Bestselling YA novel features superpowered girls, sex slave boys, and a girl-God
Have you been looking to own a copy of Naomi Alderman's young adult book The Power? You may have trouble finding it, because it's been flying off the shelves.
Sales of Naomi Alderman's dystopian novel "The Power" have gone dark at BN.com and Amazon. It's a problem every publisher dreads and dreams of. Online shoppers clamoring to get a hold of this fantastic novel are being told: "Temporarily Out of Stock." After winning the Women's Prize for Fiction in Britain, "The Power" was published in the United States on Oct. 10 and immediately garnered enthusiastic reviews. (I called it our era's "Handmaid's Tale.") Its fiery theme of female empowerment seemed to spark right off the day's news about women standing up to sexual harassment.
So what is this book about? I'll give you my own little synopsis:
Girls around the world discover they have the ability to give people lethal and non-lethal electric shocks. One girl named Allie kills her evil stepdad, who tries to molest her. Another girl named Roxy kills a man who she thinks killed her mother. The ruler of Moldova, a tiny country bordering Romania, gets killed by his wife, who takes power. It's no coincidence that the first three victims are men; in fact, virtually the only people to die in this book are men. Because only women have the power. Men fall into two categories: either they are evil, and thus girls feel justified in killing them, or they are helpless, in which case girls feel justified treating them as damsels in distress. One such damsel is a Nigerian boy named Tunde who enjoys being used by women with the power.
Women can give other women the power by touching them, a not explicitly lesbian theme repeated frequently. Allie changes her name to Eve and starts her own girl cult. She hears voices in her head that she says come from God, but, she insists, God is a girl. She initiates other girls into her cult in semi-erotic scenes that are also not explicitly lesbian in nature.
Allie manipulates the new female ruler of Moldova into turning the country into a haven for women who want to spend quality time with women. Any men remaining basically become the property of women and need permission slips from women to be walking out in public and are not allowed to own property or drive cars or own businesses.
There are scenes of men being molested and raped by women who have the power. We are supposed to think that "the power" is an allegory for the power men allegedly have over women, but I suspect that many girls reading this will think turnabout is fair play.
Remember that this is a young adult bestseller. A story about girls taking over a country and turning men into sex slaves. It even has a scene involving sex and a young man and human sacrifice.
I suppose this is a linear progression (or, to be more accurate, regression) from the feminist drivel of the hugely popular Hunger Games, which featured a dystopian society where children are forced to fight each other. It just so happens that the protagonist of Hunger Games was a girl (named "Katniss") who excelled at killing boys. In The Hunger Games, there were two kinds of boys: evil ones and helpless ones who needed Katniss's protection. Katniss used a bow and arrow to kill boys in The Hunger Games, and Allie and her friends use electricity to kill boys in The Power. But The Power goes a step farther in explicitly making men second-class citizens and, in extreme cases, slaves.
I suspect that books like this will appeal to young girls who are constantly bombarded with propaganda stating how men are oppressors and that women are superior to men and that men deserve a little comeuppance. Our educational system and media have been pushing that message full blast for decades now, so it is of little surprise that girls would find this kind of entertainment appealing. This level of indoctrination of girls at such a young age is alarming and ultimately corrosive to our society.
Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.