He had control over even the smallest detail and most likely would have told his subordinate what to do.
The relationship of subordinate women to powerful men is, as Mandel notes, rooted in centuries of history.
I am sure if a man had been accused of shoving a subordinate, the reaction would have been more lenient.
"to bring into a subordinate position," 1590s; see subordinate (adj.). Related: Subordinated; subordinating.