The Backlash! - What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues - Power
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By Rod Van Mechelen
"To want freedom is to want not only what men have but also what men are." -- Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse

"When women are at the height of their beauty power and exercise it, we call it marriage. When men are at the height of their success power and exercise it, we call it midlife crisis." -- Warren Farrell, Farrell: Why Men Are the Way They Are

"If there’s no such thing as sexual power, then what is it women fear losing with age?" -- Wilbur Wormwood

The power to command men's attention
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - For a very long time, fecund young women have enjoyed the power to command men. They are the sexual aristocrats. (Men and Marriage, George Gilder, p 55) But there is a limit to their sexual power, and it is called "age."

With the passing of time, women lose their sex appeal. This, and the liberation won by the feminist movement, combine to teach women how hard it is to earn "power" in the "man's world." Without the safety net formerly provided by marriage, they must sink or swim on their own productive merits. Many resent this, perceiving disrespect in such equality. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Don Oldenburg, November 3, 1991, p 11E)

Who can blame them? Throughout their youth, they grow accustomed to commanding the attention and care of men with little more than a smile and the implied promise of sex. Then, this power to command fades, and late in life they encounter the same problems most men confront while still young.

This is the dilemma women face today. Feminism won them the right to reject the old institutions, but a customary dependence is a hard habit to break. In response, pop-feminists are working to extend women's reign as sexual aristocrats by portraying men as predators and women as their prey. Preying, essentially, upon men's power to live.

The power to live
Power is the key to survival. The power to create commerce, build factories, and establish spaces safe from the harsher forces of nature, is the power of civilization. It is the power to live.

This requires political freedom (in the political context, freedom is the absence of physical coercion), intelligence, creativity, vision, determination and cooperation. Women and men who understand this are the heroes of our time: they nurture civilization. But pop-feminists do not understand this.

They do not understand that all power beyond the brutish power of the clenched fist, begins with creativity, and ends with productivity. They do not understand that power is not some objective thing that exists, like rocks in the hills. Like wealth, it is created. And like wealth, it may be stolen for the moment. But when the moment is gone and the power is spent, it must be stolen again, and again, and again because the only source of human power is the human mind applied to solving the problems of survival.

Because they do not understand, they envy the creative and economic power men earn, and so promote the idea men have all the power. If men have all the power, then men must be responsible for everything that goes wrong. Consequently, their power must be taken away. And that is precisely what pop-feminists are doing.

Squandering our power
When a woman divorces her husband and then accuses him of sexually assaulting their children as a means to persuade the courts to order him to stay away, she labels him a scoundrel. Then, when it comes time to determine how much child support she will force him, through the courts, to pay, she need only point to her allegations of perversion to gain the sympathy she needs to obtain legal right to more of the economic power he earns. Power she sucks from him like a leech.

When a woman falsely accuses a man of hostile environment sexual harassment, like a common crook she steals from him the power he earned. She inflates her reputation at the expense of his own.

Through legislation, legal precedent, and the popular press, pop-feminists are looting and squandering the power energizing our civilization. The power honorable men and women create and earn.

Why should they not do this? After all, don't men have all the power? Isn't it true women are powerless?

In the common male reality, women have great power. Sexual power. Pop-feminists scoff at this and deny there is such a thing as sexual power. In a sense, they're right. Women's sexual power exists only in the minds of men, and in the minds of the women who use men's perception of female sexual power to their own advantage. Consequently, all the power women have, outside the power they earn side by side with men, comes entirely from men.

Sexual trade
For millennia, men earned female attention with the economic power their achievements and productive abilities brought, while most women attracted male attention with the sexual power their bodies and affiliative abilities attracted. That is, men obtained power through individual accomplishment, while women obtained power from men through affiliation: "Johnstone concludes that men live in a world where they see power as coming from an individual acting in opposition to others and to natural forces. ... For women, Johnstone claims, the community is the source of power." (You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, Ballantine Books Edition, June 1991, Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., p 178)

Pop-feminists know this: "Male power is all that is real to you." (Catharine MacKinnon in an interview with Ellen Rapp, Dangerous Liaisons, Working Woman, February 1992, p 60) Men are the source of all their power, and to control that power, they must control men. To do that, they evoke men's good intentions to fuel another form of power: victim power.

The community is the source of women's power, and the exercise of their sexual power depends upon being able to get men to enforce the institutions that allow them to regulate male behaviors. Men are naturally protective of women, and women invoke this protectiveness to their own advantage by portraying themselves as victims. That is, they use Victim Power to control men:

The game of onedownmanship that these women play is reminiscent of a pattern in Iranian interaction that William Beeman calls getting the lower hand. But this game, Beeman explains, is intensely hierarchical in nature. By portraying himself as lower in status, an Iranian puts himself at the mercy of someone more powerful, who is thereby obligated to do things for him: It invokes the protector schema. (You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, Ballantine Books Edition, June 1991, Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., p 274 - 5)
This dynamic works for them because our culture sees most of what women do in the context of powerlessness and what men do we see in the context of power. (You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, Ballantine Books Edition, June 1991, Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., p 229) Pop-feminists are using this perception as the vehicle to legislate, adjudicate, install and prolong the sexual aristocracy of women.


Rod Van Mechelen


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Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Rod Van Mechelen; all rights reserved.

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