Review by NCFM PR Director, J. Steven Svoboda

Review by NCFM PR Director, J. Steven Svoboda

I am humbled to receive a favorable review for The Empress Is Naked by National Coalition For Men Public Relations Director, J. Steven Svoboda. “Engaging, insightful, adroit, intriguing, breaking new ground, thought provoking, highly recommended”. These words coming from a such a versed and energetic Men’s Rights Activist, truly honor me.

– Adam


 

The Empress is Naked: From Female Privilege to Gender Equality and Social Liberation. WordPress, 2015. 236 pages. https://theempressisnaked.wordpress.com.  No price on book but website lists price at $11.00. Review by J. Steven Svoboda.

 

The Empress is Naked: From Female Privilege to Gender Equality and Social Liberation by Adam Leonas is another in a long line of analytical men’s rights books that still somehow manages to find new points to make about gender relations and the world.

 

Leonas goes a fair distance down the road to arguing that in the old days, men got married because it was part of the package deal that was required if they were to secure a sex partner.  Now, the argument continues, marriage is not required, and men are not interested in this old school deal.  Interestingly, “a man losing his job is a major factor in divorce cases, while ‘a woman’s employment status has no effect on the likelihood that her husband will opt to leave the marriage.’”

 

Leonas makes the engaging argument that “in countries where the supposed ‘patriarchy’ is stronger, men are more unhappy than women.  This finding highlights the true essence of ‘patriarchy,’ which is to burden men with greater responsibilities and social expectations, in order to provide women with greater protection and generally better quality of life than they get for themselves.”  Bonus points to Leonas for including quotation marks when using the in my opinion always highly problematic term “patriarchy.”  The author goes on to adroitly note, “If the system had really been made up by men, it would be impossible to ultimately favor women.”  Later Leonas writes, “The majority of men, however, do not benefit from ‘patriarchy’.  Women do, and that is why they support it more.”  Much later in the book the author writes, “Women living in the least favourable circumstances are healthier by far than men living in the most favourable conditions.”  [italics in original]

 

Leonas makes a suggestion that ought to be (but is not) so obvious that it need not be stated, namely, that “there is no doubt that longer life expectancy is correlated with a better life.”  I did not realize that now there is not a single country where men live longer than women.  A second assertion backed up by data that again should but is not self-evident: “consolidation of the ‘western way of life,’ i.e. capitalism and urbanization, not only did not oppress women, but brought them disproportionate profits relatively [sic] to men.”  At the same time, as women became more included in the workplace, “while life expectancy for both sexes continued to increase, from 1970 onwards there was a dramatic decrease of the difference between women and men, instead of a steady increase, as was the case until then.” [italics in original]

 

Leonas is not afraid to speak plainly.  Because a factory worker’s wife leads a luxurious life relative to her husband, “the feminist movement was never popular among women of the lower classes.”  On a different topic, the author discusses at length the phenomenon whereby “Children do not bring happiness.  In fact more often they seem to bring unhappiness.”

 

Leonas focuses on sexuality, reifying men’s sexual drive.  I think he overdoes a supposed connection between “less sex-starvation” for men and “a longer, healthier life.”  I disagree with his apparent view that legalized prostitution will be a panacea in terms of men’s rights.  The author adroitly notes, “A man cannot even complain to the woman with whom he has a relationship and supposedly mutual support.”  He is on target in writing that a “frequent complaint of women has to do with the difficulty of finding appropriate mates…  What they don’t seem to understand is that their difficulty is due to their elevated expectations.”  He adroitly notes that a woman may have sex once with the captain of the football team and may then come to expect that she must partner with a similarly alpha male.  Well, there just aren’t enough such to go around.  I’m also not persuaded by his central argument that “you cannot have economic democracy without first having sexual democracy.”  I can’t deny however his trenchant observation that the “paranoid anger” needed in soldiers “has been systematically cultivated all their lives by sexually frustrating them.”  After all, “Sexually satiated men cannot be sent to war.”

 

Leonas makes an engaging case—though I’m not sure there is historical evidence this is correct–that the original deal with men and women was men provided meat in exchange for women providing sex.  Leonas is also right on in noting that it is women who more harshly judge women who have a high number of partners, and it is women who enforce female genital cutting in countries that perform the procedure.  Men actually prefer uncircumcised women because they enjoy sex more.  The author’s extended peek into the pickup artist (PUA) world is intriguing.  Leonas provides a telling quote of a PUA’s book: “Ironically, women are most attracted to the men who are most likely to fuck them and then dump them on their ass—because those are precisely the men who have so many other options because they practice on lots of women.”  The moral: if you are a man, stop looking for love from women, accept that you will not get it from them, and paradoxically only then will you find it!

 

Another engaging paragraph breaks ground I have never seen before: “[W]omen try to remain children, keeping all children’s benefits and lack of responsibility, all the while claiming all the rights of adults as well….  But men don’t really have a choice.  Nature has made humans naturally protective of children, and female seduction piggybacks on this tendency by presenting men with a childish profile.  It is not something women do consciously.  Everyone just follows the easy road, one which maximizes their pleasure and minimizes unpleasant situations.”

 

Kudos to the author for nodding at the sad yet true fact that a married man “is trying to do the impossible: to balance being a competitive, successful, trustworthy provider as well as a sensitive husband and father.”  Thus many men are now “going their own way” and avoiding committed relationships with women.  Among those who do not follow this route and are college-educated, a shocking 90 percent of divorces are initiated by the wife.  (This agrees with my experience and those of my friends and colleagues.)  Leonas is not afraid to be grossly politically incorrect, noting that rape fantasy is one of women’s most common fantasies (which also squares with my experience) and goes on to write that “it is not unreasonable to suspect that many rapes are actually female-initiated.”

 

How right the author is that “the situation for women and men in divorce is fundamentally different.  A women with children has fulfilled the greater part of her reproductive strategy.”  In fact, Leonas continues on to places I haven’t even thought to tread in my own personal life, but I think he has a point that “the fair thing would be for women to pay for the dating expenses of the man they threw away with divorce.  Of course, due to female domination, this proposal sounds absurd, while the female expectation for the man to finance a woman’s reproductive strategy at the expense of his own is considered normal.”

 

Leonas’ book is plagued by too many typos. [This refers to version 1.0, they have been corrected in 1.1 – Adam] I question whether it’s true as Leonas writes that, “In countries like Thailand, not only it is not a shame, but is an honor for a daughter to be a prostitute.”  I’ll take a book like The Empress is Naked any day, for its new ideas, its bold assertions, and for provoking thought and (potentially) argument.  Highly recommended.

What readers say about the book

“I don’t normally review books, but occasionally I’ll stumble across something that’s too good not to share. The Empress is Naked by Adam Leonas happens to be just one of these books…

I have to say it’s one of the most interesting insights into the history and current state of sexual relations in culture that I think I’ve seen.”

redpillschool


“Enjoyed reading The Empress is Naked very much.You have a personable writing style that made your material fascinating.Great value too.Plans for another book?

Annoyinggorilla


“I’ve just read all of your free material and this sounds interesting as hell! Some of the assertions in this book have been circulating among the manosphere for years but I haven’t seen such a comprehensive and connected take on them yet.”

pab


“I’m about a third the way thru and am really liking this book. Pulls in elements from other books on evolution, sex, gender biology I’ve read (Selfish Gene, Sex at Dawn, Women’s Infidelity, etc.) in a comprehensive, easy to understand way that makes a lot of sense.

An informative, easy read. Definitely a valuable addition to my “manosphere” collection and I highly recommend it.”

Trekbiker


“Wow.

Just starting part 2. Sorry to keep harassing you here mate but damn. You lay things out and they’re just so clear. I don’t mean to brown-nose or anything here, but its like you’ve taken the ideas that we all kinnda know to be true, or at least suspect, and distilled them down to the pure specific reality, then backed that up with research. I’ve been ready to call you out for being wrong a couple of times – like in the rape section – but then a couple lines later you make the point I was thinking, push it in a direction that had never occurred to me, and curb stomp the opposing argument like a bloody expert. It’s majestic.
Anyway, gotta get back to the reading. Reckon this might be a late nighter.”
Ed

 


Check out the Reviews on Amazon too, as well as those on goodreads.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Are women oppressed?

Chapter 1: Work
Chapter 2: “Double oppression”
Chapter 3: Family and relationships
Chapter 4: Violence
Chapter 5: Upbringing and social expectations
Chapter 6: Happiness
Chapter 7: Life expectancy
Chapter 8: Conclusion

Part 2: Is Biology responsible for gender differences?

Chapter 9: Basic knowledge
Chapter 10: Brain and the unconscious
Chapter 11: Sexual Selection and Runaway process
Chapter 12: Why two sexes?
Chapter 13: Male and Female sexual strategies
Chapter 14: The dominant narrative and its criticism
Chapter 15: What is sexy?
Chapter 16: The human sexual characteristics
Chapter 17: Love, eros, lust: What’s love got to do with it?
Chapter 18: The Flintstonization of prehistory and system’s apologists.

Part 3: The War of the sexes

Chapter 19: Is there a “war of the sexes”?
Chapter 20: Common misconceptions
Chapter 21: Meat for sex
Chapter 22: The sexual “double standard”
Chapter 23: Games people play
Chapter 24: What does a woman want? A brief pick-up guide
Chapter 25: So, what does a woman want?
Chapter 26: Prostitutes
Chapter 27: Life expectancy
Chapter 28: Why do people have children?
Chapter 29: Turning down the marriage deal

Part 4: From the prehistoric to the historic society: what went wrong

Chapter 30: Challenging the dominant model
Chapter 31: Sex and economy in prehistory
Chapter 32: What went wrong: the 8.2 kyr event
Chapter 33: The history of marriage
Chapter 34: The biggest victim of the war of the sexes
Chapter 35: The Athenian democracy as an exception

Part 5: Towards a solution

Chapter 36: Rage, Sex and Violence
Chapter 37: Social Runaway
Chapter 38: The need for a restriction to female sexual selectivity
Chapter 39: Towards the solution: The new Sex Contract
Chapter 40: Reproductive rights for men: Towards the abolition of marriage and liberation from procreation
Chapter 41: Other considerations
Chapter 42: Sexual liberation and social emancipation for all

Excerpts from the book

Introduction

“[T]he first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male”, wrote Engels in 1884. Since then, women’s inferior position has been considered an undeniable fact, especially by progressive thinkers. Different political traditions have different viewpoints on the issue, but two of them stand out: Left Feminism which advocates that women are oppressed by Capitalism, and therefore that they will be liberated by overturning it; and Radical Feminism which argues that women are oppressed by “Patriarchy”, which is a complex set of prejudices, beliefs and institutions that result in men generally benefiting against women, which meant that the struggle should be against male privilege.

“Radical” Feminism is mainstream

The most interesting phenomenon is that the ideation of a “Patriarchy” has essentially been adopted by the system. Throughout the Western world, the concept of an oppressive patriarchy, as expressed by politicians, journalists and academics, is a key component of the dominant ideology. It is quite difficult to express a different view without being scorned, mocked, and subjected to fierce attack.

[…]

Women’s oppression: Systemic views

There are many studies on how women are oppressed at work, in the family, in sexual relationships an so on. And it’s beyond doubt that women are indeed oppressed. But are they more oppressed than men? Are they oppressed as women, or as members of a specific social class?

[…]

This is why we need to re-examine the tenets of “female oppression”. This is the topic of the first part of this book in which we examine the various areas in which some claim that women are oppressed. We will see that all the supposed disadvantages of women are essentially tradeoffs against much worse alternatives, and that these tradeoffs benefit the great majority of women, and perhaps even all of them.

Part 1: Are women oppressed?

[…]

Chapter 6: Happiness

The various studies about the war of the sexes use various criteria to draw their conclusions about the relative position of each sex. These criteria are often chosen based on the social class and the ideology of the researcher.

Thus, a feminist bourgeois who studied in Oxford will conclude that women are more oppressed because they have fewer opportunities to “exploit their talent” in comparison with men.

(Socio)biologists, on their end, are not very interested in who wins and who loses. They consider (rightly, from their perspective) that the war of the sexes is a natural process that occurs in all animals, and what’s important for them is that it contributes to the evolution of the species (which is not always true). The problem is that the evolution of the species is the last thing in the mind of someone struggling for his daily survival, so it is not a suitable criterion to assess the quality of life.

As for Economists, they will examine who has more money. And the list goes on.

Which criterion is the most relevant?

Harvard professor Tal Ben-Shahar, puts it this way: “Happiness, not money or prestige, should be regarded as the ultimate currency – the currency by which we take measure of our lives”.

For many it is self-evident that happiness is the most important criterion to compare the lives of people. Indeed, World Happiness Report 2013 of the UN “calls on policy makers to make happiness a key measure and target of development”. The only probable objections have to do with the reliability of the system to measure happiness. Nevertheless, researchers have decided to use “subjective happiness”, that is the level of happiness reported by individuals themselves. Subjective happiness has very real benefits in health and longevity. In fact, the above UN report devotes an entire chapter reviewing the “hard evidence”.

As we already mentioned in the section on marriage, at least for as long as there have been comparative studies, women have always been happier than men.

Table 1: Where Women Are Significantly Happier

Men % Women %
Pakistan 18 34
Japan 31 46
Philippines 25 36
Argentina 40 50
Vietnam 38 48
India 13 21
Peru 33 41
Guatemala 68 76
Indonesia 28 35
Uzbekistan 32 39
Senegal 20 27
Poland 25 32
Turkey 15 21
China 20 26
Lebanon 19 24
Nigeria 34 39
United States 64 68
Mexico 57 61
Venezuela 49 53
Honduras 57 61
South Korea 50 54
% rate their lives on the highest rung of the ladder of life

The 6 countries with the largest difference in happiness between women and men are Pakistan, Japan, Philippines, Argentina, Vietnam and India. In the 21 countries in the world with the largest difference there is not even one Western-European country, while the US are included. “Women’s greater satisfaction with life is pervasive in many of the less-developed regions of the world: in 7 of the 8 countries surveyed in Asia, 6 of the 8 nations in Latin America and all 5 nations in east and southern Africa.”

This means that in countries where the supposed “patriarchy” is stronger, men are more unhappy than women. This finding highlights the true essence of “patriarchy”, which is to burden men with greater responsibilities and social expectations, in order to provide women with greater protection and generally better quality of life than they get for themselves.

If the system had really been made up by men, it would be impossible to ultimately favor women. The answer is that the role of women to the construction of the system has been greatly overlooked. We will have more to say about this later on.

In developed countries, there is the “paradox” of declining female happiness: while from 1970 onwards

“by many objective measures the lives of women … have improved, … measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women’s declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries.”

Of course, it is a “paradox” only if seen from the feminist perspective. But there is nothing paradoxical in that if you endeavor to live the life of a man you will come to know the unhappiness of a man.

[…]

Part 2: Is Biology responsible for gender differences?

The question whether biology plays a role in gender differences is important, and not a trivial one to answer. We have already seen that for the difference in life expectancy, which is perfectly measurable, biology is not yet in position to give a reliable explanation. The issue becomes more complex when we examine a multidimensional phenomenon such as behavior. Does biology influence it depending on whether one is a man or woman? Until very recently, compelling scientific evidence for one or the other opinion did not exist. The answer someone gave depended basically on his political views. Conservatives maintained that biology was crucial, while progressives that it was not a key factor. In feminist circles, there is a whole theory about “gender” which fiercely rejects any biological differentiation between the sexes, maintaining that sex is a social “construction” and that an individual’s “identity” does not depend on the biological sex he/she was born with.

Today, however, it is gradually becoming clear that the two sexes have behavioral differences which are important, and that these differences are due to biological differences. “[T]hanks to advances in genetics and noninvasive brain imaging technology … scientists have documented an astonishing array of structural, chemical, genetic, hormonal and functional brain differences between women and men.” There are differences that are spotted while in the embryonic stage, before society has a chance to have any effect.

Perhaps the mildest way to argue about the existence of those differences comes from (feminist) scientists that tried “to analyze male-female brain differences for their relationship to gender type as opposed to strict biological sex. Their findings do not prove that social learning is the cause of male-female differences in the brain.” [emphasis added]. Despite the disproval of their expectations, they do make one crucial observation: “Genes and hormones light the spark for most boy-girl differences, but the flame is strongly fanned by the essentially separate cultures in which boys and girls grow up.” That fact, that today’s society, despite claims to the contrary, compounds biological differences, is fundamental to understanding the situation in the “war of the sexes”.

[…]

Part 3: The War of the sexes

A weaker sex drive is at the basis of female superiority

[…]

The difficulty to find a mate

A frequent complaint of women has to do with the difficulty of finding appropriate mates, a difficulty which is supposedly greater than men’s. What they don’t seem to understand is that their difficulty is due to their elevated expectations. Anyone, man or woman, can find a mate provided they lower their standards enough. Men are forced to lower them more than women – even despite having more “democratic” standards to begin with. “Research has … found that most men find most women at least somewhat sexually attractive, whereas most women do not find most men sexually attractive at all.” For example, research in the most popular dating site, OKCupid, found that men have a normal distribution in their preferences, classifying 5% of women as most attractive, 5% as least attractive, and the other 90% in between. Women on the other hand, rate 25% of men as least attractive, while 80% of the men are rated below average. Let us compare these findings graphically:


The normal distribution of men’s preferences…


… and the elitist one of women.

“[M]en lower their attraction standards for casual encounters. Empirically, they are willing to have sex with partners who meet just minimal thresholds on traits they themselves rank as desirable, such as intelligence and kindness. In contrast, women typically maintain high standards.”

Women who cannot find a man for a long-term relationship and marriage have not understood that their tactic for casual sex does not work as well for a relationship. Keeping disproportionally high standards, given the sexual asphyxiation of men, does work in the women’s phase of lighthearted “exploration”, i.e. when they are young and more open to sexual experiences. The most attractive men are available for sex with no strings attached. But in “marriage mode”, after women turn 25 or 30, this tactic backfires, because while these men can bed them all, they cannot marry them all. The most unwise women then mistakenly “calibrate” their expectations: the fact that the captain of the football team had sex with them at one point (even if Bill Clinton wouldn’t consider it sex) does not mean that they will find a similar man to marry at a later stage.

[…]

Part 4: From prehistoric to historic society: what went wrong?

Introduction

In previous chapters we presented the ways in which women are advantaged against men, and how the root of women’s supremacy is biology. Women are in a position to exchange sex for resources, while men are not. But perhaps the picture that emerged from our analysis so far is a bit gloomy: if women are prostitutes by biology and men willing to kill to have sex, then the future of humanity is bound to be grim, as some believe it was in the past. But if we look still further back, in prehistory, we realize that things were not so dismal. Not that women’s biology was different – women were always in a position to take advantage of sex – only that society could be different with the same biological foundation.

Let’s start from the beginning.

[…]

Bonobo: a different model of sexuality

Chimpanzees are the genetically closest species to humans. While no chimp is monogamous, the sexuality of bonobo chimps, a species that lives in Congo, is of particular interest.

Sex in bonobos is a free-for-all due to the great sexual receptivity of the females. The sexually satiated bonobos have low stress, have sex for pleasure and share their food. The end result is that they have very low male aggression: “The abundance of sexual opportunity makes it less worthwhile for males to risk injury by fighting over any particular sexual opportunity.”

Sex is not a prize for the winner who climbs to the top, but it is widely available to all. It is the binding element of the community. We have come to consider normal in our society that sex is something rare and exceptional. But “[a]s anthropologist Chris Knight puts it,’Whereas the basic primate pattern is to deliver a periodic ‘yes’ signal against a background of continuous sexual ‘no’, humans (and bonobos) emit a periodic ‘no’ signal against a background of continuous ‘yes’.’”

[…]

Chapter 36: Rage, Sex and Violence

Rage

As discussed in the previous chapters, we know that the typical reaction of men to feelings is… to avoid them. Pleasure in life, though, comes through emotions, and men’s tendency to avoid feelings costs them dearly. Even negative emotions are preferable from the deadening lack of emotion, and “women, in general, feel both positive and negative emotions more strongly than do men. And, sex differences aside, emotional life is richer for those who notice more.” Women “live more” than men because society is made to suit them, and they are allowed to live emotionally. Men, finding that an “intuitive” way of living does not work, are forced to overemphasize logic over emotion, which has a psychological and physiological cost: stress. It is as if women are comfortably driving a car in their country on the right, while men are obliged to drive in the UK, on the left, constantly on edge and never managing to adjust and relax. Women don’t think, they “feel”. Using Kahneman’s terminology, we can say that women don’t much need to activate their higher, “effortful” thought System 2. The lower and automatic System 1 brain processes are enough to navigate the world, letting their soul to be relaxed and free to sensually enjoy it.

There is great confusion among average people as well as in the scientific community about women’s “emotionality”. The oft-repeated phrase “women are more emotional” does not really explain anything, although it implies that there is a biological predisposition for emotions in women. But there are many indications to the contrary: “Boy babies are more trouble. They scream and cry more often than girl babies, and louder too. (Incidentally, this well-documented finding has been recognized as an important challenge to the conventional claim that females are more emotional than males.)” In reality, men operate less emotionally because, from their infancy, they are trained in devitalizing their emotions. Even though no mother does it consciously, the basic aim of this process is to block male sexuality. How can you be cool, relaxed, and leave your emotions flow freely, when they tell you to urgently have sex with a woman, and she says no? What will you do, rape her?

For men, sex precedes emotional involvement – at least for those who have matured beyond adolescence. “It’s sex first, then relationship, not the other way around.” In fact, this is true for women too: a woman will find a way to have sex with you if she really desires you, and won’t put you on hold because she is trying for something to happen with someone better right now. The vast majority of men are forced to endure female tests, with the usually vain hope that at some point they will have sex.

“Dating is the females’ boot camp for males. Here … he becomes conditioned to sitting at her feet, leash in mouth, tail wagging, anticipating the slightest hint of a sexual favor. His female drill instructor is the end product of 6000 years of survival of the fittest. While he is usually there just for fun, she’s working.”

“Through persistence, a woman gradually convinces a man to compromise his primary reproductive goal of unfettered access to a variety of women—a dream he relinquishes reluctantly, and one for the loss of which he never really forgives her.”

Nora Vincent, in Self-Made Man, after writing that she became a “momentary misogynist” from her experience in flirting as a man, continues:

“I saw my own sex from the other side, and I disliked women irrationally for a while because of it. I disliked their superiority, their accusatory smiles, their entitlement to choose or dash me with a fingertip, an execution so lazy, so effortless, it made the defeats and even the successes unbearably humiliating. Typical male power feels by comparison like a blunt instrument, its salvos and field strategies laughably remedial next to the damage a woman can do with a single cutting word: no.”

For these reasons, the main male emotion since the withdrawal of free sex is rage. As Herb Goldberg wrote in 1976, “[Man] is now being told that he is afraid of the woman. What he is really afraid of are his own impulses of anger and rage toward her over being increasingly abandoned, frustrated, and caught in binds – all of which he can’t express directly”. This rage is the steam that has been moving the whole of society for the past few millenia. It is what the ruling class transforms into war, workaholism, male self-sacrifice, guilt and other destructive and self-destructive tendencies.

[…]