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Pharos

Doing Justice to the Classics

Misogyny and Gender (Pharos Surveys of Appropriations)

This page collects examples of articles that illustrate how modern white supremacists and misogynists use Greco-Roman antiquity to justify their gender politics. In connection with the recommendations and discussion questions on our “How to use Pharos in the Classroom” page, they are intended to spark discussion and further research about the ways that ancient history is used to legitimize hateful beliefs, and about the historical and ongoing complicity of the discipline of Classics in providing the basis for these beliefs through the promotion of an idealized and/or sanitized version of that past. We have provided links to PDFs of the articles extracted from the sites on which they appeared. Links to archived versions of these articles are available to instructors upon request at pharsoclassics@vassar.edu.

Those interested in learning more about Greco-Roman antiquity and misogyny online should consult Donna Zuckerberg’s book Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age (2018). The publisher’s page for this book includes links to numerous interviews with Dr. Zuckerberg as well as a few excerpts from the book.

Content Warning: The links below lead to articles with explicit and harmful messages of white supremacy, homophobia, sexism, and other hateful content. Such material can be triggering, especially for those against whom this hateful rhetoric is directed. Please be advised and view at your own discretion.

Council of European Canadians

The Council of European Canadians is the website of Ricardo Duchesne, a recently retired Sociology professor from Canada whose book, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, was published by Brill, one of the oldest publishers in the world. His xenophobic outlook is evident in the title of his more recent book, Canada in Decay: Mass Immigration, Diversity, and the Ethnocide of Euro-Canadians. 

The essay selected from this site is part 3 of a series called “Without Legally Enforced Monogamy Western Civilization is Finished.” The series argues that allowing women sexual freedom allows them to practice “hypergamy,” a term misogynists have taken from Sociology to describe what they claim is the “natural” and overpowering feminine desire to pursue higher-status men. The author warns that unrestricted hypergamy creates “a growing body of sexless or undersexed, unwanted men” and warns that such “a powerful destabilizing force” threatens civic order and safety. The series is likely written by the misogynist Matt Forney, who resurrected his former pseudonym “Ferdinand Bardamu” for contributions to this site. “Ferdinand Bardamu” is the main character in a celebrated French novel written by a prominent French anti-Semite. 

Types of Hate: Misogyny, Xenophobia, White Supremacy
Key Topics: Aristotle, Politics, Nichomachean Ethics

  • “Instead of using rights, we can justify legally enforced monogamy on the basis of the common good, a fundamental concept employed by Aristotle in both the Politics and the Nicomachean Ethics. Nature has made the man superior to the woman in terms of rationality and spiritedness; the man not only rules over the female for her own good, but for the good of society as well, just as the rational soul rules over the irrational for its own good and for the good of the citizen. In practice, unless she is a courtesan, every woman must be ruled over by her own kyrios [lord/master].”
  • “The ancient Greeks and Romans were so much wiser than modern Western man; they knew that a class of unmarried males would lead to widespread civil unrest and social upheaval. They institutionalized monogamy to pacify inferior males. If there were surplus males, the slave trade would provide them with the needed sexual release and female companionship.”

PDF text: “Without Legally Enforced Monogamy Western Civilization is Finished.”

Pharos has documented Duchesne’s essay proclaiming that “The Greatest Philosophers are ALL European Men.”


Return of Kings

Return of Kings was one of the most prominent misogynist websites until Amazon, Paypal, and advertisers cut off its revenue streams in 2018. Its content remains available online.

“The Roots of Masculinity in Ancient Rome” argues that contemporary degeneracy could be cured by the restoration of ancient Roman concepts of masculinity, particularly those that fall under the ancient Latin term virtus.

Types of Hate: Misogyny, Toxic Masculinity
Key Topics: Rome, Virtus

  • “There was no doubt; the Romans believed they were victorious because they were better men than their adversaries. They were certain that it was Virtus which would make or break them as men, as would it determine the success of their civilization. The Romans were correct, it seems, considering large scale moral decadence seemed perfectly to correspond with the downfall.”
  • “If we men want to renew our civilization, void of illogical dogma and abject ignorance, why not begin by adopting the very way of life that ushered our civilization into the once-great civilization it has been in the past? The doctrine of emotion that the mainstream Cultural Marxist society perpetuates today is also the doctrine of weakness.”

PDF text: “The Roots of Masculinity in Ancient Rome”

Readers of Donna Zuckerberg’s work will be familiar with how rapists and other sexual predators have found inspiration in the Roman poet Ovid’s Ars Amatoria“How to Get Over the Girl Who’s Not Right For You, By the World’s First PUA Author” invokes Ovid’s less well-known poem the Remedia Amoris as a source of encouragement and advice for men to “start learning game.”

Types of Hate: Toxic Masculinity, Misogyny
Key Topics: Ovid

  • “Ovid recommends (in a roundabout way) getting some outside action before your hot date with Miss Wrong. …In any event, Ovid wasn’t a big believer in monogamy: ‘I would counsel you also to have two mistresses at a time. If you could have more, it would be still better.’ That one’s going to be controversial. Still, on the plus side, that’s quite a way to achieve abundance mentality.”

PDF text: “How to Get Over the Girl Who’s Not Right For You, By the World’s First PUA Author”

Pharos has documented several articles on Return of Kings and published a response by scholars to “The Roots of Masculinity in Ancient Rome.”


Counter Currents

Counter-Currents, founded in 2010, is the website of the “North American New Right.” Its editor Greg Johnson has a PhD in Philosophy and has recorded many lectures on ancient Greek philosophy. The content of the site is eclectic but one major focus is the promotion of the work of European nationalists whose thought marks the evolution of fascism following World War II. According to their own statistics, more than 320,000 unique people visited Counter-Currents in August, 2020.

“The European Fighting Spirit” is the text of a speech on the relationship of nationalism and manliness given by Counter Currents editor Greg Johnson at a white supremacist conference in Finland in 2018. Johnson explained to attendees that the “rewiring of the soul” by anti-white elites has suppressed the portion of the white male soul that feels pride in racial identity, creating a population too docile to resist its own extermination. According to Johnson, this aspect of the soul corresponds to that which Plato called thumos.

Types of Hate: Toxic Masculinity, White Supremacy, Xenophobia
Key Topics: Plato

  • “How do we reawaken the European fighting spirit? The first step is to understand what has been taken away from us. Plato’s psychology has far more truth and explanatory power than anything offered by Freud or Jung. Once we have recovered the concept of thumos and the language of honor, we will understand that we can be more than clever producer-consumers, natural slaves in the Skinner box economy. We can also be warriors and idealists, people who are willing to fight and die over matters of honor, principle, and patriotism.”
  • “From an aristocratic point of view, bourgeois man is a natural slave. He will suffer any dishonor as long as he can keep his pension and credit rating. He would rather drop dead on the golf course than die on the field of honor. Our current rulers are counting on this. Our ethnic displacement depends upon it.”

PDF text: “The European Fighting Spirit”

Pharos has documented several articles appearing on Counter-Currents.


Chateau Heartiste

Chateau Heartiste was a popular “pickup artist” blog until it was banned from WordPress in 2019. Its style, examples of which have been extensively documented, was characterized by a particularly toxic blend of gender essentialism and racism couched in language intended to be as provocative as possible. Its content remains online at a new location but it is not publishing new material.

“Feminism Responsible for the Fall of Rome” reproduces a thread from Reddit arguing that the supposed declines of both America and ancient Rome can be attributed to the influence of feminism in both cultures.

Types of Hate: Misogyny
Key Topics: Fall of Rome

  • “Based on past history, it appears that a civilization that embraces feminist values will cease to exist in just a few centuries. This is why we have never seen a feminist civilization aside from very short spans at the end of the Roman empire and possibly a few other more ancient civilizations.”

PDF text: “Feminism Responsible for the Fall of Rome”


AltRight.com

AltRight.com is one of several online platforms operated by Richard B. Spencer and funded through the white supremacist National Policy Institute think tank.  Spencer emerged as one of the major thought leaders in American white supremacy in 2016, with a particular interest in ancient history, making Greco-Roman antiquity the basis of white identity and calling for a white ethnostate in North America modeled on the Roman Empire. Although Spencer’s influence has waned amid ongoing legal problems, his sites represent one of the first attempts at achieving mainstream respectability for explicitly white supremacist content. AltRight.com is no longer updated but all its content remains available online.

“The Sexual Revolution Has Left Broken Men and Women In Its Wake” argues that contemporary society has attempted to deny the “profound differences between men and women” that, according to this author, the ancient Greeks understood and respected. Like the selection from the Council of European Canadians, this article employs the concept of “hypergamy” (defined above) which was popularized among misogynists by the work of F. Roger Devlin, a major theorist among contemporary misogynists and a member of the editorial board of a pseudo-academic white supremacist journal that Pharos has documented.

Types of Hate: Misogyny, Transphobia, White Supremacy
Key Topics: Homer, Illiad, Odyssey

  • “More than in just the scientific literature, sexual differences were incorporated into some of the very archetypes of European man’s myths. Take Helen and Penelope from the Illiad and the Odyssey respectively. Both represent extreme ends of European understanding of femininity…Odysseus strives against gods, monsters, and nature itself to return to his hearth fire and homeland. All the while still expressing the masculine urge to explore and wander.”
  • “The egalitarian, androgynous goals of feminists and others are of course a pipe dream. A Tower of Babel waiting to crumble. Throughout the world, we see the death of the “sexual revolution” just around the corner. Egalitarianism has run up against its own contradictions.”

PDF text: “The Sexual Revolution Has Left Broken Men and Women In Its Wake”

Pharos has documented essays appearing on AltRight.com as well as several of Spencer’s other platforms.


American Renaissance

American Renaissance originated as a print magazine in 1990 and moved fully online in 2012. A senior advisor to President Trump promoted its content, which includes racist interpretations of crime data and collected news stories from mainstream sources that supposedly validate its politics: stories about widespread anti-whiteness, about the impossibility of white and Black people coexisting in peace, and about the biological reality of racial categories. It sponsors an annual in-person conference of white supremacists.

“Women and Truth-Telling” argues that most white people should marry and have children in order to ensure “the survival and prosperity of our people.”

Types of Hate: Misogyny, Toxic Masculinity
Key Topics: Gender Roles, Women’s Rights

  • “Ancient Greeks and Romans had household shrines dedicated to their ancestors, at which the paterfamilias held regular rituals and sacrifices. This was a huge boon to paternal authority and familial cohesion, and reinforced the idea that everyone must perpetuate his lineage.”
  • “Man is political, warlike, and competitive; he takes high risks for high rewards. Woman is psychological, social, and conciliatory; she wants a husband who has mental strength, economic resources, and social standing. She craves respectability so that her babies will be safe in a family that is considered an upstanding part of the community. Women nag and go to church (or whatever is the postmodern equivalent). Men are less biologically determined, more unstable, more diverse, more prone to the heights of genius and the lows of anomic solitude. In excess, men tend towards predation, women towards parasitism.”

PDF text: “Women and Truth-Telling”

“Blondes Through the Ages” is a review of a 2003 book on the cultural history of blonde hair, which white supremacists fetishize as the objective pinnacle of human beauty.

Types of Hate: Racism, Xenophobia, Misogyny, White Supremacy
Key Topics: Beauty Standards

  • “The Greek’s longing for blondeness is revealed in Aethiopica, a tale about a royal Ethiopian couple who gave birth to a blonde girl, Charicleia, because they conceived under a painting of the naked blonde goddess Andromeda. This tale represents what may be the near-universal desire of parents to have children with lighter complexions than their own. How many parents, of any race, hope for darker children?”
  • “Although racial correctness prevents her from drawing the conclusions to which all her evidence points, her book makes it clear that in female beauty there is a hierarchy of races, in which Nordics stand at the top.”

PDF text: “Blondes Through the Ages”

Pharos has documented several other articles by the author of “Woman and Truth Telling” that invoke Greco-Roman antiquity in support of white ethnonationalism, as well as an American Renaissance article claiming that the ancient Greeks and Romans were white that appears in our Survey of Appropriations of Athens and Sparta.


A Voice for Men

A Voice for Men is one of the oldest, still-active, misogynist websites in the world. It’s found, Paul Elam, has written “A man hitting you back after you have assaulted him does not make you a victim of domestic violence. It makes you a recipient of justice. Deal with it.” Fundamental to its philosophy is the belief that women in the contemporary world enjoy more rights, receive more respect, and wield more power than men.

“Hera, Ancient Greek Goddess of…Feminism?” argues that ancient mythological stories about Hera reflect an understanding of how feminism harms men and threatens the stability of civilization.

Types of Hate: Misogyny
Key Topics: Hera, Mythology

  • “The comparisons of Hera and Medea with feminism are unmistakable. The male shaming, intimidation, manipulation, and power-seeking are all there – as are the destructiveness and scorched-earth policy accompanying frustrated goals.”

PDF text: “Hera, Ancient Greek Goddess of…Feminism?”

“The Aeneid and the Horrors of a Blue Pill Existence” interprets Vergil’s poem as an allegory for how modern men suffer in a society that requires them, according to the author, to give up their individuality and promote feminist ideals that are beneficial to others but not to themselves. The “Blue Pill” of the title refers to a metaphor favored by online misogynists (taken from the film The Matrix): those who believe in gender equality and feminism are living a “Blue Pill Existence,” and those who reject those ideas, embrace gender essentialism, and believe that feminism is harmful to civilization have “taken the Red Pill.”

Types of Hate: Toxic Masculinity
Key Topics: Aeneid

  • “The core lesson that we red pill men can learn from the Aeneid, brilliantly written as it was by Virgil, is that the subjugation of our will to external moral obligations that society expects us to adopt unquestioningly only contributes to the, ‘modern genocide on the male soul.’”
  • “The killing of Turnus lacks a clear moral justification because Aeneas does not believe that one is necessary when those who have been forcing him to abide by that code evidently do not care at all for his wellbeing. This killing is like the existential implosion of a man who has just realised the shallowness of his own value structure, carried out with a nihilistic and Cain-esque fury reminiscent of men who murder their wives over unjust divorces.”

PDF text: “The Aeneid and the Horrors of a Blue Pill Existence”

Pharos has documented another of AVFM’s articles about the ancient world.

Have an idea of a theme for a survey that would be useful in your teaching? Propose it to us at pharosclassics@vassar.edu. Our catalog of surveys is available here.

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