Submissive Women


Both Aoefe and Heartiste discuss the idea of women being naturally submissive. As expected some disagreed.

To be controversial, I will take the middle ground…

There are two problems when discussing female submissiveness. The first is distinguishing between sexual submission and social submission. The second is forgetting that we are talking averages, so there will be exceptions that do not disprove the rule.

In the first case, I believe that the majority of women prefer the man to take charge in sexual and romantic encounters. I suspect that sexually submitting to the strong (even forceful) advances of a worthy man is a turn on for most women. The prevalence of rape fantasies for women point to this desire to be forcefully taken (by an attractive man of their choice, of course). Women may vary in their taste for such submission, and occasionally may even enjoy taking the lead, but I imagine few women would enjoy always having to take the sexual or romantic lead.

The fact that some women prefer to always, or mostly, take a sexually aggressive role does not invalidate the belief that women will tend to favor sexual submission. Anyone with an interest in areas such as public policy and HBD should be well aware of the difference between averages (central tendency) and outliers.

The second case is probably less clear. Compared to sexual dominance, I suspect that a greater percentage of women enjoy, or are at least open to, taking a more dominant role in social situations. However, it is likely that, compared to men, fewer women relish such roles, and fewer will flourish in them. This is not to say that women cannot relish or thrive in leadership positions (Margaret Thatcher comes to mind), merely that a far smaller proportion of women will be happy in such roles. Here again we are talking averages. A far greater percentage of men will value and desire leadership roles and positions of social dominance. A far greater percentage of men who obtain such roles will be happy in them. Current social discourse is likely backward here: women are not driven out of scientific or managerial roles by “social construct” sexism; they are driven into roles where they may be less satisfied by social pressure.

The small fraction of women who truly enjoy and desire leadership roles are the cause of so many problems. These atypical women drove the feminist movement. They assumed that all women shared their discontent. Taking the socially dominant roles they wanted, they built and led a movement. Sadly, that movement misled many women, and not a small number of men. It convinced women that happiness lay in masculine roles of leadership, social dominance, and professional advancement. While this may suit some women, a larger cohort may have been pushed into roles that did not provide them fulfillment.

What is important to note is that even women who relish a socially dominant role probably still seek (at least to some degree) a sexually submissive role. After a takeover battle in the boardroom, she wants him to fight the takeover battle the bedroom.


I suspect that some amount of men have no pressing desire for leadership or social dominant roles (perhaps as much acquiescing to their lack of ability in this area). This cohort is probably larger than the female dominants. Because they lack the desire to bend the world to their will, these men cannot cause the same problems as the atypical women did.

I suspect that truly sexually submissive men are rare. Some of these “submissives” may actually be merely passive, finding ill ease in the forceful role expected of them. A man that sometimes enjoys having his woman take the lead may be nothing more than lazy (the active role is more work) or vain (it is nice to be desired).

“Heartiste” sounds suspiciously like one who would prefer the submissive role as compared to, say, “Roissy.”


10 Responses to “Submissive Women”

  1. choiceposts Says:

    Nicely written!

  2. An Unmarried Man Says:

    I find interesting the mythical high-powered male executive who secretly harbors submission fantasies in the bedroom. I have no idea how pervasive this is, but it apparently, it does happen.

  3. Ulysses Says:

    I’d further posit that many socially dominant women define dominance differently than socially dominant men. That is, they flourish when their “dominance” is confined by predetermined choices that a man, who is higher on the totem pole, has selected. They thus get to assert themselves without having to pay the full price of failure. Of course there are outliers, but they are such a small cohort as to be statistically insignificant. They exist and are vocal enough to skew the curve. Nonetheless, they are not representative and do an immense disservice to women writ large. These alpha females redefine what a soft socially dominant woman actually desires from a choice/leadership position.
    [DU: Interesting point. There was a time when women expressed leadership as teachers, running civic organizations, and, heaven forefend, running a household. I think the big mistake women made was to believe that those roles unworthy or unfulfilling. While teaching remains predominantly female, it seems to have moved more towards the model of professional career instead of a civic service.]

  4. aoefe Says:

    Thanks for directing a little traffic my way. 🙂
    [DU: Probably very little. In fact, most of my readers are probably also your readers, so it may be no new traffic.]

    I won’t add to you post because I’ve already shared my view and have no clue about medians and things like that. 😉
    [DU: I doubt that you will ever be median or average. I mean that in the best possible way.]

  5. sdaedalus Says:

    I think there’s also a middle ground, Default, where a woman does not particularly like the idea of ordering around other people but at the same time likes to retain a certain degree of independence, even if only so that she can support herself & her kids if, god forbid, something happens. I’d suspect a substantial category of women come within this and then there are others to whom it doesn’t matter so much.

    I’m not quite sure about women disliking leadership roles because even back in the day when women didn’t have careers as such they did take on leadership roles in social activities e.g. society hostesses, church groups & so forth, the stakes could be just as high & the knives just as sharp in these activities :-).

    I’d agree that the vanguard of the feminist movement had a tendency to project their own views onto everyone else, still do.
    [DU: I certainly agree that independence is an important driver for the desire of women to enter professions. I would never say that a young woman should avoid the professions and leadership roles therein, merely that it may not bring her the happiness promised. While the same applies to men, there appears to be less effort to convince men they should desire such things if they are not already interested. One outcome of greater female participation in the workforce is the loss of women in those older leadership roles of civic, church, and charity. From a purely economic point, the current outcome is likely more “efficient” (talent going to where it is most needed), from a more general view (societal welfare and happiness) I am less certain. Just to be clear, I am not sure we really disagree here, but it is an interesting discussion.]

  6. david foster Says:

    Note that dominance and submission can coexist in the same extreme form, this is said to be an essential part of the fascist personality: very submissive upwards, very domineering downwards. But in less extreme form, it’s probably quite common.

  7. sdaedalus Says:

    I think that’s a good point, David, and worth exploring further.

  8. Default User Says:

    @david foster, sdaedalus
    Yes, it is an interesting question, no doubt.

    I am not sure that you can link authoritarianism to a particular political outlook. Indeed, the most progressive of speech codes have a distinct element of authoritarianism, tending to punish out-groups in favor the in-group.

    Individuals of the type you mention do exist but they are more likely to be the petty tyrants of the DMV, junior management, or the shop floor. I am not convinced that such personalities automatically favor authoritarian government or even authoritarianism in general. The British comedy “Fawlty Towers” featured a perfect embodiment of the type in the character Basil Fawlty.

    Academic talk of the “authoritarian personality” is as much about dislike of bourgeois values and irrational fear (the various psych disciplines tend towards Jewishness) of anti-Semitism. They seem only to fear ethno-centrism and social order when certain groups practice it. Indeed, by their own descriptions, many such practitioners could themselves, be owners of a “fascist” personality. The up-group being progressive transnationals, the down group working and middle-class whites.

  9. david foster Says:

    Agree that what is called the “Fascist personality” is by no means limited to those on the political Right. I’m quite sure that the same phenomenon—submission upwards, domination downwards–was found in Stalin’s circle, and as you say is also found in business and government organizations of all types.

    I do not think fear of anti-Semitism is irrational; remember the initial academic work on “the authoritarian personality” was done when WWII and the Holocaust were a lot closer in time than they are today. And anti-Semitism is a meme that seems to perpetually emerge in certain kinds of political/social/emotional climates: there is a disturbing amount of it right now among the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd and more generally among the “progressive” Left.

    Academics do tend to dislike bourgeois values; however, the assault on bourgeois values generally tends to morph into anti-Semitism and many other unpleasant things as well.

  10. Default User Says:

    I think the fear of anti-Semitism, and especially some modern Holocaust, is unwarranted in modern Western countries.

    As a very successful group, Jews will tend to be a disproportionate part of the elite (both intellectual and financial). As a recognizable sub-set of this elite, they will face greater scrutiny. However, I do not believe that hostility to “Jewish bankers” will really turn into grotesque hostility towards Jews in general. I cannot even see something as mild as affirmative action type laws to limit Jewish presence in colleges or employment, much less harsher discriminatory practices or actions. In other words if “Jewish bankers” are put against the wall, it is only because all bankers are against the wall.

    As a group, Jews do extremely well in bourgeois societies, thus any assault on such values will entail distrust of Jews who will make up a recognizable part of the business, commercial, and rentier class. The irony here is that Jewish intellectuals have been a strong force in disdain of such bourgeois values.

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