To better understand “power” between the sexes, it helps to reflect on three guiding principles:
- Power is not taken; it is given. “Above all, power is given to us by other people.” –The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence, 2016, by Dacher Keltner
- No one does anything without a pay-off, real or perceived, immediate or delayed.
- No one can control you without your permission.
Consider an example which illustrates these principles and gets right to the crux of “gender power”:
A stay-at-home wife is meeting with her feminist group, which may teach not responsibility and accountability but female victimology. She complains that her husband controls her. Heads bob up and down vigorously in agreement.
But they are wrong. The wife lets her husband “control” her. That is, she gives him the “power” to do his “controlling” of her.
How? She does it by staying in the relationship and agreeing to do “his bidding” perhaps to keep the peace or remain financially supported. Peace and financial support are her pay-offs which she consciously or subconsciously sees as an equal exchange for her doing what he says. (Which means that he is paying for his “power” over her by economically supporting her — an exchange he subconsciously sees as equal.) Being financially supported permits her to avoid the time-consuming, tough work of becoming economically independent. If our kids, behaving like her husband, badger us until we give in and fork over our hard-earned $50 for a toy, do the kids have power over us because we did their bidding? Of course not. We recognize that we gave in to have peace and quiet, which is our pay-off for “giving power” to our kids (who foolishly think they do have power over us!).
Feminists say men have the power. But an alien observing us from another world might think otherwise. Consider:
In the 1976 WWII movie “Midway,” Lt. Cmdr. Ernest L. Blake walks ahead of his superior officer, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, and opens the door for him. Why? Because superior officers in the military do not open doors for subordinates; it’s the other way around. That’s the way it is in the military because who opens the door for whom is considered a way of demonstrating who has power and authority.
Likewise, when men open doors for women, it is a sign of female power (given to her by men) — not male power, as many feminists insist. Ditto when men rise from their seat to greet a woman or to give it to her. Or when they remove their hat in her presence. Or pass laws and lend support to policies that favor women over men: to wit, maritime laws and selective service laws. Or laws that permit wives to own half of their husband’s assets and to spend money the husband earns without her having to produce a penny of income herself. Or laws that provide an Office of Research on Women’s Health for the healthier, longer-living sex, which would be like an Office of Research on Men’s Economic Advancement for the higher-paid sex. (Women are also the wealthier sex.)
Our alien observer might conclude to his fellow alien: “It appears the female of the species is protected and often treated like royalty.”
What other signs of female power do you see — like the one to the right — but which feminists and the mainstream media ignore?
For another example on what feminists do not want the sexes to know, see “Wives Belong at Home With the Children.”