But power, and the way it manifests and gets divided between people, has a role in almost every kind of relationship, no matter how stable and functional it is — after all, as Oscar Wilde said, “Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”
This is the quote that After After Party host Sonia Denis invoked when she sat down with comedians Janelle James, Eliza Kresinger, and Mike Lebovitz to talk about how power impacts relationships. Unsurprisingly, the guests were divided on some issues of power, but tended to agree on one thing: in most relationships, it’s not a great idea if just one person is in control 100% of the time.
That may be because some people simply aren’t equipped to hold all the power, even if they think they are.
“Some dudes are like, ‘You have to let the man lead,’ but they don’t even know where they’re going,” Janelle.
Kresinger remarked that she thinks dating women makes it easier to gain a sense of equanimity.
“I don’t want a crazy power dynamic, I want a business partner,” Kresinger said. “But maybe that’s a same-sex thing because we’re the same sex.”
Lebovitz, a straight man who is married, spoke to the importance of delegating roles, saying that basically, it’s okay if one person has more power at certain times, but it’s important for each partner to know how to hand off power to the other.
“That’s the thing about power dynamic,” Lebovitz said. “It has to be dynamic.”
Denis agreed, saying she uses her parents’ relationship as a model.
“My parents were partners,” Denis said. “Some things my mom was better at handling or my dad was better at handling, but I never felt like my dad was telling my mom what to do and vice versa.”
That said, not all the guests were convinced that an even 50/50 split can exist in any relationship.
“In every relationship everyone always likes the other person more and they switch back and forth, that’s just a fact,” James said as her parting words.
Check out the full discussion here:
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