Over the years, feminism has portrayed itself as a political moment that is working toward the goal of equality between men and women. But this is just its public relations angle. When you study feminist history for the last hundred years, you discover a trend not towards equality but towards inequality: putting down men and idealizing women.
There has always been an aspect of feminism, even in 19th Century Europe, of man-hatred. In 1949, Simone de Beauvoir, a French feminist, wrote about how women are subjected to “domestic slavery,” by men. That phrase has echoed down to the present day, along with many others. Over time, there has been a concerted attempt to depict males and masculinity in a most unsavory way.
At the beginning of the second wave of feminism which began in the 1960s, feminists came up with new names for men. They were said to be sexists, male chauvinists and misogynists. Men were accused of being prejudiced against women, but women, according to these radical feminists, were not prejudiced against men. Feminists also began accusing men of terrorizing women by raping them, battering them and sexually abusing women and children, and they came up with statistics that seemed to prove there was an epidemic of male sex abuse. But when those statistics were checked out by objective sources they were shown to be gross exaggerations.
Next, feminists went a step further and insisted that males were born that way—that is, they were all innately toxic toward women. It was called “toxic masculinity.” These accusations against men were combined with fierce emotional attacks on any man who attempted to defend men or to argue against such charges. Women would attack any man who tried to speak out, in any public forum, with strident, self-righteous anger, telling such a man that he was just a sexist who couldn’t tolerate strong women. No man or woman was allowed to present another side without being severely punished.
From the 1960s until the present feminists have pressed Western governments to pass more than a hundred new laws favoring women and disfavoring men. These included, for example, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2010, which stated that if a man killed a woman and it was determined that he hated women, his punishment would be greater than the punishment administered if a woman killed a man, for her hatred of men would be viewed as justified by male sexism against women.
In the meantime, the feminist movement was changing. In the beginning of the 20th Century most feminists were straight, white women. However, as the years passed, more and more lesbians joined the movement and eventually took over the National Organization of Women. By the turn of the century (2000), NOW was comprised of lesbian, transgender and black women. At this point the target of their anger became exclusively straight white males, and the influence of these women was so great that almost all of Western culture was now following their dictates.
Corporations such as Google required strict allegiance to feminist ideology and employees were asked to do training programs on how to be sensitive to women. Those who spoke out against this requirement, as James Damore did in 2017, were fired. Damore wrote an interoffice memo, calling the culture at Google an “ideological echo chamber“, and stating that while discrimination exists, it is extreme to ascribe all disparities to oppression, and it is authoritarian to try to correct disparities through “reverse discrimination.” His words were considered an abomination by Google. Even though feminism is almost totally prejudiced against men, no one is ever allowed to consider whether feminists or women are sexist. Indeed, over the last 100 years men have been substantially sensitized as to women’s feelings and needs, and in actuality it is women who need to be trained to be more sensitive toward men.
As a psychoanalyst, I am interested in the psychodynamics of feminist politics. Freud wrote volumes about how the unconscious mind influences behavior, but in feminism one cannot find anything about the unconscious except in feminist analyses of white males, who are said to engage in microaggressions against women without being aware of it. Freud wrote that women develop unconscious envy of men, after discovering, as little girls, that males have a body part that they lack. In a paper in 1925, he said, “Now upon this penis envy follows that hostile embitterment displayed by women against men, never entirely absent in the relations between the sexes, the clearest indication of which are to be found in the writings and ambitions of ‘emancipated’ women.”
Lesbians are the most prone to penis envy, due to an unresolved hated of their fathers, which is transferred to all men. One can see signs of this envy in their attempt to downgrade men and blame all the evils of humanity on masculinity. Phyllis Chesler codified this view in her book, Women and Madness (1972). At the bottom of this attempt is a competition with men; feminists want to be “the man,” and they want to alienate all heterosexual men from the competition and take all nubile young women for themselves.
Over the years, feminism has become more radical. It calls itself “liberal” and “progressive,” but in fact it has become fascist. We now live in a dystopian world that some have compared to the society described in the novel 1984, a world where not big brother but bit sister is watching. Basic freedoms, such as freedom of speech, that are essential to a healthy society have now been lost. Just as in all tyrannical societies, scientists are no longer allowed to look for the truth if that truth veers away from the accepted ideology.
Feminists continue to portray women as innocents who need to be protected from men, and unfortunately most people buy into that. This is the theme that has permeated most cultures since the beginning of history and it is deeply ingrained in the human psyche, and it might have been true at one time. However, today nothing could be further from the truth. Today, society needs to be protected from the relentless aggression of feminism.
I, along with many others, have attempted to warn about this problem for years, but to no avail. My most recent book, The Rise of Feminism: A Psychoanalyst Probes the Meaning of a Movement, has sold about 57 copies to date. By now, most everybody has been scared off of reading anything that diverges from the accepted view of feminists as saviors of female virtue and sanctity. They have been scared off of reading Freud, why should they read anything I write?
The terrorism of radical feminism has produced an automatic reflex by almost everybody to avoid taking in any information that goes counter to feminist ideology. Indeed, as they read this article, many readers will likely feel fear or revulsion and will want to ignore it or perhaps even silence the author as someone whose thinking is dangerous.
In reality, feminists are not saviors. Feminism is perhaps the most harmful political movement that has ever plagued American society, and feminists are the most disturbed human beings ever to inhabit it. Most people who are disturbed go into therapy to work through the misconceptions that prevent them from actualizing themselves. Radical feminists—and particularly radical lesbians—have instead projected their inner disturbance and taken it out on society.
Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D., is the author of the recent critique of feminism, The Rise of Feminism: A Psychoanalyst Probes the Meaning of a Movement, available from Amazon.