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have you guys read 'The Power'?

12 Jan 2017 03:44 - 12 Jan 2017 05:28 #52019 by lowerbase
have you guys read 'The Power'? was created by lowerbase
www.amazon.co.uk/Power-Naomi-Alderman-ebook/dp/B01EW5JKMM

I just finished... it is not for the weak

This book struck me a nerve, really, I can't take it out of my mind

Female power here is absolute and everywhere: women can give paralysis, crippling pain, leaving scars for life, frying the soft flesh, give men PTSD with an effortless touch, cook brains, stopping their hearts, they can even make men shit themselves. Men here are so fucking helpless, any 15 yo girl can kill, and the women grow to love this feeling

Beware, this premise couldn't end in anything else but a nightmare, an explosive one

If any guy is curious about how it feels like to belong to the (abysmal) weaker sex, here it is, and it is a freaking scary feeling

I guess no men will see rape the same way after reading this novel, it is that eye-opening
Last edit: 12 Jan 2017 05:28 by lowerbase. Reason: better link
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12 Jan 2017 06:16 - 12 Jan 2017 08:18 #52020 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
I'm considering getting it.

Part of me is morbidly curious. Because I come from a planet where if you placed any one of about 80% of the physically mature males (excluding the most frail) in a closed room with of any one of about 80% of the physically mature females (excluding the strongest), that boy/man could kill that girl/woman in less than a minute using nothing but their bare hands. And likely come away with nothing worse than a few scratches for their troubles. And no small percentage of them would find themselves sexually aroused by the act.

That is how ABSOLUTE the raw disparity in physical power really is. The blunt truth that is always just beneath the skin of our civilization. No extraordinary powers required.

And yet, given the tools of near absolute dominance in the hands of a single gender, we still have a civilization. One generally trying to move towards equality. And while we have all manner of awful statistics of rape, spouse abuse, and sexually driven murder we manage to not wipe ourselves out. In no small part because the males won't tolerate that behavior from other males. Even for a race as shity as humans, the evidence says that having power does not directly translate into using it, being allowed to use it, or being corrupted by it.

So I'm morbidly curious why, if roles were reversed, things slide into disaster. Maybe the sensible women are just a little slow settling in to the role of holding the reigns on the wild fillies. Sure, it must come as quite a shock, but then again, it's also coming after Smith and Wesson made all men equal. So I'm curious if the new power set includes being bullet proof. Or being able to self-abort, because otherwise the fundamental dynamic of sex - namely that the woman has lingering consequences and the guy does not, are going to make the "role reversal" a little harder to pull off...

The first few pages seem serviceable to good :). Somewhat clever framing device. I guess for $8 at some point I'll find out.
Last edit: 12 Jan 2017 08:18 by AuGoose.
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12 Jan 2017 08:58 #52021 by lowerbase
Replied by lowerbase on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
Morbid curiosity is a good way to approach this book, even for us that are into aggressive powerful women. But the first half is super alluring for us, cute at times, sexy, self-aware, and you'd even root for the girls to succeed

But the whole novel is a civilization train wreck, it's awful and you can't tear your eyes away

still, it all fits together. It is a pretty smart novel. I can see a TV series out of it, easy.

I had your same concerns when I start reading it, that we men/women are better than this... and the book kind of crushed this hope, we are a product of our environment and have no control over our needs, desires and fears. Here, in this book, all men fears all women, as if each girl carried a loaded pistol ready to shoot you, their touch can zip, stun, fry, anytime, any moment. Just the mere thought of such easy killing changes behavior between people, even without intent, it becomes irrational. it is just too much power over the other gender for many women to maintain sanity.

and when the environment suddenly change, moral values change suddenly as well

and a lot can change in ten years, which is the book timespan


I'll paste a passage I've pasted before somewhere else to show the tone of it:

this is a passage that shows a moment of moral shift with Margot, a pretty mom/politician that hides her condition (her power) from the public:


Margot has read the report from the Mayor’s office. It’s bold, yes, it suggests a strategy of radical openness about the current state of protection, of treatments, of the potential for any future reversal. (The potential is nil.) Daniel keeps on talking, listing one problem after another, never quite saying, ‘I’m not brave enough for this,’ but meaning that every time.

Margot’s hands are flat against the underside of the table, palms upward. She feels the fizz building as he speaks. She breathes very slowly and evenly; she knows she can control this, it’s the control that gives her pleasure, at first. She thinks of exactly what she would do; as Daniel drones on, she can feel it out quite simply. She has enough power within her to take Daniel’s throat in her grip and pinch him out with one blast. She’d have plenty left to deliver Arnold a blow to the temple, knock him cold, at least. It would be easy. It wouldn’t take much effort. She could do it quickly enough that there’d be no sound. She could kill them both, right here, in conference room 5b.

Thinking this, she feels very far from the table, where Daniel’s mouth is still flapping open and closed like a goldfish. She is in a high and lofty realm, a place where the lungs fill with ice crystals and everything is very clear and clean. It scarcely matters what is actually happening. She could kill them. That is the profound truth of it.

She lets the power tickle at her fingers, scorching the varnish on the underside of the table. She can smell its sweet chemical aroma. Nothing that either of these men says is really of any great significance, because she could kill them in three moves before they stirred in their comfortably padded chairs. It doesn’t matter that she shouldn’t, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.


Alderman, Naomi. The Power (p. 71). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.
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12 Jan 2017 09:46 #52022 by slim36
Replied by slim36 on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
Carrying a concealed weapon might have similar appeal, without warning someone could launch between 6 to 15 rounds. a real superpower would be usable silently and without a trace to the source.

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12 Jan 2017 10:33 #52023 by Dru1076
Replied by Dru1076 on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
FYI: this book is also available on audible.

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12 Jan 2017 18:22 #52028 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?

AuGoose wrote: And yet, given the tools of near absolute dominance in the hands of a single gender, we still have a civilization. One generally trying to move towards equality. And while we have all manner of awful statistics of rape, spouse abuse, and sexually driven murder we manage to not wipe ourselves out. In no small part because the males won't tolerate that behavior from other males. Even for a race as shity as humans, the evidence says that having power does not directly translate into using it, being allowed to use it, or being corrupted by it.

I was kinda wondering the same thing; is the world depicted in the book just a reversal of current gender roles (a few predators among women, but many of them working to protect those weaker than themselves), is there nothing comparable to current social order (men in positions of servitude and constantly menaced), or something else entirely?

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12 Jan 2017 19:01 #52029 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
Based on the excerpt and comments below, this is a typical bit of FemDom. This was a big thing on the BBS computer bulletin boards of the 80's.

I dabled in it a bit before deciding to make my own world, the Aurora Universe, which became easier when the Internet arrived. Up to that point I'd read only a tiny handful of stories that celebrated female power, but NOT at the expense of men.

(Yes, there was a very active but extremely limited audience writing and posting 'alternate' kind of stories BEFORE) the Internet).

I was surprised (but very pleased) that a mixture of SF and superheroines cut from "comic book cloth" would appeal to many people. And then the Internet took off and people with special interests could find each other. Explosion. And this was before search engines when people traded URL's in chain emails. The AU was still mostly superpowered women, both good and bad, along with a lesser number of supermen, but you can still see a bit of my former FemDom interest in a few earlier series of stories. I kept trying to expunge it over the years.

So... no interest in going back to the earliest days of influences for this genre.

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12 Jan 2017 19:03 #52030 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
You can read the first few pages on the Amazon link above. It actually looks to be a lot stronger treatment of the concept that I'd expected at first.

I am genuinely intrigued.

Thank you lowerbase, I'm glad you brought this to our attention :).
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12 Jan 2017 19:37 #52031 by lowerbase
Replied by lowerbase on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?

Pepper wrote: I was kinda wondering the same thing; is the world depicted in the book just a reversal of current gender roles (a few predators among women, but many of them working to protect those weaker than themselves), is there nothing comparable to current social order (men in positions of servitude and constantly menaced), or something else entirely?


The book is meta, it is a book inside a book, from a male writer five thousand years into the future, reconstructing a possible narrative from archeologic evidences, with the 'controversial theory' that 5000 years ago (now) men used to rule over women.

It doesn't dwell much about their time, it just is about ours, there is just correspondences of this obscure male writer with an established female writer making remarks over his 'theory', and her notes are mostly about the 'fetish appeal' of his book, finding the idea that one day men could rape women 'amusing' or 'titillating',

or that the idea of male-soldiers is 'kinky' (she really likes that one)

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12 Jan 2017 22:57 #52033 by jnw550
Replied by jnw550 on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
I read a bit, maybe I should give more of a shot. I just prefer the power set be more Superman/Supergirl types. Thanks for sharing, though!

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what real beasts do.

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13 Jan 2017 00:09 #52034 by lowerbase
Replied by lowerbase on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?

jnw550 wrote: I just prefer the power set be more Superman/Supergirl types.


I'm entering in the ***spoilers territory here***, be warned

When I heard first the premise, I thought that electricity would be an oddball choice, kinda limited, giving shocks...

Then, reading it, it is kinda of genius.

It is not just pain, the power can give pleasure and all sort of things because electricity can manipulate nerves, to the point the women can make men to get erections against their will. The more a man fights it, more it hurts, so you can imagine how the rape scenes go in this book. There are tons of psychological levels of manipulation here. Shocks that feel like blades inside of you, just to shut up your male voice.

And women control this power like a muscle, well, actually, it is a new muscle (a mutation) that goes from the back of their head, around the collarbone and towards their palms and fingers. Unlike most comic powers, this power obeys physics, it is believable, palpable, it feels like it could happen in reality, I didn't need to suspend my disbelief as usual. The Earth itself is a pool of electromagnetic power, women can control its flow with these nerve-muscles. One of the few male defenses here is to wear rubber boots, but if a girl touches the skin with her both hands and makes an electric arc, there is no defense.

We are surrounded by electricity, so familiar that is easy to describe what it does. Everyone received a shock sometime, of how it affects the nerves, like a mere battery can tase you unconscious, and science says that the most painful way to die is by electricity, so it is fucking scary, and girls want men to feel addicted to their electric touch. And women can destroy anything with a circuit, like revving a motor faster and faster until it explodes, in our age of electricity they have power over everything.

And it is also genius because most 'role reversal' stories with stronger women deal with strength, or muscle, which, unfortunately, for the big audience out there means 'making women masculine'. Here, women don't need size to knock out a bear. That's why I think this book has a small chance of end being part of the pop culture, it doesn't goes for known 'masculine traits' as strength, or something that men did before in pop culture, it creates a new one, one new trait solely female, as if it was always there, dormant.

btw, I can talk endlessly about this book, maybe I need to, to take it out of my mind.
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13 Jan 2017 00:16 #52035 by jnw550
Replied by jnw550 on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?

lowerbase wrote:

jnw550 wrote: I just prefer the power set be more Superman/Supergirl types.


I'm entering in the ***spoilers territory here***, be warned

When I heard first the premise, I thought that electricity would be an oddball choice, kinda limited, giving shocks...

Then, reading it, it is kinda of genius.

It is not just pain, the power can give pleasure and all sort of things because electricity can manipulate nerves, to the point the women can make men to get erections against their will. The more a man fights it, more it hurts, so you can imagine how the rape scenes go in this book. There are tons of psychological levels of manipulation here. Shocks that feel like blades inside of you, just to shut up your male voice.

And women control this power like a muscle, well, actually, it is a new muscle (a mutation) that goes from the back of their head, around the collarbone and towards their palms and fingers. Unlike most comic powers, this power obeys physics, it is believable, palpable, it feels like it could happen in reality, I didn't need to suspend my disbelief as usual. The Earth itself is a pool of electromagnetic power, women can control its flow with these nerve-muscles. One of the few male defenses here is to wear rubber boots, but if a girl touches the skin with her both hands and makes an electric arc, there is no defense.

We are surrounded by electricity, so familiar that is easy to describe what it does. Everyone received a shock sometime, of how it affects the nerves, like a mere battery can tase you unconscious, and science says that the most painful way to die is by electricity, so it is fucking scary, and girls want men to feel addicted to their electric touch. And women can destroy anything with a circuit, like revving a motor faster and faster until it explodes, in our age of electricity they have power over everything.

And it is also genius because most 'role reversal' stories with stronger women deal with strength, or muscle, which, unfortunately, for the big audience out there means 'making women masculine'. Here, women don't need size to knock out a bear. That's why I think this book has a small chance of end being part of the pop culture, it doesn't goes for known 'masculine traits' as strength, or something that men did before in pop culture, it creates a new one, one new trait solely female, as if it was always there, dormant.

btw, I can talk endlessly about this book, maybe I need to, to take it out of my mind.


Sounds like an amazing premise. Funny thing about a "fetish" is that it's usually very specific, and most of the time to fault that although I could enjoy the book as a good story, it does nothing for me in terms of "girl power".

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what real beasts do.

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13 Jan 2017 00:39 #52036 by lowerbase
Replied by lowerbase on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
I know what you mean. I guess my own fetish fully extends to psychological power, and that's why it hit so bad on me, reading my own fetish becoming a sinister worldwide nightmare.

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13 Jan 2017 20:52 #52050 by Sarge395
Replied by Sarge395 on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
It sounds like an interesting book to read. Women with power is always worth at least a hard stare before moving on.

I remember a book I read when I was in maybe JR High. About adolescent kids on another planet that gained telekinetic powers and then lost them once out of it. They had to be sent off to special schools while they had the power. Allowed them to fly. Girls and boys. It really sparked a developing fetish of power and I was a developing kid at the time.

The electric part of the story reminds me of Elle Bishop in Heroes. My favorite character. Bad girl, takes what she wants.

The downside of The Power is that I doubt all of the women are attractive save for maybe one. Is that correct?

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14 Jan 2017 06:42 - 14 Jan 2017 11:53 #52057 by lowerbase
Replied by lowerbase on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?

Sarge395 wrote: The downside of The Power is that I doubt all of the women are attractive save for maybe one. Is that correct?


More spoilers,

Yeah, but most of the novel follows young women who got their power as teenagers, and follows them for ten years.

and most of its violence is shown in the eastern Europe, Moldova, a country known for widespread kidnapping and trafficking their own women across Europe, for forced prostitution. The most violent creatures in this book came from there, so yes, the majority of these girls are actually pretty, but pretty, pretty angry.

which btw, pretty girls doesn't make any of those male rapes to feel any better.

Just to level with you guys, I think this book broadens our view of what power is, beyond fetish, and while it is hot at times, some people might be revolted by it... and maybe they should, and not by the book, but revolted with the human nature.
Last edit: 14 Jan 2017 11:53 by lowerbase.

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14 Jan 2017 16:32 #52065 by Dru1076
Replied by Dru1076 on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
As someone who likes the badgirls, I'm really enjoying the audiobook version thus far. There is a lot in this story that is right up SWM's alley. It feels to me like a Stephen King novel, becuase of the supernatural elements of the story. Though I confess I am enjoying it more as a horror story than anything, there are many scenes that you could cut out and paste into the library here and get good reviews.

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15 Jan 2017 04:28 #52078 by lowerbase
Replied by lowerbase on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
the one interesting thing that the book version has are the archeological drawings between chapters, which are, let's say intriguing, and at times morbid

I thought of Steven King as well, and the narrator seems so detached, if not amused with what is going on.

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08 Jun 2017 08:43 #54594 by lowerbase
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08 Jun 2017 14:29 #54599 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
Ugggh... book is STILL not available in the US in most formats. The release date for softcover and kindle versions in Oct 2017. :(

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08 Jun 2017 14:56 #54601 by Helstar
Replied by Helstar on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
Did I read well ? They are really doing a tv serie based on this ? :ohmy:

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08 Jun 2017 20:47 - 08 Jun 2017 21:05 #54610 by lowerbase
Replied by lowerbase on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
After Wonder Woman being a success, every 'woman on top' projects for TV will enter the fast-track. The book is in perfect place to enter this 'opportunity window'

This book has a high-concept and a lot of visual identity (with the effects really easy to do btw).

My big complain about the book is about how short it is. It is a movie-length book. It reads more like a concept. most of its characters are not fully developed, and 'everyday places' and its 'new' social dynamics are not explored, only hinted. Like she hints at one girl electrocuting a boy for no reason in a park, like it just happens, no one knows why, and there is little anyone can do, the police is afraid of questioning them, men are afraid of walking on the streets with these stray girls around. I can see a full episode around this little hint

I bought this for Kindle in the amazon US store, is it not available anymore?

I found so interesting is what women has been saying about this book, and while we males complain about its violence, I found plenty of average female readers had been allured to its 'how it feels like' power shift

If they can pull off a TV series --the book sales has been nil til now-- it will generate a lot of controversy.
Last edit: 08 Jun 2017 21:05 by lowerbase.

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10 Jun 2017 13:57 - 19 Apr 2020 16:34 #54643 by Helstar
Replied by Helstar on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
Soooooo.... in the end I have read the book, and I agree with everything that has been said already.

The author could be into rape fetish because there are at least 4 of them and each one is more extreme/graphic than the previous !
Violent (rape, murder, maiming etc.) episodes are countless (about an hundred I think O_o !) while on the other hand there are very very few scenes based on something more normal or practical, such as girls/women imposing their own opinions during casual discussions in public places, schools, work, family meetings, etc.
Almost nothing on the simple concept of obtaining/stealing stuff/favours just out of minor threatening etc. and absolutely zero on how this develops through different races (black/white, etc).
There are couple ideas that take a lot of pages on the book, but they made really no sense for me ... can't see what the metaphore/reference is behind the "glitter" drug for example (maybe steroids + testosterone + viagra combined ?).

The book is relatively short but if they will really make a tv serie (ELEVEN producers had a bidding war to get the rights !) this could last several seasons (of course that depends also on view ratings) as many concepts and dynamics could be explored better. EXCEPT maiming, killing and raping ^^;
Last edit: 19 Apr 2020 16:34 by Helstar.

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10 Jun 2017 23:06 #54660 by shevek
Replied by shevek on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
Just heard about this book and it sounds like a great idea..something along the lines of Y The Last Man where the power balance radically shifts in favor of women (but obviously not as extreme as them almost all becoming extinct).

I would think, though, that if women developed electrocution powers then men would simply create a device (some kind of wearable suit) that would protect them. It would become a big selling item worldwide, kind of a more serious version of the products on the TV show Powerless which were sold to the public to protect against supervillain attacks.

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13 Jun 2017 22:31 - 13 Jun 2017 22:36 #54741 by Helstar
Replied by Helstar on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?
If some of you are curious, here's some chapters (legal reading):

www.the-pool.com/arts-culture/bedtime-bo...i-alderman-the-power

I have noticed some bipartisan criticism to the author (who is now bullied more than ever for not sporting a "top model body"). Some of the male readers are angry 'cause the book seems like a 'revenge' book to them, "nazifeminist crap" and so on. And some of the female readers are angry too because of the depiction of the violence (murder, mutilations, rapes etc.) perpetrated by the women in the book. These episodes do not put the 'sensible' and 'gentle' sex in a good light .... and they are like "the world would be more equalized and fair with us on board ! This book is suggesting that women would drive the world in the same bad way of men !".

I think that both sides are totally missing the basic point of "The Power"... everything that happens in this fiction to the men after "the day of the girls", it's happening RIGHT NOW to women all around the world.
So, it's just a reversed reality, they can't understand this simple concept (maybe because in the normal every-day life if women are threatened, bullied, segregated, mutilated, raped, murdered, etc. it happens so often that there is not a real worry or interest about it....).
Last edit: 13 Jun 2017 22:36 by Helstar.
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14 Jun 2017 01:42 #54745 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic have you guys read 'The Power'?

Helstar wrote: If some of you are curious, here's some chapters (legal reading):

www.the-pool.com/arts-culture/bedtime-bo...i-alderman-the-power

I have noticed some bipartisan criticism to the author (who is now bullied more than ever for not sporting a "top model body"). Some of the male readers are angry 'cause the book seems like a 'revenge' book to them, "nazifeminist crap" and so on. And some of the female readers are angry too because of the depiction of the violence (murder, mutilations, rapes etc.) perpetrated by the women in the book. These episodes do not put the 'sensible' and 'gentle' sex in a good light .... and they are like "the world would be more equalized and fair with us on board ! This book is suggesting that women would drive the world in the same bad way of men !".

I think that both sides are totally missing the basic point of "The Power"... everything that happens in this fiction to the men after "the day of the girls", it's happening RIGHT NOW to women all around the world.
So, it's just a reversed reality, they can't understand this simple concept (maybe because in the normal every-day life if women are threatened, bullied, segregated, mutilated, raped, murdered, etc. it happens so often that there is not a real worry or interest about it....).


Disclaimer: I didn't read very far into the book. Not my cup of tea.

But as far as it being a reversal of sexual aggression roles... that seems to be what the author intended. Where I have trouble is believing that women would behave like men or worse. That's not how women think. It's not how they are genetically wired, and certainly not socially programmed.

It IS how men are programmed, both genetically and, to a far lesser extent with millennials today, socially. There has been a lot of progress for those who are under 40 years of age, But I don't think we're at any risk of seeing women behaving as badly as men used to.

Of course, none of us can know for certain what super powers would do for women, but we've enjoyed and written all kinds of fiction that tries to explore that. I don't believe any of us have gone where this book goes.

Shadar

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