Last Saturday we saw women protest "gender inequality" throughout the nation. As ridiculous as they may have looked and behaved, all the carrying-on served a vital purpose: Like a religious ritual, it enabled women to think they are doing something important, something to improve their lives. You see, first feminism simplifies the complexity of women's lives. The problem, we are to believe, is not that women are torn by conflicting values and interests. Rather, women are oppressed by men, who are creeps besides. Then feminism tells women to join together with other women to resist their oppressor.
This creates opportunities for all sorts of emotionally charged affairs, from the cheering of angry slogans to the shaming of famous men (who may or may not deserve it) in magazines and on television. It is fascinating to notice that such phenomena, more and more, serve as substitutes for the inner psychological drama that women used to experience in the form of romantic relationships. Now that men and women no longer know how to make relationships work, women use feminism not only to "explain" their condition; feminism becomes a de facto husband. You are wedded to the doctrine, with all its emotional highs and lows. It's you two against the world—that is, against men. By this means women's passions are powerfully engaged. Their strange world seems to make sense; they understand their misery and what to do about it. They even have a sense of solidarity with other women, which is not found in the workplace, where, alas, women as a whole struggle to keep up with the ablest men.
The point I am trying to make is that feminism needs to be understood from a psychological point of view. We need to understand why feminism makes sense to feminists. It is an ideology, and that means it does not have to be rational. Thus, it does not matter how many times the wage gap myth and the rape culture myth are debunked. Feminism is still highly seductive. For, while understanding the complexity of your situation would entail recognizing the need to make certain difficult trade-offs, that anguished endeavor can be ignored by simply believing all of your woes are due to men. Now, moreover, women can exercise the hysteria that, as the old stereotype about women suggests, is so characteristic of the fair sex. The psychologist Robert Bartholomew has written that
throughout history, groups of people in cohesive social units have suddenly fallen ill or exhibited strange behaviors, from headaches and fainting spells to twitching, shaking and trance states. But whether it's an outbreak of spirit possession at a shoe factory in Malaysia, a collapsing marching band at a school gala in England or a twitching epidemic in a Louisiana high school, the pattern is invariably the same. Most, and often all of those affected, are females. In fact, of the 2,000+ cases in my files which date back to 1566, this pattern holds true over ninety-nine percent of the time.