Since 2017 I’ve been adding to the hashtag #MenAreAwesome. In great ways and in small, men all over the world and for all time have been making the world a better place. There is a veritable horde of men who are critically important to me – including family members, thinkers, scientists, musicians, artists, writers and heroes who put themselves at risk to protect others. This International Men’s Day though, I want to celebrate 7 men who are mentors and exemplars to me in my personal work, as well as personal friends who share advice that I live by and very often music!
Paul Elam is the founder of the International Conference on Men’s Issues and the publisher of A Voice for Men, largely considered the online flagship of the Men’s Human Rights Movement. He is the coauthor of Men. Women. Relationships: Surviving the Plague of Modern Masculinity, Say Goodbye to Crazy and Red Pill Psychology: Psychology For Men in a Gynocentric World. He also offers a coaching service for men and produces educational videos at An Ear for Men.
Many a time, I’m sorry to say, I have found myself in discussion with Men’s Rights Advocates and allies about whether Paul’s style of public communication is just too abrasive or whether it might put people off. I have tried to reason with people, asked them to look at the scale of the project he has built with A Voice for Men and the International Conference on Men’s Issues, asked them to appreciate that without his controversial headlines Cassie Jaye may never have been stimulated into making The Red Pill movie. What I value most in Paul, though, is that he gives permission to men to be angry. In a world where privileged and entitled women can be nasty and it’s everyone else’s problem if they don’t find it appealing; men are experiencing a catalogue of soul-destroying disadvantages and wallowing in a swamp of misandry – and the slightest whisper of protest, or even bewilderment, is met with swift and severe punishment… Paul stands up straight, with his shoulders back, and tells them that their response is not crazy, not inappropriate and that it is welcome in his domain. He allows men to feel angry – and then he models how they might channel that emotion, with dignity and honour, into changing their lives, or even making a wider difference. He is deeply kind and his approach to human beings is genuinely equal, he has just as much time and patience for women as he has for men and treats us all with the respect that we earn. He may not look like the archaic image of a prostrated and deferential man that we commonly associate with the term ‘gentleman’ but to my eyes he is every inch the gentleman of the bright, non-feminist future.
In 1990, Neil wrote the first mainstream media article that criticised feminism and itemised the issues facing modern men in our society. That article was called Badmouthing, and was published in The Times (much to the consternation of the feminist collective including some of The Times’ women-journalists). The article can be found on AVfM today. The predictable backlash did nothing to dissuade this courageous man from publishing his treatise, two years later, No More Sex War. A marvellous book whose critique of feminism is irrefutable (and indeed never was refuted by the feminists who opted instead to speculate on our writers’ sexual prowess, erroneously I have no doubt) and whose policy suggestions remain radical – it cost this man almost everything. He was bankrupted, lost his home – and his son (for too long a period) thanks to No More Sex War – which can be now be purchased as part of the Sexual Impolitics collection on Kindle! I do recommend that you read it. He spends his time now nurturing his family and working on initiatives to nurture the British family collectively. “A tribeless libertarian”, to my mind the true legacy of the free spirited 60s and 70s, and a dear friend.
Peter has a gentle soul and a razor-sharp mind. A collector an archivist of gender-political history, he has written (/co-written) many books that I refer to often – from ‘A Brief History of The Men’s Human Rights Movement’ to ‘Gynocentrism – from feudalism to the modern Disney princess’. He also has his finger decidedly on the pulse of the newest thinking on relations between men and women. A prolific writer, and an editor/managing editor at A Voice for Men for a decade, he’s also a loving father and friend who always has time to listen.
When I responded to Mike’s call for applicants for my Director of Communications role at Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), he asked me what experience I had… I admitted that the quantity was zero and he replied “Well, that’s more than anyone else who’s applied!” and we embarked upon (what I humbly think has been) a productive and highly enjoyable journey so far, working together. He’s generous and patient and very funny and I want to thank him for the tireless work he’s dedicated his life to since he founded the Anti-Feminism League and the Campaign for Merit in Business in 2012, for his infectious belief in my abilities and his friendship.
Fidelbogen is THE counter-feminist philosopher (although We Hunted The Mammoth’s description of him as a “noted non-feminist philosopher king” also fits). A truly original and astute dissident thinker in an age of conformity. The Fidelbogian approach to feminism offers an alternative to the tried and tested, morally laudable but possibly strategically insufficient men’s rights pathway to countering feminism. Fidelbogen diagnoses a weakness in the Men’s Rights Movement tendency to fall back on an androcentric voice and makes a call for a division of labour within the activated non-feminist sector which would see some carrying on the traditional work and advocacy associated with the Men’s Rights Movement while others take on a strict anti-feminist role. The latter having to sound less like men complaining and more like gods condemning. Watch out for his forthcoming compendium of essays. He’s also endlessly interesting, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of American history and of film that I love to tap.
The Illustrated Empathy Gap – both the website and the recently released book – is truly the gold-standard of academic inquiry into the state of equality between the sexes, which consistently finds men & boys at a disadvantage. The single most gifted and humble man I have ever met, it’s an absolute pleasure to know him.
Anthony Corniche III
The primary cinematographer of the Men’s Human Rights Movement today, the man we fondly refer to as ‘Tom’ is a workhorse who has ploughed so much money into recording our exploits that he recently revealed to me that he could have bought a helicopter! He’s wonderfully warm and incorrigibly cheeky, and a true unsung hero.