Conniving versus Cunning

There is a very telling scene in the television series Justified: the protagonist warns the henchman that if he takes one more step, he will shoot and kill him. The henchman absolutely knows this to be a fact, but takes a step forward and the hero is as good as his word, but before the henchman dies, the hero asks him why did he do it when he knew what was coming?The villain makes an adroit observation: that he is like the child who touches a hot stove right after his mother tells him not to do it.

Justified was a fine Patriarchal series, and because it is Patriarchal, it cannot explore the comment. It is all about the hero and the various evil and stupid nuisances he has to put up with in his personal journey.

But the Matriarchal is not confined in such a way. In fact, it is free to test and explore that observation. There is the song from Kenny Rodgers, the classic The Gambler that advises to know know when to hold them and when to fold them, as well as when to walk away, and when to run...

But also when to stay still.

Why do some people tweak the noses of others, even if it kills them?

In Matriarchal Storytelling, we can find out.

It is a question of understanding what is power. In Justified, the cannon fodder in question was a mob henchman. He may have a gun, but he has not power. Brute force, experience, and even a weapon and backup mean nothing when you don't know what the nature of power is all about. You survive making guesses, but always missing the mark because you don't have the Lens of Power to see the situation clearly.

You get by because you are conniving, but without power, you are not cunning.

So you have to guess what power means: you assume it is not doing what people want you to do. It is about contrarian and an irritant, forgetting you are expendable and disposable.

Someone who has no power.

You have no ability to assess your reality accurately, and you do the opposite of what someone told you to do, only to find out that the only person you have just harmed is yourself, looking like an idiot I the bargain as the authority figure you thought you were defying goes unscathed and unbothered by your self-inflicted downfall.

In the Patriarchal, the conniving are the henchmen, while the cunning are the villains. We do not explore the differences or see why people harm themselves just so they can pretend they are thumbing their nose at authority as they alienate themselves from those who are willing to give someone advice on survival. Because the Matriarchal looks at multiple angles from different characters, a treasure trove of new story ideas and perspectives emerge. We can delve into various shades of evil: no longer is a henchman a throwaway plot device used to make the hero look good, his downfall becomes a dilemma to explore, providing valuable maps to those readers who may themselves be held back because they do not understand the true nature of power. 

In any case, the Matriarchal style allows for new point of views to emerge as we get to explore the ways of understanding and misunderstanding power.