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 by Jon Burras
Power: Domination or Seduction
      It seems that hardly a day goes by without another sexual harassment scandal being revealed. From politicians to Hollywood movie executives, sports figures to journalists, another male in a form of power has come to abuse that power and has somehow created a tenuous situation. While females have most commonly been at the victim end of this power grab there have also been males who have come forward as having been assaulted by other males. These intrusions might have been something as innocent as a butt pinch to something as violent as a forcible rape. Everything and anything in between has begun to come to light.
      Over the course of time men have abused their positions of power and have used their more dominant male bodies to either manipulate women or to overpower them. A former President of the United States has had many accusers who claim that he would take a picture with a young woman and pinch her butt while making a dirty joke at the same time. An influential movie producer has been accused on multiple occasions of inviting women up to his hotel room and exposing himself to them. At other times women were overpowered and forcibly raped by a stronger male. From groping to violent acts, men have been behaving badly for quite some time and our folly is finally being exposed. Our power grab over women by the use of dominance is coming to light.
      This behavior was always rationalized as "men just being men." We were given a free pass as we still held the power in society and women did not have as much influence. A "dirty old man" was a stereotypical figure that we all joked and laughed about. It was probably your father or grandfather so who could get angry at this familial trait? The boss with the staring eyes was just someone who women learned to avoid and they would roll their eyes when his name was mentioned. You never felt at ease when your uncle requested that you sit on his lap and he bounced you around as you never had the power to say "No." You might have felt pressured to give a man a hug that never felt innocent. You might have felt like you were slimed and needed to take a shower afterwards.
      Yes we men are as guilty as charged. We have been dominating and stealing power from women for a very long time. We have rationalized and justified our behavior in so many ways. We have requested that other women (our wives, girlfriends, co-workers) come to our sides and help us defend our bad behavior from public scrutiny as we hid behind the shield of denial. Most of these other women have been willing accomplices in our conspiracy to steal the power of women whom we have selected to prey on. Our co-dependent women most often would rather protect us offenders than have to deal with the consequences of exposing the perpetrator in us.
      Where did we men learn how to do this? Unfortunately, we learned from many sources that have been passed down for generations. We probably had a relative who was a groper or assaulter. There might have been friends growing up who were common offenders in stealing power. We somehow reveled in their assault victories (and were sometimes envious) as to how much they could get away with. We heard stories of dominant and masculine men who just took what they desired. Those fraternity college years might have embedded in you more dominant power struggles over women as you were competing with your peers for the most sexual successes. Our media and folklore are filled with dominant male power victories over women. From Disney cartoons to Hollywood epic adventure movies, males are being programmed for dominance at a very young age..
      While we pretend to be cultured citizens of the world the reality is that we are more animal than civilized. The human brain can be divided into three distinct layers. The oldest and deepest part of the brain lives in the brain stem and is called the Reptilian Brain. This area of influence is responsible for survival skills and automatic responses like keeping one breathing, holding one's breath when underwater, seeking out food, mating and other primal instincts. The Emotional Brain lives on top of the Reptilian Brain and is responsible for our emotional reaction to situations. Anger, love and joy emanate from here. The outer covering of the brain is called the Cortex. The Cortex is the thinking brain where organized thoughts are formed, societal rules are created and where lawyers exist. The Reptilian and Emotional Brain areas are still very much alive and active despite the attempts by the Cortex to squash and subjugate them.
      Male dominance originates in the Reptilian Brain. Imagine thousands of years ago when a male would forcibly drag a female by her hair into a cave and violently mate with her. From the Vikings of the North Sea to the Mongols of Asia, male domination has long been normal behavior.
      This is not much different from many tribal animal behaviors where the dominant male in a pack of animals (hippos, moose, Grizzly bears, lions etc.) would dominate and subdue any weaker male and then forcibly mate with as many females as he wished. Groping, rape, sexual manipulation and other male ways of taking power from females has been built into the male brain from the days of our early ancestors. We often hope and expect that our rational brain will take over and civilize us into conformity but that is not always the case. At times our animal nature sneaks out, whether that is in a modern day office environment or while in a military uniform.
      We are much more animal in today's world than we are civilized. For instance, millions of human beings are killed each year by other human beings either in wars with either religious or political differences, drug gang executions or ethnic cleansing of those who are not like us. A hunter in the woods stalking and shooting an animal is acting like an animal himself and not a rational human being living in his Cortex. Even slaughtering a domesticated animal for human consumption is a Reptilian Brain function. A fisherman catching fish is acting out of his ancient survival skills in hunting down food. The belief is that we need to kill in order to survive and that idea stems from deep within our brain.
      The act of "road rage" is a prehistoric reaction to the perceived threat that one is under attack. Your Reptilian and Emotional Brains believe that you are in danger when someone cuts you off in freeway traffic and you must respond in kind with your own violent act of self- preservation. The holocaust and subsequent WWII were the result of Reptilian tribal thinking where one tribe was threatened by other tribes and attempted to exterminate them.
      We brain-wash ourselves into thinking that we are civilized yet how much of our lives are spent in our animal ways and survival instincts? From wars to how we steal resources from those who can least afford it (i.e. water, minerals, food etc.), we are most often operating out of a Reptilian Brain that is still very much alive. In essence, there is more cave man in us than we care to realize. Much of male's quandary these days is learning how to operate where civility is expected and the Reptilian Brain is still activated.
      Men spend an enormous amount of their time and energy keeping the caveman locked inside its cage. Men must continue to come to terms with a caveman that wants to take what he wishes through dominance and a rational human being who is capable of equal and respectful relationships with his female counterparts. Men are beginning to realize that the Neanderthal in us that wants to grope, fondle and dominate for power cannot be successful in an evolving culture. The time has come for men to wake up from our prehistoric trance and stop dominating women for power.
      This is only half the story. The other half of the story reveals women's culpability in the abstract suction of power. Women too have a Reptilian, Emotional and Cortex of brain functions. Women too are operating out of their animalistic nature and are Neanderthal in their behavior. Women too are just as guilty of usurping power away from men. Women too are in a state of denial around this behavior as being just normal female behavior. Women too are living in the Dark Ages of their minds. Women too have an awful lot of work to do.
      While not the normal means, females can steal power like males through domination and other means. There are cases when women have raped, sexually assaulted or harassed other women (and men at times). This happens in prisons for instance much more commonly than you would imagine. More and more we find that female school teachers are having sexual relationships with their young and naive male students. This used to be reserved just for men preying on underage girls. Women too can be bullies and it often resolves around sexuality.
      There are times when women in positions of power (executives, business owners, tribal leaders, teachers) have used their dominant nature to steal power from men either in a physical manner or by other means. This could be by intoxication, manipulation or pressure. Men seldom report this power sapping as it would label the man as unmanly to be overtaken by a woman.
      Domination is not so common though. The most common way that women act out in their Reptilian manner is through the use of seduction. Seduction is the inner and outer thoughts and behavior that creates a situation of attracting someone to you through enticement and temptation. Imagined fantasies are often involved. In essence, many women steal power from men by dressing and acting seductively.
      This behavior is another way the Reptilian Brain operates. A cave woman would entice a male to desire her so that she could be taken care of. This might include mating, baring children or being provided for. It is no different than male Reptilian behavior in so much as it is our primordial brain at work attempting to stay in power. Women are still acting as Neanderthals as they have learned how to be seductive in society.
      Nature has a seductive side to it. A Venus Fly Trap will ooze sweet nectar on its multi-colored leaves. When an insect swoops down to taste this sweet nectar it inadvertently must touch two of the sensors on the leaves. When this occurs the leaves instantly close shut trapping the insect. The insect is slowly digested by the plant with no hope of escape.
      Other animals might exude scents to seduce males into mating with them. This is called "going into heat." The male picks up this scent and is drawn into the mating ritual. Other animals will have certain body parts that engorge with color or shape to attract the male. Some animals will have a special song or chirping as a means of attracting the male into mating.
      Human females will incorporate seductive clothing, make-up, perfume, alluring walks, high heels and gestures (like flipping one's hair) as a way to steal power away from males. The most extreme example of female seduction to claim power is the "gold digger." Here you have a very seductive female who is looking for a "sugar daddy" or someone to take care of her financially. She usually targets men who are easily seduced and often older than herself. These gold diggers have become an accepted part of our culture as stealing power from men has become normalized. While dressed in civilized clothing she is still operating from her primordial brain and still engaged in a cave woman behavior. Women often claim that they are dressing up to appeal to other women. The reality is that their Reptilian Brain is calling the shots and their intention is to look more attractive than other women so that they might be chosen first when males are "horny" and seeking mates.
      Another layer of the seductive female is the "centerfold model." Marylyn Monroe was a prime example of this Reptilian behavior manifesting itself. This centerfold was able to secure a lucrative acting career and an assortment of modeling contracts while wrapping herself around politicians, a United States President (John F. Kennedy) and even a baseball star. (She was married three times, including her marriage to baseball slugger Joe DiMaggio). She was not a particularly great actress but achieved her success by her seductiveness.
      Centerfolds use their seductive bodies and behavior to attain power from males. (Another centerfold model, Anna Nicole Smith, age 26, went on to marry billionaire J. Howard Marshall, age 89. She claimed that she was madly in love with him). From the centerfold models of the pin up girls of the 1940's to today's present day men's magazine models (Playboy, Penthouse, Maxim etc.), seduction is the primordial method that many women still use as a means to acquire power. While many might roll their eyes at the morality of this method, it is still legal and commonly accepted. In fact, many women aspire to be seductresses from early on. They might have a Marylyn Monroe or other centerfold poster in their bedroom as a young teenager marking a guide post for their future.
      There are countless tales of beautiful women seducing themselves up the ladder of success. This is apparent in the film industry, politics, corporate businesses and many other professions. Women will be the initiator in a sexual encounter in order to gain favors (job, husband, promotion, business contract, modeling deal, movie contract). They are the ones who are using their seductive nature as a means to acquire power from males. We call this "sleeping your way to the top." Somehow we have accepted this behavior as normal and accredited.
      It is absolutely amazing how many women began their careers through seduction. Many start out as beauty pageant contestants or Hooters waitresses. They then move on to bikini model and then lingerie model. Some become centerfold models in men's magazines. One would be shocked to learn how many present day female politicians (local, state and federal) began their careers as beauty pageant contestants.
      Even today there are women in the United States Senate who early on were beauty pageant contestants. In the age of 2017, why do we still have beauty pageants where young women walk seductively on stage in a skimpy bathing suit and high heels and exalt their body measurements? This is a women saying that she is seeking power from men by seduction. These former beauty pageant contestants often go on to receive jobs as sports reporters, television weather girls or even television news anchors. It was not their knowledge of meteorology or sports that landed them that job.    They seduced their way into the profession by showing lots of skin.
      For decades seductive women have been invited on USO tours to military bases in foreign countries to entertain the primarily male soldiers. These began with the famous Bob Hope tours and continue to this day. These women were not invited for their singing or dancing skills. They were invited because of their seductive figures. Even in an age of so-called equality, women agree to be thrown to the military wolves like a piece of meat. We need to entertain the troops. Let's send some centerfold models on stage so that the men can get excited and we will call it entertainment. Women are willing participants in this endeavor.
      Just like the Venus Fly Trap that uses brightly colored leaves and a strong sweet scent to lure its prey, women do the same thing with their wardrobe and make-up. High heels make a women more attractive as they cause her butt to stick out and her legs to appear longer (apparently better characteristics for mating according to the Reptilian Brain). Mini skirts, thong underwear protruding from low cut jeans, ripped and torn clothing and even tight yoga pants are often considered seductive attire designed to get men to want a woman (desire) just as the Reptilian Brain so intended. A plunging exposed cleavage has become normal, even among professional women at work. More seductive female appendages include padded bras, lace stockings, girdles, hair extensions, false eye lashes, exotic jewelry and body shaping wraps.
      Young women often wear shorts with the word "pink" emblazoned across their back side. This is not an innocent choice of color but a seductive enticement reminding men of a woman's pink genitals that they cannot have. This is seduction at it finest. This seductive wardrobe lure is like waving a chocolate chip cookie in front of a small child and telling him that he cannot have it. Imagine if men did the same thing with the word "hung" or "large" printed across the front of their jeans. There would be public outcry, Congress would enact a new prohibitive law and the jean manufacturer would be boycotted.
      Women have had many seductive professions designed to lure men in and acquire power from them. These include the classic Japanese Geisha girls, Middle Eastern belly dancers, strippers, escorts, bar maids and even the common cheerleader. As a sporting event is being played a scantily clad female bounces up and down on the sideline attracting attention.
      Women spend a great amount of time and effort keeping their inner Neanderthal in a cage. They pluck their eye brows, shave their legs, arm pits and often pubic hair. They receive regular facials to keep the wildness away from their face. They color their hair and deodorize their arm pit smell.
      Artificial parts on women like breast implants or lip enlargements are other means of seduction. These are all primitive measures to get the male to desire the female. Lip stick is also a seduction tool. Bright red lip stick on a woman is symbolic of a woman's genital lips. By accentuating the lips on the face males are reminded of their sexual lips below, hence increasing desire.
      Seduction for many women can be an addiction. Just like some males might have an addiction to domination, seduction too can be an addictive state. Women are getting "high" off of luring men in. Seduction becomes a drug and more and more seductive clothing and behaviors begin to develop to keep the high going. A woman will continue to shop for the latest in seductive clothing to keep her high going. She will scout out the best public places to find her prey to give her the hit of being stared at and desired. She is drugged but the only drug is her need for attention.
      Seduction is used to sell everything from cars to pajamas, from computers to vacations. Seductive women will appear with a product and hope to draw someone (usually a man) out of his rational brain into his Emotional and Reptilian Brain. While men might be the creators of this seduction for sell campaign, women are willing accomplices. The hope is that men will fantasize that they too can have a hot girl like this if they purchase this car, boat, computer etc..
      Far too frequently women (just like men) are in complete denial of their Reptilian Brains. Society has made so made excuses and cover-ups denying women's responsibility in the seduction game. Women are told that they have every right to act and dress any way they wish at any time and in any place. (Except on airlines where you might get kicked off for dressing "inappropriately"). This denial is just like how any addict would handle their addiction cover-up.
      Occasionally a strong and independent minded individual will call women out on their lack of responsibility. This individual is often blasted in the mainstream media and scourged on its trolling low lying neighbor—social media. Social media is the breeding ground for victims and victim groups to hang out. There is not a whole lot of self-inquiry and self-responsibility in those who live their lives on social media.
      A contentious allegory is the following. A woman enters a bar dressed provocatively and she is sexually assaulted. Our logical and moral brains say that she did nothing wrong. It is all the fault of the male perpetrators. But this is not a black and white issue. The analytical court of justice wants a black and white answer and cannot comprehend grey areas. The woman is in her Reptilian Brain, seducing men and attempting to lure men into their caveman layer. When she is successful and the males forget about societal moral codes of conduct and revert to primal behavior, they are the ones who receive the penalty.
      This is like if a fisherman puts a worm on a hook and throws it into the lake to attract fish. If a fish bites on the worm the fisherman is upset. It is all the fish's fault for the worm being gone. Unfortunately the Reptilian Brain is not admitted into court and must be left out in the wilds of society. Only our logical brains are permitted as evidence in a court of law. Emotions are spared and the only truth is what the higher thinking Cortex can deliver.
      Flirtation is not innocent. Flirtation is another form of seduction without crossing any imaginary boundaries. Nobody flirts with someone whom she is not attracted to. Hence, flirtation is a simple form of Reptilian Brain activity, like an animal sniffing the behind of another animal. It is a symbolic gesture to test the waters to see if this other person might be suitable for mating. One might ask themselves this question. Would you behave the same way with someone whom you are not attracted to? Clear communication is having the same behavior with all who you come in contact with. Flirting is a gentle form of seduction that tries to tempt someone to desire you. When flirting we are still like dogs at a dog park sniffing each other's behinds.
      The societal excuse is just the same as the one that men use. This is women just being women. Society is very co-dependent in supporting a female's seduction schemes. While it might come as a surprise to many, masculinity has nothing to do with rock solid abs and bulky arms and chest muscles. Just the same, femininity has nothing to do with a seductive wardrobe, heavy make-up and erotic behavior. Domination is an abolition of masculinity the same way that seduction is an abolition of femininity. Authentic masculine men do not need to use domination for power the same as authentic feminine females do not see seduction as an appropriate strategy. We have confused the two and it is time to set the record straight.
      We are currently in a lynch mob mentality. Women are feeling empowered as more and more powerful men are exposed for their indiscreet actions. This leads to more and more empowerment followed by a sense of revenge against the male species and sometimes a sense of feeling justified for what many women have had to go through. Women often want "pay back" for their emotional trauma and hire lawyers to achieve a financial settlement. Imagine if men hired lawyers and wanted money payouts every time a woman had seduced them.
      This is not a war of the sexes; it is a battle between our ears. Both men and women are battling their brains and trying to learn how to suppress Reptilian instincts while embracing modern cultural standards. He or she who is without sin may cast the first stone.
      From the hallowed halls of historic military institutions to the halls of Congress, from the back lots of Hollywood to the business offices of executives, we are living in a time of upheaval. In order to understand and correct a problem you must first identify it correctly. Culture is still unwilling to name the problem. Men are still being blamed for the sole source of the problem. We are asking men to respect women yet many women often have very little self-respect for themselves.
      Due to current events and work place sexual harassment laws, men are being forced into self examination. We are looking at what it means to be masculine and male. We might stumble and feel confused as our boyhood thinking conflicts with our modern day cultural standards. The journey has begun for men and will take whatever course it needs to.
      Women too have much work to do in their self examination of power. While we went through the women's movement of the seventies, this issued was never addressed. Even so, many so-called liberated women still dress and act seductively and want men to desire them even at work in their professional world. A common phrase from women is that they appreciate being treated like a professional but they still like it when men whistle at them, stare at their body parts or complement them on how nice they look. How liberated are they really?
      It is more common than not for a woman who calls herself a professional and equal to take off her clothes and appear in a men's magazine or model her bikini clad figure on the front of a popular magazine. Women seem to want it both ways. They wish to have the freedom to be seductive and operate out of their Reptilian Brains while living up to modern civilized standards and being treated equally and respectfully. (For instance, Jeanie Buss, the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, has appeared naked in Playboy Magazine).
      An important fact to remember is that authentically powerful individuals do not need to acquire power by force or by seduction. Authentic power is free of manipulation or coercion, entanglements or secrets. Authentic power is respectful and uplifting.
       The bottom line is that we cannot deny the fact that we are all animals at our core. Domination and seduction are both prehistoric behaviors in our attempt to steal power from others. Despite laws, social pressure, fancy clothes and make-up, our animal nature will always be with us. How we integrate it and learn how to adapt to it will determine where our society goes from here. That howl in the shower during a full moon might be your inner wolf trying to get out.
      "We are filled with a longing for the wild. There are few culturally sanctioned antidotes for this yearning. We are taught to feel shame for such a desire. We grew our hair long and used it to hide our feelings. But the shadow of the Wild Woman still lurks behind during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed."
-Clarissa Pinkola Estes-

Power Versus Force, David R. Hawkins, Md. , PhD.
The Centerfold Syndrome, Gary R. Brooks
The Pacific Standard: Women Sexually Assaulting Men
Women Who Run With The Wolves, Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes