Of Catfights And Monkeys

It may be that somewhere in one of the innumerable Women’s Studies courses round about in the world there is an explanatory paradigm for what ordinary unenlightened people call a “catfight”. It is far more probable that academic ink is spilt instead on analyses of the degrading language involved in that term, and how using it is both symptom and tool of patriarchy. It may be that some of the professors are uneasily aware that women compete with one another, and often with great ferocity; but it is more likely that they lecture on how this only happens because men, on the principle of divide and rule, set them up to do so.

Do progressive, right-thinking women regard power as a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? The answer depends entirely on whether we are talking about the power of a man or men, or about the power of a woman or women. We look in vain for any thinking about the nature and mechanisms of power in general; and it is therefore a mistake to understand anything they say about power as being any kind of philosophical statement about the world. Because it is only the power of the enemy gender they are talking about, what they say is mere tactics.

According to the modern psychology of the workplace, accusations of the use of power-manipulating techniques can themselves be a power-manipulating technique. Since manipulation is what our species does best, any member thereof – especially one who has worked in an organisation – will immediately recognise this as the truth. Well and good; but when are we going to recognise that accusations of sexual misconduct can themselves be a manipulation technique, and accusations of gender, ethnic and anything-else oppression likewise? How long shall we continue to be browbeaten into affirming that in these particular arenas – and in these alone – the human tendency to spin and lie is miraculously suspended?

The ideologues surely know, deep in their secret hearts, that both sexes of Homo sapiens are power-loving, manipulative and cunning monkeys; but pretending that women partake of a higher nature is itself the paramount manipulative and cunning strategy of power-loving monkeys. The first thing to understand is therefore that these ideologues are power-loving monkeys first and scholars only afterwards, if at all.

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