Men's Rights Activist Lawyer Moves From Suing 'Ladies Nights' To Murder
The primary suspect in the shooting death of federal judge Esther Salas's son — the attack also injured her husband — is believed to be anti-feminist attorney Roy Den Hollander. On Monday Hollander was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Rockland, New York, just hours after Sunday's shooting in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
He had a case pending before Salas. He'd found a mother of a 17-year-old girl who was willing to let him argue that the fact that she wasn't able to register for the draft but that boys were required to was illegal. How this led to his dressing up as a FedEx worker and killing Salas's 20-year-old son Daniel Anderl, leaving her criminal-defense lawyer husband Mark Anderl in critical condition, we may never know. We probably don't want to know.
I know who Roy Den Hollander is. Or was. I wrote articles about him years ago. He used to be semi-internet famous for his ridiculous anti-feminist website (complete with two separate sections for "jokes") and the equally absurd lawsuits he would bring against bars hosting Ladies' Nights and schools for having Women's Studies departments. In the days before MRAs and MGTOWs and Incels were widespread phenomena, complete with message boards and body counts, he was a curiosity. A side-show act.
And now he's a murderer. Allegedly.
Nineteen years ago, Roy Den Hollander's wife divorced him after a year of marriage. They met while he was living in Russia and she came back with him to New York. She was pretty, young, and (according to him) a former prostitute and mistress to a "Chechen warlord"). She left him pretty much as soon as he brought her back to New York and got her a green card. It was this incident that spurred Hollander to dedicate his life to taking down feminism and anything that he felt impeded his goal of getting to sleep with lots of hot young women. Soon after that, Hollander began suing "Ladies Nights" in New York City for discriminating against him as a man, and suing Columbia University for teaching Women's Studies, which he claimed was a religion that taught women that men were bad.
In 2008, The New York Times wrote:
His class-action suit accuses Columbia of using government aid to preach a "religionist belief system called feminism." [...]
In Mr. Den Hollander's suit, he called women's studies "a bastion of bigotry against men" and said its women's studies program "demonizes men and exalts women in order to justify discrimination against men based on collective guilt."
Such academic programs at Columbia and at universities nationwide, he said, are "spreading prejudice and fostering animosity and distrust toward men with the result of the wholesale violation of men's rights due to ignorance, falsehoods and malice."
"Federal financial aid, state funds and other assistance help proselytize feminism at Columbia," in violation of equal protection safeguards of the Fifth and 14th Amendments, claimed Mr. Den Hollander, who said, "Columbia has thrown its influence and prestige into violating the rights of men by offering a women's studies program but no men's studies program."
In 2007, the New Yorker ran a small feature on him. He got a caricature and everything.
In 2011, The Colbert Report even did a segment on his years-long quest to put an end to ladies' nights.
Roy Den Hollander on Colbert Report youtu.be
"If they want equality, let's give them 51 percent of the worst of society — then they'll change their tune and they'll start wondering 'where's the kitchen,'" Hollander said in the interview. Back then, it was the kind of thing people would not believe another person would say out loud and on television. It seemed absurd. Today, it is a familiar refrain on message boards across the internet. We hear that kind of thing and think, "Well, that guy's gonna kill someone."
It was probably always going to end this way with Roy Den Hollander.
There have been a lot of days over the years when I wished that covering misogynists and Men's Rights Activists still meant covering guys like Hollander and his idiotic lawsuits against bars and his stupid, sad website — not, you know, "Another Incel Kills Another 25 People, Because Girls Didn't Like Him." Now the douchebag suing ladies' nights is (allegedly) a murderer, and things have come full circle.
And it's not that I ever really thought that he was harmless, but it did at least seem like there were fewer of him at the time. He seemed like an anomaly.
I can't say that taking him more seriously or not making a joke out of him would have prevented this. I don't know. I don't actually know if taking these men as serious threats is decreasing their numbers or making them less dangerous than they were when they were jokes on blogs and late night television. I feel like I should have those answers at this point, but I don't.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse