Novelist, blogger and friend Sarah A. Hoyt has hit another home run in an article this morning. She examines the strange ideas about femininity and feminism held by many authors, particularly in the science fiction community, and points out several home truths that tend to expose the silliness of their positions. Here's a brief excerpt.
In these older societies that women, now, imagine were patriarchies (and were, in outward form) women had their power too, and often more power than the men who were nominally ruling. Yes, they stood in danger of the man finding out. See Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Yes, the law often left them unprotected. But women could do things and arrange things and often got to positions of prominence if they wished to. And they were often the holders of the line.
Sexual persuasion? Sometimes. Look, no one said it wasn’t a weapon. Oh, okay, idiots convinced young women it’s empowering to just give it away. Tell me, if this were a plot of men to get ah… laid without any ties, how would it be any different? Right.
But there were others. “Woman” in man’s mind has incredible power. Elizabeth I used the power of the “Seductive but untouchable virgin” to get what she wanted not a few times. In fact, by dint of makeup she kept it up into her old age. Because those archetypes have power over men’s minds.
As does the fact that women nursed them as children and likely women will look after them as old men. I found a thing in a book, can’t remember where “We start out surrounded by women and we end surrounded by women.” If you think that doesn’t have power you don’t understand human psychology.
Trading it all in for being shouty and saying “me and my army?” Ah… that is throwing away the gift and keeping the wrapping.
Even Elizabeth the first didn’t do that. She played the game as well as she could, in her very restricted role, and she shamelessly used her femininity to play both foreign princes and her subjects, which was no small part of her success. (That said, do I admire her? Not really. Like Isabel of Castille, she did some truly horrendous things, and it’s hard to tell how many she HAD to do. Power on that scale deforms the mind.)
There's more at the link - and the comments from her readers are great, too.
(I contributed a comment linking to several articles that contain an exchange of views a few years ago between Labrat, the female half of the Atomic Nerds, and myself on the subject of the male role and identity in relationships. If you missed them, they were a lot of fun. See here for all the links in chronological order.)