Dr. Warren Farrell is considered the “Father of the Men’s Movement”. He started out as a vocal feminist, being one of the only male members of the National Organization for Women, serving on the New York City Board of Directors. He has written ten books, mainly related to men’s and women’s studies. His main focus is focusing on ways in which women’s liberation has failed to recognize men’s disadvantages within patriarchal power structures–that is, that men are as oppressed by male-dominated power structures as women are. Farrell was known for creating audience participation role-reversal experiences to get both sexes “to walk a mile in the other’s moccasins.” The most publicized were his “men’s beauty contest” and “role-reversal date.”
Warren Farrell’s books have been published in 16 different languages and received great praise and great criticism from a variety of sources. He has been called the “sage of the men’s movement” and the “male Gloria Steinem”. Some readers have taken Farrell’s connections of feminist ideas to men’s issues to far, inciting violence, hatred towards women and attempting to destroy the feminist movement. Although Farrell started out as a feminist, I don’t think he would self-identify as one now. His male focused, dare I say, male victim language has caused quite a bit of controversy and has led to some male adopting his ideas in use to justify privileges and support male superiority. However, I think Farrell is an interesting voice in the rhetoric towards groups in this country. He understands that gendered standards are not good for anyone, not matter how they identify. I would love to read some of his materials, just to pick his brain a bit and see how he fits into some masculinities studies work I continue to work on.