Thanks John, I think so too. I’ve learned a ton this year as I’ve done a lot of reading and research for articles and it’s become a bit of an obsession for me. I just may have to change my profile descriptor to “That domiance-hierarchy woman.” One of the main things that got me started down this road was reading Riane Eisler’s follow up to The Chalice and The Blade, called Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and the Politics of the Body. Her extensive scholarship and research helped me to get a broader picture of how we’ve built our culture around coercion, stratification, threat of pain, domination, and fear. Now that I’ve seen it, I just can’t unsee how this relates to racism, sexual harassment, bullying and just about every other social ill that we have. This is why no amount of sexual harassment training has made a significant difference — we need to address the component of constant jousting for position in the hierarchy at the expense of others before it will. I’m glad that people like umair haque who have a large audience have been writing about it more and more also.

I see it in the “discussions” I have with certain types of people, men in particular, who have to have the last word, can’t be vulnerable enough to have a real discussion, have to insert dismissive and condescending comments so that they can get one up by putting me down — rather than meeting as equals who may or may not ultimately agree. It’s the roots of mansplaining but also the emotional isolation of men because if everyone around you is your competitor, you can’t truly get close to them. It’s a major factor in what’s going on for incels. I’ve got a piece in the works to lay this out more fully, but I haven’t quite gotten it all put together yet because there are just so many elements — and I also get distracted by the 47 other things I want to write about. 😄

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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