The process of writing requires multiple skills. An author has to devise a plot and characters as he has to pick the message, mood, and genre. He has the make the dialogue and build interest with his writing.
He must think about the content, but also the vehicle that disseminates it.
The content is one thing. It is truth.
But the structure is quite another. It is the story’s reality.
Truth is infinite, but reality is confined and finite.
That is the balance an author must consider with every story.
Authors do a lot with their content.
Yet the structure they take for granted. It is almost exclusively Patriarchal.
Matriarchal stories are found in such popular culture fare such as comic books (with their “event” books with crossovers) and soap operas (where multiple storylines are interconnected but are simultaneously separate), but are all but nonexistent in literature.
The over reliance on Patriarchal has had a peculiar effect: the evolution of stories have stagnated and regressed. While we have no shortage of stories with stellar content, the problem is the structure is an antiquated one that has begun to offend more and more people who see the obvious prejudicial overtones embedded because the Patriarchal is only about The One.
It is a combative style of interpreting reality. It is almost always us versus them, never us understanding them, us joining with them, or us loving them. The movie Enemy Mine is a rare gem of a Matriarchal movie precisely because it turned over the Patriarchal assumption that the Them are to be distrusted and broken into sub,is soon as the Us feel entirely justified. Patriarchal stories never consider how we can negotiate with the Them.
That is not to say the Matriarchal always shuns an Us versus Them dynamic. Murder mysteries are all about uncovering evil and stopping it, but it is only one of many possible outcomes. The Matriarchal is all about learning to navigate through various human interactions by multiple means. Sometimes there are no bad guys. We are among friends who worry when we stray too far for too long: according to the Patriarchal, it is a boring story because it is all about being the One and muscling out any divergent voices.
The Patriarchal encourages rigid thinking and when misused, can be used to indoctrinate those who do not think about the consequences of the Sleeper Efffect.
It is no wonder that in 2016, we are still having heated dialogues about the lack of diversity in stories.
It is no wonder #BooksSoWhite exists in a computer age.
It is all Patriarchal when it is the Matriarchal that gives a more flexible structure to deliver the wonderful content authors wish to share with others.
And until #Matriarchal isn braced, nothing will ever change.