Modern Religion

About a year ago I was looking for a specific book about Daoism in a larger bookstore in Graz. Browsing the “Religion” sections I came across “Christianity”, “Buddhism”, “Feminism”, “Islam”…

Laughing out loud I at first only enjoyed the idea. But in the following months I came to wonder if those bookstore employees weren’t a lot wiser* than I was. What was it that struck me as funny? We laugh at absurd juxtapositions but we also laugh when we realize a truth after an unexpected realization. Which one was this?

*They did also put Daoism under Philosophy, as it should be.

Feminism has a lot of attributes of religion. It is belief in incongruous, mostly unprovable ideas, it unites people to a group and thus divides the world into Us and Them, one of the main reasons seems to be to make believers feel good and wield political power to gain privileges for its believers.

I believe I will have to look into this idea over time. To start with, I just stumbled over a feminist anthology in which the author says:

But the more I thought about it, the more I put my actual, lived and activist feminism down to a period in my life of depression; and the decision I took to stop it, to move forward and to be happy. And I think a big part of this for me was in learning about and discovering sisterhood.

In the anthology that inspired this book, Click, one of the writers says that feminism was her consolation prize for surviving an eating disorder. I feel the same way, except that my form of self destructive behaviour wasn’t around food, but self harm.

I recognize those feelings from a girl (yes, she was young) I met twenty years ago on a bus trip. She had been lonely and confused and unhappy (we didn’t go too far into her mental history, but she said that much), but now was happy and no longer alone. And this change came about by her entering a christian sect. She invited me to one of their sermons. Being permanently curious, I went.

It was an exercise just short of brainwashing: We love each other, We are the Good People, stay with Us and you will never be alone, reject the hostile world, commit to Us and you’ll stay happy.

I’ll have to keep an open eye if there are any studies into these dynamics and to what extent feminists might as well belong to any old sect, speaking from their psychological needs.

You can find a very good report on the sect-like “You are with Us or against Us” mentality of feminists here.

Whatever you do, stay mindful of the dark side.

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