Why would men with such material wealth and power need to abuse that power for sexual contact with a woman? In fact, why would any man need to abuse his power to have a sexual experience with a woman?
Abuse of power is aggression. If a man exercises aggression to gain access to a woman, that man must, on some level, be terrified of woman. In his eyes, woman wields some power over him, which he must subdue to feel safe enough to engage with her.
It must also be stressed that “sex” under these circumstances has nothing to do with union, true joining with another person. Though the man may indeed gain access to his victim’s body, his sexual gratification remains purely narcissistic, locked within himself. Regardless of his victim’s physical reaction to his intrusion, there is no actual meeting in such an encounter. The man exits this kind of encounter still a prisoner to his own terror of woman.
All human beings issue forth into life as infants from the most powerful being on Earth: Mother! She who gives, nurtures and can even take life. The terror and total dependency upon this powerful Mother Goddess may recede into the unconscious as a man ages and develops in autonomy, but the power of this female imprint persists and is projected onto all women, the fascinating but terrifying, dangerous other. Even nonaggressive males deal with this terror.
Male initiation rituals, puberty rites of the ancients, resolved this dilemma for all males in a community by breaking the initiate’s dependence upon Mother through deliverance to the power of true adult standing within the community. From this position a man could stand on equal, albeit different footing from woman, and a genuine meeting with woman could happen devoid of violence.
Our modern world has rationalized itself beyond the need for initiation rites. Today these are largely held in the sacred journeys of therapy where the patient-initiate must slay the dragon of his Mother Complex to finally be able to see woman as equal partner.
What modern powerful men such as Weinstein, Cosby, and even Trump with his “pussy grabbing” reveal is that the acquisition of economic and material power in no way initiates a male into true adult manhood. Power might position a man to touch a woman as he pleases, but he’ll never touch a woman’s soul or experience a genuine union with her unless he achieves true manhood.
Manhood requires initiation. Initiation requires the defeat of the dependencies and the entitlements of childhood. Modern men must find their way to the initiation chamber on their own, with little or no community support. One modern initiation chamber, the psychotherapist’s office, is ready and waiting to provide the sacred space for the journey to real manhood.
Sex for the uninitiated man is his own narcissistic cell, a world of one. No amount of material acquisition or political muscle will release him from this solitary confinement. Only through taking the journey to slay his inner dragons may he be freed to enter the world and truly and safely be with a woman in real union.
A special Sunday blog by Chuck Ketchel, LCSW-R