Power and Gender Roles.

Essay by heinousanus April 2003

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When it comes to power struggles, I have observed that while the motive behind the actions of men and women are often the same, the actions themselves are somewhat different. I think that this is mainly a result of cultural and societal expectations placed on either sex, and not rooted in any biological difference between the two. For example, while men are taught by various means to be aggressive in their quest for power, women are taught to be subtle and manipulative, using such means as emotional blackmail, or sexual seduction to get what they want. The problem with using such strategies is that they are dependant on several factors in order to be successful, which are usually out of a woman's control. For instance, in order for a woman to use the power of seduction on a person, the person must be sexually attracted to her to begin with.

This can be difficult for women who do not meet the rigid cultural standards of modern beauty. Even if they are successful in their attempts at seduction, such attraction is not often permanent, and women who achieve power this way can be quickly replaced by someone who is thought of as more attractive.

Much as I would like to say that I don't fall into this trap, I am guilty of using these tactics to get what I want when all else fails. When I think about the arguments that I have had with my boyfriends, I notice that whenever I appeared to be losing the upper hand, I became increasingly self-conscious about my appearance. It was as though I felt that if I looked good enough, I could convince them to see things my way. Such a notion seems ridiculous to me when considering its reversal. In other words,