Originally power came from the belief in God and those who were perceived to be closest to God had the power.
Then came Kings who were anointed by God, or anointed by the people, people believed them to be powerful so they were powerful.
Meanwhile there is always might-makes-right. Those with the biggest, most powerful weapons, most strength were the most powerful.
Furthermore there are the people with the most resources, whether its land, or money that makes them powerful or a set of skills that people desire/require that makes them in demand, such as intelligence.
Our society has developed tools to control those with power. Girls, often the least powerful members of society have one of the greatest assets, sex. So girls were told not to have sex before marriage to preserve her power to score a man to take care of her. In return for taking care of the house and bearing the man's children, she was given access to his money and his strength to defend her and her kids. Of course that control also maintains the status quo.
To counteract the power of kings, we developed democracy. To counteract the power of the clergy, we developed alternative religions. Some people would argue that eventually these choices also ended up maintaining the status quo also.
To counteract physical power, we developed ranged weapons, however we still want boots on the ground so we still have no way around men's upper-body strength as the final last ditch effort to save the tribe (ie when the shit really hits the fan, women and kids were meant to hide inside while the chivalrous men fought to the death to protect us).
The US founding fathers started the revolution because of corporations and set up regulations to keep corporations under control however corporations manipulated their way out of the yoke that the founding fathers put them under.
Now they are pretty much controlling government, like its controlling an army of zombies, making the US go to war for access to oil reserves, orchestrating free trade agreements to destroy regional industries, interfering with allies and other countries to benefit the 1% or corporations. So in the end we are in the same predicament.
The problem is the dynamic that exists between those with power and those with much less of it.
One friend suggests we remove Limited Liability on corporations. I haven't heard any other solutions other than govt absorbing corporations that are too big to fail but then corporations that are too important to the operation of the country should be seen as our services, they should be operating to benefit us, instead of stockholders or probably more relevant, the principals of the corporation. The CxOs have all the power and none of the responsibility. Ever notice when you ring a corporation to complain, you get someone who just works there? Don't swear at them, its not their decision and there is no way you get to swear at the CxO, they're out playing golf.
Over the past 250 years women's power has been increasing in the west. And with it government has been improving. However there are many forces at work. Society was set up to work for men as they work best in hierarchical situations. Some women cope by becoming mini-males and working within the hierarchies. Then there are the reactionary women who have doubled down on slut-shaming.
While our society is in a state of deep flux, power shifting, there is no comparison between the life in the west and other parts of the world. It is clear that women gaining power greatly improves society. However we have a problem that men in the west have started losing responsibility and I think thats because women haven't been making men shoulder blame.
Essentially, there are those with power and those without power. Mechanisms were in place to maintain the status quo and something has to happen to change the ratio of power. Is what giving you power also destroying you?
Men feel threatened by women gaining power because they have the feel there is conservation of 'power', the zero-sum game. Men feel threatened that women gaining power means men are losing power, because the rationale is there is only so much power in society to go around. Perhaps they feel threatened at work with additional competition? If women have more money, men won't be needed as much? I don't know what the reasoning is. But if you look at societies where men have all the power, the society is floating somewhere down in the toilet of humanity. The worse the society is, the least amount of power women have and men have all the power. Usually this means the government has completely disintegrated.
When we are altering power ratios, we have to be careful how it is altered otherwise you have situations like that of the Russian revolution, from the Tzar to Lenin but more ominously, Stalin. When Iran ousted its shah, it got the Ayatollah. Taking out a dictator never leads to a stable society, as we see in Libya, Iraq. Libertarians undermining government in the 1980s with statements like 'government is inefficient' has lead to the crony-capitalism we have now, where both the Democrats are chasing corporate funding for election campaigns and the GOP are pretty much only interested in serving corporations.
While there is much interest complaining about the evils of the management of our society, it is clear that changing the status quo must be done carefully.