Book Review: The Empress is Naked

How easily dismantled are feminism’s pillars of faith. Very frequently, all that is required to shake them to bits is a smidgen of critical thought or a glance at some facts. Regardless, you shouldn’t expect flimsy nuisances like reality or logic to lessen that zombie ideology’s death-grip upon so many people’s minds. One possible weapon for a would-be zombie-killer is The Empress is Naked by Adam Leonas. It is a dense, solid, meaty book with information compressed into it like sardines packed in a can.

The author’s argument is almost entirely sex-centric, spotlighting the sociological implications of human biology as they apply to women and men. For Leonas, sex is the lens with which to uncover human behavior and the structure of human society, going so far as to posit that stratified human social organization has chiefly been elite men monopolizing as many women as possible and employing various means to beat-back lesser men. The book bills itself as a "framework to understand the situation between the two sexes" and takes a few of its cues from Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power but without being derivative. It contains a number of similar arguments and observations. In fact, this is not an adequate comparison because but The Empress is Naked is updated from the ‘80s and early ‘90s, is far more extensive and makes the former seminal work appear naïve.

Understanding human behavior, especially the different behavior of the sexes, needs to be firmly anchored in biology. This is where much of the book dwells, dropping quotes and stats to leaven its points. The division of labor within the human species casts women as the humans who trade sex for resources while men are the ones who create those resources (more coarsely, "sex for meat," as is the case among chimpanzees). Indeed, a great deal of human phenomena would not be understandable if it were not viewed in this light.

One especially dishonest and endlessly-harped feminist complaint is repeatedly taken to task: the so-called "double-standard" that men with numerous sexual partners are praised more than are females with numerous sexual partners. This dishonestly of this complaint needs to erase a number of crucial pertinent facts (not only the risk of pregnancy and creating a reputation for a woman’s future infidelity), the most glaring of which is the inescapable truth that being a "stud" requires good looks, a mastery of seduction skills and wealth: all things that take significant time and effort to acquire and cultivate. By a similar token, a professional mountain-climber gets lavished with more accolades than would a talentless schmuck who was born on a mountaintop. Deservedly so.

The book does have its problems. A number of Leonas’ quotes come from the writings of Pick-Up Artists, which are a load of hot air for those of us who have concluded that the Game is wasteful, soul-destroying and pointless. The supposed long-term payoff of a romantic relationship (marriage and children) are not merely superfluous for men, which is a top complaint of conservative women. The aim of marriage and children have become a supremely bad deal, a perilous gamble of shooting dice with the devil. Prostitutes, the author concludes, are a safer and more honest solution if a man wishes his sexual needs to be met; a group of close male friends can fulfill the need for social and emotional connection. This reviewer fears that he might not be wrong.

So what’s the way forward? We are apparently stuck in a bleak rut in which women are allowed to play their hypocritical sexual games with impunity while men are required to stoically endure endless indignation and are goaded to eschew personal fulfillment to be locked into an ephemeral "relationship" which turns them into serfs. How to get out of this system in which a woman’s needs come up-front, while a man’s needs are to be punished if they are not sacrificed? Evolutionary influences can be overcome, but pushing-back takes some real effort and there is nothing in modern society which could get a woman to do very much pushing at all.

The book tries to educate and entertain, but it comes down more squarely on the former than on the latter. In making its arguments, perhaps by necessity, it is ponderously data-laden, quote-heavy and perhaps even pedantic at times. This is an important feature for building a fact-based analysis but for someone who already knows most of the facts, it could turn the book into something of a snooze-fest here and there. Nonetheless, The Empress is Naked can form a solid, sturdy high-level view for someone who is new to men’s issues or, at the very least, it can provide a handy list of research for future reference.

If you're interested in a copy of "The Empress is Naked", you can find it here.


"Bud, if my father scared away the easiest girl in my town, I never would have got married, had you kids and I would be upstairs now watching TV in my underwear like god intended." -- Al Bundy, Married With Children

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