pill, home labour-saving devices, and the mechanization of the workplace came along. These changes made it very probable that women would enter the workplace in much greater numbers, and many changes have occurred as a result of this fact.
Feminist propaganda has facilitated this process. By dressing women up as an oppressed minority, Feminists have been able to obtain a lot of privileges for women -- in addition to the ones they already enjoyed as a result of male chivalry.
Feminists believe their own lies. They never seek equality with men in areas where men are at a disadvantage in society, compared to women. Many Feminists are ruthless in using their positions of power to advance the Feminist cause. Until all that changes, it is not necessarily a good thing for even more women to be allowed into positions of even greater power.
One popular American talk-back host, Rush Limbaugh, uses the term "Feminazi". I thought I had invented this term myself, when I used it in a lecture at a conference on "Language and Society" at Victoria University, in Wellington, New Zealand, in May 1990. I had also previously used the term in a broadsheet I had circulated among members of the Equal Parental Rights Society, in New Zealand. I don't know if the American usage originated with me, or arose independently.
Whoever invented it, it may seem exaggeratedly polemical to compare Feminists with Nazis. The reason for doing so is to point out the intolerance of many Feminists, and the way they have brainwashed people into being unable to contemplate a non-Feminist view on many issues.</p>
The above quotations show the similarity in the thinking of Feminazis and Nazis proper. Frank Zepezauer, in his column in "The Liberator" newspaper of March 1994, listed many points of similarity between Feminazis and Nazis. I won't mention all of the similarities that Zepezauer lists. One that is worth mentioning, however, is blood guilt. Just as the Nazis thought that any Jew was guilty just because he was a Jew -- so
Another similarity is that the Nazis thought that certain categories of people (homosexuals and the physically and intellectually handicapped) were unworthy of life. Most Feminists believe that all unborn children who are unwanted by their mothers are unworthy of life.
The final heading in Zepezauer's list of similarities is "Holocaust II". These are his concluding remarks under this heading:
(iv) Outline of Men's Issues
Here is an outline of the kinds of issues which many people in the Men's Movement would like to see some action on.
A. INFORMATION ISSUES
Information issues are basic to the success or failure of the Men's Movement. We have to be able to get our point of view across despite an intellectual climate where women are generally considered to be the victims of male oppression in an evil patriarchy.
1. Media Bias
Anti-male bias in the media must be monitored and records kept. Complaints must be lodged where appropriate, and publicity given to the complaints.
2. Teacher Bias
Teacher unions usually have separate female officers on their executives and at branch level. These often use member funds to circulate Feminist propaganda, which then gets passed on to students and parents. This propaganda sometimes gets discredited later (e.g. the theory about boys dominating coeducational classrooms).
3. Men's Studies
Women's Studies departments at universities act as centres of Feminist propaganda-writing, and also as headquarters for Feminist activism within the university community. Some U.S. universities already have Men's Studies departments, but Men's Rights activists should push for every university to have one, in order to counter Feminist influence.
4. Ministry of Men's Affairs
For the same reasons that men need Men's Studies departments in universities, men also need a Ministry of Men's Affairs in all countries (such as New Zealand) where a Ministry of Women's Affairs exists.
B. LEGAL ISSUES
Legal issues are second in importance to Information issues in the Men's Movement. In fact, one of the main reasons for pushing the information issues is to achieve our goals as regards legal issues such as the following.
5. Divorce Law
This should cease to discriminate against men in areas such as child-custody and false child abuse and domestic violence accusations in the Family Court.
6. False Accusations
People making false accusations (such as accusations of rape) should be prosecuted as a matter of course and police policy, and the penalties should be made equivalent to the penalties involved in the type of crime that the false accusation related to.
7. Sex Abuse and false memories
A balance needs to be achieved between the needs of society to protect itself against sex abusers, and the need to protect innocent people from adults' false memories of supposed abuse in childhood.
8. Domestic Violence
The anti-male hysteria surrounding this issue must be removed by publicising statistics showing that women batter men just as often as men batter women, by encouraging battered men to come forward, and by educating police and public to take a more balanced view of this issue. More research must be done and publicised into the causes of domestic violence, as it is presented as if men beat their wives for no reason at all.
The problem is that Feminists have been pushing the legal systems of Western countries towards a situation where women can successfully plead provocation in crimes against men, while men cannot ever plead provocation in crimes against women.
9. Law of Evidence
The restrictions on defence lawyers in rape trials must be removed, in order to safeguard the rights of innocent defendants. It is up to judges and juries, not parliament, to decide what evidence is relevant in a given case.
10. Syndromes and legal defences
Men must campaign against the creation of women-only defences and men-only crimes. Feminists have been steadily working towards the goal of getting all women treated as innocent victims, no matter what they have done -- and all men treated as criminals, no matter if they are innocent.
The definition of rape must be restricted, and all attempts to expand the definition of rape to include anything a woman might afterwards wish she hadn't done should be strenuously resisted.
12. Police Bias
Instances of anti-male police bias must be recorded, filed, protested about, and brought to the attention of the media and the public.
Infanticide by women should be punished just as severely as infanticide by men.
Conscription in wartime should be on the same basis, regardless of gender. Laws to this effect should be drawn up in peacetime, just in case a war occurs again. The argument that war should be avoided is a mere excuse, and should be seen to be such. Wars should be avoided if possible, but you can't stop someone attacking you by taking a pacifist line.
15. Military Service
Military service should involve both males and females on an equal basis. Any alternative civilian service should also be available to both sexes on the same basis.
16. Choice for Men (Abortion)
A father should legally have an equal say with the mother in any decision to abort, or not abort their child. This is particularly important if the father is to be forced to contribute to the child's upkeep -- whether he actually lives with the mother, has custody or access rights, or not.
Notwithstanding the issue of Choice For Men, there is a natural tendency for Men's Rights activists to see abortion as yet another way that women can issue a contract to kill with impunity.
C. OTHER ISSUES
18. Men's Health and Longevity
Equal funds should be allocated to research, prevention, information and treatment relating to male-only diseases (such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer) as to female-only diseases.
19. Sports Apartheid
Since Feminists favour Equal Employment Opportunity and oppose separate men's clubs, the sexual apartheid system in non-contact sports should be abolished, e.g. female tennis players should play in the same competition as men players -- for the same prizes.
Circumcision is genital mutilation, and should be campaigned against by all those who are opposed to female circumcision.
21. Family Structures
Combatting Crime by promoting the two-parent, one- income family. Feminism is hostile to the traditional two-parent, one-income family, which is associated with stable societies with low crime- levels. There is a mass of evidence associating increased numbers of single-parent families with increased crime.
22. Affirmative Action and Quotas
These should either be abolished altogether, or applied across-the-board, including areas where women are underrepresented, but where Feminists have made no move to increase women's representation, e.g. prison populations, suicide rates, wartime death-rate, life-expectancy, medical spending, etc..
This across-the-board fairness would logically have to apply to ethnic minorities as well -- some ethnic groups do better than the majority on these statistics, and some do worse.