Men have far more illusions about women than women have about men. Because, the powerful can afford to be self-absorbed; those who lack power cannot.
The pigeon pecking at day-old baguette in St. Louis Square never fails to keep an eye on the peregrine perched on the maple by the fountain.
But when the falcon’s eating her meal, later on that day, she does so in peace, without a care in the world. She loses herself in the pleasure of the moment, like a wine-soaked Epicurean, moaning her way through an exquisite five-course meal. But isn’t it always so with the food chain?
Parents have far more illusions about their kids than their kids have about them; employers have far more illusions about their employees than their employees have about them; masters have far more illusions about their slaves than their slaves have about them; and men have far more illusions about women than women have about men.
Because the powerful can afford to be self-absorbed; those who lack power cannot: It’s a luxury they simply can’t afford. They must be watchful, vigilant, alert, and aware. And they need to spend a great deal of time observing the powerful very carefully.
For that very reason, the slave comes to know her master very well—better, perhaps, than he knows himself—but the master can’t seem to remember her birthday.
—John Faithful Hamer, From Here (2015)
Originally published at Committing Sociology. Reprinted with permission.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.