Donovan recently announced that the book has sold over 13,000 copies, which counts as significant success for such a counter-cultural work. The typical professionally represented book in a mainstream category counts as a success these days if it sells around 20,000 copies or more.
What’s curious about it is that while this book has made a major impact on the manosphere, just about none of the people criticizing that community has bothered to actually pick up, read, review, and refute the book, which is an unapologetic look at the biological and cultural differences between men and women not just in the modern world, but in the historic context.
Donovan also takes on men’s rights activists and others who try to oppose feminism from an egalitarian perspective:
When pressed to answer this question, feminists and men’s rights activists never seem to be able to come up with anything but promises of increased financial and physical security and the freedom to show weakness and fear. Masses of men never rushed to the streets demanding the freedom to show weakness and fear, and they never braved gunfire or battle axes for the right to cry in public. Countless men, however, have died for the ideas of freedom and self-determination, for the survival and honor of their own tribes, for the right to form their own gangs.
Feminists, elite bureaucrats, and wealthy men all have something to gain for themselves by pitching widespread male passivity. The way of the gang disrupts stable systems, threatens the business interests (and social status ) of the wealthy, and creates danger and uncertainty for women. If men can’t figure out what kind of future they want, there are plenty of people who are ready to determine what kind of future they’ll get.
The author refuses to pander to people who take a victim pose as it relates to feminism:
The anger that drives the Men’s Rights Movement comes from a sense that women aren’t playing fairly, that they are cheating, that when given the chance they will use the rhetoric of equality to skew things in their own favor. The men are right about that. Women are re-designing the world in their own image. It is naïve for men to expect otherwise.
Yes, people don’t always fight fair. Just because you expose that they’re not fighting fair does not mean that they will stop doing it, especially if it works well.
If you’ve skipped buying this book, you should flip through the first section of it, and see if you can stop reading.
What makes this a dangerous book, as books go, is that it talks directly to men about the other option, without rolling around in bathos about what a rotten lot men have these days. Showing off your wounds and talking about how much it hurts only works if it’s in a sympathetic social context. In today’s social context, a display of weakness can get you a lot of Facebook likes and Tumblr reblogs, but it will not actually change your fundamental situation for the better, because a society of vain preening types is not going to care about you beyond what you can do for them.
My other guess as to why liberal publications have not been quick to jump on it is that they rarely cover books anymore, because they mostly focus on being a guide to television watching. Because it doesn’t map well to any TV shows that most Americans are watching, most American periodical readers would have no interest in what some author has to say about manhood.
Nonetheless, this book will probably continue being passed from man to man, and the more people that even take into account what it has to say will be changed. This book would not have been terribly shocking in 1910 or even 1930, but it’s beyond the pale now, which is part of what makes it such an enjoyable pamphlet.