Women, Sex and Spirituality
Interview by Bert H. Hoff
This article appeared in the May 1993 issue of M.E.N. Magazine
Bert: What do you see as the major issues in men-women relationships?
Sam: Power, equality and violence are the major issues. On top of that we like to talk about communication, as in Deborah Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand. Very often we turn the big issue between men and women into a communication issue, but I think it’s a lot deeper issue than that. The gender arrangement that we’ve had in this culture previous to the last 25 or 30 years has been one in which there has been more of an inequality in terms of political, social and financial power. Men have had a dominant role. In order to change that women have been coming into the workplace and in the political order and claiming their own power, they begin to encounter the old thing, which is a gender relationship. That’s where, for me, the real, crucial issue has to be violence. Men have had a virtual monopoly on violence, and that means a virtual monopoly on power. As women see violence done to them, they are having to re-think about their relationship to power, and also to military power. That’s what I tried to show in The Faces of the Enemy. But I do believe that when you define the male in terms of the warrior role, then you’re going to define him in terms of power and women are going to behind the victim end of the power-violence game.
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