Published this week at American Greatness.
I try not to watch videos that extremely socially maladjusted people have recorded of themselves crying in their cars. They seem to go viral too often. And too often, the subjects are women: women who earnestly believe that abortion is fundamental to female flourishing. Women whose nature has been thwarted, disassembled, and denied by a political environment that opposes family formation in every imaginable way. Women whose consumption of spiritually subversive content on the internet is so out of control that they think public demonstrations of extreme emotional incontinence count as a legitimate form of discourse.
A person could spend all day on the internet, entertaining himself with the spectacle of widespread mental illness and antisocial ugliness, especially among woke women. One would never want for material. But delighting in their misery is neither charitable nor productive.
However detestable, these women are deeply pitiable. Their vitriol says far more than they imagine; they are hurting.
A series of viral videos is not the only indication that women are not OK. Statistical analysis indicates ever-increasing mass singleness, loneliness, mental illness, prescription drug abuse, alcoholism, obesity, and chosen infertility among American females.
A healthy regime, seeing widespread insanity among its women, would wonder . . . why? If the regime could not answer why, it might attempt to answer so what? Or propose a way to respond, at least. Ours does none of that. The American regime refuses to recognize female suffering as such, in part because it refuses to politically distinguish between men and women. Our stubborn refusal renders us incapable both of identifying and addressing the problem.
Instead we labor under the liberal delusion that human beings are merely “individuals”: irreducible atomic units, indistinguishable from (and equal to) one another in the drive to survive on an individual basis. To regard a human person as an individual is to make people into abstractions, whose choices can only be legitimately analyzed and understood in a material or economic sense. Everything in America reduces along these lines. Sex, culture, friendship, religion, political affiliation, “gender identity”: all of these become matters of notional value and arbitrary choice in the liberal landscape.
When human relations degenerate to contractual, transactional, and infinitely fungible ties, serving no higher purpose other than immediate utility or preference, women suffer uniquely. Not, I stress, more or less than men, but uniquely. In “The Ethos of Women’s Professions,” Edith Stein wrote, “abstraction in every sense is alien to the feminine nature. The living and personal to which her care extends is a concrete whole and is protected and encouraged as a totality; this does not mean that one part is sacrificed to another, not the mind to the body or one spiritual faculty at the expense of others.”
How can a creature, oriented mind, body, and soul toward the creative vocation of motherhood, survive in a world that regards all of her natural tendencies as superfluous, strips them of their holistic value, and subjugates them to the demands of the market?
The damage of woman-as-bloodless-abstraction is clear in the “sexual marketplace” as well as the workplace. Women’s immediate utility in the former is as an elaborate masturbation machine for men. In order to play along with the dominant dating scene of the day, women must neatly separate their emotional lives from their physical being. In the workplace, this principle of immediate utility requires a woman to suppress her biological imperatives indefinitely. Again, she must divide her creative life from her natural desires. In both examples, she may be disposed of at any point. This constant fracturing of her identity, compounded by the persistent threat of abandonment and impermanence, is especially psychologically traumatic for women.
Is it any wonder women have gone completely insane?
Ironically, the Terminally Online girls crying about Ruth Bader Ginsberg on Twitter owe much of their predicament to her for helping to instantiate this radically distorted view of the human person into law. Women have been working against nature ever since, and we aren’t any better for our effort. We aren’t even richer for it. Our labor is as cheap as our dignity. Millions of failed relationships and dead babies later, too many of us wish we’d never been born.