Part of the series Perceiving complexity
Another angle of social involvement honed by women in a patriarchal “meaningful world” is by paying attention to the basic aspects of the masculine mental structures. This is not done by going to the other side of the Moon to checkmate the men with creative uses of their own reasoning, but by sitting in the raw reality Earth and watching how the men think on the Moon. There is a lot of feminine experience accumulated in this sense across generations. One streak of what is called the feminine intuition appears to be a way to pay attention to basic aspects of the masculine mental structures.
These structures can become complex in their manifestations, but at their root they are rather crude, simple, repetitive, unimaginative (especially when you have in contrast the experience of the complexity of the plurality of mental threads that develop in your mind when you pay attention to the raw reality). And, if you pay attention to how the entire edifice developed on those crude premises relates back to those premises, if you do not lose sight of them, you can get important information about overall intentions, strength or lack of honesty etc. from having access only to disparate pieces of that structure. The entire structure has a coherence that relates to those basic premises.
You can also get some idea about the direction the current situation is going into the future. If you get involved mentally in trying to figure out such a structure as a person who believes in a “meaningful world”, you tend to lose sight of the fact that it is just a mental structure and that it has some simple, unimaginative premises.
If they do not rely on men to organize their life in some aspects, the women use the view from the raw reality Earth to make significant decisions. This can take a long time, since everything is so complex when you see it from the point of view of the raw reality, it is not like the classical masculine fast-track recognition of superficial patterns with the purpose to lean on them to support a “meaningful world”. But at least you can reach a much more informed decision.
Angela Merkel is an example of a politician who has introduced this way of action in her governance style, she is known for avoiding for long periods of time to make clear statements in important matters (this introduced a new verb in the German language, merkeln, used for such procrastinations). Yet her governance is obviously positive, including on the global stage.
Not to idealize her either like some sort of deus ex machina solution. Many times she was the responsible side in national and international contexts, but she had her flaws in some aspects, some of them mirroring those of the men in powerful positions, like the tendency to marginalize any ambitious person. Now, when she is about to retire, it is difficult to find a capable successor. A healthy lucidity is necessary about women in powerful positions and this most likely will help other women being perceived as making a difference in real life. I notice a tendency for a deus ex machina approach to such women in powerful positions when there is something to appraise, which rather keeps them exotic. Probably a better approach would be about the normality of such women.
The length of time in reaching a mental vision that you can work with to make decisions in your life depends on the pre-existing mental environment around the respective topic to be tackled and the experience already accumulated around it. If it is about tackling some male-created mental structures without the need to take in consideration raw reality aspects, then the process can be quicker, as it is based on the simplicity of such structures.
Clear results can even appear on the spot (something in the spectrum of what is called “intuition”). Not be mistaken for whatever fast-track thought process occurs in the mind. After all, the classical masculine decision making process many times can be very quick too, with all its pitfalls. A short listing of some of them in this BBC article about when you should follow your gut instinct:
“The problem with fast thinking is the existence of dozens of different cognitive biases which can lead us towards the wrong answer: we tend to be over-optimistic; we prefer simple solutions; we notice and remember information that confirms what we already think; and we favour continuing down paths in we’ve already invested time or money in.”
In general, the kind of biases you have if you feel you have a stable plateau of mental structures in your mind based on your feeling of being in control of the situation and you consider you “know stuff” about the respective topic. The quick feminine conclusions I was writing about stem from a disempowered social position. They also have a very informal aspect and the way I write here about them, introducing them in the formal world, may create confusions with other kind of quick resolutions (some women themselves do not make the distinction at times). The same article gives an idea about when it would be a better bet to trust your gut, namely when you really feel you are confident in that conclusion popping up in your mind.
You can feel confident (in the classical masculine manner) in your mental structure like a control of the environment and make decisions that you can enforce with your power (and the question whether the decision is really the right one from the raw reality perspective does not matter too much, maybe also leave some role to the sacral/religious world that people exercised for such a long time in their minds from the friction between the “meaningful world” and the raw reality). Or you can feel confident in what the raw reality perspective shows you.
However, if a specific decision-making process is not about tackling existing classical masculine social structures and also if there is not much significant experience around the topic, then the process can be very long. The person can act even only according to some broad, fluid perspectives in their mind, not yet ready to be put clearly in words.
Another angle of social involvement used by women in the classical human life is by expressing outwardly the plurality of mental threads which develop when you pay attention to the raw reality. It can be done to inspire and refresh the man if there is love and identification with him. It can be done to confuse the man, like in the previously mentioned Habeit Ya Leil of Nawal El Zoghbi. The man can be prodded with such confusions into the confines of a mental area that the woman finds reassuring or useful for her.
All of these angles of the historical feminine immersion in the raw reality were limited to manage their passive reflections in the “meaningful world” on the side of the Moon facing the Earth (except the merkeling, the long process of decision-making, which historically did not become a useful tool for a formal social self-expression). They largely continued to leave to the men their role in organizing the life, the awareness of the raw reality was not used to step up and organize the society.
The reason here is not only the male historical power in controlling the social life, but also the difficulty in organizing things when you take in consideration the complexity of the raw reality. It is a huge difference between facing the raw reality when you are already given a set of simplistic mental structures and your task is only to tinker with them and facing the raw reality to really make sense of it in a rational manner. If the women had a better alternative for social life organization, most likely they would have imposed it over the men. But such alternative does not exist yet.
This female discovery of the complexity of the raw reality (beyond the masculine “meaningful world” as control of the situation) remained too oriented towards the “meaningful world”, with women using it to just watch their own projections in the “meaningful world”. It became co-opted in the overall human social life, with women providing the men with a billiard table environment where the latter can refresh their minds in a safe, controlled space.
The space is safe and controlled as long as the woman has no confidence to really face the complexity of the raw reality. If she unleashes that complexity in relation with the man, beyond the billiards table safe environment, then she has to face the question if she has an alternative organization in her mind, different from the masculine “meaningful world”. If she does not have it, then she has to limit this unleash only in relation to the existing mental structure of the man.
It is just as a response to already existing structures, like that female gorilla who unleashed the raw reality perspective to force the male to make sex with her. And that was about it, it was not about creating a new organization in which she would be empowered too. The human females largely do the same, the human males are about the same as that male gorilla too, they are occasionally manipulated by women, but overall they keep the control of the situation. I am saying this not to present it as a static situation, but to highlight the issues I notice in gender relations. These are the basic aspects that I notice in all the ethnic groups I have some knowledge of. Further on, there are specific developments in some cultural areas that I will write about in the future.