I use the word dominator as an adjective in terms like dominator culture, dominator mindset, dominator values, etc., to describe the fear-based control orientation that currently permeates many aspects of human society and consciousness — especially parenting and schooling.
This is not our natural orientation; our ancient ancestors lived in partnership cultures where the collective well-being was maximized through the pleasure of empathic connection and mutual empowerment.
This distinction between a “dominator model” and a “partnership model” of human relations was coined by sociologist Riane Eisler in her bestselling book, The Chalice and the Blade (1987).
In my writing and coaching work, I emphasize the big-picture perspective that our dominator legacy is a temporary condition. It arose thousands of years ago as hunter/gatherer life was displaced by agriculture and “civilization” — like a collective tantrum during the “toddler phase” of the evolution of human consciousness. When our children have tantrums, we now know that dominator tactics only make matters worse; it is only through partnership that we can help them learn to regulate their emotions in a healthy way.
Likewise, spreading partnership consciousness is the key to transforming our dominator culture into a partnership culture that revives our ancient wisdom and integrates it with the lessons of the dominator era.
Dominator Lite is a term I coined to poke fun at parenting techniques that appear to be more gentle or reasonable on the surface but are really only subtler expressions of the dominator model. (Example: the Love and Logic approach.)
— Scott Noelle