Authors are very creative with the content of their work, but when it comes to structure, we have very few styles of storytelling to the point that the majority of stories use the monolithic Patriarchal as if that is the one and only right way to tell a story.
The dilemma reminds of the Hagar the Horrible cartoon: Lucky Eddie gets in perpetual trouble making meals on the ship. Everyone is tired of eating fish balls. He tries to solve the problem by making fish cubes, fish triangles, and even fish donuts, getting beat up because he doesn’t get what the problem is: the shape is not the problem, but the content of the meal.
Authors have the reverse problem: there is a diversity of content, but not structure. While content is merely one half of the equation, there is an assumption it can overcome and compensate for everything because it is really that special, creative, and brilliant.
Cleverness with content only goes so far because the structure puts confines on how far the content can go.
In 2016, diversity should no longer be an issue, but it will continue to be an issue. Every few years, there is an attempt to diversify, and the changes are fleeting and temporary because the structure is not questioned or altered. It is Patriarchal and the Patriarchal is all about the One, meaning nothing changes.
That also suggests that content may be less important than structure. The structure rigs the story. It is a hidden variable that slowly pushes everything back to the status quo.
The Matriarchal takes out the rig by altering the structure of storytelling. We focus on two or three or even more, meaning diversity is built into the structure. It is the way of telling stories about having multiple options and ways of seeing the world. It is not sink or swim; it could also be flying, for instance.
The Patriarchal installs a latent fear: if you do not have the One Right Way of thinking, watch out: you just might end up being the victim, the comic relief, the second banana, or the even the villain.
Cognitive dissonance, appeal to authority,generalizations, and the confirmation bias creep into our thinking because we so desperately want to be the hero that we begin to skew our narratives by twisting facts. Our template are our fiction stories and we try to live up to those whose message is there is only the One.
The Matriarchal is not one that binds, but frees. It encourages critical thinking and debate as we test various theories. We use experimentation and experience, not scripts or decrees to find the answers. There are many right answers just as there are many wrong answers, but to find them, we have to actively think and observe as we learn to trust our thoughts and perceptions, while still questioning them both.
We need diversity in the marketplace of ideas, not monopoly. As it stands, the singularity of the Patriarchal prevents us from seeing the big picture, and with it, we miss opportunities as we stick to what we believe is real, rather than acknowledge is a hypothetical construct used for convenience, but is now more trouble than it’s worth.
We can rebuild systems to take out the cheats and rigs, but we must first acknowledge that we need to get away from the notion of the One as we begin to explore the Infinite.