2. Love and Power
The reproductive instinct (sex instinct) and the nurturing instinct (caring for the brood) are social drives, as we have said, in contrast to the instinct of self-preservation, which focuses on one's own person, while the two first-named, focusing on another person, make us dependent upon that person and vice versa. The reproductive instinct and the nurturing instinct, therefore, are the key to power and powerlessness.
Power consists in making oneself the goal of another person's social instincts, without seeking to satisfy one's own social instincts through him. The other then does everything one asks. Powerlessness consists in wanting or having to satisfy one's social instincts through another person whose social instincts one has not succeeded in concentrating on oneself — one then does everything the other asks. According to whether one has made someone dependent upon oneself for the satisfaction of one or both instincts, one controls that person partially or wholly, has partial or absolute power over him. (We are referring to biologically determined power; psychologically conditioned power will be dealt with later on.)
To know which of two people has the upper hand, then, one merely needs to know which member of the couple is in a position to manipulate the sex or nurturing instinct of the other. The same is true for the relationship between groups, classes, races, religious communities, generations and clans. It is whichever has the leverage, the favorable starting point or whatever it takes to concentrate the other's social instincts upon himself, while remaining emotionally uncommitted. Since the most important social instincts involve sex or nurturing the brood, sex and parentage are the basic areas in which the question of power arises. Real power over another person — paradoxical as it may sound — is held by protégés and sex objects only. There is also the kind of power that depends on force, or physical strength. Where there is superior force, I serve under constraint; where there is power, I serve willingly. An adult of my own sex, a social class, an alien race, a political body can at most force me to submit i.e. only by superior physical pressure. But real power is held by whomever I want or need to satisfy my basic social instincts, even if that person is incomparably weaker than I am — I would be bound to do willingly whatever he/she asks. To rule effectively, it is power we need; force is second rate by comparison and far from equally compelling.
If the sex instinct and the breeding instinct are indeed at the root of power, then there are three potential human power blocks:
- children (objects of protection) — they have power over their protectors, the men and women who care for them
- men (sex objects) — they have power over those women who desire them, but not over children (though can use force on children)
- women (sex objects) — they have power over the men who desire them, but not over children (though they can rule children by force)
According to this blueprint, there can be no absolute power of one human being over another: men and women would control each other by means of the sex drive, and children would have some power over their parents as objects of the breeding instinct. But we see that a human being can subordinate his instincts to his reason. By manipulating his own instincts or those of others, a man/woman can acquire more biological power than is rightfully his. The most important possibilities for such manipulation are:
a) Protégés can extend their power over their protectors by offering themselves as sex partners as well
b) Sex partners can extend their power over the other by becoming, in addition, protégés
c) Sex partners can extend their power over one another by controlling their sex drive, so as to reduce the partner to a one-sided sexual dependence
Assuming that the struggle for power is a universal human trait, and that therefore each of these three power blocks will try to enlarge its sphere by manipulating the sex and breeding instincts: which of the three — children, men, women — are most likely to succeed? Children can, theoretically, extend their power by becoming sex partners of their protectors. But this is hardly feasible, since sexual satisfaction depends on sexual maturity. Hence children are biologically limited to controlling their protectors only by way of the breeding instinct.
Men can, theoretically, expand their power by controlling their sex drive in such a way as to bring the female into a one-sided sexual dependence upon them. As they are usually superior to their partners both physically and intellectually, they can rarely appeal to the female protective instinct. Therefore a man can have absolute power over a woman only in exceptional cases.
Women can, theoretically, expand their power by controlling their own sex drive so as to reduce a man to a one-sided sexual dependence upon them. Being usually inferior to their partners physically and intellectually, they can also appeal to the male protective instinct. They alone, therefore, are in a position to serve both as ward and sex partner, as inferior and polar complement, at the same time. Theirs is the only power block of the three that has what it takes to hold absolute power over another — the male.
Given that all human beings seek power, it is absurd to assume that women could give it up of their own free will.
A protégé, we have said, must be inferior to the protector, and must resemble him. If a woman wants to enjoy the privileges of a protégé, she must be physically weaker and less intelligent than the man whose protection she is seeking. If she cannot meet those indispensable conditions naturally, she must try to simulate them. The other condition — resemblance — she cannot fulfill. The woman will therefore offer herself as a pseudo-child, an inadequate object for his protective instinct. She will try to become the object of his altruistic love.
Her chief problem in so manipulating the man's basic instincts is how to make herself appear physically weaker than he. The typical woman is, after all, rather crudely made: with their big breast, their broad hips and fleshy thighs, most women resemble the matrons in certain paintings by Picasso rather than the fragile mannequins in the vogue ads. Besides, women are known to be tougher than men: statistically, infant mortality is far greater among boys than girls, and despite the fact that the female body suffers greater stress than the male from menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and breast-feeding, women in the civilized countries live on the average five to seven years longer than men. This is probably so in consequence of the more comfortable life led by women.
The physical inferiority of women is therefore a moot point, most pronounced in muscle power, but not really demonstrable in other respects. For the sake of instinctual manipulation, this insignificant advantage must be vastly exaggerated, therefore, while her biological superiority in other respects must be minimized.
The fact that women are never seen carrying heavy burdens, lifting or pushing weights, helps to advertise their muscle weakness. When they weep easily, at the slightest provocation, their tears remind their onlookers of their weaker nerves. By enveloping themselves in fine fabrics and by means of make-up, they can make themselves look fragile to the point of imminent physical breakdown. It is not so long since this kind of comedy was incomplete without simulated fainting fits. Women also prefer to be seen in the company of taller, older men; it underlines their simulated vulnerability.
It all depends on exaggerating to the limit the existing physical difference between protector and protégé. The wife's greater physical resilience is her secret; by the time it becomes obvious, her provider is dead. In the USA, for instance, the widow survives her spouse on the average by eleven years.
A woman's best trick in maneuvering herself under the man's protective wing, however, is her intellectual inferiority. The difference in physical strength alone would never do it. At most she might succeed, using all her efforts, in looking as helpless, next to him, as a Chinese next to a Swede — and this is far from enough to gain for a human adult the enjoyment of a child's privileges. Only when a woman is both physically weaker and sillier than he is, too, can she become irresistible to him. A woman who intends to find a lifelong provider will therefore see to it, as a top priority, that she does not become too intelligent. If she should slip up here, she will hide her light under the proverbial bushel at least long enough for the man to officially set his legal seal and signature on his intention to become her provider.
Fortunately for her, compared with the effort it takes to become intelligent, it is no trouble at all to become stupid. Stupid is something that one doesn't become, one merely has to stay that way. Today it is scientifically established that healthy men and women, the poor and the rich, black and white, are all born with roughly the same mental capacities. This potential can be arrested in its growth through lack of fostering or through lack of competition. The former is caused by poverty and occurs among the lower classes. The latter is due to pampering and is reserved for women. Since marriage always means that the man must provide for the woman, and since most women decide even in puberty that they will get married later on, women are from the first exempt from the socio-economic competition for survival. They know that they will not have to know anything as adults, so they don't bother to learn anything.
Admittedly, women in the past had to do even less to cultivate their mental inferiority than they do today. As long as most non-domestic labors required greater physical strength than they do nowadays — when men still lived by hunting, resolved differences of opinion by the sword, and built their houses by hand — it was natural to send the man and not the woman out to compete for survival, thus forcing him to develop his intelligence through experience. The woman was housebound, saddled with a growing brood, without practical means of birth control, pregnant the best part of her life — her sphere of work was hardly interchangeable with that of the man.
But the situation has changed since then. In our industrialized countries there are few tasks left that exceed the physical capacities of women. Pregnancies can be regulated or avoided altogether. The family has shrunk in size. Since the invention of artificial mother's milk, men can feed the nurslings just as well as women. This means that women can be the family providers for husbands and children, and become as accomplished, in competition with other providers, as the equality of the sexes calls for. The two or three pregnancies the average woman statistically goes through present no serious obstacle: she merely has to interrupt her breadwinning activities two or three time during her career, for about four weeks at a time. They would not even justify her avoidance of military service. Men and women nowadays can bear equal share of virtually all the necessary social tasks.
If women nevertheless want to go on being inferior so as to enjoy the partner's protection — and they evidently do — they must resort to trickery. Since they can't very well be ordered to go to work for women everyday on the grounds that they are physically stronger than women, men are brought up from infancy to believe that supporting a wife and family is the manly thing to do. They are programmed by Mother to equate real manhood with becoming a family provider, in short; since men do not bring up their own children personally, they cannot even up scores by teaching their daughters the opposite. The daughters consequently continue to grow up less intelligent than the sons.
The only effort to move women into non-domestic occupations and thus do something for the growth of their intelligence is being made by the feminists. "A real woman," they tell women, "is one who realizes herself as a person. And she can do it only by working at a job, like a man." But most women won't fall in line for this argument. Women may be simpletons, but not the kind of simpletons feminists take them for. "To work at a job, like a man" means working to provide for a family, to take the whole responsibility. Both parents can't work simultaneously if there are children — it has to be he or she. That she is the one to shoulder the burden is what women have so far successfully avoided, even though all the professions have been open to women for nearly a half-century; so far not a single instance has come to light of a woman voluntarily devoting her life to supporting a healthy husband and their children singlehandedly. A woman who works for a living nowadays does it either because she has no husband, or because her husband doesn't earn enough, or else she does it for her own entertainment ("to get out of the house"). Since the kind of work she does rarely involves genuine competition, she can manage to keep her intellectual inferiority intact. That most working women are employed in inferior positions is not due to "man's oppression of women" but simply to the fact that by far the greatest number of women are work-shy and expect to work only for a time; hence they prepare themselves for a career, if at all, only half-heartedly. A woman who regards her job as a mere interlude between school and marriage is not the likeliest candidate for a responsible position. Nor is the one who works as a hobby — "for something to do" — and doesn't really need the money. In the pinch, their male colleague is necessarily more dependable, because for him it is a serious matter to succeed.
That the few women who do take their jobs seriously must suffer from this public image of the working woman is not the fault of men but of the majority of other women. How is an employer to know when he is dealing with one of those rare exceptions, among women, who take their work seriously and won't drop out at the first opportunity? Although the good old days are long gone, woman's continuing monopoly on breast and vaginas still permits her to choose her mental level. A woman is stupid because she wants to be stupid; a man is intelligent because he has to be intelligent. Putting it another way, a woman is a man who doesn't have to be a man; a man is a woman who is not allowed to be a woman. If men had the same options, they would be just as stupid as women choose to be. Some men fail to see this cause-and-effect syndrome and regard women with contempt for their stupidity. This is understandable; it isn't easy to face up to the fact that their all-around utility is what they're wanted for, which is why they developed it to begin with.
Women don't mind being considered to be rather stupid. In fact, it helps their game. Women could be intelligent if they wanted to be. The proof of this lies in the fact that they not only don't seek to hide their mental inferiority but rather flaunt it — it is part of a woman's ploy in acquiring a male protector. Only women with a decidedly male sense of values would find it intolerable to be mentally under-equipped. But such women are rare, because they would have to be brought up by their fathers i.e. they would have had to have a mother willing to be the family breadwinner for at least ten years.
To be a man's protégé is to be provided for and to have material security. To be a man's sex partner means to be desired — it means pleasure. Since most women choose men superior to them, "a man I can look up to," we may conclude that they value security more highly than pleasure, and that they prefer to be the object a man's altruistic rather than his sexual love.
That women prefer men who are taller and stronger than themselves could be a coincidence, since most men are somewhat taller and stronger than most women. That women prefer men who are more capable than they are could also be a coincidence, since the competitive struggle for survival that most women are spared compels men to be more capable than women. But it is no coincidence that women prefer men older than themselves. Nor is it by chance that these qualities are neatly apportioned between the partners of each couple: the women smaller, weaker, less intelligent, younger — the man bigger, stronger, brighter, older.
The ideal couple in which the man is superior to the woman in every respect is the creation of woman. Women have the power; they make the choices. As it is in the business world, the man submits his bid; the woman chooses what's best for herself. If she chooses a superior man, she is provided for all her life. If she chooses a man inferior to herself, he is less able to provide for her, nor will he want to do so — she will not appeal to his protective instinct as she would to that of a stronger man.
Undersized, weak boys learn early in puberty how hard it is for them to find a girl. When they are full-grown as short, unathletic men, their luck with women remains the same. Such a man will have to be extremely successful at business or his profession to win an attractive woman despite his physical shortcomings. Perhaps this is why undersized men are reputed to be ambitious and dynamic.
Nor do the simpletons and failures among men ever attract bright and professionally successful women. A woman always marries up the social ladder, a man always marries beneath him. Doctors marry nurses, while women doctors marry the top in their field, never hospital orderlies. Business executives marry their secretaries, while women executives will remain single rather than marry an underling. Young career girls seldom consider men working on the same level as themselves to be good enough. A stewardess hopes to marry a pilot or a businessman, never a steward or a waiter. The chic girls who wait on the customers in boutiques wouldn't dream of wasting their time on male shop assistants. "The man I marry must be able to take care of me" is the slogan. It can only mean that he has to be bigger, stronger, and brighter than she, so that she can "look up to him."
That women offer themselves to men as quasi-children is clear from a comparison of most married couples. While there is no reason women should not marry younger men, they are on the average four years younger than their husbands, even though the opposite would make better sense biologically. Since women tend to survive men by five to seven years (depending on the country), if they married younger men they would not be spending an average of nine to eleven years as widows. According to Masters and Johnson, women can enjoy orgasm nearly to the end of life, while males lose their capacity between sixty and seventy — therefore women married to younger men would not have to resign themselves to doing without sex for so large a part of their lives.
It seems that women don't care about all that. Looking for a provider, not a lover, they will choose the older man. A man of thirty can feed a twenty-year-old woman — "feed her" in the most inclusive sense of the term, of course — far better than a young student can. At best, the student could do service as a lover, on the side. As long as the legal provider doesn't hear of it, lest it spoil his taste for working to bring home the bacon.
How deeply women care about playing the role of the child in their marriage is evident in that the majority start lying about their ages long before they have reached thirty. This is so normal that in most places no one would dream of prosecuting a woman for falsifying a document, if it is only a matter of improving her birth date. To ask a woman how old she is, simply isn't done! Besides, what would be the point, as a man would usually get a reprimand or a lie for his pains! Many business firms customarily publish lists with their employees' birth dates, so that mutual courtesies can be extended. For female employees, they list only day and month, with three dots for the year. Chivalry is not dead.
There is, of course, another way of looking at this: a pitiless, male-dominated world, say the feminists, forces women to lie and cheat to survive. But why only women, why not men, too? A woman who sells herself as a child is necessarily bound to simulate eternal youth. But when she palms herself off as younger than she is, suggesting to men that youth is a woman's supreme feminine quality, she is not so much following a pitiless dictate of society as she is herself mercilessly discriminating against all those women who are or seem to be older than herself and who make up a fairly substantial part of that society. Let us note only in passing that she is also giving her sex a bad name for dishonesty.
None of this bothers her in the least. Women don't mind being considered dishonest any more than they mind being considered to be stupid. Like intelligence, honesty enjoys a low priority on their scale of values. What matters to them is the helpless look, which mobilizes the male's protective instinct like nothing else. Honor, in the sense implied here, is something women feel they can well do without.
Compared with a child of one's own, which one protects automatically, a woman makes a somewhat inadequate object of one's protective instinct. When a man takes her on as his charge, he does it not instinctively but consciously, by persuading himself that here is a helpless creature who needs him. Every woman is therefore in competition with every other inadequate (non-instinctual) protégé. Orphans, the sick, the old, the mentally disabled, the poor, young pups and stray cats are basically all much more in need of protection than women. How to distract a man's attention from all these potential competitors and concentrate it exclusively upon the woman seeking to arouse his latent protective instinct is therefore a major problem.
This is not as hard as it seems at first: most people practice altruistic love for a reward of some kind, as we have said — cash, prestige, companionship, eternal life. Women have a interesting reward to offer for the protection they seek: they are the only kind of inadequate protégé that is in a position to satisfy a man's other social instinct — his sex drive. From the man's point of view, this is the prize reward of them all.
But a woman seeking protection primarily can never be an adequate sex partner because she lacks one prerequisite for that: intellectual equality. But since most men hardly ever meet ideal sex partners — feminine women who are nevertheless as intelligent as men — the man really has no choice. If he is not to be empty-handed, he has to settle for altruistic love for a pseudo-child, and for rational love instead of sexual love. He compromises on a concoction: part ward, part sex mate, part child, part woman. "She may not be the love of my dreams," he thinks, "but I can still take her to bed — and besides, she needs me." To be his child, the woman doesn't resemble him enough — but she is weaker than he, physically and mentally. To be his ideal sex partner, she is not sufficiently on a par with him intellectually — however, she looks sufficiently different from him to be attractive.
In other words, rather than leave both of his social instincts unsatisfied a man will put up with playing the father to an adult who occasionally lets him have her body for sexual purposes. Since the average man cannot find the woman who will be a true marriage partner at all, he accepts one of many being offered for adoption by her parents, and in a grandiose ceremony vows to take her natural father's place in providing for her henceforth. If the priest or registrar were to ask him whether he was prepared to "take this woman" as his child, he might not even notice. When the girl in white with the bouquet says "Yes", the man knows perfectly well that he has adopted her, "for better or for worse": "the child" will henceforth bear her new father's name and live on his money. To keep him from having any ideas about his search for a woman, she also plays the lover from time to time. After the birth of the first child — her ideal protégé, and his as well — the power of "the adopted daughter" is so well established that she runs little risk of losing the adoptive father to a real woman. The role of sex partner, originally used as bait, tends to be neglected at this point. Soon the day will come when only the presence of their children will remind the couple that, once upon a time, they used to sleep together.
Once a woman has opted for the role of the child (instead of lover) the next step is predetermined. A child must not show too great an interest in sex, on pain of losing credibility and a child's privileges. A woman who values her status as protégé, therefore, must keep her sex drive under control. She must be in a position to make conscious use of her sexuality for her purposes i.e. to win a man who appears suited to play her father, rather than a man who excites and confuses her senses and her mind. And she must be able to refuse herself to her intended protector until he adopts her or at least commits himself clearly to such an intention. To see primarily the sex partner in a man is the end of her power over him. It means losing the motive of making him her protector — what good is a lover restrained by protective feelings? — and being quite as dependent on him, sexually, as he is on her.
To stay stupid is, as we have said, a piece of cake; it costs no effort at all. To stay cold, on the other hand, requires considerable self-discipline — but women evidently find that it pays, just the same.
Not only are men and women born with the same mental endowment, the same instinct of self-preservation and caring for their brood, but they also inherit the same predisposition to an active sex life. But sexual cravings can be conditioned: nuns and priests are good examples of that. Only nuns, being women, typically begin their training much earlier than their male counterparts, which is why we hear of far fewer missteps and scandals among them.
The rest of womankind is under no constraint to practice such total self-control. On the contrary, total frigidity would hamper them and it might lead to extremes such as refusing sex altogether, even as bait for attracting a protector. How easily the conditioning of the sex drive can lead to frigidity is revealed by a recent opinion poll taken among thousands of Italian women of every social class (Doxa, Rome 1974). Queried about their sexual attitudes, 36% of these women between the ages of twenty and fifty expressed a total lack of interest in marital sex; in fact, they said they would prefer giving it up altogether. So high a degree of sexual frigidity is excessive and rather disruptive. What matters is only to be the more frigid of the two partners — because the power is always in the hands of the colder sex partner.
Partial frigidity, on the other hand, no longer entails any disadvantages nowadays. Frigidity used to mean that a woman got out of bed without having had an orgasm. But in the era of Playboy, a man can feel sure of his sexual prowess only if he can bring even a frigid woman — a woman, that is, who does not desire him — to climax. How to do it he can learn from numerous popular handbooks. Even though sexual climax induced exclusively by mechanical titillation can be achieved by anyone — including the woman herself — the male of our time is not above pluming himself on his skills as a mechanic, as an integral part of his masculine attractions.
What does it profit a woman, one might ask, to lose a lover and gain a father? The vast numbers of women who marry older men, even homosexuals, are answer enough. There are many reasons, certainly, why young women will take on men in their sixties, but sex cannot be one of them. A man of sixty simply cannot be physiologically in condition to satisfy the sexual needs of a normal twenty or thirty-year-old woman. If he does satisfy her, it must be that she has no such needs i.e. it is to her credit, not to his. That a long history of sexual experience makes a man more attractive is a view widely held by men, always reconfirmed when a well-to-do older gentlemen wins the heart of a young girl. It is a view without real foundation.
The most unequivocal evidence that women are the more frigid sex is the absence of male prostitution. The few bordellos for women that can be found in some great cities are being perverted to their own uses by homosexuals — for lack of a clientele. This doesn't mean, of course, that there are no women at all who are as interested in sex as the average man. But such women find takers all over the place; they don't need to go into a bordello, they live in one.
The feminists say that no middle-class woman will go looking for commercial sex- because she is too inhibited. But when it comes to gratifying her desires, the middle-class woman in particular has been remarkably uninhibited. How many women of the upper and middle classes sport fur coats, for instance, though everyone knows by what barbaric methods these pelts are obtained. The annual massacres of seals for the purpose are a staple of the feature writers. The highly popular broadtail is made from the skins of unborn lambs — the caracul mother sheep is made, in the most brutal ways, to miscarry or abort her young. Depending on the way a coat is made, an average of a dozen such abortions go into the making of it.
It is absurd to think that a human being who knows what it is to carry a child in her own body, yet feels no scruples about dressing herself in the skins of aborted animal embryos, could possibly feel inhibited about entering a whorehouse in order to satisfy a quite natural sexual need.
Children don't love their parents; they are merely attached to them: they need them, and sometimes they even like them. When father and mother have the knack of clothing their instinctive and essentially self-gratifying nurturing of their brood in the image of self-sacrificial devotion, they may enjoy as a fringe benefit the child's guilt and gratitude, as well. But this is not love, nor should it be: if children returned the love of their parents in full measure, life would come to a standstill, because they would never want to leave home. Children by and large tend to leave their parents at the earliest possible opportunity, to go looking for their own love objects (protégé). Many never return home, or do so only out of a sense of duty.
Children can feel real love for their parents only as these gradually become old and helpless. When physical debility, intellectual inferiority, and resemblance characterize the parent, it becomes possible for the grown son to love his father as a genuine protégé. At this point, however, the father's love has come to an end. Between protector and protégé there is always only one who loves: always the protector. The protégé accepts whoever will be his provider. If another, better provider comes along, he will be accepted, without any great emotional investment; the most to be expected is a certain loyalty. For what is involved is only the protégé's instinct of self-preservation, a necessarily asocial instinct. If this were fixated upon a specific individual and that individual perished, so would the protégé.
A man who marries a woman inferior to himself i.e. "adopts" her must expect that she cannot feel anything for him but liking and gratitude. A woman is better off than a child, after all; if necessary, she can take care of herself, like any man. That she nevertheless allows her husband to pay all the bills is a personal concession that can be retracted at any time. She is entitled, therefore, to high expectations: everything done for her must be first-rate, otherwise she may engage another protector or else, depending upon circumstances, even decide to take care of herself. Compared with the real father, a wife's "adopted father" has no hope of becoming his pseudo-child's protégé in his old age, either. The most he can hope for is the status of an inadequate or pseudo-protégé i.e. if he is lucky, he may come to enjoy the woman's altruistic love, her charity.
The woman even gets a reward: she inherits his property, his insurance, his pension rights, so that he can go on providing for her after his death, the death she is statistically prepared to survive for, on the average, six years, plus the number of years she is younger than he is.
Turning to the man's role for a moment, one might suppose that a protector, armed with material power over his dependent, is in a position to blackmail her. But that is precisely what he can never do. If he were capable of it, he would never have undertaken the charge in the first place. Who really enjoys working for someone else's benefit? But the nurturing instinct is so powerful a drive that there is no evading its power. Not even women have as yet succeeded in modifying it. But for them it is so much less onerous to satisfy their brood-hatching instincts. Even if the woman is the partner who originally wanted the child — the man already had his child, in the person of his wife — it is always the man who will be responsible for its care and feeding. The nurturing instinct is polyvalent i.e. a man can have more than one "young charge" under his wing. When the first real "protégé" for both is born, the wife merely advances to the position of eldest daughter. A woman who bears children therefore has a double advantage: she satisfies her own nurturing instinct and simultaneously strengthens the foundations of her own security. As the mother of authentic protégés she must be provided for, even if she ceases to seem quite as helpless and appealing as her role ideally calls for.
The power of the child over his parents — that of the biologically weaker over the stronger — is a law of nature. Without such power, they would starve, being unable to take care of themselves. That parents will dash into a burning house or hurl themselves into a raging flood to save their young is a matter of course. That men go to war for their women is also considered a matter of course. A man who must be a father to his wife is powerless, where she is concerned.
A man who wants to gain power over a woman must follow the example of women and condition his sex drive. If he succeeds in becoming as cold as she, she can no longer bait him with sex into the role of provider. At most she could offer herself as an equal sex partner, as dependent on him as he is on her. If men could abstain from sex at judicious intervals they might even succeed in normalizing the female sex drive — even make women desire them more than the other way around. Not that a man could have absolute power over a woman even then. He could hardly hope to become her protégé, except in rare cases, but he would come considerably closer to equality.
But it does seem as though men are inclined to capitulate without a struggle, faced with the vast glacial expanse of female frigidity. Women certainly can't be accused of keeping it a secret. They used to say "Men all want the same thing", implying that women not only didn't want "it" but actually loathed it. Nowadays a new ploy has been added: scientists report that women can have fifty orgasms a day compared to a man's average of five or so, and that women can reach climax at ninety without effort, while men begin to fail and dread impotence at sixty. These scientists are elevated to instant stardom in the women's polemical press. A human being with a normal libido might become panic-stricken at such news — as if someone were announcing the rationing of drinking water or air to breathe. But women see in this only the triumph of the female principle.
There is a movement afoot in the United States for sexual separatism: women are encouraged to refuse coitus altogether, on the grounds that it is denigrating to the female as such. Only women could think of such a notion. It is not by chance that Lysistrata was a female. A man would have given it up after the first try. Lysistrata was only intensifying, for a temporary purpose, a form of blackmail commonly used by women ever day of the week since time immemorial. To give up sex, especially in a "good cause", is no sacrifice at all, for women.
Given such overwhelming evidence of being outclassed in the frigidity stakes, a man with any common sense must realize that he will never succeed in mastering his libido no matter how hard he tries, as the average woman can without trying. Total freedom being out of his reach, he surrenders to total enslavement without a struggle: already powerless as a "father", he also accepts his powerlessness as a lover. Having no means of control over his wife, he goes to the other extreme, sets her on a pedestal and worships the idol without restraint. At best he may succeed, as we shall see later on, in satisfying his two basic social instincts separately, with two different women " thus becoming the pawn of two dependents instead of one, expanding the rule of women, of the female, over his life, instead of restricting it.
To save face a bit, men have labeled the fact that they are always pursuing women while women so rarely pursue them in a way they hope is flattering to them, according to their scale of values: as male aggressiveness.
Male aggressiveness consists in asking a woman to have intercourse and waiting for her to say yes, or a definite no. Skillful tacticians enhance their chances of making out by distributing their attentions among several women at a time (one version of "playing the field") thus increasing their statistical chances for a favorable answer, depending on circumstances. This is the height of male aggressiveness that is tolerated. Genuine aggressiveness — rape — they have forbidden themselves by law.
But don't women publicly adore, sometimes to the point of hysteria, male sex symbols such as film stars, singers? And doesn't that prove they are not immune to sex, after all? Male sex symbols, however, have one thing in common: they are all out of the reach of their fans. Here it is perfectly safe to let the libido have full rein, where there is a virtual guarantee of no consequences of any kind.
Men within reach are immediately checked out on their qualifications as adoptive fathers, even if the trial period is more and more disguised as a passionate romance. The handsome, successful bachelor who has to beat them off with a club is hardly better off, in this regard, than the less "eligible" male who is not quite as swamped with unambiguous offers. Fortune's favorite does get more women to bed, and he gets them there faster than others, but if he doesn't come through at the earliest opportunity with a proper offer of adoption he is likely to lose her just as quickly to the first rival who does. The great turnover in sex partners among such men are said to have is mostly attributable to the fact that no woman stays with them long. The most attractive women, those having the most options, especially, are not given to losing much time. Once they are sure this man will never "adopt" them, they abandon his bed and slip under the covers with a potential provider, a man who cares not only "for his own pleasure" but "really loves" them.
Even the "marriage without a license" is usually an adoption. The only difference is that the adoptee retains her own name, at least temporarily. This increasingly popular form of family planning only attests the rising power of woman: she has finally caught on that it is not even necessary to bother about the sanctions of the law, to nail a would-be provider to his intentions. On the contrary: most men seem to feel even more strongly bound to their partners when the latter forego legal guarantees. Surely, a man is bound to think, this woman is different from all others; she alone loves him for himself, not as meal ticket. The authentic protégés which are the products of their union, eventually, will in any case bear his name, and the entire "legitimate" family will of course be supported by him.
The biological power structure rest on two instincts: sex, and caring for the brood. Whoever needs, for the satisfaction of one or both of these instincts, a particular individual, loses his independence to that individual. To love is to become enslaved. Contrariwise, whoever is loved has the lover in his power. Thus, power equals the ability to make oneself the object of another person's love.
Only the human female is in a position, as we have seen, to make herself the object of the male sex drive without becoming equally dependent on the male for instinctual satisfaction. She does not need the man to satisfy her sex drive; she has it under firm control, as bait or weapon in the sexual power struggle. Sex, to the woman, is too valuable, as it were, to be wasted on mere self-indulgence. So if it is a question of one sex dominating the other, it can never be the male who dominates, but the female.
"The first instance of social oppression," runs a famous statement by Friedrich Engels, patron and coauthor of Karl Marx, "is the oppression of woman by man."
Engels is confusing force with power. Like so many Leftists after him, Engels injected metaphorically a concept of power structures resting on force into the sex war, where it does not apply. Only because a man is physically stronger and able to earn money, Engels believed that this gives the man power over the woman. However physical force may be helpful in oppressing a social class — it is no way to win control over the other sex.
The potential oppressor is never the stronger partner, but always the more helpless one; the potential ruler is never the one driven by desire, but the desired. If it is true that women are physically and mentally the weaker sex, and that they are more desired by men than desirous, then "the first social oppression" is the oppression of men by women, not the other way around. The woman usually begins to suffer long after the man has been miserable for a long time.
Female power is the foundation of all other power structures. Social power systems that do not rest directly on instinct can never be more than superstructures. Their leaders can rule only in areas of no special value to sex partners and protégés. A system that disregards the power of the really powerful sex is doomed from the outset: it cannot gain adherents. It is by the power of the dominant sex that all systems function at all. Without the consent of women, there could have been no fascism, no imperialism, no Inquisition. Men could not have become the tools of such systems, had they not been ruled by women. Only a person attached and subservient to another through his basic social instincts — a man with a family to support, typically — can be sucked into the treadmill of such a secondary system and be driven to commit acts of hypocrisy, terror, and treason. The power of woman is the root of force in others.
Church fathers, politicians, and dictators know this unwritten law very well. A ruler's most important political move is courting women and talking their language. He knows that once he has the women with him, he will get the men automatically. As long as the Church backs up woman as man's protégé, she can easily induce him to back up the Church by letting it teach his children a faith in invisible beings that guarantees the continuance of the Church in power. One hand washes the other. As long as politicians promise special social measures for women, they can keep military service and a higher pension age for men with a good conscience. As long as dictators do not press women into army service, they can send male recruits by the thousands into battle.
The Church did not really come into power until after it had set up woman — in the person of the Virgin Mary — as an object of worship, and where the cult of Mary is still intact, the Church is still in power. Jesus himself passed up his opportunity to win over the women. He once said to his mother: "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" and the misogynist Apostle Paul did no better in his time. Only when the female as protégé was raised to an institution did Christianity win a massive following, at last.
It is therefore entirely possible that the great social revolutionaries invented "the oppressed woman" for tactical reasons and despite their better knowledge. Did we say that Engels had confused power with force? Perhaps it was the other way around: suppose he had recognized the real power of women, and made a deliberate bid for it, to secure the victory for his side? It would certainly be odd for men like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao — all of whom knew the life of the working class better than anyone — to have believed seriously that the worker's wife was worse off than the worker himself. They surely knew that, poverty and too many kids notwithstanding, the worker's wife was somewhat better off even under the inhuman conditions of proletarian life at the outset of the industrial revolution. When they and other radicals sought to improve the lot of the working man, they were good enough politicians to appeal to the working man's wife and exalt her cause as top priority. Clever, legitimate tactics — but what confusion they sowed in the heads of their followers!
Adolph Hitler also adopted such tactics, though with a somewhat different emphasis. Without the support of "the German Woman" — that self-consciously Teutonic Female, his own creation — he would never have made it to the top, the position from which he could instigate his great blood bath. Since the really powerful elements were not men, Hitler could openly advocate his program: war against neighboring countries and the persecution of another "race" — while the women cheered him on, as we know. No one is saying that women want war more than men do — whoever wants war? — but they are less opposed to it. Because they don't as a rule expect to be sent to the front, war means less of a risk to them personally; because they are not given to thinking beyond their noses, they are much slower to realize all the deadly consequences of war. Who would ever have foreseen, in any case, that even a democratic regime like the British would drop bombs on defenseless civilians, massacring over half a million women and children — and gratuitously, as it turned out, since the bombardment of cities made little difference; it was only the systematic destruction of industrial installations that helped to end the war. But the bombers were flown by men, so we may conclude that the women had no great compunctions about that. The pre-war suffragettes who fought for the vote had omitted to fight for women's participation in the dirty work of war. Although women are nominally as responsible for wars as men, at least where they have the vote, the majority of women by no means regard themselves as armchair soldiers, but rather as pacifists. In post-war Germany not one of the women who lived for years on the pay of a concentration camp guard — all of whom were murderers — ever went on trial.
Apart from the few young girls who get involved in leftist militancy or the like, the great masses of women have not, so far, knowingly risked anything for their society. Even the women soldiers of the Israeli Army figured only on the sidelines of the Six-Day as well as the Yom Kippur War. Where the shooting is, it's always the men. Who dies in war is decided by the more powerful sex: woman.