Thursday, September 1, 2011

“League of Woman Victims of Men,” France - 1922


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 4): Nice. April 8. – Convinced that woman’s place is fighting man. Some bellicose women have founded an anti-man society, the League of Woman Victims of Men [translation, perhaps, of “Societé des Victimes Féminines des Hommes”], which is gaining recruits along the Riviera to carry on the struggle.

The leaders are convinced that half the members of their sex have grievances against some man. The first meeting of the league was held here recently to discuss the scope of the organization’s activities.

First qualifications for membership is that the candidate prove she has suffered from “some perfidious male.” It is understood members so far are mostly jilted fiancees, secretaries and typists who have lost their jobs because of their employers’ favoritism, and women whose business affairs have been mismanaged by a man.

[“Women’s League Against Tyrant Man Is Formed - French Victims of Male Perfidy Band Together to Battle Their Oppressors.” Syndicated, The Burlington Hawk-Eye (Io.), Apr. 9, 1922, p. 1]

***


Note: The following description of the Nice, France organization, "League of Women Victims of Men,” gives a much more militant image than other reports. It is clear that it is London-based Marie Petti, an “ultra-feminist,” whose influence stands behind the ambitious and decidedly misandric agenda out lined here.

FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 4): A feminine anti-man society has been formed at Nice (France). Its motto is "Down With Man." This association has as its object the exclusion of men from all positions which can be filled by women. The anti-man movement among women, of which branches exist in London, has broken out on the Riviera. The initial meeting is reported of the "League of Women Victims of Men.”

The proceedings of the new body were held in secret, but it is stated that the conditions of membership are that candidates must satisfy the committee that they have definitely suffered in their own interests through the direct fault of men. Jilted fiancees, women who have been displaced from business posts on the real or fancied ground of sex jealousy, spinsters who have lost their incomes owing to the maladministration or fraud of men trustees, or solicitors, are all among the foundation members.

The purpose of the league is to encourage the final transfer of effective authority in the world to women, to combat male influence wherever it can be opposed, and to attempt to break down the convention which causes girl-children to be taught to aspire to the degrading servitude of marriage with a male whom they are encouraged to reverence as a superior entity.

[“Down With Man.” New Zealand Truth (Wellington, New Zealand), Jul. 1, 1922, p. 8]

***

FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 4): Paris. July 20. – the League of Women Victims of Men, organized at Nice in January, has been dissolved.

Requisites for membership included a violent hatred of men, gained through sufficient reasons. The founder of the club was Countess de Wrangel, who declared she had been jilted by five different men. Another member, Madalaine Ellancourt, was an artist who said dealers refused to buy her paintings because she was ugly.

Secret meetings were held at which vows of the most binding character were uttered. A solemn rule was that no member should ever be polite to a man, let alone be subservient to him.

Two marriages were recently celebrated in the South of France. One, at Nice, was that of Baroness de Wrangel to Count Felipe de Miraille. The other took place at Toulon, and the bridegroom of Madelaine Ellancourt was a French naval officer.

Two other engagements have since been announced.

[“’Victims of Men’ Dissolves League – Women Who Hated Man Were Soon Engaged to Be Married,” The Morning Leader (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), Jul. 21, 1922, p. 15]

(Note: the word “subversive” in the original, presumed to be an error, has been changed to “subservient). 

***



FULL TEXT (Article 4 of 4): They were twenty saucy rebels with a grudge against all males, and they started “The League of Women Victims Of Men,” dedicated to the proposition that sex shouldn’t count in art or business; that women are “individuals” rather than “dowds” or “stunners;” that they should be treated as such, not approved for a pretty ankle or ignored because of a pimply nose! There was Mlle. Zerlina Balten, who said the public wouldn’t take her music seriously because she was so good-looking. And there was Mlle. Madeleine Ellancourt, who said the dealers wouldn’t buy buy paintings because she was so ugly. And there was Countess Hedwig de Wrangel, who said all her suitors adored her face and closed their ears to her brainy conversation.

There were seventeen others, all with the same fury, and they got together a few weeks ago, in the tearoom at the Casino at Nice, and they formed their “Victims’ League,” and they utterly condemned women who “vamp” their way in the world, and, my! how they did lambaste the men for allowing the “vamps” to influence them! “It’s shame – that’s – what it is!” declared black-eyed Mlle. Balten. “I am a violinist and I want to succeed on my merits as a violinist. But what happen? My applause, when I wear knee-length skirts, is twice as generous as when I wear ankle-length skirts. I don’t want a Beethoven concerto cheered because I have nice limbs. But my managers insist on daring gowns.”


“It’s the same story here, only I’m ugly,” frankly admitted Mlle Ellancourt. “I might be another Velasquez, and still the dealers would look at my face and shrug, while some little snip with baby-doll eyes and a ‘coo’ in her voice would get an atrocity into the Salon. I call it wrong!”

“Sex has a place in the world, but it shouldn’t enter into a career,” chimed in Carmen Cartelrferi, the actress. “We are all willing to love and be loved, to become wives and mothers. But I don’t want to make a living on the strength of the fact that men like my shoulders. I want to be an actress first and a beauty second.”

‘It goes farther than that,” said Countess de Wrangel. “Five men proposed to me because they fell in love with my eyes or my hair or my complexion. They didn’t know the first thing about my mind. I shall never marry, because I refuse to be wanted for my physical self alone. And that’s about the only reason men many women these days!”

“We should all make that resolve,” seconded Mlle. Ellancourt. “What’s more, we ought to make a vow right now never, never to use the appeal of our sex to advance our artistic or business ambitions. It is just as unfair to Mlle. Balten, who is beautiful, as it is to me, who am ugly. We are victims of men, but it’s time the victims turned!”

Amid fervid enthusiasm Mlle. Eliancourt’s suggestion was adopted. “The League of Women Victims of Men” was formally organized, with a president and vice-president, constitution, by-laws and everything. Its members pledged themselves, in tea, “never, never to use the appeal of sex to advance their business or artistic ambitions.”


Mere dislike of men, it was decreed, was not a qualification for membership. The league had no quarrel with men as fiends or sweethearts; it planned no campaign against romance. But it set out to eliminate the sex equation in the business affairs of life – no more actresses started because they “vamped” the producers; no more pretty stenographers promoted above merely efficient stenographers; no more employment of feminine wiles to influence masculine susceptibility.

And then, just the other day, the news was rushed to Paris of the marriage in the south of France of Count Felipe the Miraille to – no less a lady than Countess de Wrangel. And simultaneously from Toulon came announcement of the wedding of a French naval officer and – Mlle. Madeleine Ellancourt.

“Why, we thought they were never, never going to be married!” gasped startled Parisians. “What became of the League of Women Victims of Men?”

Inquiry revealed that the league was dissolved, smashed, blown up, disbanded, flopped.
Why?

Let the answer be whispered softly. The ladies just couldn’t keep from “vamping!” The League of Victims became a victim of the very thing it set out to crush. Here is the story, as it is gossiped along the boulevards:

The members tripped out of the Nice Casino, chattering enthusiastically about the new club. They were resolved to make it a glorious success. Unfortunately, each member conceived it her duty to watch the other members. There was a pronounced tendency to keep their eyes on one another rather than on themselves.

Before long there was gossip. And in the train of gossip came dissension.

“My dear, did you see that woman at the dance last night? She was with that Italian millionaire who owns so many theatres. I was in the group when she was introduced, and  – do you know? – she fairly seized him! The way she was hanging on his arm last night – of course, I don’t accuse her of absolutely trying to ‘work’ him. She may be sincerely attracted to the man, though, how on earth – well, it seems to me if the league is going to do anything at all serious she should be made an example of.”

The subject of this tid-bit was one of the leaders of the new movement. And when she let it be known that the Italian producer had promised to star her, her fellow members held an indignation meeting.


The meeting, called to consider one complaint, quickly developed into a free-for-all.

Somebody was acid enough to inquire when Zerlina Balten was going to deliver an ultimatum to her manager in regard to those “daring gowns” she was “forced” to wear. There had been a concert at the Casino, it appeared, and Mlle. Zerlina was one of the artists.

It was noticed, remarked the speaker, that the applause was indeed “generous,” but she, for one, would like to know what was being applauded – the Beethoven concerto or, so to speak, the ankles?

Loungers in the Casino veranda whisper that at this stage of the proceedings Mlle. Zerlina made her exit. Her eyes were snapping and she is said to have slammed the door with a bang. At her next public appearance she defiantly wore her skirt even shorter.

The “indignation meeting” was just that, say ex-members of the league, with most of the indignation directed at those who were right there. Mlle. Zerlina was not the only one who rushed out of the room in a rage. When adjournment was finally taken the twenty charter members had been reduced to less than a dozen, and even among these the seeds of suspicion had begun exuberant growth.”

The marriages of Mlle. Ellancourt and the Countess de Wrangel knocked the last props out from the organization. Since they renounced their pledges in favor of matrimony five other engagements of former league members have been made known.

Countess de Wrangel, the new Countess de Miraille, is well known in the United States. Her marriage to Ernest Carlrustor de Wrangel in 1901 was internationally celebrated, as he was a famous sportsman and soldier and had served with the British in the Boer War and with American volunteers in the Spanish-American war.

The Countess herself was on the stage in New York some years ago. She played at the Irving Place Theatre, where her blond beauty won her the name of the “Teuton Juno.” When she returned to her estate in the Black Forest, shortly before the world war, she disappeared from the public eye until she again sprang into prominence as the leader of the “Victims of Men” club.

Now that the Countess has another husband people are mean enough to wonder whether he married her for her “beauty or her brains.” Now that Mllle. Ellancourt has become the wife of the naval officer, they are waiting to see whether she will be just as ambitious to get her paintings into the Salon or whether she will still consider herself a “victim.”

As for the other “victims,” the observant say that Mlle. Zerlina Balten is affecting more daring costumes than ever; that Carmen Cartellierl’s shoulders are far from concealed in her latest production; that not a single one of the “victims,” in fact, has discarded roguish smiles or dazzling glances in the masculine presence, be it a business appointment or what not.

[“Why ‘Victims of Men’ Blew Up - Spectacular Rise and Fall of the League to Abolish Vamping in Art and Business, and Its Sudden Explosion When the Disillusioned Lady Members Refused to Obey Their Own Runes,” syndicated (International Serials, Inc.), Jul. 2, 1922, p. ? (Chronicling America image “44”); widely published in numerous newspapers]


***



For more cases of misandric fixation see: What Is Misandric Fixation?

***

1 comment:

  1. Third-wave feminism is often associated with the emergence of, so-called, "lipstick" or "girly" feminisms and the rise of "raunch culture". This is because these new feminisms advocated for “expressions of femininity and female sexuality as a challenge to objectification.” Accordingly, this included the dismissal of any restriction, whether deemed patriarchal or feminist, to define or control how women or girls can dress, act, or generally express themselves. [Wikipedia]

    ReplyDelete