A Man’s Fear of Women in Power


Society knows all too well how to demean a woman in a position of power, despite years of women fighting back and proving that they are just as capable or even more capable, it’s done nothing but reveal a man’s fear of women in power. In all aspects of life, men subconsciously reveal how much women being their equal fears them. Whether it’s shown in literature dated back to the 1500s or as current as past presidential elections. A man will never fail at attempting to dehumanize a powerful woman in front of the public. During the presidential election of 2016, the tabloids, the media, and articles did nothing but slander Hilary Clinton’s name, and you might say, “well that’s something done in every election”. People fail to realize the intersectionality that comes with being a woman. As the first woman to run for president, she faced backlash, slander, and assault from the public. This alone made her an even more powerful person AND the stronger candidate. Demeaning comments from her opponents specifically meant not only to dehumanize her but dehumanize and disrespect the entire population of women.


Examples can also be seen in Shakespeare’s writing, further proving the man’s obsession with oppressing women. Shakespeare has an interesting take on gender roles in his play “King Lear” because the main antagonists are women. I believe his intentions were to make the audience see Goneril and Regan as monsters but in reality, I believe we admire them more than we sympathize with the King. Some would say validation is more of a women’s area of expertise, but it’s interesting how Goneril and Regan use that to their advantage and ultimately strip Lear of his power and emasculate him. Some see them as devils and this isn’t me trying to defend their actions, but the way in which they were able to strip Lear of his power proves how women know how to win people over. A woman’s power and abilities go unscathed when comparable to the power men are given.

5 thoughts on “A Man’s Fear of Women in Power

  1. Charlie O.

    While reading King Lear, I didn’t think of how validation can be seen as a female gender stereotype. I do think it is very interesting that validation is one of Lear’s weaknesses, and I feel like it can connect to other characters. Maybe Edmund’s desire for validation is one of his weaknesses.


  2. Maggie B.

    I never really realized the idea of validation coming into play with women but how they create their own power through their actions over others is something interesting that this review made me think about. I like how you compared Shakespears’s intentions to how we read the book today and the difference between the views that make the power of women more complex.


  3. Zoe K.

    I really like how you talk about Regan and Goneril emasculating Lear. They showed their strength by proving it with their actions. While women in politics are often accused of being “all talk”, the sisters are the opposite of that. I also like how you acknowledge that Shakespeare may have been trying to portray Regan and Goneril as monsters, yet he was still able to write about women in power.


  4. Katarina O.

    I really liked how you talked about validation since I had never thought about it before as being a stereotype of women. I also liked how you incorporated what Hilary Clinton went through to show that this is still an issue in the twenty-first century as it was during Shakespeares’ time. I think Shakespeare intended to portray women as multidimensional while talking about the fear of women having power.


  5. charlotte g

    I liked that even though Goneril and Regan were written to frame them as the antagonist of Lear, their actions and determination symbolized a bigger picture of women in power. Although their actions weren’t good, by any means, it does emphasize that women can work at the same level as powerful men.


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