The abuse of greatness
Is when it disjoins
Remorse from power.
— Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
There are some people who just like to have control over others. They have to laud themselves over them, tell them what to do, when to do it, where to do it, and how to do it, too.
“Hey bwoy, bring that, take this, do that.”
It gives them the ultimate thrill to control others, and that's why, perhaps, slavery was so popular back in the day.
Modern-day slavery still exists in various forms. Not only are the economic benefits of slavery enjoyed, but so is the absolute pleasure of controlling someone else to do your bidding.
“When she says jump, he doesn't ask where or when, but how high.”
It just feels good to be in control of another person, to have them do your bidding and wait on you hand and foot with no blowback from them. And believe me, control comes in all forms, ranging from the physical to the mental and emotional.
It's an issue that many people are subjected to, with most of them accepting their fate, while others aren't even aware that they are immersed in it, snarled in a web, trapped in a quagmire of control from which escape is impossible.
Control freaks exist among us, and they come in all shapes, forms, and sizes, as we'll see right after these responses to my spiel on 'Overindulgence vs virtue'.Hi Tony,
Thinking about it, you could say that I have overindulgences. I have an overindulgence for desserts, so much so that I have decided to cut back for my health. If you were to ask my wife what my overindulgence is, she would quickly say sex, but one cannot have enough sex, and if I am cutting back on one, then I should have more of the other. Can you guess which?
You are a man of my ilk, even though I am a woman. My overindulgence is shopping, much to the annoyance of my husband, but I tell him that it's my money, so he's to allow me my passion. Shopping for clothes or shoes or even basic things gives me a real thrill and lifts my spirits. For that reason I overindulge, especially in the shoe department. Some people overindulge in smoking and drinking; for me it's shopping and I have no regrets.
There are some people who just love to control others like Backra Massa. There is an old joke about an Englishman who, when offered a job on a construction site, preferred to take less pay than the labourers as long as he was put in charge and didn't have to lift a shovel. It was a joke, yes, but many such stories with a humorous bent have an origin based in truth.
Apart from that, though, there are people involved in relationships who are literally control freaks. Yes, I said it, freaks, for they take controlling another human being to a different and freaky level. It's akin to modern-day slavery that I mentioned earlier, but it's more sinister, subtle, sneaky, and surreptitious.
In most cases it's carried out by men, although some women are control freaks too. I knew of this man who had many children, mostly daughters. He would take them from their mothers and control every aspect of their lives.
He would dress them, comb their hair, take them everywhere and back — school, movies, and such — as long as he was the one who was doing the taking. As far as he was concerned, the mothers weren't capable of taking care of them, so he had total and absolute control.
That being said, it's fairly easy to control children, and it's the mandate of parents to control their offspring, at least to a certain extent. After all, children should have a voice and a say in their development too, to a point, or it can spell trouble.
“What a pickney dem bad, the parents can't control them at all.”
When it gets freaky, though, is when one adult is bent on controlling another. Like I said, in most cases it's done by men who wield absolute power and control over their women. None of that equality nonsense. And how do they do this? — with money. They live by the golden rule, ergo, he who has the gold makes the rules.
There are still men around who forbid their women from working. By doing so they have full control over the woman. Everything that she buys, every dollar that she spends comes from him. He has full control over her life as she has to go to him every time she needs money.
“What you want money for this time, to go buy more KFC?”
Economic control at the micro or macro level is extremely effective.
In many cases he also takes her wherever she wants to go and picks her up after.
“Make sure you wear this dress.”
I know of men who don't even allow their wives to go to the supermarket without them. Sometimes it's not practical though, in these modern times, so he'll allow her to drive, but even the car that she drives is in his name, and she has to account for her whereabouts. Some men secretly install tracking devices on their wives' cars just to be able to control their movements.
Even if the woman works, she has to account for her income and her spending. But women are clever, and manage to have secret accounts and other sources of income. Now you're going to ask: Why do women put up with that sort of controlling behaviour? I'll soon get to that.
Another method of control is to deprive the women of further education so they forbid them from pursuing any method to advance their schooling or career for fear that she'll gain her independence, resulting in him losing his control. If you speak with some women and hear how they cannot do anything at all unless it's at the behest and approval of their husbands, you'll realise the extent to which these control freaks will go.
It's little wonder that those feminist groups were formed and gained traction, all because women sought to break free from the control of men. Of course, some of those movements took it too far, but perhaps it was just a knee-jerk reaction to what they perceived to be a serious problem.
“Rise up, sisters, let us break free from the yoke of oppression.”
I still know of men who have their women wait on them hand and foot, seven days a week, while they do absolutely nothing to help. And these are educated women, too, who earn a decent salary. They have to cook for the man every day after work, and no leftovers are allowed either, for he wants his meals to be fresh.
When I asked one such woman why she allowed herself to be a serf, a peon, a vassal, a servant bordering on slavery, her reply was, “I love that man.” Does love contribute to control freaks having their own way, or is it fear? Why would anyone allow themselves to be under the thumb of control freaks?
Maybe they feel safe, secure, protected, devoid of responsibilities as they leave everything up to the man. Perhaps they had daddy issues and felt that they were still little girls expecting to be taken care and protected by this new 'daddy'. Remember that story I mentioned earlier of the father who took away all his daughters from their mothers, could that be a contributing factor? Whatever the reason, the control freaks latch on to these women with one feeding off the other in a sad, scary, symbiotic serfdom.
But what about the female control freaks, for they do exist, how do they control their men? As Sherlock Holmes said to his assistant who asked him how he solved that difficult mystery, “Elementary my dear Watson, elementary.” Yes, it is elementary and simple, the answer is sex. Women who are control freaks use sex as their leverage. Men use money, women use sex, and this has been going on from Adam and Eve, Samson and Delilah, and others.
What could be more natural in the order of the universe, how could a small, frail woman have such control over a big, strong man? What's her secret. Well, it's sex, and the men are willing slaves to it. The trick is, it's very subtle, so most men aren't even aware that they're being controlled, but the fact is, they do the bidding of the little woman with the enthusiasm and fervour of a willing subject.
“I'm sure you've heard the term pu..y whipped.”
Most may not admit to it, but a few may whisper, “She's in full control, for I have a weakness for sweetness.”
Control freaks are a part of life, but you haven't got to be a part of their lives, unless you secretly enjoy it.
Footnote: Schoolboy football brings out so much passion. Congrats to the Inter-secondary School Sports Association for completing a successful season although I have a few reservations. The Walker Cup and Ben Francis Cup have lost their lustre as runner-up teams from the zones vie for them. Now previous winners have no chance to defend those cups unless they fail to qualify for the top final four in the Manning Cup and daCosta Cup. It's an insult to the memory of the gentlemen in whose honour the cups were named. At time of writing, the result of yesterday's Manning Cup final between Kingston College and Jamaica College wasn't known, but congrats to both teams. Fortis and Fervet.