Many MRAs have produced long theoretical pieces about the causes of feminism, which is basically collective hysteria, folie à plusieurs. But I think in many cases the explanation is simple penis envy. They are envious because men possess something they can never have.
I wonder what Freud would have made of feminism, had he still been around to see it. He would have had his work cut out for him, trying to explain why the movement went from being prudish and eliminationist in the 1970s, to whorish and 'genderqueer' in the 1990s (and then gradually back towards prudish eliminationism in the 2010s).
Many writers in the manosphere have drawn the links between pre-feminist pedestalization, and feminism proper. Chivalry gradually transmogrified into feminism, through a number of social changes that have been discussed at length elsewhere. But no one has thought about where penis envy might fit into this.
Girls who are brought up in chivalrous environments grow up expecting to get everything they ask for - unlike boys, who are (or were, until recently) taught that they were going to have to work to get anything at all. This surely cultivates envy in girls, as they are never taught how to deal with not getting their way. So when they find out the difference between themselves and boys, they realize that boys have something special that they can't ever possess. Not even the all-powerful Daddy can get it for them. They just can't have it - ever.
The jarring dissonance between the expectation of having it all, and then figuring out they can't have something that others possess, sets the course for the rest of their lives. They grow up to become feminists, screaming about 'male privilege' - and in the back of their minds, in a place they no longer allow themselves to go, now just a fractured memory from childhood - is the true meaning of this phrase. That was the day their illusions were shattered and they first felt the sting of penis envy.
No amount of female privileging could ever be enough to meet a penis-envying feminist's psychological needs - at least, not until all men are gelded or eradicated. If she can't have it, neither can he. This is unlikely to happen, though, so feminists are doomed to lives of psychological discomfort, no matter how far society bends over backwards to accommodate their whims.
There are two occasions that I can remember bringing up penis envy to women. One was to an English girl, and one was to a group of French girls. Their reactions could not have been more different.
We met the French girls on the train to a music festival a couple of years back. They bought us a load of food and beer, were good fun to hang out with, and didn't take advantage. I can recall one of my friends turning to me at one point and quietly remarking that this had worked out well; camping with English girls would have been a royal pain in the ass.
On the first day, after setting up camp, we took a trip into town to gather supplies from the cheapest supermarket. We got some food and booze and big, four pint plastic bottles full of milk, which we quickly emptied. Having empty bottles that size meant we wouldn't need to leave our tents to go for a piss. They had to be that size, too. You'd be amazed at how quickly they fill up when you're drinking heavily all weekend.
(On the first night, when I got back to my tent I was smashed out of my head and had the urge to urinate. I whipped out my cock, grabbed the bottle, and went. I couldn't work out why piss was spraying all over my tent in every direction. I stopped, readjusted, and tried again. The same thing happened. As it turned out, I was so appallingly drunk, I had forgotten to take the lid off the bottle. And that's how I managed to soak the the inside of my own tent in piss on the first night.)
The girls, on the other hand, had to walk for about half a mile to get to dirty festival toilets, every time they needed to pee. On one occasion I emerged from my tent with my bottle, half-full of lovely, golden urine, warm in my hands. I went to tip it on the ground a little way beyond our camp. A couple of the French girls were sitting outside and one of them mock-complained about how unfair it is that guys can just go in the bushes or in their tents whereas the girls have to take a hike every time.
I told her, deadpan, that she has penis envy. To my surprise, she agreed, without a hint of defensiveness or anger, and simply reiterated what she had already said about the penis's superior functionality.
The other time was to an English woman who was a feminist. I'll admit that I was trying to wind her up when I said it, but I did say it in a lighthearted way. Even so, she was clearly angered by the implication, and suggested that men have vagina envy and that this is the cause of all wars or some convoluted bollocks like that.
It would have made more sense to have said that men have womb envy - i.e. that men are envious of women's ability to give (or incubate) life. But I don't think that's true either, because men don't display any signs of having womb envy.
Just think of how feminists react when a man is genitally mutilated - like how they responded to the Lorena Bobbitt incident, or more recently, when an entire studio audience of women burst out in peals of laughter at a similar incident. Hatred, indignation, mockery, a sense that 'justice has been done,' and even (in the Lorena Bobbitt case) warnings issued that this is 'only the beginning': these are clearly the signs of deep-seated envy being satiated, plus a hunger for more of the same.
On the other hand, when men find out that a woman is barren, they show none of these signs, but tend to display a quiet sympathy. This is not at all symptomatic of envy, unlike the way feminists respond when a man's penis is mutilated.
I think that the French girl who admitted to having penis envy didn't really have penis envy. Not in the deep-rooted, psychological sense I have been describing - she just wished she didn't have to trek all the way to the festival toilets every few hours. Anyway, she liked men, and was full of joie de vivre, neither of which are recognizable feminist traits.
The English feminist, though, responded with immediate defensiveness, and quickly deflected the accusation by attacking men. It certainly seemed like there was some psychological disturbance there. I conclude that penis envy is the reason why many women become feminists.