I've never once said that the unconscious mind is evil. I've said it's largely populated with things that come from repeated exposure (that's how all kinds of neural pathways get formed) - both the kind that help a musician know how to play without thinking about every single note every single moment and the kind that comes from living within a certain kind of social system (such as a patriarchal dominance hierarchy).

This is literally my entire point in a nutshell! We are all a product of our environments, our socialization, what we are overtly and subconsciously taught as children, our experiences, stereotypes we've been exposed to, what we read and watch, etc., as well as any innate predelictions. People with different kinds of cultures live in very different ways than we do, including ones that are much more egalitarian.

You sent me an article a few months back about how babies as young as 18 months spontaneously help other children, but also adults, without being prompted, even to the point of sharing food when they are hungry. So it would seem obvious then that this is our demonstrably more human nature set point than what goes on in our society suggests. That much of the greed, unnecessary competition, bullying, and measures both legal and cultural to keep certain kinds of people "in their place" comes from something that has been culturally communicated via various methods. My whole point that I've been trying to make these past 2 years is that if we don't keep putting that kind of stuff out there, we can have a different kind of society. Denmark isn't a Utopia, but it's a much, much more kind and tolerant society because they have actively taught that from childhood. The Na don't believe in possessiveness or jealousy because their culture highly values independence.

What you put into people's minds via cultural messaging is what lives in their subconscious. And then when they act from that, one shouldn't be all that surprised because their ability to act from personal conscious decision making is only about 2%. That's why most of racism and sexism is implicit bias - it's taking place in the subconscious based on what the culture has put in there. That doesn't make the subconscious at fault - it's the fault of what it's been fed.

You are what you "consume" which is why I keep advocating for any movement in the direction of egalitarianism, no matter how small. All evidence from both the past and the current cultures that do not live under patriarchal systems, is that this is not inevitable. It's a choice that we have made on a societal level, and if we choose something different, we can impact what is in people's subconscious minds because we've changed what they are exposed to. Just like a musician learning a new song, neural pathways get wired in ways that may become so entrenched that they are almost "hardwired."

I'd like to see that happening in ways that are not destructive and reflexively detrimental to other people who have done nothing wrong but be different somehow.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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