Millett argues that violence, especially sexual violence, is one of the main ways men maintain control over women. Sexual violence is part of a continuum that begins with the cultural expectation in patriarchy that:
the young male to develop aggressive impulses, and the female ... thwart her own or turn them inward. The result is that the male tends to have aggression reinforced in his behaviour, often with significant anti-social possibilities.
Women are socialized to be docile and passive, which increases the ease with which men can use violence against them:
the basic division of temperamental trait is marshalled along the line of "aggression is male" and "passivity is female."
Further, the legal system in patriarchal societies has traditionally:
granted the father nearly total ownership over wife or wives and children, including the powers of physical abuse and often even those of murder and sale ...
Further, Millett uses historical examples to show that:
control in patriarchal society would be imperfect, even inoperable, unless it had the rule of force to rely upon, both in emergencies and as an ever-present instrument of intimidation.
Millett moves from generalized male violence to the sexual violence that men perpetrate against women. Sexual violence is a form of control on which patriarchy depends:
Patriarchal force also relies on a form of violence particularly sexual in character and realised most completely in the act of rape.
Millet emphasizes that sexual violence keeps women fearful and is used by men to degrade and humiliate them. Women are conditioned to accept this violence as a "natural" outcome of the male biology.
As she moves into her section discussing how women are treated by male authors such as Henry Miller, she shows how violence is key to how certain kinds of men understand sexuality. Sex is not an act of mutual love between two people who are equally human but an expression of male dominance over a lesser form of life. Examining Miller's work, Millett explores how important it is to Miller that his female sex partners be dehumanized, reduced to "cunt" (his ideal sex partner is a prostitute) and vulnerable to being "taken" in violent ways that we today would clearly identify as rape. Millet quotes Miller to show that such triumphalist sex acts affirm the male in his identity as a "God" and in his superiority to women. (See the section on Miller, from about pp 297-313 in Sexual Politics for more information/)
Millett communicates how unhealthy and dangerous this patriarchal connection between sexuality and violence is to women.