I was musing on la difference because it didn’t feel right to expect women to know what to do in a particular situation. For men we can sum up character as knowing the right thing to do and doing it even when it’s hard, over time. For women, judging the right thing is more holistic and less goal-oriented, more of a judgment like “This situation works for me” or “This situation doesn’t work for me.”.
What I’m working with right now is they have that female ease and unease in the correct situations. They don’t have to know why they feel ease or unease, but they need to have a fine-tuned sense for which such feelings are genuine and can be trusted. And when it comes to doing this or that, it’s basically unimportant for them to know what to do or solve problems. “It’s not about the nail.”
Their job is to put themselves in good situations and express happiness and unhappiness at the correct times. And get out of bad situations. Almost always that’s going to mean changing their social situation, but it could mean something as simple as arranging their workspace or hanging up some nice curtains.
To sum up the algorithm:
- “Things are nice” OR “Things are not nice” (Have high but reasonable expectations).
- Respond by being pleasant to reinforce the nice universe OR by informing the universe you want to see improvements (via emotional manipulation or general bitchiness) OR by ditching this universe for a different one.
I ran this theory by a real-life girl (a pretty smart one) and she seemed to like it. Please run it by your womenfolk and report back, if convenient.
Anecdotally, in literature male characters in moral dilemmas tend to wrestle with abstract principles somewhat divorced from real-world impact, while female characters generally wrestle with situations in which both options are “things are nice” with Jane Austen novels being the best-written examples.