Mental Sex -- Real Life Example(s)

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Mental Sex -- Real Life Example(s)

Postby Chris Huntley » Apr 03, 2008 4:29 pm

Dramatica user Uttam Narsu picked up on the following snippet from the web:

Political observers frequently comment that there is little difference between Clinton and Obama on the issues, and certainly this is true. But by now it is also clear that the two candidates have very different political temperaments. Clinton is a problem-solver whose approach is methodical, incremental and serial. In her speeches, she talks about the tasks ahead as if they were beads to be strung one-by-one. Obama, on the other hand, looks at the country's problems from a larger viewpoint. Despite all his policy papers and the details of his various plans, Obama is never able to overcome the impression listeners have that he is not really interested in all the specifics the way Clinton is. And these potential voters are right. Obama has a vision of where he wants to take the country, and certainly he keeps his eye on the major road markers. But Obama is the candidate with the bigger picture. He has that rare quality of mind for holding opposite perspectives in equilibrium. At one and the same time, he can keep the entire landscape in view while synchronizing all the foreground details.
-- Huffingtonpost.com
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mayhill-fowler/pennsylvania-voters-dismi_b_94393.html

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Based solely on the quote, the speaker describes Mrs. Clinton as male mental sex (linear problem-solving), and Mr. Obama as female mental sex (holistic problem-solving). This is the same switcheroo as in The X-files.

If you have any real life examples of Menal Sex in action, please share them here. It's always fun to find new ways to understand complex concepts found in Dramatica and real world examples are high on my list.
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yellowsub
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Re: Mental Sex -- Real Life Example(s)

Postby yellowsub » Apr 03, 2008 6:55 pm

I find this too broad stroke characteristic. It actually brings up the question of the use of 'intuitive' and logical. Perhaps this is because I've never seen anyone who is intuitive enough (the closest is my alternative health care friends) or logical enough to belong to separate categories (except at the movies).

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Re: Mental Sex -- Real Life Example(s)

Postby Chris Huntley » Apr 08, 2008 9:14 am

I do NOT like the terms "Logical" and "Intuitive" as replacements for Male and Female Mental Sex. If one must use alternative labels, "Linear" and "Holistic" are closer.

Examples of real world mental sex may be specific, but conceptually mental sex is necessarily going to be broad. Its a tendency made specific in a particular story. Real life is far more complicated than that. So are real people. It isn't one or the other, but both. The difference is which acts as the baseline--that's what mental sex is really about.

You can make the choice of one or the other in stories because a story is a SPECIFIC context within which the author makes an argument to the audience, "In these circumstances, in this context, this is how the world works." Change the context and everything is up for grabs. That is why a character might normally behave one way, but in the context of a particular story, he or she might behave differently. It is only "out of character" when you examine that character outside of the story's context, but within the story that character's behavior makes sense and feels right.
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Re: Mental Sex -- Real Life Example(s)

Postby yellowsub » Apr 09, 2008 2:49 am

I'll have to think more on this one.

Is it perhaps characters that I might think of Alpha Male vs New Age Male

I don't know what the opposite descriptors for women might be... Perhaps something like Nurturing Mother vs Career Female?

Not suggesting this as replacements... just trying to get my head around the term.

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Re: Mental Sex -- Real Life Example(s)

Postby ogdencl » Apr 21, 2008 3:23 pm

A few months ago, I saw a separate article suggesting that Obama is the first major "woman" candidate--the same way Bill Clinton was called the first major "black" candidate. Really funny, but it's a good way to make sense of their different styles. So if the Democrats win, we will have the first female president, either biologically or mentally, and the first president whose "mental sex" does not match their "biological" sex.

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Re: Mental Sex -- Real Life Example(s)

Postby SimonM » Aug 11, 2008 4:16 am

Dramatica was spookily accurate when I used it recently to map a corporate organisation which clearly has some issues with leadership. As they say in QA circles, the fish stinks from the head down. So my chum who currently works for this blighted company answered my questions and pretty soon we had the story engine roughed in and characters named and allocated.

What really surprised him (and me if I'm honest) was how even with simple archetypal charcters the Dramatica reports showed where the relationship problems in the organisation are and what they're about. When I have some time I'd like to play some more with this - it seems that Dramatica can do a lot more than tell us how stories should work. But I suppose this is not really surprising since grand argument stories must be convincing and thus their internal logic cannot be too far divorced from that observed in the bits we call real life.

Perhaps the theory could be reinstanced in a program to guide organisational change or even national government. The Dramatica Party would certainly be an interesting additional feature in the landscape of 21C politics. But would it work in a benevolent dictatorship?
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