Women and Men – Power and Fear

Having observed, researched and pondered the interactions between men and women across different times and different societies, I’m glad I’m not a woman but I am ashamed of being a man – more specifically, ashamed of how men, in general, treat women.

Why does one half the species, often demean, abuse or even kill the other half? My theory:

Especially in these modern times, men need women more than women need men [emotionally]. Women provide a structure within which men can thrive and reinforce their status. Yes, men and women need each but not equally. This imbalance [perceived or not] is not something men are comfortable accepting. They fear women because women have what men desperately want [sex, support, even to some extent, the basis for a man’s identity]. This gives women power that threatens men. So they erect an infrastructure characterized by persistent, sustained subjugation or marginalization of women. In short, those whose power is illegitimate always fear those they dominate.

To that end: In some societies men tell women what to wear or not to wear – so that men do not have to exercise control over their own libido. In other countries they blame women for being assaulted because they wore one thing rather than another. There are societies where women are considered unclean even untouchable when they are menstruating; in other communities, they are considered chattel to be bought and sold like meat. In general men often judge women by their looks so much so that women even compete against each other in ways most petty, for the fleeting attention of men. In turn women often demean themselves because men cut off their access to opportunity or other resources.  Additionally, a promiscuous man is often lauded; a promiscuous woman, scorned. Men will also pay women less but expect them to do as much as a man. Men are more likely than women to abuse the other – kick, batter, choke or otherwise do what savages do – to maintain power. Thus, if a woman exercises her power, her right, she is often attacked or assailed so as to be put back in her designated place – below that of the man – so that the patriarchal system remains in tact.

Worse and tragically, if a man leaves, a woman may cry; if she dares to leave, she all too often, will die.

Men have developed a system in society that facilitates their longing for and almost genetic need for power because no matter how lowly the man’s stature, he can at least exercise power over another. Power over someone he fears and is angry that he needs her in ways that are fundamental to his well-being or his sense of self. Whether he is a corporate mogul, an important politician, a janitor or garbage collector, he can at least step on someone else and feel powerful. That someone else? Womankind.

I agree I have made generalizations [thus, there are exceptions] but they are more true than not. Women have a power that men fear and that fear is a driving force in how they ultimately view and treat women. I’m glad I’m a man but I am not proud of it. This is not to say that women are saints and morally superior. After all, they are human and as such they are the moral equivalent of men except that, for the most part, they are dominated by men. I can only hope that I have distanced myself sufficiently from the majority of my half of the species in how I respond to the power of women.

Published in: on January 9, 2016 at 11:52 PM  Leave a Comment  
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The Nature of Power [an excerpt from the book, “Why They Think I’m Crazy”]

Abraham Lincoln once stated, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” The philosopher, Jean Satre believed that more than self-preservation, humans want to project or exercise power [as in, “the Will to Power] and when that power is frustrated, then the words of R.G.H. Siu are most revealing: “Cruelty is only a tantrum of frustrated power.”

Power can intoxicate, blind, seduce and mislead; it is the stuff of horrors and tragedies. Of all the good power can do, it can do even more harm and is most dangerous in the hands of those who are tubby of spirit and mind — those whose perceptions of themselves exceed the reality of themselves.

Note the clerk behind the counter. Even though he may be a low-wage earner, he has the power to obstruct or facilitate the needs of those who seek his services. He can serve or he can rule. He can delay, lose, destroy or expedite. He can do so without technically violating company policy or if he does, he can do so with near impunity. And his boss, the CEO can do the same — and more.

Power is best exercised by those who would sip it from the glass and who drink it as part of the meal. Power is exercised at worst by those would gulp it from the goblet as the entire meal itself. For some, power strokes the ego. For others it masturbates the ego but for a few who are truly worthy, it subdues the ego. In short, the fool who exercises power grabs the sword by the blade. The not-so-foolish who exercises power grabs the sword by the handle, but the truly wise who exercise power first grabs the sheath for she knows power, like the sword, need not always be drawn.

Published in: on March 18, 2012 at 8:13 PM  Leave a Comment  
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