There is an illness that it affecting some people in our community. It's an insidious illness... often there are no warning signs until the initial outbreak. Once an outbreak occurs, however, it leads to violence, vandalism and destruction. It seems to strike most often in the Chareidi communities of Israel, although, I suppose, it is possible for it to strike elsewhere as well. The illness is called Female Derangement Syndrome. Despite it's name, just about all those afflicted with the illness are males.
The most recent outbreak of this disease occurred in Emmanuel, in Israel. A fellow who operates a Go Kart ride decided to allow some teenage girls to take a ride on the Go Karts. This, apparently, did not sit well with Rabbi Yehoida Gadasi, a local Emmanuel rabbi. When he heard that girls were on the Go Karts he proceeded to march on to the tracks, yell at the girls, force them from the Go Karts, yell at the operator, curse him, pick up the Go Karts, smash them against the floor and damage them. He accused the owner of "opening a brothel" by letting the girls ride the Go Karts.
If something like this were an isolated incident, we could dismiss it as the work of a "lone nut." But, unfortunately, this seems to be part of a larger trend. Far too many reports are coming in of cases where violence against women or their activities. We've all heard of the reports so far... whether it's a woman getting beaten up for riding in the wrong section of a Mehadrin bus or throwing acid in a girl's face or cursing, spitting on a woman and throwing cinder blocks at her (!) for not dressing in a tznius fashion, or throwing chairs at women at the Kotel,or any of the other acts of violence that have been committed against women in the name of "modesty." Clearly the people who commit these acts must be sick. They clearly suffer from Female Derangement Syndrome... a sickness whereby one is led to irrational violence by the otherwise lawful actions of women.
You might ask how I know that these men are sick? Perhaps they're just control freaks out to control everything women do and they use violence towards that end? I suppose that's a possibility, but I can't help but think that some of these people are just plain mentally ill. Someone who equates allowing girls to ride a Go Kart to opening a brothel is just not playing with a full deck, in my (non-professional) humble opinion. If Rabbi Gadasi really believes that a girl riding a Go Kart is the equivalent of a whore, then he's clearly not rational. If someone thinks that a woman deserves to be beaten up for sitting in the wrong seat on a bus, then he is (again, in my non-professional humble opinion) incapable of dealing with the real world and the standards that most normal human beings (and the Torah, too, for that matter) apply to social interactions. To me, that's a sign of illness.
Now, I don't mean to excuse these men because they have a "sickness." One can be sick and still be considered responsible for criminal acts they commit because of the sickness -- and men who suffer from Female Derangement Syndrome should be no different. But ultimately, the onus is on the community to deal with these individuals, to treat them if possible or put them in a position where they can cause no further harm. Sadly, however, the community usually just turns a blind eye to the monsters in their midst. The community must do more to rein in these lunatics.
(UPDATE: One of my commentators informs me that Rabbi Gadasi is Sephardi and not Chareidi. This leads me to a question -- is being a Chareidi exclusively an Ashkenazi phenomenon?)