Step Outside Your Perspective – Marc MacYoung


…many years ago I read Warren Farrell’s “Myth of Male Power” he had a simple model that REALLY made sense about both gender roles as well as how second wave feminists were skewing their focus. Now while it was specific to the issue of the direction feminism was taking, it’s a VERY useful tool for looking at perceived victimhood of identitarian… excuse me, identity politics.

Male | Female
Power | Power
Male | Female
Powerlessness | Powerlessness

Now you have four squares, that show each has areas of power and powerlessness. Yes each has bennies (hell you can even call them ‘privilege’) but each also has obligations, responsibilities and limits that both balance out those bennies and costs each group is expected to pay. Thus is the way of the world.

Farrell maintained that Second Wave Rads had hyperfocused on only two of the four squares and built their ideology from that. Male power, female powerless seems like a horribly unjust system. At the same time, it overlooks that everyone has both power and powerlessness.

The reason I bring this up, is that this two-party model can be taken past the original topic it was designed for. You can apply it to many other situations. For example you spoke of freedom and obligation, put those there instead of power/ powerlessness and change male/female to who you are talking about.

Lacking the other two components you get a very imbalanced and skewed assessment of the dynamics of a situation. Yet, because it looks like you’re seeing everything — from that particular perspective — the model seems to be accurate.

This is why it is so critical to step OUTSIDE of a particular perspective to check if you are indeed seeing everything. Unfortunately, most refuse to do that and instead, when evidence that would change the conclusion is presented, they retreat into an echo chamber that reconfirms their flawed model — even if that echo chamber is inside their own head and belief systems.

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