The above title would seem to give the former an edge in this discussion, but we can compare those two mindsets in the realm of games and sport.
We are conditioned since birth to see the world as a competition. The object of every game and sport is to pit one party against another.
How many games or sports have cooperation as the objective?
It is always us versus them or me versus you.
If we had at least some games and sports where cooperation was the primary objective, it would be one thing, but like storytelling, there is a monopoly on the overarching assumption.
There is no reason why we cannot teach logic and strategy through cooperation. We can also learn how to overcome jealousy, fear, pettiness, selfishness, greed, anger, and arrogance with cooperation games. We can also learn to pool resources, skills, strength, and knowledge as we make the spoils of the game evolve and grow so all the participants benefit from the group effort.
We learn about others around us as we understand individuals as we understand the group.
This is not to say it is always about cooperation. Sometimes it is a competition; however, that we do not spend equal time on both ways is telling.
Which brings us to storytelling.
From children’s stories to novels, it is almost always the patriarchal.
And the patriarchal is all about competitions and pecking orders with leaders and followers.
The leader insists on imposing his views and beliefs. The followers has none of their own.
And should someone have different beliefs, he is the villain.
Patriarchal stories reinforce xenophobia and competitiveness to a ridiculous level for the simple reason that the paradigm has never been adequately challenged.
For example, how many stories revolve around romantic rivalry with the “loser” left out with much resentment and scheming between the two vying for the hero or heroine’s affections?
Rarely do we see a protagonist get to know various suitors until one becomes the One, while others happily find their Ones without the bad feelings of seeing themselves as a loser or a second-best reject?
Stories of cooperation can be compelling, unpredictable, and exciting. We do not have to like or be liked by everyone. We do not have to have pleasers who keep silent as they repress their wants and needs. We can still have conflicts and obstacles. We can have twists and turns.
What we don’t have to have is almost every story be a propagandistic tale of competition.
Not everything in life must be about war or campaigning. It is not the answer to all life’s problems.
The matriarchal allows us to find different kinds of stories that deviate from the traditional structures. We can consider other ways to break out from old ways of coping to find novel ways to get over our personal challenges and ultimately triumph as we share with others without the condescending pecking order.