When asked to comment on perceptions of the feminist movement as “an open, violent fight against men,”
” One cannot understand the psychology of women, and for that matter the psychology of men, and one cannot undrstand the element of sadism, of hostility and destructiveness in men and women if one does not consider that there has been a war between the sexes going on in the last six thousand years. This war is a guerrila war. Women have been defeated by patriarchalism six thousand years ago and society has been built upon the domination of men. Women were possessions and had to be grateful for every new concession that men made to them. But there is no domination of one part of mankind over another, of a social class, of a nation or of a sex over another, unless there is underneath rebellion, fury, hate and wish for revenge in those who are oppressed and exploited and fear and insecurity in those who do the exploiting and repressing
“Women have been so thoroughly oppressed that they have accepted unconsciously the role that the ruling sex, man, gave to them.
They have even believed in male propaganda, which is very much the same as the propaganda in other wars, wars against colonial people, etc. Women have been considered to be naive:
Freud said that they were narcissistic, unrealistic, cowardly, inferior to man anatomically, intellectually, morally.
The fact is that women are less narcissistic than men, for the simple reason that there is almost nothing that man does which has not some purpose of making an impression.
Women do many, many things without this motive and in fact what you might call women’s vanity is only the necessity to please the victors.
As far as the lack of realism in women is concerned, what should we say about male realism in an epoch in which all western governments, consisting of men, are spending their money building atomic bombs, instead of taking care of threatening famine, instead of avoiding the catastrophes which threaten the whole world…”
― Erich Fromm , interview from 1975