Anonymous Leadership

An anonymous commenter at Dalrock telling it like it is.

I often write about marriage and the threats to it (e.g. feminism and divorce). I follow authors who write about these topics often. Many aggressively espouse patriarchal views of marital leadership. Recently the anonymous Deep Strength suggested that “your future wife should be happy to take your name”, arguing that a woman should take her husband’s name based on scripture:

The reason we take on the name of “Christian” is because we are followers of Christ and adhere to His teachings. Likewise, as Christ is the head of man (1 Cor 11) and Christ is the head of the Church (Eph 5), the husband is also the head of the wife (Eph 5) and the wife is a helper to her husband (Gen 2). There is a clear parallel of headship/authority where the one under authority also assumes the identity of the one that is leading….So yes, a wife should take her husband’s last name for Scriptural reasons.

Names are important. They are quite literally how we identify ourselves and others. Many cultures throughout history placed importance on the meanings of names. When we were in China to adopt one of our children, we were asked by a native person what our son’s (American) name meant. We said that it didn’t mean anything, and they were shocked by the concept of names having no meaning. The ancient Hebrew peoples felt the same way.

But is a name a symbol of authority and leadership? Is it an affront to husbands for a wife to refuse to take her husband’s name? According to the traditional Christian understanding[1] it is. With the importance of names and leadership, why are so many manosphere leaders, who hold patriarchal views, anonymous? By shedding their name, they shed their leadership.

In the span of a week, four authors I follow all weighed in, anonymously, on the topic of the hot-button issue of homosexuality: Dalrock, Sigma Frame, Wintery Knight, and Boxer. Besides these authors, many persons anonymously contributed comments. I weighed in as well, but not anonymously.

Masculinity can be abstracted into four primary categories: strength, courage, mastery, and honor. At worst, anonymity is a tool for the weak, the cowardly, the ignorant, and the dishonorable. Most of us have witnessed how anonymity is harnessed to protect idiots who are all these things. At best, anonymity is not directly opposed to masculinity.

Anonymity provides meaningful protection. It protects against the ideological persecution and deplatforming, such as that at Twitter, Facebook, Google, Patreon, WordPress, and others. It helps prevent real life harassment, like that experienced by Tucker Carlson’s family. It protects against government suppression.

This is going to rub many people the wrong way, but anonymity is cowardly. People are anonymous because they fear something, legitimately or not. Of course this has been suggested many times. I’m not the first, nor will I be the last. Indeed, I’m sympathetic to those who wish to protect themselves and their family.[2] It is their patriarchal right to do so. But the anonymous are not leaders leading through exemplary leadership.[3] They are not putting their own neck on the line when they take controversial stances. It is the easy way out.

So it is ironic that an anonymous man[4] states the importance of a woman taking a man’s name and does not stand up for his own name. It is ironic that manosphere is full of anonymous patriarchal men who are afraid to stand up and be themselves. They’ll (correctly) call out other men time and again, but hide behind a pseudonym.

Is your name a symbol of your authority and leadership? You tell me.

[1] It is also traditional for a woman to keep her maiden name, the name of her father, either by replacing her middle name, adding a fourth name, or hyphenating her last name.

[2] Anonymity may be very well be rational. This is not mutually exclusive with cowardly.

[3] Not being anonymous doesn’t make one a leader, special, or masculine. But it doesn’t disqualify you. Plus it has added benefits. People can ridicule me for my lack of qualifications in this or that, for my short stature, or for nothing at all. Or they can offer to debate me in real life. Or I could eat a meal with them.

[4] Wouldn’t it be hilarious if it was a woman spoofing a man? No? Why not?


  1. Pingback: Anonymity and Authorship

  2. Pingback: Censorship in the manosphere

  3. Pingback: Anonymity and the authority of God

  4. Pingback: Should bloggers dox their own identity? | Σ Frame

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