Domination techniques indicate manipulation methods that aim to maintain PoPowerr gender inequality at the social level or in relationships.
Dominance techniques are an accepted concept in Scandinavia, mainly in the context of gender equality. Even though the use of domination techniques is as old as human history, it is one of many means that the mighty men and women employ to maintain power over the less powerful.
The concept originates from the German philosopher and sociologist Georg Simmel’s theory of social life as a spontaneously organized social structure through man’s inherent sociality. Inspired by Georg Simmel’s thinking, the Norwegian philosopher and psychologist Ingjald Nissen (1896-1977) described the concept of dominance technique in 1925. In a noted book, The Dictatorship of Psychopaths (1945), he saw the German people under the Nazi regime as victims of a dictatorship where mythological masculinity and power over the inferior woman whose task and destiny was to serve man and to bear children.
Today, the concept of dominance techniques usually refers to five types of manipulation:
- Invisibility – to ignore, underestimate or devalue other achievements or points of view
- Ridicule –to make fun of how another person expresses themself but precisely to imply that women are unaware or do not have the Power of judgment because of their sex.
- withholding information from others
- double punishment – rejecting both options when there are only two ways to act, for example criticizing women who choose to take care of the home and children for not taking social responsibility and for failing their children if they choose to work outside the home
- Infliction of guilt and shame –Generally speaking, blaming others without reasonable cause for something has gone wrong and when dealing with a woman claiming that because of the way she is or behaves as a woman, she is incompetent or unskilled or that she bears the responsibility for something that happened to her, even when it is a crime such as an example sexual abuse.
Berit Ås, a Norwegian politician, psychologist, and feminist, added two other manipulation methods to the original five listed above
- objectifying: Discussing the appearance of one or several persons in a situation where it is irrelevant.
- Force/threat of force Threatening with or using one’s physical strength towards one or several persons.
A group of Ph.D. students at Stockholm University has formulated five counter strategies I intend to write about in a future post.