Power & Control

power control

Jake Buck

I’m Jake, I either live on the disgusting part of Cambridge or the disgusting part of London. Sometimes I go to uni at Brunel and sometimes I cry in bed over Disney cartoons. I have a strong attraction to KFC. @JakeBBuck

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“…perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.”


Most people hate their boss. This summer I had two and they were polar opposites. They both had power over me, obviously, and both used that power completely differently. One constantly felt they had to consolidate their power and push the boundaries of what a boss should be able to do. She knew she had that power and bordered on abusing it just because she could. I started that job happy to work and shortly quit because I was being punished for the smallest of small matters and she tried to tell me I needed to work harder because I wasn’t good at my job, while the boss above her regularly commended me. The other job, this one, I don’t get paid for, yet enjoy a thousand times more and I am, obviously, still doing and putting my all in each week. This way I am encouraged, not insulted when critiqued, feel involved and actually have the want to do more work.

So this got me thinking of power in different situations. Two in particular:

In China, female babies used to have their feet bound together so that they’d appear more dainty and desirable. This led to them not being able to define their own bodies, or in very real terms run away from an attacker. This was later rightly deemed wrong and misogynistic, etc. Yet men enjoy seeing women in pencil skirts, stilettos, corsets and other mainstream fashion attire that actually restrains the woman and you can regularly hear or see them struggling about what they’re wearing. I wondered if men’s attraction to such things was because it makes them have a physical advantage over the woman and plays into the stereotype of the big strong man so that they’re then attracted to the pride and ego boost, potentially leading to some revelation of deep dark fetishes which aren’t fun to discuss so early on a Saturday morning. I’m not criticising this taste or attraction, merely commenting on whether it’s a subconscious attraction to power rather than connection for some men.

The other situation I was thinking about was in relationships. The stereotypes are always about who wears the trousers, big strong breadwinner and housewife, top and bottom, who’s the wife in a gay relationship, I could probably go on, but hopefully you get the idea. Even within friendships, there always seems to be the stereotype of the attention seeking friend that likes to be the dominant one. It just makes me wonder where this need for power comes from?

If you have a true friendship or a true love, isn’t it best to be equal in the sense that you both recognise each other’s faults and can be there to balance them out. It’s obviously not as simple as that stated above, as if you’re attracted to power, you’re more likely to be attracted to someone who appears submissive, and while that can work in a sexual sense (giggity), in wider terms it doesn’t make for a healthy relationship unless that submissiveness in sex contrasts with a confident personality. I suppose it applies that if you’re aware that you’re a submissive/dominant person, you’re attracted to the opposite, but the point of this is really how much damage the power of being a dominant person in a relationship, be it romantic or friend, can have on the submissive person.

Abuse of that dominance leads to arrogance, taking the other for granted, and the basic actions that lead from that can have such emotional and mental repercussions for the recipient in future relationships. It genuinely makes me worried that some people have the power to do that to someone else and are probably too dumb to realise how they can mess someone up in the future, whether that be out of fear or dependency. If the recipient manages to escape from a power struggle relationship then they’re going to have battle wounds that can cause them to mess up when they find their someone that balances them out. I’d be too scared to be a dominant person and mess someone else up that I’d care about, but at the same time I’d never let someone take me for granted or think they’re above me in any way. I couldn’t be equal with someone either because I can’t recognise my own faults, because I’m fucking flawless.

There’s no real conclusion or point to this, it is just a train of thought that I wanted to express and share. In turn, it’d be cool to see what you think about any of this, if you’ve ever thought about any of this. Power, attractive?