STORIES that have Mental Sex of Female:
A Doll’s House: Nora effectively assesses what she needs to do to maintain the balance in her marriage.
All About Eve: Margo uses holistic problem solving: When she first becomes suspicious of Eve’s motives, Margo smokes a cigarette and thinks about all that’s been happening; she asks Birdie’s opinion of Eve; her intuition kicks in before Bill’s party, and Margo predicts “a disaster in the air.” After her blowup at the audition, Bill asks her what is wrong:
MARGO: I — I don’t know, Bill. Just a feeling, I don’t know. . .
Bull Durham: Annie deals with everything in a holistic way. She doesn’t see problems and solutions per se, but rather processes and balances. Much of her coaching refers to imbalances between the two halves of the brain, and imbalances in the mind-body connection.
The Client: From the first time she appears in the story, Reggie uses female problem solving techniques. Mark says he doesn’t want “some woman lawyer” because his mother’s divorce lawyer was so bad. Reggie asks what “her” name was, and Mark says “it was a man.” Reggie says, “Exactly.” Reggie uses the balance between surpluses and deficiencies to solve a problem. She lets Mark figure out that the deficiency he was ascribing to female lawyers was unfair. U.S. Attorney Foltrigg and his staff believe that they can manipulate Mark into divulging information while they are alone with him, but Reggie has Mark “wired.” The advantage or “surplus” the men feel they have is turned into a disadvantage or “deficiency.” Reggie discovers that Mark has lied to her, creating a deficiency. She tries to balance the inequity by demanding the truth from him. Instead, he runs away, thus creating more of a deficiency. To satisfy the growing inequity, her only recourse is to follow him.
The Glass Menagerie.
I Love Lucy: Lucy evaluates her environment in terms of time, especially when it comes to telling Ricky about their baby in a timely manner.
Lawrence of Arabia: Lawrence sees the larger picture of the Middle East situation, and attempts to unite the territorial tribes and achieve post-war self-determination; he intuitively understands that if they cross the Nefud, Auda’s Howeitat will join them, especially if promised gold; he tries to hold together the quarrelsome tribes in his Arab National Council, and get them to cooperate in keeping Damascus functioning as a city; etc.
The Piano Lesson: Berniece uses female problem solving techniques. She tries to uncover Boy Willie’s motive behind his unexpected visit. She sets conditions upon having Boy Willie and Lymon in her house. She considers her family’s history surrounding the piano and concludes that it cost too much in suffering to give up.
Platoon: Throughout the film, Chris’ ability and attempts to understand the big picture of war illustrate how he views situations from a holistic, female mental sex standpoint. As an example, he is able to home in on who it is that is called to war, and who is excused:
KING: How the fuck you get over here man, you look like you educated…
CHRIS: I volunteered.
KING: You what? Say ‘gain.
CHRIS: Yeah, I dropped out of college and told ’em I wanted infantry, combat, and Nam…
He grins, finding their reactions funny. It’s also the first time we’ve seen Chris crack a smile.
CRAWFORD: You volunteered for this shit, man?
KING: You a crazy fucker, givin’ up college, man.
CHRIS: Didn’t make much sense. Wasn’t learning anything… (hesitate) And why should just the poor kids go to the war – and the college kids get away with it.
King and Crawford share a smile.
KING: What we got here a crusader?
CRAWFORD: Sounds like it. (Stone, P. 24)
Even though he didn’t see Barnes actually shoot Elias, or has any physical proof of the crime, Chris still knows Barnes murdered Elias. Chris’ beliefs are derived from the tense, volatile relationship between Elias and Barnes, and the horrible scene where Elias runs from the jungle only to get killed by the enemy soldiers pursuing him. This sight directly contradicts Sgt. Barnes questionable account of how he earlier found Elias dead in the jungle, prompting the following exchange of dialogue between Chris and other platoon members:
CHRIS: He killed him. I know he did. I saw his eyes when he came back in…
RHAH: (puffing on his bowl) How do you know the dinks didn’t get him. You got no proof man.
CHRIS: Proof’s in his eyes. When you know you know. You were there Rhah – I know what you were thinking. I say we frag the fucker. Tonight. (Stone, p. 85)
Another instance that illustrates how Chris looks at the war from an overall, holistic standpoint is in the last conversation he has with King:
CHRIS: Y’ever get caught in a mistake, King, and you just can’t get out of it?
KING: Way out of anything, man. Just keep your pecker up and your powder dry, things change. How many days you short?
CHRIS: Not just me… it’s the way the whole thing works. People like Elias get wasted and people like Barnes just go on making up rules any way they want and what do we do, we just sit around in the middle and suck on it! We just don’t add up to a rat’s ass.
KING: Whoever said we did, babe. Make it outta here, it’s all gravy, every day of the rest of your life – gravy…(Stone, p. 95)
Pride and Prejudice: An example of Elizabeth using a female problem solving technique is illustrated when she cannot fathom why Mr. Darcy would interfere with the romance between Mr. Bingley and her sister, Jane. She looks at the issue holistically, reviewing all the possible objections he could have against her sister and her family, as well as taking into account the possibility that Mr. Darcy may wish to have his friend marry Darcy’s younger sister, Georgiana. Elizabeth also determines that the fine points Jane has to offer Mr. Bingley more than make up for any deficiency Mr. Darcy may have perceived. Elizabeth is left to conclude Mr. Darcy’s objections to the match “had been partly governed by this worst kind of pride, and partly by the wish of retaining Mr. Bingley for his sister” (Austen 159).
Rear Window: Jeff tries to hold together his theory of Thorwald as a murderer in the face of opposition from Stella, Lisa, and especially Doyle. He’s more interested in the why and when of the murder, leaving the how to Stella and Doyle to consider, and piecing his ideas together to form the big picture.
Rosemary’s Baby: The female mental sex character resolves problems by comparing surpluses to deficiencies, and then taking steps to create a balance. When Guy first refuses to go to the Castevets for dinner, even though Rosemary makes it clear that she promised Mrs. Castevet, she begins reasoning out loud why they should stay home–creating a surplus of reasons acquiesce to Guy’s wishes. She doesn’t push Guy, but eventually he says, “Let’s go.” When her pregnancy becomes a seeming never-ending agony, and no one will listen to her, she throws a party where her friends can assess her shocking physical and emotional condition and push her to see a new doctor. When she grows weary of Minnie’s meddling, she accepts Minnie’s “herbal” drink, but then pours it down the drain. Thus she is dealing with the immediate surplus, but not yet taking steps to resolve the whole problem. When she discovers the truth about her baby, she is armed with a butcher knife as if she is willing to strike at one of the perpetrators, or even her baby. But she is confronted with a different inequity: the need of her baby. The story ends with Rosemary “becoming” the mother to her child, having seen the real deficiency in the situation, the baby’s lack of a mother.
Searching for Bobby Fischer: As a seven year old child, Josh employs both methods of problem solving, but he tends to favor a more holistic approach. Early in the story, Josh is so reluctant to beat his father at chess, he doesn’t even want to play him. His reluctance demonstrates his desire to hold the relationship together. He doesn’t want to change the status quo–the relationship he has with his dad. He is sensitive to inequities, as demonstrated by his sensitivity to the imbalance between winning and losing, and his sensitivity toward the people around him.
Sula: Nel uses Sula to creates balance within herself and environment.
Washington Square: Catherine is able to evaluate people in a holistic manner, for example:
“To her mind there was nothing of the infinite about Mrs. Penniman; Catherine saw her all at once . . .” (James 10)
The Wild Bunch: When his “family” members squabble amongst themselves, Pike gives them pep talks in an effort to hold the Wild Bunch together:
SYKES: That was a mighty fine talk you gave the boys ’bout stickin’ together. That Gorch was near killin’ me — or me him —
(Green and Peckinpah, p. 33)
With Thornton closing in, and his own men ready for fight or flight, Pike looks at the bigger picture:
LYLE: We kin stay right up here and kick hell out of ’em.
PIKE: No water.
DUTCH: Make a run for the border?
PIKE: They’d be after us every step of the way — I know Thornton. No, I’m tired of being hunted — we go back to Agua Verde and let the general take care of those boys.
LYLE: You’re crazy!… Back with those greasers!
PIKE: He’s so tickled with the guns he’ll be celebrating for a week and happy to do us a favor. Thornton ain’t going after us in there. While they’re busy picking over old Freddy’s pockets, we’ll take the back trail off this mountain and head for town.
(Green and Peckinpah, p. 99)
NOTE: The obstacle character, Deke Thornton, also has a female mental sex. He too, tries to hold together his group of misfits, but by using threats. He’s able to grasp the bigger picture of how things work, which allows him to work for Harrigan and to join Sykes at story’s end. He can intuit what Pike is thinking at any given time, as they share the same problem solving techniques.
Witness: When Amish elders object to harboring Book–because if he dies, the policemen will come, investigate, disrupt, cause publicity, etc.,–Rachel looks at the bigger picture. She responds that they must make it so that they never find his body, without going into details of how they would accomplish that.
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